There has been a flood of mixed emotions about world No 1 Rafa Nadal’s exit from the Australian Open in Melbourne, the first Grand Slam of the season.
The inevitable heartbreak of the fans as the Spanish superstar limped ignominiously out with a hip injury after conceding a 2-0 fifth set advantage in a four-hour quarterfinal classic to Marin Cilic and the contrasting elation of the Croatian as the 2014 US Open champion reaching the semifinals.
But the major talking point once the flush of an intriguing match wore off was the subject of time wasting between points, with the fingers being pointed directly at Nadal.
There is no doubt that Rafa is an obsessive compulsive on court – aligning his drinks bottles to face the same direction, arranging his towels, skipping over the baseline with a habit of flicking his face, eyebrows and hair plus the inelegant adjustment of his underwear before unleashing his left-hand serve.
Now the critics are claiming that Nadal pushes the 25-second envelope between serves to the limit.
Ironically though, it was Cilic who was handed a time warning in the second set.
It seemed to galvanise him and he stormed back into a match few will forget in a hurry.