Nadal v Nishikori In Madrid Final Sunday, Who’s The Pick? (Hint: It’s Not The Guy Who’s Undefeated On Clay!)
by Sean Randall | May 10th, 2014, 6:30 pm
  • 97 Comments

Four months in it’s really been quite an unpredictable season. With Stan Wawrinka taking the Australian, then Novak Djokovic rising up and sweeping the U.S. Masters events followed by Rafael Nadal’s stunning tumble in April. Will May follow suit? The potential is there.

Tomorrow in the Madrid Masters final it’s Nadal against the surprising Kei Nishikori in what would figure to be a no-brainer outcome. But those are often the ones that require the most brains, aren’t they?

Nishikori, though, will need more than his head to beat Rafa, he’ll need the rest of his body. Earlier in a very impressive, tough 7-6(5), 5-7, 6-3 win over David Ferrer the top ranked Japanese battled not just the indefatigable Spaniard but also a bad back.

The 24-year-old of course overcame both for one of his signature wins of his career. And since the start of Miami – remember he beat Roger Federer – he’s won 14 straight matches including the title in Barcelona (10-0 on clay). The run has earned himself a deserving spot in the Top 10 come Monday. And I think he’ll be a regular in that top group for many years.

“It’s a little bit surprise,” said Nishikori. “[Nadal's] the king of the clay, so hopefully I can hang in there and try to play another good match.”

But on Sunday the glory will go to Nadal. After two tough losses in April, Rafa appears to be back on track. He hasn’t dropped a set all week and he really hasn’t been tested after a comfortable 6-4, 6-3 win over Roberta Bautista Agut in his semi.

“Psychologically, in Monte Carlo and Barcelona, whenever I had difficult moments, I was not ready and I was a little bit down,” said Nadal. “Here, I managed to be ready straightaway. For example, in the second set I had a ball to go up 5-0 and he played well and then I committed an error at deuce when it was 4-1. At 4-3, I responded again. I managed to serve well and play a good passing shot and to break again.

“All of those symptoms are symptoms that I am mentally more stable and more confident that things are going to go well. This is great news in order to go out and play tomorrow’s match, but also for what may come in the future.”

So while Nishikori comes into the final a little banged up and perhaps exhausted from his grueling 3-hour semifinal, Nadal should be in perfect form to put on a final show in front of his fans.

Still, I give Nishikori a chance, though a small one. He’s 0-6 against Rafa winning just one single set (lost 14 straight sets) but this is the first time they’ll play with Kei really at the top of his game. Recall he pushed Nadal a bit in Australia, and now he’s playing even better.

And today was a huge win to beat Ferrer on his home turf after losing that crushing second set. I’ve said before, I liken Kei to a young Ferrer just with a little more power while lacking that fitness. He doesn’t have a single overpowering shot, but he moves well, can crack it off both wings going in either direction and plays offensive. Those are good traits to have and they translate on any surface, unfortunately they won’t put a serious scare into a guy like Nadal playing on a claycourt in Spain. At least it shouldn’t.

That said, it’s just been such a crazy year that if Nishikori can somehow get his fragile body to 100% and if he attacks Nadal, gets him off balance off from the first stroke, he’ll be in this. But Rafa’s got to want this so bad. Plus, it’s hard for me to fathom that Nishikori will enter the French leading the tour in clay titles this year.
The pick: Nadal in two

Tennis channel has live coverage of both the men’s final and the women’s which is between Maria Sharapova and Simona Halep (I think Halep could win!).

SUNDAY MADRID SCHEDULE
MANOLO SANTANA start 2:00 pm
ATP – [1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) vs [6] D Nestor (CAN) / N Zimonjic (SRB)

4:30 pm
WTA – [4] S Halep (ROU) vs [8] M Sharapova (RUS)

7:15 pm
ATP – [1] R Nadal (ESP) vs [10] K Nishikori (JPN)


Also Check Out:
Nadal Handed Madrid Title by Nishikori
Who’s That Running? Who’s That Stripping? Why It’s Rafael Nadal! [Video]
Poll: Rafael Nadal Or Novak Djokovic, Who’s Your Early Favorite To Win The French Open?
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Poll: Rafael Nadal Or Novak Djokovic, Who’s Your Early Favorite To Win The French Open?

