Augh. I am still so gutted from this match. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy that Rafa came through in the end. But to lose the way he did, I just feel for Fernando. He fought so hard. SO HARD. Everyone, including me, doubted he could make a match of this, even after he did make a match of it. "Oh, he'll go away. No way he can stay with Rafa." But he did. He limped, he fought, he blasted his way through this match. And for it to end like that? There is no God.
Afterwards he put on a brave and classy face:
Q. Do you think you'll be able to find sleep tonight?
FERNANDO VERDASCO: Yes. Why not? You know, is sad, no, to play one match like this and lost after five hours. But, you know, for the other side, I need to be proud for the tournament I made and the level I played today also. I think it was unbelievable match.
You know, we both played unbelievable. I think, you know, Rafa, I said always, you know, in these matches, five sets, he is the toughest player. You know, and I was there all the time, too. So, you know, for sure I will have this match in my mind all my life.
You know, I'm so proud of all the things I made today and these two, almost two weeks.
Q. Can you imagine you only served four double‑faults in the whole match, and sadly, in the last game, you served two?
FERNANDO VERDASCO: Tennis is like this sometimes, no? What can I do? I was trying the same like in all the other games in the match. But, you know, just to try a good second serve, I played two double‑faults.
But I think I need to be so happy with the level I was serving today. You know, I made 20 aces. I was serving 210, 215 a lot. So I cannot think about that I made two double‑faults in one game, you know, and think about this, because tennis is like this sometimes and you don't need to think about this so much, no?
Q. You had 95 winners. You played extremely offensively, but Rafa still gets so many balls back. What is the most impressive thing about his defensive skills?
FERNANDO VERDASCO: Everybody knows that he is the best player making this, no? He gets unbelievable balls. You need to win the point against him three or four times more than against all the other players.
Anyway, there are so good players like Federer, Murray, Roddick, Blake, whatever, all the top players. With Rafa you need to win the point three times more than with all the others.
He have unbelievable legs. He run unbelievable. Anyway, he's taking the ball, you know, like so difficult. I think that he always have a chance to put the ball in unbelievable, no?
Today was a lot of points like this. You know, I remember that point unbelievable that I made a smash like so close to the net, and he just put the ball in. I put it again to the forehand, and he made unbelievable passing shot cross‑court with the forehand. I was, like, I couldn't believe, no?
But, you know, with Rafa after, I start laughing because I say like, With him is normal. With the others, no. But with him, I'm not surprised of this, no? I saw him play a lot of times, and he made things that all the other doesn't make. So this is why he's also No. 1 in the world.
The funny thing about this match is that had Fernando's legs not start to give in the fourth, I think Rafa would have taken it in four. Rafa was in pretty strong control of the match at that point, yanking Fernando around and not giving him much to hit. But when Fernando started to cramp he started shortening the rallies and going for broke. And it worked. He completely took Rafa out of rhythm and slowly regained momentum and belief.
Dude, Ana. You know how to pick em. Fuck the haters and go with your gut/heart. Call your man.