Wimbly Day 6 (by PJ): The Drama of Rafa
This is going to be a quick recap of Wimbly Saturday, ahead of Wimbly Frazzle Monday.
Rafa Nadal was stretched to five sets – again – on Centre Court against the 33rd seed Philipp Petzschner. Petzy put up a great fight to lead Rafa two sets to one, but it was a lead that he could not ultimately sustained, as he was broken twice in the next set, and once again in the fifth to give Rafa the victory.
There was some inspired play by Petzy, but Rafa wasn’t known for giving up, quite the contrary. Of course, two other main incidents on the court revolved around the medical time-outs Rafa took, and alleged on-court coaching.
I don’t really know what to make of Rafa’s MTOs. Many claimed it was gamesmanship – in an effort to throw Petzy off his rhythm, and it was something that Petzy agreed with.
…I thought he was moving great. I only could say if I would be injured like this once I would be happy. No, but I don’t know. Maybe he had something. Maybe it was just a clever part to take a timeout there.
Petzy went on to say that ultimately he couldn’t keep up and Rafa deserved the win. However, the debate was still centered around on the fact that Petzy may have won otherwise. “May have” are the keywords. We just wouldn’t know for sure.
My own take is that, I’m not so sure what to believe. It was a bit iffy that Rafa continued to move unimpeded after his MTO. However, after seeing him retire against Mandy in AO this year (which hurt me and made me sad face), I’m more inclined to believe him than not, actually. Rafa himself claimed that he was bothered and worried by the knee, hence he called for a trainer. The argument is still whether was Rafa’s injury serious enough to warrant a MTO. Then again, Rafa has always had trouble with those knees. Call me naïve, but I’m not so quick to decide that it was a move purely for gamesmanship.
On the coaching issue – Rafa was visibly angry when he received the warning, and had this to say in his press-con afterwards.
…Sometimes, yes. Not today, in my opinion. But, yes, sometimes in the past Toni talk maybe too much. And when it happened, and the referee or the umpire give me an advice, and if it is continuing, later a warning.
But not today, in my opinion. Yeah, no.
So does that mean, yes, on occasion, he DOES receive coaching from Toni? I’m sure we remember that Rome 2006 final where Feddy called Toni out on coaching. For this incident though, I’m not so sure. Even Petzy was inclined to believe that there was no coaching involved.
… I think there was no coaching involved. That’s what I think.
Having said that, I think there may be coaching in the Haase match. Rafa was looking up towards Toni and was very obviously saying something – a lot of things, in fact. Of course, I could be wrong again, but that certainly looked suspicious. My opinion? Rafa is the world #1. He should NOT, in any circumstances or in any time, be receiving coaching from his coach, minor or not. I like Rafa. If he isn’t playing against Feddy, I’ll root for him 80% of the time. But I have to admit this trait of his isn’t something that is endearing to anyone at all. Certainly hoping for the rest of his matches to be coaching-free. It does not bode well at all, that the world #1 receives coaching in a Grand Slam match, nope nope.
So Rafa survived, again, and hailed by all as the Matador, the Fighter, the Hero. Sure, I agree that it takes a lot of guts and strength to come out of two consecutive five-setters. But what irritated me was that Federer, in contrast, gets criticism, questions about his form and suggestions that he was outta the whole thing, with the first round battle and that dropped set in the second. Hypocrisy at its best, y’all! I supposed I should be used to these double-standards, which has been the case since forever and a day. I don’t care what anyone says about different expectations for Feddy and Rafa. Give credit where credit is due. Roger dug deep to come out with those wins. Recognise that, plzkthx.
Rafa plays Paul-Henri Mathieu next, and I will be VERY surprised if he was stretched again. PHM doesn’t have nearly enough – skills or mental strength wise – to beat Rafa at Wimbly. But it all remains to be seen.
Mandy Pandy, still gunning for that elusive GS title, first for Great Britain in 150,00 years, stayed on track, outing Gilles Simon comfortably, not that I didn’t expect him too. Simon has been fading since a rather stellar late year season in 2008. Mandy’s form has been solid lately (frazzle frazzle) and he is looking rather good to go further.
Bobby Sod also beat Thomaz Belluci easily enough, keeping the hopes for a Rafa/Soddy QF. Now this is one match that I will not miss, folks. And Bobby Sod, please not to be as uninspired as you were in that RG final. This is Wimbly, and I think he has a very good chance here. Soddy, that is.
Other players still alive in Rafa’s half: David Ferrer, Samurai Sam, Jo-Willy, Julien Benneteau.
Less than 4 hours to the frazzles, folks. I unfortunately am forced to go for a movie that I promised two weeks ago, and won’t be home till midnight-ish. It wouldn’t be the worst if I missed the match on the account of Feddykins winning comfortably in straights. In fact, I pretty much hope that is the case.
Frazzle on my behalf!
P.S. Quotes from Wimbledon player interviews!