Bright futures

Photo by REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

Rafa kick-started his Roland Garros campaign by playing 18 year old Gianni Mina (#655). Mina came out swinging and refusing to let the occasion and his opponent scare him. Whatever the outcome of this match, this attitude and his aggressive play will stand him in good stead over his career. Today, however? It wasn’t going to happen. Despite kefuoe’s feeling that Rafa was playing a sloppy match, his Roland Garros future is still looking good as he’s through to round two: 6-2, 6-2, 6-2. Next up for him is Horacio Zeballos, a young Argentinean.


Stats:

Nadal Mina
Statistics on Serve
Aces 0 3
Double Faults 0 4
1st Serve % 68% 51%
1st Serve Points Won 44/62 (71%) 26/42 (62%)
2nd Serve Points Won 15/29 (52%) 14/37 (38%)
Break Points Saved 9/9 (100%) 6/12 (50%)
Points
Total Return Points Won 43/83 (52%) 32/91 (35%)
Total Points Won 102/174 (59%) 72/174 (41%)
Other Stats
Winners 20 21
Unforced errors 28 33
Net Approaches 10/13 (77%) 8/12 (67%)

57 Responses

  1. kyukee says:

    c’mon you guys, rafa is popular and he’s the #2 player in the world and not to mention the undisputed king of clay, he’s playing against an 18 year old ranked 655 (i think) and he’s French and it’s the French Open so you really can’t expect the crowd to be with rafa on this, it’s natural, that’s the way it is. add to the fact that people will always always root for the underdog, but at the end of the day rafa won and that’s the most important thing.

    i personally felt that Rafa held back a little especially on the first few games of the first. he was very respectful of his opponents and kinda content on counter punching and waiting for his opponent to make the mistakes. not the best of matches but a good practice match indeed. his opponent was a big server so it’s good practice for rafa in his upcoming matches.

  2. vamsi says:

    hey
    who was that boy
    he played awesome
    i was kinda impressed

    but rafa was better

    vamos rafa

  3. Nana says:

    Re Rafa’s next opponent, I looked up his profile on ATP website and found that the guy turned pro in 2003, is ranked 44, and yet has a career record of 15/19?? Hasn’t played a lot to reach that ranking, has he?

  4. Bookshere says:

    I loved Mina — I thought he was wonderful. But I found it curious that none of the commentators had the memory or whatever to mention that when Rafael was barely a year older than Mina in 2005, he actually won the French, having won Monte Carlo, Rome, and Barcelona previous to that when he was the same age. I know Spaniards play challenger and future events much younger than other nationalities, but still someone could have come up with that comparison between Rafael as a youngster and his talented young opponent, Mina.

    Just saying. And playing on Lenglen instead of Chatrier, where both Federer and Henin debuted? That was payback for Uncle Toni’s unfortunate remarks at RG 2009, don’t you think? Rafael wasn’t bothered a bit, of course, nor did he even flinch at the copious boos and whistles he received when delaying the start of the match, as he does ALWAYS. He is his own man, absolutely.

  5. Rose says:

    I loved the outfit. I wish tennis channel would stop showing last years match with Soderling so many times and for so long (all 4 set points!) Any way glad he won this John McEnroe also suspected Rafa was holding back but saw no problems otherwise. No problems where Rafa plays as long as he wins!

  6. rubik says:

    I agree with McEnroe on this. I thought Nadal was giving as much room as he reasonably could to Mina yesterday (Mina was doing really well) and held back to a certain extent throughout that 1st round match against Mina. I also felt that Nadal was a bit nervous yesterday given his own concerns and objectives he had in mind for that 1st round match at RG 2010.

    There were times during the match where Nadal seemed to be really enjoying Mina’s very good play and behaviour. Nevertheless, when it came to important points in general, and Mina’s BP against Nadal in particular, Nadal was all business.

    And it was fun watching Nadal’s amusement when Mina asked for a medical trainer.

    In my personal opinion, Nadal probably agreed with RG management that the Lenglen instead of Chatrier decision for that 1st round match of Nadal against the “very promising home boy” at RG 2010 was a very smart move.

  7. dk says:

    I read that Rafa’s match today has been postponed to tomorrow… Did anyone else hear this also?

  8. fay says:

    Yep rainy schedule sucks for Rafa, continuous play. Here we go again! As for the match, it wasn’t Rafas greatest performance of course but the pressure was huge, I mean for Rafa to lose more than 2 games a set would have been embarassing against a Junior/ 2ndly Rafa has been there, and knows all too well what it is like to have no pressure and to come out swingy with nothing to lose, Rafa has won everything he has played this clay season in style and the pressure to play brilliantly was prehaps too much, for sure Rafa was feeling it, coming back to Paris where he experienced so much pain, physically and mentally must have been hard anyway for him, lets cut him some slack here and hope he improves as he goes through the draw, *fingers crossed*.. all the way Rafa!