(The Birthday Boy has his cake and eats it too!)
Happy 27th Birthday to Our Hero, Rafael Nadal. His present to us was a routine 3-set win over Kei Nishikori 6-4, 6-1, 6-3. The tournament's present to him was a giant-ass birthday cake presented in the middle of the court. Good thing he won. Otherwise that giant cake waiting in the hallway to the locker room would've been AWKWARD.
Kei was sharp to start out but then Rafa took control. Rafa played his best match of the tournament which was very encouraging as a potential semifinal match up against Djokovic looms. First he'll have to beat Stan Wawrinka in the quarterfinals which shouldn't be too difficult a task. Stan is a solid player who came back today to beat Richard Gasquet, who lived up to his reputation as a total head case as he let a two set lead evaporate into a 5 set loss. For most of the match, it looked like Stan was going to be the one who imploded as he got very angry over a line judge he thought should've been replaced. But by the end of the 4th set Stan was pulling it together and Gasquet was buckling.
So it's Stan vs. Rafa and Tommy Haas Vs. Djokovic in their quarters. I do love me some Tommy Haas, so obviously I'm rooting for an upset. But it really does seem we're getting that semi-final face off I've been hoping to avoid. I hope my Rafa is ready to bring it! VAMOS!