For his second round match at the USO, Rafa took on former top ten but currently ranked #129 Nicolas Kiefer during the last match of the day in Arthur Ashe stadium. Rafa started out on fire while Kiefer looked like he wasn’t quite awake yet. It took just 24 minutes for Rafa to serve up a first set bagel. After that, however, things got tricky. Rafa lost a bit of concentration, then confidence and his play became more passive. He worked his way back into the match, however and won: 6-0 3-6 6-3 6-4.
|1st Serve %||62%||41%|
|1st Serve Points Won||36/50 (72%)||38/54 (70%)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||26/31 (84%)||33/79 (42%)|
|Return Points Won||62/133 (47%)||19/81 (23%)|
|Break Points Conversions||6/15 (40%)||2/3 (67%)|
|Winners (including service)||42||42|
|Net Approaches||25/33 (73%)||27/42 (64%)|
|Total Points Won||124||90|
|Fastest Serve Speed||123 MPH||135 MPH|
|Average 1st Serve Speed||107 MPH||121 MPH|
|Average 2nd Serve Speed||90 MPH||87 MPH|
As it happened blatherings:
(This will be exceedingly boring because I was too busy trying to pack and get ready for my trip to NY to cut and paste some of the funny chat thoughts.)
JMac just said that he talked to Costa who said Rafa’s tummy is okay.
Rafa starts things off by breaking serve. Woot!
Rafa closes out his first service game with an ace – 2-0. Kiefer not putting up much of a fight so far. Pretty soon, it’s 4-0. Someone needs to wake Kiefer up before this match puts me to sleep.
I feel like I’m cheating on Rafa – streaming his match with the sound down and watching Navarro/Dent. (Sorry, but it’s a way more exciting match!) Bagel. First set done in 24 minutes. Only 2 UEs that first set for Rafa; 8 winners.
Navarro/Dent into an exciting 5th set tie-break. Brave volley by Navarro when he had match point against. Oh, wrong match. (Sorry!) Dang, how many match points can Navarro save?
Keifer’s got on the score board by holding serve to start set 2.
Holy crap – that was a hell of a winner on match point. Dent is through.
Meanwhile, back on the main court, Kiefer is looking a little less groggy, but so far he’s no match for Rafa who is up 2-1 in set two.
Kiefer broke back…maybe I should be paying attention instead of packing!
I love hearing JMac praising Rafa’s volleying. I mean, he should know good hands at the net when he sees them.
Rafa seems to be taking a bit of a nap of his own. Kiefer breaks twice and has a 4-2 lead in the second.
Kiefer is suddenly really running Rafa well while he’s barely moving and swinging away. Kiefer holds for 5-2.
Rafa holds for 5-3. Kiefer serving for the set.
I know it’s stating the obvious, but concentration and confidence are going to be Rafa’s biggest problems in the tourney and that’s exactly what we are seeing here. It looks like he lost concentration, which lost him some games which lost him some confidence. However, if he wins this, I think it will be the kind of the match he needs – a fight that he comes through.
Rafa saves one set point, but can’t save another. Kiefer wins his first set ever against Rafa 3-6.
Okay, everyone….it’s time for a rousing round of, “Deeper, Rafa, deeper!” Ooo…that hit the spot!
Both players hold and it’s 1-1 in the second set.
Smack that ball! Get that frustration out. 2-1.
Rafa reverting to standing clay-back to receive serve.
@Ataraxis00: Did Rafa practice with Monfils? Offensive … hug the baseline .. it’s a hard court. Thank you.
3-3 3rd set
Rafa only getting 47% of first serves in this set. He’s winning 89% of the second serve points, though.
Break point and a Vamos! from Rafa. Kiefer saves it with an excellent serve. Playing aggressively on a second serve gets Rafa another break point. Kiefer hits a soft drop shop and then a deft lob to save another point. Rafa sends a shot wide and it’s game point to Kiefer. A few deuces later and Kiefer sprays a shot wide to give Rafa his 4th break point. Fault. A sharp and fast angled backhand followed up by a fierce forehand and Rafa breaks.
Rafa serving for the set. Rafa holds at love and wins the 3rd set.
@kefuoe: @nadalnews I really got the feeling that Nadal was loving the fight in the 8th game; much more so than the lopsided first set.
On serve 1-1 in the 4th. Rafa has his chances in the next game, but Kiefer holds for 2-1.
I get lost in talking photography in chat and suddenly it’s 3-2.
Rafa wrong-foots Kiefer and give us a full fist pump, knee lift Vamos!
Good think I’m not depending on the USO stream, because it just died.
Rafa holds and Kiefer is serving to stay in the match. Despite an amazing reflex half volley by Rafa on game point, Kiefer holds. Rafa to serve for the match. He holds and is through to the next round.