Sigh. Such a shame. So close yet
He wasn't really that close. It was a very long shot as soon as we knew Nadal was the final opponent: you didn't expect sliced or low power flat BHs to get it done vs Nadal, did you? It never felt that he was going to win even a break up in the second set, it was just a matter of Nadal finding some better length and the BH would crack.
Anyway, the most important about this tournament isn't the result, but the way he played - namely the variety he added to his game - and the mental strength/fighting spirit he showed. If he keeps this up and fully heals that left wrist, only great things can come of it. But yeah, people shouldn't really see this as a missed chance at all, more like JMDP creating a chance to win an event out of nowhere when he had really no right too, totally outsmarted the two best HC players of the moment.