Youzhny d. Nadal

Not the first time, probably no the last either. But the numbers, damn! 6-0, 6-1!! Nadal had absolutely no answers in today’s match against the Russian, who consistently ripped deep groundstrokes almost every rally. Nadal seemed a little off physically and at 4-1 in the second called in the trainer. I am sure only to say that “I’m dead tired”.

What was most stunning was not how poor Nadal performed, because he did hit an awful lot of unforced, but the way Youzhny seems to handle Nadal’s extreme topspin. That one-handed backhand is sometimes just magic. Being able to blast those off at Nadal is something even Federer has trouble doing.

Youzhny also aced Nadal quite a lot and won many points off his serve. Close to perfect day at the office for Youzhny and great revenge from the defeat in Wimbledon, when he was up 2-0. 

The questions is, how important was this tournament for Nadal? Yesterday’s 4 hour SF, emptied his batteries quite a lot, and was it really necessary for him, with the knees and all? I would rather see Nadal contesting in Kooyong classic rather than getting these tough early matches that have injury written all over them.

Regardless of why he lost with 12-1 is two sets, Youzhny seems to know what he needs to do in order to beat Nadal. Deep groundstrokes with little spin and low bounce is not Nadal’s favorite. Most of his errors came of good deep shots by Youzhny. If you guys remember Nadal-Roddick in Indian Wells, that was exactly one of the problems for the American. He his most of his groundstrokes well inside the baseline, too often inside the service line. That is suicide against Nadal, and if Youzhny would have done that today, he would be the 6-0, 6-1 loser. Certainly easier said than done!

In Doha Murray claimed his 4th title and is good to go for Aussie Open. The kid needs to keep his head cold and start winning the important points.

Llodra won in Australia defeating Nieminen in the final. I don’t think Australia is very happy with their chances at the Open this year either. Hewitt must at least beat these lower ranked players. He doesn’t seem to have any chance against the top players.

Tomorrow there is action in Syndey and Auckland. Gasquet leads a strong field in Sydney with several top 20-25 players and Auckland has Ferrer as top seed with A lot of clay court nerds.


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