Rhythm regained

Rhythm regained

Photo by REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen

Photo by REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen

For his quarterfinal match in the Paris Masters, Rafa took on world #9 and local favorite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. While their head-to-head favored Rafa, the match most people remember between these two is the beat down Tsonga gave Rafa in the 2008 Australian. But, given Rafa’s recent form, most Rafa fans were nervous about this one. Well, guess what: Rafa showed us all. His serve was on; his groundstrokes were on; his volleys were on. He’s through to meet Djokovic in the semis: 7-5, 7-5.

Stats:

Nadal Tsonga
Statistics on Serve
Aces 7 10
Double Faults 0 5
1st Serve % 73% 64%
1st Serve Points Won 39/54 (72%) 39/50 (78%)
2nd Serve Points Won 15/20 (75%) 10/28 (36%)
Break Points Saved 6/6 (100%) 4/6 (67%)
Service Games Played 12 12
Statistics on Return
1st Return Points Won 11/50 (22%) 15/54 (28%)
Second Return Points Won 18/28 (22%) 5/20 (25%)
Break Points Won 2/6 (33%) 0/6 (%)
Return Games Played 12 12
Statistics on Points
Total Service Points Won 54/74 (73%) 49/78 (63%)
Total Return Points Won 29/78 (37%) 20/74 (27%)
Total Points Won 83/152 (55%) 69/152 (45%)

As it happened blatherings:

At work, so not much in the way of play-by-play today. I can’t watch the match, only listen to it.

Players taking the court. Interesting, Rafa came out first.

Rafa will receive to start the match.

45 second first game? Oye.

Break point for Tsonga. Ace! A beauty down the middle. (Yes, I snuck a look at the match. It’s going to be impossible not to, I think.) Another break point. Rafa holds.

In the 5th game, Tsonga has triple break point, but Rafa fights his way back to deuce. 90% first serve percentage? I’m liking that. Rafa goes on to hold.

Tsonga once again holds in record time: 3-4.

Break point for Rafa. He misses a volley, but was playing aggressive, so I count that as a good miss. Deuce. Tsonga holds for 4-5.

Rafa holds. Serving when down in the set (but on serve) makes me nervous! 5-5

Third time’s a charm – Rafa breaks on this third break point of the set. He leads 6-5 and can serve the set out.

First set to Rafa. 14 winners/5 UEs. Nice. 5 of 6 net approaches. More nice.

Ataraxis00: I have no idea what he was doing in his first two matches, especially the first but his form is 100% better today.

Rafa has a break point, but Tsonga holds to start set 2.

*doing actual work for a while sorry*

Tight game, but Tsonga holds for 5-4. Rafa to serve to stay in the set. Nice easy hold for Rafa: 5-5.

Rafa breaks! He can serve for the set next. And he does. Nice showing today.

71 Responses

  1. emir says:

    as i said before strange things happen in life after almagro and robredo rafa and we fans somekind of a NOTHING TO LOSE feeling…and those matches were ugly but once they finished in rafas favaour i have that feeling that IT CAN WORK TO HIS ADVANTAGE….it did but now we start again expections after this kind of a match WHICH WAS VERY GOOD I HAVE TO SAY is high again…i hope it wont work against him…well IT CERTAINLY WORK AGAINST ME because i really want to see him BADLY NOW that makes me worried i have no nothing to lose feeling anymore WE HAVE SOMETHING TO LOSE….

    • An says:

      Emir,

      Try nog to worry and be happy!
      Its a joy to have Rafa, and i said it before and gonna say it again…. I’am pretty sure we aint seen the best off him jet!

      There will be matches when he plays not that good, thats normal and ok, the next match can only be better then! And its ok for us to feel a little dissapointed in the way he played when that happens but
      nothing and nobody has to change that you love him if you won’t let it….. Always remember he’s Rafa, he is Nadal!

  2. mary says:

    I wrote this on facebook & thought I’d add it here:-
    “Go mi amigo. Rafa you are so close now. Yep if Rafa can take this tourney & I know Fed head is not playing as good as he usually does. His forehand is failing him (great). Rafa has every opportunity to take the number one spot again by the end of the year. I have a gut feeling Rafa might just be gearing to do this. I think sometimes we forget he is a smart cookie along with his entourage who we know have the smarts. They have done the maths. And as much as I hate to say this Rafa seems to do things dramatically. He always seems to do things by the seat of his pants ( and what a nice seat is that). Haven’t you noticed that!!!! So he may not have planned it this way (god hope not), but he is gonna give it his best. To lose & then regain his numero uno spot in the same year, I think another record. Also it will spell the end for Fed, yipeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee !!!!!
    Yeah Rafa smash Nole completely. Pulverise him!!!!!

  3. Delta says:

    Emir, yes the phrase “stranger things have happened” was proved today, and NN fans “no doopts” Rafa has found his colm with his play @ level of confidence. He has nothing to lose, has already gained points against Fed and has great record vs. Nole. Nole had a test 2day w/Sod, so if anything he’s seeing Rafa back in all his glory! Positive acktitude! Looking back, reminds us we have sooooo much to look forward too! “2 great players and Rafa is hungry and looking more like “Rafa of 08′” to a much better degree then other Master Serious 1000, almost like this is a Slam! Wants to redeem himself in Paris where he is much beloved (minus the hick-up @ RG.) e.g. due to injury not many were privy to. Adorable Rafel, has it going on! @ on @ on…… ? ;-left to imagination, no?

  4. CC says:

    That was such a treat to watch, Rafa was awesome!

    VAMOS!!!