Rafa took on qualifier and #112 Michael Berrer in his first singles match of the tournament (as a seed, he had a bye in the first round). It was their first meeting on the tour. Rafa looked all business and I saw no problems from his recent court change from hard to clay and back to hard again. It’s not like Berrer played awful, he was just playing the world #1. Rafa wins 6-2 6-1.
|Statistics on Serve|
|1st Serve %||48%||61%|
|1st Serve Points Won||13/16 (81%)||21/36 (58%)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||15/17 (88%)||7/23 (31%)|
|Break Points Saved||0/0||9/14 (64%)|
|Service Games Played||7||8|
|Statistics on Return|
|1st Return Points Won||15/36 (42%)||3/16 (19%)|
|Second Return Points Won||16/23 (70%)||2/17 (12%)|
|Break Points Won||5/14 (36%)||0/0|
|Return Games Played||8||7|
|Statistics on Points|
|Total Service Points Won||28/33 (85%)||28/59 (47%)|
|Total Return Points Won||31/59 (53%)||5/33 (15%)|
|Total Points Won||59/92 (64%)||33/92 (36%)|
As it happened notes:
Thank goodness Safina’s match didn’t go three sets.
I’m missing The Amazing Race for this – so Rafa better win!
They are playing U2 as the players take the court. I approve.
Berrer discovers that the warm-up is over when Rafa says it is, not when anyone else does.
Rafa goes up double break point in the very first game and breaks on his second chance. Nice easy hold for Rafa and it’s 2-0. Berrer, figuring he has nothing to lose, starts to serve and volley, but errors and Rafa’s passing shots get in the way. He manages to save a break point, though. He holds and it’s 2-1. Rafa runs around a backhand to send a blistering forehand down the line and take the 4th game.
Oh, that was a lovely cross-court forehand – wonderful angle and placement. Rafa gets ahead on Berrer’s service game, but Berrer fights back to deuce. A low return by Nadal is too difficult for Berrer to handle and Rafa has a break point. He breaks and it’s 4-1.
Rafa’s only serving at 50% and still dominating the match. Beautiful cross-court volley takes Rafa to game point and he’s soon up 5-1. Berrer shows some good net skills, but he’s defeated by a well placed and timed lob. Berrer denies Rafa the break at 5-1 and forces Rafa to serve it out.
Kalliopeia: Rafa’s not screwing around this week, is he?
miri: no, he’s not
miri: ’cause Berrer was not sucking on that point
Kalliopeia: No. And I mean, I know this is only Michael Berrer, but a lot of times Rafa slacks off a little with these guys
Kalliopeia: not today
Kalliopeia: Was that Marc Lopez in his box?
miri: probably – he was practicing with him yesterday
Kalliopeia: I’ll be so tickled if marc lopez is at cincy
Rafa holds his next game at love and takes the first set in just under 36 minutes.
@Ataraxis00: @nadalnews 35 minute set. It’s safe to say Rafa is focused.
@LivaBird: He’s making Berrer look old.
Kalliopeia: Was he just watching his own highlights on the big screen? Ha!
We get our first fist-pump of the evening when Rafa blazes a backhand passing shot past Berrer to tie things up at 30-all in the first game of set two. This is followed by the best shot of the match so far that takes Rafa to break point. It takes a few more chances, but he breaks to start off set two.
In his first service game of the set, Rafa gets behind 15-30 after an excellent point by Berrer and a bit of a lazy one by Rafa. He quickly overcomes that and it’s soon 2-0, second set. Berrer serves himself a nice game and it’s 2-1. Rafa holds at love. He’s really moving well tonight. He breaks again for 4-1. Before you can sneeze (or go off and look for match photos), it’s 5-1. And, just a few shakes of a lamb’s tail later, Rafa has won.