It was do or die tonight for Rafa in London as he took on Davydenko in his second WTF round robin match. The first set was painful, let’s not talk about it. Much like his first match, Rafa looked tentative. Oh wait, we aren’t talking about it. There was a bit of fire in the second set and Rafa forced it to a tiebreaker, but he will not make it to the semis as he is the only player to lose two round robin matches in straight sets: 1-6, 6-7(4).
|Statistics on Serve|
|1st Serve %||60%||50%|
|1st Serve Points Won||21/35 (60%)||27/35 (77%)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||10/23 (43%)||16/35 (46%)|
|Break Points Saved||5/9 (56%)||4/6 (67%)|
|Service Games Played||9||10|
|Statistics on Return|
|1st Return Points Won||8/35 (23%)||14/35 (40%)|
|Second Return Points Won||19/35 (23%)||13/23 (57%)|
|Break Points Won||2/6 (33%)||4/9 (44%)|
|Return Games Played||10||9|
|Statistics on Points|
|Total Service Points Won||31/58 (53%)||43/70 (61%)|
|Total Return Points Won||27/70 (39%)||27/58 (47%)|
|Total Points Won||58/128 (45%)||70/128 (55%)|
|Net Approaches||2/6 (33%)||14/16 (88%)|
As it happened blatherings:
Carlos Bernardes in the chair again. Rafa wins the toss and will receive.
Davydenko starts things off with an ace. Rafa trying to move Davydenko side-to-side right from the start. Rafa pounces on a short ball, but flings his shot pretty far wide: 30-15. Cross-court backhand winner followed by a nose-crinkling snort: 40-30. Double fault: deuce. Service winner: Ad Davydenko. Rafa nets a forehand and it’s 0-1.
Rafa serves, runs around a backhand and then can’t get to the next ball that Davydenko hits wide to Rafa’s forehand. Rafa slips a bit trying to stop after attempting to track it down: 0-15. Another good length rally with Rafa mainly on his heels ends with him sending a ball long: 0-30. Beautiful angle from Davydenko just barely wide: 15-30. Ace! 30-30. Second serve. This time, the beautifully angled backhand from Davydenko drops in: 30-40. Second serve. The net cord drops the ball back onto Rafa’s side of the court and Davydenko breaks.
Davydenko already angling winners at will: 30-0. Error from him: 30-15. Rafa’s top spin shots landing at the back of the service box – only the slice is going deeper, but just barely. Davydenko holds.
Fierce forehand from Rafa that Davydenko can’t get back: 30-0. Ooh. Make that two of those: 40-0. Rafa holds at love: 1-3.
Davydenko sends a shot well wide: 0-15. Rafa loops a defensive shot just long: 15-15. Ace: 30-15. Davydenko nets a ball: 30-30. Rafa runs down a drop shot, but is a bit too late to do much of anything with it: 40-30. Another drop shot and Davydenko holds.
After running Rafa from side-to-side again, an angled forehand winner from Davydenko: 0-15. Double fault: 0-30. Davydenko rips a second serve return: 0-40. Davydenko’s won every second serve point from Rafa. Second serve. Ripped winner from Davydenko: 1-5.
Davydenko holds at love. Just took him 27 minutes to win that set.
Rafa slices a ball long. Looks like he wants to toss his cookies too. 15-15. Wide shot from Davydenko draws a forehand error from Rafa: 15-30. Davydenko sends a shot long: 30-30. Second serve. Davydenko pulls Rafa wide to his forehand then sends the ball back wide to Rafa’s backhand: 30-40. Aggressive serve draws a pop-up return that Rafa smashes from the net: deuce. Another good serve and Davydenko sends the return out wide. Second serve. Rafa holds.
Rafa nets a ball: 15-0. Second serve from Davydenko. Davydenko angles a shot just wide: 15-15. Rafa tries to step up and hits a return early, but he sends his shot just out: 30-15. Second serve. He sends a forehand way wide: 40-15. Davydenko holds: 1-1.
