IW: Get on board the Cuteness train

Photo by Beth Wilson

They were at it again today. Those terribly cute Spaniards and their terribly cute smiles took to the court to once again mow down a higher ranked doubles team. This time it was Aspelin and Hanley – ranked 15 and 20 respectively. It took Rafa and Marc! just 87 minutes to work their way (6-4, 6-4) into the Indian Wells doubles final where they will meet the winners of the Nestor/Zimonjic and Isner /Querrey match. Hey, remember what happened the last time they played Nestor/Zimonjic in a final? *fingers crossed*


M Lopez/R Nadal S Aspelin/P Hanley
Statistics on Serve
Aces 2 1
Double Faults 0 5
1st Serve % 63% 48%
1st Serve Points Won 24/34 (71%) 18/29 (62%)
2nd Serve Points Won 12/20 (60%) 15/32 (47%)
Break Points Saved 3/4 (75%) 3/6 (50%)
Service Games Played 10 10
Statistics on Return
1st Return Points Won 11/29 (38%) 10/34 (29%)
Second Return Points Won 17/32 (38%) 8/20 (40%)
Break Points Won 3/6 (50%) 1/4 (25%)
Return Games Played 10 10
Statistics on Points
Total Service Points Won 36/54 (67%) 33/61 (54%)
Total Return Points Won 28/61 (46%) 18/54 (33%)
Total Points Won 64/115 (56%) 51/115 (44%)

25 Responses

  1. A_Gallivant says:

    Cannot believe how well these boys are playing.

    • Nic says:

      Tell me about it! A masters doubles final?! Awesome. Wish I could see some of the action.

    • djb says:

      It would be so sweet to see Rafa lift up the singles and doubles trophy this weekend. He’s playing so smart and confidently, that I wouldn’t be surprised to see him catch fire this summer on the clay and grass.

      Vamos, Rafa! Keep up the great work!!

  2. patzin says:

    Their chances of being victorious are great! They are specialists after all, to quote Rafa. Good going guys. One more match.

  3. Manahil says:

    Great going chicos!! Be good boys and win the final too please! Btw Miri the doubles pics you took of ‘team cuteness’ are just amazing! Can you please give a link to them. Thanks in advance :)

  4. skyejaden says:


  5. Suzanne says:

    I just called The Tennis Channel and they told me that they will be televising the doubles final. The tournament director would not license them to televise anything other than the final in doubles action, but at least we’ll get the most important one!!! Rafa is the only player ever to have won both a singles and doubles Masters serious title in the same tournament in the same year. Can you imagine if he does it again? His greatness shines through!!! This is so fun, seeing him in fuego like this!!!

    • miri says:

      Thanks for checking about the broadcast! So glad we’ll have a chance to see it.

      As I said before when you made that claim, there have been two guys who’ve won the Singles and doubles title in the same year at IW alone – I didn’t check the other Masters.

      • Pheasant Plucker says:

        Wasn’t that before it became a ‘Masters’ tournament though? I thought the current tiering system was quite recent (mid 90’s-ish maybe?) So you’re both right; Rafa is the only one to manage it under the ‘Masters’ title, but it has been achieved at these tournaments before they became ‘Masters’ events. Just like Rafa and Roger are way ahead of everyone else in ‘Masters’ singles titles; it’s largely because Masters titles didn’t exist for long before Roger and Rafa began their careers.

        • miri says:

          Yeah, the term “Masters” is pretty new – it was at least around during the Agassi era since he has so darn many of them. Per their site:

          The tournament received significant national and international attention when Boris Becker won the first two events (1987 and 1988) held at the new stadium. The tournament took another crucial step forward in 1990 when the ATP, then under the leadership of Hamilton Jordan, restructured the men’s tennis circuit and designated the Newsweek Champions Cup as one of the elite events on the ATP in the category now known as the ATP Masters Series.

          So to me, Courier’s win would count since the tournament was part of the same category that was later named Master series – they just changed the name (much like they change tournament names, but people consider them to be the same tournaments). Becker’s was in 1988 – before that classification.

          I just think it inflates things to a silly point when you say, “no one’s done it” just because the name’s changed at some point when the status of the tournament on the tour is essentially the same. 250s used to be called “International Series” events and 500s were “International Series Gold), do we not count those when counting up numbers of 500s & 250s won? *confused*

          • Pheasant Plucker says:

            Agreed. I didn’t realise the restructuring happened before the name change; I’m not particularly knowledgeable on tennis history.

