Friday, September 6, 2013

RAFA-RIPPED OPEN: Quarterfinals - Nadal d. Robredo

(not a classic, but still a familiar story.)

Wednesday night, Our Hero, Rafael Nadal, tore through his US Open quarterfinal match, totally dismantling his compatriot Tommy Robredo 6-0, 6-2, 6-2 in just 1 hour and 34 minutes. For those of you who like fun sports trivia, it's the fewest games in a US Open quarterfinal since Ivan Lendl beat Derrick Rostagno 6-2, 6-2, 6-0 in 1988. This win extends Nadal's current hard-court winning streak to 20 matches. Sweet!

It's too bad for Robredo, who played a strong match to beat (a self-destructing) Roger Federer in the 4th round.  Everyone was looking forward to the Fed-Nadal quarterfinal that Robredo's win denied. Robredo couldn't provide a competitive alternative. Rafa only lost five points in the opening set, winning it in just 22 minutes. Rafa remains unbroken for the tournament, holding 67 service games. He never faced a break point the entire match. He has only faced 6 break points on serve during the course of 16 sets over 5 matches. That's INSANE.

Now we get to the semifinals. Novak will face Stan "The Man" Wawrinka who took out defending champ Andy Murray in straight sets in their quarterfinals. Can Wawrinka pull off the biggest upset of his career and beat Novak in their semi? It seems like an extremely tall order considering how well Novak's playing. But we can always hold out hope! Nadal will be No. 1 in the rankings if he wins the title here and Novak Djokovic does not reach the final. That would be amazing.
In Rafa's semi, he's set to face No. 8 Richard Gasquet of France. Nadal has a 10-0 career record against Gasquet, who hasn't won a set against Nadal in their last five meetings. Now, there are no guarantees, and Gasquet is playing very strong tennis right now to battle past Ferrer in five sets the way he did. Still, you have to like Rafa in this match up. He's only one match away from returning to the Final! VAMOS!!

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