• Nadal faces Alund, this time in Acapulco

    2/27/13 11:05 PM | Cheryl Murray
    Nadal faces Alund, this time in Acapulco Rafael Nadal will face down Argentine qualifier Martin Alund for the second time in two tournaments as the Spaniard eyes a spot in the quarterfinals.

    Martin Alund took a set from Rafael Nadal two weeks ago in Sao Paolo. The Argentine came from out of nowhere to advance to the semifinals,where he acquitted himself well against Nadal.

    The world No. 5 went on to win that title in straight sets over David Nalbandian and comes into Acapulco with the confidence of a freshly won title.

    Alund is still not ranked high enough at No. 91 in the world to gain direct entry into the tournament, even with his great result last week. He was forced to come up through qualifying. He had a surprisingly tough match in the first round against Mexican wildcard Daniel Garza.

    While the King of Clay might not yet be enjoying the form that saw him to the French Open title last year, he is gaining ground in each match. He took last week off, so fatigue should not be a factor.

    Prediction - Nadal for the win in straight sets.

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Vamos Rafa

nadline , 2/28/13 6:38 AM

I watched the match.
Rafa's backhand was up and down. Forehand was good though, shades of the old rafa at times but some misdirected ones too (which he generally never does on clay). Seemed like he could go up a gear or 2 if needed and was playing within himself.
Not much emotion shown after hitting winners or unforced errors, even when he reeled of 6 straight points after being down 0-40 on his serve.

atul1985 , 2/28/13 7:44 AM

It's time to talk about Rafa! I am done trying to deal with the trolls on this site.

I did see the match and Rafa played very well in the first set. He was aggressive, moving into the net to close out points quickly. He really didn't let Alund get into the match. However, in the second set I thought his level dropped. He made more UE's and Alund started playing better. I think he was doing just enough, knowing that he was in control of the match.

I thought the second set wouldn't be that close, but Rafa made some unusual errors, sometimes with forehand misses or even easy shots at net. I think that Rafa can't sustain his good level of play. This was what happened when he came back in 2009. He can play at a certain level, but not for the whole match.

It's hard to gauge Rafa's game when he is playing a guy like this. He did dispatch him more easily than at Sao Paulo. I think we won't really know where he's at until he faces someone who can challenge him.

Nativenewyorker , 2/28/13 8:21 AM

@NNY - thanks for sharing ur insights.
Ferrer or Almagro could be a good barometer to judge rafa if he plays them.

atul1985 , 2/28/13 10:23 AM

I thought Rafa played a decent I expected he was visibly better in movements than in Sao Paolo, his backhand improved and his forehand was stunning at times...I don't think he has problems of sustaining the level throughout the match...I think Alund played better in the second set and still was not able to make the match more competitive...Rafa seemed relaxed and played enough for the win without forcing too much...Overall I am pleased with the progress in his game...UEs do happen from time to time but I saw the same thing in Nole's and Fed's game yesterday so we should not be that worried about it...Rafa is doing just fine...
Vamos Rafa!

natashao , 2/28/13 11:18 AM

^^^^Exactly, nats. Federer lost the 1st set to Jaziri who had also been out with injury and not played for 7 months or so and Nole had a tough 2nd set tiebreak against Bautista Agut, so Rafa is not doing too badly.

nadline , 2/28/13 12:09 PM

rafa said post match that he was slightly tired in the 2nd set.
Maybe his stamina is not as its peak yet...

atul1985 , 2/28/13 1:00 PM

^^^ I guess as much atul, and that's why I wish for him to go deep and wins this tournament and head to IW. He can't just stops and expects his stamina to be back to normal! It's a lot of hard work gaining back his match fitness and stamina, so he has to balance it well between playing matches and resting.

luckystar , 2/28/13 1:13 PM

I think that David Mercer is the worst commentator in tennis. Such a fawning fedboy.

Just said ONE of the reasons he DOESN'T LIKE Rafa is because he plays so slow. Who gives a shite who a commie likes and who he doesn't. Just commentate on the match. Self involved pompous windbag.

Commies like him make it difficult to enjoy a match. Plenty of bad commies out there but not many good ones. A very subjective topic to be sure.

I like Robbie Koenig the best. He's such a tennis geek but reasonably unbiased and that's what I'm looking for in a commie. PMac is horribly biased along with Chris Evert. I like Martina Navratilova the few times I've heard her. I find JMac pretty good overall. Honourable mentions to Cliff Drysdale and the main guy on NBC who's name eludes me for the moment.

Pat Cash and Mats Wilander are huge Feddy fawners also.

Good blog topic for Cheryl? Who's the most unbiased commie.


Conspirator , 2/28/13 1:56 PM

All of them are biased. I can't stand Chris Bradnam (spelling) the most, especially when he was commentating a Fed match; I have to watch the whole match in silence, ie muting the sound just to stop listening to his nonstop nauseating Fed fawning! Seriously all these commentators are subpar for the job; they simply talk too much and mind you, some of their info are wrong. We fans know better than they do about our favorite players and also many of the other players. I sometimes wonder do they really follow tennis closely. Its their job discussing and commentating about tennis and tennis players yet it seems we know the players better than they do.

luckystar , 2/28/13 4:02 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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