Quarterfinal results



Rafa’s trip through the dour side of the ATP (hey, no one commented on the “big personality” joke yesterday, so I decided to be more obvious this time) continued as he met #37 Ivan Ljubicic in the quarterfinals today in Shanghai. After losing the first set (what was up? was he playing poorly or Luby just playing well?), he won the second before Luby decided that there hadn’t been enough retirements in the tournament and he threw in the towel. Rafa’s through to the semis (3-6 6-3 Ret) where he will meet fellow Spaniard Feliciano Lopez.


Nadal Ljubicic
Statistics on Serve
Aces 2 12
Double Faults 12td>

1st Serve % 75% 63%
1st Serve Points Won 28/41 (68%) 27/38 (71%)
2nd Serve Points Won 11/23 (48%) 16/39 (41%)
Break Points Saved 5/6 (83%) 5/6 (83%)
Service Games Played 9 9
Statistics on Return
1st Return Points Won 11/38 (29%) 13/41 (32%)
Second Return Points Won 11/22 (50%) 4/14 (29%)
Break Points Won 1/6 (17%) 1/6 (17%)
Return Games Played 9 9
Statistics on Points
Total Service Points Won 38/55 (69%) 38/60 (63%)
Total Return Points Won 22/60 (37%) 17/55 (31%)
Total Points Won 60/115 (52%) 55/115 (48%)

34 Responses

  1. Ch F says:

    I didn’t watch the match cause I was driving back home and I thought a tv to watch Rafa’s matches while driving was probably not a good idea ;-). So where’s everyone to enlighten me?
    Did Rafa get a bit lucky here or what?

    • Eliana says:

      Well, I only saw the first set up to 4-2 but Ivan was playing all kinds of shots(really inpressed me, was expecting much less of him). Rafa was kinda sleepy. Maybe it was the match time?
      Nonetheless very happy that he’s through the quarters and now he go against Feli. So excited!!!

      • Ch F says:

        Thank you!!! I read he had many ups and downs. Great that he made it to the semis though, let’s hope he’ll be less sleepy tomorrow ;-)

      • yoni says:

        Lubijic threw everything at Rafa in the first set, serving unbelievably. Rafa not as aggressive as he should have been. Second set turned on second game when Rafa was down 0-40 and came back to win the game with some impressive mental toughness. From there Lubijic crumbled a bit, though he had some incredible backhand shots. The match turned around at that point. Some incredible points by both, but there is on eover the shoulder overhead by Rafa that is a must see if you have a chance to watch it later. Pure grit and athleticism. I felt for Lubijic who had to retire, looked like a groin injury. There was no way for him to continue with how Rafa turned it on in the second set.

  2. An says:

    I was able to see this one, thanks to my colleagues, who tought i worked hard enough after having the flue in the beginning of this week, who send me home.. just before the break in the 1st set (didnt see the first games )

    To awnser youre question “(what was up? was he playing poorly or Luby just playing well?)” Miri.. He wasnt playing his best but he hardly got the chance for playing.. Luby was firing big services and aces faster as i could see and Rafa just want able to get a racket to it… and when, by anny chance he did, he wasn’t aggresive enough wich sounds completly logical to all he’s bin telling us this week…
    Rafa needs confidence to play aggresive but how can he become confident if he cannot play a few good points in a row??

