Rafa’s AO blog – day 2

Day two of Rafa’s blog is up. Late dinners and the idea that no round is a safe one are the main topics.

Well, tennis is a very difficult sport and the depth of man’s game is big, anything can happen on any round. This whole thing is difficult and there are big matches from day one. My friends Feli Lopez and Carlos Moya, with whom I had dinner tonight, lost their first round matches. That’s one more example of how difficult things are. Feli was really playing great at the end of last year and on this kind of surface he is a very dangerous player. And Moya I know he is a big player here, they like him a lot, I see it.

That must have been one depressing dinner. Feli lost in an epic contest of attrition and Moya was beaten quite resoundingly. But the message in Rafa’s blog is one of the reasons I like him. He seems to truly believe (or is good at faking the belief) that he has to bring his A Game to every match lest he risk losing. He knows that it’s possible for an opponent who’s on fire and playing out of their head to beat him if he’s off and not having a good day. Yes, he can often not play at his top level and still win, but the risk is always there. I think it’s that lack of ego and realistic outlook that enables him to constantly push to improve his game.