it was a great match for sure .. although I was waiting for del potro to start dumping shots into the net and hand federer to the title but he was game all the way through .. too bad he's not more consistent .. definite multiple slam winner with that forehand if he was more consistent and injury free
His baseline stability isn't entirely gone, he's still grinding, but only on a pushing or at best semi-offensive basis.
He isn't daring enough to hit the killer shot anymore... hardly if ever saw him go for an actual clean / one-off winner against Cecchinato.
And no deeply powerful penetrating shots which could be returned for an easy at the net putaway either.
This includes his absolute reluctance to take on the DTL, particularly BH DTL.
This was a shot available to him numerous times, and he never pulled the trigger.
If he doesn't take these on, make or miss; opposition has nothing to worry about AND feels more comfortable about their game.
Additionally he's clearly declined physically, thinner than ever; and what this specifically means is less stamina and defense. His digs/reaches are now just getting under the ball instead of behind it, he isn't turning direction as quickly anymore.
Stupid French neighbors at Roland Garros... won't let them put lights or a roof till 2020 (or 2021, I forget) get over yourselves, now we might see Rafa lose there when we KNOW he wouldn't unless rain messes with the bounce there.