Even though Rafael Nadal had another early exit at the Wimbledon Championships, he's still having a terrific 2014 season, and that should continue through the rest of the year.
The No. 1 tennis player in the world lost in the fourth round at Wimbledon on Tuesday, falling to 19-year-old Nick Kyrgios 7-6(5), 5-7, 7-6(5), 6-3 in a match that didn't even take three hours. Nadal didn't feel he played that poorly, noting how hard Kyrgios served and hit the ball.
"The thing is this surface, when you have an opponent that he decides to serve and to hit every ball very strong, you are in trouble," Nadal said, via Greg Garber from ESPN.com. "I think that I didn't play really bad. But that's the game in this surface. I felt in a way I am even not angry today because I feel that I lost the match losing only one time my serve during the whole match. I created my opportunities."
The loss was a tough one, but considering everything he's already done this season, Nadal is still having a great year.
This year, Nadal is already 41-7 in ATP World Tour events, winning four titles. He was able to keep proving he's the greatest tennis player ever on clay by winning his ninth French Open title, and he made it all the way to the finals at the Australian Open, where he lost to Stanislas Wawrinka.
Recently, Wimbledon hasn't been kind to Nadal, but that hasn't kept him from having great seasons in the past. Nadal hasn't made it to the quarterfinals since 2011 at Wimbledon, but he's won four more Grand Slam titles and made it to the finals in three other Grand Slams since.
Nadal was simply beaten by a young and athletic opponent that he wasn't prepared for. As tennis analyst Brad Gilbert noted, Kyrgios was just dialed in from the start, and his serves were a big reason for his success throughout the match.
Great start from Nick Kyrgios showing non signs of nervs, serving bombs vs Rafa in the 1st set— Brad Gilbert (@bgtennisnation) July 1, 2014
The loss for Nadal was more about Kyrgios playing out of his mind rather than the top-ranked player struggling. The 19-year-old had 37 aces during the match with just just four double-faults, and his serve was lighting up the radar gun, averaging 120 miles per hour on first attempts.
As the BBC's Alison Mitchell points out, Kyrgios did a great job with his serve while keeping his composure against an elite opponent.
What a sensational win for aussie teen Nick Kyrgios over Nadal. A master blaster with serve & showed he can keep cool temperament too— AlisonMitchell (@AlisonMitchell) July 1, 2014
While there's only one Grand Slam event remaining for Nadal, he still has a great chance to pick up another title at the U.S. Open. He's had plenty of success at the event, making it to at least the semifinals in five straight appearances, the finals in three straight and a couple of U.S. titles in 2010 and 2013.
It was obviously another disappointing ending at Wimbledon for such a successful player, but given everything Nadal has already done this year, he's clearly going to have another great season filled with plenty of titles.