MC: Just strollin’ through

Photo by REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

Rafa took on fellow Spaniard and PlayStation buddy David Ferrer today in the first Monte-Carlo semi-final. Many of us were hoping for a good fight, but Rafa was having none of that. He looked crisper than yesterday and, try as he might, David just couldn’t put together enough good points and games to challenge him. Rafa is through to the final (6-2, 6-3) where he will take on either Djokovic or Verdasco.


Stats:

Nadal Ferrer
Statistics on Serve
Aces 2 1
Double Faults 2 2
1st Serve % 70% 60%
1st Serve Points Won 23/35 (66%) 15/29 (52%)
2nd Serve Points Won 8/15 (53%) 7/19 (37%)
Break Points Saved 2/4 (50%) 3/9 (33%)
Service Games Played 8 9
Statistics on Return
1st Return Points Won 14/29 (48%) 12/35 (34%)
Second Return Points Won 12/19 (48%) 7/15 (47%)
Break Points Won 6/9 (67%) 2/4 (50%)
Return Games Played 9 8
Statistics on Points
Total Service Points Won 31/50 (62%) 22/48 (46%)
Total Return Points Won 26/48 (54%) 19/50 (38%)
Total Points Won 57/98 (58%) 41/98 (42%)
Other Stats
Winners 14 8
Unforced errors 15 27
Net Approaches 4/9 (44%) 7/9 (78%)

As it happened blatherings:

Players making their way to the court. Is Rafa already talking to himself? Or to random people along the way?

Rafa wins the toss and elects to receive.

Yesterday, #16 ranked Ferrero. Today #17 ranked Ferrer. Let’s hope the outcome can be as similar as the opponent name/rank.

Papa and sister in the house.

Seems it’s raining a bit. Rafa and the chair talking about waiting a bit because of the rain. Rafa doesn’t seem to want to start play if they are going to have to stop soon. Chair is reluctant to stop. Okay, they are going to play.

Ferrer holds at love.

A long rally ends with a beautiful cross-court backhand winner from Rafa: 15-0. At 30-30, Rafa double faults to give Ferrer a break point. Rafa saves it : deuce. Ferrer sends a shot just long: game point. Service winner and Rafa holds.

Nice serve from Ferrer: 15-15. Rafa pulled into the net by a defensive drop shot, he drops in return, David tracks it down but nets the reply: 15-30. David sends a shot out: 15-40. David nets a drop-shot attempt and Rafa breaks for a 2-1 lead.

Nasty and Becker dining with the Prince. How, posh?

Oh, I love it when two guys who know how to play on clay play each other. Makes me so happy. Nicer when the point ends with a forehand winner from Rafa: 15-0. David sends a ball out: 30-0. Beautiful forehand cross-court winner from Rafa: 40-0. Deep shot from David draws an error: 40-15. Rafa holds for a 3-1 lead. Nice and easy hold for him.

kefuoe: I’m doing a shot of coffee for every “inch-perfect”

Backhand that David can’t quite track down: 0-30. David sends a ball wide: 0-40. Rafa sends a backhand well wide: 15-40. David sends a ball long and Rafa breaks for a 4-1 lead.

David steps up and whacks a second serve, taking control of the point: 0-15. Rafa’s shot is called long, but the chair over-rules and they will replay the point. Rafa’s shorts flapping in a slight breeze. No room I the fit of his shirt to allow for flapping. David tries to paint a line and just misses: 15-15. David brings Rafa in with a drop shot. Rafa tries an angled cross-court return and just misses: 15-30. Again David whacks a second serve and earns a break point. Both players hit all out with Rafa coming out ahead: deuce. Rafa pushes David to the backhand side and then hits a winner into the other corner: game point. Lovely lob and Rafa holds: 5-1.

Drop shot followed by a lob – Rafa can’t quite get it back: 15-0. Rafa hits a ball just wide: 30-0. The net cord shows David some love and Rafa just smiles: 40-0. David holds for 2-5.

