Thursday, May 26, 2011

Once Again For 10: Rafa at the French Open, Second Round

(Rafa gets through another tough challenge.)

Well Round 2 went better than Round 1 for Rafa... but it's still not awesome. It's not super-dominant . It's not Rafa at peak performance. He's still finding his groove while facing some really tough early competition. Today Rafa won in straight sets 7-5, 6-3, 7-6 (4) against Pablo Andujar from Spain. Andujar is actually a rare player Rafa has never faced on the tour before. Andujar played really well today, but since its Rafa on the other side of the net, he really shouldn't have presented as much of a problem as he did. Still leading 2 sets to 0, Rafa fell behind in the third set 1-5. He then had to fend off EIGHT set points from Andujar en route to clawing his way back into the third set and finally winning it in the Tie Break. I'm glad Rafa took the opportunity to fight back and regain control instead of letting the set go and try to win in the fourth. I like to see a hungry Rafa. I like to see him fight his way through. I just get nervous when i see him fall behind 5-1 to someone who's not at his level. But the fight is there in his play, and that's very good.

Next up. Rafa will face Antonio Veic, a wily qualifier who beat Davydenko in five sets today. It shouldn't be too much of a challenge, but who knows this year? Another third round match I'm really looking forward to tomorrow is Del Po vs. Djokovic. If there's a real challenge to Novak making the final this year, I think it's this early round encounter. It should be a really intense match. And if Del Po wins and Rafa no longer has to see Djokovic looming on the other side of the draw... well I wouldn't think that is so terrible. :)

(Andujar grabs a little bum on his way off the court, and really - who can blame him?)

No comments: