So. Darn. Close. But…
Rafa and #6 Davydenko played in the final of the ExxonMobil Qatar Open today. Davydenko had won the last two matches these guys played on hard court and has been in excellent form of late, so everyone was expecting a battle. The first set, however, was a blowout. Rafa was doing whatever he wanted with the ball and he took it 6-0. Things tightened up in set two – way tight. Davy took it in a tiebreak 10-8. They exchanged breaks in the third until Davy got the set winning break in the tenth game to take it 6-4.
|Statistics on Serve|
|1st Serve %||63%||74%|
|1st Serve Points Won||38/57 (67%)||45/73 (62%)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||18/34 (53%)||12/26 (46%)|
|Break Points Saved||5/8 (63%)||3/8 (38%)|
|Service Games Played||14||14|
|Statistics on Return|
|1st Return Points Won||28/73 (38%)||19/57 (33%)|
|Second Return Points Won||14/26 (38%)||16/34 (47%)|
|Break Points Won||5/8 (63%)||3/8 (38%)|
|Return Games Played||14||14|
|Statistics on Points|
|Total Service Points Won||56/91 (62%)||57/99 (58%)|
|Total Return Points Won||42/99 (42%)||35/91 (38%)|
|Total Points Won||98/190 (52%)||92/190 (48%)|
As it happened blatherings:
Why is there skiing on my stream? *grumbles until I find another stream*
RafaNadalUnoffi: Davy wins coin toss and elects to receive and whoop we’ve Mo in the umpires chair
Rafa has a chance to turn his head-to-head against Davy back to a winning one today.
Ataraxis00: The little machine that could needs to lose today – that is all. He’s taken enough scalps the last 3 months. Enough already.
Second serve from Rafa. Error from Davy: 15-0. Second serve. Nice forehand winner from midcourt from Rafa: 30-0. Second serve. Down the line forehand from Davy goes just wide: 40-0. Second serve. Rafa holds.
Kalliopeia: look at him all up on that baseline!
Davydenko pulls Rafa wide and draws an error: 15-15. And again: 30-15. Second serve. Davy sends a shot long: 30-30. Davy nets a ball: deuce. (Sorry, getting ready to run out as soon as the match is over or 11am, whichever comes first and am missing some points.) Davy sends a shot wide and Rafa has a break point. Error from Rafa saves the bp for Davy: deuce. Long rally ends with a forced error from Davy: break point 2. A beauty of a backhand cross court passing shot gives Rafa the break. He’s up 2-0.
Rafa consolidates the break by holding at love. He’s up 3-0.
Kalliopeia: GAWWD I love it when Rafa’s like this, stalking the baseline and all growly and fierce and awesome. :D :D :D
TennisLuvah: Rafa holds at love! 3-0 Popsicle Hotness FTMFW!!!
Davy double faults to deuce. Second serve. Rafa nets a ball mid-rally: ad Davy. A nice forehand down the line from Rafa draws an error from Davy: deuce. A bizarre misshit return from Rafa (hitting the net and dropping over) gives him a break point. And Rafa breaks to go up 4-0.
Kalliopeia: I can’t get over how sharp he’s looking
TennisLuvah: Ooohh and the dirrty grunts from Rafa are starting. Totally fangirling over here! XDD
kefuoe: Between the commentators and the grunting, this match sounds great!
The net cord really loves Rafa today: 15-0. Rafa in the purple; Davy in the green. How lovely. 30-0.Davy sends a shot long: 40-0. Another love hold for Rafa.
Kalliopeia: the last few times I’ve actually been able to watch a whole match he’s looked kind of uncertain and unhappy, so this is lovely
Cat’s fed, shoes tied. House alarm prepped…go Rafa, go!
Rafa moving Davy all over the court to earn a break point. Everyone ready for breakfast? Rafa serves up a bagel and takes the first set from Davydenko 6-0.
