Rafa through to the quarters

(AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)

(AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)

After the one windy, dark, and rainy game yesterday, the sun was shining on Rafa and #98 Nicolas Lapentti today. It was shining a bit more on Rafa’s end of the court and he had no problem ending Lapentti’s Monte-Carlo tournament: 6-3 6-0. Rafa will be back later today to play his quarterfinal match.


Nadal Lapentti
Statistics on Serve
Aces 1 1
Double Faults 1 2
1st Serve % 70% 60%
1st Serve Points Won 18/30 (60%) 21/38 (55%)
2nd Serve Points Won 6/13 (46%) 3/25 (12%)
Break Points Saved 2/4 (50%) 7/14 (50%)
Service Games Played 7 8
Statistics on Return
1st Return Points Won 17/38 (45%) 12/30 (40%)
Second Return Points Won 22/25 (88%) 7/13(54%)
Break Points Won 7/14 (50%) 2/4 (50%)
Return Games Played 8 7
Statistics on Points
Total Service Points Won 24/43 (56%) 24/63 (38%)
Total Return Points Won 39/63 (62%) 19/43 (44%)
Total Points Won 63/106 (59%) 43/106 (41%)

As it happened blatherings:
Oye. It’s very early and I went to bed just 3 hours ago. This doesn’t bode well for me. However, it looks like it’s ridiculously sunny in Monte Carlo, so that bodes well for tennis.

I missed the first game (2nd of the match) – looks like Rafa held and it’s 1-1. Lapentti decides to serve and volley at deuce. Not a good idea. Rafa flies a ball long and his third break point opportunity in the game is gone. On the next break point opportunity, Rafa goes into pure “wait out the other guy” mode and Lapentti rewards him with an error and Rafa breaks: 2-1.

Lapentti takes advantage of a short shot, comes into the net and goes up on Rafa’s serve. At 30-30, a nice drop shot from Lapentti pulls Rafa into the net and Lapentti follows it up with a decent pass to earn a break point. Rafa nets a shot and they are back on serve.

Perfect drop shot from Lapentti ; not even Rafa could get to it in time. Double faults are always so sad – no matter who hits them. Lapentti goes to the drop shot one time too many and Rafa has a break point. It’s a break-fest! 3-2.

Rafa holds for 4-2. Again Lapentti goes for a drop shot that Rafa is barely quick enough to get to and flick back for a winner. Lapenttii gets wrong footed a few times and it’s double break point to Rafa. He saves one, but makes his 13th unforced error and it’s 5-2.

A helicopter is getting on Rafa’s nerves. Triple break point Lapentti. Aaaand he breaks – 5-3. Fun series of volleys – you sure this is clay? Helicopter is still roaming around and annoying the players. Nice deep return from Rafa gives him control of the point and he’s got triple set point on Lapentti’s serve. He just needs one of those break points to take the first set – 6-3; 48 minutes.

That line judge looks like he’s 12!

Easy hold for Rafa to start set 2. Drop shots can look so pretty when done right – and this one gives Rafa a break point. Lapentti saves that bp, but a few deuces, ads and another break point later finds him trying an ill-advised drop shot that lands in the net. 2-0.

Fans in the stands won’t settle and it’s ticking Rafa off. Lapentti takes advantage of the foul mood and gets a break point. An unforced error from him takes them back to deuce. Another UE (this time from Rafa) and it’s break point again. Rafa runs Lapentti to take them back to deuce and then out-patience him to take the game. Up double break point in the next game, Rafa moves Lapentti just where he wants him and then fires off a winner: 3-0.

Oh, that smash looked almost out, but it falls in. Rafa holds 5-0. Oye – Rafa fires a sitter right into the net. He was gunning to end the point early. But hey, if you are going to try that stuff, why not at 5-0? Geez – speaking of gunning a shot – stunning cross-court backhand winner on the next point. Vicious forehand down the line return of serve on the next – Rafa wants to end this now and not have to serve it out. And he does just that. Nice bagel for breakfast!