Day 15, RG 2017 – Nadal wins number 10!

Stan was put forward as the player in most people’s eyes that could provide that ‘Soderling’ type performance. A player who might have a sniff of smashing through Nadal defence! Not a chance, nothing to see here! The 6/2 6/3 6/1 tells its own story. Nadal has been utterly supreme, rolling back the years, you may argue looking as good as ever in this last fortnight. The forehand purring time after time. One in particular midday through the second set, after Stan had ripped a backhand that looked good enough to kill the point. Rafa reached it in time and flashed an outright winner down the line with a snap of the wrist! Wawrinka said that “hesitation” cost him badly. To give Rafa any more time is criminal but as Stan says that just shows how good the Spaniard is. He sows the seed of doubt into your mind and punishes you relentlessly!. As Andy Roddick response to Mardy Fish’s tweet this week read, playing Nadal on clay “sucked”. It was more one-sided than even I thought but I seem to remember him beating Federer by a similar scoreline back in 2008. Federer actually got bagelled in the third! It might not have been the biggest call I have ever made but I was always certain Rafa would in Paris, it was as good as a racing cert!

He has now won a record 10 titles at RG since 2005. To think, I remember that first win against Mariano Puerta in 05 like it was yesterday, it has been awesome domination! 13 appearances and 10 wins! SNM! The big question now is how much is left in the tank for the grass court campaign. To the naked eye, it certainly appears that he looks and should be fresh. He has won all bar Rome this year at a virtual canter on the clay. It can be a gruelling few months on the other hand as it says on the tin, clay wasn’t designed to be easy! The knees have given in on Rafa in recent seasons going into Wimbledon after this part of the campaign, so the body will need to be in peak condition. If it is then there is no doubt that he is a real runner at Wimbledon again. The consequences could lead to another rematch with the Fed-Express somewhere along the line. Could Rafa land another blow to Federer?? You would have to say that had Federer been available during the clay season you would have expected a Nadal victory, that’s almost a given. To do it back on the grass or during the US hardcourt swing again would be a different kettle of fish! Certainly not inconceivable, however! He has done it before!

On we go the grass!

Andy Del Potro

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