28th seeded Alexandr Dolgopolov shouldn’t have been too much of a challenge for world no.1 Rafael Nadal, yet after a nail-biting three sets the Ukrainian was the victor.
His style is really quite unorthodox, but something that’s quite clear is his ability to gain control of the rally, send his opponent to the far end of the court before calmly executing a drop-shot across the court to take the point. Especially during the second set, Nadal came back and Dolgopolov simply couldn’t cope with his immensely powerful forehands and backhands. Even 4-2 down in the final set tiebreak with Nadal on-serve he came across remarkably casual, aiming randomly at all four corner’s of his opponent’s court.
This calm and assured attitude (while Rafa I must say looked very frustrated) is something always seen in Federer, which can only be a good thing. However, there is room for improvement for Dolgopolov, for example, he lost four games straight from 5-2 up in the final set, and with the crowd strongly on the side of the Spaniard, anything could have happened.
Nevertheless, he looked a lot better than when he recently played Nadal on the clay of Rio de Janiero, where he was full of errors and it didn’t make great tennis. At Indian Wells there’s been a roll reversal. His dramtic display has also earned him the title of ‘First Ukrainian to Beat a World No.1’ as well as a place in round 4 with 13th seeded Fabio Fogini.