Second verse, same as the first

Photo by China Photos/Getty Images

Photo by China Photos/Getty Images

China, Nadal vs. Blake. Is this a re-run or is it real life? No, it’s not a repeat – it’s just the same match-up we had last week. Rafa started off playing aggressively at the base line. He was moving well and hitting his shots. Blake stepped up in the second set and Rafa retreated a bit. The third set was more back and forth, but Rafa came out on top 6-2 6-7(4-7) 6-4. He now has a winning record against Blake.



Stats:

Nadal Blake
Statistics on Serve
Aces 6 5
Double Faults 1 4
1st Serve % 73% 61%
1st Serve Points Won 48/62 (77%) 40/60 (67%)
2nd Serve Points Won 11/23 (48%) 16/39 (41%)
Break Points Saved 1/3 (33%) 3/8 (38%)
Service Games Played 15 15
Statistics on Return
1st Return Points Won 20/60 (33%) 14/62 (23%)
Second Return Points Won 23/39 (59%) 12/23 (52%)
Break Points Won 5/8 (63%) 2/3 (67%)
Return Games Played 15 15
Statistics on Points
Total Service Points Won 59/85 (69%) 56/99 (57%)
Total Return Points Won 43/99 (43%) 26/85 (31%)
Total Points Won 102/184 (55%) 82/184 (45%)

As it happened blatherings:

Am I watching an empty tennis court or an empty disco? Did someone forget to wake Rafa up for the match so it can start? Or is he still listening to Phantom on his headphones and is unaware that we are in an enforced disco holding pattern? Normally, disco music makes me want to poke my eyes out. At 5:18am? It makes me want to poke everyone’s eyes out. Finally! Rafa in da tunnel.

Rafa won the toss and will receive. Lars Graff in the chair.

Blake serving to start the match. Oh heck, that was a beautiful buggy-whip passing shot to get us started. Double break point for Rafa. He sends a shot just long – or not. Call is overruled on challenge and they replay the point. A wide shot…challenge again? And other call overruled. Graff says Blake could have had a shot, but it was a clear winner. Oh well, play again. Blake smashes to save one bp and then another. Hmph. Blake sends a shot long and Rafa has another bp. A long rally ends with a shot from Blake going just long – Rafa breaks.

So far, Rafa playing close to the baseline and not retreating. Keep it up!

TennisLuvah: Rafa hitting the ball well. Fuck yes this is hot.

Blake comes into the net and Rafa nets his passing shot: 30-15. An aggressive forehand from Rafa draws an error: 40-15. Drama-free hold for Rafa. He’s up 2-0.

Rafa pounces on a forehand…and sends it into the net. Nice drop shot from Blake. Even less drama for Blake as he holds. 2-1.

Blake sends a shot long: 15-0. Rafa returns the favor: 15-15. Blake smacks a forehand, but it goes wide: 40-15. Again, Rafa returns the favor: he had the open court, runs around a forehand and hits it wide: 40-30. Excellent return from Blake and suddenly we are at deuce. Nice forehand approach from Rafa and he smashes Blake’s high return. Blake nets a shot and Rafa holds.

Blake nets a volley and then lets a forehand sail – he’s down on his own serve. A nice volley and a good serve and things are even at 30 all. Another good volley and he has game point. He nets a backhand and it’s deuce. Blake double faults to give Rafa a break point. Second serve. A fierce forehand saves the bp. Ace gives him a game point. Blake holds: 3-2.

I’m glad I have this match on TV because tennistv.com keeps stalling on me.

Beauty of a passing shot from Blake: 30-15. Easy hold for Rafa: 4-2.

Blake attempts another drop shot, but Rafa gets to it. So, Blake tries a lob and Rafa smashes a winner.

And now my tv picture just died. I fucking hate my cable company.

TennisLuvah: LOL I think Rafa is doing less wedgie picking. Interesting..

Blake over hits a ball and Rafa’s got double break point. Rafa breaks: 5-2. (not that I can see it.)

RD_Tennistalk: Nadal taking Blake to the woodshed

Rafa storms the net and goes up 30-0. Again at the net and a deep volley: 40-0. Rafa holds and love and takes the first set: 6-2. 31 minutes

Rafa is looking confident and moving well. Blake is over-hitting. 7 winners; 2 UEs from Rafa.

TennisLuvah: Rafa means business. He holds at love to take the first set 6-2!! That. Was. HOT.

