Canadian Pospisil cites fitness as biggest problem of late

Canada's Vasek Pospisil. (Kirsty WigglesworthAP)

LONDON – Vasek Pospisil was asked about his time at Wimbledon. He put it rather succinctly, almost indicative of the time he spent on the court.

“There’s not much to sum up. You can just look at the scoresheet. I won one set in two matches, which isn’t great,” he said, forcing out a frustrated laugh.

Pospisil and partner Ryan Harrison fell 6-4, 7-6, 6-2 in the first round of men’s doubles. The result came two days after a four-set loss to Mikhail Kukushkin in singles.

Pospisil cites fitness as his biggest problem of late.

“I feel like I’ve had a little bit of a dip the last month or so,” he said. “I got tired in some of my matches, which should be unusual on grass anyways.

“I feel like I’m hitting the ball great. But in matches, it’s not there. You’ve gotta get to the ball and do that consistently for five sets. There are things that need sharpening up, touching up on.”

It was a “disappointing” tournament for the Canadian, It was also the continuation of some recent subpar play.

He’s lost four straight singles matches dating back to when he reached the final of a Challenger-level event, the Busan Open, on May 20. The semifinal win in that tournament was the last time he’s won at all. Pospisil is 2-7 in ATP singles matches.

Pospisil last claimed a doubles victory in the event before Busan, the Gimcheon Challenger, when he won his quarterfinal match with Frederik Nielsen. He’s 0-4 in ATP doubles play this year.

Pospisil’s biggest professional victory came in doubles when he won Wimbledon with Jack Sock in 2014. But after deciding to place a greater emphasis on singles in 2013, Pospisil has seen his doubles results fluctuate.

He was ranked 97th in singles and 491st in doubles coming into Wimbledon.

“Since my singles ranking dropped, I’ve also lost touch with my doubles sharpness,” he said. “My focus is on singles. I’m not able to play very much doubles.

“It shows a little bit in matches like today where I just miss balls where when I’m playing more doubles I would miss one in a whole match or one in a tournament – really weird mistakes. Today, there were way too many of those. I think that’s just not being sharp.”

Pospisil and Hamilton have lost in the first round in each of the three tournaments they’ve played. It’s tough when they’re both concentrating more on their individual results, he said. Hamilton is ranked 59th in that department, but he lost to 22nd seeded Adrian Mannarino in straight sets on Wednesday.

Pospisil said he intends to compete at the Rogers Cup in Toronto next month with fellow Canadian Daniel Nestor, one of the all-time greats who is retiring after this season. He said that would serve as motivation because he’d like to see one of his best friends on tour have success at his final ATP event in Canada.

Pospisil is registered to play an ATP event in Newport, R.I., next week but isn’t sure if he’ll compete or withdraw to focus on training.

Either way, he knows he must get better.

“You’re still only 28 years old. It’s not my first year on tour. I’m not going to go and cry about it,” he said. “But I’m not high energy and happy right now.

“I know it turns around. It always does. But the only way it turns around is if you work hard. Make sure I work on the things I didn’t do well here.”

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