Today’s Monte-Carlo final was an all Spanish affair as Rafa took on #12 Fernando Verdasco. Both players were trying to do something for the first time: Rafa would become the first player in the open era to ever win a tournament 6 times in a row; Verdasco was trying to beat Rafa for the first time ever and win his first Master Serious title. After Verdasco’s trouncing of Djokovic yesterday, we were all expecting a tough match today, but it wasn’t to be. Be it Verdasco’s nerves (including his troublesome sciatic one) or just the awesomeness that is Rafa on clay, the match had a blow-out score line: 6-0, 6-1. Verdasco wasn’t playing horribly, but Rafa was just that much better. He’s made history.
|Statistics on Serve|
|1st Serve %||69%||58%|
|1st Serve Points Won||20/31 (65%)||12/31 (39%)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||9/14 (64%)||7/22 (32%)|
|Break Points Saved||5/5 (100%)||8/14 (57%)|
|Service Games Played||6||7|
|Statistics on Return|
|1st Return Points Won||19/31 (61%)||11/31 (35%)|
|Second Return Points Won||15/22 (61%)||5/14 (36%)|
|Break Points Won||6/14 (43%)||0/5 (%)|
|Return Games Played||7||6|
|Statistics on Points|
|Total Service Points Won||29/45 (64%)||19/53 (36%)|
|Total Return Points Won||34/53 (64%)||16/45 (36%)|
|Total Points Won||63/98 (64%)||35/98 (36%)|
|Net Approaches||7/9 (78%)||2/9 (22%)|
As it happened blatherings:
Players on the court for a little ceremony. Rafa trying very hard to stand still during it.
Rafa’s out first as Nando makes him wait for a change. Rafa wins the toss and elects to receive.
Nando tries to tee off on a forehand, but nets it: 0-15. Again, but this time he sends the ball wide: 0-30. He hits another ball well wide: 0-40. Make that 4. Nando is broken in the first game.
Nando nets another ball: 15-0. Rafa hits a ball deep and draws another error: 30-0. Rafa sends a ball just long: 30-15. Ace: 40-15. Nando hits a good deep ball drawing a sitter of a reply from Rafa. He paints a line for a winner: 40-30. He repeats that pattern – Rafa’s reply was better, but he still hits a forehand down the line winner: deuce. Beautiful angled backhand winner from Rafa: game point. How the hell did Rafa win that point??? He should have been completely out of it and flicks a winner cross-court. He holds: 2-0.
RD_Tennistalk: holy good lord. that is all.
Rafa runs down a dropper and hits it down the line for a winner: 0-15. Nando nets a ball: 0-30. Fantastic backhand down the line winner: 0-40. Beautiful cross-court forehand winner from Nando gives him his first point won on serve: 15-40. This time it’s a backhand winner: 30-40. Another good point from Nando and it’s deuce. Nando nets a ball: break point #4. Lather, rinse, repeat and Rafa breaks for a 3-0 lead.
Nando sends a ball long: 15-0. Beauty of a drop shot from Rafa: 30-0. Nice deep shot from Nando draws an error: 30-15. Rafa sends a shot just long: 30-30. Nando sends a service return out: 40-30. Rafa can’t’ get a first serve in this game and yet he holds for 4-0.
kefuoe: Commentators are discussing Nadal’s “court craft”. I often feel like that’s an under-appreciated part of his game.
Rafa pushes Nando deep and wide and draws an error: 0-15. Nando nets a ball: 0-30. Nando smacks a fierce forehand winner: 15-30. Rafa can’t get a return back: 30-30. Lovely down the line forehand from Rafa: 30-40. Rafa breaks again: 5-0.
Trainer out for Nando. Looks like they are trying to loosen up his neck.
Kalliopeia: I want to go down and make some french toast but I fear if I do this match will be over by the time I come back.
Nando drop shots and sets up his shot, but sends it long: 15-0. Double fault from Rafa: 15-15. Rafa hits to Nando’s backhand a few times and then hits a forehand winner to the forehand side: 30-15. Beautiful short angled forehand from Rafa followed by a smashed overhead winner: 40-15. Rafa sends a shot just out: 40-30. First set to Rafa: 6-0. 35 minutes; 9 winners; 5 UFEs; 70% first serves in.
Backhand winner from Nando: 30-0. Nando nets a ball: 30-15. Nando tees off on a forehand, but sends it just wide: 30-30. Sends a backhand wide: 30-40. Pushed wide, Rafa misses a forehand: deuce. Another shot goes out: break point. Ace: deuce. The net cord shows Nando some love, but he fluffs the follow-up shot: break point. Beauty of a shot from Nando: deuce. Service winner: game point. With an ace, Nando holds to get on the score board: 1-0.
Excellent forehand from Nando to take control of a point, but he nets a drop shot attempt: 15-0. Beauty of a forehand return of serve from Nando: 15-15. Pushed wide, Nando sends a ball out: 30-15. Service winner: 40-15. Fierce forehand from Rafa and he holds: 1-1.
Rafa pushes a ball just wide: 15-0. Nando tries to tee-off on a forehand and nets it: 15-15. Nando bullies a point with some excellent forehands and follows that up with a drop shot. Rafa tracks it down, but can’t quite get the reply in: 30-15. Rafa nets a ball: 40-15. Double fault: 40-30. Another: deuce. Excellent serve that Rafa barely gets back, but Nando nets the ball: break point. Pushed wide and deep, Rafa nets a ball: deuce. Nando’s turn to net: break point. Fierce forehand winner from Nando: deuce. Excellent point from Nando – well constructed and executed: game point. And he follows that up by netting a ball: deuce. And then sends a ball long: break point. With a brilliant passing shot, Rafa breaks for a 2-1 lead.
Trainer working on Nando again.
Ataraxis00: It’s not your day Nando, even the net cord knows this. Just go down peacefully. Be proud you made the final.
The net cord shows Rafa some love: 15-0. Rafa nets a ball: 30-15. Rafa runs around a backhand and hits a forehand well wide: 30-30. Nando tracks down a short angled ball and sends one in reply, but Rafa digs down and hits another angled shot that Nando can’t get to: 40-30. Rafa holds for 3-1.
Nando sends a backhand well out: 0-15. Double fault: 0-30. Nando nets a volley: 0-40. Nando nets another ball. He’s not moving well – neck/sciatic nerve must be really bothering him.
Ace down the middle: 15-0. Nando pushes Rafa back and Rafa can’t handle the ball: 15-15. Rafa nets a ball: 15-30. Again, Nando pushing Rafa around: 15-40. Second serve. Nando tries to play aggressively, but a super low ball from Rafa gives him trouble: 30-40. Another ball out from Nando: deuce. Short ball from Rafa and Nando pounces in it – beautiful forehand winner: deuce. Rafa serves into the middle of the doubles alley. Rafa pulls Nando wide and Nando sails the reply: deuce. What a bizarre point!! Rafa got too cute with a dropper, but stays in it with excellent defense until…well, I’m not really sure: break point. Another possibly misguided dropper, but Nando nets the reply: deuce. Rafa hits a ball just wide: break point. Second serve and Nando totally misses the return: deuce. Second serve. Long rally ends when Nando sends a ball long: game point. Time violation to Rafa. Second serve. Pushed and playing a bit more tentative, but Rafa manages to hold: 5-1.
Beauty of a point by Rafa: 15-15. Nando completely off balance: 15-30. Long shot from Nando: 15-40. And with a forehand winner, Rafa wins: 6-0, 6-1.