I haven't felt this hurt by a Rafa defeat for such a long time now. Not since perhaps the French Open, but then that was lessened when it all started to come out about his health and personal issues. I think its because we're used to seeing Rafa win matches he's actually no right to have won, not to lose matches that he held championship points for.
He started by playing lights out tennis and absolutely blew Davy off court to win it 6-0. When was the last time Rafa had ever won a set like that? He was amazing. Took the match to Davy, was ultra agressive, used shorter points, coming in more. And then in the second, he slipped back into type. At the back of the court, playing defensively ... and was broken. But he managed to break back and the set headed to a tie-breaker. And this is where the nerves and the rollercoaster ride kick in - again. He was down early in the breaker but got his way back in it and held two match points. Two, which he tamely lost. And as he was coming in for the kill he hit a ball straight back at Davy instead of going cross court and presented him with his set point. Davy snaked his way through and won the breaker 8-6.
Onto the third set, and Rafa broke early and even had points for a 4-1 lead. But Davy got back in it and it all just seemed to fritter away and Rafa lost 6-4.
There is still much to be positive about as from where Rafa was in November to where he is now is remarkable. But he's still missing that final piece. That edge that overcomes the nerves and puts matches to bed. There's still lots for him and Toni to look at and consider, but for the moment, Rafa just has to "keep colm, and carry on". Love him. Vamos !!!