RG2011 Day 11 (by PJ): The order restored
Realised that this is two days late and the women’s semis have been played, and finalists are decided – but thought I’ll post this just to keep the RG posts together.
Rafa/Bobby Sod. Gawd. From the onset, I did think it would either be a battle or a very straightforward three-setter in the favour of Rafa. I was right, and the latter was right, as Rafa disposed Soddy smoothly in straights.
Sooo. The Return of RRRRRRAAAFAAAA? Yes, I would say. But then again, Bobby Sod forgot his meanie pants and played quite craptacularly for the first two sets.
There is no denying that Rafa played HEAPS better compared to his play of the last few matches. It probably helped that he was facing someone he doesn’t particularly like very much, and the one person that inflicted much pain in him (knees otherwise) back in 2009. It seems like he’s been upping his ante whenever he plays Soddy after that dreadful 2009 season and Wednesday was no different. He was all there, Rafa the Matador, with his forehand and serve intact (two things that were largely on holiday in Majorca for the first week) AND his ability to consolidate breaks!
However, it helped him that Sod was having a disastrous serving day where he was serving like a noodle and overplaying his forehand 9 out of 10 times. Rafa was able to capitalise on these weaknesses to race away with a two-set lead before Bobby would emerge slightly awaken under his towel. He overcame an early break from Rafa, and held on to send the set into a tiebreaker. But Rafa would have none of the whole comeback shebang from Sodders, and took control early to win the tiebreaker and the match.
But this is a great victory in the most comfortable way to push Rafa’s confidence back to where it belongs. From the start I did think Rafa would somehow wrestle his way into the final despite THAT first round, and would somehow take the title. I think my gut feeling still stands.
For the other quarterfinal match between Andy Toothache and Juan Ignacio Chela – wow, that was weird. Chela was up two breaks in the first, threw those away, threw away the tiebreaker. Andy was up two breaks in the second, did his bit to return the favour to Chela, and very nearly threw the set into a tiebreaker, narrowly avoided that. Third set was all teeth – aching and all – as MAndy comfortably wrapped that up in a less weird fashion.
On his injury thing though – torn tendon and popping more pills than Ozzy Osbourne – hmmm.. A “torn tendon” would mean he could hardly walk, much less play high-level, competitive tennis. And if he’s STILL playing on a torn tendon with super duper painkillers at the levels of morphine and heroin mixed together, dude’s pretty much looking at fucking up his Wimbledon chances, and in the long term, fucking up his career entirely. And since I don’t think his team is THAT stupid, hence I don’t think he is THAT injured. But I’m not accusing him of faking anything – there’s no doubt his ankle is dodgy.
Well, it all remains to be seen tonight, won’t it?
A quick recap on the ladies – as it’s probably already known – Li Na beat Victoria Azarenka in their AO rematch, keeping up the same result, while Shrieky Sharapova turned the tables and moondanced on Andrea Petkovic’s grave instead, blowing her off court in vengeful Shrieky fashion. So it was to be a meeting between Shrieky and Li Na, each gunning for their own first (first FO title and Career Slam for Shrieky, first FO/GS final for Li Na and China). And yes, we already have the result to that as well. Wrap up on that match will come 🙂
It’s Friday, people. And it’s THE DAY.