IW: Bye, bye big Berd

Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

In his quarterfinal match at Indian Wells tonight, Rafa took on #25 Tomas Berdych who knocked out Verdasco in the third round. It was a close match with both guys doing their best to be aggressive and hug the baseline. There were a few momentum changes, but in the end, Rafa was just a bit too good and he’s through to the semis: 6-4, 7-6(4).


Stats:

Nadal Berdych
Statistics on Serve
Aces 3 6
Double Faults 1 3
1st Serve % 73% 57%
1st Serve Points Won 36/51 (71%) 32/47 (68%)
2nd Serve Points Won 11/19 (58%) 16/36 (44%)
Break Points Saved 5/7 (71%) 3/6 (50%)
Service Games Played 11 11
Statistics on Return
1st Return Points Won 15/47 (32%) 15/51 (29%)
Second Return Points Won 20/36 (32%) 8/19 (42%)
Break Points Won 3/6 (50%) 2/7 (29%)
Return Games Played 11 11
Statistics on Points
Total Service Points Won 47/70 (67%) 48/83 (58%)
Total Return Points Won 35/83 (42%) 23/70 (33%)
Total Points Won 82/153 (54%) 71/153 (46%)
Other Stats
Winners 26 25
Unforced errors 19 30
Net Approaches 10/14 (71%) 10/16 (63%)

As it happened blatherings:

Rafa has as much trouble with the lid on the cooler as he does putting on his shirt.

Mo in the chair!

Random chat with a friend who doesn’t like tennis (no, not the one in LA):
jesabele: who came up with hovercats?
jesabele: they…..scare me in their hypnotically hovering way
miri: they aren’t as scary as Rafa’s shorts
jesabele: perhaps
jesabele: but rafa’s shorts don’t hover
miri: Hmmm…hovering shorts. That could be a good thing
jesabele: I don’t know. those shorts are pretty scary

They are playing The Who? Random.

Berdych starting us off by serving. Oh, that was a fun point – moving each other side by side and then Rafa gets Berdy out of position and Rafa drop shots him. Next, Berdy sends a shot just wide and it’s 30-30. (I missed a point, but I think Rafa sent a ball long.) Long rally ends with Berdy sending a shot long: deuce. Rafa chips a return back down the line and Berdy nets it: break point. Rafa breaks.

Kalliopeia: my aunt and I were discussing today that it was a testament to his butt that it still looks good in those hideous shorts.

My first tournament in HD on Tennis Channel and it has to involve those shorts…

RagingBitch: Gimelstob: “If Nadal breaks here, watch him jog off to his chair” Rafa breaks, walks slowly to chair. LOL Gimel, you suck.

Berdy draws Rafa out way wide and Rafa can’t get the ball back over the net: 0-15. 0-30. Rafa moves Berdy well, comes into the net, scoops the passing attempt up off the court and volleys a winner. Nice. 15-30.

First Marc! sighting.

Rafa down 30-40. Sexy Ace!!! Deuce. High short return from Berdy and Rafa pounced on it: game point. Rafa holds for a 2-0 lead.

Kalliopeia: not too shabby so far, Rafa!
A drop shot attempt gets Rafa into a little bit of trouble – I have no idea how he got his racket on the following shot, but Berdy nets the reply: 0-15. Service winner: 15-15. Ace: 30-15. Rafa sends a shot long: 40-15. Berdych holds to get on the scoreboard.

A good length rally ends with an error from Berdy. Nice serving from Rafa: 40-0. Rafa holds with a forehand down the line: 3-1.

Rafa moving Berdy well again – finishes it off at the net: 0-30 on Berdy’s serve.

bgtennisnation: The thing I notice right away with Rafa’s string change: He’s getting 3-5mph more on his first serve & more pop on the fearhand.

TennisConnected: Nadal approaching top form in Indian Wells. Looks mighty good tonight against Berdych.

Rafa questions a call but it’s well out: 30-30. Berdy sends a shot long: 30-40. My cat is standing in front of the TV and doesn’t seem to understand why I’m pissed. Nice serve from Berdy: deuce. Deep ball to Berdy’s forehand that he can’t get back: break point. Rafa sends a service return wide: deuce. Excellent serve: game point. Berdych sends a shot long: deuce. Beautiful pass from Rafa: break point. Rafa nets what looked to be a make-able forehand: deuce. This is turning into one of those “neither player can win two points in a row” games. I’ve lost track of the number of deuces and ads. Woot! That was a fun point! They were all over the place. Deuce #7 (thanks announcer dude).

