Saturday, June 26, 2010

2010 Wimbledon - Round 3: Another Tough Victory

(Rafa digs deep for another 5 set victory)

Congrats to Rafael Nadal for making it through another tough match in the 3rd round of Wimbledon on Saturday. This time it was against Germany's Philipp Petzschner, and Rafa pulled out a 6-4, 4-6, 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-3 victory. For the second straight match, Nadal had to come back from being down 2 sets to 1 to win. I'm a little concerned for Rafa right now. as he is contending with injuries to his left arm and right thigh, needing to call the trainer twice for treatment during the match. Nadal needed more than 3.5 hours to defeat Petzschner. While that isn't 70-68 in the fifth set, it's still a long match if your body isn't feeling right. Luckily he has today off and his 4th round opponent is Frenchie opponent, Paul-Henri Mathieu. Matthieu is currently ranked 66th in the world and Rafa's never lost to him - a 9-0 record. Still Rafa had a crazy win streak against Feliciano Lopez going into their match a few weeks ago at Queen's Club, and lost that due to a minor leg injury. So certainly moving forward I hope Rafa is in good condition and can win quickly Monday giving him a chance to save energy for some tougher opponents who still loom large in his side of the draw.

Another interesting tidbit from the game. At the beginning of the 5th set, Rafa's energy and focus was fading a bit, when the chair umpire gave him a warning for receiving coaching from Uncle Tony from the player's box. This is a big no no, especially in men's tennis (though against the rules, it goes largely ignored in the women's game) and Rafa freaked out a bit over the warning. He got very animated in conversation with the ump, pointing at him and saying what I like to imagine was "you're a dead man!" Maybe that's just what I was thinking at the time. Obviously, this is not what he actually said, since Rafa would never say that, nor would the tournament allow him to, but the warning really got the fire lit within Rafa again, and he tore through the end of the 5th set to win. It wasn't nice to see Rafa receive the warning, but it was great to see him snap back into focus afterwards.
hope Rafa enjoys a restful middle-Sunday at Wimbledon. He's half-way to the finish line! Vamos!

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