• Nadal opens Wimbledon quest against Bellucci

    6/25/12 10:28 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Nadal opens Wimbledon quest against Bellucci Rafael Nadal and Thomaz Bellucci will be colliding in the first round of a Grand Slam for the second time in their careers. Nadal is beginning his campaign for a third Wimbledon title on Tuesday.

    Less than a month after capturing his seventh French Open title, Rafael Nadal will be back in Grand Slam action on Monday at Wimbledon. Nadal is set to begin his fortnight at the All-England Club against Thomaz Bellucci.

    The two wicked clay-courters have faced each other on two previous occasions, both at Roland Garros. Nadal dominated 7-5, 6-3, 6-1 in the 2008 first round and cruised 6-2, 7-5, 6-4 during fourth-round action two years later.

    Nothing points to Bellucci having any chance on the grass courts of Wimbledon. For one, the Brazilian is a mere 12-12 at the ATP level this season and he is down at No. 80 in the world. Furthermore, Bellucci is nowhere near his best on this surface. He advanced to the Wimbledon third round in 2010 but lost his opener last year to Rainer Schuettler.

    Nadal is an awesome 41-5 for his 2012 campaign. The second-ranked Spaniard ended his losing streak to Novak Djokovic with clay-court titles in Monte-Carlo, Rome, and at the French Open. Nadal won his grass-court debut against Lukas Lacko in the Halle second round, but he suffered a straight-set quarterfinal defeat at the hands of Philipp Kohlschreiber.

    The recent grass-court setback is no real cause for concern, as Nadal always uses the week after Roland Garros just to get his feet wet on the surface. Count on the No. 2 seed picking up his intensity and rolling over Bellucci in straight sets.

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Vamos Rafa!

nadline , 6/25/12 10:41 PM

Good luck, Rafa!

Nativenewyorker , 6/25/12 11:29 PM

he is campaing for 3rd wimbledon title not second, he won 2008 and 2010

goran , 6/26/12 5:54 AM

yes, third

RickyDimon , 6/26/12 6:33 AM

Vamos our Rafa & God bless.

schatz , 6/26/12 12:48 PM

Rafa always gets tough early round opponents at Wimby. Unlike Fed. This time, the draw is so obviously fixed to help Fed win, that even USTA's efforts in this regard at USO seem anaemic.
I had hoped that with IMG and Tony Godsick parting ways with Fed, the fixing would stop. But no, Tony is still with Fed and so the fixing continues.
Anyway, man proposes, God disposes. So I hope Rafa and Muzza's draws open up and one of them wins the title.
And Fed crashes out before the Quarters to someone playing the match of his life.

holdserve , 6/26/12 2:24 PM

^^^ Well same could happen to Rafa too.

abhirf , 6/26/12 2:43 PM

@ holdserve

Becareful what you ask for.........................!

Monalysa , 6/26/12 3:10 PM

Winning a tournament is always less probable than losing it, so if anyone crashes out , it wouldn't be improbable. But if Fed does, I will celebrate because the draw has been so obviously fixed in his favor.
This guy already has 16 gs. Why should draws be fixed to make him win more under the history pretext?
If Rafa, Muzza or Nole win, it would be fair and though I would prefer Rafa or Muzza to win, I wouldn't be unhappy if Nole did. But if Fed does, it would really be a shame.
I know that in sports, rigging is not uncommon, especially in boxing and wrestling. But still it hurts.

holdserve , 6/26/12 3:30 PM

@holdserve, but in order for Fed to win, he will have to beat both Nole and Rafa and this is the most difficult job at the moment. If he still wins, then no one can deny that he deserved it.

abhirf , 6/26/12 3:38 PM

TBH, if they could fix the draw at Wimbledon, they would do it for Murray not Federer. It would mean EVERYTHING to Wimbledon if the first Brit to win a slam won Wimbledon as opposed to any other slam. Even drawing Laura Robson against Schiavone is unlikely if they fixed it.

