Losing at Roland Garros – to Murray?
Just like Nadal was to Federer in taking over the No. 1 rank, snapping the Wimbledon streak, denying No.14, cutting short the No. 1 straight weeks etc. etc. Murray is to Nadal.
Difference is Nadal has been able to win on grass before Nadal’s ‘Nadal’ showed up. While Murray winning at Roland Garros may still be ways off, grass and hard court threat may have already arrived – big time.
The calendar Slam Nadal denied Federer may be close to happening for Nadal this year. With Federer fading fast, it may be Nadal’s time to receive from Murray what he delivered to Federer.
If Murray keeps this up, Nadal may be forced back into his backyard on clay to achieve whatever else he wants from now on. All other avenues may get closed up forever, with that last avenue constantly under attack.
Freaking point is this: For Nadal to burst into a racket smashing, rude talking clown, despite Uncle Tony and company’s influence, couple of things need to happen:
-Murray needs to turn into a Federer’s ’Djokovic’. His declaration to take over the No. 1 rank by year-end is a good start. He also now needs to start impersonating and taking shots at Nadal and his entourage.
-Get into Nadal’s head just like Nadal did with Federer’s. The best way to get there is to push and possibly beat Nadal on clay. A five setter, something no one has been able to take Nadal to here, will be ideal – even in a loss.
In short, just duplicate exactly what it took Nadal to play mind games with Federer.
Granted the age difference is missing, but the mileage on Nadal’s odometer may be able to close that gap as much as it’s reasonable to expect.
The first embarrassment at the presser from Nadal, to me, came after he lost to Del Potro. He had that look on his face for the first time in a PC pointing to his being uncomfortable.
Nadal has been very tactful so far after his losses, but that may be more a product of far lesser expectations than any gracious BS. Other than the two Wimbledon losses, Nadal knows he lost most of his matches because of reasons not related his game and talent – even to Federer (Hamburg?).
But now that the expectation burden is loaded, any losses specially on clay and specially to Murray (the next thing to happen to tennis), will bring out the real Nadal.
It may not be as violent and obvious as Federer’s but it will leave no doubt of what Nadal is truly feeling, despite the facade.
‘Incentivising’ Xisca to pull a ‘Mirka’ on Nadal might not hurt.