Wonderful cross-court backhand passing shot from Rafa! Blake holds to start set 2.

Sexy ace down the middle from Rafa. Second serve. Blake tries to run around the serve to smack a forehand, but his shot goes long. Rafa holds at love: 1-1.

TennisLuvah: I’m totally digging your serve tonight, Rafa.

Blake nets a forehand. Oh, nice forehand from Rafa, he’s up on Blake’s service game. Blake holds: 1-2.

Beautiful cross-court backhand from Rafa: 30-0. He sends a shot long: 30-15. Double fault and it’s 30-all. Long rally ends with a fierce forehand from Rafa that draws an error: 40-30. Rafa holds.

Rafa picks up a forehand just before it hits the court a second time and flicks his wrist for a winner. Fierce cross-court forehand from Blake for a winner. Blake over-hits a forehand at the net and it’s 30-all. Short return from Rafa and Blake pounces on it: 40-30. Again, Blake attempts to crank a ball and forces his own error: deuce. Blake nets a ball and Rafa has a break point. Eeee! What a fun point. Rafa breaks for 3-2.

RagingBitch: Robbie Koenig just had an orgasm

Blake attempts to pounce on a second serve and fires the ball long: 15-15. Rafa winning 75% of his second serves. That’s hot.

RD_Tennistalk: Nadal in Nadal-esque form

Blake cranks a forehand to take control of a rally and then hits a volley behind Rafa to take the point: 15-30. Two break point chances for Blake. Second serve. Blake breaks. They are back on serve in the second.

Blake played well that game – he stopped trying to do too much with his shots. Damn it.

RD_Tennistalk: Blake no longer in Blake-esque form. He breaks.

Blake at the net; Rafa attempts a lob; Blake smashes a winner. Rafa muffs a second serve return and then sends a ball wide – game point for Blake. Blake rushes a shot and it’s deuce. He remembers to take his time and gets another game point. He holds for 3-4.

Blake angles a shot wide, but Rafa rifles a cross-court backhand winner: 30-0. Rafa holds at love: 4-4.

Beauty of a lobby from Blake. He hits behind Rafa for another winner. Easy hold for Blake: 4-5.

Tourny selling courtside seats to people who can prove they are fans and not corporate fat cats? Radical concept.

Rafa holds at love: 5-5.

Blake holds for 5-6. Rafa again serving to stay in the set.

Blake sends a return long: 15-0. Another long ball and it’s 30-0. Running around a backhand gets Rafa in trouble in a rally as it forces him to play defensively on the next shot and Blake smokes a forehand: 30-15. Ace: 40-15. Blake reaches and hits a winner off a passing attempt: 40-30. Line call over-ruled and Rafa has an ace to hold for a second set tie-breaker.

Good return and volley from Blake gives him a mini-break. Rafa tracks down a drop shot and whips a cross-court winner to take the mini-break back. He hits a ball just wide and it’s 2-3. Rafa blows a forehand into the open court and another mini-break for Blake. Beauty of a cross-court backhand from Blake and he goes up 2-5. Another cross-court winner and Blake as multiple set points. A sitting approach shot gives Rafa plenty of time to pass and saves one set point. A good serve saves another: 4-6. Blake wins the second set tiebreaker 7-4. We are going to a third.

TennisLuvah: son of a monkey’s uncle!

Is this feeling a little like last week?

58 minute second set.

Double fault, Rafa? Oye. Easy hold for Rafa to start set 3.

One of my cats manages to turn on the radio in the other room thus scaring the beejebers out of me.

Easy hold for Blake.

Oh! My cable has decided to start working again. How exciting.

Rafa sends a shot wide: 0-15. Blake returns the favor: 15-15. Fierce angled forehand from Blake gives him control of the point and he goes on to tie things up at 30-all. Blake sends a shot wide and Rafa has a game point. Rafa holds: 2-1.

Massive forehand from Blake: 15-15. Rafa’s moving further and further back… He manages to pick up a backhand on the baseline and passes Blake for 30-30. Nets a running forehand and it’s game point Blake. Sends a ball sailing and Blake holds.

zoejrogers: Stop hanging out with the ball boys Rafa!

Fierce angled shots give Blake control of the point: 0-15. Excellent forehand approach gives Rafa control and he pops in a soft volley: 15-15. Blake nets a sitter: 30-15. He nets a backhand: 40-15. And sends a shot long – Rafa holds for 3-2.

