Match report

Stanislas Wawrinka ©
Quarter final
4/20/12 1 2 Tot
ch  Stanislas Wawrinka 5 4 0
es  Rafael Nadal 7 6 2
Rafael Nadal ©
  • Nadal handles Wawrinka again, into Monte Carlo semifinals

    4/20/12 5:26 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Rafael Nadal improves to 8-0 lifetime against Stanislas Wawrinka with a straight-set win on Friday in Monte Carlo. Nadal awaits either Jo-Wilfried Tsonga or Gilles Simon in the semifinals.

    Rafael Nadal took care of Stanislas Wawrinka 7-5, 6-4 in the quarterfinals of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters on Friday afternoon. Nadal won 82 percent of his first-serve points to advance in one hour and 47 minutes.

    A back-and-forth first set saw Nadal break right away for a 1-0 advantage. The seven-time champion maintained the lead through three service games, saving one break point at 2-1, before errors began to creep into his game. Wawrinka broke back for 4-4 and held one game later to seize a surprising edge.

    Nadal, though, steadied himself just in time and raced through an easy hold to stay in the set. The No. 2 seed promptly earned his second break of the day to go back in front and a routine hold finished off an up-and-down opening frame of play that featured 31 combined unforced errors (19 by Wawrinka, 12 by Nadal).

    Wawrinka dropped serve to open the second just as he did in the first, but this time there was no recovery. While the 26th-ranked Swiss managed to hold hold the rest of the way, he never came close to getting back on serve. Nadal lost a mere five points in five service games and wrapped up the proceedings at 5-4 with his fourth ace.

    The world No. 2 has now won 40 consecutive matches in Monte Carlo and is 42-1 lifetime at the event. He will go up against either Jo-Wilfried Tsonga or Gilles Simon for a spot in the title match.

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Rafa won 82% of his first serve points! It certainly didn't look like that during the match.

I think we were all missing him skidding and hitting winners from all over the place. I suppose he was cautious because of the state of the court and this is only the first claycourt tournament so there is plenty of time for that.

I'm not sure Rafa will play Madrid because he says the altitude disrupts his game in Rome

nadline , 4/20/12 8:25 PM

^^^Also, the court conditions are miserable there. The players get blinded by those stainless steel boxes right next to the court, the ball models get confused and the clay is uneven and thin. Players have been griping about it for years.

cherylmurray , 4/20/12 8:39 PM

Bravo Rafa, bravo!!!!!

Monalysa , 4/20/12 10:26 PM

I have been trying to catch up with my recordings of the matches. I saw Rafa's match from 5-5 in the first set. The first part is on another recording, so I will check it out later. I realize that Rafa broke Wawa in the first set but was broken back. When I saw it he broke Wawa and then served it out for the first set.

I wasn't surprised when I saw how close the first set was when I started watching. It always seems to be that way when Rafa plays Wawa. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised that it didn't go to a tb. The commentators said this was the most games anyone had won playing Rafa since 2008. Interesting.

I thought that Rafa played well in the second set. He got the early break and then held his serve to get the win. I saw some great shots from him and good serving. I am assuming that he played better in the second set after reading the comments on the live blog about how he played in the first set.

I am concerned about the court conditions. If Rafa was playing cautiously because of it, then good for him. The last thing he needs is to injure his knees. I cannot imagine why the court wouldn't be in stellar condition. The health of the players should be of the utmost importance.

I only saw most of the first set of Tsonga and Simon. Again Tsonga had one of those awful starts. Simon is a dangerous player who has the kind of game to give Rafa a challenge. He can move well and is a great counterpuncher.

Rafa will have to raise his level of play in the next match. I think he will get better and better.

Nativenewyorker , 4/21/12 12:03 AM

Sorry, I meant to say in my previous post that this is the most games anyone has gotten in one set off Rafa since 2008.

Nativenewyorker , 4/21/12 12:05 AM

awesome stat

iin other words: 17 or more consecutive matches here at MC in which no player got more than 3 games in any set, let alone a set: 2 matches in 2012, 5 in 2011, 5 in 2010, 5 in 2009 and perhaps some in 2008.

chlorostoma , 4/21/12 5:07 AM

Let's just hope he continues his good showing at MC and that the Nole jinx has run out, because I think that's all there is to it.

nadline , 4/21/12 9:16 AM

Our Rafa played well and deserved the win but Wawrinka did put up a good fight.

schatz , 4/21/12 12:36 PM

@chlorostoma, may be i misunderstood but what is this stat you are talking about? rafa lost a set to nole in the 2009 final, ferrero lost a set 6-4 against rafa in 2010, murray won a set against rafa in the 2011 semis and ferrer pushed rafa to 7-5 in set 1 in last years final

vamosrafa , 4/21/12 3:21 PM

Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

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