Rafa took on #15 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga today in the first Shanghai semifinal. You never know which Tsonga is going to show up: flashy or wildly inconsistent. Today it was a bit of both: flashy serving and fairly consistent. His serve was very dominant while Rafa was a bit too passive at times he shouldn’t be. Oddly enough, Rafa won the 2nd set when playing at his most passive (while up a double break), so who the heck knows what’s going on. The third set felt very close with just the cliche few points making a difference. Sadly, the difference fell on Tsonga’s side today as he defeats Rafa 4-6, 6-0, 5-7.
All in all, I still feel this was a very positive week for Rafa. Let’s hope he can build on what he’s accomplished here.
|Statistics on Serve|
|1st Serve %||76%||66%|
|1st Serve Points Won||48/68 (71%)||45/59 (76%)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||10/21 (48%)||12/31 (39%)|
|Break Points Saved||8/10 (80%)||8/11 (73%)|
|Service Games Played||14||14|
|Statistics on Return|
|1st Return Points Won||14/59 (24%)||20/68 (29%)|
|Second Return Points Won||19/31 (61%)||11/21 (52%)|
|Break Points Won||3/11 (27%)||2/10 (20%)|
|Return Games Played||14||14|
|Statistics on Points|
|Total Service Points Won||58/89 (65%)||57/90 (63%)|
|Total Return Points Won||33/90 (37%)||31/89 (35%)|
|Total Points Won||91/179 (51%)||88/179 (49%)|
|Net Approaches||20/30 (67%)||17/25 (68%)|
Tsonga had break points in Rafa’s first service game and again in the 5th. After not getting a return in on 4 break points, he hits a passing shot winner to break for a 3-2 lead. Rafa couldn’t really get a lot of in roads in Tsonga’s serve – the two break points he managed to generate were saved by excellent serves. So, Tsonga was able to ride out that 1 break and take the first set 6-4.
After Rafa held, he took advantage of a poor service game from Tsonga to break for a 2-0 lead. This started the Rafa train and, despite occasional lapses to some passive play, Rafa took the second set 6-0.
Tsonga went up triple break point in the 3rd game of set 3. Rafa fought back and ended up painting the line with a beauty of a forehand to put the game at deuce. On game point, he hit another wonderful forehand to hold for 2-1. Rafa had a slight window in the 8th game, but Tsgona upped his serves and held. In the 11th game, Rafa went down a break point. He hit a lovely serve out wide and followed it in, but didn’t quite put enough on his follow up approach. Tsonga passing show was low at Rafa’s feet and Rafa couldn’t get it back over the net. Rafa was broken giving Tsonga the chance to serve for the match. And he did.
(And I seriously apologize for the post title. I’ve had 6 hours of sleep in 2 days and now have to go walk a charity 5k with co-workers. I needed to amuse myself a bit.)