The Art of Setting Reasonable Expectations
Rafa and co. (mainly co., i.e. Marc and Fer) wrapped up Davis Cup yesterday. Rafa broke out blue stripeys: the sequel for the occasion.
Millones de GRACIAS a todos! http://t.co/V2zJP0rUFB—
Alex Corretja (@AlexCorretja74) September 15, 2013
This is a bit of a slow week on the tour, with only two 250 events going on, one in St. Petersburg, Russia (which is on an indoor hard court, even though Youzhny and Tursunov played an exhibition on clay to promote it #confusing) and one in Metz, France. Fer is playing St. Petersburg. Sam Querrey is playing Metz. #drawanalysis
Rafa, for his part, appears to be playing some golf by the looks of it. He really won’t have that much time off, since he’ll likely leave for China late next week in order to get acclimated to the time zone and conditions prior to the tournament start. This whole post-U.S. Open segment of the season always takes some getting used to, particularly in regard to a player like Rafa who already has won 10 titles, including 2 Majors and 5 Masters, and beaten the world #1 three times in the process. (Although, I guess that would only be Rafa in that category. *proud smile*) The thought of Rafa potentially playing Djokovic for the fifth time this year in about 2 weeks in the Beijing final (and then again potentially in Shanghai…and then again potentially in Basel…and then again potentially in Paris…and then again potentially at the WTFs) (nevermind about Basel…I don’t think Djokovic is playing this year. Although I can’t be sure, as my Swiss German is actually not that good, or, existent; incidentally, that’s totally the photo one expects to be greeted by when visiting the Swiss Indoors website, is it not?) is not particularly appealing. Not that Rafa can’t win those potential matches, or any potential matches, but, as he himself said in his post-U.S. Open press conference, don’t worry, he will lose, everybody lose. To which I said in my response to his post-U.S. Open press conference in my head, noooooo I don’t like it when you lose it’s better when you don’t lose. But, alas, Rafa is probably right and he probably will lose at some point. The problem is there’s never any “good” loss, not for a player of Rafa’s stature. If he loses to one of his top rivals, e.g. a Djokovic or a Murray, then he’s “lost his edge.” If he loses to a slightly lower-tier top player, e.g. a Berdych or a DelPo or a Tsonga etc., then “he’s vulnerable to the big hitters/they’re gaining on him.” If he loses to Federer, Federer’s back and Rafa’s the old man. If he loses to somebody completely random, e.g. a Garcia-Lopez or a Florian Mayer or a Steve Darcis, it’s a sign of burn-out or lack of passion or focus or other bad things. The only truly acceptable loss over the course of the next months, then, is, obviously, to Tommy Haas. And even that–even that–will be painful.
Thencehusly, I will simply continue to quietly expect Rafa to win everything he plays and be completely shattered if/when that stops occurring. #reasonable