You don’t win, there's a next time.
You can’t play, what do you do?
It was in the final against Ljubibic in Madrid 2005, when the first signs of serious injury struck, lurking throughout the year-end season.
Rafa played an agonising game of three hours, forcing out excessive effort, at the end of which were found several affected areas in his foot.
The pain prevented him from playing his usual tennis and disrupted his rhythm and play-level comfort.
Could he get back to top form again? And meet the demands of the gruelling tennis calendar?
For the first time, it was he who doubted.
Yet hopes were crushed and nothing got better.
The test results were out, the injury seem to worsen and Toni concluded he would not play the Shangai Cup, missing out on an opportunity to match himself with the best swords in tennis.
It affected, and tampered with, his hard-court season, clutching its hold all through January and knocking the Australian Open off his calender.
His parents couldn't stand seeing their ever-optimistic, enthusiastic son downcast.
Tennis was all he worked for all through these years, and unexpected, he stumbled among unresolved unknowns.