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97 Comments for Nadal v Nishikori In Madrid Final Sunday, Who’s The Pick? (Hint: It’s Not The Guy Who’s Undefeated On Clay!)

Gregoire Gentil Says:

Let’s be honest: Madrid was a 250-point South American ATP tournament for Nadal. Not a top ten guy to face to and it’s unlikely that Kei, his superb finalist opponent can resist at all as he will be so tired after the late semi-final – he was not moving at all while trying to conclude his 11 match points… Nadal just needs to make him run to win.

Can’t wait for Rome with the real guys back!


Klaas Says:

Damn, Nishikori needed a 2-setter to be fresh enough to compete with Nadal.
Nadal can now just fall back on his usual strategy of playing a long and exhausting first set before sealing the deal.


Seldom Pooper Says:

@ gregoire gentil: what about berdych? Isn’t he a top ten player? Nadal beat him in the quarters.


contador Says:

Dammm, have to agree with Sean again. Kei is stretched to the limit. Both the last two matches he played, he literally stretched his body to the limit, had to call the trainer in each match and I thought he would not make it past Ferrer.

Super strong mentally, is Kay Nishikori. So proud of him toughing it out to get past Ferrer. That match was a show of mental calm and strength from Japan’s #1. Bravo.

But…Nadal in straight sets is the pick. Usually when I am this sure of the pick, I don’t even bother watching. But this time, it is Kei and he has been on a streak to make the most jaded fan smile. He is a class act. Gotta love him, watch him, even if he is to lose. Go Kei!


Sivaji Says:

@Gregoire Gentil, If Nadal wins, you downplay them because it is clay specialist and he is no. 1 so on. If he looses to a low ranker, you make it as a big issue and says it over. Win is a Win an Title is Title on any surface. Lets respect that


Sivaji Says:

@Gregoire, If Nadal wins, you downplay them because it is clay specialist and he is no. 1 so on. If he looses to a low ranker, you make it as a big issue and says it over. Win is a Win an Title is Title on any surface. Lets respect that


Pogi Says:

Berdych is a choker…
No djoker, no fed, no wawrinka…
What do u expect…


Nitesh Says:

you have to beat the guy on the other side thats it you go on as champion !!!
wether it’s Federer Djokovic Murray or wawranika doesn’t't matter


Gregoire Gentil Says:

Correct, I forgot Berdych so there was indeed a decent top-ten player on Nadal’s road. Still it was not a super difficult 1000 level tournament for Rafa.


Steve27 Says:

63 62 for the GOAT according to Agassi.
Vamos Rafa!


skeezer Says:

“Win is a Win an Title is Title on any surface. Lets respect that”
Yahoo.
Yes, and lets respect the fact that Rafa does not like the color Blue. He’s no good on it. Thank the powers that be that they changed the color for him at Madrid this year so he is not afraid to play on Clay.
Unlike last year, if he wins, there will be no color excuses. After all, red is his favorite color., no?
Rafa in straights, Kei is spent. Yawn.


James Says:

Sean underestimates Nishikori again.
Nishikori will be ready for the final. He has nothing to lose and will be out there to prove to himself that he can beat the best and win the big titles. The king of clay will be pushed hard and forced to play his best for the W.

Fortunately for Rafa fans, he is playing like the clay of clay again. I was worried Nadal had slowed down, but he moved like his 2008 version against Bautista. That’s good news for him and his fans as he’d say. And bad news for his rivals.


James Says:

*king of clay. Not clay of clay ;-)


Steve27 Says:

Rafa was much more exhausted in the final of Marid 2009 against his pigeon and he lose in straights. Is it his fault that the Japanese have taken so long to finish the match?
Double standard lke always. Duh!


Giles Says:

Vamos Rafa!
Good luck for the final!
#1


Jf Says:

@ Skeezer, I dont understand you sometimes. At times
, you give good respectable posts then other times you sound childish. It seems you often throw digs at Nadal but they habe no merit. For example you wrote earlier about Nadal and th blue clay as if he were the only player to complain about the blue surface.. Give it a rest..


metan Says:

I remembered that the color blue wasn’t a big issue during the time, it was just the surfaced was so slippery that he complaint, and he wasn’t the only one who was complaining as far as i know Nole was raised his concerned too. what are you talking about. Red is the colour of earth, if Rafa likes something classy so be it. We all have different taste. .who wanna become avatar, eh. Blue. Yikes .!


metan Says:

Whoever gets the title I shall be happy.
The king and the prince!


metan Says:

Gregory Gentil,
Haters gonna hate and the blind can’t see the rainbow! Let me tell you something, from 2004 to 2006 your idol could do the sweeping gs coz the bull was not in charged yet, the incredible Nole was not ready yet and the fabulous Murray was not around and the current Swiss no. One was not the man yet.


