Remember that photo I posted yesterday? Who’da thunk that less than a day later all three of these striking Spaniards would be sent packing! Moya was already out, and today David lost in three to Stepanek (say it ain’t so!) and Rafa went down to Juan Carlos Ferrero in straights.
Rafa displayed a lot of frustration and anger in his press conference. He was mightily miffed by his (partially) injury-induced loss, and blamed the fat blister on his foot on Etienne de V. and the ATP head’s unreasonable clay court scheduling. Here are the money quotes:
RAFA: (After some talk about the blister on his foot bugging him, Rafa launches into this off-topic “told you so” tirade) So, you know, the calendar is impossible. Last week and in Barcelona everybody is talking about how you feel about the calendar and everything. I said for me going to be impossible four weeks in a row playing well, no? They told me, Yes, but you have already two playing very well. I said, Yes, but in a few days you going to see why it’s impossible, and disappointing they going to see. Finally they see it’s impossible, no? Just congratulate Juan Carlos, because this is an important win for him, I think. . .Q. You know that Etienne of the ATP is here. Are you going to talk to him and say the same thing you told us about the calendar, what you said in Barcelona? I know you have told him already, but do you think there is a chance that something can change, or you don’t think anything will change?
RAFA: I don’t have nothing to speak with this man, no? Not more.
Q. Don’t trust him?
Get up close and personal with Rafa’s blister below (viewer discretion advised):
So, geeze, Rafa’s suffered his SECOND clay court loss in 105 (or so) matches. Whaddya’ think – is this a SLUMP???
Even with Rafa and Co. gone, there are still some tasty match ups to come: Roddick v. Bolelli (I smell an “upset” given the Italian’s recent success and home court advantage), Blake v. Verdasco (the dreamboat match), Gonzo v. Almagro (this could be a real “VAMOS!” fest), and Djokovic v. Andreev could be tough for the world #3 (who still appears to be breathing hard).