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.
|Statistics on Serve|
|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.