Ahh, the hot match we were all hoping for when we first saw the draw actually happened: Rafa vs. Marat Safin. A former #1 and currently ranked 59, Safin’s had an up and down year – mainly down – but even if this match wasn’t going to be competitive, we knew it was going to be hot. Neither player was playing poorly, but Rafa was more consistent and played the big points better. He’s through 6-3 6-1 and will take on Cilic in the semis.
|Statistics on Serve|
|1st Serve %||78%||63%|
|1st Serve Points Won||29/43 (67%)||18/32 (56%)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||8/12 (67%)||6/19 (32%)|
|Break Points Saved||3/3 (100%)||1/5 (20%)|
|Service Games Played||8||8|
|Statistics on Return|
|1st Return Points Won||14/32 (44%)||14/43 (33%)|
|Second Return Points Won||13/19 (68%)||4/12 (33%)|
|Break Points Won||4/5 (80%)||0/3 (0%)|
|Return Games Played||8||8|
|Statistics on Points|
|Total Service Points Won||37/55 (67%)||24/51 (47%)|
|Total Return Points Won||27/51 (53%)||18/55 (33%)|
|Total Points Won||64/106 (60%)||42/106 (40%)|
As it happened blatherings:
Mo in the chair for Rafa/Safin? HOTNESS OVERLOAD!
Safin won the toss and elected to receive.
Marat plays cat and mouse with Rafa on the first point – pulling him in and then lobbing him back. Rafa holds easily to get things started.
131MPH ace from Safin – oof. And…he follows that up with a double fault. Safin storms the net – break point for Rafa. Safin comes in again and sends a volley wide. 2-0
Rafa nets a backhand and then sends a forehand log – digging himself into a 0-30 hole on his serve. Fault. Decent second serve. Safin sends a ball long. Rafa pounces on a short ball from Safin and it’s 30-30.
TennisLuvah: I love when Rafa just pummels the ball. SO HOT!
The net cord shows Safin some love and gives him a break point. Proving it’s more fair and balanced than FOX News, the net cord helps out Rafa on the next point and it’s deuce. Advantage Rafa. Safin pushes Rafa wide and then pulls him into the net – Rafa can’t reach the dropper in time and it’s deuce again. Rafa paints the line with a forehand down the line and it’s game point again. His next forehand finds the net and we are back to deuce. Marat racket toss count: 1. Advantage Rafa. Rafa pummels another short ball and it’s 3-0.
Rafa passes Safin to go up on his serve. I miss some stuff and Safin hits some excellent serves and has a game point. Rafa nets a low ball and Safin’s on the board: 3-1.
Massive forehand from Rafa. He looks to be swinging free so far. Nice return from Safin. Rafa hooks a ball wide: 40-30. Rafa holds: 4-1.
30-all on Safin’s next service game. A deft touch cross-court volley from him that Rafa returns with a flick of a wrist, but Safin digs down and hits a winner: game point Safin. He goes on to hold: 4-2.
Atch2: @nadalnews why does Rafa have a Shangrila Hotel towel?
@Atch2 Maybe he’s stealing towels from his hotel.
Some aggressive play by Safin gets him a lead on Rafa’s next service game. Beauty of a backhand cross court from Safin gives him double break point. He nets two balls in a row and it’s deuce. Second serve. Safin sends a ball long and it’s game point for Rafa. He holds: 5-2.
Double fault from Safin. Rafa sends a shot wide and it’s 15-15. Wide serve, net approach, crisp cross-court volley – nice point from Safin. Marat holds. 5-3
First set to Rafa in 42 minutes: 6-3.
Safin serves to start set 2. After a fairly long rally, Rafa sends a shot long and wide. Safin takes a short ball, manages to adjust to a super-high bounce and hits a winner. Then he sends an easy shot long: 30-30. The fickle net cord is back to Safin-love: game point. Safin digs a volley off his shoelaces and takes the game.
Safin sends a shot long and shouts.
Please, announcer dude. Stop breathing into your microphone. I feel like I’m listening to a creepy obscene phone call.
Oh, that was a nice forehand from Rafa. That’s one fickle netcord. Rafa holds: 1-1.
Safin nets a ball and Rafa goes up on his service game. He sends another ball long and is down 0-30. Safin double faults. Another ball long and Safin is broken at love. He sends a ball into the crowd and tosses his racket.
Beautifully timed forehand down the line from Rafa. Follows that with a netted forehand. Safin racket toss count: 3. Heee! Rafa hits a shot that leaves him wide open at the net, so he drops and covers to protect himself. Rafa holds: 3-1.
Safin’s shot tips the net cord, pops up and Rafa smashes it. Safin nets a shot and Rafa has a break point. Safin saves it with a beauty of a cross-court backhand that Rafa can’t quite get to in time to do anything with. Rafa sends a shot just long (Mo has to over-rule the call) and Safin has a game point. Safin gives Mo the thumb’s up. Rafa blisters a passing shot and it’s deuce. Beautiful angled forehand from Rafa and it’s break point. He breaks and it’s 4-1.
Crowd laughs as Rafa nibbles on a banana – Rafa smiles.
Two beautiful shots from Safin and he goes up on Rafa’s serve. Rafa wins the next 3 points, but then sends a shot wide for deuce. Safin returns the favor and it’s game point. Rafa holds: 5-1.
Double match point Rafa. Second serve. Rafa wins: 6-3 6-1