"Always a unique situation"
These days, though, both men have achieved more than they ever thought possible. They are both comfortable in their own skin, relaxed and confident in their abilities and their lives. They are both as competitive as ever, they work as hard as ever and they are always looking for the tiniest detail that could give them an edge. But they have seen it all before and the thought of one more match together does not faze them.
“Now play against Roger; always is a unique situation,” Rafa said. “Excited to be back on this court against him after 11 years. Means a lot for me and probably for him, too. I know he's playing well. He feels comfortable here. And me, too. I'm playing well, too.”
No sign of pre-match jitters, there then. Not much evidence of them in the Swiss camp either. Rodge was in no mood to play the numbers game – how does your forehand match up to his, how do you beat him on grass, why do you lose to him on clay and all those geeky questions that people ponder when titans collide.
“It doesn't matter anyway,” Rodge said. “Who cares? It's about how has he played so far, how have I played so far. I hope it goes my way. It's going to be tough, you know. Rafa really can hurt anybody on any surface. I mean, he's that good. He's not just a clay court specialist, we know.”