Men’s Final: [CR4] Rafael Nadal (ESP) vs. [CR60] Juan Monaco (ARG)
Clay is Nadal’s best surface and he has the results to back that up; however, even on this surface he is looking shaky.
Monaco despite pushing Nadal a bit more this match, at least in the first set, still was unable to get his first win against Nadal. Although it was not vintage Nadal, it was enough to get the job done 6-4, 6-1. It’s a much-needed victory for him and hopefully it gives his confidence a huge boost. Nadal is still not striking the ball with much conviction, too many unforced errors continue to flavor his game and his movement also seems off – all signs that he continues to lack confidence in every aspect of his game.
Can he ever regain that once dominant form or is it too much to expect given his recent rash of unexpected losses? Has too much damage been done psychologically for him to regain his belief and his game? You wonder if he will be able to elevate his game to compete effectively against the top ten players. As a big fan, I hope that this is just a temporary phase and with each victory he will begin to regain his form, but how long will this take? And finally, is he even a contender at this stage for hard court titles? All questions that many fans want answered. We know that Nadal will continue to give one hundred percent in every match, the only problem is that it still may not be enough to guarantee the victory. Nevertheless, he accomplished a major milestone today and he should take the time to enjoy this moment.
Congratulations Rafa on tying Guillermo Vilas (ARG) for the most clay court titles!