Viña del Mar: Sliding into place
For his 3rd round match in Chile, Rafa took on fellow Spaniard and world #64 Daniel Gimeno-Traver. This match could not have started more differently than his first one as he came out firing, held, broke and then held to find himself up 3-0. He later broke a second time to go up 5-1 and then served out a quick and tidy first set.
The second set was a wee bit less tidy, but only in that Rafa wasn’t getting quite as much traction in Gimeno-Traver’s service games while Gimeno-Traver managed to get a few nibbles in Rafa’s. Basically, Rafa seemed to relax a bit while Gimeno-Traver was smart enough to take advantage of it. Also, Rafa got his first time warning. Got a feeling we might see a few of those this year. In the 9th game, Rafa hit an amazing forehand passing shot to earn a double break point. Gimeno-Traver saved one, but Rafa broke to go up 5-4. Serving for the match, Rafa ran into a few hiccups, had to save 3 break points and took 4 match points to win. But he did win: 6-1, 6-4.
All in all, Rafa appeared to be far steadier, confident and, well, smooth in his movements than in his first match. As that last game showed, however, there’s still a bit of rust and nerves to shake off.
|Statistics on Serve|
|1st Serve %||68%||47%|
|1st Serve Points Won||29/44 (66%)||17/22 (77%)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||14/20 (70%)||10/24 (42%)|
|Break Points Saved||4/4 (100%)||3/6 (50%)|
|Service Games Played||9||8|
|Statistics on Return|
|1st Return Points Won||5/22 (23%)||15/44 (34%)|
|Second Return Points Won||14/24 (58%)||6/20 (30%)|
|Break Points Won||3/6 (50%)||0/4 (%)|
|Return Games Played||8||9|
|Statistics on Points|
|Total Service Points Won||43/64 (67%)||27/46 (59%)|
|Total Return Points Won||19/46 (41%)||21/64 (33%)|
|Total Points Won||62/110 (56%)||48/110 (44%)|