Tide turned in Nadal vs. Sock with one missed volley

Rafael Nadal beat Jack Sock 6-2, 6-3 in the quarterfinals of the Miami Open on Wednesday night, needing just one hour and 23 minutes to reach the final four.

But as Nadal admitted to Brad Gilbert during his on-court interview, the match was–or at least should have been–much closer than the score suggests.

Although the first set was every bit as lopsided as the 6-2 scoreline indicates, Sock had plenty of chances in the second. The 17th-ranked American was a combined 1-for-9 on break points in the second–1-for-7 on his opportunities and 0-for-2 trying to save them on his own serve.

Sock appeared to have a 3-0, double-break lead in hand when he took control of a point with Nadal serving at 0-2, ad-out. Having already squandered two break points, Sock botched an easy backhand volley. Nadal ended up holding serve en route to taking six of the match’s last seven games.

Sock’s volley:

“I think I was under control during the whole first set,” Nadal reflected. “In the second set, it was so important to save that game at 0-2, 15-40, and then get the break back in the next game. It was two positive things in two straight games that probably created a lot of damage to him.

“It was the key of the match, to save that game with 0-2 in the second, 15-40. That made the difference.”

Wednesday quarterfinal highlights:

4 Comments on Tide turned in Nadal vs. Sock with one missed volley

  1. Very accurate and honest assessment by Rafa. The players often talk about how matches hinge on one or two points, and that one was the key. If Sock wins that game the match almost certainly goes to a third set.

    • Yup.

      But those small differences are not uncommon in these types of matches and more often to the underdogs who feel the moment and can’t execute the simplest of shots.

      Happened to Sascha on MP vs Rafa on a simple put away that ended up costing him the match.

      I’ve seen Fed escape multiple times in the past also.

      The underdogs play great until they go from having nothing to lose to having everything to lose (in the match).

      • Wasn’t so much the missed volley that cost A Zverev that match. It was his reaction to it. The wind went right out of his sails, like he’d hit dead calm. He was only 17 but I wondered then if he really had the temperament to be a top ranked player. Guess we’ll find out soon enough.

        • Well, yes of course. That’s the whole point really.

          First they fail and then can’t recover from it.

          Part and parcel. Tsame as TSock.

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