Yeah, so, it was not really Rafa that turned up to play Andy Roddick today. It was Shmafa, through and through, Shmafa-ing about and missing balls and making bad play decisions... Shmafa who is still good but not quite good enough. Another one bites the dust for Rafa.
It is almost impossible to conceive that Rafa has not won a title in almost a year - not since Rome last year, if I am not mistaken. Now this is crazy.
But you know who Rafa is looking a lot like at the moment - apart from his evil alter ego Shmafa? He is looking a great deal like another great man did about a year ago - one Roger Federer. One racquet-smashing, 'thank God the gard court season is over' Roger Federer.
And what happened to Roger Federer after that hard court season? Well, there were a couple of tough losses early on, in Monte Carlo and Rome, but then there was a big, big win in Madrid, and an absolute epic of a grinding victory in Paris on the red clay of Roland Garros.
And is there a safer bet than Rafa Nadal in Roland Garros?
So fear not, Rafanatics. Rafa will rise again. Count on it.
3 months ago