And it's not just tennis. Try thinking of Michael Schumacher! Seven times World Champion, not so in 1999, when all hopes were on him to get Ferrari out of 20-years-without-a-championship-victory and when he was so close to winning the championship, he broke his leg at Silverstone! And now, when he has come back, the world thinks he has lost his spark! Flavio Briatore said to the press that things have changed so much that Schumi may not be able to get back! Knowing the kind of person Michael is, always doing everything possible to win, one can only imagine how all this would hurt the guy psychologically! Always a winner, dominating the sport, to a place where he no longer gets covered in the papers post a race! Sport can be quite unforgiving!
I guess sport is as much a psychological game as it is physical. When Federer gave up his Wimbledon crown in 2008 to Nadal, the game stoked my imagination leading to this. That old post is a bit long, since I've added a couple of articles I'd read on Nadal just then. But anyways. The point is that the mind games or the games people assume are being played in the players' minds are interesting to imagine. Players putting their hands up in the air, shaking their heads at missed points or simply losing their nerve, exulting - all make for some really good imagination and introspection.