So, Rafa dropped the first set of his campaign at this years Roland Garros. Diego Schwartzman clearly had him on the ropes prior to the first rain delay on Wednesday. That and the subsequent overnight delay gave Rafa and his team time to re-assess and change the momentum in his favour.
In the semis he played Del Potro – the sort of big-hitting player that has troubled him in the past and he brushed him aside.
Nadal has seen most things on a tennis court over the decade and a half he’s been playing and winning in Paris. Like Federer and other experience athletes, they don’t panic in situation when they are under the cosh but see the challenges presented as another problem to solve and, if their initial game plan doesn’t work they will probe and experiment to find something that does,
It’s this mindset that defines them – they suffer nerves like the rest of us but don’t get debilitated by them. With this continual love of what they do, the competition and the on-going challenge of overcoming the problems thrown at them, they’ve thrived and continued to deliver phenomenal performance and results beyond a point where most people in their sport have typically been in decline or have hung up their rackets.