Team Cuteness took on the top doubles team in the world, Nestor/Zimonjic, in the Indian Wells final today. Nestor/Zimjonic might not be as cute, but half the team is hot and both members are excellent doubles players. It was a re-match of the 2009 Doha final and fans of Team Cuteness were hoping for a similar result. And…we got it! Team Cuteness win: 7-6(8), 6-3. In the process we all learned a very important lesson: do not tick Rafa off by yelling mid-point. It’ll only fire him up more.
|M Lopez/R Nadal||D Nestor/N Zimonjic|
|Statistics on Serve|
|1st Serve %||72%||60%|
|1st Serve Points Won||38/50 (76%)||32/37 (86%)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||12/19 (63%)||10/25 (40%)|
|Break Points Saved||1/2 (50%)||0/2 (0%)|
|Service Games Played||11||10|
|Statistics on Return|
|1st Return Points Won||5/37 (14%)||12/50 (24%)|
|Second Return Points Won||15/25 (14%)||7/19 (37%)|
|Break Points Won||2/2 (100%)||1/2 (50%)|
|Return Games Played||10||11|
|Statistics on Points|
|Total Service Points Won||50/69 (72%)||42/62 (68%)|
|Total Return Points Won||20/62 (32%)||19/69 (28%)|
|Total Points Won||70/131 (53%)||61/131 (47%)|
As it happened blatherings:
Heee! Lucy and I went on the Tramway they are showing on Tennis Channel. We were such stereotypical tourists. But I wanted to see snow! Bet they aren’t going to do a feature on Salvation Mountain or Bombay Beach…
Team Cuteness taking the court! Rafa doing some stretches.
Nestor/Zim win the talk and choose to receive. Interesting.
The stands are sadly empty. Man, I’d love to be there.
Fred Couples is there again – involved in a deep conversation with Roig.
Wait, I thought N/Z chose to receive…why are they serving first? *confused* N/Z hold at love.
Longish convo between Rafa/Marc! before Rafa’s serve. Good serve and mishit: 15-0. Marc! can’t get a good swipe on a reflex volley: 15-15. Marc! hits a crisp volley right at the net: 30-15. The net cord tosses Rafa’s ball long: 30-30. Yes! Marc! had to duck twice to get out of the way as Rafa fires shots from the backcourt. Ace for Rafa and they hold for 1-1.
Good serve from Nestor draws an error from Rafa: 15-0. Marc! pops a high forehand return and it goes a bit long: 30-0. Rafa rips a return and Nestor can’t get it racket on it as he’s storming the net: 30-15. Marc! lobs and it’s smashed back for a winner: 40-15. Rafa runs down a ball from all the way across the court (hey, you have a partner!) and it’s 40-30. Ace, but Marc! challenges and it is wide. Excellent forehand return down the doubles alley and Zim can’t get a racket on it: deuce. They break!
(See? I didn’t even mention that obvious and long underwear/junk adjustment Rafa did in that last game. Nope, not me.)
Zim nets a return: 15-0. Marc! hit s a ball long: 15-15. Nice forehand winner from Marc! 30-15. Hit that one late and off his back foot too. Rafa nets a reflex volley (but perhaps he should have let that go): 30-30. Zim’s return pops off the net and jumps out of the court: 40-30. Nice wide serve, but Marc! misses the follow-up forehand: deuce. Nestor to receive deciding point. Second serve. N/Z break back for 2-2.
Drop volley from Zim: 30-0. Rafa nets a ball: 40-0. Marc! hits a lob return that sets up an odd point that ends with Nestor netting a drop volley attempt. Marc! attempts to divide and conquer by firing a forehand down the middle, but Nestor returns it for a winner. They hold for 3-2.
Marc!’s already broken out a banana. Lots of talking, munching and drinking on the change-over.
Nice volley from Marc! right into Nestor’s body: 15-0. Nestor’s return goes long: 30-0. Zim tries to tee off on a serve return, but it goes just long: 40-0. Marc! moves on the return and pops off a winning volley. They hold for 3-3.
Nice winner from Rafa: 0-15. That point was ALL Marc! and he won it: 0-30. Good recovery by Marc! on a shot, but N/Z come back, send Rafa wide and then get the winner: 15-30. Service winner: 30-30. Nice drop shot from Zim: 40-30. Tight game, but N/Z hold for 4-3, on serve.
Playing Gypsy on the changeover.
Marc! mishits a ball a bit and it goes wide: 0-15. Marc! hits down the line; Marc! hits cross-court; Marc! rules the court and the point: 15-15. Excellent reflex volley at the net from Rafa: 30-15. Nestor sends a shot just wide: 40-15. Zim fires a return at Rafa and he can’t get the volley back: 40-30. Nestor and Marc! have a baseline rally duel while their partners look like puppies wanting to join in. In the end, Zim fires a winning volley: deuce. Nestor sends a shot long on the deciding point and Rafa & Marc! hold.
Service winner by Zim: 15-0. Nestor fires a shot past Marc! 30-0. Volleys everywhere and the point ends with Nestor getting the ball out of Marc!’s reach. Easy hold for N/Z. They lead 5-4. Rafa & Marc! must hold to stay in the set.
My word processor isn’t happy with all these exclamation points mid-sentence.
