Last night Rafa secured an impressive 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 win over 6-foot-10 Ivo Karlovic of Croatia in the round of 16. Rafa has made it to week 2 of the Aussie Open! Woohoo!! Dr. Ivo is the tallest man on the tour, and is known for his booming serve. Nadal, said the strategy against Dr. Ivo was just not to blink. "Just be focused all the time, move the legs, because you going to have a lot of points only with one shot," Rafa said after the win. To give you an idea of just how tall Ivo is, take a look at the picture below when he meets Rafa at net after the match. Rafa is over 6 feet tall, and he's still almost a full head shorter than Ivo!
This victory sets up a highly-anticipated quarterfinal round match between Rafa and Andy Murray. Rafa has a solid 7-2 record over Murray, but I'm already nervous about this one. Murray has been playing really well, and Rafa has been having some mental trouble against top 10 players lately. Still, Rafa is healthy and playing big tennis this tourney. I expect him to throw everything he has at Murray in his quest for another win.
Rafa's thoughts? "Being the quarterfinals is a very good news for me ... I'm going to have a very difficult match against Andy It's completely different. He's one of the more talented players on the tour. he can play aggressive, play offensive. I want to play my game. ... If not maybe I will have a good flight home."
Don't book that early flight yet, Rafa! You can do it! Vamos!