Ataraxis00: Rafa and Tomas have zero respect for my sleeping habits. On with it fellas. Win this game, someone.

Rafa is in perfect position, but nets a ball: game point. Berdy finally holds for 2-3.

Good serve, short return, angled shot draws a fluffer and Rafa smashes it at the net: 15-0. Ball tips over the net drawing Berdy in and Rafa nets the passing shot: 15-15. The grunt is back in full force. Rafa fires a 90MPH forehand winner: 30-15. Nice return from Berdy draws and error: 30-30. Berdy sends a down the line shot just wide: 40-30. Rafa holds for a 4-2 lead in the first set.

Nice rally ends with a netted ball from Rafa: 15-0. Rafa nets another one to go down 40-0. Berdy holds at love for 3-4.

Double fault from Rafa: 0-15. Rafa totally mishits a ball and sends it way wide: 0-30. Rafa…let’s not do this again, okay? Berdy mishits a return: 15-30. Another mishit from Rafa – this time mid-rally: 15-40. Good serve draws an error return: 30-40. Second serve. Berdy nets a sliced shot: deuce. Rafa sends a shot just long and looks very frustrated: break point. Loose game from Rafa and Berdy breaks: 4-4. Rafa played tentatively on that last break point.

TennisLuvah: I hope Rafa plays one of those “I can’t believe I just got broken now I’m pissed and will break you back” games.

Berdy sends a shot way wide: 0-15. Berdy sends a shot just long, challenges, but it’s long: 0-30. Another long shot: 0-40. With a fierce forehand, Rafa breaks back at love. He can serve for the set next game.

I swear, it looks like Rafa’s fighting every instinct in him and is trying to hug the baseline as much as possible.

Rafa looks burpy and coughy on the changeover. Hope he wasn’t hanging out with Robredo the other day.

nicmenezes: @nadalnews noticed that too. Looked to me like he was trying to get rid of hiccups.

Berdy manages to turn a point around, gets Rafa out of position and hits a winning volley: 0-15. Service winner: 15-15. Berdy charges the net, Rafa puts the ball at his feet and he can’t handle the low volley: 30-15. Rafa pulls Berdy out wide and then hits behind him when he tries to recover position: 40-15. Rafa takes the first set 6-4.

14 winners; 12 UFEs; 72% first serves

TennisConnected: 14 winners in the first set for Nadal is very high. Seems like he’s looking to take it to Tomas as much as possible.

bgtennisnation: @TennisConnected much more cognizant of being on the offensive, doesn’t want to get in the defensive position with Berdych

Nice constructed point from Berdy: 15-15. Rafa can’t get around the ball enough to bring a forehand down the line in: 30-15. Ace. Berdy nets an easy shot: 40-30. Berdy holds to start set 2.

Rafa runs down a lob, but can’t get to the next shot: 0-15. Service winner: 15-15. Forehand down the line winner: 30-15. Stress-free hold for Rafa.

bgtennisnation: Berdych has an aggressive style, he’s not a great mover, he’s a hitter.He likes to take control of the point whenever he can. Similar to Sod.

Rafa up on Berdy’s serve. Rafa sends a ball long: 30-30. Good shot from Berdy draws an error: 40-30. Nice forehand winner behind Berdy: deuce. Rafa hits a short angled shot that Berdy lobs back and Rafa lets go – it lands in: game point. Rafa draws Berdy in and he sends a shot long: deuce. Rafa sends a shot long and look pissed at himself: game point. This time it’s Berdy hitting behind Rafa. He holds for 2-1.

Rafa sends a shot long: 15-15. Beautiful cross-court forehand has the Nadal camp all smiley: 30-15. Berdy sends a ball long: 40-15. Angled forehand draws and error and Rafa holds: 2-2.

An attempted drop shot does Rafa in: 0-15. Rafa mishits a ball and then acts like it’s the balls fault: 30-0. Beautiful backhand down the line shot followed by a shot behind Berdy: 30-15. Fluffy return and Berdy smacks it: 40-15. Stress-free hold for Berdy.

Berdy appears to hit a ball long, but Berdy challenges and it’s good – they replay the 15-15 point. Nice passing shot from Berdy: 15-30. Berdy sends a shot wide: 30-30. Rafa runs around a backhand to hit a forehand winner: 40-30. Rafa holds for 3-3. Is the windy making a minor appearance?

Beautiful passing shot from Rafa! 0-15.

Kalliopeia: I love it when he makes that shot

Rafa smacks a forehand winner: 15-30. Beautiful dropshot gives Rafa double break point.

Kalliopeia: I love it when he does that too

Kalliopeia: god he’s picking at the front of his shorts now! Haha

Rafa breaks to go up 4-3 in the second.

