Shall I go away again and take my predictions with me?
I didn't watch the match live as it's a holiday over here, but when I got in my car to come home and checked on the score, I was greeted with a text that simply said ...
"What a crock of shit."
So I obviously knew what had happened.
I still haven't brought myself to watch it, and I don't know whether I will. It is, however, as I was saying the other day. I think Rafa has both squeaked and stormed his way through matches in the last 3 clay court seasons. And last year in the quarters at both Madrid and Rome with Daveed winning the first set, he could very well have taken either of those matches ... but he didn't. But today ... he did. Is it really so surprising? Well, do you know what? I don't think so. Rafa got away with that Dimitrov match in Monte Carlo last year and he got away with the Gulbis match in Rome. And now I've typed it, it is of course a bit of a dis-service to say "got away with" when referring to Rafa because that's just him being the great player he is and actually finding a way. But sometimes, he just doesn't.
Doe it hurt to think he's lost his first clay court match to Ferrer in what? 10 years? Yes it does. And I'm sad that for the first time for as long as I can remember, he's not made the weekend at Monte Carlo and sad even more so for my friends who are there now. I wish I could quell those voices in his head and put a stop to all that nonsense that [fill in the blanks] is better than him. I wish in some way he did have some channelled on-court arrogance even when he may not be feeling it.
But I think there was always going to be twists and turns this clay court season - I said there would be some lows, and sadly Rafa is having one at one of his favourite tournaments. But what I hope for him now is a nice run of play at Barcelona and then we're really into the business end of the clay court season.
Hard luck Rafa. See you in Barcelona.