Today’s round of 16 matchup between Rafa and Isner was their first, and it had many Rafa fans a little bit nervous. Isner’s been playing with confidence and is a member of the freaky-tall family who scoffs at high bouncing top-spin shots. Rafa played a pretty darn perfect first set: breaking in the 11th game and taking it 7-5. One horridly loose game cost him the second set. The third set felt tight until Rafa broke in the 4th game. Isner looked deflated and his game followed. Rafa’s through to the quarters: 7-5, 3-6, 6-3.
|Statistics on Serve|
|1st Serve %||60%||66%|
|1st Serve Points Won||37/44 (84%)||51/69 (74%)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||21/29 (72%)||16/36 (44%)|
|Break Points Saved||0/1 (0%)||7/9 (78%)|
|Service Games Played||15||15|
|Statistics on Return|
|1st Return Points Won||18/69 (26%)||7/44 (16%)|
|Second Return Points Won||20/36 (26%)||8/29 (28%)|
|Break Points Won||2/9 (22%)||1/1 (100%)|
|Return Games Played||15||15|
|Statistics on Points|
|Total Service Points Won||58/73 (79%)||67/105 (64%)|
|Total Return Points Won||38/105 (36%)||15/73 (21%)|
|Total Points Won||96/178 (54%)||82/178 (46%)|
|Net Approaches||1/1 (100%)||12/22 (55%)|
As it happened blatherings:
They are playing “Tide is High” by Blondie during the warm up. “They tide is high but I’m holding on . I’m going to be your number 1.” I likes the sound of that.
Isner serving to start things off. (I’m working – albeit from home – so there might not be as many updates as usual.) Easy hold from Isner.
Steady hold from Rafa. Isner holds with the usual excellent serving: 1-2. Rafa standing closer to baseline to make his returns.
Love hold for Rafa: 2-2.
Rafa standing further back on the second serve and that seems to work for him, but he’s not getting a lot of second serves. Another nice hold from Isner: 2-3.
Rafa moving Isner well: 15-0. The net cord shows Isner some love: 15-15. Rafa holds.
Rafa hits behind Isner to tie things up 30-all on Isner’s next service game – we get a “Vamos!” Isner follows that up with a scary ace: 40-30. Isner nets a ball: deuce. Isner goes on to hold: 3-4.
Two errors from Isner and Rafa’s up 30-0. Nice point from Isner draws an error from Rafa: 30-15. Isner totally flat-footed on a body serve: 40-15. Rafa moves Isner side to side on the next point and it’s 4-4.
Rafa miss-hits a second serve return that’s almost over his head: 0-30. Pushed wide, he nets a ball: 0-40. Serve and volley from Isner and he holds at love. Rafa to serve to stay in the set.
Rafa holds at love: 5-5. The inevitable tie-break looking more inevitable.
Holy crap – that landed in? 30-30… Rafa puts a return right at Isner’s feet and he can’t handle it – break point. Rafa passes Isner and breaks! He’s up 6-5 and can serve the set out next game.
Isner sends 2 shots long, breaks a string and tosses his racket. Ace? Nope – challenge shows it’s wide. Isner’s reply goes wide and Rafa takes the first set: 7-5.
9 winners; 0 UFEs and 93% first serve points won. Let’s hope the second set is as clean.
Isner starting the second set serving. He nets a ball: 0-15. Again, Rafa moves Isner well: 0-30. Well constructed point from Isner: 15-30. Rafa gets the ball down at Isner’s feet: 15-40. Another good point from Isner: 30-40. And another – well constructed and good, safe shot selection: deuce. Ace for game point. Isner sends a shot barely wide: deuce. Game point Isner. Despite break points against, Isner holds to start set 2.
Rafa holds at love: 1-1.
Easy hold for Isner this time – he leads 2-1, on serve.
Again, Rafa moves Isner well and then steps it up with a forehand winner: 15-0. Double fault from Rafa. Erm…another double fault. *raises eyebrow at Rafa* Isner tees off on a forehand and he has double break point. Rafa nets a ball and is broken. Isner up 3-1.
Rafa really needs to stop getting bored during his second sets.