That is not to say that other tournaments don't fix draws. I just don't trust the USTA and the AO. The USTA with their obsession with TV viewing figures and advertising revenues, and the Australians who seem to want Federer to win for reasons best known to themselves, so I wouldn't put anything past them.

nadline , 6/26/12 3:48 PM

I meant to say the first Brit to win a slam for 76 years.

nadline , 6/26/12 3:50 PM

abhirf, Rafa is generally vulnerable in the first week at Wimbledon so fixing the draw to make him face tricky opponents in the early rounds is to increase Fed's chances of not meeting him.
I suppose if Fed beats both Nole and Rafa, then maybe he could be considered legit. But not entirely. He might be fresh and rested because of the fixed draw while Rafa might have to go through gruelling matches.

holdserve , 6/26/12 4:00 PM

@nadline, Bang on. If they could fix the draw, they would do it for AndyM who seems to have got the toughest draw.

fedexal , 6/26/12 4:03 PM

Roof going up over Centre Court. Rafa has one more factor against him as it is outdoor conditions which suit him.
Hope both Rafa and Muzza make it safely in straight sets to spare me anxiety.

holdserve , 6/26/12 4:07 PM

Disagree. Worldwide ratings mean more financially than Wimby's interest in a Brit winner.

Regardless of the rest of the draw, if Fed beats a healthy and reasonably rested Rafa and Nole back-to-back in two best of 5 matches at Wimby, IMO, he will have earned it. Don't think he will though.

Conspirator , 6/26/12 4:09 PM

Don't worry @holdserve, I don't think Bellucci is a wonderkind indoors it cancels out.

rafaisthebest , 6/26/12 4:10 PM


Raf a.........................!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

rafaisthebest , 6/26/12 4:18 PM

fedexal and nadline are wrong in assuming that draws are fixed in favor of the local boy. Money is the sole driver. Even when fixed in favor of local boy, it is to ensure better attendance deep into the tournament.
Wimby has decided this time that there is more money in a Fed win than in another Rafa-Nole battle.
After Muzza's indifferent performance in the recent past, Wimby did not want to waste a good draw on the local boy who did not look as if he could survive the first round no matter who his opponent was.
Giving Muzza a tough draw might make people like Nadline believe that the draw was not fixed in favor of Fed.
Don't you think it odd that all the giants except one are crammed into one quarter? It seems to keep happening. Is that a coincidence?

holdserve , 6/26/12 4:33 PM

I am going behind my sofa with Jack Daniels - see you guys later.

schatz , 6/26/12 4:36 PM

In Wimbey, its just one point that could cost you a set . Rafa did not win the breakpoint and Belluci got a lucky net cord.

fedexal , 6/26/12 4:37 PM

that kid Bellucci has broken nadals serve nadal isnt playing too well

tennis2011 , 6/26/12 4:39 PM

Rafa's tentative out's like he's scared of slipping..........

rafaisthebest , 6/26/12 4:42 PM

First set gone for Nadal..............

fedexal , 6/26/12 4:43 PM

What's wrong with Rafa?!!!!!

Monalysa , 6/26/12 4:44 PM

Pass me the smelling salts!!!!!!!!!!!

Vamos Rafa!

nadline , 6/26/12 4:44 PM

Is Belucci playing that well?!!!

Monalysa , 6/26/12 4:45 PM

He breaks back but what was this all about?!!!.......................headscratch!!!!

Monalysa , 6/26/12 4:47 PM

I just tuned in.... Belucci is going for broke it seems, very agressive! Volleys are missing though.

Bonker , 6/26/12 4:48 PM

Relax guys, it's early doors yet.................Bellucci's come out like gangbusters, props to him...............Rafa's been feeling the ground, clearly scred of slipping....

rafaisthebest , 6/26/12 4:48 PM

Bellucci can play very well and very aggressively when he is in the mood. He is not a powderpuff and I had a feeling that Rafa would not have it easy.

Get your skates on our Rafa and don't stop until you whizzzzzz past that finish post.

Vamos & God bless.

schatz , 6/26/12 4:52 PM

He is really afraid of slipping.....

fedexal , 6/26/12 4:54 PM

Errors are piling up for Belucci and his first serve has gone missing. Can't keep it up, so it seems

Bonker , 6/26/12 4:56 PM

Back on serve...............sorry to disappoint you @fedexal............

rafaisthebest , 6/26/12 4:56 PM

Did Bellucci just lost the chance to win a set against Rafa? Poor volleys to be blamed.

abhirf , 6/26/12 4:57 PM

4-4 .....Parity restored.............

fedexal , 6/26/12 5:02 PM

First set gone for Nadal..............
fedexal, 6/26/12 4:43 PM

LOL. C'mon guys..

