Well, I got it wrong but so did Mats Wilander. Form over the last week or so meant Fed was the favourite going in to todays match. Rafa has a few things in his favour – while he sincerely seems to believe Fed is one of, of not the greatest in history, he always feels he can win – Fed undoubtedly over the last few years believes himself inferior to Rafa – what strange dynamics on court.
Rafa also will continue probing looking for a way to win, even when Fed comes out like an express train as he did today. He also is the master manipulator of tempo and energy – something that seems to particularly get to Fed, where it doesn’t to Novak (perhaps because he takes even longer between points than Rafa!). Most matches between these guys comedown to one or two key moments and it’s these where Rafa is outstanding – understanding as well as anyone both when they occur, how to handle them and, on occasion how to disrupt his opponent.
There’s a lesson for us also, in how we handle the interactions we have with others, whether competing on the court, or in business.