Another slam final and it’s Rafa and Nole. This is getting to be a habit. Rafa came out on fire, but that didn’t last too long. What followed was best described by sharlatee on twitter as “all kinds of wow and weird”. Each guy would play amazing points alternating with odd errors and nervous looking shots. One guy would step up and start playing well just as the other would turn into an error making machine. It was not pretty. The court conditions weren’t pretty either – it was drizzly or raining during huge swatches of the match. Play was eventually called for rain (far too late for Rafa’s taste) when the score was 6-4, 6-3, 2-6, 1-2 – with Rafa down a break in the 4th. Rafa had lost 8 games in a row before finally holding just before play was called.
Rafa came out swinging Monday. In the 12th game of the 4th set, he earned a break point. Djokovic double faulted and the title was Rafa’s. Horrible way to end the match, but I’m so happy that Rafa will once again nibble on that trophy.
This is Rafa’s 7th Roland Garros and his 11th slam title. Amazing.
|1st Serve %||62%||59%|
|1st Serve Points Won||45/73 (62%)||45/73 (62%)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||24/45 (53%)||22/50 (44%)|
|Break Points Won||9/17 (53%)||7/10 (70%)|
|Total Service Points Won||69/118 (58%)||67/123 (54%)|
|Total Return Points Won||56/123 (46%)||49/118 (42%)|
|Total Points Won||125/241 (52%)||116/241 (48%)|
|Net Approaches||8/14 (57%)||22/32 (69%)|
|Fastest Serve Speed||207 KMH||205 KMH|
|Average 1st Serve Speed||186 KMH||187 KMH|
|Average 2nd Serve Speed||143 KMH||149 KMH|
As it happened blatherings:
Nice smile from Rafa for the young lady who accompanied him onto the court.
Rafa won the toss…assuming he picked to receive, but couldn’t hear.
Nole serving to start the match. Rafa hugging that baseline! Forehand winner: 0-15. Nole nets a ball: 0-30. Rafa runs Nole, gets him out of court and hits a winner into the empty part: 0-40. Nole pushes Rafa and he nets a ball: 15-40. Nole into the net, Rafa went for a backhand passing shot, but nets it: 30-40. Nice angle from Nole: deuce. Freaking awesome angled backhand from Rafa earns him another BP. Nole sends a shot long and Rafa breaks!
Nice rally ends with Rafa drawing an error: 15-0. Ace: 30-0. nole sends a shot long. Rafa holds for 2-0.
Rafa breaks again! He’s living up to the name of the color of his shirt. Up 3-0.
Nole sends a forehand return long: 15-0. Nole nets a forehand: 30-0. Rafa nets a backhand: 30-15. Lollipop second serve and Nole hits a backhand winner off it: 30-30. Second serve. Nole nets an easy looking forehand: 40-30. Rafa goes for an angled forehand, but hits it a bit wide: deuce. Short hitting from him, deep from Nole, Rafa’s forehand out: break point. Second serve. Rafa’s backhand is out and he’s broken. 3-1.
Dear NBC – I HATE that angle.
Starting to rain. Nole looking much more settled. 30-0. Rafa can’t curl a forehand in: 40-0. Nole sends a shot long: 40-15. Nole nets a ball: 40-30. Weird loopy backhand error from Rafa and Nole holds for 2-3.
Double fault: 0-15. Nole sends a forehand return long: 15-15. Nole works his way in as Rafa’s shots land short – hits a forehand winner mid-court: 15-30. Nole nets a serve return: 30-30. Better hitting from Rafa. Nole’s down the line is out: 40-30. Nole tees off on a forehand winner from the baseline: deuce. Rafa pushes Nole deep/wide and draws a forehand error: break point. Second serve. Nole powers shots until he gets an error: deuce. Game point, Rafa. Nole again dominates a point, pushing Rafa back. He steps into mid-court and hits a forehand winner: deuce. Second serve. Double fault and Nole has a break point. Rafa sends a backhand well out and is broken. We are on serve 3-3.
Ataraxis: I guess they can’t both blister forehands at the same time. It’s Nole’s turn.
Nice shot from Rafa draws an error: 0-15. Second serve. Nole nets a forehand: 15-30. Second serve. Nole works the backhand until he gets an error: 30-30.
olerafa: Kindly get your famous ass up to the baseline!!!
burtonad: At 30-0, 3-0, seemed like a safe bet. Who knew Fed-Nole RG SF 2012 2nd set was a communicable infection?
Nole nets a backhand: 30-40. Second serve. Rafa’s return is out: deuce. Second serve. Nole nets a backhand: break point. Nole double faults and is broken. Rafa back in the lead 4-3.
So far, I declare this match to be: weird.
15-30. Nole’s backhand goes well out: 40-15. Nole tries an angled backhand, but it’s wide and Rafa holds for 5-3.