Emiliano55 , 6/26/12 5:04 PM

Rafa is clearly not yet at home on the grass.
But I think we have no cause for worry.
Best of luck Rafa!
Vamos Rafa!

holdserve , 6/26/12 5:04 PM

@holdserve, Rafa's draw before the quarters is no difficult than Roger's. It's the Qf's which is a tough proposition for Rafa. But Quarters fall in the later part of the tournament, no. So it would not be tough for Rafa then.

abhirf , 6/26/12 5:05 PM

rafa has hardly hit any topspin backhands so far, slicing all the returns and even slicing 90% of the backhands during the rallies...he is opening up now ! happy about the way he is serving now

vamosrafa , 6/26/12 5:06 PM

Got worried, but still he is little tentative with his movement. Maybe thats why they say in Wibey, its all about surviving the first week......

fedexal , 6/26/12 5:07 PM

Are u serious @abhirf? Who did Roger play in the first round? What ranking is he compared to Bellucci? How many grass court tournaments has he played?


rafaisthebest , 6/26/12 5:11 PM

Rafa first matche at Wimby were always difficult. THe grass is 100% healthy and he is not really in his confort zone. He has to win these matches and then when the grass is not there anymore he will destroy his rival as usual.

That's why I always think Nadal should have never won Wimbledon if it weren't for the grass change introduced in 2003 and getting worse every year.

Emiliano55 , 6/26/12 5:12 PM

@Emiliana55 I guess your last comment would have been more appropriate on April 1

fedexal , 6/26/12 5:16 PM

That was diabolically bad from Bellucci. Good grief.

cherylmurray , 6/26/12 5:18 PM

Tie breaker oh boy!

Vamos Rafa!!!!!

Raindrops , 6/26/12 5:18 PM

Rafa should slice Bellucci to death.........he just cannot deal with the low balls!!

rafaisthebest , 6/26/12 5:20 PM

1st set for Nadal. Never forget Belluci is a rookie. He has potential, but he always choke.

Emiliano55 , 6/26/12 5:20 PM

@ritb, Well, Ramos is I think 43rd while Bellucci is like 78th. I know the rankings dont justify the talent but it does shows the current form of the player. But if u think that he can trouble or upset Rafa then u are wrong.

I bet if these same guys had been drawn in Fed's half u would still have said that Fed has got an easy draw.

The only person of the top4 with a tough draw here is Murray.

abhirf , 6/26/12 5:20 PM

5 straight horrid points from Thomaz. Yikes.

cherylmurray , 6/26/12 5:20 PM

emiliano, sorry. the grass before 2003 was not made of steel, it would have worn away and lost its 'fullness' in week 2 because its grass , not steel. Rafa would havve survied week 1 on any grass, he can adjust anywhere. Week 2's grass makes rafa's movement unparalleled

vamosrafa , 6/26/12 5:20 PM

1st set Rafa - 76.

This is why his fans love him. He is an exceptional player against all odds.

nadline , 6/26/12 5:21 PM

bagel in the tie break


vrael , 6/26/12 5:22 PM

That's the match... can't see Belucci recovering from that. All the momentum is gone, as is his good game.

Bonker , 6/26/12 5:23 PM

Rafa back to business. His serve still needs improvement..........

fedexal , 6/26/12 5:23 PM

Thought its gonna be a nail biting TB so I proceeded to the kitchen for a glass of water and when i return, I just saw it 7-0 for Nadal.

Good !!!

Vamos Rafa 2 more to go!

Raindrops , 6/26/12 5:24 PM

That's why I always think Nadal should have never won Wimbledon if it weren't for the grass change introduced in 2003 and getting worse every year.

Emiliano55 , 6/26/12 5:12 PM

Cut out the violin.

nadline , 6/26/12 5:24 PM

rafa needs to hit some aggressive groundies now, that is his bread and butter...lets see where he goes from here

vamosrafa , 6/26/12 5:24 PM

@abhirf, please do not put words into my mouth, I did not say Fed has got an easy did.

Tignor has tipped a FEDAL final. So looks like Djoker has gone wrong with his game. We havent seen him on grass yet. Let's see how this drama unfolds.

