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heartbreaking second set collapse, still good job on reaching the SF
 

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I do agree that, probably just due to old memories, he somewhat reverted to old patterns from their previous clay encounters, which have been proven not to work against Rafa. If he had played his full neo-game (and he nearly started to do that in the second set, which is why he almost won it) he would have had a much better shot at the win, but many things including conditions made life very hard.
Hmm, I didn't see the whole match, but I did wonder early on whether he'd forgotten the reality of playing Rafa on this court, and when he remembered it rather hampered him.

Still, he made the semis at RG: I don't think any of us really thought that was possible at the start of the tournament. Slightly a shame that it's Domi made it through to the other side of the final in that respect, although I suspect Roger probably wouldn't have had much of a chance against him either.
 

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Hmm, I didn't see the whole match, but I did wonder early on whether he'd forgotten the reality of playing Rafa on this court, and when he remembered it rather hampered him.

Still, he made the semis at RG: I don't think any of us really thought that was possible at the start of the tournament. Slightly a shame that it's Domi made it through to the other side of the final in that respect, although I suspect Roger probably wouldn't have had much of a chance against him either.
Well, I think for Roger, it's a different story if he's playing anyone other than Rafa. He beat Djokovic in 2011 when he was on his unbeaten streak. If he could do that, he can beat Thiem here too.

I still believe that a part of it was the memories on both sides- Rafa had that extra belief because he himself remembered how he has beaten Roger on that court many times. The wind definitely did not help Roger either- if conditions had been good I don't think Roger would have lost serve immediately, that just cut into his confidence, the wind made it harder to play his neo-game which requires him to really hit through that backhand, he hit a lot of short chips which was always the achilles heel against Rafa on this court, but like I said, in the second set he played somewhat better and had a real chance- just imagine if he had reversed those last two games of the set- 44 where he had 15-40, and 54 where he had 40-0, and then they are a set a piece and Roger's confidence is instantly up.

Rafa on this court is a real beast though, there is a reason he has like two thirds of his slams here. He must be twice as confident here as anywhere else. It always takes a massive performance to take him out here, you can't just breeze through him like Roger has done before on hardcourts or indoor surfaces, occasionally people like Del Potro crush him in locations like the US Open- but here, even if he's going down, it's a real war.

I still believe Roger has more slams in him- if he can reach the semis of RG, he has chances to win any of the other slams for at least a year or two.
 
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