[CR7] Rafael Nadal (ESP) vs. [CR9] Stan Wawrinka (SUI)
Nadal loses a crucial match after leading in the tiebreaker. Every match is important to a tennis player; yet, some are more important than others. Today’s match against Wawrinka was one of those matches. It was vital for Nadal to win this match for two reasons: to build on his excellent performance from yesterday; and with Roland Garros only nine days away, provide a huge boost for his waning confidence. This was another setback in Nadal’s recovery and it was a critical psychological injury that he may not recover from in time for the French Open.
Is it possible that Nadal is losing because he is ambivalent about playing tennis? He has publicized repeatedly his lack of confidence and his desire for a family. Is it weighing on his mind that he is the only member of the fabled “top four” that is still single? He recently posted on his Facebook page that his best years are behind him. If he truly believes that, how can he expect to get back to a level capable of successfully competing against members of the top ten? Losing the first set after leading 5-2 in the tiebreaker and serving for the set may be a result of this ambivalence. Credit Wawrinka who played brilliant tennis when it mattered to get the 7-6(7), 6-2 victory.