Rafa and Marc; Rafa and Nalby

Team Cuteness, Men's Doubles Champion 2010, BNP Paribas Open, Indian Wells

Pardon the lack of posts again.
I’ve been busy doing other things IRL lately and then the Indian Wells Tennis Tournament came and my attention turned to it, as usual. My boy, Rafael Nadal, is entered in both the singles and doubles (with compatriot Marc Lopez) and so far, he is doing extremely well. Just the other day, Marc and Rafa, fondly called the Team Cuteness for obvious reasons, got into the finals after beating 6th seeds Fyrstenberg/Matkowski 6-2, 6-0. That’s a very convincing win, if I may say so. Prior to this match, Team Cuteness knocked out the reigning Australian Open men’s doubles champs Leander Paes/Radek Stepanek — amazing, no? Rafa and Marc are great together – and so easy on the eyes! haha – and so enjoyable to watch them play, too.

On the other hand, in the singles event, Rafa overcame his nervousness and beat David Nalbandian in three sets earlier tonight, and set up a semi-final match against – guess who — Roger Federer. Roger again? Yes, indeed. Even though this is their first time to face off in the semis of the BNP Paribas open, it will their 28th overall. It could be recalled that Rafa defeated Roger in this year’s Australian Open semi-finals last January.

Rafa consoling Nalby. What a heartache it must be for Nalby and I feel for him, too.

In fairness, I like Nalby, too. He is a tricky player and highly capable of making excellent shots from crazy angles. My stomach was churning watching them play but I’m relieved that Rafa prevailed. I feel sorry for Nalby, it must have felt like Davis Cup all over again. In case not many of you know, Nalby had to overcome injuries and work hard to be included on the Argentina Davis Cup team, unfortunately they didn’t stand a chance against the Spanish team. Of course there is no question as to where my priority and loyalty lie in the event that my other favourite players play against Rafa… I’m a Rafa fan through and through. Win or lose.

Anyways, if you want to have a H2H, i.e, head-to-head stats, just click on any tennis sites, like that of the ATP. They have H2H stats of every player and just asks you to select a player and to Click here to compare.

Oh, by the way, Rafa’s singles semi-finals match and doubles finals match will be on Saturday. For sure it is going to be exciting! I’m hoping for positive results for Rafa and Marc 😀 Vamos!

 

***
Photo Sources:
Rafa and Marc – Zimbio.com
Rafa and Nalby – NadalNews.com

Australian Open Update: Rafael Nadal going to the AO finals!

Spain’s Rafael Nadal ended Roger Federer’s dream of winning another major title!
Friday night’s semi-final clash between the two – touted as the biggest showdown of this year’s Australian Open, proved that Rafa was too strong for Roger, despite the latter’s claim that while he “cannot compete with Rafa on clay, he will never ever  let that guy beat me on another surface again.” Then came the Australian Open’s semis… a big whoooopss! *Hand slaps the forehead*

Rafa's backhand and back end, lol. Nice view.

I guess this Swiss former world number one thinks he can still take back the top spot despite not having won any major titles in recent years and the swirling issues related to his age. Here’s another quote from the presser:

From Steve Tignor via Twitter:
How do you keep your equilibrium after a loss like that?
Fed: “I haven’t lost in five months, don’t feel too sorry for me.”

Wadda..

As if not enough, here’s another one:

“Nadal always play better against me than against others.”
Here’s the complete article where the quote was taken. It’s translated from Croatian.

Ouch, I think we all know who he is referring to. But isn’t he just sour-graping?

Enough already. So anyway, Rafa is set to play the finals against Novak Djokovic.
Although I am really scared for Rafa – errrm, why? am I  his mum? lol – I think this will really  be a great test for both. Djokovic, pushed up to the fifth set by Andy Murray in tonight’s other semifinals, will defend his title. Rafa, on the other hand, who’s campaign in last year’s AO was cut short due to an injury and was beaten in three majors last year by Djokovic, will be avenging those defeats.

So who will win? May the better player win. And that, in my mind, is Rafael Nadal. Vamos, Rafa!

Photo Credit:
Australian Open Facebook Photo Album (Federer v Nadal – 26th January 2012)

Australian Open 2012 is now on!

This year’s first Grand Slam tournament is well on its 3rd day and already there have been exciting action in Melbourne.

