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Why Rafael Nadal will never return to his former glory.

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After what some people described as a ‘shock exit’ from Wimbledon against Dustin Brown on Thursday, Rafael Nadal looks very distant from winning a major honor like Wimbledon again.

The exit to Dustin Brown, was no shock. It was almost predictable after watching the first game of the first set. Lazy gameplay contributed to his first set loss, and what would be easy shots for the player that he once was are now missed, called out, or aren’t even returned.

The 14-time Grand Slam champion has a abysmal record at his past four Wimbledon’s:

2012, loses to world number 100;

2013: loses to number 135;

2014: loses to number 144;

and now 2015: loses to number 102.

This year could be one of the worst years for Nadal in recent memories and if he doesn’t win the US Open, it will be the first year he hasn’t won one of the 4 Grand Slams since 2004.

The Wimbledon exit cant all be attributed to ‘the downfall of Nadal’ but can be accredited to the brilliant performance of Dustin Brown. He pushed Nadal to perform, and even when Nadal was in his preferred baseline position, Brown gained point after point, broke Nadal’s famed defense play and expelled .

The question remains that next year, if Nadal makes it past the 4th round of Wimbledon, and has to face someone seeded in the top 5, will he crash and burn again. Grass has never been a major surface for Nadal, there is a reason he is called ‘The King of Clay’, but after this year, even his performances on his favored clay and hard courts have not been to the level we expect from the Spaniard as he has now gone a year without a tournament win on clay.

Every tennis fan will recall that final against Federer in 2007. Many have argued that it was the best Wimbledon Final in recent history and we’d agree with them. At the time, Federer was the No.1 in the world. The match lasted 3hrs 45 mins and was a back and forth game overall, but Federer was victorious. Nadal was praised alongside Federer for what was a great spectacle of tennis. We have come so far since 2007, and Nadal seems now to be on a downwards spiral.

This legend of the game could, if this form continues, become a joke compared to his former self and with the added pressure of playing in his own shadow, Nadal may never be the player we saw in years past.

Brown Clay Loss Nadal Rafa Nadal Slump wimbledon

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