Murray has the toughest draw (but the draw can open up for him just like Fed's at RG) . Nole the toughest Qf opponent. Rafa and Fed have to just relax till the semis ( maybe for Rafa till quarters). Yeah, Fed has a cupcake draw. Rafa's section is a breezer too other than Tsonga.

abhirf, 6/23/12 2:20 PM

rafaisthebest , 6/26/12 5:26 PM

emiliano, the grass was changed in 2001 and your Fed should never have won Wimby but for the change. Rafa has benefited less as he adjusts to all surfaces, Fed does not.
abhirf, surely you are joking? Fed's Quarter just as tough as Rafa's?

holdserve , 6/26/12 5:27 PM

Truly terrible tie break from Bellucci :(
Now come on Rafa, get the job done quickly, I don't want Andy playing on a slippery court in the dark, or putting roof on mid-match ta, enough problems already.

deuce , 6/26/12 5:27 PM

emiliano, sorry. the grass before 2003 was not made of steel, it would have worn away and lost its 'fullness' in week 2 because its grass , not steel. Rafa would havve survied week 1 on any grass, he can adjust anywhere. Week 2's grass makes rafa's movement unparalleled
vamosrafa, 6/26/12 5:20 PM

Dude, you have no idea. Have you ever seen Wimbledon before 2002 ? Im not bashing Nadal at all, I admire him a lot, but the guy would have been like Sampras on clay in that grass.
But oh well, the ATP started to make all the surfaces the same and that's why Wimbledon is slower and slower every year since 2003, and thats because there is MUCH LESS grass on the floor, leaving space for the ball to bounce on kind of hard surface. And of course, this explain why the grass is totally destroyed in the 2nd week. The final rounds are being played under dust, literally.

Emiliano55 , 6/26/12 5:34 PM

Bellucci is 3-3 W-L at Wimby making it to the 3rd round in 2010. Ramos lost his very first career match on grass last week and his loss to Fed was his first Wimby appearance. Fed had Tipsy/Isner potential in his QF draw and Rafa has Tsonga QF potential.

No comparison. Fed wins easiest 2012 Wimby draw award.

Conspirator , 6/26/12 5:39 PM

C'mon Rafa, don't keep Muzza waiting............

rafaisthebest , 6/26/12 5:40 PM

emiliano, the court speed argument can go both ways. FO is not as slow as it used to be so Fed may not have won in '09 if the clay wasn't made faster.

Conspirator , 6/26/12 5:42 PM

@ritb, i still stand by my comment. Fed has an easy draw. No doubt about it. And Rafa too has an easy one till quarters.
And plz dont tell me that u never mentioned that Fed has a fixed/cupcake draw.

@holdserve, no i am not joking. Fed's draw is as easy as Rafa's.

abhirf , 6/26/12 5:43 PM

This is a good workout for Rafa........................baptism of fire, just what he needs after crashing out early at Halle......

rafaisthebest , 6/26/12 5:44 PM

are kidding me ??? you out of your mind?actually u have no idea. The grass texture was changed to make the conditioners slower but the main change was brought about by the heavier balls ! what is this ridiculous claim about this grass degrading lin week 2 LOL. every grass degrades when men run like horses on them for one week ! go watch the 1980s final even !! the grass looks even more degraded in those finals than it does in the rafa-roger wimb finals !! the forecourt is nowhere near that old grass in terms of degradation but the baseline , no difference..if there is any differnce it is just because of more rallies being played from the baseline

and it was NOT the ATP !!! the all england club and the tennis association there decided it ! they changed the texture of the grass NOT its quality !! you get the difference now?? it is still pretty high quality one person who has complained about the QUALITY of the grass at wimb nowadays, its about the texture making it slower and the balls adding to the difference.

lastly, not changing the difference would have been ridiculous too , have you not seen the power of the return games and groundies nowdays??thanks to modern string and racket technology ! it would have been crazy to use that grass with the power of today's game,which is about 2-3 times greater than the previous eras

vamosrafa , 6/26/12 5:47 PM

Rafa's QF opponent is the toughest guy . Fed's draw is really easy this time...if not the easiest among top 4...............

fedexal , 6/26/12 5:47 PM

@abhirf, you sound like you are in one of those moods..........nothing I say will move you, so why don't we call it a day on this particular subject?

rafaisthebest , 6/26/12 5:47 PM

rafa would have been like sampras on clay?? LOL LOL!!! that is as stupid as it can get !!rafa has had so much success at wimb primarily because of his HUGE adjustments on grass. ACCEPT IT.

