At the ATP Mutua Madrid Open 2021, after the misstep in Monte-Carlo and the very complicated victory in Barcelona, Rafael Nadal also loses against Alexander Zverev with the final score of 4-6 4-6. Waiting for Zverev for the remake of the most recent final of the US Open obviously Dominic Thiem, executioner of John Isner.
Zverev serves well, moves the game well with the forehand, but above all he manages not to get trapped in the network of prolonged exchanges. After a rather prolonged study phase, the first to break away in the score is however Nadal.
The Spanish champion initially jams with the forehand near the net and attacks roughly with the same shot from 30-30. Zverev passes in both cases and gets back on track. The German survives a controversial episode in the immediately following game and after 30-30 he finds himself at 30-40.
Sascha clears the problems with the service and even puts his head ahead with the second consecutive break. Despite a double fault at the start, the 6-4 proves to be a necessary epilogue. With the second set, Nadal's problems are amplified.
Bad with the service, bad in lateral movements, badly especially from the baseline. Dominic Thiem defeated John Isner 3-6 6-3 6-4. After a practically perfect set and a half, the tall American pulls the plug completely. Called to keep a 6-3 3-2 advantage, Long John does not use a total of four break points and suffers the psychological backlash leaving - at zero - the service in the immediately following turn.
Thiem does not shine for continuity, but at least manages to limit the number of unforced errors and above all to respond. Isner, who, as in the logic of things, clings almost completely to the first one and who in an attempt to reduce the number of prolonged exchanges faces with very little conviction near the network, auto-brekka on 4-4 and obviously does not find valid weapons for get back on track.
At the threshold of two hours of play the Austrian tennis player is hoisted on 3-6 6-3 6-4.
Toni Nadal: "Kyrgios is Roger Federer's true heir"
The complex health situation due to the pandemic and restrictions in every corner of the world have led Nick Kyrgios to remain in Australia almost all the time over the past year.
The Canberra talent, who has not set foot on the pitch since the Australian Open, has recently announced that he will take part in the season on grass. The Australian left the stage in the third round at Melbourne Park, after coming close to defeating Dominic Thiem (forced to come back two sets to enter the round of 16).
Kyrgios will be one of the protagonists of the Mallorca ATP, which will take place in June with a decent audience in the stands. Mallorca had already hosted a WTA level tournament, but last year the organizers managed to get permission to set up an ATP event as well.
Together with Nick, there will be players of the caliber of Fernando Verdasco and Feliciano Lopez. The tournament director is Rafael Nadal's uncle, Toni, who welcomed Kyrgios’s decision to fly to the Balearic island before Wimbledon.
According to the Iberian, the former ATP number 13 has all it takes to attract fans after the retirement of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Toni said: "Nick Kyrgios is a star of the ATP Tour, there is no doubt about that.
After Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, he is one of the players most followed by the public, perhaps even the most loved by the new generations." At 26, there is a feeling that Nick has never really shown all of his immense talent.
By limiting his speech to the Grand Slams, Kyrgios never went beyond the quarter-finals (reached at the Australian Open in 2015 and at Wimbledon the year before). "Nick is a very good player, who is able to give a lot of show on the court.
Kyrgios' choice to play the Mallorca tournament is great news for us. I hope that his presence will induce many fans to follow the matches," said Toni.