'Rafael Nadal just got on the wrong side of that', says top analyst
by SIMONE BRUGNOLI | VIEW 5260
Rafael Nadal has advanced to the third round of the Madrid Masters after beating Miomir Kecmanovic 6-1, 7-6 in one hour and 55 minutes. It was Nadal's first match since the Indian Wells final, and he had ups and downs, especially in the second set and from his backhand.
Still, the four-time Caja Magica champion did enough to seal the deal in straight sets and advance to the next round against an opponent in top form. The Spaniard lost serve twice in the second set and produced four breaks.
Nadal had 29 winners and 23 unforced errors, dominating with his forehand but making a few backhand errors. Nadal started strongly and held 15th in the first game of the match. Kecmanovic volleyed the winner in game two for 30-30 and hit another to bring the game home and put his name on the scoreboard.
Miomir led 30-15 in the third game before Rafa claimed three straight points and closed it out after a forehand error from David Nalbandian's young protégé. The home favorite got a break in game four with a smash winner that gave him a huge boost after a grueling battle thus far.
Nadal made a couple of errors in game five before closing it out with a service winner for 4-1. The Spaniard earned a break chance in game six with a smash winner, squandered it but created the second with a powerful shot winner.
O'Shannessy on Rafa Nadal
ATP strategy coach Craig O'Shannessy recently explained why Rafael Nadal's results at Wimbledon were not up to the mark. According to O'Shannessy, the Spaniard is too passive when playing on grass, a surface that requires a more aggressive playing style.
"You got Rosol that beat [Rafael Nadal]. You got Darcis that beat him. You got Dustin that beat him. I think overall, when Rafa will sit down and look at those matches, [he'll see that] players came at him," O'Shannessy said. "Players attacked him, they went after him and he didn't go after them enough.
I think he was too passive. I think he didn't come to the net enough. I think that he let the guys do their stuff against him too much. He didn't assert himself out there as much as he could have," O'Shannessy said. "I think it's a matter of backing the foot off the pedal, putting the ball back into play and letting [the other] guys make a mistake like on hardcourts and clay. He just got on the wrong side of that. He just didn't play his best grass court tennis."