Del Potro squeaks by Rafa

(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Not too long after their last match-up, Rafa and Del Potro meet again in a Masters event – this time in the quarterfinal. DelPo started off the match strong, and Rafa was firing off more errors than his norm. DelPo won his first set ever against Rafa 4-6 and broke early in the second set, but could not consolidate as Rafa broke right back. With that break, Rafa notched it up a gear swiftly took the second set 6-3. After going down 0-3 in the third set, DelPo fought back to get back on serve. The third set got tighter and tighter as they remained on serve with Rafa serving from behind. After Rafa held off 3 match points in the 5-6 game, they went into a third set tiebreak. Rafa got a wonderful gift from the netcord gods to go up 3-3, but that would be the last point he won in the tiebreak. Rafa is out of the tournament: 4-6 6-3 6-7(3-7).

Stats:

Nadal Del Potro
Statistics on Serve
Aces 8 8
Double Faults 2 4
1st Serve % 63% 60%
1st Serve Points Won 45/65 (69%) 41/58 (71%)
2nd Serve Points Won 18/38 (47%) 18/39 (46%)
Break Points Saved 9/13 (69%) 4/8 (50%)
Service Games Played 16 15
Statistics on Return
1st Return Points Won 17/58 (29%) 20/65 (31%)
Second Return Points Won 21/39 (54%) 20/38 (53%)
Break Points Won 4/8 (50%) 4/13 (31%)
Return Games Played 15 16
Statistics on Points
Total Service Points Won 60/103 (61%) 59/97 (61%)
Total Return Points Won 38/97 (39%) 40/106 (39%)
Total Points Won 101/200 (51%) 99/200 (50%)

31 Responses

  1. Kalliopeia says:

    You are so much more mild about this than me. I’m SO annoyed at him right now. WTF, Rafa. Up two breaks in the third and you LOSE? Up in the tiebreak and you LOSE? I mean, I know I’m one who thinks Del Potro has a lot of potential, but the part of the match I saw, he just wasn’t that spectacular. It was Rafa making stupid error after stupid error, TERRIBLE shot selection (WTF was that drop shot late in the match? Where he then sprayed the pass wide? ARGH).

    I’m not entirely surprised (I’d expected him to go down against Wawrinka, as you may recall :) ), because aside from a few moments of brilliance, he’s been playing terribly all week. He’s been grumpy and out of sorts, and now SO AM I.

    I’ll chalk it up to him being mentally tired and out of sorts, and hope he gets rested and ready for the marathon season to come in a couple of weeks.

    Bah, I say.

    • johanne says:

      yeah you know, it just wasn’t meant to be at this tourney. raquet throwing and grumbling and tons of errors? boo. i have to say, though, i was SHOCKED when he lost his lead in the third set. THAT was some sh!t. i really expected him to get to the semis, but something told me he wasn’t making the final anyways:( so maybe he can just go back home and hang out and rest up. vamos rafa!

      • Kalliopeia says:

        I initially thought he might win the whole thing (as you’ll see from my woeful tournament analysis I posted awhile back), but once I saw how he was playing I changed my mind. I honestly expected Wawrinka to take him down in the last match.

        Oh well. I’m over it already, and looking ahead to clay. Glorious clay. :D

        • tiemyshoe says:

          CLAY CLAY CLAY – that’s the only bright side to this, that Rafa’s a bit closer to getting back on the dirt. In his presser he actually said he’s “excited” to get back on clay and he usually says stuff like, “Clay not my favorite, no?”

          Screw this purple hard non-slidey nonsense, I say.

  2. johanne says:

    $%&*#%@#!!!!!

    *pouts*

    So sad for Rafa :********(

    Oh well, I still love him!! VAMOS!!!

  3. Josh says:

    It was that Practice Session with that Local Guy that did it!!!

    No…well to be quite honest..I’m glad thats over.

    Bring on the CLAY COURT SEASON I SAY!!!!!

    Wooooooo! Monte Carlo!

