Dominance: Rafa’s doing it right.

(AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)

(AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)

Rafa took on #8 and Madrid native Fernando Verdasco in the quarterfinals of the Madrid Open today. A tight and well-played first set ended with Rafa breaking at 5-4. Either Rafa went on a bit of a mental walk-about in the second set or he was trying to be a benevolent dictator and let the local boy win a few as he was soon down 0-4. He came back and won 7 of the next 8 games for a final score of 6-4 7-5. He’ll take on Djokovic in the semis.

(Headline by @skyjaden)

Stats:

Nadal Verdasco
Statistics on Serve
Aces 1 5
Double Faults 1 7
1st Serve % 78% 71%
1st Serve Points Won 37/59 (63%) 26/44 (59%)
2nd Serve Points Won 10/17 (59%) 7/18 (39%)
Break Points Saved 3/5 (60%) 5/9 (56%)
Service Games Played 11 11
Statistics on Return
1st Return Points Won 18/44 (41%) 22/59 (37%)
Second Return Points Won 11/18 (61%) 7/17 (41%)
Break Points Won 4/9 (44%) 2/5 (40%)
Return Games Played 11 11
Statistics on Points
Total Service Points Won 47/76 (62%) 133/62 (53%)
Total Return Points Won 29/62 (47%) 29/76 (38%)
Total Points Won 76/138 (55%) 62/138 (45%)

9 Responses

  1. johanne says:

    AWESOME match!! Really entertaining to watch. It’s always great to see Rafa dig deep and get himself outta trouble. Down 4 games to love? No problem. I’ll just win the next five games, no? He really knows how to slather the pressure all over his opponents. This was an impressive win for Rafa (not that he won the match, but that he won in 2 sets). Confidence galore going into the semis (as if he needed a boost). VAMOS!!!

    • rez says:

      “Down 4 games to love? No problem. I’ll just win the next five games, no? ”

      nicely put:)

  2. faecoleman says:

    Damn! I missed this match, this is the second time in a row now that I have missed his matches with Verdasco, first in Rome and now here. Thought it would be tough thinking that Rafa had had a walk over and lacked match pratice on this surface with all its crazy bounces, I got home in time to watch Murray lose to Del potro, what a win for the #5 seed, I don’t think he’ll get Federer though. Anyway, back to Rafa, the commentators after were saying that Rafa had alot of unforced errors on his forehand hope he sorts this out tommorow! as Djokovic is playing well with the altitude, gonna be soo nervous for this match tommorow but lets hope you are right Johanne, and he has loads of confidence for tommorows match.. you watched him play tonight so I’m taking your word for it. Go Rafa!!!!!

    • johanne says:

      I honestly think the way Rafa won this match will def help his confidence for tomorrow’s match. I really don’t think he played that bad (he served really well for one thing)….sure he had a bit of a mental walkabout in the second set, but if I remember correctly, the first break of serve came in the very last game of set 1. So he was probably just like “Phew!” whereas Nando was like “Dammit!” Nando subsequently upped his level of play and no doubt fed off the energy of the crowd (who quickly realized he was not giving up at all). You’ve heard Rafa say this before: “It’s normal when one player goes up, the other can go down.” That’s totally what this was, IMO. Rafa regrouped quickly, relaxed a bit thinking they were likely headed to a 3rd set – at which point Nando felt the pressure and Rafa pounced. Then it was all over for Nando. Game, set, match – RAFA!! This was a classic example of Rafa’s extraordinary self-belief and amazing ability to handle the pressure of the moment.

  3. tiemyshoe says:

    Did anyone watch this whole match? How’d he play? The stats (serve especially) look good to me.

    Djokovic again :(

    The good thing: Rafa likes nothing better than to show himself and the world that no matter how deep the whole, he can claw out. Watch out, Nole.

  4. sia says:

    He wasn’t at his best. It showed in his face … he seemed quite put out with himself (probably off to the gym for some ‘punishment’ after this one), even though he managed to pull off a win in two sets. He was down 4-0! in the second and it was due mostly to his own mistakes (although Nando was playing agressively). It never felt as though he would lose, though, I guess his record on clay makes one feel confident.
    It may have have been lack of matches at this tournament, it just seemed like one of his ‘off’ moments that he has sometimes. As always the two of them raised the temp. in the stadium considerably.

  5. CC says:

    He DID have a little bit of a lapse at the beginning of that second set, quite a few unforced errors and missed first serves, headband sliding up, revealing the little hair lock etc.
    Anyway, 4-0 down and Rafa squeezed the headband firmly back into place, and sorted himself out. I didn’t doubt he would for a single second! (;

    Nando was playing fantastically well at times though, so it was a joy to watch.
    *floved* a couple of Rafa’s shots down the line and a furious smash he won at one time. Sort of like “Pissed-off-Rafa-I’m-not-having-anymore-of-this-parrot-haired-showman’s-mofo-game” shots.

  6. AnaR says:

    Hi, everyone.
    Yesterday and around of 8 p.m., Madrid ( a city of 7 million people) seemed like a ghost town like when it’s playing the soccer match between Barcelona and Real Madrid and Derby soccer between the two teams from the city. Few people goes down the street and this is rare here. What happened?. The player tennis world number one and the tennis born in Madrid and 8 of world, playing in a place called Magic Box. The match was not the best but the tension yes. Into the groups, among friends, there are Rafa supporters and supporters of Fer(more or less half and half). Anyone of they could win ..at the end Rafa’s mentality prevailed. Once again this has been the critical element of a match. And today is another story. Today I will be in the magic box!.

  7. Josh says:

    When it got to 5-6 0-40 in the third. I said to my mum, who was sitting next to me, I can’t wait for him to win this cause when he does he is gonna do a massive “SSSSIIIII!” or “VAMOS!!”

    And i wasn’t dissapointed, I like the way he reacts of hard fought victories.