    I started talking to him in my head, “be colm Rafa, be confident, be agressive, be colm Rafa, VAMOS, you can do it, i know you can, winn or lose, i’m always there for you, be colm” if it helped Rafa… Dunno, but it helped me.
    Then the neighbour was calling on my door and i was chatting with her for just a few minutes. When i came back to the pc screen, Rafa was down 0-40 on his serve.. lucky i arrived back in time to see him totally just simply refusing to give this match up, looked like he just decided. ” Ok, confident or not… if i don’t start to play aggresive like right now, i’m soooo done…”
    From that moment on we saw another Rafa imo, playing agressive stepping into the court, simply Rafa like Rafa can be!
    Then at one point in the game for 5-3 i think… he played an awesome rally. The comentators stated that he was playing ” millitary style tennis” sending Luby: Left,Right,Left,Right,Left. You could see it almost beat the life out off Luby.. After that he played some realy big serves again but you could see him limping and much to Rafa’s surprise he called for the trainer on 5-3, not even waiting for the sit down on the cange of ends. Rafa didn’t seem so pleased with that… grumbling something to Lars… But i knew it was going to be over in a few points time. Somehow after the massage Luby managed tot take Rafa to breakpoint in the game where he was serving for the set, but two points later the 2nd was Rafa’s.
    During the sit down they taped Luby’s tigh havyly, they played one point in the 3rd set and then when Luby had to run for another ball, wich he didnt even try annymore, he retired.

    Rafa is in the semi’s, i’m glad for that. I’m sure that he rather had won it in a tight fought 3rd set and that that would be better for his confidence perhaps but he’s just gotta hold on to the tought that slipped in his head being 0-40 down in that 2nd… If he’s able to do that, i have no “doobt” he’s gonna bite that trophy on sunday!

    • Ch F says:

      Thanks a lot for the info!!! He’ll need to hold that thought big time tomorrow against Lopez, who played a very focused match today, wasn’t intimidated by anything (I actually managed to watch that one).

  3. patzin says:

    Thought that Ivan was very strong after getting through the 1st game breakpoint. Rafa was playing ok I thought, but Ivan was serving big. So with one break of Rafa, the 1st set ended 6-3. There was a big game in the beginning of the 2nd set, as I recall, and Rafa’s winning it changed the energy of the match. There were some great rallies and it was prob during one of the rallies that Ivan pulled a muscle (in hip I think) – which ultimately ended his match. Rafa won second set and then Ivan retired.

  4. kefuoe says:

    From what I saw (watching the stream while multi-tasking at work), I thought Ljubicic was playing pretty well in the first set. Kind of a “coming out with guns blazing” scenario that made me think he wouldn’t necessarily be able to keep it up as long as Nadal didn’t let him run away with the match.

    I have to say that Nadal’s net play in the last two matches has been impressive. Not just the quality of his volleys (he’s really been handling some tough ones), but also the fact that he’s coming up more often. He seems much more willing to take advantage of a well placed serve and follow it to the net.

  5. patzin says:

    Interesting that Feli beat Soderling. Since Feli got his hair cut, he looks different and apparently is playing better too. So tomorrow the compatriots/Armada mates compete to get in the final.

    • kefuoe says:

      I was surprised to see that Lopez had an even head to head against Soderling prior to today’s match. The last time Lopez beat Nadal was 2003 (when he was 17!).

    • Ch F says:

      He played a very focused match, he wasn’t very impressive but he was efficient and never let things get out of hand. Sod was having a bit of an off day, I think, and that helped. Lopez can be great but can also be very bad. He even admits it himself ;-)

  6. Courtney says:

    I saw the whole thing and the end of the much more interesting Simon/Djokovic match! It was a good morning :)

    Rafa wasn’t playing well in the first set. He had a good start (if I remember correctly, Ljubicic chose to serve first and Rafa had 2 bp chances that very first game), but then Ljuby became an annoying ace machine and Rafa missed several easy shots and his confidence seemed to plummet. Rafa then played badly for the rest of the first set– he fell back on his defensive strategy, which is never good against these tall players and always signals trouble. Several meters behind the baseline, weak and spinny serve, almost no winners or Rafa-esque amazing shots. It was depressing!

    He seemed to regroup for the second set. It had a scary start when Rafa went down 0-40 at 1-1, but he managed to hold his serve (!!! thrilling!) and that was definitely the turning point. Our baby bull was on fire after that (you should’ve seen the yelling and fistpumping when he made it to deuce! hahaha) and Ljuby was the one who got tight and made errors. He continued to ace, but Rafa moved closer to the baseline and played more net points and was generally more aggressive. He had chances to close the second set at 6-2, but Ljuby managed to hold with more obnoxious aces and then called for the trainer at 5-3. Rafa looked very annoyed (can’t blame him).