Hippy Chic Says:

Rafas my favorite,but i like Nishikori so i would be happy with either winning the title,and Nishikoris played fantastic these past couple of weeks winning Barcelona last week and making the final this week,so i wont be taking him lightly,he was 5/2 down in that 1st set,and came back to win it on a tiebreak,which showed great mental strength,so hes growing as a player both physically and mentally,i have to say sorry if he wins this title without facing Novak,Roger or Andy,sorry Novak was injured and couldnt play,sorry Roger didnt play as Mirka gave birth,and sorry both Stan and Andy lost early,but then again who knew that they would,and is that Rafas fault?isnt that why they play the games,i suppose hes proved nothing even if he wins the title as this was such a crap field,if he looses the title shock,horror,panic career over,and why the hell is he still playing tennis?a loose loose situation for Rafa?damned if you dont damned if you do?whats the bloody point in trying to reason when your on a hiding to nothing?


Jon Says:

Nishikori has played amazing tennis all week and is well-deserving of being a top ten player, but this is the king of clay and there’s not many players who can go in with the kind of confidence and shot-making you need to threaten a healthy Nadal. Nishikori can take a shot, it’s not impossible with the way he’s been playing, but he’s too tired and not yet good enough to win a match-up like this.

Soon. Very soon possibly. But not now.

Blogged about this at http://t.co/5mI2ScZPtp


madmax Says:

He hasn’t dropped a set all week and he really hasn’t been tested after a comfortable 6-4, 6-3 win over Roberta Bautista Agut in his semi.

Sean, rafa did play Berdych but we all know he crumbles in front of rafa and clay is not his game really. He is more of a hard court boy.

I have never been more bored by a tournament in my life. Without Murray, Djokovic, Federer (especially), it is like watching a 20th re-run of Wizard of Oz.


Giles Says:

If a tournament is boring there is a very quick solution. DON’T WATCH!!


Dan Martin Says:

Http://tennisabides.com – I have my prediction up as well


skeezer Says:

@JF,
Thought it was childish for Rafa to complain and use the surface as an excuse when his fellow Spaniard played the match of his life and beat him. And yes, he is the topic here. Did others compkain? Yes, a few. But others didn’t and played on.
Regardless, that is yester year. He is back on his fav color and looking good. Thats what matters, no?, the result? Rafa in straights.

@metan
Avatar? Lol good one ;).


George Says:

YES am a nadal fan and YES av been following this site for long without necessarily writing.But now av decided 2 write, just gotta say skeezer talks 2 much and pls give ur hate a rest.goodluck Rafa.


Giles Says:

madm. Why are you even commenting on this thread when your fave is absent?
No need to reply,


Purcell Says:

Giles: why are you always getting at fans of other players? It’s not you site you know. No need to reply.


Purcell Says:

……….your………


Giles Says:

Purcell. I will reply just to say speak when you’re spoken to. I don’t remember addressing you!


Purcell Says:

I agree, the colour blue was not the issue, in fact it was easier to view than red clay, yellow balls and white lines in combination. It’s important to remember that most of the participants, including Roger and Serena expressed concern about the surface but they simply chose to alter their approach/style/game to counteract the ‘hazards’ it presented. Serena’s ‘wuss’ comment directed towards Novak and Nadal caused some amusement. (Oh dear, waiting for Serena backlash here.) However, it would have been wonderful to observe Nad/Djok adjusting their games. Who knows, maybe one of them could have won and spared Rog the embarrassment of taking possession of the revolting MIB suit.


Purcell Says:

Giles: I will ‘speak’ or should I say ‘tap’ whenever I see fit and that’s immediately as you have now told Madmax that she shouldn’t be posting and me that I shouldn’t be responding to the unfortunate comment made by you. Let’s put it this way. There are some posters who have big favourites but try th


El_Flaco Says:

Nishikori has the game to beat Rafa today, but does he have the legs after that long match against Ferrer? You need to be 100% physically to have chance of beating Rafa on the the dirt.


