Rafa. Nole. A final. We’ve been here a few times before this year, but never in a slam final and never on grass. Would those two factors make a difference? They came out fighting, neck and neck, point for point until…Rafa blinked in the 10th game. He couldn’t find a first serve and was broken. First set to Nole: 6-4. I’m trying to pretend the 2nd set didn’t happen. Rafa looked flat and could do nothing against Nole’s onslaught. 1-6. Nole’s level dipped and Rafa stepped it up in the 3rd: 6-1. They traded breaks at the start of the 4th. More nervous looking errors and Rafa was broken again in the 7th game and Nole wins his first Wimbledon: 6-4, 6-1, 1-6, 6-3.
|Statistics on Serve|
|1st Serve %||78%||73%|
|1st Serve Points Won||43/64 (67%)||50/69 (72%)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||8/18 (44%)||14/26 (54%)|
|Statistics on Points|
|Break Points Won||3/6 (50%)||5/6 (83%)|
|Total Service Points Won||51/82 (62%)||64/95 (67%)|
|Total Return Points Won||31/95 (33%)||31/82 (38%)|
|Total Points Won||82/177 (46%)||95/177 (53%)|
|Net Approaches||6/9 (67%)||19/26 (73%)|
As it happened blatherings:
Always cracks me up when Rafa won’t let go of his racket and walks out with it.
Everyone at the net waiting for Rafa… Bernardes in the chair.
Nole to serve to get the match started. Rafa nets a forehand return: 15-0. Forehand down the line winner from Rafa: 15-15. (I might have yet out a Wooo! when Rafa hit that forehand. It’s going to be a long day.) Another one! Good start: 15-30. Ace: 30-30. That forehand went into the net: 40-30. And a forehand miss-hit and Nole holds.
Nole’s shot is long: 15-0. Nice backhand from Rafa and Nole’s reply is well wide: 30-0. Nole’s second serve return hits the net: 40-0. Nole smacks the shit out of the ball and draws an error: 40-15. Rafa follows up an excellent serve down the middle with a nice clean volley at the net: 1-1.
Rafa hits a lovely forehand down the line that Nole can’t quite reach in time to do anything with: 0-15. Rafa nets a cross-court backhand: 15-15. Rafa’s backhand return of second serve is out: 30-15. Nole drop shot, Rafa into the net and slices a deep volley which Nole sends wide: 30-30. Rafa’s forehand is long: 40-30. Rafa slips mid-point, but recovers…then ends up netting a ball a few strokes later. Nole holds for 2-1.
Kalliopeia: Well, I feel good that Rafa is giving him slightly more trouble on his service games than he’s getting so far
Ace: 30-0. Ace: 40-0. Nole sends a backhand down the line wide: 2-2.
Nole sends a serve out wide, moves forward and hits a nice volley winner: 15-0. Wonderful short angled forehand winner from Nole: 30-0. Rafa nets a serve return: 40-0. Rafa’s defensive shot is out and Nole holds for 3-2.
TennisConnected: Judging the match in its first three games, Nadal needs to hit the ball way harder. Nole doesn’t seem bothered by the spin of the Spaniard.
Excellent serve and Rafa’s into the net to knock off a winning volley: 15-0. Rafa nets his second passing attempt: 15-15. Forehand down the line that Nole can’t get to in time to do anything with: 30-15. Rafa’s backhand is out: 30-30. Oh, Rafa’s challenging the call, but the call is correct. Nole nets a backhand serve return: 40-30. Ace and Rafa holds for 3-3.
Forehand down the line winner from Nole: 30-0. Nole into the net and can’t do anything with the passing shot that Rafa gets at Nole’s feet: 30-15. Nole pushes Rafa deeper and deeper until he gets a floaty, high defensive shot that he smashes for a winner: 40-15. With an ace, Nole holds for 4-3.
Kalliopeia: Well jon wertheim has done nothing but complain about it being slow
If he’s that bored, he should switch the channel.
Ace: 30-0. Rafa’s forehand is long: 30-15. Awesome forehand from Rafa: 40-15. Rafa’s forehand is wide: 40-30. Nole’s drop shot attempt goes into the net and Rafa holds for 4-4.