I’m starting to eye the clock – I need to get ready for work soon.

Excellent defense from Rafa and Blake errs: 0-15. FIERCE forehand from Rafa and he’s up on Blake’s serve: 0-30. Triple break point… Second serve… Blake nets a ball and Rafa breaks at love.

Blake nets a second serve return: 15-0. Blake takes control of a rally with an excellent cross-court backhand: 15-15. Rafa hits behind Blake and draws an error: 30-15. Blake pounces on a second serve and hits a beauty of a backhand down the line winner: 30-30. Can we get a first serve in Rafa? No. Blake again pounces on the return and has break point. Good first serve up the T saves the bp: deuce. Second serve… Break point for Blake. Second serve… Rafa sends a shot long and Blake breaks: 4-3.

Rafa’s first serve % has declined each set.

Serve and volley: 15-0. Rafa sends a ball sailing: 30-0. Ace. Rafa passes: 40-15. Blake holds.

Beauty of a first serve and a fierce forehand: 15-0. A longish rally ends with a long shot from Blake: 30-0. Blake blasts a cross-court winner: 30-15. Second serve. The net cord shows Rafa some love and he holds for 5-4.

Excellent cross-court forehand from Blake: 15-15. Rafa in charge of a point, but Blake turns the tables: 30-15.

TennisLuvah: At least Rafa’s smiling. That was some shit! pfff

Blake sends a shot wide: 30-30. Second serve. Oye – bad return: 40-30. Rafa passes Blake at the net: deuce. Blake sends a shot long and Rafa has a break/match point. Rafa wins!!!

And…I’m off to work! Thank you Rafa, for wrapping that up in time.

53 Responses

  1. anna says:

    yeah rafa is shortening my life…..why rafa why you had a chance to win easier than this both this weak and last weak SOMEHOW YOU LIKED MORE DIFFUCULT……i will have heart attack because of rafa one day….

  2. Zoe says:

    So great to see Rafa’s vamosing at the end! He looked so pumped and happy which was nice to see :) Glad to see he seems like he’s playing better than in Beijing (just in my possibly ill-educated opinion!!). Very happy with the end result of the match. Vamos against Robredo next time!

    • johanne says:

      Rafa was *so* excited to win that match. That alone was just fantastic to see. Vamos!

    • Courtney says:

      Oh, I know!! Did you see him throw down his towel? And he finished signing the camera with quite a flourish, lol.

      • Zoe says:

        I was ecstatic to see him so excited!! And there was definitely emphatic signage of the camera!! He is soooo adorbs.

      • nic says:

        Haha, yeah the way he dotted that signature at the end! Heee. And he grinned right after. So cuuuuute.

      • Eliana says:

        Watched the game taped and in fast forward during great part of the 2nd and 3rd sets. Some great shots from our Rafa!! Everyday more in love with him(I could say that all day). And freaking loved the passion and energy that he had at the end of the match. Really pumped me up!! He’s been more emotional,IMO, the last tourneys. It is because tío Toni is not there?

  3. faeaki 7 says:

    Yipeeee Rafa won, oh my nerves, god help me why I put myself through this! It was great to see him full of energy today though, the first set especially, he was serve and volleying was awsome to watch, his movement is a joy to watch, I really wish he would use this tactic more often! shortens the points for 1 and 2 he is bloody good at it. He did make a few sloppy errors but all in all he looked a little better out there, at least his movement did!

    • nic says:

      I agree with everything you said! He was looking so confident on court, playing great shots, just totally came out firing on all cylinders first set. He kept playing well but James really upped the ante in the second. It was really close in the third, I almost died towards the end cos I was so nervous!! Love that he broke again to take the match. How pumped was Rafa!!! Awesome match! I think this will give him plenty of confidence. Brilliant Rafa, so good to watch you today! I can sleep soundly tonight. Still waiting for the darn OOP for tomorrow, load it up quickly Shanghai!!

  4. faeaki 7 says:

    Got my red vamos top today. Will down load pics wearing it hopefully at the atp tour finals!*fingers cross I get to see Rafa too*
    Thanks I love this site, always makes my day.x

  5. Manahil says:

    My cable f-ed up around da end of the first set n came bak near da end of da second so i was oing thru da same torture as miri..following live scores SUX! its really nerve wrecking!! Ny how luv u rafa for keepin it together n winnin dis 1..dis win will really boost his confidence..it was so gr8 to see him super hyper after winnin it…VAMOS RAFA!!

