Nadal Amongst Day Two Winners

Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, London

[CR4] Stan Wawrinka (SUI) vs. [CR5] Rafael Nadal (ESP)

Despite a dominant 13:3 head-to-head against Wawrinka, Nadal has lost three out of the last four matches against Wawrinka. Thus, today’s match was going to be a difficult challenge for Nadal who is still trying to find his “A” game after a rather sub-par performance beginning late 2014. Given the magnitude of this tournament, I was surprised that Wawrinka was not fully engaged in the match. He started off well, breaking Nadal at love in the first game of the match, but Nadal quickly returned the favor breaking back to even the set. It was a rather erratic performance from Wawrinka, one moment he was hitting screaming winners and the next he was sending the ball three feet long.  I have no idea what the issue was, but the Wawrinka of late did not show up; thus, it was rather difficult to accurately assess if Nadal is playing well enough to defeat the top three.  In any event, Nadal is happy for the 6-3, 6-2 victory, which will certainly boost his confidence going into his next match.

Andy Murray defeated David Ferrer 6-4, 6-4 despite concerns about his back.

Both the number two and three seeded doubles team were victorious.  Jean Julien-Rojer and Horia Tecau had a much easier time than the number three seeded team of Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo.  They defeated Marcin Matkowski and Nenad Zimonjic 6-2, 6-4. If they win this tournament, they will end the year as the number one ranked doubles team, displacing the Bryan brothers, who have had a stranglehold on the year-end number one ranking since 2009. The French duo of Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut won the first set and had opportunities to win the match with a 5-2 lead in the second set but lost it in a super-tiebreak  6-3, 6-7(4), 7-10.

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