[CR10] Rafael Nadal (ESP) vs. [CR63] Marcos Baghdatis (CYP)
It has been a very rough start to the season for Nadal. In fact, it has been very rough since the end of last season for Nadal. Several events conspired to cause Nadal to lose his confidence: injuries, illness, surgery, and some unexpected losses. Nadal relies on his physical fitness as a major component of his arsenal; therefore, it is no surprise that he is struggling. His inability to trust his fitness has resulted in a mental battle with doubts. The irony is he appears to be the fittest he has ever been; yet, the reality is that he is the least fit he has ever been, mentally.
Getting mentally fit is not as easy as getting physically fit. Nadal’s persistent struggles are a testament of how difficult it is to regain mental fitness once it has been compromised. How do you change a pattern of negative thinking once it has developed – a pattern that may be subconscious or rather involuntary? Do Nadal’s obsessive tendencies indicate a more severe problem? Anxiety is a diagnosis that can be misunderstood and can have a significant impact on one’s quality of life. As he has said, he does not know when, but he will continue to work very hard to find the solution. It begins with little steps and today’s victory over a resurgent Baghdatis is one of those little steps. Will he regain his equilibrium in time to be a threat at Wimbledon?
SCORE: Nadal def. Baghdatis 7-6(5), 6-7(4), 6-2