It was, perhaps, a bit of both.
For the first two sets, it seemed as though it was to be yet another cakewalk for the Swiss. The motions were smooth; the serve was chugging along like a Rolls Royce. The Frenchman was sleepwalking his way out of the tournament.
Then suddenly, something changed. It was, as though, the Ali-lookalike realised that this was his best chance—his only one. He had nothing to lose, so why not go at it full-tilt like the gladiator he is?
The first break of Roger’s sublime service fuelled this belief. That, maybe, there was something to be gainsaid from it all.
Now that Rafael Nadal has staked his claim to being the Greatest Of All Time (GOAT), let us examine the reasons why tennis aficionados are still leery of anointing him the heir to Federer’s not yet vacated throne.
Is it that he is a Spaniard not too familiar with the nuances of the English language?
Is it that he does not typify the usual tennis player? Is it that he appears to be a muscle-bound hulk?
Is it that he’s built more like a boxer or a sprinter?
Is that what blinds us to his ever improving court craft?
Or are we just peeved with the alleged illegal coaching by his Uncle Toni from the sidelines?