Stan Wawrinka defeated Rafa in the Paris Masters quarterfinals today by a score of 7-6(8), 7-6(7).
Rafa came out playing aggressively and broke Wawrinka in the first game. Wawrinka’s sluggish play continued until he ordered a changeover coffee – soon after that his play picked up and he broke while Rafa was serving for the set. Rafa held to force a tiebreak. And what a tight tiebreaker it was. After trading mini-breaks at the start, both held until it was 8-9 on Rafa’s serve. Rafa netted his forehand and the first set was Wawrinka’s.
Both men held serve in the second set until the 7th game when Rafa double faulted break point down. Serving for the match, Stan got a bit tight and Rafa happily took advantage to break back for 5-5. They went to a tiebreaker and Rafa went up 5-2. Then…a point that made no sense – Rafa hit one overhead smash right back and Wawrinka. He then hit a second one right into the net. He followed that with a so-so volley that Wawrinka handled with ease. He recovered to hit a beauty of a down the line winner to give himself set point on Wawrinka’s serve. He missed a forehand, but then had a set point on his own serve. A very long point ended with Rafa try to end it with short slice angled winner, but it went out: 6-6. Rafa won one more point, but Stan soon had a match point on Rafa’s serve. He hit a frustratingly lovely pass to take the tiebreaker, set and match.
Rafa felt so close to taking both sets. So close. Frustratingly close. It’s still weird seeing him when he’s unable to close the deal. Still, he’s playing so much better than where he was earlier this year. Progress is happening, we all just need some more patience.
|Statistics on Serve|
|1st Serve %||68%||60%|
|1st Serve Points Won||42/63 (67%)||44/54 (81%)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||18/29 (62%)||18/36 (50%)|
|Break Points Saved||3/5 (60%)||6/8 (75%)|
|Service Games Played||12||12|
|Statistics on Return|
|1st Return Points Won||10/54 (19%)||21/63 (33%)|
|Second Return Points Won||18/36 (50%)||11/29 (38%)|
|Break Points Won||2/8 (25%)||2/5 (40%)|
|Return Games Played||12||12|
|Statistics on Points|
|Total Service Points Won||60/92 (65%)||62/90 (69%)|
|Total Return Points Won||28/90 (31%)||32/92 (35%)|
|Total Points Won||88/182 (48%)||94/182 (52%)|
|Net Approaches||12/21 (57%)||12/16 (75%)|