David sends a shot long: 15-0. David tries to whack a second serve wide to Rafa’s forehand and just misses: 30-0. Another missed serve return: 40-0. David talking to himself. First set to Rafa: 6-2. 35 minutes; 54% first serves in; 8 winners; 6 UFEs.

A deep ball from David draws an error: 15-0. Fierce forehand followed by a lovely touch volley: 15-15. David nets a ball: 15-30. Rafa sends a shot well wide: 30-30. Some nice deep shots from David draw an error: 40-30. Nice hold for David.

Rafa slowly but surely takes control of a point until David can take it no more: 15-0. Ace: 30-0. David sends a ball well long: 40-0. David runs Rafa back and forth and draws an error: 40-15. Double fault: 40-30. Good first serve draws a short powerless reply that Rafa can’t get back over the net: deuce. David slips, recovers, but can’t make the shot. He beats the heck out of his shoes with his racket. Rafa holds.

kefuoe: Ferrer seems to have run miles already.

Lovely cross-court forehand winner from David: 15-15. He does the same on a short ball from Rafa: 30-15. The net cord changes sides and shows Rafa some love: 30-30. David nets a ball: 30-40. David sends a ball well out and is broken.

Kalliopeia: I love how there isn’t a headband on earth that can hold daveed’s hair.

David whacks a short ball to his forehand and Rafa nets the reply: 15-15. Rafa dances up to a short high ball and whacks a forehand winner: 30-15. Rafa sends a ball just wide: 30-30. Rafa miss-times a ball and sends it way long: 30-40. David breaks back to put things on serve: 2-2.

David moves Rafa well and sets up his shot, but then nets the ball: 0-15. Lovely serve out wide followed up for a volley into the open court: 15-15. Error from David: 15-30. David nets another ball and tosses his racket – it’s a bouncer. Nice point from David – recovering well from a net cord: 30-40. Rafa pushes David wide and then paints the line on the opposite side of the court. He breaks for a 3-2 lead.

Rafa holds at love: 4-2.

David double faults to give Rafa another break. 5-2

Kalliopeia: He looks good in blue

Kalliopeia: And he looks bulkier but I think maybe it’s just that the shirt is painted on him.

miri: it’s so very tight it can’t even begin a conversation with his ass

Kalliopeia: hahaha

Kalliopeia: it’s probably afraid of those shorts anyway. So just as well

Both players back out and ready to play before time is called. David tees off on a service return: 0-15. And…then hits one way wide: 15-15. And now one way long: 30-15. Rafa miss-times a ball: 30-30. David pulls Rafa in with a drop shot, Rafa doesn’t do much with the reply and David hits a beautiful cross-court winner: 30-40. Second serve. David sends Rafa running all over the place. He breaks – the match continues.

David sends a shot long: 0-30. David pops up a ball in defense and Rafa smacks it for a winner and double match point: 15-40. Rafa nets a service return: 30-40. Rafa is through to the final: 6-2, 6-3.

47 Responses

  1. chelez says:

    saw the whole match this time. good fight from Ferrer. the net was not so friendly today.lots of unforced error there.
    i don’t want to jinx it but i hope he can sustain his momentum for the finals.

  2. patzin says:

    Rafa looked incredibly strong and focused today. Good match for him. On to the final

  3. Stf says:

    I only got to watch half of the match but Rafa seemed alright to me. One thing I notice, on clay, he seems to be in total control even when he’s running around defending. There was not much Ferrer could do when he was getting back virtually every ball he fired across the net. Djokovic is another story, I do think he’s a very worthy opponent who can give Rafa a lot of trouble. He hasn’t been serving that well and if Rafa takes advantage of that, then I’m pretty sure he can beat him.

