May 18, 2013 § Leave a comment
Rafa was sensational. Sensational. Sensational. Ok! I think you get my drift now 🙂 just sensational :p Ok Now I am seriously not going to use that word again, but he was 🙂 I think he played his best match today. He was “on” from the very get go, as he broke Tomas in the very first game of the match and held his own quite well and led 2-0. But Tomas took the third game on his serve and saved break of points and got on the board. Not only did Rafa not face break points, he also won 100% of his second serve. Which is huge to say the least. His serve was steady, he was much calmer and more collected and just swept the first set under the rug, 6-2.
The second set has become quite a problem for Rafa these few days, I have noticed, and this has been the pattern since Barcelona. He himself admits to being tired and the quadriceps not being strong enough, so he can’t practice longer than he is usually does,so he loses the intensity and lacks the instant reflex to continue with the same high percentage of play. But despite a so-so effort in the first few games of the second set, Rafa broke when necessary and held his own serve to finish the match 6-4. Tomas Berdych took the loss in his stride and said that Rafa was the better player and even told Rafa on the net that he beat him fair and square. Very sporty and very un-Berdych like. But hey, alls well that ends well right?
Not only has Rafa made the finals of all eight tournaments he has entered since Chile, but he has also won five titles. He is already number one in the race to London,which is incredible, since he missed the first slam of the season in Melbourne. But what a remarkable career bounce back it has been. He is ready and won’t be denied a fair chance at Roland Garros. He has shown the world, the doubters and the haters alike that I am still the man to beat on Clay and I will always be one of the best in the game. 🙂 It looks like I have got my dream final in Fedal. It was always about these two for me. It was the best era when Fedal dominated the scene, and Novak was nowhere to be found. I have always admired Andy Murray’s tenacity and courage to hang on to the top 5 for quite a while now, and it’s great that he has achieved so much. It’s credit to Rafa’s whole team and him, specially, to beat physical suffering with mental fortitude 🙂 It’s great to have Rafa back and I can only give him all my luck and well wishes for tomorrow and the year ahead. It’s such a delight to watch him. 🙂 #VamosRafa
May 17, 2013 § 1 Comment
Well as you might have guessed 🙂 Rafa won!!!!!! I am so giddy excited! 🙂
Ok the endless tweets of support are swarming twitter right now, so I am just going to stop posting all of them. Rafa’s entire body language changed after yesterday’s near bagel first set loss. Like it woke him up, shook him up, and made him ponder over what he had to do in today’s match to stay ahead in the race to defend his title. And with that reflection, and with difficult but coming through in the end holds of serves, Rafa quickly nabbed the first set 6-4. He was aggressive from the get go, a little hasty, but made tremendous winners in Ferru’s opening serve to equal the score at 30-30. The haste cost him dearly in the second, as Ferrer came alive and played marvellously well to secure the giant lead of 4-0. Rafa who broke for 5-4 had the chance to equal the set and maybe take it to the tie breaker, but Ferru had some genius shots in his arsenal. Taking a page out of Rafa buddy’s playbook instead of Djokovic’s- he thought to himself that he was not giving up just yet, and scampered to save the second set and won it 6-4. The third set, was all Rafa all the way, with some brilliance of Ferru in the middle, but Rafa had a comfortable hold at 5-2, on his serve. Ferru desperately saved two match points, but it was Rafael Nadal who came out on top.
Not only that- Rafa is now the number one leader in the race to London ATP rankings and will be number four seed at the Roland Garros tournament played later this week. #VamosRafa! Fingers crossed for tomorrow’s semifinals. Rafa you make me so happy and proud. My smile is actually stretching from Roma and back 😀
Amo Rafa. Amo Roma 😀
May 16, 2013 § Leave a comment
May 16, 2013 § Leave a comment
Ernests Gulbis was on fire today. The flames of determination and self-belief engulfed Rafa in the first set 6-1. After that I did not have the courage to see the second set, and I switched off my live streaming, disappointed and heartbroken. The very thought of Rafa being nearly bageled by a world no. 46, however good he might be, sent a current through my system, and I just hung my head low, shook my head in disdain and started formulating a hopeless review of the match! After about an hour or so I peaked into my iphone app of the ATP live scores, and saw that Rafa had a 4-2 lead and if he would hold serve he would clinch the set 5-2. I smiled a little too much, and then the match was even at 4-4. Now either Rafa would break Gulbis for 5-4 or vice versa, and then who knows who the tie breaker will favour? But Rafa held his nerve, and played smartly, by most importantly, keeping the ball in play. The longer the rallies the more unforced impatient errors from Gulbis. But Gulbis was not done yet, and was not handing over the match to Rafa in a silver platter. He gave his last vestiges of his soul into saving two match points but then succumbed to Rafa 6-1 5-7 4-6. What a nail biting over the cliff match it must have been! Now that I know that Rafa won, I will go back and see the whole match in it’s entirety. And I read several post match reviews, criticising Rafa’s up and down week and how he loses points on his serve, etc, but I fail to not see the positive from this match! The point is that Rafa won! The point is that time and again, Rafa has won matches which he should not have won! The point is that his knees can take away his playing years in tennis but cannot take away that fighting spirit!!
I’m sure that Rafa will bring his better version tomorrow. He has to, otherwise Ferrer will have a field day! Ferrer got a walk-over into the quarters, as a result of Kohlschreiber retiring from vertigo. The more the ATP push players to play throughout the year, the more players will drop like flies. Something needs to be done about the stupid rules and the greedy foundation of the ATP. It can’t run a business at the expense of the player!
But all’s well that end’s well 😀
I hope Rafa digs deep and hopefully pulls through tomorrow’s match as it is crucial for him to know where he stands on a physical level. His up and down game is all due to his lack of time he puts into practice post comeback. He said in an interview that before the layoff, he used to practice two hours before matches and now he can’t go over 50 minutes. So maybe it’s a psychological issue- maybe he does not need the two hours. It’s just that he is a creature of habit, but he needs to adjust like he always does. he tweaks in improvements year in and year out. Like this year his serve has improved tremendously and his groundstrokes are more deep and angled and crisp. It’s not the question of grinding your way out of the match anymore. It’s holding serve, coming to the net more often and not engaging in mindless rallies. But who am I to give the greatest any advice? I just hope he finds it in him, finds the 2010 version of himself, to beat both Ferrer and Novak. Yes it’s a tough back to back day for him, but that is his life that he has chosen. And the best part is – that he does not complain about it. He thrives under pressure 😀 And I can only imagine his elation after he comes through a tough match 😀 #Vamos Rafa!!! You are an inspiration! Keep fighting as you always do. Dig deep, think about all the victories and think about all that you have endured to reach to this point in life. Lavish in it, adjust and fist pump vamos into another final 🙂 Win Rafa win! This is your time 😀