Nestor out prowling the baseline long before the chair calls time. Double players aren’t used to TV timed changeovers.
Long conference between Rafa and Marc! Zim sends a return way out: 15-0. Marc! totally mishits a ball and looks embarrassed at the results: 15-15. He makes up for it the next point and smacks away a winner: 30-15. Nice reaction from Marc! there: 40-15. Excellent deep return from Zim and Rafa can’t get a solid racket on it: 40-30. Zim sends a shot long and it’s 5-5.
Operation Pick on Marc! having mixed results.
Rafa sends a second serve return out: 15-0. Marc! can’t get a return back: 30-0. Service winner: 40-0. They hold at love. Another must win game for Marc! and Rafa coming up.
Marc! serving to force a tiebreak. Zim gets a good return to Marc! and he nets the ball: 0-15. Marc! rips a crosscourt winner: 15-15. Rafa wacks a winning volley at the net: 30-15. Rafa gets a reflex volley back and Zim can’t handle the ball: 40-15. They hold. Tiebreak for the first set.
Kalliopeia: They’re all going after Marc! poor Marc!
miri: of course they are
Kalliopeia: I know. But, poor Marc! :D
Kalliopeia: there’s really too much cute on my screen right now to be bearable.
miri: he’s been holding is own pretty well
Kalliopeia: yeah he’s doing okay but it’s gotta suck knowing that they’re all “there’s our weak link, get him!” ha
Zim to serve first. Rafa sends a second serve return way long: 0-1. Rafa wacks at a forehand and Nestor can’t handle the reply: 1-1. Good hands from Marc! at the net and it’s 2-1. Excellent serve from Nestor: 2-2. Marc! lines up a forehand and…nets it. Damn. 2-3. He takes in a deep breath and lets it out. He serves the next two points. Oye, N/Z get the mini break, but Nestor yelled out during the point and Rafa’s politely pissed they aren’t going to replay it.
Kalliopeia: ooh rafa arguing! “I think you are wrong.” That’s pretty harsh for him. Haha
Zim misses a high backhand volley and they are back on serve: 4-4. Excellent serve from him: 5-4. Nestor sends a return long, but challenges the call and is shown to be wrong: 5-5. Second serve. Net cord helps Team Cuteness a bit: 6-5. Nice volley from one of the guys, I’m losing track: 6-6.
Rafa tees off on a second serve return to give them a set point on their own serve: 7-6. Second serve from Marc! Rafa misses an easy volley: 7-7. Zim nets a return: 8-7. Service winner from Zim: 8-8. Second serve. Service winner from Rafa and they take the first set!!!
Kalliopeia: Rafa’s not even sweating.
miri: And that’s saying a lot given how easily he sweats.
Rafa to start off the second set by serving. Excellent cross-court forehand from Rafa and Zim blows the reply: 15-0. Sexy ace! 30-0. Zim sends a return way long: 40-0. Rafa nets an easy forehand: 40-15. Beautiful volley from Marc! They hold to start the second set.
Nestor volleys down the middle: 15-0. Marc! fires a forehand down the middle that splits the team: 15-15. Nestor nets a high backhand volley: 15-30. Marc!’s return is high and Nestor slaps a winner: 30-30. Marc! sends a ball long: 40-30. N/Z hold and we are at 1-1 in the second.
Zim’s return is long: 15-0. Marc!’s lob is short and Nestor smashes a winner: 15-30. After a fun series of volleys, Rafa fires off a winner from the baseline: 30-30. Marc! finally gets a first serve in and Zim can’t get it back: 40-30. Marc! & Rafa hold for a 2-1 lead, on serve.
Excellent angled backhand volley from Nestor: 15-0. Lob of perfection from Marc! 15-15. Marc! rips a forehand that Zim can’t get back: 15-30. Rafa fires a forehand at Zim that he can’t control: 40-15. Second serve. Nestor double faults and Rafa/Marc! break for a 3-1 lead.
Nice volley from Marc! and then Rafa fires a shot that Nestor can’t get back: 15-0. Ace! 30-0. Excellent volley from Nestor that Marc! can’t get his racket on: 30-15. Nestor can’t get a return back: 40-15. Zim flubs a volley: 4-1.
Rafa mishits a ball: 30-0. Zim sends a shot long: 30-15. They pick on Marc! again and do get an error, but after about 7 tries: 40-15. Double fault from Zim: 40-30. Excellent serve and it’s 2-4.
Zim sends his return wide: 15-0. Marc! fires a shot at Zim and he can’t handle it: 30-0. Beautiful lob by Zim lands just on the baseline: 30-15. Nice serve from Marc! and good movement from Rafa at the net: 40-15. Marc! and Rafa hold for a 5-2 lead.
Rafa runs from the changeover chair to the baseline – looks most eager.
Nestor serving to try and keep his team in the match and is doing that well: 30-0. 40-0. Nice return from Marc! 40-15. Double fault: 40-30. Excellent deep shot from Nestor that Marc! can’t handle: 5-3.
Rafa serving for the match. Shot from Zim goes long: 15-0. Nice volley from Marc! 30-0. Operation Pick on Marc! fails again: triple match point. They win!!! They are so bouncy happy!!!! Rafa slams his racket down and hugs the dickens out of Marc!