For the second time in as many months, Rafael Nadal leaves Germany with a trophy in his racket bag and a spring in his step. Well, almost. The Spaniard, who won on grass in Stuttgart seven weeks ago, came through a gruelling match against Fabio Fognini 7-5, 7-5 to win the Hamburg Open final and seal his third title of the year.
Rekindling memories of a press conference he gave after beating David Nalbandian at the 2011 US Open, when he slid off his chair after suffering a sudden attack of cramp, Nadal then succumbed to cramp as he addressed the crowd during the trophy ceremony.
After a punishing contest in the afternoon sun that stretched to more than two hours and 34 minutes against an opponent who has become something of a clay-court nemesis this year, Nadal might have hoped that Michael Stich, the tournament director, would bring the formalities to a swift conclusion.
The former Wimbledon champion instead spoke at length and by the time Nadal got a turn at the mic he had evidently begun to stiffen up.