When you look at moments in tennis matches and who gets through the tightest spots certain names come up more than others yet if you look into some examples more closely you will see a pattern and Rafa Nadal may just slot into the 'normal human being' tag, finally.
The current Indian Wells Tournament is a huge event, perhaps the 'Fifth Grand Slam' as every player turns up for this one, it's a big deal in both singles and doubles. The Bryan Brothers were seeded 3 but as we all know they are the greatest Mens Dubs pairing of all time and still a feared team so to their match against Spain so to speak.
They faced a rather tough opening match against Nadal and Verdasco who both play a mean game of doubles, particularly Verdasco.
At a set down the Bryan's squeaked through the second set 7-5 then lead 8-2 in the third set super tie breaker before the Spanish duo woke up. They reeled off six straight points to take it to 8-8, that's when the most remarkable thing happened that you would normally only see at club tennis on a Saturday arvo. Rafa double faulted, what was he thinking ??
When you look at certain situations on a tennis court between the pros most times it all makes sense yet this does not, in fact it goes against what most pros will always say in a tight contest, make the opposition play.....
Even the harshest critics would agree with me that at 8-8 and with 6 straight points behind you the momentum is firmly in your favour and the main objective from that point is to make the opposition hit a ball. They will already be doubting their ability to hit a ball over the net whether their last name is Bryan or not.
Rafa's double fault then changed the whole match and the Bryan's won the next point and the match but it proved something, even the pros are human. Rafa particularly does not rely on doubles for a living but he is relying currently on things to go his way as far as confidence is concerned and this match perhaps will have him questioning his thought process even more.
I was always taught in a tight contest particularly on the serve to make it, just make the serve, nothing fancy, just plenty of spin and height over the net. A big first serve is risky, a high kicker at three quarter pace is the safe play. Even Raf knows that.
Thanks Raf for making us all feel as though we are at times on the same shaky ground as far as decision making is concerned in a tennis match at a crucial moment whether we are a pro or a hacker.
We can all sleep better at night..............