May 13, 2011 Leave a comment
Friday. Last day of the week, the start of the weekend, night lights, party, FUN FUN FUN. Oh, but the calendar is telling me today is the 13th day of the month. So what? I don’t think any of you believe Friday the 13th is a bad omen or something. But if somehow you do, Rome quarterfinals have three strong reasons to convince you to stop believing that breaking a mirror will give you seven years of bad luck.
First – Rafael Nadal defeats Marin Cilic, 6/1, 6/3
There are no black cats enough in the world to jinx Rafa. And I’m pretty serious. Rafa, who was allegedly feverish and kind of ill the whole week, took care of Marin in 1h25. He didn’t face a single break point the entire match, and now Cilic can’t be cocky about being one of the few players to have a non-negative record against Nadal – Rafa now leads 2-1. In the semifinals, the five-time champion plays Richard Gasquet, whom he leads 8-0. Gasquet has captured some momentum in Italy, but is it enough to beat Rafa?
Second – Andy Murray breadstick(ed), breadstick(s) and breadstick(s) Florian Mayer, 1/6, 6/1, 6/1
Say what you will. “Murray plays like crap on clay”; “Florian Mayer is now top-20 material (!)”; “Andy is still slumping”. But it doesn’t change a thing. Even though Florian is having the best year of his career (Surprisingly, he’s already a 27-yo veteran), Murray was the favorite, simply because he is Andy Murray.
The first set may have felt like walking under a ladder. But, as you know, Murray has the luck of Scottish, so fool superstitions can’t touch him. Nor could Florian – Murray faced only two BPs in the next two sets, returned the first’s scoreline in double and sealed his way to the semifinals – he is the first Briton to reach the final four in Rome. 2011 is also his first season ever with multiple clay semifinals, though he still needs to reach his first final.
Last and least – Novak Djokovic (Mars) def. Robin Soderling (SWE) – six-three, six-nothing
It’s done. Nole spilt salt on R-Sod’s wounds. Earth’s last hope even had a positive start, breaking his opponent in the opening game from love. But he couldn’t keep the advantage, and when Novak got back on serve, we knew the biggest chance to kill that monster had been lost. Robin even kept toe-to-toe with him, but after six games he desperately hail-maried (Did I successfully translate Hail-Mary into a verb?) and gambled his last stamina to try a break, but meh, he failed.
Djokovic then used his inhuman, never-ending resources. He then left the court and went for a walk. In a park. Soderling tried to cool things down, went to the locker room, maybe even had an illegal coaching session with someone. But it didn’t even tickle The Alien On The Other Side Of The Net (TAOTOSOTN). Djokovic finally dished his second bagel of Rome, and repeated his opener’s scoreline, in the quarterfinals, against a top-5.
Oh yeah, that was also the ultimate proof of alien supremacy. There is nothing we can do now. Expect them to be marching over in our main cities some time real soon.
Nadal plays Gasquet, 2nd on Centrale tomorrow, not before 2 p.m., seeking his 5th Masters final of the year. He leads the H2H, 8-0.
Murray will try to be the first man to beat Djokovic since November, not before 8 p.m., also on Centrale. Djokovic leads the H2H, 5-3, and in case you have already forgotten, they played this year in the Australian Open final. Was a monster performance by Nole, who wasn’t threatened the whole match.