Well if ever you wanted concrete proof of how exactly “Paradise is Lost” and of the utter fragility and “Unsustainability of Excellence”, then today provided it in spades.
Jurgen didn’t play a bad match per say, it just wasn’t a patch on yesterday’s performance and allowed a far more passive (if more resilient) clay court specialist back into too many points.
I have the highest respect for Pico, whom I like to think of as something of a poor man’s Ferru (with better hair).
And I fully accept he has just as much of a right to a fanbase as either one of Rafa or Fed– even if it is mostly down to the hair.
But I also think that his style of play is something of a dying breed. For better or worse, what we once thought of as “clay court tennis” is even being phased out on clay courts themselves by the type of pace that Robin should have employed successfully against Federer only hours later.
Instead, Sod came out (and went out) fully flatulent. And it wasn’t pretty (flatulence rarely is).
Fed said afterwards: “Even top 5 players have bad days [like this]...surprising Robin couldn't even get hardly any aces in".
Never was a truer word uttered.
In fact the only reason this didn’t happen, is that Fed, quite wisely, did just enough to get through (Which, as it turned out, didn’t actually need to be very much – God knows what would have happened if Fed had gone to town).
I almost wish he did.
Ashamed to say it, but I haven’t managed to watch a single one of Muzz’s matches.
He always seems to breeze through matches I don’t see. But not, sadly, vice versa. I’m guessing there’s some kind of a quantum paradox going on there.
Like some strange modification of Schrodinger’s Cat, that precludes him from winning matches unless they take place in a confined arena, are completely untelevised and seen by precisely no one - the instant someone observes a ball being struck is when things begin to unravel.
Does such a match even take place, philosophically speaking, if no one sees it?
In any event, his recent flameouts mean I’m less hopeful of his chances here than I am of Fed’s or indeed Djoko’s, who I’ve heard, is playing better than anyone else at this event.
Which probably makes it right that those latter (best) two should both meet in the semis, if not the final – and the winner of that match should, by rights, go on to win the title.
Most likely, however, one or both of Schrodinger’s Cat and the “Theory of Unsustainable Excellence” will intervene.
And we’ll see one of Muzz or, dare I say it, Pico walk away with the trophy.