Rafa’s played his third round match at Roland Garros against #33 ranked Lleyton Hewitt. You’ll be forgiven if you had a bit of déjà vu seeing that – they played the same round last year. Due to rain, both these guys were playing back-to-back days. The big difference being: Rafa’s match was a quick 3 setter; Hewitt’s was a tough 5. Rafa started nervous, but once he got his feet under him and loosened up his shoulders, the match had that inevitable feeling to it. Not that Hewitt didn’t put up a fight – he played well and fought as hard as he’s known to do – it just wasn’t enough. Rafa’s through 6-3, 6-4, 6-3.
|1st Serve %||76%||54%|
|1st Serve Points Won||42/60 (70%)||38/59 (64%)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||10/18 (56%)||19/49 (39%)|
|Break Points Saved||3/6 (50%)||9/16 (56%)|
|Break Points Won||7/16 (44%)||3/6 (33%)|
|Total Service Points Won||52/79 (66%)||57/110 (52%)|
|Total Return Points Won||53/110 (48%)||27/79 (34%)|
|Total Points Won||105/189 (56%)||84/189 (44%)|
|Net Approaches||11/17 (65%)||20/33 (61%)|
As it happened blatherings:
I’m already ready to strangle the group of kids (I hope) that keep screaming “RAFA!” and we aren’t to the coin toss yet.
Oh, maybe I should mention that I’m grumpy and in allergy hell.
Oh look, Tennis Channel cut that stream and yet they aren’t showing it on actual TV. I have no coverage of the match to watch. Let me guess, NBC owns the rights to this match and their coverage won’t start for another hour.
bgtennisnation: @nadalnews not working today nbc has first right on the matches
Oh, I guessed right. Tennis coverage in the US sucks.
Thanks to twitter friends, I have a jerky feed with out of synch audio/video. I hope I also don’t have oodles of computer viruses.
Rafa serving to start the match. Ace: 30-15. Rafa nets a backhand: 30-30. Hewitt breaks in the first game.
MissQQuirky: @nadalnews I am glad I could watch the game live, but I am not sure whether who is more nervous, me or Rafa.
Ace for Hewitt: 15-0. On game point, Hewitt nets a forehand: deuce. Short ball from Rafa and a forehand winner from Hewitt: game point. Very long rally ends with Hewitt hitting a ball just out. At least, I think it was just out. I can’t see the ball on my stream. Anyway, we are back to deuce. Another out ball from Hewitt: break point. Rafa breaks back for 1-1.
Hewitt can’t track down Rafa’s forehand: 15-0. Hewitt’s service return is out: 30-0. Rafa smacks a forehand down the line winner: 40-0. Hewitt into the net on tracking down a net cord and fires off a winner: 40-15. Rafa holds.
Rafa looking at the skies on the changeover. It’s very windy there. Is a rain on the horizon?
olerafa: Changeover split screen is hysterical … Both players place towel in lap, drink water, wipe face and tuck hair behind ears at same time!
A defensive backhand keeps Rafa in the point and an offensive one wins it for him: 15-40. Beautiful angled volley at full stretch and Rafa breaks for 3-1.
Hewitt tries to paint the line for a winner, but it’s out: 30-15. Another steady hold for Rafa. He’s up 4-1.
Rafa’s down 0-30 on his serve, but Hewitt does him a favor and nets a ball: 15-30. Hewitt slips and slides as he hits a ball wide: 30-30. I really didn’t need that shot of a twitching Hewitt ass superimposed over the court. Fierce forehand winner from Rafa: 40-30. Hewitt looked like someone kicked his puppy. Rafa nets a slice backhand drop shot attempt: deuce. Beautiful cross-court forehand winner from Hewitt and he has a break point. Hewitt nets a forehand and lets out a few choice words: deuce. Rafa works his way in and smashes a winner at the net: game point. Rafa holds for 5-2.
Rafa smiling and talking to someone – the chair? – on the changeover. He’s definitely much more relaxed than at the start of the match.
Rafa nets a second serve return: 15-0. Fierce forehand winner from Hewitt: 40-0. Can’t tell if Hewitt netted a shot or it went out – either way: 40-15. Ace and Hewitt holds.
Hewitt nets a backhand and then tosses his racket – not bashes it, tosses it up: 15-0. Another ball into the net and Hewitt talks to himself: 30-0. Another: 40-0. Longish rally ends with Rafa netting a forehand: 40-15. Game and first set to Rafa: 6-3. 43 minutes; 81% 1st serves; 72% pts won on 1st serves; 5 UFEs; 10 winners; 4/6 net approaches.
kefuoe: Hewitt is spending a lot of energy reacting to his errors.
Hewitt pulls Rafa into the net and passes him: 30-0. Rafa tries pulling Hewitt in and he replies with a winner: 40-0. Short ball from Hewitt and Rafa pounces: 40-15. The windy is getting worse. Hewitt into the net, stretches to get to Rafa’s passing shot and knocks off a winner. He holds to start set 2.
