Monday, May 3, 2010

Confidence is a Major Factor even at the Top

Rafael Nadal has won his fifth Rome Masters title in six years, withstanding two rain delays to beat fellow Spaniard David Ferrer 7-5, 6-2 on Sunday.

Nadal improved to 10-0 on clay this year and signaled he’s back to dominating on his preferred surface after a series of injuries. He won the Monte Carlo Masters two weeks ago to end an 11-month title drought.

“I didn’t play at the level I did in Monte Carlo, but I’m still winning and that’s the important thing,” Nadal said. “I’m probably more happy winning without playing (my) best. It was more of a mental thing.”And this is very true when you start winning you get that sense you are "superman" and when you step out on the court you have that edge. Nadal is certainly stamped himself as favorite for the next Grand slam on his preferred surface.At the other end of the spectrum is Andy Murray a player that had a great Australian Open and was nearing his peak , but of course that did not happen as he was well beaten by Rodger Federer which brought Murray to tears.Lately Murray has been beaten by players he would normally handle, but mentally he is not that strong with the British Davis Cup saga taking its toll.Of course now it also gives players ranked below him a little bit more confidence knowing Murray is vulnerable and they will raise the level of their game knowing this.I think the clay court season will be a disaster for Murray and he will try to regroup for his Major Wimbledon. The mental side and in particular confidence plays a major role in winning and this is seen at a junior level also.Every one has a streak but at some stage it comes to an end .It will be interesting too watch the fortunes of both Nadal and Murray during the French Open.

New Zealand Girls Junior Fed cup team in Malaysia came up just short finishing 5th and maybe with the luck of the draw could have qualifeid.Final placings where 1. JAPAN (1) 2. UZBEKISTAN (4) 3. CHINA (2) 4. AUSTRALIA (5) 5. NEW ZEALAND (6) 6.THAILAND 7. KOREA (3) 8. KAZAKHSTAN 9. INDONESIA (7) 10. CHINESE TAIPEI 11.PHILIPPINES 12. MALAYSIA 13. INDIA (8) 14. SRI LANKA 15. HONG KONG 16. SINGAPORE.
Australia who finished fourth could be considered lucky.The top 4 teams qualify for the World finals.In a competition of such you have to take your chances and New Zealand did lose to Japan and Uzbekistan which put them out of contention.It was certainly a better effort than the boys(16s) and maybe New Zealands best chance to qualify.The 14s come up later and I don't hold out too much for either the boys or the girls qualifying as both teams lack depth and experience.I also doubt that this Asia Pacific Zone will carry any threats in the Final of the World groups later this year.Whilst every one gained a lot this side of the World playing the event, the Asian Zone is so stereotyped , however the one things that the Japanese and Chinese players have is discipline and that's what lacks in New Zealand and Australian juniors.

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