Another day, another Spaniard v. Spaniard match in Paris as Rafa took on Tommy Robredo in the round of 16. While Tommy doesn’t have the showy shots that Almagro has, he’s more consistent and he appeared to have adopted Almagro’s game plan: attack the forehand. Rafa’s forehand wasn’t quite as willing to help his opponent out today as it was yesterday, however. He had better rhythm on all his shots and, importantly, his serve…until a crucial moment in the 3rd set. He didn’t let that get to him, though, and did his usual refuse to die thing. He’s through 6-3, 3-6, 7-5. He’ll play Tsonga in the next round.
|Statistics on Serve|
|1st Serve %||72%||59%|
|1st Serve Points Won||45/64 (70%)||36/49 (73%)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||16/25 (64%)||20/34 (59%)|
|Break Points Saved||4/6 (67%)||4/7 (57%)|
|Service Games Played||15||15|
|Statistics on Return|
|1st Return Points Won||13/49 (27%)||19/64 (30%)|
|Second Return Points Won||14/34 (27%)||9/25 (36%)|
|Break Points Won||3/7 (43%)||2/6 (33%)|
|Return Games Played||15||15|
|Statistics on Points|
|Total Service Points Won||61/89 (69%)||56/83 (67%)|
|Total Return Points Won||27/83 (33%)||28/89 (31%)|
|Total Points Won||88/172 (51%)||84/172 (49%)|
As it happened blatherings:
Saw Rafa’s name pop up on the live scores and hurried home for lunch so I could at least watch part of the match.
After getting down 15-30, Rafa goes on to hold to start the match.
More fluff in the scruff today. They need to work on their towel fluff in Paris.
At 30-0 on his next service game, Rafa steps in to hit an aggressive forehand and…nets it. Then Tommy tees off on a service return and it’s 30-30. Rafa holds: 2-1.
That’s two attempts to step in and hit an aggressive forehand…and two netted balls. Oh, but that was good one: 15-15. Now that? Was a backhand down the line. Oye, way to force a forehand way wide. Tommy saves a break point with a fierce shot. Beautiful wide serve followed up with a sharp volley to the other side of the court gets Tommy a game point. He holds.
Nice serve from Rafa. Going wide to pick up a shot, Rafa slips, but manages to catch himself. Tommy’s moving Rafa around well and he has a break point. Second serve. Tommy nets the return: deuce. Rafa sends a shot long: break point. Tommy nets another ball: deuce. Nice approach from Rafa and he has a game point. Ace to hold serve: 3-2.
Tommy holds at love: 3-3.
It’s always so much fun to see Rafa at the net hitting the ball behind his opponent. It makes me happy. Nice easy hold for Rafa.
15-30 on Tommy’s serve – slight opening for Rafa. Two baseliners at the net! Point ends with Rafa smacking a winner past Tommy – break point. Rafa sends a ball long: 30-40. Tommy flings a shot wide and Rafa breaks: 5-3.
Double fault. Another power-swing volley at the net gives Rafa set point. First set to Rafa in 45 minutes: 6-3. 10 winners; 11 unforced errors. Not stellar, but not yesterday either. First serve % is 63 which is much better than yesterday.
Beauty of a forehand down the line from Rafa to get to 30-30 on Tommy’s serve. Sends a forehand barely long to give Tommy a game point. Service winner from Tommy to take the opening game of the second set.
Tommy runs Rafa until Rafa nets a forehand. Tommy sends a return long: 15-15. Ditto: 30-15. I miss a few points…Tommy wrong-foots Rafa for 40-30. Nice serve/forehand combo from Rafa gives him the hold: 1-1.
How the hell did Rafa get to two of those balls???? Vintage stuff from him. Tommy sends a shot long and is down 0-30 on his serve. Rafa nets a ball: 15-30. Tommy works himself back to game point and he holds.
And…I have to go back to work. :(
Okay, wait. In the few minutes it took me to get back to work Tommy broke? WFT!? Rafa’s suddenly down 5-2 in the second set.
Rafa holds; Robredo serving for the set. Three set points for Tommy. Second set to Robredo: 6-3. Third set to decide it.
Horrible, horrible double fault from Rafa to give Tommy the break. He can serve for the match next.
Tommy chokes; Rafa breaks. Rafa holds….and then breaks Tommy. The end.