Murray’s first clay court defeat of Nadal

052015 Andy MurrayMutua Madrid Open, Spain 

Men’s Final: [CR3] Andy Murray (GBR) vs. [CR4] Rafael Nadal (ESP)

Nadal had never lost on clay to Murray.  Well, “there’s always a first time for everything”. The fan that I am wanted Nadal to win; yet, the realist that I am knew that his chances were slim. Murray has been playing really well and his recent victory on clay has given him more confidence.  If Nadal had any hopes of winning this match, he needed to win the first set. Perhaps my optimism was based on the delusion created by his victory over Tomas Berdych yesterday because there were moments when remnants of the “vintage” Nadal surfaced.

Unfortunately, Nadal never got into this match.  I have never seen him play so poorly on clay. Despite his struggles I thought two things: being in the final should motivate him; and playing on his favorite surface would give him the advantage. To lose to Murray so emphatically will have negative repercussions. If he had made it a competitive match, at least 5-7, (3)6-7 or three sets, he could walk away feeling positive.  This was a comprehensive 6-3, 6-2 victory for Murray.  Roland Garros is just two weeks away, how is Nadal going to bounce back mentally from this defeat? Should he skip the next tournament and try to re-group for Roland Garros?

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