Kalliopeia: he keeps this up I’m going to have those little glowy hearts for eyes like in the cartoons
uuuuuhhhh AH! uuuuuuhh AH! uuuuuh AH!
Double fault from Rafa gives Davy double break point. Rafa pulls Davy into the net and then flicks a beauty of a down the line winner. Service winner: deuce. One short ball and Davy’s all over it – fierce down the line shot and he has another break point. Davy nets a ball after a long rally: deuce. Davy moves Rafa well, but then hits a ball just barely wide: ad Rafa. Davy bosses a point and comes into the net: deuce. Good wide serve draws an error: ad Rafa. Rafa sends a shot just long: deuce. A well constructed and executed point gives Rafa another game point. After 13 minutes, Rafa finally holds.
Davydenko gets on the score board with a well-played service game.
Rafa hits a fierce forehand from the doubles area and follows it into the net: 30-0. Service winner out wide: 40-0. Second serve. Rafa holds at love for 2-1.
Davy moves Rafa and then follows it up at the net with a nice slice volley. He holds at love: 2-2.
Second serve ace? Sexy. Marc! is mesmerized by his tournament ID. Down the line backhand passing shot from Rafa goes just wide: 15-30. Second serve. Good deep shot from Davy that Rafa can’t get back: double break point. Rafa smacks a winner from the net: 30-40. Rafa hits some so-so volleys at the net, Davy passes and breaks. Rafa lets out a few curse words (if my Spanish lip-reading is up to par).
Davy has found his wide serve and re-direction follow-up – damn difficult to defend against that. Davy holds – he leads in the second set 4-2.
I have to leave to get my hair cut (job interview on Monday and this was the only appointment I could get), so I leave you in the capable hands of Kalliopeia.
(Kalliopeia here now, I’m new at this, be gentle)
Rafa breaks back! 5-5.
Ace! Davydenko challenges, and it was JUST out. Boo.
Davydenko hits it long and Rafa is serving for 6-5. And Davydenko hits long again off a very pretty forehand from Rafa. Rafa leads 6-5. WOOO!
Davydenko holds at love. Tiebreak!
Rafa’s letting Davydenko run him around way too much. Remember that aggressive thing, Rafa! 2-1 Davydenko.
Rafa gets it back on serve, but Davydenko gets back up a minibreak 5-4. And Davydenko makes an error, back on serve 5-5.
And Rafa gets to 6-5, match point!!
Davydenko comes to the net and Rafa missed the backhand pass. 6-6.
Davydenko with a forehand winner for 7-6, but makes an error off some brutal hitting from Rafa to go to 7-7.
Davydenko nets the forehand, match point again. COME ON RAFA.
Sigh. Rafa nets a shot, 8-8. His mom is very “haha wtf?”
Nice forehand from Davydenko gives him set point. This is getting ridiculous. And set to Davydenko.
I’m stressed out after that tiebreak. I shall look up hummus recipes to calm down.
Some gorgeous shotmaking and a nice dropshot gives Rafa the break! He celebrates with some major lawnmower fistpump action! 2-1!
And promptly goes down 0-30 in his next service game, even though he seems to be in control of the rallies until the end. Service winner for 15-30, and another for 30-30. Lucky net cord sets up the win for 40-30, and a brutal forehand winner gives him an important hold.
Break point for Rafa, 15-40. I hate it when commentators say things like “Match point for Nadal, surely.” NO IT IS NOT. Davydenko holds, 3-2.
I left the room for five minutes and Rafa is broken. Back on serve 3-3.
4-4. Rafa has a pretty easy hold, with a little help from the net cord.
Davydenko gets away with a challenge he probably shouldn’t have been allowed, but it didn’t matter since Rafa’s ball was good. 15-30. Rafa’s being way too passive, though, and lets Davydenko back in. Rafa cannot afford to give Davydenko short returns, he will murder them. Davydenko manages to hold.
And Davydenko wins. Rafa must be unhappy with himself.