  4. Silhouette says:

    So happy that his semi-finals curse has come to an end. Rafa played well but still is playing short on a number of points. And he seemed a wee bit nervy when serving for the match. Hope he can stay calm tomorrow. By the way, I hope Rafa doesn’t update on his Facebook. When he updates his FB, he didn’t go on to win the tournament. In my opinion, that’s jinxing him. Though I really appreciate his updates. But I rather he continuing winning and get my Rafa updates through here. Hope he gets MC!!! vamos!!!!!

  5. arwen says:

    at last it is the title time rafa. you are strong and determined enough to do it.vamos….

  6. bardant says:

    Strange feeling the whole week, Rafa keeps on winning “easily” in two, but, there is a but (to me).

  7. djb says:

    With the exception of his last 2 service games, Rafa was spot on today. The conditions looked a bit tricky to me, but nonetheless, he did what he set out to do, and now he’s got a shot to create some impressive history and win his first title of 2010. I don’t care who his opponent is tomorrow, if he sticks to his game plan, like he did the first couple of matches, there’s no doubt in my mind we’ll be celebrating sweet victory tomorrow.

    I guess it only takes one event to get certain guys going, and in Rafa’s case, it’s Monte-Carlo. I love the atmosphere, the beautiful setting near the water, and it’s ideal for seeing some really good clay court tennis. Congratulations Rafa!!!!! Go for Number 6!!!!!!!

  8. dutchgirl says:

    Somehow I have a different feeling about this final than I did for the matches on hardcourt earlier this year. I don’t know it’s because I want Rafa to be succesfull in his first clay court tournament, or because Rafa is sending out a different attitude. Ofcourse I’m going for the latter.
    I thought he did a good job today, pushing Ferrer to make a lot of errors. I really enjoyed all the positive things the commentators said about Rafa and his game.
    And last, but not least: I liked the fact that we got to see Rafa hitting the signed balls into the crowd after the match had ended.
    I’m a happy camper!! :D

    • Atch2 says:

      Darn! They showed Rafa and the ball signing? My telecast usually switches to a commercail break so I changed channels. I edback for the start of the other semi and got to see Rafa doing autographs along the stands and then Papa Nadal and Benito meeting him at the club door.

  9. tiemyshoe says:

    Such a different, seeing Rafa play on clay. <3 Last tournie, Ferrer played him so close – here, though, the match was out of his hands.

    I liked Rafa's calm today, too, and his aggression returning serve. Also, the tightness of his shirt was spot on. ;)

    • Stf says:

      Yup, agreed. It’s not that David didn’t play well, it’s just that there was not much he could do. Some shots were just brilliant and even some short balls Rafa sent back got David into trouble. I’m glad that it’s not just me seeing that Rafa seems so much more comfortable on clay, like he is clearly dominating and there is no question about his superiority on that surface. I always got that feeling watching him so far in this tournament. I hope he doesn’t get cold feet tomorrow, Nando is no easy opponent but he’s prone to mistakes. This is the perfect opportunity for Rafa. He can certainly do it.

    • CC says:

      I really noticed Rafa’s aggression on returning serve today as well, good to see (and it makes me happy, because it means that I actually notice some tennis related things and not just the daily form of Rafa’s bottom! ;)).

      • tiemyshoe says:

        His bottom looked pretty great, too.

        … We are talking about the ‘bottom’ half of the draw, and how he played through it, right? I would never notice that his other bottom is looking majestically perky these days, per ush. ;)

        • CC says:

          I know, I AM the only totally shallow person here, noticing these things. The rest of you are of course only interested in the tennis. :D

          • an says:

            uh-huh, for sure…… NOT

          • Fay says:

            The rest of you are of course only interested in the tennis; D

            As much as I love the game, to me Rafa has made it more exciting than ever and I am very interested in Rafa’s assets, he has a physique to die for and a cracking smile to go with it, how could one not just lust after Rafa?…..he is HOT…

  10. wendya says:

    Well done Rafa, well done Nando! Just hope they don’t try and kill each other like last year at the AO semis!!

