."Wawrinka played the point beautifully and then suddenly, his heart was in his mouth."
That's what commentator Jason Goodall said halfway through the second set of Stanislas Wawrinka's 6-4, 7-5 victory over compatriot and defending finalist Roger Federer in the third round of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters today.
His heart was in his mouth. That described the entire match, really. Just about every time Stan would get a break point on Raja's serve, he'd hit a ball out. His conversion rate was 3 of 14.
The only thing Raja did well all day was hit passing shots. His forehand was a wasteland, his first serve AWOL, his attitude abysmal.
It almost looked like he didn't even care.
He might not have.
Mirka, hiding behind dark glasses beneath dark and ominous clouds, didn't look all that concerned.
Still, I didn't think Stan would be able to close him out. It would be the first time, after all. Serving for the match, the Swiss No. 2 seized up again. After saving a few break points, he opened his shoulders, played two aggressive points, and ended the match with his trademark backhand down the line.
He found a way to keep his heart out of his mouth.