Someone - I think it was Matt Cronin - tweeted today that they didn't think that Rafa would lose a(nother? has he lost one yet?) set this clay court season.
To which I would say... I would not be surprised.
Sure, last year Rafa looked like an absolute wrecking ball right up until that semi final in Madrid where Djokovic pushed him all the way and then Rafa folded in the final, and then lost his way against Soderling in the round of sixteen at the big RG. So this is something we've seen before.
But there's something a little different about this Rafa. He's faced down some serious injury and he knows he's got to take care of himself. He's indulging in some sensible scheduling, something he's never done in the past. And if he takes care of his opponents as quickly as he took care of Philipp Kohlschreiber today - a player who is immensely talented and whom Rafa humbled - I would be very surprised to see anyone whose name isn't Roger Federer take a set off him.
Hell, even if their name is Roger Federer. Oh hi, Mr I-lost-in-the-first-round-of-Rome.
Rafa's back. And he's hungry. Roland Garros is his playground. And it's going to take something superhuman to stand between him and his fifth Coupe de Mousqetaires.
3 weeks ago