Originally Posted by *Sparkle*
Not really. I wasn't explaining away why he didn't win today, as I think Kei won fair and square with excellent tennis.
It's more a case of trying to gauge where he is with his overall game and what's getting in his way. Today's score to me makes it look like he ran out of gas, and people are saying that's because of a couple of tough three-setters. If he is to progress, he can't be worn out by a couple of tough three-setters in a 500.
If he is to get the wins to be a regular in the top ten he'll be playing more matches, and tougher matches. Everyone was getting excited that he was moving around the court more than ever before, but with improved court coverage comes increased energy expenditure.
In that respect, his fitness/stamina may be the next thing he has to work on if he hopes to play to his potential when he makes it to his next final.
I watched the match, he simply missed too many BHs and Nishikori was returning his serve like a boss. Not to mention his backhand and his passing shots.