  6. Atch2 says:

    Why o why did i miss the set Rafa was playing well? Rush hm fm work to watch the stressful 2nd and 3rd sets, and my pms feels worst that it actually is.
    Gotta tell u that my family has hearts problems in the family Rafa so u’re not doing me any favours, and pls don’t put us thru so much tense situations when I take my Dad to see u live coz he’s had a few heart attacks.

    Saw some beautiful Nadal-esque shots, and seemd like he was trying the Fed-tactic of hitting more to Blake’s backhand side. Blake had better success in the 2nd set going more to the net but we hit some rippers past him too. But Blake taking advantage of our 2nd serve well and hittg deadly forehands made Rafa even more tense with his serves.

    But I prefer an ugly win to any loss. Vamos beautiful-clean-shaven Rafa!

    (U think we can borrow A-Rod’s Lacoste checkered polo to go with our Nike shorts?)

  7. mary says:

    Geeeeeeeeese Rafa, you giving me fucking heart attacks & renal failures nowadays. Especially when you face Blake. The second set seems to be your achilles heal of late. You just seem flat, then by the 3rd you pick up again. Well you won & thats all that counts. You have it over Blake now at least, so I don’t think he is gonna have any confidence against you now.
    The vamos’s yum, yum, yum, were to die for & yep like I said, you almost succeeded in doing that to me. But seeing those vamos’s & fist air punches was worth the health risk. ;) ;)
    You show us every time how much of a champion you are. You never ever give up, infact it is almost though you like putting yourself in a losing spot so you can come back like the underdog & steal the match. It’s scary!!!!

  8. Atch2 says:

    Next up fellow Armada Robredo. & Feli just beat Daveeed today. & Nando and Almagro lost (to the Sod) too.

  9. Rafafan says:

    Well this was more stressful than the last encounter last wee!. Rafa why do you do this to your fans do you wanna kill them all off! – break up and then go and lose your game and then the tie breaker. Blake was looking at times too hot so was very scary in the third. All sorts of things were going in my mind. And you did a slight mental walkabout again hitting a few lose shots but heah you pulled it together and WOW that last point for the match winner down the line.

    …. and then the celebrations – how awesome was that! hope someone can load it up – his fist pumping into the ground, the vamos, the throwing of the towel on the seat, the fist pump in the air, then hands in the air – I could watch this over and over again. Looked like he felt he had just won the final – the only thing that was missing him laying on the ground! Can’t now wait to watch the higlights on Sky 4.30pm and then again 9.15pm if you actually now want to SIT BACK AND ENJOY, admire without those nerves jangling away and making us feel sick every 5 seconds.

    And the best thing to was how much the commentators admire Rafa and saying that the most exicting times when we see the tennis has involved Rafa’s matches always. What a fantastic compliment. They knkow how much they, the fans and tennis is blessed with our Rafa around (and how much he has been missed when njured). Vamos Vamos

  10. Rafafan says:

    PS: I don’t think I have ever seen Rafa express his emotions so vividely at the end on court. How he keeps it in check during the match I do not know and then his explosion at the end is so absolutely crazy adorable.

    What I can’t understand with his matches is why he doesn’t come into the net much more and more. He is absolutely fantastic at the net, he moves so fast and his volleys almost always wins him the point. This has to be his strategy for the future – he did it against blake in the 1st set and won the set comfy but then didn’t do it again and we know what happened – it was a monumentus struggle. Please help your fans out and make the points shorter – it may not be so dramatic and exciting but your fans have had enough to last a life time, so please win easier for us. See you on sky at 4.30pm to enjoy your magic!

  11. Rafafan says:

    Holla

    Meant to say ther is a lovely piece about Rafa on the web

    google under nadal news – one man, one million fans and Nadal number 1 in popularity. There is a nice vid as well.

    Vamos and adios

  12. Ch F says:

    Great news!!! I didn’t watch a single point :-(. Hope he can keep it up!! Did he actually say in the presser that he deserved to win the match cause he played better most of the time? Read it somewhere I think. Boy he’s opening up big time ;-) Great job Rafa!

