Rafa’s amazing – truly inspirational in his ability to fight through everything life and his opponent throws at him. A long, exhaustng match the day before, injury, multiple breaks – nothing could stop him from putting his best out there on the court. He was so inspiring, in fact, that I gritted my teeth and refused to turn to the internet to check the final score. And I learned a great lesson – had I peeked ahead I’d have missed riding this wild bucking bronco of a match. (It was worth the bruises.)
Did Roger play well or poorly? Both, I guess, is the unsatisfying answer to that question. He could have wrapped this match up 6-1. 6-2! It was almost laughable, after watching him suffer a similar melt down in Monte Carlo (remember those four breaks ?) Today was hardly better. Barring that nervy second set tie break, Roger played like a basket case out there, letting three breaks of serve slip away.
So what can Roger take from this experience as the French looms ahead? How can it possibly help him to see that 1. Rafa can surmount anything and 2. he can’ t match Rafa’s mental tenacity? The only thing Roger has going for him is his well-documented positive outlook on life. He must, deep down, feel that he’s on the cusp of a clay court breakthrough against Nadal. Let’s hope he can fool himself better next time. All I’m hoping for right now is that he gets another chance.
Roger fans, we must take our inspiration from Rafa! Let’s not give up! Let’s see our hero through to the end!