vamosrafa , 6/26/12 5:50 PM

Belluci missing a few wee volleys he really shouldn`t as if he`s taking his eye off the ball for a split second. Needs to keep serving to Nadals backhand.

mojo , 6/26/12 5:51 PM

Before the match started the Unibet odds for Bellucci/Rafa was 25-1, they are now 50-1.

nadline , 6/26/12 5:52 PM

I do not understand this game plan i.e. come out firing on all these players understand the difference between a best of 5 and a best of 3? Do they really expect Rafa to cave in?

rafaisthebest , 6/26/12 5:53 PM

One more set..............

rafaisthebest , 6/26/12 5:55 PM

Wow.. what an end to the second set...........................

fedexal , 6/26/12 5:55 PM

^^^ no I am not. As I said, i'm not denying Fed's easy quarter. But i dont agree on ur part too that Rafa has a tough road till quarters. If he faces any problems in early rounds it would be due to his and not his opponent's game.
So to put an end to this arguement we can agree to disagree.

abhirf , 6/26/12 5:56 PM

abhirf, you honestly think Bellucci is an easy opponent, as easy as Ramos on grass? The fact that Bellucci is ranked 80 as opposed to Ramos's rank of 43 there are very very few points in it. It could be simply down to making a couple of rounds at a tournament.

nadline , 6/26/12 5:56 PM

Nadine Im not surprised the odds changed but Bellucci looks unpredictable, will be interesting to see how his nerve holds, he` snot comfortable at the net either.

mojo , 6/26/12 6:03 PM

@nadline, no i dont rate Ramos a more better player than Bellucci. Bellucci is more talented than Ramos. No doubt about it. But he doesnt have anything in his game that can trouble Rafa. Bellucci could have been a much tougher prospect for Murray or Fed.
Fed is lucky to have almost no potent opponent in quarters. While Rafa has Tsonga. But, hey, didnt Fed has Nole in the semis and Rafa has Murray. Do I need to mention who is a tougher opponent b/w Nole and Murray?

abhirf , 6/26/12 6:12 PM

funny to read comments by rafans, they colliding against each other while Rafa is out there and still playing the game.



Vamos Rafa !!!

Raindrops , 6/26/12 6:15 PM

just look at the way nadal is constructing some of these points !WOW ! its like totally different from roland garros...such intelligent pattern of plays ..the angles the slices and spins etc ..rafa is surely one of the best volleyers in the game sound with his volleys ! rafa is twice a better volleyer than he was in 2005-2006 wimb and in terms of variety and variation, MILES AHEAD now...

vamosrafa , 6/26/12 6:17 PM

Bellucci certainly not an easy opponent. Remember him almost beating a red hot Nole on clay at Madrid last year? Remember him serving big and playing aggressively and forced Fed to go the distance on hard courts at IW this year?? Bellucci is certainly no rookie, and judging from how he moves on grass, I don't think he has any problem on this surface, especially when he has a good serve to help him wins some cheap points.

What had Ramos done when he met with the top three guys (if he had met all three of them)?
I don't think he's as good as Bellucci on any surface.

luckystar , 6/26/12 6:19 PM

@luckystar, u didnt read my post carefully. I did mentioned that Bellucci is a talented guy. But he doesnt have a game that can hurt Rafa. Only if Rafa plays poorly, he will face trouble in the early rounds.

abhirf , 6/26/12 6:27 PM

Strange argument. Nole and Rafa are no.1 and 2, so they can only meet in the final. How about this question: meeting Nole in the SF, is it tougher than meeting Rafa in the SF?? I believe I know what's Fed answer to my question!

Maybe Fed should be in Rafa's half of the draw, that'll make both their draws a bit more challenging.

luckystar , 6/26/12 6:28 PM

abhirf, I disagree that Bellucci doesn't have anything to trouble Rafa, with that serve. Rafa needs to be on alert to fend him off. Granted, Rafa can overcome Bellucci's game but he can't do it walzing around like Federer did against Ramos.

nadline , 6/26/12 6:32 PM

Rafas having to use more slice against Bellucci`s big serve, however Bellucci`s not volleying well, not comfortable at the net. Fed v`s Ramos was no match at all, Fed wasn`t stretched despit Ramos breaking his serve at one point.

mojo , 6/26/12 6:41 PM

GSM, Nadal - 76 62 63.

The crowd got their money's worth. It was a great natch.

