Saturday, 14 July 2018

Novak leads Rafa 2 sets to 1

At last it was the second men’s semi final of Wimbledon 2018, and the one we’d been waiting, and waiting, and waiting for - Rafa Nadal (2) and Novak Djokovic (12).

Nadal served first and was taken to deuce, didn’t like it so held serve instead 1-0

Djokovic was more efficient, two aces amongst his reply and 1-1.

Nadal again struggled, errors taking him to deuce twice before he held for 2-1.  A Djokovic ace and 3 Spanish errors levelled things at 2-2.

Nadal managed for the third time to hold serve with troubles, saving two break points on this occasion.

Djokovic trailed 15-30 after missing a backhand.  A forehand winner compensated, then the backhand joined in for 40-30.  A mishit forehand and deuce, then Nadal missed everything.  Off forehand winner and 3-3.

Djokovic won a spectacular rally, then two magnificent returns set up winning points and three break points.  The second of those was enough as Nadal hit wide. Djokovic 4-3.

Two stunning backhands from Serbia and a Nadal error 40-0.  Nadal hit a winner but Djokovic held comfortably 5-3.  Nadal had his best game, three errors from Djokovic helping him serve to love and asking the Serb to serve for the set.

A Djokovic ace and three set points.  A forehand winner and Djokovic led 6-4.

Forehand winner from Djokovic to start set two.  30-30 as they traded errors.  Nadal saved a break point.  A second deuce.  Nadal put away a winner at the net.  Service held 1-0

40-30 after Djokovic forced an error.  Deuce following an unforced Serbian error.  Djokovic held for 1-1.

Nadal saved two break points by forcing errors and held serve 2-1

A missed forehand from Djokovic and two break points for Nadal against the run of play. The break was his with a netted shot 3-1 Nadal.

Forehand Djokovic return winner 0-15.  A miss wide and 15-30 Nadal.  A drop shot-lob combination from Djokovic and two break back points.   A sizzling forehand pass won the day and it was back on serve 2-3.

Djokovic 0-30 again.  A forehand down the line and a volley winner 30-30.  Deuce after trading errors.  Break point to Nadal after a furious rally.  Saved following a long Nadal shot.  Brilliant drop shot from Nadal and second break point.  Forehand winner for the break 4-2 Nadal.

Nadal consolidated the break this time with a love game to lead 5-2.

Djokovic held with two touch volleys the highlight. 3-5

Nadal served for the set.  A wonderful rally ended with a Nadal winner 15-15. Service winner 30-15.  Nadal into the net 30-30.  Break point following a long Spanish shot.  Saved with a quality serve.  Another break chance as Nadal pushed it wide.  Saved.  Wonderful backhand Nadal winner and set point.  He converted and took the set 6-3. 

The match was level, and no chance of a finish tonight, thanks to Anderson and Isner.

Two Nadal forehand winners didn’t stop Djokovic holding for 1-0 in set three. Nadal winner and 30-0.  40-0 after Djokovic netted.  He did again and Nadal held 1-1

Great contest at the net and Djokovic 30-0.  40-0 with an ace.  Another to hold at 15.  2-1 Djokovic.  Two drop shot Nadal winners and 2-2.

An ace from Djokovic sealed a love game and he led 3-2.  

Nadal missed wide on both sides 0-30.  Djokovic missed wide 15-30.  Ace and 30-30.  Nadal held with a forehand winner 3-3.

Djokovic was at 30-30 after two unforced errors.  Game point following a backhand winner.  Serve held for 4-3

Fine rally which Nadal won with an overhead 15-0.  Djokovic missed wide 30-0.  Forehand return magic from Djokovic and 30-15.  Winning pass from Nadal and two game points.  Held for 4-4.

Double fault from Djokovic - the first of the match 0-15.  Good comeback with winning volley and forced Nadal error.  Game to Djokovic and he was one away from the set at 5-4.

Nadal forehand winner 30-0.  30-15 after a Spanish error.  Good serve and two game points.  One needed and 5-5.

Nadal overhead winner at the net 0-15.  Forehand winner from the same racquet 0-30.  Service winner 15-30.  Netted Nadal shot 30-30.  Ace and game point.  Service held and Djokovic led 6-5. 

Double fault Nadal. 0-15.  Djokovic hit it long 15-15.  Nadal won at the net 30-15.  Game points after Djokovic drifted long again.  One saved when Nadal did the same.  Serve held and tie break arrived.

Double fault from Djokovic to start.  Nadal missed wide and 1-1.  Nadal smash winner 2-1.  Nadal hit long 2-2.  First serve was on the money 3-2 Djokovic.  4-2 after Djokovic chased down a drop shot.

4-3 after netted Djokovic shot.  Forehand overhead after brilliant backhand from Djokovic 5-3.  Drop shot stunner from Nadal 5-4 Djokovic.  5-5 after Djokovic error.  Drop shot again and set point for Nadal.  Saved with a fine serve. 6-6. Nadal forehand winner and set point again.  Drop shot from Djokovic saved it.  7-7.  Drop shot from Nadal and another set point.  Saved with a good first serve.  8-8. 

Nadal hit long and Djokovic had set point.  Saved.  9-9.

Djokovic won at the net and led 10-9 with a set point.  Backhand down the line from Djokovic won him the set 7-6(9) and he led two sets to one.

Time ran out and the players would need to come back on Saturday as a compliment to the Ladies final.

An amazing day of tennis which has continued a great tournament.

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