Sure, I’ve been critical (overly) of Rafa and his rain saga (most recently Rome), which continues today in his QF match with Schwartzman. What a match. Diego is doing everything I hoped he might be able to do, which is stick around in these points, make all of those great reads that only the clay dog/god-types can make. Brilliant first set from the Argentine.
He even goes-up a break in the second, to serve at 3-2. Then the rain.
What Rafa does in these circumstances amounts to a lesson in life we should all embrace, include in our own bag-of-tricks, so we have that much more chance of success when difficulties arise.
He went inside and there he found Carlos, his coach. Not only did they use the break in the action to wait-out the rain; they also schemed. And with out knowing exactly what they came-up with in terms of adjustments to counter the Argentinian, first-and-foremost they made clear that when tennis resumes, Rafa will jump Diego. This is chess. This isn’t tennis, necessarily. This is strategy that involves a will to win that is both intense and very pragmatic. Diego had no chance serving 3-2 when play resumed.
This is what makes Rafa so successful. He breaks the match down into tinier, more digestible portions. He’s surgical. Rafa takes advantage, obviously and we should all, including his opponents, make note (wake the fuck up) and borrow some of this genius from the master.