IW: Team Cuteness reign supreme

Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

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
Aces 3 4
Double Faults 0 3
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
miri: heh
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!

56 Responses

  1. (See? I didn’t even mention that obvious and long underwear/junk adjustment Rafa did in that last game. Nope, not me.) Yeah, but we were all thinking it when we saw it weren’t we? WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!

  2. Suzanne says:

    Oh I’d like the dickins hugged out of me…lucky Marc!!!

  3. faeaki7 says:

    Hey but isn’t Tomeu cute too? what happenend to the Djokovic match up for doubles, obviously a change of heart and Novak has been really knackered of late.

    • nic says:

      yeah tomeu’s pretty darn cute too. didn’t you see him in rafa’s box earlier in the week, wearing those cool aviator sunnies? :) have no idea how good a doubles player he is, but he must be of some quality for rafa to enter into miami with him. and it’s pretty nice that rafa is doing this with his friends, who themselves help him out so much. marc got to get a bundle of prize money for the masters win. fantastic for the little fella :D

      • GB says:

        Some snippets of Rafa-Tomeu dubs:

        Match point in the Chennai 2007 semis:http://tinyurl.com/yknzkre

        Adorable interview with Rafa, with poor Tomeu being basically ignored (after they won the Chennai semi). Rafa says they won the World Cup with Spain when they were juniors:


        Tomeu is cute! Rafa and assorted friends make adorbs teams!

  4. Rafafan says:

    Funny when you keep looking at the vids there is always something new to see. Anyone notice that our boy Rafa is not wearing any sweat bands? That’s first. He obviously doesn’t do enough of the work out when he is absolutely pouring down with sweat – just a gentle work out yeah? Never noticed before. Andy can anyone provide the link to the wonderus junk adjustment in both Isner, Luby and Berdy match – pretty pleaaaaaaaaaase x

    • Eliana says:

      LOLLL! I watched it tonight in an encore presentation of the final match on The Tennis Channel. Our boy has got to change that underwear!!!! He kept digging into the elastic and I kept laughing my ass off!