  13. CC says:

    Weheeeyyy!!! Well done Rafaaa!!!
    I’m going to spend my evening snuggled up on the sofa, eating pizza and chocolate brownies, watching the game on tape. What could be better on a cold and grey Wednesday evening (apart from snuggling up on the sofa WITH RAFA, eating pizza and chocolate brownies, watching the game on tape, obviously)?! ;)

  14. CC says:

    Gosh, I just had to watch the match point on youtube, and how f-ing fantastic is it to see him sooo happy after for the win?! I LOVE when he chucked the towel on the chair in pure…relief, I guess it was. Vamos Rafa! More of that, please!

    • natch says:

      Wouldn’t you be relieved if James Blake took a set off you? Jeez, James can’t beat anybody. He stinks. Rafa is probably punishing himself right now by running sprints ’til he pukes.

      But…erm…I can think of a better way to *punish* him…;)

      • CC says:

        I don’t know nothing about this Blake guy, really, so I dunno…

        Spanking?! Bare bottom?!

        • natch says:

          Oh, Blake stinks. He always had promise, but never the mental fortitude needed. Now he’s just a mess. He’s got a forehand…and that’s about it. Really, I think I could beat him. That’s how bad he is now.

          “Spanking?! Bare bottom?!”
          See? I knew there was a reason I liked you. ;)

          Afterwards, we can get Johanne and take turns smelling him. :D

          • johanne says:

            LMAO yes please I’d like to smell Rafa. I’m not smelling James.

            Btw, Blake is only a mess when he’s not playing Rafa. ANNOYING.

  15. Rafafan says:

    CC

    Watching the highlights after watching the match earlier and its an ad break so had to let you know there was a wonder view on Sky sports on camera when he is shirtles and he comes up so close to the camera with his body that you could lick him all over. It’s about 7 seconds long before he puts his jacket on over his sweaty bod. It is an amazing camera shot.

    Also those shorts I am growing to like them. When he “spreads his legs out!!” – u no waiting for the serve, you can see in between his legs that there are no checkered white bits. It made me go all gooeee and all my endorphines came out or whatever it is called so s…xy. Does it do anything to you to? Have a look when you get the tape out

    • CC says:

      “Does it do anything to you to?”

      Lol, I think it might just do it for me, yes… Thanks Rafafan! :D

    • Lou Lou says:

      Wow… you’ve got some eyes on u!Very Observant!
      Awww and after writing ‘“spreads his legs out!!’ and what not,
      you censored s*xy… too cute!

  16. Rafafan says:

    Yes just finished watching highlights on sky, having watched the full match today and will watch further highlights later on tonight on sky. I am in Rafa over drive (can’t tape from TV from sky – not sure why so have to get as much as Rafa as I can and it’s 3 in 1 today!).

    Someone somewhere mentioned he doesn’t do the wedgie pic so much with the new shorts. Let me tell you and reassure you he does 100%. Didn’t noticed when watched live – coz concentrating on Blake trying not to do his heavy shots! but when watching highlights and concentrate on Rafa in all his glory notidce a few things – like 100% wedgy picking in every game and when you don’t see his bot from the camera behind, you still see he does it when camera is facing him. Let me say that the more he does it, it means the more concentrated and focused he is so that is a very good sign and we must never discourage him.

    Also Lou Lou/CC – another thing I notice, when he gets very excited (u no want I mean – think he can get the next point of course), he spreads his legs even further apart – double faint!! so f …king s..xy no? – have a look in the play back (Oh and he looks down too – on his racket of course?) or is it to check nothing is out of place… he he, sorry my mind is going in overdrive – having now seen 4.5hrs of Rafa!

    • johanne says:

      “We must never discourage him.” Whaaa??? “Reassure” me? That he still picks his wedgie? Reassure me? I was not panicking.

      Yes, he did less wedgie picking. Didn’t do it everytime after he tucked his hair behind his ears. Was just making an observation. Wasn’t trying to “discourage” him from 1832789423984 miles away.

      • Lou Lou says:

        I’ve noticed ever since Austrailian Open this year, when Rafa’s preparing for his serve, most telecast focus on the player receiving serve. This leads to the illusion* that Rafa has cut down on his certain pre-service ritual — which ofcourse, he hasn’t!!!

        • johanne says:

          Yeah…wasn’t basing my observation on NOT seeing Rafa but instead seeing his opponent. Made the comment because the camera was focused on Rafa and I noticed a little less picking. Didn’t say he stopped – just said there was less.

