Break Points: What’s Going On with Rafael Nadal?

Notable Results:

  • Stuttgart F: Maria Sharapova d. Ana Ivanovic, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1
  • Marrakech F: Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor d. Romina Oprandi, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
  • Bucharest F: Grigor Dimitrov d. Lukas Rosol, 7-6(2), 6-1
  • Barcelona F: Kei Nishikori d. Santiago Giraldo, 6-2, 6-2
  • Savannah Challenger F: Nick Kyrgios d. Jack Sock, 2-6, 7-6(4), 6-4

News and Analysis:

Louisa Thomas talks about Rafa’s struggles over at Grantland:

What made the gap between the group of Nadal, Federer, Djokovic, and Murray and the rest of the field so massive was that even when the margins were tiny, when the results were decided by a couple of break points, those points went their way. It is perhaps the most extraordinary and understated fact of their dominance.

Right now, a few of those key points are starting to go the other way. Maybe it means nothing. Nadal is 59-1 at Roland Garros. He has won the French Open eight times. It’s as foolish to bet against him now as it was three weeks ago. But if nothing else, the recent results are disorienting. So much of tennis is won by the mind. Nadal is still the best clay-court player in the world. But he came home and, for a few moments that mattered, found that the landscape had changed.

Karl Meiler, a former top-20 player, passed away. Over at the ATP website, his colleagues and those he coached shared remembrances of him:

After retiring, Meiler became a successful coach to many German players, including Michael Stich, Carl-Uwe Steeb and Bernd Karbacher.

“I was shocked when I heard that Karl Meiler died,” said Stich. “He took a great part in my professional career. His dedication and his will to make us good tennis professionals was a great inspiration for me as a young player. He gave so much of his energy and time to coach us not only in tennis, but also in life. He created the best tennis generation in Germany and German tennis owes him a lot. We will miss Karl very much as a person, but also as a great coach in tennis. Thank you, Karl, for putting me on the right track.”

The ATP website has more on Nick Kyrgios, who won his second straight Challenger title in Savannah last week.

Victoria Azarenka is out of Madrid and Rome.

Maria Sharapova won her third straight Stuttgart title, which meant she was able to stay in the top 10. SI has a nice photo roundup from the final.

Elena Dementieva and her husband, Maxim Afinogenov, welcomed their first child, Veronika.

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