I don’t think you can ignore just how AWOL Rafa went in set three (he only served in the 30th percentile in set two), and taken in isolation, Noles’s performance didn’t come close to convincing me of that “best player in the world right now” tag being bandied about.
Here’s something else you can’t ignore: Nole is now 20/20 matches, a streak dating back to DC last year (17/17 for 2011), 3 for 3 titles won this year, the new world #2 and had back to back wins over Fedal this week.
Taken in its totality, you might even argue that “best player in the world right now” tag doesn’t go far enough.
All good things must come to an end and this will too. The big question of course is what will remain in its place. Not the languid, burnt out shell Nole was during his first post-Oz downturn (brought about incidentally by Safin in Wimby 2008), one hopes?
Experience, maturity and common sense would suggest not.
Not a good look.
I can only put it down to the most freakish of freak incidents. As nightmarish an anomaly as you might ever see. The contrast between the first and third sets was as stark as it was bleak. I can’t, in all honesty, say I’ve ever seen anything like it – not after such an such an emphatic opening statement.
Still, we’d do well not to treat it as anything other than an anomaly.