In the 3rd Monte-Carlo quarterfinal of the day, Rafa played #26 Stanislas Wawrinka. Rafa broke early in the first set, but was broken back when serving up 4-3. He broke back in the 11th game and then served out the set. He broke early again in the 2nd and then I had to stop watching, so I’m not sure if there were further breaks. Bottom line: Rafa won his 40th match in a row in Monte-Carlo and is into the semis: 7-5, 6-4.
Full 3rd round match video:
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The Toss: Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and streaks of seven – by Courtney Nguyen and C.W. Sesno.
Report on the player’s party and the mangle.
Borg: Modern game tougher than my day – via tennishead.net
Rafa does social media:
Rafa let us know
Photos from Rafa’s match against Kukushkin.
Photos by Julian Finney/Getty Images, REUTERS/Eric Gaillard, AFP PHOTO/ VALERY HACHE,
Post-match interview for rtve.es.
Excerpt from Rafa’s post-match presser:
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Thursday’s ATP Hot-Shot courtesy of Rafa.
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Late in the day and after an emotional match where a grieving Djokovic managed to pull out a victory, Rafa took to Court Central to play #68 Kukushkin. Frankly, there was more danger from the weather, court (“full of holes” per Andy Murray) and the impending darkness than the opponent. Rafa’s through to the quarters: 6-1, 6-1.
A transcript of Rafa’s presser has been posted here.
Q. How did you feel about your performance today?
RAFAEL NADAL: Really normal. I believe that I played a really normal match, nothing special. Nothing very bad, but nothing very good. So just, yeah, normal. That’s it.
First match on clay after long time, first match after 15 days without touch a racquet, just practicing five, six days. So is happened the normal thing and most important thing is I
Racquet Reaction: Nadal d. Nieminen – by Hannah Wilks (tennis.com)
Nadal Opens Title Defence – by the ATP
Nadal irrepressible on Monaco clay – by Dan Quarrell (eurosport.yahoo.com)
Djokovic, Nadal make Monte Carlo third round – by Gregory Blachier (Reuters)
Djokovic seeks Monte Carlo crown – by Richard Evans (foxsports.com)
Nadal, Djokovic roll at Monte Carlo Masters – from the AP
The Most Useful Talent – by Steve Tignor (tennis.com)
Catching the Tape: So…What
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Rafa sends us a message after the match – in Spanish:
How sweet is that?
Photos from Rafa’s match against Nieminen.
Photos by Julian Finney/Getty Images and VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images