El_Flaco Says:

So far there is no issue with Nishikori’s movement.


Hippy Chic Says:

Well he seems to be doing ok at the moment,leading Rafa 4/1….


tennismonger Says:

Still early yet, but I can’t believe what I’m seeing. Which guy played the later match @ nearly 3 hrs. long?

This match should really show us what Nish has in the tank…


C!P! Says:

these days Rafa looks more like a rabbit than a bull ! too afraid to go for his shots or impose his will and confidence


Purcell Says:

Sorry……….try their level best to be neutral, realistic, observant and historically au fait regarding the game of tennis. Discouragement by people who can’t see past their nose-end In their adoration of one player is not acceptable.


youyong Says:

Nadal is playing uncharacteristcally poor so far. He seems to have a confidence issue. Didn’t expect this today but looks like Kei has a good chance to win.


Sean Randall Says:

Very, very surprising. Nadal is still fighting those gremlins.


youyong Says:

This could be over in 2 sets.


Hippy Chic Says:

Yeah pains me to say this,but i dont think hes the player he once was,the air of invincibility has gone,and once it goes on this surface then the writing is on the cards,Keis playing very well very solid,and making Rafa do all the running….


Okiegal Says:

Looks like Kei has this one in the bag. Rafa playing poorly…….or Kei playing so good making Rafa look bad? Whatever, Rafa won’t bite this one…imo! Rafa has a chance to break him…..for a change.


van orten Says:

pls keep posting..my live ticker is off


youyong Says:

I don’t see Rafa coming back at this point in time. You have to give Kei credit for playing his game and not let himself get distracted by Rafa’s poor form today.


Okiegal Says:

Well……so much for Rafa’s chance to break!


Hippy Chic Says:

I dont think Rafas winning RG this year playing like this?and if he doesnt i would love to see Kei do it instead?


youyong Says:

I don’t see Rafa winning RG too. Would love to see Kei do it but winning a GS is very different. More likely we will see Nole getting his career slam.


salleh ahmed Says:

Lol. Kei making look like a clown. And also the payers like berdych who cant fight against nadal for a living


C!P! Says:

this match might be slated as Kei vs Rafa ,but in reality it is RAFA’s body vs RAFA’s head ,and the latter is cheating on him failing on him ,what an act of treason to the King


the DA Says:

Nadal isn’t himself but credit has to be given to Kei. He’s playing incredibly.


Okiegal Says:

Kei has been a tough little nut to crack today….don’t know if viRafa will be able to get a service break or not!


youyong Says:

Yes. Kei is playing incredible too and not giving Rafa a chance to get back in the game.


Okiegal Says:

This match is basically just about over! Rafa’s confidence level is batting zero…..He is vulnerable and these up and comers realize that. I guess they feel like they have nothing to lose.
…Kei is very relaxed……Rafa every nervous….imo.


youyong Says:

Nadal breaks back! But am still not sure about his form.


the DA Says:

MTO. So unfortunate for Kei (and the viewers). I spotted Rafa’s Elvis sneer for the first time in that last game. I knew he had turned a corner after seeing that.


van orten Says:

no matter how this match ends…nadal is not a sure bet at this years rg. nobody is actually


youyong Says:

Yes. RG is going to be interesting this year.


youyong Says:

1 set apiece but I am not going to write Kei off especially after yesterday’s match.


Daniel Says:

Kei is not going to hold another set. If he stay will be just to finish the match. Too bad….


Okiegal Says:

Well, finally……Rafa broke him twice, MTO and Rafa wins the 2nd set!

VAMOS!!


the DA Says:

The Madrid crowd are competing with RG for most classless crowd. Whistling during a MTO? At least Rafa motioned to them to stop doing it. Now for the 3rd.


Nitesh Says:

As we have always seen Rafael is a better no.2 player then world no.1


Daniel Says:

He couldn’t serve fast last game. Happens to Nadal in AO and now to Kei in this match. Part of the game


youyong Says:

Kei looks like he is contemplating retiring. He isn’t moving at all.


Nitesh Says:

hurtful to see such matches I think he should retire


Daniel Says:

Nadal’s return is short. To passive, maybe he just wants to put the ball n play and wait Kei implode


youyong Says:

Kei should start serving underhand and stand inside the baseline to receive. Jokes aside, it’s a shame he is obviously not able to play properly now.


