[CR10] Rafael Nadal (ESP) vs. [CR79] Alexandr Dolgopolov (UKR)
Are we surprised or stunned that Nadal lost this match? I was neither stunned nor surprised because the last time they played Dolgopolov defeated Nadal in three sets; therefore, I was prepared for the possibility. I was more prepared for this loss than the first one; however, I was still disappointed. Nadal is still struggling and despite his recent victory on grass in Stuttgart, he still lacks not only conviction but confidence. Nadal’s fans know they will have to tolerate these erratic results and accept that his rebuilding process may be a tad longer than they would like.
The errors that came off his racquet today reflected the internal battle that he is fighting. It distracts him and creates a lot of uncertainty in his mind. Several times he started to come forward, but then regressed to the baseline. When he tried to terminate points by attacking the ball, inevitably he made an error. By the latter stages of the match, his frustration was clearly evident. Nadal had a break in the third; he had one objective, hold his serve and he would move on the next round. Unfortunately, he did not and Dolgopolov won for the second consecutive time 6-3, 6-7(6), 6-4. What does this mean for Nadal as Wimbledon rapidly approaches?