Nadal was all business apart except for one gleeful moment when he scurried back to chase down a sure-fire winner, then span around to hit an outrageous forehand winner. So pleased with himself, he did a little skip of delight as if he’d just discovered all the fun of the fair.
Federer was, well, Federer. The most preposterous of dying drop shots here, the insouciant stop volley there… don’t suggest it in Nadal’s presence but he really did make it look easy.
It gets harder, now, though. Nadal pondered a wirily tough old foe in the third round, David Goffin, and pronounced: “He's a very complex player. He has all the shots. Gonna be, being honest, a big challenge.”
Federer will be up against Casper Ruud, the soaring 20-year-old Norwegian who knocked out Matteo Berrettini, the 29th seed, and a youngster whose dad Christian played in the Swiss’s first Grand Slam. Wasn’t that guaranteed to make him feel old?
On the contrary, there’s a spring in the step of both Rafa and Roger as sport’s greatest double act roll on beautifully.