    • miri says:

      As long as local guy jinxed that other player he played with as well. ;)

      • johanne says:

        Well maybe if you jinxed Rafa then all sort of jinxing is going on!! Looking forward to clay too, as most have said. For now I’ll just get behind someone else at Miami – YEAH TABASCO!! Really interested to see what will happen against Murray…hmmmm…

  4. Josh says:

    Oh and I mean he can’t win ever match.

    I mean don’t get me wrong I’m as big a Nadal fan as any of you, but we don’t know whats going on with him; I think we could all agree that a mentally focused Rafa would have won that match simply (a la Indian Wells) yet I mean there could be something going off behind closed doors we know nothing about with his family or something. But yeah, lets go Clay Courts Season

    No more Hard Courts till August WOOOOO!!!

    • Kalliopeia says:

      Not necessarily anything going on. He just looked out of sorts to me. Probably just a little tired…it’s been a pretty intense year for him already.

      • miri says:

        Yeah – I still can’t believe he was able to get his shit together after the AO to win Indian Wells. I thought he deserved months off after those last 2 matches. Compare the start of this year to the start of last year – we have a lot more to be happy about now.

        • Josh says:

          Yeah this year has been amazing

          I mean last year he lost to seppi in the 2nd round of Rotterdam and I think we can all agree that was Embarrassing.

          This time last year he was 19-5 (after final and with no titles as of yet) and this year he is 25-3(with one major and 1 masters)

          The match in a way reminded me of Monfils in Doha….and we all know what happened in the next tournament.

          He will be back with a vengeance!

    • johanne says:

      via tennistalk.com:

      At his post-match presser, Nadal claimed that his concentration level has not been very good this week. When asked if he knew why he played badly, he replied “That’s personal”.

      Uh oh…

      • miri says:

        Hmm. I wonder what’s up? Rafa is such a private person, it’s hard to know what he would consider to be personal. Heck, he considers match strategy to be person and doesn’t like to divulge much.

        Oh well, we won’t know unless he decides to clue us in. I hope it’s nothing too serious and he manages to get things together.

  5. miri says:

    He was rolling so well in that third set I did something I rarely do…I wrote a title for this post predicting the outcome. I jinxed Rafa! I shall go punish myself now. *sigh*

    And yeah, Rafa’s looked off mentally/emotionally all week.

    • Kalliopeia says:

      YOU. It’s YOUR fault.

      *shuns you*

      Oh wait. I wasn’t crocheting!

      *shuns self*

      • miri says:

        Actually, I’m blaming Daveeed. When I saw his draw, I hoped he would play Daveeed to all the Goliaths…but he failed to take out one of the freaky-talls in his path…

        • Josh says:

          I’m blaming the Polo Shirt. Get him some T-Shirts on; stop trying to make him Roger Nike!

          That damn lemon collar! That collar was so big I am sure it was flapping in his face on each point, no wonder he made so many errors!

          And have you seen the French Open gear?! Pink! or Rose as Nike are calling it! A Pink polo shirt! My god!

          • Kalliopeia says:

            You could put him in white pants and an ugly cardigan, and he would still be Rafa. Who cares about the shirt. If he doesn’t, I don’t. And clearly, he doesn’t.

          • tiemyshoe says:

            I’m sorry to besmirch your blog with foul language, miri, but dude, FUCK THE CLOTHES BULLSHIT. I’ve lost all my patience with that talk.

            When his polo collar develops into a sentient being that can hold a tennis racket and make UFEs for him, I’ll blame the collar. Not a second before.

  6. tiemyshoe says:

    The “it’s personal” comment doesn’t sound that bad in context, but then again, Peter Bodo’s stirring up shit by mentioning something about “rumors” floating around Miami about troubles in Rafaland – while saying that he can’t comment further. Which adds to my Bodo Hate. This is the same guy who planted “doping” rumors in the water about Rafa and never took responsibility. He’s really an asshat when it comes to flouting his access to the tennis rumormill without actually being accountable for the stuff he writes.

    Anyway, grouchy as I sound, I don’t think this loss was any big disaster – although I only saw the tiebreak, so I missed the whole being up two breaks in the third thing (!!!). Rafa kiddo – get some rest in Mallorca and see ya back on the dirt.

