Rafael Nadal vs Grigor Dimitrov: A Narrow Escape

Wow! As in double WoW!

Rafael Nadal has survived the Baby Fed, aka Grigor Dimitrov, test.

It was a hard-fought match and either of the players deserved to win. Dimitrov’s performance impressed me. He has indeed improved and now I’ve seen why he’s called the Baby Fed.

921428_563100547044951_1380160379_o
Vamos, Rafa!

The first set was routine, with Rafa breezing through Dimitrov at 6-2.  My friend Ana and I were bantering about how we love a straightforward Rafa match no matter how boring it might be. Then the unthinkable happened… the second set happened. OMG. Ana and I were at the edge of our seats. We saw Rafa committing error after error, especially on the net. He was sluggish and his serve got broken, too. Twice.

To be honest, in this frightful moments, Ana and I often get anxious. So to avoid further distraught, we agreed to walk away from our computers for awhile hoping that the unlucky streak would disappear.  I was peeking from time to time -I could not resist – but mi amiga was firm. She was tracking via online score.When I thought that the coast was cleared of the bad vibes, I took another peek. Boy, I was wrong.  Worse, the unimaginable happened. Rafa lost the second set. Rafa lost a set! In Monte Carlo. Aaarrgggghhh.

It was a frightening realisation because we never ever entertained the thought of Dimitrov causing that much of a threat to Rafa – on a clay court – and forcing a third set  🙁  We resumed watching in the third set just as Rafa was serving and about to even the score (4-3, Dimitrov). There it was, a nagging thought of the possibility that Dimitrov would hand Rafa his first loss here in Monte Carlo since 2003. Much more, with a taped back, the nagging thought became a booming voice in my head. Was Rafa in a lot of pain? Ana and I wondered. I do not want to steal thunder from Dimitrov  (because he was at his best today) but the taped back must have contributed to Rafa’s troubles. (Also you cannot discount the fact that the weather condition {it was chilly, according to the commentators, so the ball was slower and didn’t get the bounce  as it would on a sunny weather } did not favour Rafa. So essentially Rafa was having a bad day today!) In the end, the mental toughness mattered. And Rafa prevailed, much to our great relief. I had to contain myself from screaming lest my husband kick me out of the living room. It was hard not to squeal in delight, considering the circumstances, lol.

When I think about this scary moment,  I must say that this kind of match is good for Rafa. Part of me disagrees though because I can not watch one more nail-biting match;  but another part of me thinks matches like this make him work hard against tough opponents. So yeah, even if  Dimitrov made him work more than we had anticipated, in a way it  resulted positively  in Rafa’s favour. Agree?

Tomorrow, Rafa is set to play against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. I don’t know about Rafa but I fear for him. Tsonga is a tricky player, and I just hope and pray that Rafa is not in a lot of pain!

Here’s Rafa’s postmatch interview.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/ZrgpWVihBj4[/youtube]

Rafa has only praises for Dimitrov and mentions that he needs matches like this to be able to get back to his form.
For the full match, it’s already on YouTube.

Nadal vs Dimitrov , Masters MONTE CARLO 2013 (QF): Part 1, Full Match
Nadal vs Dimitrov , Masters MONTE CARLO 2013 (QF): Part 2, Full Match

P.S. I just have to say this – Dimitrov looks like a younger version of Hugh Jackman, aka, Wolverine. Did you  notice it, too?

Photo Credit: GettyImages via Rafaholics Facebook Page

One thought on “Rafael Nadal vs Grigor Dimitrov: A Narrow Escape

  1. The third set notably tightened up, with Dimitrov putting in just enough errors that he couldn’t quite secure a break, and then, for the early going, being able to hold his serve moderately easily. But as the match wore longer, Dimitrov was starting to make just enough mistakes and eventually lost his serve. Dimitrov kept it interesting in the 5-4 game by powering a forehand down the line down 30-40, and saved match point, but could not fend off the Mallorcan who eventually hit an unreturned serve to clinch the match and keep his hopes for a 9th consecutive title alive.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *