In the quarterfinals of the Cincinnati Masters, Rafa took on world #18 Tomas Berdych, who has a pretty good record against him. Of course, no fan in the US got to watch it live on TV because ESPN2 sucks, but that’s what the internet is for, no? Unlike last night, Rafa was in the match from the start: physically and mentally. His serve game was most impressive as he went on to beat Berdych 6-4 7-5.
|Statistics on Serve|
|1st Serve %||71%||56%|
|1st Serve Points Won||35/41 (85%)||25/38 (66%)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||11/17 (65%)||19/30 (63%)|
|Break Points Saved||0/0||4/6 (67%)|
|Service Games Played||11||11|
|Statistics on Return|
|1st Return Points Won||13/38 (34%)||6/41 (15%)|
|Second Return Points Won||11/30 (37%)||6/17 (35%)|
|Break Points Won||2/6 (33%)||0/0|
|Return Games Played||11||11|
|Statistics on Points|
|Total Service Points Won||46/58 (79%)||44/68 (65%)|
|Total Return Points Won||22/68 (35%)||12/58 (21%)|
|Total Points Won||70/126 (56%)||56/126 (44%)|
As it happened blatherings:
Rafa wins the toss and, in a shocking move, decides to receive. Both players give the coin-tosser a greeting – that’s nice to see. The coin-tossers in this tournament are all fans who, I think, won some sort of contest in order to get to do the toss. Nice touch.
Tummy is still taped and there were twitter reports from today that he was tapping that area a lot during practice.
Berdych serving to start the match. Rafa’s already got some rhythm going – double break point. Berdych saves both points.
CC: Rafa swore. I saw it.
Rafa gets back to Ad for break point #3. A fierce forehand pushes Berdych wide and long and Rafa breaks. Rafa holds at love: 2-0.
@risha_: Love game! 2-0. My heart goes gooey around the edges when he plays like this.
Nice! Rafa gets a ball low to Berdych at the net and then hits a passing shot down the line. Berdych holds: 2-1.
Another lovely forehand down the line. Massive serve into the body – Berdych can’t get out of the way. Nice touch volley from Berdych. Rafa lets Berdych back into the game, but comes back and holds: 3-1.
Berdych is in the freaky-tall range and yet doesn’t look freaky-tall. How does he manage that? He holds and it’s 3-2.
My dinner is here. Please forgive the crumbs on the rest of this report.
Excellent pass from Rafa! He holds at love: 4-2. Berdych gets some service love of his own and it’s 4-3.
CC: Why do they keep cameras on Berdych at change over?
An: Good question
So far, Rafa’s ahead in the winners to UEs stat tonight.
CC: Playing with his tongue between points a bit today, no?
The net cord shows Rafa some love and he holds for 5-3. Racket change.
Berdych holds. Rafa to serve for the set: 5-4.
CC: Second change over on Berdych. Shall I stop going on about it?
miri: Maybe the ESPN camera is on Rafa…and we can’t see that as part of the general feed
CC: They need a camera on Rafa from every angle. Plus one on his bum. Constantly.
An: Yes, please!!
First set to Rafa in just 43 minutes and 44 seconds: 6-4. He gave up only 5 points on serve; 11 winners and 9 unforced errors.
Solid first game of the second set to Berdych.
Rafa continues to take advantage of Berdych’s sub-par movement. He holds easily: 1-1.
Berdych holds. On serve 2-1.
Rafa chases down a net-cord pop-up and smacks it for a winner. Footwork rules. Another stress-free hold for Rafa.
Vintage Rafa! Pushed back into a totally defensive position, he whips a massive forehand down the line for a winner.
@ally_richardson: Rafa seems to enjoy watching his passing winners replayed on the jumbotrons
Lovely cross-court volley for a winner! Not quite – Rafa sends a shot wide and it’s deuce. Another break point, but Berdych saves it with a service winner. And constructs a good point to get to game point. And then serves it out. Still on serve in the second.
Another love hold for Rafa. He’s cruising on serve: 3-3.
An: yeah, absolutly!
An: thats a good “new”
CC: So is B at the moment, though.
miri: Well, he had 2 BPs against last game
CC: Oh, OK. Shows how much attention I pay to the tennis.
An: Ah. Focus CC
CC: My partner has to keep reminding me it’s sport and not porn.
miri: it’s sporn
Everyone’s loving the serve. 3-4 on serve.
@TennisLuvah: Berdy hold easily for 4-3. Rafa seems irritated with his return games. :(
Rafa holds for 4-4.
Nice backhand volley from Berdych. Pretty, even! Rafa hitting with power and accuracy. Easy hold for Berdych – not a lot of drama tonight as both players have been holding fairly stress-free.
Impressive return winner from Berdych. Equally impressive cross-court forehand winner from Rafa. Both players stepping it up in the 5-4 game. 3 winners in a row. Deuce. Stupid phone call – missed the deuce point. Amazing cross-court forehand winner from Rafa to take the game: 5-5.
Nice volley from Rafa to get to 15-15 on Berdych’s serve. Berdych closes the net well and Rafa can’t pass: 30-30. Berdych sends a shot just wide and Rafa has a break point. Rafa breaks with a huge topspin forehand and he has a chance to serve for the match. Xisca gives and an “ooo”, a raised eyebrow and an nod.
Rafa serving for the match has another stress-free hold and he wins: 6-4 7-5.