Rafa into the Rotterdam final

(Photo by REUTERS/ Toussaint Kluiters)

(Photo by REUTERS/ Toussaint Kluiters)

Rafa defeated 12th ranked Gael Monfils 6-4 6-4 to reach the finals where he will play Andy Murray in the final tomorrow. Murray demolished Mario Ancic 6-1 6-2 today, but there are reports that he finished that match limping.

It was a nice victory for Rafa since Monfils won their last hard court meeting in January of this year. However, he still holds a comfortable margin against Monfils in their head to head. After today’s match, he’s 4-1 against Monfils.

Some stats for Rafa:
Aces: 1 (to 10 for Monfils)
Double Faults: 1
1st Serve %: 71%
Win % on 1st serve: 78% (35/45)
Win % on 2nd serve: 44% (8/18)
Break Point Conversions: 50% (3/6)
Break Points Saved: 86% (6/7)
Total Points Won: 173 (to Roger’s 174)

“As it happened” commentary after the break.

Rafa goes up 15-40 on Monfils’s first service game. Monfils saves a few break points, but Rafa breaks and goes up 1-0. In the next game, Monfils gets a break point on a netted forehand from Rafa. Another errant forehand gives Monfils the break. The third game finds Rafa up 40-15 on Monfils’s serve. Monfils saves both break points with aces. Rafa follows that up with an easy hold taking them to 2-2.
In the next game, Monfils goes up 4-0-love, but Rafa fights back to get a break point and he ends up breaking. Monfils has a break point in the next game, but Rafa holds for a 4-2 lead. Monfils hold for 4-3 and asks for the trainer. The trainer and doctor come out and speak to Monfils, but no injury timeout is taken. Monfils gets a break point in the next game, but Rafa follows that up with some excellent serves and he wins the game. Monfils holds for 5-4. Rafa holds and the first set is in the bag: 6-4.
Both players took a bathroom break after the first set; Monfils’s break was quite long and he came out carrying what looked to be a bottle of coke-syrup. Perhaps he’s still having trouble with his stomach. He holds for the first game of set 2. Both players hold to 2-2. Rafa gets two break points on Monfils’s next service game and capitalizes on the first one to go up 3-2. Monfils gets double break points on the very next game, but Rafa holds for 4-2. Monfils holds for 4-3. Two long rallies give Monfils a break point on Rafa’s next service game – long rallies going to the opponent? Who’d have thought? Rafa saves the break point with a serve and volley. (I know!) But Monfils follows up with a blistering down-the-line forehand to get another break point. Rafa saves that with an ace. Rafa paints the lines to get an ad and then holds for 5-3. Monfils holds to force Rafa to serve out the set and match. Rafa holds at love and match is his.