    Also, eat some cookies. He looks a teensy bit thin in some of the photos from today (like, check out his thigh in some of the action shots). I’m usually in favor of his dropping weight to save the knees, but he looks like he’s lost muscle and maybe is missing a bit of power?

    • miri says:

      Agreed. I just read the presser and to me it sounds more like, “yeah, always when I play this shitty there’s a reason and it’s always personal” instead of, “life is sucking for me now”.

      The thing that makes the loss bad to me is that Rafa didn’t play well and is obviously unhappy with his game. If he plays well and loses, it’s easier to be with calm about it.

      I too think he’s lost at least 10 pounds. I wonder if that’s not giving him the physical reserves to tap into that he’s used to having.

  7. rez says:

    I still cannot go back to my routine life; can’t believe it. What bothers me the most is him being up two breaks and not being able to close the match… Rafa is so grumpy and nervous as of late (specially in Miami). I only hope this is not something to continue. Otherwise, losing and not playing well is not that important. I’m just so worried, because with it comes lots of unforced errors and lack of concentration. I hope he recovers soon. By the way, for the first time I saw Del Potro fighting really hard against a top 4 player. Congrats to him.

    • johanne says:

      i know i know me too, totally (wtf! are we that pathetic?! LOL just kidding) but it’s the 2 breaks up that’s killing me. who knows what’s going on. all the errors and lack of focus was troubling. but i mean that being said, it was pretty amazing how he found a life line to even get to the tie-break to begin with. and he won more points in the match. so it was just a really tight match, and rafa just didn’t come out on top. wah wahhhhhhh. :)

  8. fuzzydunlop says:

    Glad someone else thinks Bodo is a bit of a wad! Disappointing loss today but clearly something’s up with Rafa … he definitely wasn’t bringing his normal level of focus all week in Miami. From his presser comments, I’d say he probably does mean there’s something wrong & it’s a “personal” issue that he’s not going to elaborate on. Whatever it is, I hope he sorts it out for the clay court season :)

  9. dutchgirl says:

    Hey, aren’t we forgetting one crucial point here: he’s as human as the rest of us!

  10. nic says:

    I was so devastated when I heard the outcome of the match today. I had to stop watching and leave to work early in the 3rd set. He had already gotten two breaks of serve and I was so happy, but then Juan Martin broke back one. I had a pretty rotten feeling though as I left the house that that was not the end of it. When I heard he lost I still couldn’t believe it. What I was relieved to know was that it went to a tie breaker at least. So sad, poor Rafa, really wonder why he’s been just not feeling it out there the whole week :(
    But you know what, guess it makes me remember he’s really only human. And he’s not invincible. Maybe that’s a good thing for everyone to remember. I dunno. He’s been on an incredible winning streak this year, making it to so many finals that I was getting too used to him being there til the very end, it hurt to see him go out even in the quarters. Guess it hurts most when he’s just not playing very well. Indeed Miri, it’s worse when he loses by playing badly.
    I think Rafa is fine actually from most of his interviews this week and even today’s one. Just that little comment about “it’s personal”, it kinda worries me a bit. Anyway, guess shouldn’t read too much into it. Think it’s him just being his usual self. In the Tennis.TV interview, he really seemed so tired in defeat, and he kept repeating in the different interviews how he’s looking forward to clay… guess he just wants to forget about this and move on. Anyway, Vamos Rafa!!! We know you can do it! And it really is alright to lose (I have to keep telling myself!). No one is a machine. Rafa deserves some good rest, and can’t wait for him to be imperious in Monte Carlo.

  11. AVK says:

    Nicely put nic, I was also totally diappointed when Rafa lost to Del potro. But I’m thinking its just a small setback. Not too much to worry about. Hey, afterall he is human (like nic said) and once a while losing a match is not that big a deal. Every player has some bad days, no matter how great he is. And I would’nt worry about his comment of ‘its personal’too. I do strongly believe that whatever personal issue it is, it won’t effect his game. We all know what a fighter Rafa is and he will be BACK!! to his original form very soon.
    Good Luck Rafa!

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