Daniel Says:

Retire already. Nopoint in keep playing. Can’t hardly move.


Daniel Says:

Finally!!
Well, Nadal has at least won somethimg big and he still has Rome next week to fine tune his game. Seems all players will be on it (probably Kei will not play) and will be a good test for him.


youyong Says:

Kei needs to rest. If he continues to play like this, he will do well in RG. Sigh of relief for Rafa but he knows his game is still far from his best.


Purcell Says:

What a shame. Poor Kei..


skeezer Says:

Kei retired? Just saw the score. Bummer. Looks like if his body held out he would have taken the Bull Horn down. Too bad. Congrats Kei on a fine year so far. Rest and heal up for RG!


the DA Says:

What a pity it had to end that way. In any case I think Nishikori – if he can avoid al these injuries – has the ability to really shake up the top 10 in future. His performance against Ferrer and in the first half of this match was stunning. Sort of like Davydenko at his best.

For Rafa fans who are worried, remember that RG has best of five. Different game altogether.


Okiegal Says:

Kei better take ample time off and get well. I think for the most part they rush getting back on court too soon. Poor Kei he played so amazing that first set. You can tell Rafa feels for him…..he’s been there and done that. Sad, really.


Hippy Chic Says:

God never have i felt so flat after a Rafa win,so sad for Kei who shouldve won this match,Rafa felt flat too judging by his rather sedate celebration at the end,Kei had him on the ropes for most of that match,not the way a fan should want their favorite to win a match,well this one certainly doesnt,so sad what an anti climax?


solomon Says:

nadal is absolutely horrendous, he was very lucky today, why does he keep dropping the ball short and allow the opponent to dictate the play, he needs to take more risk and go for winners instead of prioritizing on keeping back in play.

this is why djokovic beat him alot, instead of him trying to hit winners he’s chasing balls and bringing them back in play, kei just toyed with him today.


amadeus Says:

This Madrid crowd is the worst of the worst “chusma espanola” including his own player.


amadeus Says:

Stpd crowd, disrespect for foreign players, if they want a bullfight, go to an arena


Humble Rafa Says:

Not at my best clearly. I am not moonballing like I used to. It is annoying to me, double annoying to Uncle Toni. Xisca is crying.

One thing is clear. For the first time in recent memory, I have to play well to win the French Open.


nick Says:

We all already know Nadal often wins matches and championships he doesn’t deserve to win. This just takes it to a whole new level.

Beyond disgusting.


Giles Says:

Nick. It’s an unfair world is it not!
Vamos Rafa!
Good luck in Rome


Okiegal Says:

If I remember correctly, Rafa was booed at the Aussie Open……there are jerk fans in every arena.
The French folks are so rude it’s unreal…..they get the “Rude” trophy, imo.

@Nick

“Beyond disgusting”…….what did you expect of Rafa in this situation??

“We all know Rafa wins matches and tournaments he doesn’t deserve to win”……what is that supposed to mean?? That could possibly be said about lots of players……but the win is a win, no matter how it stacks up.


skeezer Says:

Is Rafa the most booed Tennis Champion in the last 20 years?


Giles Says:

Okiegal. I too take umbridge to Nick’s comment. WTH does he mean??


Giles Says:

Rafa should have retired in AO final with his back injury. He did himself no favours by playing on which worsened his back.
But, we are talking about Rafael Nadal here. Too classy to quit and deprive his opponent of the glory!
#Classy
#VamosRafa


Okiegal Says:

I don’t know, is he??


contador Says:

Azarenka gets booed in Australia a lot – Masha too. The crowd there tends to boo screecher/grunters.

I thought in 2009, Rafa was well-supported down under. I don’t remember him getting cat=called like at FO. Actually at FO, the majority of fans just cheer for someone to beat Rafa. Can’t really blame them….sheessh ….he wins the damn thing every year.

Poor Kei, hope he pulls out of Rome.

I did not get to watch the match. congrats to Rafa winning Madrid again.


contador Says:

I think it is idiotic to play on when injured – just my opinion.


Humble Rafa Says:

Is Rafa the most booed Tennis Champion in the last 20 years?

The simple answer is no.

The complicated answer is a question: People who live in glass houses throw stones, why?

Now, go feed your cats.


