After the first two quarterfinals of the day saw 2 Spanairds advance to the semis in Rome, Rafa had a chance to make it 3 for 3 when he took on #16 Stanislas Wawrinka. Stan came out full-steam ahead – sending a message that Rafa was not going to be allowed to boss him around the court. Things were going his way – easy service holds and pushing Rafa on his serve – until Rafa broke in the 10th game to take the set. It was one of those, “how did Rafa win that set” moments. After that, try as he might, Stan started to lose steam while Rafa started to steam-roll. Rafa’s through to the semis: 6-4, 6-1.
|Statistics on Serve|
|1st Serve %||75%||58%|
|1st Serve Points Won||35/48 (73%)||18/25 (72%)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||8/16 (50%)||9/18 (50%)|
|Break Points Saved||2/2 (100%)||3/6 (50%)|
|Service Games Played||9||8|
|Statistics on Return|
|1st Return Points Won||7/25 (28%)||13/48 (27%)|
|Second Return Points Won||9/18 (28%)||8/16 (50%)|
|Break Points Won||3/6 (50%)||0/2 (%)|
|Return Games Played||8||9|
|Statistics on Points|
|Total Service Points Won||43/64 (67%)||27/43 (63%)|
|Total Return Points Won||16/43 (37%)||21/64 (33%)|
|Total Points Won||59/107 (55%)||48/107 (45%)|
|Net Approaches||12/14 (86%)||7/7 (100%)|
As it happened blatherings:
So far, two Spaniards have made it through to the semis, will this make for the third? (I’m thinking, hell yes!)
Players on the court getting ready to warm up.
Stan wins the toss and chooses to receive.
Papa Nadal in the house.
Rafa sends a shot long: 0-15. Ace. (Followed by a sneer as he heads back to get a new ball – heh). Stan sends a shot long: 30-15. Rafa decides to pick on Stan’s backhand. After a few shots, Stan replies with a stunning backhand down the line winner: 30-30. Stan sends a forehand long: 40-30. Stan runs around his backhand to hit a fierce forehand winner: deuce. Service winner: game point. Stan nets a ball. That was a promising start – excellent shots from Stan, but Rafa holds for 1-0.
Stan proves he’s not going to let Rafa boss him around no matter how fiercely Rafa hits his forehand. Longish rally ends with Rafa netting the ball: 0-15. Stan pushes Rafa back and Rafa hits his backhand down the line wide. Rafa hits a service return long: 40-0. Stan holds: 1-1.
Rafa hits a smash right back to Stan, but it handcuffs him and he can’t return the ball: 15-0. Another smash winner, this time into the open court: 30-0. Mid rally, Rafa nets a ball and then makes an intense looking tight-lipped face: 30-15. Rafa hits a forehand wide: 30-30. Stan sends a service return long: 40-30. While running back, Rafa nets a forehand: deuce. Forehand winner from Rafa: 40-30. Rafa holds for 2-1.
Moving back, Rafa nets a backhand: 15-0. Stan moving Rafa and he can’t keep up: 30-0. Into the net, Stan pops off a winning volley: 40-0. Stan sends a backhand just wide: 40-30. Easy hold for Stan. He’s defending well AND playing aggressively. This could be a tight match!
The net cord slows down Stans ball, Rafa tracks it down and hits a winner: 15-0. Rafa sends a backhand wide: 15-15. Stan pushes Rafa way deep with a forehand, but Rafa hangs in…he can’t recover enough to take control of the point though and it ends with Stan hitting a winner at the net: 15-30. Stan nets a backhand: 30-30. Again: 40-30. Rafa runs up to tee off on a shortish ball from Stan and hits his forehand into the net: deuce. Long rally ends with Stan sending a ball just out: game point. Both players are all over the court until Stan hits a stretch winning volley at the net: deuce. Angled backhand shot from Stan goes just out: game point. Rafa holds…after a tough game. His holds are taking much, much longer than Stan’s.
TennisConnected: Nadal is going for Wawrinka’s legs early. As the legs go, Nadal begins to roll. Plain and simple.
Ataraxis00: What a point! Stan is serious about this. No roll over today.
Based on how it looks on TV, I don’t think Rome is the tournament to attend if you are prone to vertigo.
