The good news is that, as in Monte Carlo, Rafa beat the player who defeated him here last year. The score against Nicolas Almagro was 6-3, 6-1 which doesn't reflect the tussle there was in the final game of the match. Having dropped serve at the start of the second set, Rafa won five games in a row to leave him serving for the match at 5-1. That final game took 21 minutes and involved 4 match points that came and went and the saving of an incredible 7 break points.
After that things went more than a little pear-shaped so I'm not going to dwell on his 4-6, 6-7(6) loss to Fabio Fognini. Instead, here are some pictures.
At the moment, it does seem like a bit of a backwards step after doing so well in Monte Carlo. But if anyone can work his way through this, it's Rafa.
Good luck in Madrid