Live: Nadal vs. Kiefer / Wimbledon 3rd round


Player – Set1 – Set 2 – Set 3 – Set 4 – Set 5

Nadal – 7 (7) – 6 – 6

Kiefer – 6(3) – 2 – 3

Commentary: Set 1

Nadal with a mini break in the tie-breaker.

 I am seeing a lot of drop shots. Nadal is doing it well….

And I agree with the TV commentators. Kiefer is doing it as well as he can. He will still possibly lose.

Aah, unforced error, Kiefer. 6-2 to Nadal.

Kiefer serves.

Holds with a big serve.

Set point on the Nadal serve.

Sets it up well with a wide serve, and Kiefer hits the net.

Nadal wins the first set.

Set 2

 Nadal has had only 5 of his 105 service games broken. Tha’s a Goran, Pete, Boris stat. And the guy is hardly a huge server.

 The players are back on court. Nadal Serves.

 Nadal is probably the fittest guy ever to play tennis. Lendl? No, not a shot. It’s Nadal.

 And as differentiating from Lendl, the perennial Wimbledon bridesmaid, Nadal never tries to change his game. He makes his strengths more pronounced, and makes his foibles less evident.

Nadal wins the first game, 1-0

Kiefer to serve now.

Kiefer has had great games, and many bad ones. Pretty much like his german compatriot Tommy Haas of the post-BeckerSteffiStich era. Never any consistancy. And regular injuries, both of them. And the bugbear of coming right after Boris. But well, they did not do very badly overall, did they? Haas lost to Andy Murray yesterday. Good solid high-end journeymen, of the rank 9 to 32 type. And both had had better than no.9 times. They are needed to keep the game alive.

 He has the pre-requisites. Big serve, solid groundstrokes, good movement.

Ooh, Nadal breakpoint.

And second serve.

Unforced error. Nadal 2-0.

Nadal to serve.

Nadal has a very good serve. Not a huge serve, but it creates a good build up play for a ….

ooh, drop shot again.

yeah, back to Lendl, he tried to change his game to win the Wimbledon. Nadal never does. He always had a great volley. and well, if you move quick (probably the greatest), and have a superb top spin forehand, you will do well everywhere. He has made his volley better. His serve better. And has learnt to change the speed of play to suit him. And he can slice and hit big backhands…. Yes, he can kinda do everything.

Nadal holds easily. 3-0.

 Kiefer serves.

This challenge rule is fabulous. Should have it in cricket and football too.

Kiefer has a big, big serve.

 Kiefer holds. 1-3.

 Nadal.

What a good serve strategy.

Keep the first serve. First serve percentage! First serve percentage!

Keep it far wide of the other guy. Lots of top spin. Make him stretch.

get the floater, take it down for an easy putaway.

Easy to say, no? Not easy to do.

Rafa holds.

 I see him winning this time. Really. He is getting better everyday. And Roger is not. He got to a spectacularly high standard, and held on to it. A moving target is tougher to get to that a static one….

Kiefer serves.

Unforced.

Don’t try dainty drop shots, Nick.

130mph ace. and another. Stay there, give us a match, Nick.

 Oh, what a point. He slipped and fell down, yet got a drop volley out. Kiefer got to it alright, and hit a volley. Nadal even gave chase…

Thats the only point Kiefer got on Nadal’s serve. Nadal holds. 5-2.

Kiefer. Wild first serve.

Oh yeah, thanks Mack. Chris Evert and Greg Norman tied the knot today. Congrats to both. The not supremely talented, but unflinching, never throwing a match, Chris; and the supremely talented, but a little suspect on the real big stage Big White Shark. They are both good looking though. Good looking 53 year olds.

Nadal walked through the game. Did not lose a point. Set 2 to Nadal. 6-2

If he plays at this level, and Federer beats him (and yes, even at Wimbledon), good for him… he can go ahead and take down Pete.

A confession. I will be heartbroken if he dows. I respect Roger, but Pete is PETE.

Will take a break for a bit, and get back after 10 mins. Channels changed. NBC is showing the LPGA US open. Annika and Paula Creamer on show. I will get back to Nadal and Kiefer, thanks.

Set 3

 Unfortunately, this ends here. The ESPN2 is showing Stepanek/Youzhny. I like both guys, but cannot care to have this commentary going. Will watch it though.

Oh hang on, we are back to Nadal/Kiefer.

1-0 Nadal. Kiefer serves.

Incredible defensive play by Nadal. It helps if you have legs such that you can reach everywhere on court.

 Yes, Kiefer double-faults, the challenge does not hold. Nadal 2-0.

 Don’t get me wrong. Kiefer is good. Good movement, big groundstrokes, good returns and big serve. And he is not really playing badly, on the kind of surface he should like the most. Yet Nadal is just blowing him away…. This here is something special.

 Oh, remember, this match too is Spain vs Germany….

 Nadal holds with an ace. 3-0.

 Kiefer serves.

Great acrobatic jump-volley by Kiefer.

But Nadal breaks.

In more ways than one, Kiefer is a broken man now. This match, for all practical purposes, is over.

 Nadal holds serve on one of the best points of the match…. End to end stuff, both players won the point twice, really. In the end though, Nadal won. As you could have guessed. 5-0 Nadal.

Kiefer serves.

OH. OH what a shot. Nadal. Running forehand, Pete style. brilliant.

But Nick holds. 5-1 to nadal.

nadal serves for the match.

15-30. Any chance for Kiefer? Naah…

15-40. maybe? Naah….

Well, yes. Kiefer breaks. Good fight.

He will not win for sure, but well, he is giving his all. And the Wimbledon crowd appreciated it. 5-2 to Nadal. Kiefer serves.

Kiefer holds with three aces. 5-3.

Nadal serves now.

Will it happen again? Naah….

15-0 Nadal. It WAS out, the Kiefer lob.

Good serve. nadal 30-0.

Brilliance by nadal. 40-0. Crosscourt slice backhand. Fistpump.

Matchpoint.

Nadal wins as the Kiefer lob sails wide.

Good workout. Great one, Rafa.

Kiefer gets the claps. He passes on one of his racquets to the crowds.

Now Nadal leaves as well…. are we seeing the Wimbledon ’08 champion?

It is possible….

And on a stray thought, I appreciate much more the work done by Brydon Coverdale, Jenny Thompson, Will Luke, Sreeram Veera, old college buddy Sid Vaidyanathan and others at Cricinfo, for their live commentary on games. It is tiring after two short games and a tie-breaker in tennis. It must be manifoldly tougher to hold on to the same for full cricket matches… repeatedly, everyday.

Cheers, gentlemen and ladies. Keep at it.

 

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