The toll of playing at a higher level

052015 Kei NishikoriInternazionali BNL d’Italia, Rome

[CR6] Kei Nishikori (JPN) vs. [CR34] Viktor Troicki (SRB)

The last time Troicki defeated Nishikori was in 2010.  Today, he hoped to change that statistic. There is no shortage of confidence in Nishikori and although Troicki came prepared for a battle, it was not enough. He elevated his game and sharpened his focus when Nishikori served for the first set and managed to break back. The toll it takes to play at a higher level is not only physical but mental. Thus, despite getting back on serve, Nishikori would break again to win the first set.  The second set was more of the same. Once again, Troicki battled back after a break only to subsequently lose his serve. Nishikori moves into the next round with a 6-4, 6-3 defeat of Troicki.


012015 Novak Djokovic[CR1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) vs. [CR68] Thomaz Bellucci (BRA)

Bellucci has taken the first set from Djokovic before; yet, he still lost their two previous encounters.  To play at a higher level than your norm is draining and if you have not done so consistently, it is unsustainable.  Bellucci knew the match was not over until the last ball was struck and he had to stay focused because Djokovic in his current form is almost invincible. Despite the knowledge, Bellucci was emotionally exhausted by the second set and briefly lost his focus and the set.  The third set was lost due to a combination of emotional and physical exhaustion. He kept it close, but a few anxious errors would cost him his serve and the match. Djokovic won 5-7, 6-2, 6-3 and gets Nishikori as his next opponent.  Who will win that battle?




1 Comment

  1. Was it a few anxious errors, the inability to remain focus or just plain exhaustion that cost him the match? Looking at the match, one would say that perhaps it was a combination of all three.

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