When I was younger, I could go three sets of tennis without too much of an effort, hardly breaking into a sweat. Five sets was tougher, but I could take it in my stride and, puffing a little, could survive. I could absorb every 120mph serve (it is these days nearer 140mph of course) and brush off the occasional ace. I could live through each set-back in games won and lost, in errors unforced and lucky net cords. I could even push myself to manage a long rally of 10 or 20 strokes. After a match of 3 hours, I would be drained, but able to revive myself with the recommended ice bath, a rest, a massage maybe, and some light practice to keep all my muscles and tendons supple.
But will I be able to recover from yesterday's match in time for Murray's next? I'm not so sure. I've had the ice bath and the massage. Today I'll have some light practice watching some ladies matches. But the truth is my nerves are shot and I'm completely exhausted. My heart is still running wild. I might not be ready in time for the semi-finals. It would be a shame to pull out now with a reasonable chance of enjoying the finals this year, but I'm seriously considering it. Can I have a trainer break please?