(I’ve used so many Rs in my titles this week, I decided to give the C a workout this time. We know Rafa doesn’t need that last C to attain the first 3.)
In a match up that has some history, Rafa took on #27 Robin Soderling or Sweden in today’s round of 16 match. Soderling started out playing well but was still losing handily. In the second set, an intense fight over a line call that he lost just seemed to seal the deal on his mental state. Rafa was moving and playing well and Soderling had to settle for a nice evening snack of a breadstick and a bagel. Rafa is through to the quarters: 6-1 6-0.
|Statistics on Serve|
|1st Serve %||57%||52%|
|1st Serve Points Won||18/29 (62%)||11/27 (41%)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||15/22 (68%)||5/25 (32%)|
|Break Points Saved||5/5 (100%)||2/8 (25%)|
|Service Games Played||6||7|
|Statistics on Return|
|1st Return Points Won||16/27 (59%)||11/29 (38%)|
|Second Return Points Won||17/25 (68%)||7/22 (32%)|
|Break Points Won||6/8 (75%)||0/5 (0%)|
|Return Games Played||7||6|
|Statistics on Points|
|Total Service Points Won||33/51 (65%)||19/52 (37%)|
|Total Return Points Won||33/52 (63%)||18/51 (35%)|
|Total Points Won||66/103 (54%)||37/103 (36%)|
As it happened blatherings:
Body pan #1! Okay, it was just a foot to waist pan since he was sitting down and then had to get up for the coin toss, but still. For some reason, TennisTV sped things up a bit which made Rafa’s coin-toss-net-jump most hilarious. I love it when the announcer is reading out Rafa’s wins during the intro. I can just hear the mental screams from the opponent: “Just stop it, already!”
Soderling starts things off serving and he’s brought his flat shots and sharp angles with him today. Rafa says, “Neener” to that with a hard, angled backhand. Rafa nets a forehand – first game to Soderling.
Soderling pounced on a short ball and goes up on Rafa’s serve. Rafa runs Soderling – pushing him deep and wide – and finishes him off at the net. After a long rally, Soderling sends a shot wide to give Rafa game point. Rafa barely misses an angled forehand sending it just wide and it’s deuce. On another game point for Rafa, the net cord shows Soderling some love. A short angled forehand gives Rafa another game point. Fantastic forehand down the line from Soderling and it’s deuce again. Soderling was moving Rafa well on that point, but Rafa hits a deep shot that draws an error – game point Rafa. A deep perfectly placed forehand in the corner from Soderling and it’s deuce again. Rafa sends a slice backhand long and Soderling has the first break point of the match. Excellent serve down the middle from Rafa saves the bp. Rafa goes on to finally hold: 1-1.
Blistering forehand down the line whizzes past Soderling’s head. That was pretty. That’s followed up by a drop shot that Soderling can’t get to. Rafa sends Soderling right, left, right, left…and then thumps the ball for a winner and break point. Soderling saves one, but a nice short angled forehand and Rafa breaks.
@kefuoe: I can only hope this is tiring Soderling out as much as it is me.
@Ataraxis00: Rafa has found his range and a little oomph on his shots.
That cross-court winner is always so lovely. Ack! Double fault from Rafa gives Soderling break point. A nice smash from Rafa takes it back. He goes on to hold: 3-1.
Rafa was so far back on the 15-30 point in Soderling’s next game – I have no idea how he turned that forehand into a winner.
@Ataraxis00: Ohhh I know that passing shot ticked off Soderling. Nice!
Some errors from Soderling and Rafa leads 4-1.
I’m trying not to think that, from some angles, Soderling kind of looks like Phil Keoghan. Cause Phil is hot; Soderling not.
Once again, Soderling goes up on Rafa’s serve – triple break point. Soderling sends 2 balls long and we are down to one break point. Another shot wide and it’s deuce. Another error and it’s game point Rafa, but he sends a ball just long and it’s deuce. Soderling nets a ball and Rafa has another game point.
@kefuoe: @nadalnews All of them saved. If I were Sod, I’d be feeling pretty jaded by now.
Jaded indeed – Rafa holds for 5-1.
Nice serve/volley from Soderling. Another forehand down the line winner from Rafa – dips in at the last second. Nice drop shot from Rafa gives him set point. First set to Rafa in 49 minutes: 6-1.
@kefuoe: @nadalnews Rafa is on fire. Looks like he really wants to give Sod a beat down.
TennisTV is playing video from set one and audio from set two. So glad I’m “working from home” today and can watch on TV.
Sexy ace from Rafa – he holds at love to start the second set. He goes on to break Soderling for 2-0.
I love it when the announcers are all, “He can’t feel bad for losing to Rafa on clay – everyone does it.”
Soderling is being an ass about a line call. To be fair, the chair isn’t helping with his “I don’t know which mark it is now.” Adding insult to injury, Rafa holds for 3-0.
The Tennis Channel has decided to only show me every other second of the show.
Rafa breaks at love. Steamroller anyone? Soderling doesn’t look to be there mentally anymore. 5-0.
Rafa’s in full strut now – almost smiling as he runs down balls. (Almost.)
Neither player can put two points together to close out this game. Fun little “I can barely reach the ball” lob from Rafa gives them deuce again.