  17. An says:

    That was a tough choice to make this morning…. feeling better and being able to go back to work, my colleagues really having missed me the last days because its the craziest time of the year at work, or stay home for another day being able to watch Rafa.
    My heart off course was screeming Rafa but my mind was telling me the colleagues.. And finaly i decided that i wouldnt challenge the fait and do the good thing and go to work, off course then Rafa would winn.

    So glad he did, but soooooooo sorry i missed it again!! Esp. with you guys talking about spreading his legs, checking his “whot?” Him getting verry excited, his naked body in front off the camera, * ways to punish Rafa * and hanging on the sofa with him… PLEASE GIRLS…;)

    • CC says:

      I’m telling you, the shirt change at the end was…delicious, to say the least. ;)

      Sky did an on-court interview with Rafa, and he sounded pretty bunged up, so wonder if he’s got a cold? Hope it doesn’t get worse. Not that it would stop him!

  18. Rafafan says:

    Hi Johanne. I know – he did it all the time before (not after) he tucked his hair behind his ears. It’s in this order. 3 balls looking at it in his hand intensely! 1 thrown away. about 6 bounces – it various, then the rub on his nose and face, then the wedgie starts, then the hair behind the ears and a push in the side pocket and a llittle wipe by the pocket, looks up at his oponent and then he is rready.

    Anyone noticed the new tic recently. When he has won a good point, particularly on his serve or an important point he shakes his racket and when its mega mega he will then do the vamos. I think it was only one in the match but the rest was shakey of the racket. Good sign. Hope you enjoyed the match Johanne

  19. CC says:

    Loved the last game of the match, when Rafa first missed that volley completely and pulled some adorkable faces at himself, then just shook his head. And the clean winner at match point… Oh, yes!

    The people in the Sky sports studio really couldn’t give Rafa enough praise about his game in that match yesterday, so I guess he must have played well, no?

  20. GroundStroke says:

    after the 1st game, i though it should be an easy straight game. but unfortunately it turn out to be either of them could be the winner.

    i think he played better then he is in beijing, at least his serve is better, and with 6 aces!

    guess he should get pass robredo, but should face a tough 50-50 challenge against monfils later.

  21. n!ls says:

    With latest casualties, its going to be a boon for.. Rafa.. Hope he capitalizes it.
    Haas,
    Roddik,
    Del Potro,
    Monfils,
    Wavrinka,
    and Counting.. :)

    • mary says:

      Please I hope we can add Sod to that list. :) No actually, bec I’d love it if Rafa can bagel him & beat him in 2 sets!!! :D

      • Ch F says:

        Oh yes, I can totally relate to the feeling.. Sod seems to be in killer form btw. The day Rafa beats him again I don’t know what I’ll do to express my happiness. Really.

  22. Rafafan says:

    Our Rafa just won 6-1 6-4. Slightly worrying in second set 2 – 0 down and on Tommy’s serve to make it 3 – 0 the game lasted 16 mins. Very exciting.

    If he wins against Lupicic and the SOD wins againt Lopez (please Lopez – Rafa’s friend, Davis Cup team mate etc – get the SOD out!) both the SOD and Rafa would meet in the semi finals and yeah the SOD looks in great form and with his hard hitting, I think Rafa gonna be in trouble unless he makes sure he studies his game (like the Fed amdmitted), improves his serve – today was a bit rubbish again and come to the net more. Not quite the celebrations we had yesterday but heah he obviously still pleased – although sort of routine for him. He did one terrible game – but I think he was trying to completely change his game and made 2 fantastic errors.

    • Lou Lou says:

      Second set was competitive and FUN!… The 3rd game was amaaaazinggggg! Both wanted that one sooo bad! Saw bit old Rafa flare, esp. during Tommy’s service games in 2nd set. Some of the volleys, shots etc… WOOOW! Good (quick) match! Up next Ljubicic! Should be interesting…

    • Ch F says:

      Thank God this time he served it out. I only watched some parts of the match and his body language showed more confidence. He even walks in a special way when he’s in control. Not only has he been more expressive but he also talks to himself as well, did anybody notice? Some of the typical Rafa shots are slowly coming back more consistently, and finally, some volleying! It was about time! Both Ljubicic and Sod are in great form. Let’s hope he can step up for the next match! The scenario of Sod playing another great match against Rafa only to go and collapse against Djokovic in the final is just unbearable.
      But wait-one match at a time. What was I thinking???