I woke up in a frenzy this morning praying I didn’t miss the first set of the semi finals clash between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer at the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami. You know this kind of feeling? It’s something like madly dashing to the cashier’s counter to get your cash advance before your office cashier goes home at 5pm… get it?
Anyways, I got out of bed, brushed my teeth and turned the lappie on only to find the beginning of the second set. Drat, missed the first set again. Rafa had no trouble in pocketing the first set at 6-3. Rafa was serving brilliantly in the first set winning 16 out of 18 service points. How’s that? Mi amiga Ana was already waiting for me and, thankfully, she left updates on my Facebook wall to keep me “back-dated”. I had a good laugh about that girl who asked Uncle Toni for date! You go, girl!
Anyways, it was odd to see both Rafa and Roger in the same draw and meeting in a semi-finals match and not in the finals. It’s because of the change in rankings with Roger sliding down to the 3rd spot… and will probably be this way from now onwards.
I read somewhere that Rafa is a different player when he plays Roger – it is so true based on what I saw in this match – and to whoever said that, I agree with you 100%! Rafa was very relentless and focused at the second set (as I said I missed the first set) – and Roger couldn’t keep the ball in the court. Was this the same Rafa who played Berdych yesterday? I could not believe it. Rafa’s fist pumps kept coming for every fantastic points he made. Whew. I thought Rafa would hand Roger his first bagel in the second set (3-0) but Roger managed to secure a point.
On the other hand, Roger’s forehand wasn’t as potent as it used to be and he was playing with a lot of unforced errors.Or perhaps, as my friend Ana pointed out, we were looking at a very different Roger that we all used to know? Whatever it was, Rafa had the upper hand and he killed Roger’s game. Let’s face it, Roger is not capable any longer of beating Rafa and Nole.
Incidentally, Ana and I overheard the commentators remark about Roger’s lack of response (emotional or otherwise) when the audience cheered for every point he won. But Ana and I saw this “dejected” face, or what the other Rafa fans call the “he’s killing me now” look.
Now on to the finals… another Rafa-Nole match. This is going to be very exciting and, for sure for a lot of Rafa’s fans, another roller-coaster, heart-attack-inducing experience. Can’t wait.
Hasta la vista, amiga!
Photo Credits: YahooSports Photo Gallery