Having lost two times to the 6 foot 6 inch Argentine this year, Rafael Nadal was trying to break the jinx. This was the setting for the US open semi finals at the Arthur Ashe Stadium!
Coming back from an injury layoff , Nadal was in the semi finals of the US open 2009. Incidentally the spaniard has never gotten past this phase of the tournament in his career. And that was how it remained as the Spaniard fell to his worst ever straight set defeat at a grand slam. 6-2 6-2 6-2
What Went Wrong?
Everything! From the first service game of the match Nadal was stretched as the giant Argentine seemed to have a perfect answer to Nadal’s base line play. The Argentine’s killer serve forced Nadal to stand far away from the baseline. But this couldn’t solve Nadal’s problems as Del Potro held serve quite easily. Nadal wasn’t able to take the break points as Del Potro served quite a few aces to shut Nadal down. Having broken Nadal’s serve early in the first set the Argentine killed the set off in a 6-2. Nadal tried coming on to the net, something pretty much unknown of him. It did pay off for a period of time, but his opponent started to play longer volleys to a very much erring Nadal forehand. Nadal seemed to be afraid of his opponent’s forehand that he constantly played to his backhand even though having an open half. The sliced backhand didn’t seem to work for him either. He went down 6-2 6-2 6-2.
It will be interesting to see how Nadal picks himself up considering he looked a little flat as well, something attributed to his abdominal strain that kept him out of Wimbledon this year. It will be Federer vs Del Potro in the finals. I reckon Federer has the shots in the book to down the Argentine, who himself looked tired trying to cover the width of the court.