Sunday, August 11, 2013

Rafa Returns! Routs Raonic at Rogers!

(taking a bite out of 2013!)

Congrats to Our Hero, Rafael Nadal, for another incredible tournament win today at the Rogers Cup in Montreal. After a very closely fought victory over Our Nemesis, Novak Djokovic, in the semis, Nadal bulldozed Milos Raonic in the final 6-2 6-2. It was sad for the Canadians watching who were hoping for a home grown title winner for the first time in 55 years, and it seemed like Raonic had a shot at it going in, but the wait will have to continue for at least another year. Rafa was at the top of his game. His serve was working for him, the breezy on-court conditions were working for him and he played a well-executed aggressive game throughout. I'm so thrilled to have Rafa back in action after his seven week summer vacation, and to be doing so well again after that unfortunate first round loss at Wimby. This was a very good tournament for him, as he got his first win over Novak on hard courts since 2010 and took down a very formidable opponent in Jerzy Janowicz two rounds before. Excellent, excellent play this week from Nadal.

(TBT - Throw back trophy! taking a bite out of 2008!)

So some fun stats: Rafa has now entered 11 tournaments this year, made 10 finals and won 8 tournaments. He has extended his tour-record career haul of Masters 1000 tournament titles to 25. He is undefeated on hard courts for the season (!!) with two Masters 1000 titles on the surface already. He's jumped up a place from 4th to 3rd in the overall rankings. He's now 48-3 for the year (94% win percentage) and has not won this many tour titles in a single season since 2008. He now has 58 career singles titles to his name.

(TBT - taking a bite out of 2005! just a baby!)

Next up we have the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati - a tournament I don't think Nadal has ever won. He has some formidable opponents in his section of the draw including Federer as a possible quarterfinal match up and then Murray possibly in the semis. If he keeps up this kind of form, Rafa has a great shot at the title this year. VAMOS!!

As a bonus, here's a clip of Nadal accidentally hitting Novak in the head with the ball early in the third set of their semifinal match. He tried to apologize right after, but Novak wasn't having it. Rafa again apologized at the net when the match was over and Novak accepted his apology and they moved on. But damn, that was a crazy moment!

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