Monday, June 24, 2013

Courier: Nadal Couldn't Use Defense to Stay in Match



(June 24, 2013)--Speaking via satellite to Mary Carillo and Jon Wertheim on the Tennis Channel, former Wimbledon finalist and four-time Grand Slam champion Jim Courier gave some good insight into Rafael Nadal's stunning first-round loss to Steve Darcis on Day 1 of the Championships.

"When you factor in that Nadal's coming in without the tournament play, he's playing on a greasy, lush court that hasn't seen much action," said Courier, "it spelled risk. You wouldn't have seen the upset coming but it's a tough court to play defense on and that showed today.

"On this surface, on this day, it's the most vulnerable day of the year for the top players, because in best-of-five sets in these tournaments, you see these guys have tough offensive days but find there way out of it, but today Rafa couldn't do that. Nadal just didn't look himself in a lot of ways out their from my eyes."

Despite the fact that he felt Rafa was off his game, Courier was more than willing to give the 29-year-old Belgian his due, saying, "Good for him. He took his chances out there today."

Courier praised the World No. 135 for playing to win, rather than playing not to lose.

"It's nice to see players with nothing to lose play like it for a change," said Courier. "So many times these guys go out there just happy to shake hands and be on the court with the great players, but Steve Darcis came out there and he was focused and he was opportunistic. Darcis had a beautiful slice backhand working, shades of [Ken] Rosewall out there at times--it really was something to see."

Darcis will face Lukasz Kubot of Poland in the second round. He has never reached the third round at Wimbledon before.

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