Rafa met #32 Fabio Fognini today in the Hamburg final. Rafa was attempting to extend his streak of consecutive years with at least one European clay finals and Fabio was trying to be the first person with 3 clay court wins over Rafa in 1 year. Who would prevail?
The match started with 4 consecutive breaks of serve. Rafa was the first to hold and start a trend. It looked like the hold streak might end in the 11th game, but Rafa survived a very nervy serve game to force Fognini to serve to stay in the set. In the next game, Rafa earned multiple break points. On the 4th opportunity, Rafa hit a forehand return winner off a second serve and the set was his: 7-5.
Rafa started the 2nd set with a love hold. He went on to break in the 4th game, but couldn’t consolidate as Fognini broke in the next game to put the set back on serve. In the 5th game, Rafa saved one break point against, but on the 2nd, he didn’t stop play when Fognini’s return was wide (and not called). His reply was a bit tentative and Fognini hit a drop shot winner to break and go up 4-3. Having learned that lesson the hard way, Rafa did stop play when he had a break point in the next game. He was right, Fognini’s ball was out and the set was back on serve. Didn’t last long, though. Down a break point in the next game, Rafa hit a drop shit into the net and was broken – giving Fognini the chance to serve for the set.
Things got odd on the changeover after that. Fognini stepped over towards Rafa’s side and had some harsh words. People attempting to translate said he kept saying “don’t break my balls”. So…who the heck knows what was going on. Whatever it was, perhaps it helped fire Rafa up because he fought from set point down in the next game to break back and level the set at 5-5. In the next game, Fognini had double break point. He lost one with drop shit. Rafa saved another with an ace. Rafa went on to hold for 6-5. Given how the match went overall, it’s only fitting that Rafa broke in the last game to take the game, match and title.
Rafa defeats Fognini 7-5, 7-5.
|Statistics on Serve|
|1st Serve %||81%||63%|
|1st Serve Points Won||45/81 (56%)||40/70 (57%)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||10/19 (53%)||14/42 (33%)|
|Break Points Saved||9/14 (64%)||8/15 (53%)|
|Service Games Played||12||12|
|Statistics on Return|
|1st Return Points Won||30/70 (43%)||36/81 (44%)|
|Second Return Points Won||28/42 (67%)||9/19 (47%)|
|Break Points Won||7/15 (47%)||5/14 (36%)|
|Return Games Played||12||12|
|Statistics on Points|
|Total Service Points Won||55/100 (55%)||54/112 (48%)|
|Total Return Points Won||58/112 (52%)||45/100 (45%)|
|Total Points Won||113/212 (53%)||99/212 (47%)|
|Net Approaches||7/15 (47%)||5/14 (36%)|
Trophy biting photo once one becomes available. Sorry for the oodles of typos that probably exist in here. It’s early. I’m tired. And I’m too happy to care. :D