Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Final


Reuters/AP

Rafael Nadal attempts to win his fifth consecutive Monte-Carlo crown to make history. Novak Djokovic, the player in the blue suede shoes, stands in his way.

Discuss.

43 comments:

Karen said...

Morning Craig: my keys to the match: Novak needs to serve well and Rafa needs to move him around. Winner: Rafa. Already Raf already up a break.

Karen said...

Now that is a surprise. Novak breaks right back.

Karen said...

OK where is everybody - still sleeping or too intent on watching the match. Phewt

Craig Hickman said...

Rafa hasn't surrendered his serve after breaking early in his last three matches. It's no surprise at all.

Pamela said...

I'm here, I'm watching. I'm too tired to Twitter this match today, but I am here. Rafa needs to get it together. I don't think the Smurf has it in him to keep up a sustained attack. Rafa breaks back already.

Karen said...

Anyway, got to get ready for church. Talk to you all later.

Craig Hickman said...

Rafa almost broke his back on that overhead.

Craig Hickman said...

Pamela who are you are twitter?

oddman said...

Hi, and gotta run, dagnabit. Can't watch with you all. Looks like Nole dialed in right now, let's see if he can keep it up for a whole match.
I think Rafa likes this, though - a good fight on clay. Vamos, Rafa!

Craig Hickman said...

Here goes the back.

Craig Hickman said...

After 16 points with no errors, that's three in a row. Two fom Djoke, one from Rafa.

Karen said...

I am still around and I smell retirement coming

Marissa said...

No surprise to see the trainer. Nole holds his back right after he gets broken again. :-\

Karen said...

think this match is over - going to finish getting ready for church and stuff - see you all - Praise the Lord people

Pamela said...

It feels like the Semi with Andy M and that 2nd set was the defacto final. Djokovic can't maintain the consistency that Andy does.

Craig Hickman said...

AndyM can't maintain it either. Not on clay. And certainly not against Rafa. Who can?

Pamela said...

True Craig, but I just meant in the vein of being less error prone.

Craig Hickman said...

These points are brutal. Fans of clay court tennis are fans of torture.

Pamela said...

I'm annoyed now. Rafa is not dictating and he's playing passively. Why?

Craig Hickman said...

He's a Gemini?

Pamela said...

You're blaming weak shots and errors on duality? lol If he loses, that's my excuse too.

Craig Hickman said...

Rafa's been playing passive tennis all week. Surely he was bound to throw some in the the final.

Matthew said...

Woke up just in time to see break point at the beginning of the second set. Wow, that was pretty good.

Craig Hickman said...

"You will not see a better point in 2009!" exclaimed Robby Koenig.

What hyperbole. There have been better points in this match.

Craig Hickman said...

Not that it wasn't a great point, but c'mon, fellas.

dapxin said...

set the game up, and went to bed hoping Nadal - the brute will do his usual kill.

woke up 1hr later and its still on.

hmmmm

dapxin said...

+ what is my diagnosis ?

I know Rafa is humble, and cool - but his persistence, and somewhat brute method just doesnt appeal to tennis n00bs like me. That doesnt make me hate him....

Is it the Roger effect ?

PS I am not a roger fan, I just seemed to enjoy his play better - always.

b said...

what an amazing game (1st game 3rd set - anyone know how long it was?)

Matthew said...

I think this may be the best that I've seen Djokovic play all year.

And it's definitely not anywhere near the best I've seen Nadal play.

Craig Hickman said...

Lull. Errors all over the place.

Matthew said...

That's 26 points in two games. Djoko was 0/3 on break points. Nadal was 1/1. And that has made all the difference.

Craig Hickman said...

dapxin, please don't take this the wrong way, but given my nation's history, we try to avoid terms like "brute" and "animal" when describing humans. I know, I know I can be oversensitive to these things.

Carry on.

dapxin said...

haha Craig, I got your telegram...:D

Craig Hickman said...

Errors, errors, errors. What gives?

Craig Hickman said...

Rafa's so tentative he's not even coming the net. Djoke is so tenative he's not pummeling second serve returns anymore.

The mind is a terrible thing to involve in a tennis match.

Matthew said...

At this rate, if this set goes to a tiebreak, it will be about 150 points and 90 minutes long.

Are Nadal or Djokovic playing in Casablanca during the coming week?

Craig Hickman said...

This game ought to have been over, one way or another, 5 minutes ago.

3 games: 41 minutes.

Has Rafa converted an early break in a set all week?

Matthew said...

Wow, I can't do math. I guess 12 games (6-6) would take about two hours and forty minutes. Surely that can't happen.

Tennisfan said...

Djoko is running out of steam. Doubt he would come back now. Save my ears from bleeding. :P

mznblue said...

I need not have worried. Rafa has gotten it together since the beginning of the 3rd set.

Helen W said...

Congratulations Rafa! What a command performance.

As one of the commies said -- by the third set Rafa had finally got a good feel for Nole's game and adjusted his accordingly, and his passivity went away.

And Nole played some fantastic tennis in that match -- clean striker of the ball, good depth, great first serve.

Pamela said...

Yay! He won. I didn't like the match from Rafa but a win is a win. 5 straight. That's gotta be mentally exhausting.

vw said...

Excellent match. Novak played Rafa much better than AndyM did, even took a set off him. He gets to keep his #3 rank and get the finalist award. Not too shabby.