Fierce forehand from Rafa and Hewitt can’t back up to and get: 15-0. Another forehand winner: 30-15. Lather, rinse, repeat: 40-15. Hewitt’s shot is long and Rafa holds for 1-1.
Hewitt nets a backhand: 0-15. Rafa runs Hewitt until he gets an error: 30-40. Hewitt’s forehand is out and Rafa breaks for a 2-1 lead.
These have to be the most sour grapes in the history of sour grapes. *tries to unpucker face*
Hewitt’s shot is out: 15-15. Rafa nets a ball and talks to himself a bit: 15-30. Rafa’s forehand is out and Hewitt has double break point. Hewitt breaks; it’s 2-2 and NBC is actually showing live tennis.
Rafa’s forehand is way long: 40-15. Pushed deep, Hewitt nets a ball: 40-30. Beauty of a passing shot from Rafa: deuce. Ace: game point. Service winner. Hewitt holds for 3-2.
Smash winner: 15-0. Hewitt nets a ball: 30-0. Again: 40-0. Rafa holds at love: 3-3.
Hewitt scoops up a half-volley, and Rafa nets the reply: 15-0. Another netted ball from Rafa: 30-0. Ace: 40-0. Hewitt’s forehand is long: 40-15. Pulled wide, Rafa hits a beautiful forehand down the line winner: 40-30. Hewitt holds for 4-3.
Rafa runs, reaches, hits a winner and then somersaults in the clay: 15-0. Hewitt applauds.
Ataraxis00: What in the world? Was that a stop drop and roll winner?
Double fault. Hewitt’s volley attempt is wide: 30-15. Hewitt hits a shot out and then nets a ball. Rafa holds for 4-4.
Hewitt goes into the net, but Rafa’s shot is low and at his feet – he can do nothing with it: 0-15. Fierce forehand winner: 15-15. Rafa’s shot is long: 30-15. Rafa nets a ball: 40-15. Coming into the net, Hewitt nets a ball: 40-30. Hewitt sends a ball long: deuce. Hewitt’s ball goes long: break point. Service winner: deuce. Hewitt nets a ball: break point #2. Hewitt sends a ball long and is broken. Rafa can serve for set 2 next.
Rafa’s ball goes out: 0-15. Nice forehand winner from Rafa: 30-15. Hewitt goes for a shot, but it’s out: 40-15. Massive gust of wind. Hewitt runs Rafa back and forth and wins the point: 40-30. Beautiful passing shot and Rafa takes set #2. 48 minutes; 75% first serves in; 78% of 1st serve points won; 9 UFEs; 13 winners; 4/6 net approaches.
NBC switches to the Ferrero/Ginepri match.
Hewitt nets a ball: 15-15. Rafa nets a service return: 30-15. Pushed wide and back, Rafa sends a shot out: 40-15. Rafa into the net and knocks off a winner: deuce. Beauty of a backhand down the line winner: break point. Hewitt sends a shot long and is broken. Rafa up 1-0 in the third.
Rafa’s shot is out: 0-15. Short ball from Hewitt that Rafa can barely track down, but nets the reply: 0-30. Beautiful forehand down the line winner from Rafa: 15-30. Rafa nets a forehand: 15-40. Time violation warning against Rafa. Hewitt nets a ball: 30-40. Hewitt nets a service return: deuce. Rafa miss hits a backhand: break point. Smart play from Hewitt and he knocks off a winner at the net to break back: 1-1.
Another running forehand winner from Rafa: 0-15. Hewitt pushes Rafa back and draws an error: 15-15. Hewitt holds for 2-1 in the third. Rafa looking grumpy.
Hewitt nets a ball: 30-15. Very tough rally with each player whacking the hell out of the ball ends when Hewitt nets a ball: 40-15. Rain coming down. NBC showing Ferrero/Ginepri and I have no working streams. 2-2
Are Rafa/Hewitt refusing to finish up this game until they know they are back on TV? Hewitt finally holds for 3-2. I lost track of how long that game was…but it was at least 12 minutes long (based on Tweet timelines).
Rafa holds: 3-3. Rafa breaks for a 4-3 lead in the 3rd.
Back on NBC and they are booting someone from the stands and there is much whistling. Hewitt goes for a forehand winner and it’s out: 30-0. Hewitt pushes Rafa back and draws an error: 40-15. Dear NBC announcers, if you’d read Rafa’s blog, you’d know he asked for the early slot yesterday. Rafa holds for 5-3.
Double match point for Rafa. Excellent down the line backhand winner from Hewitt: 30-40. Rafa’s shot is just long: deuce. Backhand winner stops Hewitt’s net approach: match point #3. Rafa breaks and wins the match: 6-3, 6-4, 6-3.