            That all said, it is pretty rare to take out the singles and the doubles in the mens tour, which might be due to the rarity of the top mens players actually playing doubles. Seriously, who wouldn’t put money on a Rafa/Fed or Rafa/Djoker team to take any doubles tourney they entered? (I’d include fed/Djoker in that list, but I get the feeling they might spend all their time bickering instead of playing) If Rafa pulls it off over the next couple of days (on his ‘worst surface’), I’ll be impressed. He’s got a damn goo shot of playing both finals in any case.

            • miri says:

              I wasn’t sure either until I read the tournament history page! :D

              There used to be a lot more players playing both singles and doubles, but not so much these days. It makes me sad. I remember the days of JMac ruling both singles and doubles…

    • Eliana says:

      Thanks for the info Suzanne!!! I’ll be glued to my TV for the cuteness overload. You know, even if they don’t win(anti-jinx to infinity), it’s amazing for both of them. So happyyyyyy!!!!

    • miri says:

      First, go read this comment on another article but on this topic. Then…read this on the ATP site. It’s all now clear as mud.

      The 23-year-old Nadal claimed both the singles and doubles (w/Robredo) titles two years ago in Monte Carlo, becoming just the fourth player in the history of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments to accomplish the feat.

  6. GB says:

    Team cuteness is so friggin cute!!!!

    Nice to see from this TW report that Marc!’s been getting some fan love:


    ” – As was my routine, I started the day at the practice courts. T-Rob and Marc Lopez were hitting, and a group of fans came over and asked Marc for an autograph, without paying a lick of attention to Tommy. If you want to be a celebrity, make sure you play with Rafa! Anyway, he was very kind to the fans, and shortly thereafter, Elena did the same, signing a couple of balls before her practice. She seems like such a gracious person …

    Back to T-Rob and Marc. Though I don’t speak Spanish, I figured out (or vetmama did!) that they were discussing Marc and Rafa’s doubles match yesterday. I had an LOL moment when I heard the two sneak in some English words in the conversation – at one point, T-Rob even said “chip and charge.” “

    • Atch2 says:

      As a tennis writer Peter Bodo also seems to think that some of the questions for Rafa in the presser were nonsense. Luv his observation “He looked healthy and happy, flashing that brilliant smile often”

  7. yoni says:

    I was so happy to see the scores. Too fun. What a day of tennis tomorrow.

  8. faeaki7 says:

    wow, they made light work of this one, just enough match practice for Rafa. This is great news for them and really nice for Marc. Whats more Rafa didn’t spend too long on court so he can rest, we don’t want him tired.

  9. Atch2 says:

    This is just too Coool. Rafa and Marc! in a Masters Doubles Finals!!!! Couldn’t believe my eyes when I read the result but I am so so happy for both of them. And if Rafa makes it in the singles as well, that’s just like getting a cherry on top, with sprinkles and extra hot fudge.

    Who would’ve bet on this?!

  10. CC says:


    So doubles final n/b 5pm which means midnight for me. Wonder if there’ll be a live stream online, as I can’t wait to see Nenad Zimonjic’s pissed off face when he loses again.
    BTW, Nenad is a hot name. Shame about the beard, though. ;)

    *crosses fingers thata Rafa/Marc! kick ass and that Nenad shaves the beard off*

    Oh, and the singles will be a nice warm-up for Rafa, win or lose, no?

    • An says:

      Si, nice warm up, win or lose but better warm up for the confidence iff win, No? ( how do you like my Rafenglish:) )

      A whole saturdaynight off Rafatennis ahead, wath a treath!
      Now, can i convince BF we’re staying home tonight….

      Well done team cute! Go kick Nenads A** now;)

  11. rubik says:

    miri, you’re absolutely right : “It’s all now clear as mud.”… Have a nice doubles final tonight!

  12. rubik says:

    miri, I’m very sorry for having put my comment on this matter under the wrong article. I just remembered that the lady’s name was Suzanne but could not recall under what thread you and this lady had discussed the matter. I’ll be more careful about putting a comment under the right article next time, should I have a comment to make.