It is difficult to imagine a different epilogue at the end of the first set. Difficult to imagine even at the foot of the finish line. Rafael Nadal’s victory seems obvious after forty minutes and impossible after just over two hours of play.
At the ‘first’ from the tour in Australia and the triumph in Acapulco – a streak spiced up by fifteen consecutive successes, among other things – the very Spanish champion needs to make up two breaks late in the third set from Sebastian Korda.
Still paralyzed with the fear of winning. Nadal, who even without shining blocks the first set without particular difficulties, gradually loses lucidity in the choices from the baseline and above all struggles to keep the American’s wake on power.
Petr’s son, who finds quantity and quality among other things, manages above all to pinch the number four of the seeding on the backhand line. Element that allows him to harpoon the break on two occasions and to remedy the initial 6-2 with a 6-1.
Nadal, in obvious difficulty, tries to hold on to the score. The result? At 2-5 he practically finds himself with his back to the wall. An incredibly reluctant character to defeat, the three-time champion of the tournament re-emerges and arrogantly recovers half-gap behind.
Called for a second time to respond in the survival challenge, he patiently undermines the American’s tennis (which pays, in addition to inexperience, probably also a pinch of tension) and despite a bad mistake on leaving the service with the forehand at 5-5 30-30 at least manages to hook the tie break.
Nadal, who puts his head forward, leaves the serve on two occasions and finds himself chasing again. From 2-3, however, the minimum necessary is sufficient to engage the final 6-2 1-6 7-6 (3) after just over two and a half hours of play.
Nadal wins a match from a losing position
In a recent interview with the Tennis Channel, World No. 4 Rafael Nadal revealed that he neither cares nor thinks much about being the “best tennis player” on the ATP tour.
Highlighting that he “just tries to enjoy the sport” every day, Nadal stated that he is quite happy with where he is at the moment. “I don’t think about that [being the best tennis player]. No, I honestly don’t know.
I don’t think and I honestly don’t care much. I’m just happy to be in the position that I am. Honestly, two months and a half, three months back, I was not sure that I will have the chance to play at the right level of tennis, professional tennis,” said Nadal.
Nadal further stressed that his main goal is to continue to stay healthy and enjoy playing tennis. “I know if I am healthy and if I am able to walk the right way and play tournaments in a row, looking back on my career, I had a positive level and chances to compete for the things that I won it and that’s still the goal. Keep enjoying this sport and try to fight for important things,” the Spaniard said.