    He received a medical timeout, Rafa was at the baseline and bouncing with minutes to spare and finished out the set. Then Ljuby had a bit more work… I went to the bathroom thinking there would be a third set, but when I came back Rafa was changing his shirt (:D) and Ljubicic had already retired. I think it was an upper thigh or groin problem, but whatever it was it was fine with me because Rafa will have more rest now.

    Unfortunately I have to miss the pretty semifinal to take the GRE :( I am scared to death. I will just try to think like Rafa… intensity and focus and colm and a positive actitude…

    • dutchgirl says:

      I first got excited over this match at Rafa’s turning point (where he managed to win his service game after being 0-40 down). When he started fistpumping again you could see his attitude change and his confidence coming back.
      Too bad he did’nt get a chance to win this match in the proper way, but I’m not complaining he’s into the semis now.
      I’m very curious to see if he’ll be able to find his rhythm right from the start.

      • Courtney says:

        Me too! It always seems like the matches go two ways:
        1. He comes out on fire and immediately breaks, and since he’s a good forerunner he easily takes the set. But then he will often drop the second set if the other guy shows some skill. But we can usually count on him for the third!
        2. He starts slow and often loses the first set (or a close call) but then gets into the rhythm by the second and easily wins it and the 3rd set.

        And then there are the occasional ones where he loses…but I don’t like to think about those!

        At least tomorrow’s match is guaranteed to be beautiful and oh so very Spanish ;)

    • Ch F says:

      Good luck with your exam!!!

  7. Mary from Cincinnati says:

    Could not believe my eyes in the first set! Was Rafa sleepy or hung over from all those Heinekens present at the pressers? Played well in the second though. A shame Ljuby had to retire…did not quite see him get injured? Think Rafa would have pulled it off somehow anyway…. Tomorrow some Spanish Eye Candy!!!! Gimme more!

    • mary says:

      “Spanish eye Candy”, Rafa’s comes wrapped in lime & blue. What taste does that make him, ah yeah exoctic West Indian lime top half & lickable bluberry on the bottom. *Ahhhhhhhhhh faints*

  8. faeaki 7 says:

    I have seen Rafa play alot worse but there were a few sloppy errors in there from him. #that game he won 0-40 down was definately the turning point, he had been playing too short, too safe, and then he was on fire! that back flip volley was awwwwwsome! some great shot making, its so hard because we all know how peerfect Rafa can play, this up an downess isn’t good enough Rafa!
    Will be pure spanish hotness folks tomorrow though. Watched Feli beat the Sod, was great! all that DC success must have helped Feli this year because he held really strong. He had beaten the Sod in 2006, however the Sod has improved as we know so I was kind of surprised at how strong Feli was so congrats to him! Should be a good match tommorow though.

  9. mary says:

    Btw the way, miri did I miss something. “(hey, no one commented on the “big personality” joke yesterday”. I have worked hard all week so the brain is in 1st gear & scratching to find 2nd. :(
    I’m even finding hard to stay awake during the matches. lol

    • miri says:

      Oh, just that no one seemed to get (or care) that I was joking yesterday with this:

      Continuing his tour of players with big personality, Rafa took on fellow Spaniard Tommy Robredo (#15) today in Shanghai.

      Because…Blake and Tommy seem to be the exact opposite of “big personality” to me…unless…”dull as soap” is big.

      • mary says:

        Yep, I saw that & my sleepy head was not operating. Poor Tommy & Blake they aren’t very memorable, like a few others cause your right they have no personality. Infact There is maybe a dozen on tour that I would consider to have any personality & unfortunately we are losing one this year (Marat).
        Thank god we have Rafa. He brings life into this sometimes dreary game. Have to say, I do get a laugh out of Gonzo. He can be over the top at times!!