Vamos Rafa!

nadline , 6/26/12 6:41 PM

abhirf, I didnt get to read your comment when I posted mine. Anyway, why Bellucci has nothing in his game to hurt Rafa while he almost beat Nole and Fed? I don't see the logic when this is not clay we're talking about. I don't think it's about his game (well maybe his volleying needs more work), maybe it's his mindset or his inconsistency that's his undoing.

I'm not saying he can be as good as the top three, for none of the rest of the field can match the top three. I'm just talking about him winning a match against one of them.

luckystar , 6/26/12 6:42 PM

I think Rafa has gained far more from his 1st round match that Federer did in his.

nadline , 6/26/12 6:44 PM

Game, Set and Match......Rafa

This was a difficult opponent for Rafa, but he dispatched him in 3. Good work-out for Rafa. Everyone knows he is a little vulnerable the 1st week at Wimby. I think he was a little tentative at first, rightly so, it was slippery out there. If Rafa makes it to the 2nd week (as I fully expect him to), he will be unstoppable.

He killed Bellucci with his backhand slice. He just needs to find his serve, his forehand is okay, it will be in devastating form come the 2nd week.


rafaisthebest , 6/26/12 6:46 PM

Sorry, Rafa won 76 62 64.

nadline , 6/26/12 6:46 PM


Vamos Rafa!

natashao , 6/26/12 6:48 PM

I think it was 6-3 nadline.......

fedexal , 6/26/12 6:52 PM

Which court did Tsonga and Hewitt play on? It certainly looked to have more grip than Centre Court....................Hope Rafa plays there next.

rafaisthebest , 6/26/12 6:52 PM

Fantastico our Rafa - glad to see those skates got you there in the end.

Very happy for the win - Vamos our Rafa & God bless.

Raindrops - you are a very lucky person if you only need water to calm your nerves :) I had to get something a lot stronger.

schatz , 6/26/12 6:55 PM

Just checked the Wimby results scoreboard guys, it was 76 62 63.......who does Rafa play next?

rafaisthebest , 6/26/12 6:57 PM

@luckystar, i would have loved it had Fed and Rafa been in the same half. There's still no match that can match the beauty of this contest. But it would have made Rafa's journey more hard as well as Fed's. Same could be applied on the quarter's front too. Ferrer and Tipsy are not as good as Berdych and Tsonga. So wherever Tipsy n Ferrer would have landed, it would have made an easy quarter for the resp. top guy. Delpo is another guy. But had he been placed in Fed's section u guys would have obviously discarded him too. So until and unless Tsonga was placed in Roger's section i dont see a way in which his draw would have been said to be a tough one.

If u still feel that Rafa has got a tough draw, then u should be happy as he would have gained much more than his rivals.

abhirf , 6/26/12 7:02 PM

Rafa has certainly had to work harder in his first round match than Fed did.

mojo , 6/26/12 7:04 PM

ritb - I hope it is not Ivan Dodig the Croat - he is a very tricky customer who loves to come into the net. I really enjoyed watching him at Queens where he beat Tsonga I think. It does not look as though that match has started yet. He is playing Lukas Rosol.

schatz , 6/26/12 7:08 PM

Commie jus picked up on something, why does it say 10 on rafa`s shoes and not 11?

mojo , 6/26/12 7:12 PM

RTIB, Tsonga/Hewitt was played on court 1.

Rafa plays either Dodig or Rosol next Hope its Dodig so Rafa can get payback on his loss to Dodig in Montreal last summer. We had tickets to see him next day but he went out early.


Conspirator , 6/26/12 7:12 PM

schatz, Rosol is leading 2 sets to 1 and they are Dodig is just about to break to up 5-3 in the 4th.

nadline , 6/26/12 7:14 PM

...and why are Nole's coaches still wearing Sergio Tacchini???

Conspirator , 6/26/12 7:15 PM

schatz, the Dodig/Rosol match has already started, Rosol is leading 2 sets to 1, 4 games to 3 Dodig in the 4th set..................

rafaisthebest , 6/26/12 7:15 PM

I think it was 6-3 nadline.......
fedexal , 6/26/12 6:52 PM

So it is!!

nadline , 6/26/12 7:18 PM

Nole is too tight to get them the new stuff.

nadline , 6/26/12 7:19 PM

^^^ maybe like bridesmaid's dresses always have to be ugly so bride looks prettier.

