What are the positives that Nadal can take from yesterday’s loss?
MY TWO CENTS: Once the frustration and disappointment subsides, Nadal can take several positives from his loss yesterday.
- In their first 2016 match, Nadal lost 6-1, 6-2; then 7-6(5), 6-2 in their second match.
- This match is the closest Nadal has come to playing consistent quality tennis against Djokovic since 2014 Roland Garros. Thus, he can gain confidence from seeing the results of his hard work.
- He needs to remember in the Majors that he will usually have at least a day to rest and recover between matches. I think the difficult match with Nick Kyrgios was too much at this stage of his recovery. Every match presents a high quality opponent unlike the Majors where you can occasionally get an easy match, which makes the Masters 1000 the most difficult tournaments to win.
- He Knows well that their rivalry has had stretches where one or the other dominated. In 2011-2012, Djokovic defeat Nadal seven consecutive times. He did stop that trend and will again.
The champion that he is will find a way to defeat Djokovic. Perhaps he has already planted some seeds of doubt in Djokovic’s head. Despite losing yesterday’s match, Nadal was in a winning position in both sets. Although many may say that he still did not win, in the grand scheme of things he gained some valuable ground. Djokovic will not be going into Roland Garros, where he has proven he is vulnerable, as confident.