Rafa’s not sure about a service call and asked Carlos to come check the mark. Carlos says it’s in and the unofficial hawkeye agrees: Ace. Pushed back, Stan nets a ball: 15-15. Stan runs way around a short ball and hits a winning forehand. Rafa sends a service return sailing: 40-15. Another easy hold for Stan: 3-3.
Stan sends a forehand wide: 15-0. Rafa pulls Stan wide and draws a forehand error: 30-0. Rafa moves Stan wide to his backhand and draws an error. Rafa holds at love – that’s more like it.
Couple caught snogging on the jumbotron – everyone whistles and applauds.
Rafa send a ball long: 15-0. Wide this time: 30-0. Pushed deep and wide, Rafa pops up a long defensive shot: 40-0. Still strolling on his serve, Stan holds a love again: 4-4.
Rafa hits and aggressive forehand, follows it into the net and Stan nets the passing attempt: 15-0. Pushed wide, Stan sends a forehand way wide: 30-0. Smash and a vamos! 40-0. Double fault: 40-15. Fierce forehand winner from Stan: 40-30. Stan is constructing his points very well. Stan sends a serve reply wide and Rafa holds for 5-4.
Mid rally, Rafa nets a ball: 15-0. Rafa pulls Stan in with a dropper that he can’t reach before the second bounce: 15-15. Rafa pulls Stan wide to his forehand and then follows it up with a fierce forehand down the line to the other side of the court: 15-30. Stan sends a backhand wide: 15-40. Good serve draws a defensive reply that Stan smacks for a winner: 30-40. Nice shots from Rafa: Stepping it up at just the right time, Rafa breaks and takes the first set: 6-4. Stepping it up at just the right time, Rafa breaks and takes the first set: 6-4. Amazing. 9 winners; 9 URFs; 5/6 at net, 78% first serves in; 49 minutes.
They are playing Gypsy. I think Stan might be dying a little because of that.
Stan has won 51% of the points and still is down a set.
RD_Tennistalk: think about how Wawrinka played that set, and he did not even win it, or even get to a tiebreaker.
Rafa sends a shot out: 0-15. Mid rally, Rafa attempts a dropper off a horrid bounce and can’t get the ball over the net: 30-30. Rafa sends a shot wide: 30-40. Rafa pushes Stan back and then hits an angled cross-court forehand winner: deuce. Mid-rally, Rafa sends a ball well out: break point. Fierce fast and deep forehand followed into the net and a winning volley: deuce. Beauty of a short angled dropper: game point. Another drop attempt, this one sucked: deuce. Rafa seems to have started more of an “up and back” game with Stan instead of always working him side to side. Will it work? Stan sends a forehand just long: game point. Finally, Rafa holds.
Stan sends a shot just long: 0-15. Rafa returns the favor: 15-15. Excellent forehand winner off of a defensive second serve return from Rafa: 30-15. Stan puts a forehand in the middle of the doubles alley: 30-30. An aggressive second serve return puts Rafa in the driver’s seat, he gives it back a bit with his next shot, but Stan sends his ball wide: 30-40. Rafa steps around a backhand and whacks the hell out of a forehand to break. He’s up 2-0.
Stan sends a ball long: 30-0. Short, angled cross-court backhand winner from Rafa: 40-0. Rafa sends a forehand just wide: 40-15. Stress-free hold for Rafa. He’s up 3-0.
Easy hold for Stan for 1-3.
Stan nets a backhand: 15-0. Fierce forehand; follow into net; winning volley: 30-0. Double fault: 30-15. Stan sends a service return well out: 40-15. Beauty of a backhand winner from Stan: 40-30. Serve out wide; next shot to other corner; into net to deal with defensive reply: game to Rafa. He leads 4-1.
Stan nets a forehand: 0-30. Lovely point from Rafa – gets Stan out of position and then comes into the net for a drop volley winner: 0-30. Rafa tries to tee off on a forehand serve return, but nets it: 15-30. Double fault: 15-40. Stan pushes Rafa deep, comes into the net and Rafa can’t deal with the next shot: 30-40. Defensive serve return and Stan knocks off a winner from mid-court: deuce. Rafa pulls Stan wide and draws a forehand error: break point. Rafa breaks! He can serve it out now.
After taking about a half hour to serve…Ace: 15-0. Stan sends a ball well long: 30-0. Rafa sends a forehand just wide: 30-15. Stan sends a ball long: 40-15. Rafa is through to the semis with a 6-4, 6-1 win.