Nole digs out an excellent volley and Rafa can’t get the ball back over the net: 15-0. Nole nets a backhand: 15-15. Big kick serve and Rafa nets the reply: 30-15. Rafa sends a second serve return into the net: 40-15. With an ace, Nole holds for 5-4.
Nole miss-hits a return: 15-0. Sends that one into the net: 30-0. Excellent forehand winner from Nole: 30-15. Nole tops off a rally with a forehand down the line winner: 30-30. Second serve. Rafa’s forehand down the line attempt goes into the net: break/set point. Second serve. Rafa’s forehand is out and Nole takes the first set: 6-4.
After serving beautifully the first 9 games, Rafa’s first serve went away in that last one. He’d only missed 2 first serves in the first 9 games; missed 3 that one.
TennisConnected: With the first set in the bag, Nadal will need Djokovic’s level to drop a bit. Nadal can’t serve better; can hit groundstrokes better though
TomPerrotta: Djokovic is officially in Nadal’s head. Nadal facing the challenge of his career out here today.
Nole’s forehand goes into the net: 0-15. Rafa’s net cord pops just over the net: 0-30. Pushed wide, Rafa sends a backhand out: 15-30. Rafa’s forehand is well, well wide: 30-30. Rafa misses an overhead smash: 40-30. Nole holds.
Rafa’s shot is out: 0-15. Service winner: 15-15. Forehand down the line winner from Nole: 15-30. Rafa nets a backhand (another long rally he loses): 15-40. Rafa into the net, Nole passes and Rafa’s broken: 0-2.
I knew I hated that look Rafa got on his face when JMac mentioned the 4 losses to Nole in finals in yesterday’s interview.
Rafa’s turn to win a rally with a forehand down the line winner: 15-15. Rafa slips and falls, but he was already out of the point anyway: 30-15. Nole backhand winner: 40-15. Ace and Nole holds for 3-0.
Rafa’s gone from 91% first serves in to 78%.
Deep return from Nole that Rafa can’t do anything with: 0-15. Ace: 15-15. Ace: 30-15. Nole misses an overhead smash: 40-15. The net cord helps Rafa and he holds for 1-3.
Nice volley from Nole: 15-0. Nole into the net, Rafa passes: 15-15. Ace: 30-15. Serve out wide and then hit a winner into the open court as Rafa recovers to center: 40-15. With a forehand winner, Nole holds for 4-1.
jon_wertheim: Still early…but this feels like a Nadal-Federer match. As in, Nadal =Federer, yielding authority to this ambitious arriviste.
CraigHickman: On grass, I would never elect to receive serve to open the match. Because then you face exactly what Nadal faced: serving to stay in a set.
Nole’s return is long: 15-0. Forehand winner from Nole: 15-15. Another good serve: 30-15. Rafa nets a backhand: 30-30. Rafa doing all the running. Nole just having to move a little bit. Break point. Another rally ends with Rafa making a mistake after being pushed around. Nole breaks for 5-1.
Kalliopeia: Rafa’s confidence is completely gone
SteveTignor: BBC’s dubious royal box member for today: Justin Gimelstob. “Must have been short on numbers,” commentator says when he sees him there
Ataraxis00: I need actual Rafa fans to not pollute my time line with negativity please. It’s not over.
With a love hold, Nole takes the second set 6-1.
Nole’s shot is out: 15-0. Again: 30-0. Nole nets a serve return: 40-0. Rafa’s forehand is long: 40-15. Nole fires off a second serve return winner: 40-30. Forehand down the line winner and Rafa holds to start set 3.
Beauty of a forehand down the line winner (and a Vamos!) from Rafa: 0-15. Rafa hits deep, Nole miss-hits: 0-30. Rafa’s return of serve is long: 15-30. Service winner: 30-30. Nole sends a forehand well wide: 30-40. Rafa’s first break point of the match. Nole nets a backhand and Rafa breaks! He’s up 2-0 in the third.
