I do find myself wondering when exactly Rafa broke that mirror to engender the seven years of bad luck he is currently experiencing. Or maybe he just makes a habit of walking under ladders. Whatever the cause, he does seem to be one of the unluckiest players on the ATP tour.
This time it was the timing of his match that potentially stuffed him. In any other slot the heat and humidity would not have been so extreme. Or was it just bad luck that meant he caught the same virus that caused Roger Federer to withdraw?
It all started well enough with a good win in the doubles. Rafa and Fernando Verdasco beat Simone Bolelli and Andreas Seppi, 6-3, 6-4.
He then faced the press and was upbeat and positive.
Asked about how he was feeling compared to last year her replied,
"The difference is I'm enjoying on court. I'm not feeling that nerves on court. I'm not feeling that strange feeling that I never felt. I am enjoying on the practices, I am enjoying on the tennis court. I feel with the right energy. I can lose, I can win, but I am happy on court. That's the most important thing. That's the big difference on what happen last year, what I told last year."
It was even more upsetting, therefore, when he had to retire from his match against Damir Dzumhur when trailing 6-2, 4-6, 0-3.
"Well, everything was fine until end of the first set. I start to feel myself not very good. It's getting worse, worse, and worse, so finally in the second set I realize that I was not able to keep playing.
"So I call the doctor a couple of times, but I felt that I was not safe there so I decided to go. I wanted to finish the match, but I seriously could not.
"Hopefully is nothing. Hopefully is just the extreme conditions out there. Something happen, hopefully is the beginning of a virus, and in combination with the conditions I had this strange feelings. But just finished half an hour ago, so I don't know. "
Get well soon, Rafa