I think a little perspective is necessary here. Rafa IS an all-court player. What makes an all-court player? A player who is successful on all surfaces. If we define being an all-court player as having won a slam on a particular surface, than Roger Federer himself would not be an all-court player. Preposterous.
Rafa, like MANY champions before him, has yet to win a slam on hard courts. Does this mean he never will? Not necessarily. Take Boris Becker. The man made the finals of the U.S. Open all of one time. And he won the title. He suffered MANY early defeats, and yet, is still seen as an excellent all court player. Agassi entered exactly how many slams? And exactly how many first round defeats did he suffer? He has eight slams, and suffered many first round defeats.
Rafa just happens to be competing, at the age of 21 no less, with the most dominant force in the history of the men's game. Expectations are unrealistically raised...he is not the Captain of the U.S.S. Egoprise...but what he is a three-time French Champion, a two-time Wimbledon finalist, and a player who has reached at least the quarters of both hard court slams...including two semis at the indoor Masters Cup. If these results (along with titles on hard court and indoor surfaces...not just clay) do not make an all-court player, I don't know what does.
Rafa will be fine. He will tweak his game...and he will have shots to win slams on other surfaces. Oh yea of little faith, begone. His real fans were there at the beginning, will enjoy the ups and downs of the middle, and be there at the end.
Rafa is Don Clayhote...the dragons he faces is the non-clay court slam...we Rafa fans are his loyal sidekicks, his Sanchos...and we shall continue to sing:
To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go
This is my quest
To follow that star
No matter how hopeless
No matter how far
If this is really a post aimed at Rafa fans, it might be better posted in his forum here.
I don't see any Rafa fans jumping ship.
But this will be a great thread for the haters to jump in on and proclaim him a moonballing, cheating pig
They're kind of short on those threads today.