In a late and rain delayed match, Rafa played #27 (and currently on a hot streak) Jeremy Chardy. Rafa came out playing and moving well. He was returning serve much closer to the baseline and was hitter deeper than he has been lately. He broke early and was soon serving for the first set. He promptly dumped some forehands mid-net and I started holding my breath a bit. He settled, though, and took the set 6-3.
After a quick hold from Chardy to start the second set, it took Rafa quite a while to hold his serve – saving 6 break points in the process. A few games later, Rafa broke for a 3-2 lead. Rafa had double break/match point in the 9th game, but some deep hitting from Chardy put them at deuce and then Rafa hit two poor service returns. If Rafa wanted this, he was going to have to serve for it – something he hasn’t been too stellar at lately.
Aggressive play from Chardy put Rafa down 0-15. An excellent second serve return and Rafa was down 0-30. Chardy hit a nice short angle that I thought was going to be a winner. Rafa tracked it down and hit a monster forehand off it: 15-30. Solid charging tennis and it was even: 30-30. Lovely 1-2 and it was match point. Chardy wasn’t going away that easily as he hit a return winner to put things at deuce. Rafa hit a floaty slice that sat up, but Chardy overhit: deuce. A good serve gave Rafa control and he earned a match point. And, of course, he followed that up with a double fault. Chardy sent a forehand out and Rafa had another match point. A good serve and a passing shot that Chardy couldn’t handle and Rafa wins: 6-3, 6-4.
It wasn’t perfect and I really wish he’d get over the yips when serving for sets/matches, but this was some of the best tennis I’ve seen from him in a while.
|Statistics on Serve|
|1st Serve %||66%||47%|
|1st Serve Points Won||37/49 (76%)||17/24 (71%)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||14/25 (56%)||16/27 (59%)|
|Break Points Saved||9/9 (100%)||2/4 (50%)|
|Service Games Played||10||9|
|Statistics on Return|
|1st Return Points Won||7/24 (29%)||12/49 (24%)|
|Second Return Points Won||11/27 (41%)||11/25 (44%)|
|Break Points Won||2/4 (50%)||0/9 (%)|
|Return Games Played||9||10|
|Statistics on Points|
|Total Service Points Won||51/74 (69%)||33/51 (65%)|
|Total Return Points Won||18/51 (35%)||23/74 (31%)|
|Total Points Won||69/125 (55%)||56/125 (45%)|