Friday, 9 September 2011

The Return Of The "Rafa-Crushing-Mode"

Rafa after beating Muller.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
           I have so many to catch up on that I don't really know from where I could start, but actually I think I should start with an apology to all Rafa fans, who visited the blog today and yesterday, as I haven't updated the blog since Rafa's match against Nalbandian.

Rafa's 4th round match was scheduled on Tuesday, September 6th, but unfortunately all matches have been cancelled that day due to the non-stop rain. Then the match was scheduled on Wed, though it was a break from showers or so, Rafa and the other players in his and Murray's half has been asked to start their matches. They actually did, but as I can say it wasn't pretty.

As for Rafa, he was really pissed of to step on court in that whether, but he did though he knew it was "too dangerous". It was Muller who started serving at the very beginning, he held easily then broke Rafa then held again, but it wasn't long since the rain was back. The rest of that day has been stressful as I can say, as players had to wait to know whether play will be resumed or they'd head back to their hotels. Anyhow, that stressful day passed and it was day 11 at the Open. We could now see the sun shinning, fans were excited and it was a great day to hit some high-class tennis! Although Rafa resumed his match being down 0-3, Rafa was playing pretty well. He managed, by a way or another, to break back  and eventually the 1st set has been taken to a Tie-Break. Then it didn't really took Rafa long to wrap the set 7-6 while Muller only succeeded in winning a single point. Rafa found himself hardly suffering in the last couple of sets. Being up more than a break in each he could easily make it to 7-6(1) 6-1 6-2.

Rafa didn't really have time to rest before his quarter-final match, he didn't have a gap day between his 4th round and quarter-final, as  the tournament's organizers had to schedule the bottom half's quarter-finals the day next its 4th rounds. However, this had nothing to do with Rafa's performance, not in a negative way at least. In fact, I believe that his performance has been improved in the QF. Rafa's QF opponent was the familiar Andy Roddick, who has been playing in front of his home crowd. Nevertheless, Rafa had no problem in wrapping him in straights.

At first when I knew that Roddick has beaten David Ferrer, Rafa's countryman and friend, 6-3 6-4 3-6 6-3. I knew it would not be an easy one. I was amazed by Rafa's performance in the 1st set as he broke Andy from the very beginning, held his serve, then broke again and held. Rafa was now leading 4-0 and it was now time for Roddick to held for the 1st time in the match. Still Rafa leading 4-1, then both players held to make it 5-2 and it was obviously Rafa who serving for the set. It was no surprise to see Rafa leading 6-2 now. The 2nd set was pretty much the same scenario, in a way or another, Rafa managed to finish the set losing only a single game. The 3rd wasn't really different than the first two as it went to Rafa 6-3. Nadal's 6-2 6-1 6-3 win over Roddick didn't only make him join his fellows Federer, Djokovic and Murray at the Open's SF, but also he was now the only player to reach the SFs without losing a single set in the tournament. Another interesting fact that I'd love to add is that in Rafa's career, this is the 6th time that he has reached Grand Slam SF without dropping a set. In previous 5, he went on to capture title and that's what Greg Sharko stated earlier on Twitter. Judging by Rafa's performance in his match against Roddick, I can say that The "Rafa-Crushing-Mode" is finally back!

Needless to say, as you all already know, Nadal's Semi-final opponent is Andy Murray, world number 4, who has beaten John Isner in the QF 7-5 6-4 3-6 7-6(2). Nadal has already faced Andy about 16 time on tour and is leading 12-4 in their Head to head field. But let's just not  forget that Andy is an amazing fighter who will never put previous results on his mind while playing Rafa in a Grand Slam. In fact, Murray has appeared in such a great shape this tournament, and I believe that his chances are really high this time! I believe that Rafa should really serve well from the beginning, his shots shall be deep and then we leave the rest for Rafa's magic.

The 1st semi-final match between Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer is scheduled 1st on Arthur Ashe tomorrow, Sat. September 10th at 12:00 pm (local time). Followed by Nadal Vs Murray (not before 2:45 pm).

Vamos Rafa!


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