Nole drop shots and Rafa can’t get to it before it bounces twice: 15-0. Rafa charges into the net and a beautiful lob winner from Nole: 30-0. Nole nets a backhand: 30-15. Second serve. Rafa nets the forehand return: 40-15. Rafa does not look happy. Second serve. With a backhand winner, Nole holds for 4-5. Rafa serving for the set next…
Nice serve that Nole returns well out: 15-0. Second serve. Overhead smash winner: 30-0. From his back foot, Rafa nets a forehand: 30-15. Rafa takes control of the point by hitting a forehand down the line that draws a short ball from Nole. Rafa hits a lovely drop shot into the opposite side of the court and Nole can’t quite run it down: 40-15. First set to Rafa with a fierce forehand winner: 6-4.
58 minutes; 1 ace; 2 doubles; 61% 1st serves in 61% won on 1st; 53% won on second; 9 winners; 10 UFEs; 2/4 at net. Total points won in first set: 37 Rafa; 30 Nole.
These are two guys who excel at winning when looking out of sorts. Who will win that battle today?
Nole nets a backhand: 0-15. A net cord helps Rafa and there’s a fun net battle that Nole wins when Rafa sends a lob just long: 30-15. Nole tries to power a forehand winner and overcooks it: 30-30. Nole sends a backhand long: 30-40. Second serve. Rafa opens up the court with a backhand angle, but Nole astoundingly gets an even better angle back: deuce. Poor backhand from Nole: break point. Nole double faults on break point. Rafa takes a 1-0 lead in the second set.
Rafa moves Nole further and further out on the backhand until he gets a short ball and can run into the net and knock off a nice volley winner: 15-0. Rafa’s forhand down the line doesn’t quite bend back in enough: 15-15. Good serve, Noles return isn’t: 30-15. Again: 40-15. Double fault: 40-30. Let. Rafa had his forehand all set up, but sends it wide: deuce. Nice serve down the middle and he follows it into the net – lob winner from Nole: break point. Serve into Nole’s backhand and his reply is wide: deuce. Another nice serve into the backhand: game point. Beautiful angled backhand give Nole control of a point and he finishes it off: deuce. Long rally and Rafa steps up the pace with a nice backhand to Nole’s forehand – finishes it off: game point. Second serve. Rafa holds (despite hitting an overhead smash right back at Nole). He’s up 2-0 in the second.
Forehand winner from Nole: 15-0. Another clean winner from Nole – this one from the backhand: 30-0. Nole hits an overhead right at Rafa and Rafa hits a forehand winner: 30-15. Second serve. Nole into the net and hits a lazy looking volley into it: 30-30. Second serve. Rafa hits a shot long: 40-30. Short ball from Nole and Rafa rips a forehand winner from midcourt: deuce. Rafa’s forehand is out: game point. And Nole holds for 1-2.
Second serve. Nole’s backhand is long: 15-0. Second serve. Double fault: 15-15. Nole moves Rafa and draws a backhand error: 15-30. Second serve. Rafa runs around a backhand and pays for it as Nole hits an angle into the open court: 15-40. Let. Second serve. Another lob winner and Nole breaks to put the second set on serve: 2-2.
Double fault: 0-15. Second serve. Nole dominates a point with aggressive hitting: 15-15. Nole gets a short ball in the middle of the court and overcooks the reply: 15-30. Nole tosses his racket. Shockingly, the crowd boos.
burtonad: The crowd is quiet because they don’t much like either player, they were promised a classic, and they’re watching this
Rafa sends a shot out. Make that two: 40-30. Aggressive hitting and Nole holds for 3-2.
Nole sends a shot out, Rafa yells “Vamos!” – 15-0. Second serve. Nole tries to angle Rafa, but sends a ball long – wait, the chair calls it long and says play again…but Rafa hit a winner off the that. Why is it a let? They show an unofficial hawk-eye and it’s out. Nole concedes the point: 30-0. 30-15. Nole’s return of first serve (remember those?) is long: 40-15. Ace and Rafa holds for 3-3.
Rafa nets a backhand and shakes his head: 15-15. Rafa totally mistimes a forehand: 30-15. (It’s raining, by the way.) Nole nets a ball: 30-30. Nole sends a forehand long and Rafa has a break point. Rafa hits deep and breaks. He’s up 4-3.
Nole smashed his racket against his bench and shattered the Perrier sign during the changeover.
Beautiful movement from Rafa: 30-0. Second serve. Nole nets a forehand: 30-15. Rafa holds at love (oh my did it feel good to type that). 5-3
Rain delay. Tarp not out yet. Players into small waiting rooms just off court….
Mom called and needed me to take her to the hospital to visit her friend. While I was gone, the rain ended, Rafa took the second set 6-3 and held to start the 3rd.
Triple break point for Rafa. Nole saves one. And Rafa breaks to go up 2-0 in the third.
Nole bosses a point: 0-15. Nole pushes Rafa back and draws an error: 0-30. Nole’s eyes look…empty and tired. Rafa pulls Nole wide and he nets the reply: 15-30. Nole into the net and Rafa’s passing attempt (off a difficult ball) is out: 15-40. Excellent serve return and Nole breaks for 1-2 to put the set back on serve.
