He makes rare appearances in these parts, but whenever he shares his musings, this blog is a better place.
I actually thought Robin would win before the match.
Okay, yeah right.
What a stunner. Came home from church and checked the ‘net. Couldn’t believe it.
You know I can’t imagine Soderling’s game was so much different than in Rome. Did he find the zone a bit more? Probably. What I’ve seen (I quit watching due to NBC) he just crushed everything. He’s of the ilk that give Nadal problems: Tall, flat hitting middle of the road players. Guys like Blake, etc, who just have nothing to lose but hit out on every shot.
I did think this was the year that Nadal would be taken to 5 sets, but I never thought he’d be the one that would fail to hold up his end of the bargain. We knew sooner or later he’d lose in Paris, and it was probably a pipe dream to think that’d happen in his late 20’s, or that he’d retire say at 27 or 28 without ever having lost. It was a remarkable run and it ends when he’s just 22 years-old.
I echo the sentiments that are wondering what’s wrong with the beast. In Miami he said, “sometimes you lose because of personal reasons,” and then Bodo picked up on it. Maybe this push from his handlers to make Rafa into a man robbed him of some of his boyish charms. Where was the fight today? Where was the energy? Rafa was flat. It happens. Federer in his great runs dodged some bullets, it’s one of the greatest feats of his dominance. But, Nadal was not himself.
I disagree about the Madrid theory that people ‘figured out’ how to play him. It took 5 years?
He ran into a buzz saw today, but more importantly the well that was Nadal’s soul ran dry. For the first time in Paris, or in a big match, he had nothing inside to fall back on.
Technically speaking, it’s the same old bad habits. He wasn’t aggressive. He often just looped his return of serves back, etc. etc. This may actually be good for Nadal. He gets to gameplan the next stage of his career. His serve has to be better. He has to flatten out his shots more often. All these things he knows, but maybe today is the last time he’ll have to be reminded of them.
I’m not sold on Federer. I like Wilander’s comment that "all the players are having a beer now."
Nobody here has mentioned the one player that’s most likely to win now.
A deep Roddick run would be crack, but most likely it’s Monfils/Murray.
And I agree with the comment that Wimbledon just became the ticket of the summer. What will Nadal look like the first time he steps on court post-Soderling bombshell? Interesting!
And to Nadal fans: he'll be back in Paris.