Rafa took on world #7 Andy Roddick (who I feel obliged to like since he too calls Austin home) late this afternoon. He went into the match with a winning record (4-2) against Roddick. Roddick’s game has been on the upswing lately, but the world’s #1 was the odds on favorite. Rafa wasn’t making it easy for himself, though. Too many unforced errors and a mental walk about or two, but he got the job done: 6-4 7-6(7-4). He’ll have to step things up tomorrow against Murray. But we all know he loves a challenge, no?
|Statistics on Serve|
|1st Serve %||67%||68%|
|1st Serve Points Won||37/50 (74%)||34/45 (75%)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||12/25 (48%)||8/21 (38%)|
|Break Points Saved||3/5 (60%)||3/6 (50%)|
|Service Games Played||11||11|
|Statistics on Return|
|1st Return Points Won||11/45 (24%)||13/50 (26%)|
|Second Return Points Won||3/6 (50%)||2/5 (40%)|
|Break Points Won||3/6 (50%)||2/5 (40%)|
|Return Games Played||11||11|
|Statistics on Points|
|Total Service Points Won||49/75 (65%)||42/56 (64%)|
|Total Return Points Won||24/66 (36%)||26/75 (35%)|
|Total Points Won||73/141 (52%)||68/141 (48%)|
As it happened blatherings:
I’m looking forward to some manly grunting after Murray’s squeaking.
FSN in my area? Showing Dallas team playing hockey. ‘Cause hockey is a big sport in Texas.
Andy standing at the net waiting for the coin toss forever.
miri: I still want a player to say, “Get your ass out here, Rafa!”
Kalliopeia: He’d just raise his eyebrow at them and keep sucking down that goo
miri: I know. But it would be funny.
Kalliopeia: he has to stop bouncing to take a picture. Heheh
miri: he always looks like he resents that
miri: but…but…I’m bouncing!
Commentators are drooling over how fantastic and amazing Rafa was for going out and practicing after winning his match against DelPo. I think they need to study up on some geography and would like to inform one commentator that Canada is in North America.
Roddick gets the match under way. Rafa’s hitting the flatter forehand with the follow thru across his chest instead of over his head. Roddick holds. After moving Rod well during a rally in his first service game, Rafa nets a ball as he approaches the net. He then fires a shot wide: 0-30. Just to show that line who’s boss, Rafa paints it on his next shot: 15-30. Soon it’s 30-40 – break point to Andy. A smart body serve and it’s deuce. Rafa’s hair is blowing about a bit so it looks to be a bit windy. Perhaps that’s why Rafa’s serve is sucking so much. Back to the buggy-whip forehand – loss of confidence? Perhaps, or it’s just what the point needed – it takes him to Ad and he holds.
Rod’s serve is on which is never a good thing for an opponent. He holds. Rafa says “screw this going to multiple deuces on serve” think. He fires a fierce, flat forehand to go up 40-0 and follows that up with an ace. 2-2 first set.
Aliens are taking over my live stream! Okay, maybe not. That was just a bit of weird audio stuff. The feed is getting most spotty and I’m getting more and more pissed at FSN.
@ElToroDeRafa: Does Lacoste ever give Andy a shirt in colors?
@nadalnews: @ElToroDeRafa I think Andy’s a white bread kind of guy.
The announcer sounds VERY excited about a shot of the full stadium. I’d be moving my seat away from him a little bit if I was the other announcer.
Both players hold fairly easy games and we are at 3-3.
Rafa threads the needle and gets a ball past Roddick in the half an inch Rod left for him. He follows that up with another one on the run. Amazing. The crowd is awake now. Rafa up on Andy’s serve. Andy nets a ball and Rafa has his first break point. And breaks him he does: 4-3 first set.
Roddick isn’t going away, though. Some well played points put him up 30-0 on Rafa’s next serve. Rafa isn’t having any of that, however, and he soon as a game point. He holds and it’s 5-3.
According to the TV schedule, FSN is supposed to start showing tennis now. Instead, I have interviews with dejected looking hockey players in the locker room.
@FortyDeuceTwits: Rafa’s shorts are awfully see through today.
Roddick serves a strong game and it’s 5-4. Nice approach and easy volley from Rafa. Really pushed Roddick back there. Rafa holds an easy game and the first set is his.
