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Nadal’s Shock Defeat – SportsUntapped.com
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Added October 3rd, 2010 by Jonas

Nadal’s Shock Defeat
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Everybody thought Nadal was going to cruise to victory in the Thailand Open, but the 53-ranked Guillermo Garcia-Lopez came in his way in the quarterfinals, beating the world number one 2-6, 7-6 (3), 6-3. Garcia-Lopez of course played an amazing match that he described like this:

“I’ve never beaten a No. 1 player in the world,” Garcia-Lopez said. “I think this is the best victory in my career.”

Nadal was of course less happy to lose so surprisingly:

“It’s a difficult loss to accept,” Nadal said. “It’s one of those matches you are going to lose once every two years.”

Yet these matches happen and will happen even for players of Nadal’s calibre. The tennis tour is extremely tough and it is really a wonder that players like Nadal and Federer have been so dominant with so many hungry and strong players out there with “nothing to lose”.

Is this a sign that Nadal is tiring a bit? Yes and no. I think physically he is still in good shape and there was nothing wrong with his movement or play in the match against Garcia-Lopez. The problem should rather be on the mental side as Nadal has been fighting so hard for every major and master tournament he has won this year. It is not strange that his mental toughness will waver in the “lesser” tournaments and also at a late stage in the season.

I think we will still see a hungry Nadal when it comes to the two remaining masters and of course the remaining ATP Tour Finals in London. Next up is Shanghai Masters on October 10th. Nadal will be there to fight for the title.

PS. The Thailand Open final will be played between Nieminen and Garcia-Lopez. This is a sign that we are nearing the end of the season and that the higher ranked players are taking a bit of a break. My pick in the final is actually Nieminen. DS.

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