0-15. Running forehand goes just out: 0-30. Berdy smacks a return winner: 0-40. Deep shot from Rafa and Berdy nets the reply: 15-40. Amazing backhand – he was falling away from the baseline and threads the needle: 30-40. Berdy breaks back: 4-4 on serve.

Rafa pushed wide and deep and can’t get the ball back in the court: 15-0. Pulled wide, Rafa sends his reply wide: 30-0. Service winner: 40-0. Berdy holds at love: 5-4. Rafa to serve to stay in the 2nd set.

Berdy nets a return: 15-0. Berdy runs Rafa, but then attempts a stupid drop shot: 30-0. Berdy nets a deep ball, hopes for an overrule via the challenge, but the ball was good: 40-0. Rafa holds at love!

Nice second serve from Berdy draws and error: 15-0. Pico watching the match. Rafa nets a ball and lets out some kind of frustrated yelp: 30-0. Berdy sends a shot long: 30-15. Service winner: 40-15. Double fault: 40-30. Rafa tries to take control of a point by running around a backhand, but the forehand isn’t good enough and he can’t recover position. Berdy holds: 6-5.

Berdy tries to slice the ball deep, but it sails long: 15-0. Fierce forehand from Rafa: 30-15. Rafa’s pulled into the net and pulls off the volley: 40-15. Rafa tees off on a forehand and…sends it into the net: 40-30. Rafa holds! To a tiebreak we go.

Good serve draws a weak return and Berdy rips a winner: 1-0, Berdy. The net cord helps Berdy get a mini-break. Berdy sends a shot long: 1-2. Excellent point from Berdy: 3-1. Berdy nets a ball and they are back on serve: 3-2 Berdy leads with Rafa to serve next two.

Berdy sends a shot long: 3-3.

Kalliopeia: Okay Rafa. I love you and all but I seriously cannot stay awake for a third set. So win this now, plz.

Fierce forehand winner from Rafa: 4-3. Rafa gets one smash back, but can’t get the second: 4-4. Berdy double faults: 5-4, Rafa in the lead. Another forehand down the line winner gets us a jumping fist pump from Rafa: 6-4. Rafa wins! 6-4, 7-6(4). Much jumping and raised fists!

72 Responses

  1. Maya says:

    Drove eight hours from northern CA Tues. to catch a total of three Rafa matches on Wed. & Thurs. Got to watch him live on court for the first time and there was so much to take in. Someone mentioned lovely, lovely, physically perfect body. Yep, better than what you see on TV. Not an ounce of body fat. Even the back end is as taught as a rubber ball. The posse is amazingly layed back. A couple of head nods and claps here and there in Rafa’s direction but most of the time it looked like a picnic at the park. Rafa’s game is jaw dropping. Some of the exchanges between he and Berdych (who seemed to be playing at a higher level than last year)looked and sounded as if they were being shot out of cannons. It was amazing. If you’ve never seen him live save your nickels and dimes and go. You won’t regret it.

  2. blueberry says:

    Right now Rafael is lost to Ljubicic!This is the moment that I can’t follow him anymore!this is to much for me as a fan!This is the last time I shall read smth. about him !I’m sorry!It was nice site,you people were great! I must find smth. to follow.’cause this hurts to much!Smth. similar happend to me long time ago with my fav basketball club and I said to myself that I want watch anything with such passion anymore!I did with Rafa again!Now it’s over!I wish him luck,I wish you guys luck!So I guess this is goodbye!Bye Rafa!I’ll be back to my books again,cause there are a nice place to be!

    • mary says:

      Sorry you feel this way. Maybe you would do better going back to your books, but hey look at what you’ll be missing out on, the most wonder fullest person in the world.

    • lurkingna says:

      Blueberry,
      Having such passion for someone or something is good even if it hurts sometimes. Rafa is my favorite sportman, of all the sports in the world, and when he lost at Roland Garros last year I got so disappointed and so sad, I was in a bad mood like for a month. But still I’m sure it was worst for him.

      He is our favorite tennis player and so we have very high expectations for him, but he’s only human, not a robot, and he can have bad moments like everyone. Sports is not an exact science (hope it’s the right expression in english) and disappointments happen and, like with many things in life, if we don’t learn to cope with the bad times then we’ll not be able to enjoy the good ones.

      It’s not being easy, but it will get better. Rafa will win and he’ll get his confidence back, and when that day comes, I can tell you I’m going to be sooooo happy!

      Whatever you do I hope you’ll get over your sadness soon. My best wishes for you.