Davydenko sends a ball long: 15-0. Rafa sends a shot way, way out: 15-15. Good length from Davydenko draws an error from Rafa: 30-30. Rafa sends a shot just long: 30-40. Davydenko sends a shot out: deuce. Second serve. Another series of good angles from Davydenko it’s break point again. Rafa paints a line with a forehand down the line while I have a minor coronary and it’s deuce. Whew. Rafa holds: 2-1.
Rafa works his way to 30-40 after being down 0-40, but he sends a second serve return long and Davydenko holds.
Davydenko blasts a passing shot by Rafa: 0-15. Davydenko’s angles are pure evil if you are on the other side of the net. 0-30 Davydenko sends a shot wide: 15-30. Rafa sends a deep shot long and then has a terse looking conversation with himself and Toni. Break point. Deep strong shots from Rafa and this time Davydenko errs: 30-40. Ace? Nope…let. Dang. Service winner! Nice. Deuce. Deep angled shot that Rafa can’t get to: break point again. Second serve. Rafa sends a shot long and is broken: 2-3.
Davydenko misses a backhand: 15-30. Second serve. Double fault. Double break point for Rafa. Another good, deep shot wide to Rafa’s backhand draws an error: 30-40. Again, Davydenko moves Rafa around: deuce. Davydenko sends a shot long: break point #3. Rafa sends a return wide, but challenges the call and yes, the ball is way out: deuce. Ace. Second serve. The net reaches up, grabs Rafa’s shot and sends it wide. Davydenko holds.
Rafa holds at love.
AC/DC? Seriously? AC/DC?
Davydenko nets a shot: 0-15. Now that’s a freaking return of serve! Beauty down the line: 0-30. In the middle of a long-ish rally, Rafa totally shanks a ball: 15-30. He then slices a return long: 30-30. Long rally that has them both running until Rafa steps into a backhand cross-court that Davydenko can’t handle: 30-40. Deep shot from Davydenko draws an error from Rafa: deuce. Aggressive return draws an error from Davydenko: break point. Second serve. Davydenko sends a shot long and Rafa breaks! Huge Vamos! On serve: 4-4.
Rafa’s looking stronger – his body language is picking up a bit. Oh boy is it picking up. He holds at love. I think there were at least 3 Vamoses in that last game. Vamoses? Vamosi?
Not to be greedy or anything, but a break now would be perfect.
Davydenko at the net andn Rafa gets a ball just over him: 0-15. Deep shot from Davydenko that draws and error and Rafa bops himself in the head. Good serve and a ball returned wide: 30-15. An amazing angle with great speed from Davydenko: 40-15. Davydenko nets a ball: 40-30. Davydenko hits behind Rafa and he holds: 5-5.
Second serve. More deep angles draw an eventual error from Rafa: 0-15. Second serve. Double fault: 0-30. Smash winner: 15-30. Davydenko rips a return and Rafa nets a ball: 15-40. Second serve. Davydenko breaks. He leads 6-5.
An ace from Davydenko was overruled by a Rafa challenge and he goes on to win the point: 15-30. I likes me that shot! 30-30 thanks to a wonderful forehand down the line. Rafa breaks! To a tie break we go.
Davydenko hits a short angle that Rafa can’t track down and gets the mini-break. Second serve from Davydenko. Double fault! Davydenko sends a shot wide – mini-break to Rafa. Net cord grabs one of Rafa’s shots: 2-2. Davydenko sends a shot wide: 3-2. Second serve from Davydenko. Holy crap what a point. Each player trying to angle the other out of the stadium, overheads…everything. Davydenko wins the point: 3-3.
Rafa just misses a shot – error drawn by another Davydangle: 3-4. Second serve from Rafa. Rafa runs and runs, but eventually can’t get to the shot: 3-5. Very long rally ends in an error from Davydenko: 4-5. Davydenko can serve it out.
Second serve – Rafa sends his return long…but did he? Call is overturned on a challenge. Service winner: 4-6 and double match point. Davydenko wins.