  10. mary says:

    His pic btw, looks like a take off to a Rocky movie except more colourful. :)

  11. Lou Lou says:

    OK Lopez Congrats on beating Le Sod, you’re hot as hell. I’m happy for you and Imma gonna let you finish but… Nadal has got one of the best behinds & GAME of all time and I want him to beat you…

    I’ll call tomo to apologize…

    Even if Ljubicic hadn’t retired today, Nadal would have won this match, and the 3rd game of 2nd set would have been considered the turning point!

    – Epic! – At 0-30 down, after hitting the shot long, Nadal shouted out!! loud!! Thought it might be the F word?? (Was it, anyone?) Oooh then the Jubilation at making it Deuce!!.. after playing 3 points – onto the 4th game, where Nadal broke Ivan!

  12. George McCauley says:

    I was chuffed to hear rafa cane through this one. He looked a little flat going a set down. He must have upped a level to take the 2nd set. As for the retirement i don’t think rafa can take any positives from his performance.

    Sure he is in the semis…. again which is great but to get to the final and have a chance against nole or davydenko he needs to up his game at least 25% he is playing good tennis but not good enough in my opinion, he has has quite a lot of matches and i don’t think we have seen “Rafael Nadal” yet. I hope we will from now on.


  13. Atch2 says:

    An 8th retirement? It’s beginning to look at an old people home. Are the ATP taking notice yet, or r they waiting for someone to be taken off on a stretcher?

    Well Rafa, the first set was forgettable so let’s just do that.
    The turning point was being down 0-40 and u reversed it. U deserved that celebration getting it back to deuce. U then capitalised on a demoralised Ivan to break him in the set and I saw u woke up and ready to rock-n-roll again. U would’ve won the 3 rd set even without Ivan’s retiremt.

    Feli’s got momentum and a nothing-to-lose-attitude and playing with no pressure, so be aggressive and get to the Finals and win it Rafa!

  14. CC says:

    Right. I watched the match last night after a couple of glasses of wine and I didn’t think Rafa played that badly throughout. I thought he looked slower and dropped the ball shorter against Tommy. Although the score line suggests otherwise, I thought he looked sharper yesterday. He missed a few shots that should have been obvious winners and his serve wasn’t always great, but…he looked pretty good.
    The four break points he saved at the beginning of the second set were amazing and when he saved the third he virtually screamed “siii!!!”. Great to see him pumped up!
    But yeah, that was my wine tinted analysis. Not sure it’s very accurate.

    • An says:

      Don’t worry… Its not so far from mine and that was before the wine…:P

      • CC says:

        Well, yours was good! :)

        • An says:

          Are you going to watch the match live today?

          I must play myself ( competition again ) today so won’t be able… If you do i need you to do something for me, i need you to talk to him with colm, realy focus on him ( that shouldnt be that hard, No? )and talk to him in youre head, but remember with colm and possitive acktitude..
          Would/can you do that for me?

          I know its silly but i am pretty superstitious and i believe it helps!!

          • CC says:

            I will try my best, no?
            I normally talk to Rafa too during his matches, but out loud and more like “WTF-are-you-doing-you-f-ing-idiot-Mallorcan-ball-player?!”. Until he wins. Add to that the occasional “nice ass” and “can I do you now?!”. It works for me.

            • An says:

              Ah well, you should prob be doing it youre own way, No? If that works… fine by me! Thanks!
              It gave me colm on the court just for having asked.. and he’s in the final and we won! He’s gonna have his chances for being the champion tomorrow and we gave ourself a good opputunity to become the champions next week!

              Vamos Rafa! Vamos.

  15. Dale C. A. says:

    Qizhong stadium will be ablaze tonight..whew!!!, with two hot Spaniards playing against each other…Feli, u are hot( esp with your new ‘do’ ) but Rafa is super ,ultra,mega hot…but with both of you on court will still be ”eye candy”..
    VAMOS RAFA!!!!!