Nole’s shot is out: 15-0. Nole nets a serve return: 30-0. Nole sends a backhand long: 40-0. Rafa consolidates with a love hold.
Rafa can’t do anything with a return: 30-15. Rafa’s backhand return of serve sails way out: 40-15. Overheads, volleys and a crap tweener, oh my. Nole holds for 1-3.
Nole nets a backhand: 15-0. Nole’s shot is long: 30-0. Excellent serve: 40-0. With an ace, Rafa holds at love for 4-1.
Wait? was Nole wearing a hat before? But not now? Someone: hide all of Nole’s hats…now!
Nice forehand cross-court winner from Rafa: 15-15. Nole’s forehand is out: 15-30. Nole’s forehand is out: 15-40. Nice volley from Nole puts in him in control of the point, Rafa makes him hit the extra shot, though: 30-40. Pushed, Rafa nets a backhand: deuce. Pulled a bit wide, Nole nets a forehand: break point #3. Double fault and Rafa breaks for 5-1. This is nuts.
Nole nets a forehand: 15-0. Service winner: 30-0. Nole’s return of serve is long: 40-0. Third set to Rafa, 6-1.
Rafa slice skims the net, pulls Nole in and then he passes him: 15-15. Nole moves Rafa well, comes into the net, Rafa attempts to pass, and Nole’s reply goes into the net: 15-30. Rafa’s forehand is out: 30-30. (And boy is he not happy about that.) Cross-court forehand pulls Nole well wide and he can’t get the ball back: 30-40. Defense keeps Rafa in a rally beyond logic, but he can’t quite work his way back: deuce. Rafa’s return of serve is long: game point. Rafa’s return of serve is just out and Nole holds to start the 4th.
They are opening the roof a bit more while Rafa is serving.
Nole hits a deep return and Rafa nets the reply: 0-15. Rafa’s forehand is well out: 0-30. Nole nets a forehand: 15-30. Nole into the net on a short ball from Rafa and hits a beautiful angled volley winner: double break point. Rafa nets a forehand and is broken.
Nole nets a forehand: 15-15. Rafa gets jammed a bit and nets a forehand return of serve: 15-30. Rafa pushes Nole until he gets an error: 30-30. Nole sends a ball long and Rafa has a break point. The net cord breaks Nole. We are back on serve.
Nole miss-hits a forehand: 15-0. Nole’s shot is out: 30-0. Nole nets a forehand: 40-0. Excellent return puts Nole in control, but Rafa lines up a forehand…and then nets it: 40-15. Nice serve and a good hold for Rafa: 2-2.
Rafa goes for a cross-court backhand winner, but it’s out: 15-0. Excellent serve and Rafa’s reply is out: 30-0. Good length rally ends with an error from Nole: 30-15. Nole’s shot is out: 30-30. Nole keeps hitting behind Rafa until he draws an error. Rafa’s return is well out and Nole holds: 3-2, on serve.
15-15. Nole can’t do anything with the serve: 30-15. Beautiful cross-court backhand winner! A Vamos from Rafa: 40-15. Uncle Rafel up giving it a double fist pump. Rafa’s forehand down the line is wide: 40-30. Rafa holds for 3-3.
TheFanChild: This is becoming mental warfare more than anything else. Who can play free and who can win crucial points. Very tense.
The way this has been going, I do not want Rafa serving to stay in the set/match. He needs to break ASAP.
Excellent serve: 30-0. Rafa pops his serve return long: 40-0. Nole holds at love for 4-3.
Double fault: 0-15. Rafa’s shot is: 0-30. Long rally…Rafa nets a forehand: 0-40. Papa Nadal smacks the railing. Forehand paints the line: 15-40. (I totally thought that was going long.) Rafa’s backhand is long and Nole breaks. That was totally mental.
Speaking of mental, Nole’s forehand is well out: 0-15. Rafa’s forehand is well out; he hits his racket face with his fist: 15-15. Rafa nets a forehand: 30-15. Nice forehand down the line from Rafa and Nole’s reply is out: 30-30. Defensive serve return from Rafa and Nole volleys a winner: championship point. Nole wins.