Saturday, 10 June 2017

Can Stan stop Rafa RG10 ?

Andy Murray should not have won the first set in his semi final against Stan Wawrinka. Stan had broken the top seed and had served for the set, but failed, and had missed another golden chance when serving at 6-5 in the tie breaker.  Murray still won the set 7-6 and took the lead in what was to become a marathon among many of those endured in Roland Garros history.

Wawrinka continued to attack the Murray serve into set two, and his brand of play troubled Andy to the extent where Stan hit 18 winners, won 72% of points on his serve, faced no break points and broke Andy twice.

6–3 and the match was level.

The momentum continued in set three and Wawrinka broke the Murray serve in game two.  He held the break until Murray upped the ante in the seventh game where he converted a third break point in the game with a backhand winner.
The follow up hold of service evened the set at 4-4.

Four errors from the Swiss racquet in game eleven and the match had turned.  Murray claimed the set with assistance of more Wawrinka mistakes 7-5.

Down two sets to one, things appeared rather bleak for the 2015 champ.

No problem for Stan though - in a fourth set where no break points eventuated and a tie break was required, Wawrinka forced Murray into a backhand error three times in the tie break, enough to reach three set points on the Murray serve.
A Swiss forehand winner did the trick and it was two sets all.

Stan demolished Andy in the decider, belting another 15 winners (87 for the match), winning 16 of the 22 points on Murray's serve, and breaking the top seed's serve every time.

After four and a half hours Stan Wawrinka was now down to two fighters, himself gunning for a second RG title.

However he will need to be on his best form because his opponent is going to be Rafa Nadal.

Nadal made far quicker work of Dominic Thiem.  Just the three sets 6-3 6-4 6-0 and only a touch over two hours.
Nadal won 54 of 74 points on his serve while Thiem won only 41 of 81 on his efforts from the line.

Rafa hit 23 winners, only two more than Dominic, but kept his unforced error count to 22.  Thiem threw in 34 mistakes of his own.

In general play it was the forehands which were significant contributors to the thrashing.  Nadal was damaging with his - Thiem impotent with his.
Sadly the crowd missed out on a clash similar to the Rome quarter final where Thiem picked off Nadal's strengths and dictated the trend of the match.

Here it was simply Rafa in his second home and just shifting furniture.
Hopefully Wawrinka will offer more resistance in the final.

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