One hopes, for his sake, Roger Federer does not have nightmares about squandered forehands, for it was this shot -- his great, majestic forehand -- which cost him any chance of beating his great Grand Slam nemesis Rafael Nadal in the semifinal of the Australian Open here at Melbourne Park.
Nadal, who has not lost to Federer in a Slam since the Wimbledon final of 2007, prevailed yet again, winning a match of mood swings and tactical changeups 6-7 (5), 6-2, 7-6 (5), 6-4 in just under four hours.
Federer ended up with 36 forehand errors. More than the total, it was the timing of those missed forehands that cost him so dearly. The whole match started to unravel for him when he lost four consecutive points with forehands that floated long or wide while dropping serve to give Nadal a 5-2 lead in the second set.
Then we had the traditional interruption for fireworks because this is Australia Day and the distraction is such that play stops for almost 15 minutes. When it resumed, it was N...