    • sia says:

      wendya .. I think it would be great to have such an exciting match again … with Rafa winning … goes without saying, ( even though I’ve said it ).
      Verdasco brings some fire power to the court. So .. I’m hoping for a smokin’ final!
      I’m thinking the view should be good.

      • sia says:

        ps : Kalliopeia was very funny today.

      • wendya says:

        Hi Sia, Yes I can’t wait either…should be a great match. I’m kinda relieved that Nole didn’t get through though, cus yesterday he played really well and was so full of confidence. It just worried me that Rafa might get injured in another dog fight between the two of them. Of course tomorrow could be just as fierce!

  11. Zooni says:

    Rafa played good today, Ferrer was no match for him. Here’s to a great (aka Rafa winning hands down) final tomorrow!

  12. Atch2 says:

    Good going Rafa. You looked great today (for the second half of the match that I watched), except maybe not at the net. And I would’ve felt better if you served out the match, but breaking Ferrer again still got the job done and maybe made Ferrer feel a bit worst for it.

    The celebratory hands in the air at the end shows he’s relieved and happy to be in the finals again. Vamos Rafa.

    Missed seeing Papa and Sister Nadal.

    Also Nando just won the other semi easily 62 62, so it’ll be an all Spanish finals. Is this the first Masters Serious finals for Nando?

    • miri says:

      Yeah, it’s Nando’s first MS 1000 final. (Today was his first semi in a Master Serious.)

      • CC says:

        Yup, and I just read on bbc.co.uk that Verdasco feels confident and feels he can be the one to break Rafa’s winning streak at MC. I feel a little bit *nervious* about tomorrow…

        • tiemyshoe says:

          I think it’ll be harder than people (certainly media people) think.

          The pros in Verdasco’s favor:
          – he’s got freedom as the underdog
          – his big lefty serve is clicking and he can try to serve Rafa very wide off the court
          – he can gain confidence that he beat the #2 player, and returned to take care of business against Montanes in the QF
          – surely has the “nobody beats Fer 10 times in a row!” motivation

          The cons:
          – Rafa rules this surface so hard and nobody knows it more than the Spaniards, who he has kept from a lot of clay titles down the years
          – first MS final pressure?
          – he totes lost his marbles against Montanes, second set
          – Djokovic beat himself during the SF. 40+ errors over 16 games is atrocious
          – I haven’t seen Fer play like he did at AO ’08, smacking winners with supreme confidence; when he does go for winners, he’s error-prone – in fact, he has Rafa-fied his forehand, adding lots of spin

          Should be interesting to see how it all plays out!

          • CC says:

            Good points.

            That Verdasco serve worries me a bit. Especially because it felt like Rafa’s serve wasn’t great today.

            I still feel *nervious*.

            Ah, well. Qué será, será… Vamos Rafa!

        • Fay says:

          Yeah me too CC, I read that too, and am feeling really worried now, its not that Rafa hasn’t got the tennis to beat Nando its just does he has the ole confidence to do it in a final, so much on the line for him and all the pressure, its going to be so so tough for him!

  13. rubik says:

    Well, it will be an all Spanish final tomorrow in MC. Verdasco just won his SF match against Djokovic in 2 sets, 6-2, 6-2.

    VAMOS, Nadal !

  14. rubik says:

    Atch 2, I had not seen your comment before I posted. I gave the same info about Verdasco’s victory against Djokovic.

    Sorry about that.

    VAMOS, Nadal !

  15. emir says:

    i am so happy now but i dont want JINX anything so,i wont make any predictions..i hope we will have party tommorow on the web..

  16. wendya says:

    Not wishing to get ahead, but the Barcelona draw is out and Rafa’s half looks good. All the awkward customers are on the opposite side of the draw! Hope I don’t jinx him by saying this! He deserves lots of luck after the crappy time he’s had recently, and the press constantly banging on about him being tileless for nearly a year. Vamos…Good luck tomorrow Rafa xx.

