In watching Rafael Nadal play these past few tournaments on clay (losing only one hard-fought match to Fernando Verdasco) it is clear his dominance is anything but waning. If he somehow manages to lose at Roland Garros, I think the world is definitely ending come December 21st. But, let us not count our chickens before they are hatched.
While observing Rafa plow through his draws at Monte Carlo, Barcelona, and Rome, I took note of the general body language of his opponents. They all went out there, knowing they were playing possibly the greatest player to step foot on the clay surface. They all knew that they would probably lose. They all knew that all they could do was try their hardest and hope for the best (while probably expecting the worst). Rafa is not invincible on the surface, but he’s as close to it as anyone can get.
I’ve always found it amusing to watch the body language of Rafa’s adversaries during his clay matches. Given that he usually plays only on the main show courts, I’d think some of the lower-ranked or young guys are just happy to be out there playing against someone who will be considered a legend when his tennis days are over. The less-experienced players seem to roll with it while the higher-ranking players seem angered by their predicament; almost as if it isn’t fair. I’ve come up with a rather entertaining way to describe how a Rafa match on clay goes.