Swiss Indoors Basel, Switzerland
[CR3] Rafael Nadal (ESP) is a shadow of his former self. In his match today against [CR75] Simone Bolelli (ITA), Nadal spent the majority of his time pushing the ball instead of striking the ball with conviction, a sign that he is not feeling confident. His groundstrokes had no sting and many of his shots landed mid-court; thus, if Bolelli was more alert and less prone to making errors he could have gotten the upset.
Nadal did not dictate play, it was a matter of his opponent making too many careless mistakes that gave Nadal the victory. Nadal’s confidence comes with playing matches, but it may be wiser if Nadal ends his season pre-maturely than to continue playing at a sub-par level. Playing poorly or losing to players he has rarely lost to is not going to build his confidence, actually it will have the opposite effect.
Bolelli’s inconsistent level of play allowed Nadal to win the match 6-2, 6-2; although there were a few brilliant Nadal shots/moments, it was by no means close to his best performance. Nevertheless, in tennis, a win is a win and he will take it and try to build on it for his next opponent.