Conspirator , 6/26/12 7:21 PM

^^either that or they just haven`t got round to doing their laundry!

mojo , 6/26/12 7:26 PM

Rosol beat Dodig in 4.

nadline , 6/26/12 7:28 PM

Rafa has never played Rosol, you just KNOW Rosol will come out all guns blazing....

I have never seen him play, what's his game like, what is his best shot, what part of his game should Rafa be mindful of?

rafaisthebest , 6/26/12 7:39 PM

@schatz, it was just the first set so water will do. If it's a tiebreaker in the fifth, then i really need something that will make my whole being numb ... say schatz err scotts i mean. :-)

So nice Rafa to see won his first match in straight sets.

Raindrops , 6/26/12 7:42 PM

"I have to improve a lot in the next round," Nadal told BBC Sport. "I made more mistakes than usual, I was very lucky to come back from 4-0 down."

This is why he is so formidable, he just does not rest on his laurels. I was very happy with his match given the quality of the opponent, even when he was 2 breaks down I was not concerned at all. But typical Rafa, he does not look at what he did right, he focusses on what he did wrong, all the better to work on and improve...................

rafaisthebest , 6/26/12 8:35 PM

Seriously? Rafa was love-4 down today?

Conspirator , 6/26/12 8:43 PM

I didn't see the match, but hope to see the replay later on the tennis channel. From what I have read here, it seems that Rafa did okay for his first match. Bellucci is not bum and I thought that he might give Rafa a bit of a challenge for maybe one set.

We know that Rafa will want to improve to get into his best form. He needs to peak in the second week. The goal here is to get through these early round matches and work on his game. He knows what he has to work on and in the second round we should see him do better.

Nativenewyorker , 6/26/12 8:45 PM

Rafa is being Rafa when he says he was lucky to come back from 4-0 down. The fact is luck had nothing to do with it, he made the right adjustments and they worked. For example, he stopped serving to Bellucci's forehand (had Rafa forgotten that Bellucci is a lefty?), he noticed that Bellucci had trouble transitioning into low balls (Rafa started using his sliced backahnd more), he couldn't volley to save his life (again, the slice did the damage). So, it was tactical changes that reduced the deficit, not luck.

And Rafa did not get out of 2nd gear...........................

rafaisthebest , 6/26/12 8:51 PM

You know this is why Rafa's humility will always get him through! He sees tennis as purely a game and he likes to have fun playing it! When challenges come he recognises what needs to be done and he goes out, works hard and does it! I am so proud to be a Rafaf fan.............he just does what needs to be done..............simple!! I just admire his work ethic!! If most civil servants and even more now the private sector were to subscribe to this work ethic, the world would surley be a much better place!!

Sooner enough, Rafa will end up being an undisputed LEGEND!!!


Monalysa , 6/26/12 9:01 PM

Thanks Nadline and ritb - I did not manage to see the Dodig/Rosol match. I cannot picture who this guy is and shall have to look him up. I hope he is not 7 ft tall with a bomb of a serve - only kidding.

Lovely post Monalysa.

Our boy did us proud today and I think the Centre Court crowd was great.

schatz , 6/26/12 10:06 PM

Rosol is 6' 5" and seems to have a good serve and comes to the net a lot. I checked out the match stats and that is all that stood out really. I believe he is ranked 100 at the moment but has been as high as 80. I don't think Rafa will underestimate him though.

Good night all.

schatz , 6/26/12 10:26 PM

Thanks to the tennis channel, I got to see the first and third sets of Rafa's match. They skipped over the second set, probably for time constraints. So much tennis to replay.

Rafa had a really slow start in that first set. Bellucci came out aggressive, going for his shots. This is not a secret as the effective strategy to try to beat Rafa. So he got into a 4-0 hole and that's when he seemed to get into the match. Then he started playing much better, with more focus and concentration.

I wasn't surprised at one tight set. But Bellucci was blown out in that first set tb, and Rafa really took control of the match from that point. I think Bellucci gave Rafa a nice match to get the feel of the court and work on his shots. At one point, I did see Rafa slip on the grass, so that wouldn't make him all that comfortable.

As I recall, the grass is fast and slippery in the first week, until it gets beaten down. Rafa will get the feel of the court and work his way into great form. I like his body language. Lots of confidence.

Nativenewyorker , 6/27/12 2:34 AM

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1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
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