So that whole thing about Rafa Nadal not winning a title for nearly a year? Functionally irrelevant once he steps onto clay, particularly the clay of Monte Carlo, his self-professed favourite tournament.
There has not been a moment this week when Rafa has not looked like winning.
If Rafa keeps playing like this, no one is going to be able to touch him. End of story. The only person who might even come close to getting a set off him is Federer, and even that might be contentious. If Rafa stays in his happy place, then he's going to slide right into his fifth Roland Garros title, mark my words.
The only thing that might end up being his undoing is, like last year, his scheduling. We all know that his faith in his knees is probably not optimal at the moment - though that might all have slipped away once he stepped on the clay and attained nirvana, I don't know. He's playing four tournaments in five weeks, and it's a decent bet that he's going to win every single one of them.
What Rafa doesn't want to do is run out of steam. I mean, sure, he has a lot of steam, but I'm sure there is a school of thought that says that he should, you know, take it easy and maybe not play so much tennis, particularly on this surface, which is so tough on the body.
But if he's going to beat opponents for the loss of only one game, as in the case of Nando Verdasco today, he can pretty much play as much tennis as he likes...
3 weeks ago