It may not have been the best of results but in some ways this was a good tournament for Rafa.
To be fair, the doubles wasn't great. Rafa teamed up with Leander Paes for the first time (I think) but they lost to Dominic Inglot and Robert Lindstedt, 3-6, 4-6, in the first round.
The singles draw didn't look promising, particularly when Lukas Rosol was going to be his first opponent. Memories of their match last week in Basel are still strong even though Rafa came out on top in the end. We may not like Rosol (who does?) but I do take exception to the article which referred to him as being Rafa's "nemesis". Seriously? Don't you have to beat Rafa more than once to qualify for that epithet?
It was, therefore a joy to see Rafa come out strong and thrash him, 6-2, 6-2.
Kevin Anderson hadn't taken a set off Rafa in either of their previous matches so it was a bit nerve-wracking when he won the first set here. It got even worse when the second set went to a really tight tiebreak. Anderson had a match point in that and it was a nail-biting rally that saw Rafa save it. He went on to take the next two points to win it and then broke Anderson twice to win the third set and thus the match, 4-6, 7-6(6), 6-2.
A masterpiece of scheduling meant was almost 11pm in Paris when Rafa stepped out to play Stan Wawrinka in the quarter finals. I'm sorry, but what sort of time is that to start a tennis match? Whoever won this was going to be hugely disadvantaged in his semi final. Despite having a few chances, Rafa lost in two close tiebreaks, 6-7(8) 6-7(7). Probably just as well since it was nearly 1:30am by the time they finished. Wawrinka (surprise, surprise) lost to Djokovic the next day.
Siempre contigo, Rafa