Rafael Nadal started his campaign on Day One against the world rank #167 Alexander Kuznetsov. Entering the Hi-sense Arena court with a heavily-bandaged knee, I was half-expecting the game would be not in his favour. Turned out my worries were unfounded, the injury didn’t hamper his movements. It was an easy first round for Rafa.

Here’s a quickie!

In less than an hour, the 125th Wimbledon Championships at the All-England Tennis Club in London will be underway and, who else but Rafael Nadal, seeded number one, the defending champion and the current French Open winner, to open the tournament!

Rafa plays the American qualifier Michael Russell in the opening match of the first round. I  have nothing to say about Russell because this is probably their first time to play against each other. I had a quick look at Rafa’s part of the draw and it seems like it is pretty much a worry-free draw. Still, it doesn’t guarantee that I will be worry-free. This boy, he always puts us, his fans, at the edge of our seats in every match he plays, regardless of who his playing against.

Anyways, I’ll be off now… StarSports channel is showing pre-taped video featurettes now and any minute now they will go on live. I hope Rafa will have a great game tonight! Vamos!

Here is today’s schedule of play, in case you want to know.

 

***

Photo Source: Wimbledon Photo Gallery

Six-ten-one-twenty-five!

 

6-10-1-25.

Do you know what these figures are for?

Nope, they’re not serial numbers that you normally see on steel drums or lotto tickets or something. These are very important numbers, at least for someone I know… and that someone is none other than Rafael Nadal, the King of Clay. If you have been coming to my  blog then you know already who he is and there is no need for introduction, really. The figures simply means Rafa has won six Roland Garros titles (after beating Roger Federer in the finals last Sunday), 10 Grand Slam titles, and still retain the world number one ranking in men’s tennis, all just a few days after he celebrated his 25th birthday. How’s that? He just loves celebrating his birthday in Paris. Oh, and by the way, he is now the second player in tennis history (after Bjorn Borg) to win six Grand Slam titles at the RG.

It was a fantastic victory for Rafa after having difficulty in the beginning of the Roland Garros (RG). Imagine the stress and loss of confidence after two successive beatings he received from the Serb Novak Djokovic in the finals of Madrid and Barcelona, in a surface where he reigns supreme.  He also had a difficult draw at the RG, having to face tricky players (and tricky new balls!) as early as the first round. But the most important thing is he won all of his matches, overcoming self-doubt, loss of confidence, and a crowd that does not really favour him. He showed so much perseverance, hard work, persistence, and fantastic mental strength and focus to make changes in his game and that which propelled him to beat  Robin Soderling (the only man to ever beat him in RG ) and Andy Murray (not a threat but a pain, anyway) in the quarter finals and semi finals, respectively. It was a crazy, frazzling two weeks for us all – yes, Rafa, and his fans, you know . And that Sunday night he stepped into the court to face Roger Federer in the finals… it was amazing to watch him overcame his adversity (incredible comeback in the first set, and of course, when he held his serve at 0-40 in the fourth set which ultimately was the turning point) to win. When Rafa was on the verge of the championship point – I couldn’t breathe – and then he fell to his knees and I, well, I was truly happy and overjoyed I could burst! LOL. Wait, not yet. Watching him lift and bite that trophy gave me a great overwhelming emotion I could burst.  Even Papa Nadal could not hold back his tears looking at his son lift that trophy once more when the Spanish national anthem was played. Rafael Nadal is undoubtedly the King of Clay and a Champion like no other.

Oh, I could just go on and on rambling about Rafa 🙂 Anyways to those who want to re-live the moments when Rafa won his 6th RG title, you can either look it up on YouTube, or read this How the Finals Was Won – a set-by-set account/analysis of the finals match at the RG.

Vamos, Rafa! Off to the green, green grass you go next!

 

Oh, and here are 15 greatest, most memorable photos from the French Open as compiled by YahooSports’s Busted Racquet blog. Picture #3 and #15 capture Rafa’s awesomeness!

 

Above photo source.

Roland Garros Update, May 30

Rafa moving in

At the Court Philippe Chatrier, Rafael Nadal beat Ivan Ljubicic in three straight sets, 7-5, 6-3, 6-3. What did I say earlier? Don’t talk to much to the media and never underestimate the defending champion no matter what circumstances he is in!

At the Suzanne Lenglen Court, David Ferrer’s lost to Gael Monfils, 6-4, 2-6, 7-5, 1-6, 8-6. What a heartbreaking loss. Monfil played his best match so far at RG producing displaying some serious shot-making moves.

