Rafa kicked off his Rome title defense by taking on #29 Kohlschreiber who scored a big upset in Monte-Carlo when he took out Murray, but that wasn’t going to happen today, right? Right. Rafa roared through the first set taking it 6-1. Kohlschreiber started getting his game under control a bit in the second set, though. Each player held until Rafa broke in the 7th game. That’s all it took. Rafa through to the next round: 6-1, 6-3.
|Statistics on Serve|
|1st Serve %||69%||58%|
|1st Serve Points Won||23/29 (79%)||16/28 (57%)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||10/13 (77%)||9/20 (45%)|
|Break Points Saved||1/1 (100%)||2/6 (33%)|
|Service Games Played||8||8|
|Statistics on Return|
|1st Return Points Won||12/28 (43%)||6/29 (21%)|
|Second Return Points Won||11/20 (43%)||3/13 (23%)|
|Break Points Won||4/6 (67%)||0/1 (%)|
|Return Games Played||8||8|
|Statistics on Points|
|Total Service Points Won||33/42 (79%)||25/48 (52%)|
|Total Return Points Won||23/48 (48%)||9/42 (21%)|
|Total Points Won||56/90 (62%)||34/90 (38%)|
|Net Approaches||2/6 (33%)||7/10 (70%)|
As it happened blatherings:
I had the most bizarre dream last night/this morning. I kept waking up all night wondering what time it was, so it was one of those “twilight” dreams you have when you are in and out of sleep – for me, those are usually the oddest and easiest to remember. Anyway, I was at a music festival (like the SXSW one here in town) and Rafa was going to be giving a talk. (I said it was odd, right?) I leave the show I’m at to get to the room where he’s doing his conference in time to catch the end of Richard Lewis’s talk. (Random!) He leaves the stage and, as the crowd empties out, I go get into a seat on the first row. As I’m getting my camera ready, Rafa strolls out and sits in a chair behind the little podium. He’s early. (I know!) Ladies in the front row start talking to him and someone asks him about his Olympics experience. He talks and talks about the wonderful atmosphera and how he got so caught up in it, that he started speaking Greek. *pause* Ladies “oooo” and “aaaaa”. He snort-laughs and shakes his head “no”. I laugh.
Then Benito walks in carrying a box and sits it at a table towards the back of the stage. Rafa goes back there and they start taking books (?) out. A lady yells out, “need help setting up your books?” And soon the stage is full of women taking Rafa’s books and setting them out on the table next to the podium. Rafa and Benito stand there looking bemused. I’m laughing a bit too loud while tweeting about the book-to-woman ratio and they look over at me. I press send on the tweet and the women on the stage stop to pull out their phones which are either vibrating or beeping because they are @nadalnews subscribers. Now I’m really laughing and a single eyebrow is being raised to epic proportions. And then my alarm goes off.
So suck it up, Craig Ferguson, you aren’t the only tweeter with a Robot Skeleton Army!
I’m glad Soderling wrapped things up quickly – not quick enough to mean I’ll get to see this whole match before having to go to work, but I’m happy I’ll get to see some of it. I will be getting ready for work and will probably miss big chunks, though.
Rafa to start things off serving. Kohls sails a return: 15-0. Second point ends on a forehand down the line winner? This bodes well. Rafa sends a ball just wide: 30-15. Kohls can’t get the return into the court: 40-15. Rafa tries and angled backhand, but hits it wide: 40-30. First game to Rafa: 1-0.
Kohls into the net, forehand winner from Rafa: 15-15. Rafa pushes Kohls back and back until he gets the error: 30-30. Rafa steps in to smack a forehand winner: break point. Fierce forehand winner from Kohls: deuce. Rafa breaks! He’s up 2-0.
Kohls paints a line and draws an error from Rafa: 15-30. Kohls nets a second serve: 30-30. Ace: 40-30. Kohls attempts to pull Rafa in with a drop shot, but it’s just out wide: 3-0, Rafa.
Roma players in the house – hope their appearance doesn’t have the same effect on Rafa’s chances as Rafa had on their game.
Kohls sends a ball way long: 15-15. Rafa dances up to a backhand…and nets it: 30-15. Kohls tries to step up and smack a forehand, but it goes way out: 30-30. Kohls moves Rafa left and right and then pulls him into the net via a drop shot that Rafa can’t quite do anything with by the time he tracks it down: 40-30. Kohls sends a backhand wide. Kohls holds and gets on the board. He’s down 1-3.
Just noticed the Corona logos on the net. I’m a little slow.
Fierce forehand winner from Rafa: 15-0. Kohls nets a backhand. Kohls almost sends a backhand return into the stands: 40-0. Rafa takes a backhand early and angles it – Kohls can’t touch it. 4-1.
TennisLuvah: Rafa up 4-1. He looks really fucking hot today. /fangirl
bgtennisnation: Nadal is looking like a wrecking ball on the dirt, good as ever, lot more bounce in his step. Making the talented Kohlschreiber seem average
Rafa almost took out a linesperson trying to track down a ball: 15-30. Kohls sends a shot long: 15-40. Rafa breaks for a 5-1 lead.
So, I think TennisLuvah and bgtennisnation are saying the same thing. ;)
Kohls nets a ball: 30-0. Into the net Rafa goes and he smacks a winner: 40-0. Rafa holds and takes the first set: 6-1. 30 minutes; 70% first serves in; 11 winners; 8 UFEs; 1/2 net points won; 2/3 break points won.
Ataraxis00: Rafa, I appreciate the drama free morning. I needed that. 6-1 1st set in 30 minutes.
Ack. I should be getting ready for work…
GoToTennis: Rafa’s looking really sharp. His loose/tight Nike biker shirt and Mr.Furly shorts, not so much.
Time it takes for 3 games = time to brush teeth, put on makeup and pick out clothes for work. On serve 1-2 in the second.
Rafa holds at love for 2-2. Kohls holds at love for 3-2.
Rafa flubs an overhead: 0-15. Kohls sends a shot sailing: 15-15. Players trade droppers until the net cord shows Rafa some love and pops the ball out of Kohls’s reach: 30-15. Pulled wide to his backhand, Rafa nets a ball: 30-30. Beautiful on the run backhand passing shot winner and Kohls has break point. Second serve. Kohls goes for the line and misses wide: deuce. Kohls sends as service return long: game point. Rafa holds: 3-3.
Nice volley from Kohls: 15-0. He sends a ball out: 30-0. Kohls nets a ball: 30-15. Kohls hits a lovely drop-shot volley off of Rafa’s passing attempt: 30-30. Kohls moves Rafa around and then tries for a short-angled volley that’s just wide: 30-40. Rafa breaks for a 4-3 lead!
Ataraxis00: Once Kohls gets to net he’s pretty effective. (except that point right there) but that’s obviously the plan.
(I really should be leaving for work…)
Excellent work from Kohls: 0-15. Massive forehand winner from mid-court: 15-15. Rafa moves Kohls well – pushing him back while working is own way in. He finishes the point off with a forehand winner: 40-15. An an error from Kohls, Rafa holds.
kip_jones: @nadalnews I am at work. The Centre Director just walked in my office and said, ‘I know you’re busy, I recognise the headband’
Forehand error from Kohls: 15-15. Kohls nets a ball: 15-30. Fierce forehand winner from Rafa gives him double match point. Rafa hits a service return wide: 30-40. Kohls sends a shot long and Rafa wins: 6-1, 6-3