Thursday, June 7, 2012

Magnificent Seven? 2012 French Open - Rafa Quarterfinals

(As if manhandling Almagro during the match wasn't enough, this also happened. Rafa is all hands!)

In another straight set victory, Our Hero, Rafael Nadal, shrugged off friend and compatriot Nicolas Almagro to reach the Semifinals of Roland Garros, 7-6 (4), 6-2, 6-3. It was a tougher contest than Rafa had previously faced this tournament, but still the result was the same.

Nico's strategy seemed to be to hit the ground running, playing with as much aggression as possible and hoping to get a slight advantage in the opening set and see where that got him. He hung very close, but Nadal took him down in the tie-break, so after being neck and neck with Rafa, he was suddenly a set down and only getting further behind. It's always amazing how quickly that can happen to Rafa's opponents. They seem to be playing at an even level, but Rafa wins all the important points - saving break points on his serve, converting break points on his opponent's serve - and suddenly he's miles ahead of them!

Rafa's road to his 7th French Open title definitely runs through Spain, as the #1 Spanish player faced the #4 Spanish player in the 4th Round (Monaco) the #3 Spanish player in the Quarters (Almagro) and now will face the #2 Spanish Player in the Semis (Ferrer). None of these players are slouches. They all have had terrific results in 2012. Almagro had one more clay court matches than Rafa. Ferrer has 3 titles already this year. The competition is not easy breezy, by any means, but Rafa is making short work of everyone. Even Ferrer admitted he doesn't really believe he can win tomorrow's match with Rafa playing the way he is playing this week. Rafa is just two wins away from making history with his 7th French Open title. VAMOS!

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