In his 3rd round match at Roland Garros, Rafa took on youngster Andrey Kuznetsov (#120) on court Suzanne Lenglen. I was happy Rafa was getting his Lenglen match out of the way on a sunny day since that court tends to play slower and produce slower bounces than Chatrier. The sun could only help.
Rafa started out by breaking Kuznetsov in the first game. He repeated that in Kuznetsov’s next service game, but then had an error filled game of his own to give a break back. Can you guess what happened on Kuznetsov’s next serve? Yes, Rafa broke again. He went on to take the set 6-1.
After holding, Rafa broke in the second game of the second set. Somewhere along the line, Kuznetsov held for the first time. Serving up 5-1, Rafa sent a forehand long to give Kuznetsov a break point. He pulled Rafa in with a sneaky dropper and then hit a winning lob to break. In the next game, Rafa hold to take the set 6-3.
Kuznetsov held at love to start the third set. Rafa replied with one of his own and then broke Kuznetsov for a 2-1 lead. Rafa broke again in the seventh game to go up 5-2 and then held to take the set 6-2.
Rafa’s through: 6-1, 6-3, 6-2.
While I always say when it comes to technique/game/yadda, I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about, I thought Rafa played a good match. Not great, but he didn’t need to be great to win. His backhand continued to look pretty solid, but there were a few shanky forehands at odd times. The bottom line was that I thought he looked much more confident out there than he has lately and his movement looked lovely. So, it all felt like good progress to me.
|Statistics on Serve|
|1st Serve %||59%||54%|
|1st Serve Points Won||27/47 (57%)||22/44 (50%)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||23/33 (70%)||16/37 (43%)|
|Break Points Saved||4/6 (67%)||6/14 (43%)|
|Service Games Played||12||12|
|Statistics on Return|
|1st Return Points Won||22/44 (50%)||20/47 (43%)|
|Second Return Points Won||21/37 (57%)||10/33 (30%)|
|Break Points Won||8/14 (57%)||2/6 (33%)|
|Return Games Played||12||12|
|Statistics on Points|
|Total Service Points Won||50/80 (63%)||38/81 (47%)|
|Total Return Points Won||43/81 (53%)||30/80 (38%)|
|Total Points Won||93/161 (58%)||68/161 (42%)|
|Net Approaches||14/19 (74%)||15/25 (60%)|