RG: Working through first round nerves
Rafa started his attempt to win an unprecedented 8th Roland Garros by playing Daniel Brands – a guy who was attempting to win his first match at Roland Garros. Brands is a tall guy who hits deep and hard. Sound familiar? It started to feel familiar in the 8th game of the first set as his so far excellent play and Rafa’s nerves conspired to have Rafa breaking himself with two double faults. Brands went on to serve out the set 6-4.
Things continued to be tight in the second set. Each guy had a few break points, but neither managed to convert and we went to a tiebreak. Rafa went down 0-3, but fought his way back and ended up winning the set with an amazing from outside the court backhand winner: 7-6(4).
Looking much more settled, Rafa broke to start the third set. Some energy was gone from his game, but Brands didn’t go away. There were a few tightly contested games, but that first break was all Rafa needed to take the set 6-4.
Once again, Rafa started a set by breaking. Errors started creeping up in Brands’s game and Rafa serve games tightened up considerably. Rafa survives his first round nerves and is through 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-4, 6-3.
|1st Serve %||84%||75%|
|1st Serve Points Won||74/95 (78%)||66/105 (63%)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||12/18 (67%)||22/37 (59%)|
|Break Points Saved||3/4 (75%)||5/8 (63%)|
|Break Points Won||3/8 (38%)||1/4 (25%)|
|Total Service Points Won||62/113 (55%)||88/142 (62%)|
|Total Return Points Won||54/142 (38%)||27/113 (24%)|
|Total Points Won||140/255 (55%)||115/255 (45%)|
|Net Approaches||19/25 (76%)||25/40 (63%)|