Ben lost to RBA, 6-4, 7-6, 6-2.
Not an unexpected result - a bad match-up and months of injury messing up Ben's preparation and fitness.
But despite this, Ben actually played some really good stuff in this match. He was very aggressive and went
for lots of winners - probably knowing his fitness wouldn't last long rallies. His downfall were his unforced
errors - really lacking in consistency from point to point. But he's hardly played for months, so not surprising
he struggled with his rhythm.
He hung in there in the 1st set, until serving, 4-5 down, when he just got a bit too aggressive and loose,
going for too much on his shots. It was a shame to lose the set like that, when he'd been playing well.
At the change of ends, RBA waited until Carlos Bernardes was about to call "time" before deciding to go for a
toilet break which really annoyed and fired up Ben. He broke straight away and went 2-0 up. He saved 4 BP's in his
next 2 service games before RBA broke for 4-4. To his credit, Ben came out and broke straight back, hitting some
great winners. But serving for the set was a disaster - a double fault and errors - and it was back to 5-5. It went
to a TB, with Ben playing a mix of great winners and UE's. He was 5-2 down, then won both points on RBA's serve
playing really aggressively and hitting winners. Then he made UE's on both his own service points and the set was gone.
He'd already looked tired during the 2nd set, and he fell away a bit in the 3rd. But the positives were that the knee
didn't break down during the match, he didn't look affected by it or in pain, and he hit plenty of cracking winners,
on both his forehand and backhand. His 1st serve % was low (46%) and his W:UE ratio wasn't good... 47:67. He also kept
going for drop shots at bad moments, but RBA is just too quick for that. But with more matches and better fitness, I
think Ben will start to find his rhythm again.
Really at this point, it's just great to see him play a match without hobbling or having to retire. Really hoping that
he's turned a corner with this injury now. Allez!