Earlier at Philippe Chatrier, my girl Li Na defeated Petra Kvitova, 2-6, 6-1, 6-3, while at Suzanne Lenglen, Juan Ignacio Chela and Alejandro Falla slugged it out in a thrilling 5-set match. Chela emerged victorious, 4-6, 6-2, 1-6, 7-6(5), 6-2.

Li Na through to the QF, her best RG performance so far.

As of this writing (10.41pm, PP time), Giles Simon and Robin Soderling are still battling it out at Court Philippe Chatrier. Robin has taken the first two sets 6-2, 6-3. And now he is serving to begin the third set.

Later today, Maria Sharapova will be in action against Agniezska Radswanska at Court Philippe Chatrier, while Ekaterina Makarova, Andy Murray, and Andrea Petkovic are scheduled to play against Victoria Azarenka, Victor Troicki, and Maria Kirilenko, respectively, at the Suzanne Lenglen court later today.

That’s all for now, folks. I’ll be hitting the sack soon. Tomorrow will be another exciting day of tennis at the Roland Garros!

 

Photos Credit:  Roland Garros May 30 Photo Gallery

The clash of the baldy and the lefty is on, tonight!

Tonight is the night – the fourth round match in Roland Garros and the second successive meeting between Rafael Nadal and Ivan Ljubicic. The match is scheduled at the Court Philippe Chatrier, right after the Li Na/-Petra Kvitova match at 11am today (4pm, Phnom Penh time). I’m glad it’s not a late night match (here in my side of the world) so I can watch the whole entire spectacle.  Can’t wait. For those interested, here is today’s schedule of play at the Roland Garros (RG) tourney.

In an article at the RG online site, Ljubicic told the media that he believes that no question, Rafa’s confidence is shaken . Yes, those words of the veteran Ljubicic was picked up by the media and is in every online article I see the other day.  Okay, Ljubi, while I am pleasantly surprised at the good turn of events in your “resurrected tennis career” and that thing you said about Rafa’s confidence has some truth in it, aren’t you scared of  Rafa? He beat you in your last encounter in Madrid, didn’t he?  Did you see how he fought against Isner, Andujar, and the latest casualty, Veic? And didn’t you hear, Rafa said his performance is improving. Always the case with Rafa. As the tournament progresses, the better his performance becomes. Don’t take Rafa lightly. You might even be handed a bagel tonight, sigue ka!

Anyways, I wish I have wide-screen TV at home so that watching Rafa play in his most favourite clay court is more enjoyable. I’d love to invite friends over to watch with me, and yes, with pop corns, sodas, pizzas… and I’d even send out special Embossed Graphics Invitations! LOL. RSVP pa. That’s how loca I am, so please, forgive this tennis-obsessed thirty-something woman.

Here’s why I so love Rafael Nadal… a video of him taken in his locker room before his second round match against compatriot Pablo Andujar.  Warning, killer-dimples ahead and oozing childlike innocence and charisma ahead 😀

A very relaxed, smiling, and charming Rafa. He is tanned gorgeously, and heck, the milk (or yoghurt, who cares?!) mustache made him  more adorkable! LOL.

Okay, so ladies and gents of tennis, let’s say it together, as loud as you can…

V-A-M-O-O-O-O-O-S, Rafa!!!

Tricky first round for Rafa

My boy Rafael Nadal is the third man on the Philippe Chatrier court tonight in a match that is billed as the game of the day at Roland Garros tournament!

Everyone ready?

Hu-what? You didn’t think I knew what’s going on, did you? Yeah, it’s true. I did say I won’t be reading any tennis sites and articles about Rafa, and I also said I’m tempted to miss his matches at the Roland Garros after watching him lose 4 successive times to Novak Djokovic (Indian Wells, Miami, Barcelona, and Rome) – and it was truly disappointing and heartbreaking to see him overpowered in his most favourite clay court – but hell no, I won’t miss it. Not a chance! Non, non, monsieur, madame.

And so, I hurriedly finished my reading on cissus quadrangularis online and here I am…  waiting for the match to commence.

