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"There seem to be a lack of confidence, this was not one of his prime performances" - Jon Wertheim on Rafael Nadal's Cincinnati Open defeat to Borna Coric

Rafael Nadal suffered a second-round exit in Cincinnati.
Rafael Nadal suffered a second-round exit in Cincinnati.

Rafael Nadal's surprise second-round exit at the 2022 Western & Southern Open has drawn an array of reactions from the tennis fraternity. The Spaniard lost a keenly-contested match to Borna Coric, who in the process became just the second active player to have a positive head-to-head against the Spaniard after having played him on more than four occasions.

Speaking about the match in an interview with the Tennis Channel, sports journalist Jon Wertheim said that while Nadal did not come across as hindered by abdominal injury in any way, he could a sense a lack of confidence in his game.

Wertheim went on to say the 36-year-old could use the extra time off to "reassess" his game and return stronger for the US Open, where he, according to the 51-year-old, is still a title favorite in the likely absence of Novak Djokovic.

"Yeah, he can use the time off to sort of reassess," Wertheim said. "What happened? There seem to be a lack of confidence. We were all looking at the serve and would that be impacted by this abdominal injury. That did not seem to be the case today, it really was just playing some tight big points," he said.
"He's going to New York, the player who ostensibly will be the number one seed. Djokovic would be the favorite, but Djokovic as of now is not in the draw and so Nadal has to be considered a favorite. This is not the tune up that he needed, but I do think an extra week off and sort of the best-of-five format, I think will help him, but this was not one of his prime performances tonight," he added.

"Hopefully, Rafael Nadal will get right back to it and will kind of build on this" - Chanda Rubin

Rafael Nadal and Borna Coric at the Western & Southern Open.
Rafael Nadal and Borna Coric at the Western & Southern Open.

Chanda Rubin, in the same interaction, said Rafael Nadal would definitely have liked to get a few more matches under his belt in the lead-up to the US Open.

The American, however, was quick to add that this was a tough match-up for him and expressed hope that Nadal would build on the performance even if he lost the encounter.

"Yeah, certainly, Nadal would have wanted to get a few more matches and this was not an easy one. He's lost a charge a couple times before. So, you know, this is a match, he had to battle in, but he thought when he won that second set that he had, kind of, turned things around that," she said.
"He was gonna get that extra push. He had 0-30 early in the third just was a little bit off, and that's kind of to be expected because Nadal is so underdone in matches recently and the first match on hardcourts, it takes a little getting used to. Hopefully, he'll get right back to it and will kind of build on this even though he lost it," she added.

Rafael Nadal and wife Maria Francisca Perello spotted with infant son. click here for pictures.

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Edited by Anirudh
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