  17. wendya says:

    Sorry Miri! didn’t notice your earlier link. you’re too quick!

  18. aRafaelite says:

    Too overwhelmed with joy by Fernando’s shock win over Nole to make any constructive comment about Rafa’s play today, other than this: I can’t wait for tomorrow’s dream final!!! I want so badly for Rafa to win this tourney, make history, and send out a warning that reverberates through the hearts of every other player for the rest of the clay season… but it would be such a wonderful thing for Fer to win too. Whatever the outcome, I’m going to be both delighted and heartbroken! Whoever wins, I want it to be close enough that they can walk away with their heads held high. Rafa, you’re gonna have to play aggressive, and try to finish points early, because Fer can match you for stamina and shotmaking and angles. Mentally, you’re tougher though, so you definitely have the edge. Be patient but don’t be too passive. You’re ” THIS close to your sixth! VAMOS!

    • Stf says:

      As I said in another post, I think it’s not going to be about shotmaking. It’s going to be about unforced errors. Nando is prone to mistakes, if Rafa can keep his at a minimum, then I think it’s going to look really good for Rafa.

      • Ch F says:

        I think it’s going to be about nerves as well. Rafa’s play is technically fine now (with the exception of the backhand) the only problem is his lack of calm. He squandered two match points out of nerves today and he said it’s because he’s been losing in the semis lately. Imagine how much tension he’ll be feeling tomorrow. In my opinion, he either has to have such a big lead that even if he squanders one chance he can still make it, as was the case today (which may be hard if Verdasco plays like today) or keep his calm and capitalise on the few chances he’ll have. Nerves delay the title and the lack of title delays the elimination of nerves, it’s a vicious circle that has to break at some point.

  19. Louisa says:

    Did anyone see the Fer and Nole game? Happy to see Fer win but surprised by the scoreline!! Was he sensational or was Nole having a bad day?

    • Zooni says:

      Fernando was playing good tennis but Nole was just awful today. No idea what’s going on with him. :(

      • Eliana says:

        I read in the ATP site that Nole has been suffering from allergies the last weeks. Maybe that contributed to his poor game, which he accepted, saying that although Nando played well, he made too much UFE’s. Or just Nando wanted to win more!

  20. EJL says:

    definitely lots of us were expecting fight in today’s match but it didn’t come true. however tomorrow it will be inevitable no? both Rafa and Nando are highly motivated and they gonna be gunning each other so this match will certainly put lots of bums on seats :) and if rafa maintains his composure and plays his butt off “i hope we will have party tommorow on the web”..agree with u Emir ..get a grip Rafa

  21. Phyzzie says:

    I just watched Nando’s interview on TennisTV.com and he just laughed when the interviewer asked about playing Rafa. He said Rafa is the best and a very special player and to just play him in the finals will be special for him, Nando. Doesn’t sound as if even he expects to win! But I honestly think Rafa is ready and really wants this historic win. Hopefully Xisca is helping to keep his calm……

    • aRafaelite says:

      Yeah, his comments about Rafa made me laugh! From the point of view of a big fan of both of them, I think that’s the best possible attitude Fer can have coming into this match. If he plays like he has nothing to lose and keeps his head it could be really competitive. If he lets the nerves get to him, then it’ll be a pretty easy win for Rafa. I’m looking forward to a shit fight though, and preparing for a few wobbles on both sides, maybe even a few wasted MPs. I hope it goes the distance, it will be good for both of them. Rafa in 3!

  22. marisa says:

    after watching the match again, i noticed how focused and serious Rafa looks compared to Indian Wells & Miami. there aren’t many “vamos” or fist pumps. i can tell that he really wants this one. he’s ready to reign again which is exciting.

  23. Fay says:

    Oh well I am just gonna keep my fingers crossed* I won’t get to see the match tommorow, family committments! and my t.v satelite is off till next week, so I will catch up tommorow, gonna be nervous all day I shan’t eat! Oh the bains of being a Rafa fan!…