Rafa started his Mardid tournament by playing #37 Benoit Paire in the Magic Box today. I only got to see a few points in the match, but one of them was spectacular from Rafa. For those who got to see more, how did you think he played?
The draw for the Madrid Open was performed today. Here’s the pdf on the tournament site. Seeds in Rafa’s quarter are Almagro, Haas, and Ferrer. Seeds in his half are Gasquet, Cilic, Nishikori and Federer. Seeds in the top quarter are Djokovic, Wawrinka, Raonic, and Tsonga. Seeds in the 2nd quarter are Murray, Simon, Tipsarevic and Berdych.
…could keep Rafa from winning his 8th Barcelona title.
Rafa played fellow Spaniard Nicolas Almagro in the Barcelona final today. I missed the first three games, but based on twitter, Almagro came out firing winners and was soon up a double break. When I got home, they appeared to be sitting out a bit of rain. Did this slight delay give Almagro too much time to think about that 3-0 lead? Or was Rafa just waiting until I got home
In a rain delayed semifinal, Rafa played #13 Milos Raonic today in Barcelona. I missed the start of the match, but it seems like Rafa started a bit slow as Raonic broke him right away and went up 2-0. Raonic probably wishes he could have frozen the match in time at that point, because it was downhill for him on the scoreboard from then on out. By the time I was able to watch, Rafa was moving him around the court and passing him at will. Not that Raonic was playing poorly, it’s just that Rafa was being Rafa on clay. Rafa’s through to the final 6-4, where he will play Nicolas Almagro. With this win, Rafa ties Borg for number of career match wins – they both have 608.
To make up for yesterday’s non-stop rain, Rafa had to play two matches today in Barcelona. He started his day with a defeat of #33 Benoit Paire 7-6(2), 6-2. Rafa folloed that up with a drubbing of #64 Albert Ramos. Nice scores, but Rafa still needs to steady his backhand – it went from brilliant to “oh my” bad in a nano-second.
Rafa started is Barcelona campaign with a solid 6-4, 6-2 2nd round win over Carlos Berlocq. I’m back to the boring real job and didn’t get to see the match – did anyone get to see it? Comments on the level of play?
Let’s just start with the facts: Rafa Nadal is, for the first time since 2005, not the champion of the Monte-Carlo Masters. He lost today to Novak Djokovic 6-2, 7-6(1). Now the emotions: I left the court very sad; I left Rafa’s presser reassured. As usual, his perspective helped restore mine. He’s happy to have made the finals after his time away. He was happy that he fought and played his best match of the tournament. As he said, he prefers
Rafa played Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the first men’s Monte-Carlo semifinal today. It was a day that was supposed to be filled with rain. Instead, the constantly changing conditions – sunny and warm one minute; blustery cool and humid the next – just produced a threat of rain and a big challenge for the players. We know how much Rafa likes a challenge, right? The match looked like it was going to be a total blow out until, like the weather, Rafa cooled
In the Monte-Carlo quarterfinals, Rafa played error-filled tennis against an in form Dimitrov and still managed to win 6-2, 2-6, 6-4. I’m not sure how he managed to, but he did. (His back had some tape on it too – not sure what that’s about. Basically, I’m not sure of a lot of things right now…like how I managed to not get kicked out of the photographer area for yelling, “Over the net and inside the lines!”)
(To clear things up, I wasn’t
Rafa handily defeated Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-2, 6-4 in the third round of the 2013 Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters. And that’s about all I’m going to write because it’s 11:30pm, I’ve had free French wine, and I still need to work on my photos.