Max Says:

@Giles

Unlike with Kei though, Rafa won a set after the injury and could have very well taken the AO if Stan crumpled further- so a much greater incentive to keep playing.

I don’t think the general consensus is that Stan beat Rafa as it is so it wouldn’t have mattered if Rafa had retired


Daniel Says:

Nadal garantee #1 seeding for RG even if he loses first round, yeah right.

Tennis-x could post the Race to Londo updated points as I think Nadal is #1 now.


Daniel Says:

Max is right. Nadal was only not serving fast in AO due to his back, but able to run and play some pojnts. Today there was one poijt. kei didn’t even hit a BH, only slices. He could hardly move at all


Humble Rafa Says:

When other players win a tournament when they are not in best form, they toughed it out. Guts, winning through sheer will, etc.

When Humble does the same – people call me lucky.

Tough world for Humble people.


MMT Says:

Just saw the match, and I believe he first started to feel his back today at 2-1 serving 40-15 – after that it gradually seemed to get worse. But he received treatment against Ferrer as well, so maybe he thought he could play on in this one too.

I don’t know why anyone would play if they are truly injured. If Nishikori was injured earlier in the tournament, he should have retired earlier in the tournament. If Rafa was truly injured in Australia, he shouldn’t have finished that match – what favors are you doing to a guy if he’s beating a (temporary) cripple? So he’s not doing Wawrinka any favors. I think it’s not a question of class, but simply wanting to avoid criticism for quitting.

The same thing happened to Djokovic in Monte Carlo with Federer – he shouldn’t have stepped on the court, but by trying to play that match he has put his chances at Roland Garros in doubt – for what? Monte Carlo? Stupid.

The same goes for Nishikori who’s added a better serve and court positioning to an already strong forehand, backhand and movement/footwork, but now will not be 100% prepared for Roland Garros and wouldn’t be able to see how far he could really go. By this time next year, the bar could move again for him, and he’s not a kid anymore, so this could have been a opportunity lost.

By the way, there’s no way to know what would have happened in this match, so there’s no point in speculating. I’ve seen Rafa get his arse handed to him for a set and a half before and then win the match (Fognini in China last year, for example was playing almost EXACTLY the same as Nishikori today) He does it a lot, and there’s no reason to think he couldn’t have turned around. Having said that, until Nishikori started getting treatment, Nadal had absolutely no answer for him today.

As for the Spanish crowd? To be honest, I think they know tennis pretty well, but I also think they take themselves a little to seriously, and they are extremely biased towards Spanish players. They just wanted Rafa to make a comeback so they could reassure themselves that it was all just an illusion that Nishikori was the better player, but that’s just dumb. If you’re beloved player is losing it’s not the end of the world, and no reason to take things so tragically – the looks on their faces was like they were watching Rafa go to the gallows, for crying out loud. Stupid…just stupid.

That would never happen in the US, for example, but in Spain they’re always getting on players for anything perceived as any kind of a slight to them or any Spanish player. Frankly Spanish players are also a bit unsporting as a group, in my opinion.

I know part of their training is to impose themselves and stand up for themselves – to play with balls, so to speak – but in my opinion, too often their disposition is generally very salty, they all seem to have chips on their shoulders, and are rather easily offended by anyone – opponents, someone in the crowd, the umpire. The threat of offense seems to be ubiquitous with them. I also don’t care for all the chest thumping and in your face crap they do – actually I hate that. The only Spanish player I can think of that this doesn’t apply to is Albert Montañés – the rest of them, meh…

French players, for example, are much better in their demeanor on court – most of them smile and seem to enjoy themselves, and most importantly, don’t take themselves too seriously. Having said that, although generally they are more talented than their Spanish counterparts, they seem to underachieve more regularly as well, and perhaps that’s the price they pay for having a more reasonable disposition on court.

Well, the Swedish tennis players used to have a saying: to be #1, you either have to be crazy or an idiot.


RZ Says:

Such a shame about Nishikori’s injury, especially on the cusp of the best win of his career. Hopefully he will be in shape for RG – he would certainly make the draw more interesting.


Klaas Says:

Nadal played a defensive game from the start, to take advantage of Keis long match and physical issues. It almost backfired on him.
Kei learned a lot during this match, and so did other players watching this. Kei is imo the player who moves best up and down the court, always taking the ball on the rise.

What a shame finishing a match this way!


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