Kalliopeia: Rafa’s taking a noticeably long time between points today
Kalliopeia: I don’t usually notice it but I have been today
miri: Yeah. Very much. He was given a gentle nudge by the chair yesterday.
miri: well, it doesn’t help that Andy plays so fast
Rafa’s lost his bandana! Tragedy! Or, not. It could take a few minutes for him to tie it back on, though. Okay, there we go. Everything’s back to normal. Remain calm. Oh wait. We still need some adjustment. There. That’s it. Promise.
Roddick starts off set two with an easy hold.
Oh look – a graphic showing how far back Rafa is standing to return the serve. Never seen that before.
The wind is getting worse. Oooo, lovely ace from Rafa. You can hear the wind in the court microphones and it looks like it’s pushing the ball around on the court. Rafa holds. A piece of paper blows on to the court and they have to play a let on Roddick’s serve. The wind catches a ball big time and Roddick mis-times it – Rafa is up 30-0 on Rod’s serve. The wind is frustrating Roddick big time; so far Rafa seems to be adjusting to it better. Oh, that was a beautiful volley from Rafa – barely over the net and right at Rod’s feet. Break point to Rafa and one bp is all it took. 2-1 Rafa second set.
Oh. FSN appears to be showing tennis – or at least an interview with Gavin Rosedale courtside. I guess that counts. Ah….they are showing the Fed/Murray match. *sigh*
Rafa is having an error-filled service game and Roddick has a break point. Rafa loses a stare-down with hawkeye and it’s second serve on break point. Roddick breaks and they are back on serve. Not a good time for a walk about, Rafa.
Roddick holds: 3-2. Rafa starts off the next game with two more errors and Roddick is up on Rafa’s serve. A few quick points and it’s 30-30. That’s more like it. Rafa holds for 3-3. The shadow is right at the edge of the court. Soon it will start mucking things up for the players. Rafa has a break point. A so-so approach and crisp volley from Roddick save it. A much better passing shot from Rafa gives him another break point. Nope, not this time. During a long rally, Roddick keeps hitting deep to Rafa’s forehand and trapping him in the court shadow. Doesn’t work though – you hit that many shots to Rafa’s forehand and he’ll eventually drill one past you. Another break point. Ace. Another break point. Wonderful passing shot from Rafa gives him the break: 4-3.
At home with a ball kid: “What did you do today, hun?” “Held up an umbrella to keep the sun off a sweaty tennis player while he lined up water bottles.” “Okay, dear….whatever you say.”
Rafa’s on holiday again and gives Roddick the first two points on his next service game. He fights back to 30-30, but hits a wild forehand to give Roddick a break point. Rafa tees off on an excellent “would have beaten anyone else” service return to save the bp. Rafa gets a code violation for taking too long to serve. And you know? He deserved it. He’s been taking too long all match. Another break point for Roddick. Roddick nets a ball and it’s deuce. Poor approach by Roddick and Rafa has a game point. Game to Rafa: 5-3.
Roddick holds at love. Rafa has a chance to serve out the match. Again, he loses the first point on his serve thanks to an absolutely lovely volley from Roddick. Service winner down the middle! That was pretty. Ace! More pretty. Rafa tries to run around a backhand and doesn’t make it in time – a horrid forehand error and Roddick has break point. Rafa sends a forehand wide and Roddick breaks. It’s 5-5. The US crowd is pumped.
Who would have thought it would be easier to return against Roddick than to serve to him? I DO NOT want a tie breaker – they always favor the big servers.
After going down on his serve, Roddick pumps out some big serves and it’s 5-6, second set. Rafa has gone from serving for the match to serving to stay in the set. Rafa not losing the first two points of this game, for a change. Painful forehand error and he does lose the third point. Slides an ace out wide. Game Rafa. 6-6. Tiebreak.
Roddick serves to start and wins the point. Lovely combination from Rafa: 1-1. A backhand slice goes wide and Roddick gets the first mini-break. Wonderful low volley to a hesitant Roddick and Rafa gets the mini-break back: 2-2. Next point on serve to Rafa. Rafa pulls Roddick into the net with a drop shot and follows it up at the net with a crisp volley: 4-2. Rafa takes too long to get to switch ends. He’s lucky he didn’t get a point penalty. Nice serve and it’s 5-2 – still just one mini-break. Roddick tries a good approach shot for a change and it’s 5-3. Another quick point and it’s 5-4. Ace from Rafa! 6-4. Match point. Rafa wins.
FSN? Still showing the Murray/Federer match.