Nice side-spinning volley from Isner: 15-15. Ace. Service winner: 40-15. Isner can’t handle a kind of low volley: 40-30. Isner holds to consolidate his break. He’s up 4-1.
Isner took a pill during the change over and was intensely toweling down (massaging?) his right calf.
30-30 on Rafa’s serve game. Second serve. Isner sends a ball long: 40-30. Rafa holds for 2-4.
The net cord shows Rafa some intense love and allows a ball to just bounce over: 15-15. Isner flubs a short-ish ball: 15-30. Rafa challenges and ace call, but it was good: 30-30. Rafa miss-hits a return: 40-30. Rafa tracks down a ball, it’s called out as he hits a winner, the chair overrules and they’ll replay the point. Rafa not happy. Smart serve and second shot from Isner, he holds for 5-2.
Time is called, but Rafa’s busy re-tying his shoes. Rafa sends a ball long: 0-15. Must win game for Rafa. Isner sends a shot long: 15-15. Again – a “vamos” from Rafa: 30-15. Second serve. Another long shot from Isner: 40-15. Second serve. Double fault: 40-30. Rafa nets a ball: deuce. Isner sends a ball long: game point. Second serve. Rafa holds for 3-5. Isner can take the second set his next service game.
At 15-15, Rafa can’t get a return back: 30-15. Nice serve and volley from Isner: 40-15. Isner serves an ace to take set 2: 6-3.
Only 6 winners and 8 UFEs that set. Step it up, Rafa.
Trainer out working on Isner’s right hand.
Isner has control of a point, but nets a forehand: 15-0. Nice wide serve from Rafa and a “vamos” to go with it: 30-0. Rafa holds at love to start off the 3rd set.
Blistering forehand from Isner: 15-0. Beautiful angle from Rafa: 30-15. Isner nets a ball: 30-30. Rafa mishits a return: 40-30. Beautifully angled forehand from Isner and he holds for 1-1.
Isner held despite getting no first serves in that game. I don’t like that.
Rafa holds at love. That? I like.
Isner nets a shot: 15-15. Pass from Rafa draws a poor volley from Isner – Rafa tracks it down for a winner: 15-30. Second serve. Rafa hits a fluffy return, but Isner bashes it into the net: 15-40. Isner moves Rafa well and Rafa sends a shot long: 30-40. Fierce forehand brings it back to deuce. Isner hesitates at net and hits the ball into it: break point. Rafa breaks! He goes up 3-1 in the third.
Isner sends a shot barely long: 15-0. Freddy Couples in the stands watching. Rafa sails a slice: 15-15. Isner ends a rally by hitting a ball long: 30-15. Beautiful forehand and a “Vamos!” – 40-15. Rafa holds for a 4-1 lead in the third.
Rafa sends a ball way long: 15-0. Isner gets to 40-15, but sends a ball long: 40-30. Another wide and it’s deuce. Rafa sends a shot long: game point. Holy crap that was a lovely return from Rafa: deuce. Next return goes long: game point. Rafa’s looping return barely lands in, but Isner can’t quite handle it: deuce. Ace. Double fault from Isner: deuce. Isner sends a shot long: break point. Beautiful volley from Isner saves the break point. Isner nets a ball: break point. Saved that one with another excellent serve/volley combo. Isner sends a shot wide: break point. Rafa nets a returnable second serve: deuce. Service winner: game point. Isner aces to hold the longest game of the match. He’s down 2-4 in the third.
Isner sends a backhand into the cheap seats: 15-0. Rafa mishits a forehand: 15-15. A “Vamos!” from Rafa as he goes up 30-15. Lovely forehand redirected down the line gets Rafa a game point. Rafa holds. He leads 5-2. Isner to serve to stay in the match.
Oh, that was sweet. Rafa up on Isner’s serve. Rafa sends a ball long and looks ticked: 15-30. Excellent serve from Isner: 30-30. Ace: 40-30. Isner holds for 3-5. Rafa has a chance to serve the match out.
Isner nets a ball: 15-0. Beautiful passing shot from Rafa: 30-0. Fantastic forehand from Isner: 30-15. Isner sends a shot long: match point for Rafa. Second serve. Rafa wins! 7-5, 3-6, 6-3.