[CR10] Rafael Nadal (ESP) vs. [CR42] Thomaz Bellucci (BRA)
Nadal’s first round match meant a lot to him, his fans and commentators. How would Nadal respond after a persistent shaky season? A season where he has openly and repeated publicized his misgivings about his game. A season where he has struggled on his favorite surface, winning only one minor clay court title. He had a promising start on grass, winning the Mercedes Cup title; then he lost his first match in the next grass court tournament. The momentum gained in his progress was instantly halted; thus, he arrived at Wimbledon with concerns about his form.
Today’s match had the potential to be a disaster. However, Bellucci did not perform at the level he is capable of and never really pushed Nadal. Credit Nadal for fighting through his inconsistent form, brilliant one minute and abysmally awful the next. Nadal won 64, 62, 64 and he could have won the first set 62. He served for the set, but the lack of confidence that has become a part of his game caused him to lose his serve, giving Bellucci an opportunity to get back in the set. To make an assessment about Nadal’s performance after one match can result in misleading conclusions. A better assessment can be made after his match against [CR102] Dustin Brown (GER). Brown defeated Nadal on grass last year at Halle and leads their H2H, 1:0.