If you were to ask me, I think Ana Ivanovic brought the jinx to Rafa as she picked out John Isner’s name from the lot during the drawing ceremony. Okay, I’m only kidding about Ana and the jinx but with Isner and Rafa meeting  in tonight’s first round match raised alarm bells for some tennis afficionados. Isner, standing at 6’9”, is best known for his marathon three-day victory over the Frenchman Nicolas Mahut in last year’s Wimbledon Tournament. The Isner-Mahut match is the longest match in tennis history, measured by both time and number of games, lasting 11 hours five minutes of play over three days and firing a total of 113 aces, with a final score of 6–4, 3–6, 6–7(7–9), 7–6(7–3), 70–68 for a total of 183 games .  Details about this historic match can be found here.

Not that Isner is posing a threat to Rafa but a Rafa-Isner match has to be one of the trickiest first round matches of Rafa, in my not-so-expert opinion. Knowing that Rafa lost a bit of his tennis mojo (and perhaps his confidence) in clay recently but, in my humble opinion, Rafa will push through to the second round. Isner, undoubtedly has some tennis mojo going on in him but it’s not enough to challenge the King of Clay. Gosh, I feel like an overprotective mum here. 

Whatever happens tonight, estoy con Rafa. Estoy enviando pensamientos positivos a lo largo de su camino, chico!

Vamos, Rafa!

I’ve got to go now and tune in to my favourite live streaming channel. Maria Sharapova’s match has just ended and Rafa and Isner’s match will begin any minute now.

Oh, snaaaaap!

Even if I wasn’t posting here, I’ve been following Rafa’s plays in both ATP events in Monte Carlo and Barcelona.  I was very satisfied with his performance that, even if he lost two consecutive titles to Novak Djokovic earlier this year, he bounced back  by winning the Monte Carlo and Barcelona titles.

Then came the ATP in Madrid, we all know what happened.  You are still my champion, Rafa. You may have lost to Novak Djokovic in the ATP Madrid finals last Sunday –  yes, in your favourite clay court and in your home turf – but this is one of the greatest shots I’ve seen from you recently. Even the Spanish tennis legend Manolo Santana jumped out of his seat to applaud the crazy shot!

 

 

Opening of second set, at 0-30 and second serve for Djoko. A “tweener” lob winner from Rafa! WTH? It became 0-40. With a forehand winner down the line, Rafa breaks at love to start set 2.

I LOLed at this tweet from tennis lust:

tennislust: But of course we don’t expect anything less from whatever comes between Rafa’s legs.

Aye, aye. I so agree!

Now, the ATP tourney is now on in Rome, and Rafa is through to the QFs. I just hope his fever is gone and he’s feeling better to be able to play against Marin Cilic tonight. Winning this means the whole world to Rafa, if he is to keep his number one ranking.

Yo estoy con Rafa. Vamos, Rafa!

Kathy Bates on Harry’s Law

bostonlegal I have a confession to make… I’ve been watching Boston Legal on DVD the past few days. It has been one of my greatest joy to watch Denny Crane and Alan Shore every Friday night on StarWorld. When I found out that Season 5 (please correct me if I’m wrong) was to be the last and final season, I’ll miss the show very much. The only consolation I have is that DVDs of all the seasons (except maybe Season 5) are available at the Russian Market. At least I’ll have the DVDs to re-live the show and enjoy the repartees between the characters once again.

nbc_harrys_lawSo while I was reading online news today, my heart jumped at what I saw. David E Kelly, the award-winning creator and writer of Boston Legal, brings another legal TV show called Harry’s Law, starring my favourite and an Academy-award winning actress Kathy Bates. Hello… do you remember the movie Misery?

Anyways, Kathy Bates plays a curmudgeonly lawyer who was fired from her cushy job and opens a new firm in a shoe store. I think she is perfect for this character! What’s with lawyers, by the way? They are great sources of TV materials these days, along with doctors and crime investigators. How about a show about a Maritime Injury Lawyer? For sure there’s a lot of legal drama happening in the maritime industry.

Anyways, I hope StarWorld broadcasts Harry’s Law this year. If I am not mistaken this is yet to be shown in the US as well (this month, I think) and Yahoo.com urges its readers to watch this show. And if not? Well, here’s what Yahoo.com has to say if you don’t:

Should you watch? Yes.
It’s Kathy Bates.
If you don’t, she’ll come find you and tie you to a bed and do all manner of unkind things to you.

Harharhar. This is obviously a reference to her role in Misery. I have to say the “bed scene” (not what you think, guys!) is one of the memorable scenes in the movie, and the most terrifying, too.