SteveTignor: Nadal up first in each set, each time can’t hold it. This time more about Nole letting it fly. We know he’s a tough out. #rg12
Nicely worked point from Rafa and he finishes with a forehand winner from midcourt: 0-15. 0-30. (I just mistyped “forehand” as “firehand” – and it still felt right.) Serve and volley: 15-30. Nice serve: 30-30. Aggressive hitting from Nole: 40-30. Nole nets a shot: deuce. Deep hitting from Nole and Rafa’s forehand is long: game point. Nole angles, Rafa runs, Nole angles all the way into the doubles alley: deuce. Rafa’s shot is out: game point. Rafa nets it and Nole holds for 2-2.
CraigHickman: The rain has drained this final of any electricity it might have had. As well as all the nerves.
Rafa’s forehand lands in the doubles alley: 0-15. Second serve. Rafa looked in control of a point, but then sends one long: 0-30. Beautiful forehand down the line gives Nole triple break point. Rafa drop shot that Nole can’t get to: 15-40. Rafa nets a forehand and is broken. Nole up 3-2 in the third.
Second serve. Nole bosses a point: 15-0. Deep hitting and Rafa can’t do a thing: 30-0. Rafa hits deep and wide and it’s Nole’s turn to look helpless: 30-15. Ace: 40-15. Easy hold: 4-2.
RafaNadalUnoffi: My commies saying that Rafa was talking to the umpire on the change over saying that conditions weren’t fair at the moment
Barry_FlatmanST: I suggest this match wouldn’t be actually on court at the moment if it wasn’t the final & tomorrow’s weather forecast wasn’t so appalling
Ataraxis00: The last thing this needs is for Nole to start believing and coming out of his shoes on every shot.
15-0. Second serve. Nole gets the serve return right at Rafa’s feet and he’s handcuffed: 15-15. Rafa pushes and Nole’s backhand is well wide. Rafa hits a forehand into the net: 30-30. Short and defensive from Rafa, Nole into the net, Rafa passes: 40-30. Deuce. Good hitting from Rafa, but he left Nole off the hook and then sends a backhand wide: break point. Second serve. Rafa sends a back hand out and Nole is up a double break: 5-2.
It would be nice if both of these guys could play well at the same time.
Ace: 15-0. Rafa sends a forehand long: 30-0. Again, running around a backhand gets him too far out of position: 40-0. Second serve. Nole holds at love to take his first set ever off Rafa at Roland Garros. Score now 6-4, 6-3, 2-6.
Weird. Rafa’s 1st serve percentage was highest in set 3.
SteveTignor: Rafa asking umpire, “Do you think the conditions are all all right?”
Backhand whiff by Rafa. 15-15. Very long rally (44 shots) ends with Rafa netting a backhand: 15-30. Rafa moves Nole left and right while keeping him deep…and then hits a lovely little drop shot: 30-30. Second serve. Nole’s shot is out: 40-30. Short ball that Nole stomps on: deuce. Second serve. Rafa sends a backhand wide: break point. Excellent serve pulls Nole out of position, but Rafa lets him off the hook. Nole passes and breaks to go up 2-0 in the 4th.
Rafa needs to stop fretting about court conditions and concentrate on adjusting and playing well.
Nice serve out wide, Rafa nets: 15-0. Another netted backhand: 30-0. 40-0. Nole holds at love for 2-0. That’s 8 straight games for him.
TennisReporters: Nadal saying he can’t see the balls because they are taking on too much clay. Also thinks they r too wet
Second serve. Rafa hits short, Nole smacks it: 0-15. Nole nets a backhand (better hitting from Rafa there) 15-15. Nole nets: 30-15. Ace: 40-15. Second serve. Rafa holds for 1-2.
Tournament director declaring rain delay. Rafa saying you made us play under these conditions for an hour, there’s no change. Why now? Why not then?
Rafa has a very valid point about the conditions, but they were the same for both players – one adjusted/dealt with them better. I have to admit that it’s disheartening to see the conditions affect Rafa’s mental game so much.
Players going directly downstairs into the locker room, not the waiting room. Tarps are coming out.
enricomariariva: The funniest thing ever is that the players fight under the rain for hours and then get escorted by umbrellas until the lockers
olerafa: Total points won: Nole — 97. Rafa — 97.
As I get to work, radio Roland Garros is saying that Nole’s frustrated and then Rafa breaks. Woot! He then held at love while I was “listening” on a sketchy non-english stream.
Nole then held in a strong game – can’t really do point-by-point while at work, but the game ended when the chair overruled a call.
Rafa holds and then there’s rain and a huge debate over whether they should play or not. Rafa’s upset that the balls keep getting on the tarp at the back of the court and that the tarp is soaked. Soggy balls = no fun.
I see Nole brought his angles today. Dang it. he holds for 5-5.
Rafa got pissed that he was told he challenged a line call too late, but went on to hold at 30 in the next game.
In the last game, Rafa earned championship point on a fierce forehand. True to the matches weirdness, Nole double faulted and Rafa wins a historic 7th Roland Garros title.