Rafa played friend and fellow Spaniard Feliciano Lopez (#41) in the last semi-final match in Shanghai. Lopez has been trying to resurrect an abysmal season and was in fine form during his quarterfinal upset over Soderling. The run came to an end today, however. Hampered by a bum foot (and Rafa’s passing shots), he retired in the second set. We couldn’t go a day without a retirement? Rafa’s through 6-1 3-0(Ret) and will play Davydenko in the final tomorrow.
|Statistics on Serve|
|1st Serve %||58%||39%|
|1st Serve Points Won||12/14 (86%)||5/12 (42%)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||8/10 (80%)||5/19(26%)|
|Break Points Saved||0/0 (0%)||2/6 (33%)|
|Service Games Played||5||5|
|Statistics on Return|
|1st Return Points Won||7/12 (58%)||2/14 (14%)|
|Second Return Points Won||14/19 (74%)||2/10 (20%)|
|Break Points Won||4/6 (67%)||0/0 (0%)|
|Return Games Played||5||5|
|Statistics on Points|
|Total Service Points Won||20/24 (83%)||10/31 (32%)|
|Total Return Points Won||21/31 (68%)||4/24 (17%)|
|Total Points Won||41/55 (75%)||14/55 (25%)|
As it happened blatherings:
Very nice of Davydenko/Djokovic to finish up in a timely manner. Hey! Rafa’s on time. He’s in the tunnel and waiting for Feli. Bizzare. There’s a hell of a lot of bouncing going on in the tunnel.
Rafa wins the toss and will receive. Carlos Bernardes in the chair.
Feli starts us off serving and ends a rally with a wide shot. Ace. Rafa nets a ball that didn’t look that difficult. Feli holds.
Fierce forehand from Rafa draws an error. Easy hold for Rafa.
Feli nets a backhand. He’s serving well, though. A long rally ends with an error from Rafa. Feli lets a backhand fly. Break point for Rafa. Second serve. Rafa breaks on a forehand error from Feli and he’s up 2-1.
The Feli-manscaped beard is even more unfortunate than Rafa’s shorts. It’s like he’s got on beard short pants.
Rafa sends an easy forehand on a trip into the stands. I hope it enjoys its vacation. Feli tries to smack a forehand winner and nets the ball instead: 30-15. Easy hold for Rafa: 3-1.
Double break point for Rafa. He blows it by sending another forehand sailing – he had set up his shot well, but muffed it. Another error from Feli and Rafa breaks for 4-1. Easy hold for Rafa: 5-1.
Serve, volley…Rafa rips a return passing shot that leaves Feli standing at the net looking lonely. Tripple break/set point for Rafa. Rafa breaks at love. Lopez is limping (in many ways). First set to Rafa in 29 minutes: 6-1.
Looks like Feli having some blister problems on his foot. Could he have any more oil on his legs? Trainer giving him a pill to pop. Hopefully the repairs on Feli’s foot will help and the match will be a bit more competitive.
Rafa serving with new balls to start set 2. Easy hold for Rafa.
I know Rafa’s passing shots are scary, but shouldn’t Feli be trying to get into the net more? I don’t think he stands a chance if he’s hugging the baseline the whole match – esp if he has a bum foot. Oh. Just as I type that, he comes in an Rafa threads the needle on a passing shot. That has to be demoralizing. Feli follows that up by hitting a forehand wide and Rafa breaks for 2-0.
Backhand boo-boo from Rafa: 15-15. Hee! Fans wearing Rafa’s shirt in the stands. Easy hold for Rafa: 3-0.
Trainer back out for Feli – working on the same foot.
And….we had to have the now customary retirement for the day, didn’t we? Feli retires and Rafa is through to the final.