[CR3] Rafael Nadal (ESP) vs. [CR47] Donald Young (USA)
Who was more nervous? One would expect that Young, despite being ranked lower, would be more confident given the promising start he has made to the season; however, that was not the case. This was a match where both players struggled on serve and errors were flowing freely from their racquets. There was no guarantee that getting the break meant the player had the momentum as there were numerous breaks in the first set. The second set seemed to be heading in the same direction until Nadal found the ability to consistently hold serve.
Nadal missed too many shots that he normally makes, again demonstrating his persistent issues with low confidence. How does a player, once so dominant and confident get to this stage? Injury is partly responsible; however, there must be other contributing factors that we the fans are not aware of. Nadal has always been open and that is a plus in terms of character, but on the tennis court, that may be detrimental. Although he won 6-4, 6-2, I am not convinced he is playing at a level that can compete successfully against the other top ten players.