Rafa started his drive for five today by taking on world #97 Marcos Daniel of Brazil. Yesterday on his site, Rafa said he doesn’t play well in the 1st rounds and this match proved the point. He wasn’t playing awful, but there were quite a few unforced errors and, most disturbingly, he had trouble holding when serving for sets. Still, not a bad way to start the tournament as he wins 7-5 6-4 6-3.
|1st Serve %||76%||56%|
|1st Serve Points Won||42/62 (68%)||32/52 (62%)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||12/20 (65%)||17/41 (41%)|
|Return Points Won||44/93 (47%)||27/82 (33%)|
|Break Points Conversions||7/11 (64%)||3/7 (43%)|
|Winners (including service)||36||24|
|Net Approaches||14/20 (70%)||12/22 (55%)|
|Total Points Won||66/103 (54%)||37/103 (36%)|
|Fastest Serve Speed||199 KMH||207 KMH|
|Average 1st Serve Speed||177 KMH||178 KMH|
|Average 2nd Serve Speed||139 KMH||148 KMH|
As it happened blatherings:
Now that’s pink – not my favorite color, but Rafa wears it well. Pink and yellow are also the colors of torero capes – perhaps the inspiration for the color choice.
Daniel holds to get things started. I’m being annoyed by a constant clicking sound. I hope my hard drive isn’t going out…
Kalliopeia: urgh. I’m awake.
miri: Rafa’s shirt will wake you up
Kalliopeia: oh god the first thing I see is gimelslob.
Nice hands on that volley from Rafa.
Kalliopeia: he….looks a little bit like my blanket.
Kalliopeia: if only the swoosh was bright orange.
Rafa holds: 1-1.
The windy is swirling around. Daniel holds.
Kalliopeia: …..I don’t want to see Venus!
Kalliopeia: Mattek’s outfit is surprisingly unappalling this year.
Kalliopeia: I mean it’s still ugly.
Kalliopeia: But at least it’s not leopard print or gold lame
Rafa holds: 2-2
Daniel holds at love.
So far, the most interesting thing about the match has been people’s reaction to the pink. Am I the only person who doesn’t understand the whole genderization of color? (And yea, I know that’s not a word, but I couldn’t think of a way to say it.)
Kalliopeia: Rafa’s looking a little sluggish today
Kalliopeia: and sloppy.
Kalliopeia: his headband isn’t riding up yet.
Kalliopeia: …is it sad that I’m now noticing when it doesn’t?
miri: Well, the tennis isn’t too exciting right now…
Look at those empty court-side seats. I volunteer to be a seat filler! You know, like they have for the Oscars.
Still on serve: 4-4.
Kalliopeia: okay the swoosh isn’t bright orange but it does match my blue yarn. he totally looks like my blanket.
Kalliopeia: I’m going to do a pink blue and yellow square right now in his honor.
Rafa’s timing is off – already has 9 unforced errors. But, he has a break point. He breaks and it’s 5-4.
Kalliopeia: I got out the bright yarn and started crocheting, Rafa breaks. COINCIDENCE??
Kalliopeia: *pets bright blue yarn*
Daniel is up on Rafa’s serve. In fact, he now has triple break point. Rafa saves one with a fierce forehand, but he nets his next one and we are back on serve at 5-5.
How did Rafa get to and hit that running forehand? Sheesh. Helpful tip from Johnny Mac: “You don’t want your head to be bouncing around.” Rafa breaks. Once again, he’ll be serving for the set.
We got some grunts going now.
miri: *shallow moment* I really like the way those shorts drape
Kalliopeia: hey did you notice there’s a new atp profile picture?
miri: worse or better?
Kalliopeia: I can’t actually remember the old one but this one is nice
Kalliopeia: even if it looks a bit like a school photo
miri: heh – don’t most of them?
Set point for Rafa. First set to Rafa: 7-5.
Kalliopeia: rafa’s first set at RG last year went to 7-5, too.
Kalliopeia: against Thomaz Bellucci
Kalliopeia: then after that he only lost more than three games once until the semifinals against Djokovic.
Kalliopeia: I think I should make this an eight round square. Primarily pink with a few single rows of blue and yellow. In honor of the ratios in Rafa’s outfit. :D
Kalliopeia: …I may have tipped into a whole new realm of weird, here.
miri: Everyone’s going to know all the details of the Rafa-bankie
Kalliopeia: I expect it to be prominently displayed when it’s done!
Daniel holds to start set 2.
Kalliopeia: why did they just show a closeup of rafa’s ass on the livestream?
miri: are you complaining?
Kalliopeia: well, no, it was just kind of strange? Heheh
miri: Yeah, it was odd.
Kalliopeia: I looked up and there was his ass.
miri: Hmmm…that could be a good article title too
Rafa holds: 1-1.
How weird is it that this is the first time Rafa’s been seeded at #1 here? I mean, I know they go by ranking, but you think they’d give a guy a break after winning the thing a few years in a row.
The live-stream people really love their slow-mo camera. Why, do you ask, am I watching on live-stream when the Tennis Channel is covering this? Why, because they are showing the Venus Williams match, of course. *sigh*
Rafa saves a break point with an ace. Daniel earns another break point with a drop shot but then nets a ball – deuce again. Rafa sends a shot long and Daniel has another break point. Another good serve is followed by a netted ball and Daniel has a forth break point. Second serve… Let… Rafa sends a shot wide – break to Daniel. 20 unforced errors and 17 winners from Rafa – and that includes service winners – not stellar.
Kalliopeia: I think I know why Rafa’s down a break.
Kalliopeia: I made a horrible mistake in the rafa square.
Kalliopeia: I have to rip out two rows.
Kalliopeia: I’m sorry Rafa!
miri: Oh my
Kalliopeia: but look I found the mistake and started to fix and he breaks back. COINCIDENCE?
miri: The rafa-bankie of fate!
Rafa breaks: 2-3 on serve.
Did the announcer just wonder what the stars denote on Rafa’s bag? Is it that difficult to figure out if you follow tennis?
JMac just said Rafa’s a better volleyer than Roger. :D
Marc! (Not a sighting, a mention)
Rafa is finding his rhythm a bit. He breaks for 4-3.
Easy hold for Rafa: 5-3. Rafa holds at love to take the second set.
Rafa breaks thanks to an overrule from the chair that gave Daniel a double fault. Both guys go on to hold and it’s 2-1.
Rafa’s rolling now. He’s up 5-1 in the third. Daniel refuses to be breadsticked and holds for 5-2.
Lovely backhand from Daniel and he’s up on Rafa’s serve. Rafa nets a ball to give Daniel triple break point. What’s Rafa’s problem with serving for things lately? He’s broken and it’s 5-3.
Perhaps a little ticked at himself, he comes back roaring in the next game and breaks to take the set and match.