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Nadal didn't serve too well and had to save a few BP's here and there, got broken once in the second set, but was solid off the ground, especially the forehand side. Nieminen had 2 SP's in the first set at *5-4 15-40 but couldn't convert. He had a good tactic and was mixing it up nicely but his second serve failed him, again. Nadal into his first hardcourt Slam SF.
 

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That match was ugly as hell. One of those you couldn't drink pretty. And it went beyond 2 hours and seemed to go on and on and on and on (admittedly, a good part of that was completely Rafa's fault). Rafa didn't play terribly, there were some great shots mixed in the mess, and some especially good lobs. But he didn't play all that well, either. If Rafa plays that way in the Semis, no matter who his opponent is, he will, most likely, be killed.

That being said, none of that matters. All that matters is that Rafael Nadal is in the Semi-Finals at the Australian Open. His first ever SF at a hard court GS. And he did it without losing so much as a set.

I said from the beginning that if he got past the QF, the rest would be gravy. And it's true. He could go bomb out in the SF winning only a game or two, or he could fight and go down in a blaze of glory. Or the unthinkable and unlikely could happen, and he could win. This tournament will have been a success either way, IMO.
 

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Rafa :woohoo:

well done :yeah:
 

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Nadal didn't serve too well and had to save a few BP's here and there, got broken once in the second set, but was solid off the ground, especially the forehand side. Nieminen had 2 SP's in the first set at *5-4 15-40 but couldn't convert. He had a good tactic and was mixing it up nicely but his second serve failed him, again. Nadal into his first hardcourt Slam SF.
Awful serving today :sobbing:

Vamos Rafa! :bigclap:
:lol: :ras:

He's in the semis, thank God. He'd have been crucified if he hadn't made it with his draw.

Very low 1st serve percentage by his standards.

Hilarious comedy jumping smash in the third game of the third set :haha:

Not that impressive, but not awful. What more could I ask for? :shrug: :)
 

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That match was ugly as hell. One of those you couldn't drink pretty. And it went beyond 2 hours and seemed to go on and on and on and on (admittedly, a good part of that was completely Rafa's fault). Rafa didn't play terribly, there were some great shots mixed in the mess, and some especially good lobs. But he didn't play all that well, either. If Rafa plays that way in the Semis, no matter who his opponent is, he will, most likely, be killed.

That being said, none of that matters. All that matters is that Rafael Nadal is in the Semi-Finals at the Australian Open. His first ever SF at a hard court GS. And he did it without losing so much as a set.

I said from the beginning that if he got past the QF, the rest would be gravy. And it's true. He could go bomb out in the SF winning only a game or two, or he could fight and go down in a blaze of glory. Or the unthinkable and unlikely could happen, and he could win. This tournament will have been a success either way, IMO.
:yeah:
 

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The grunting just killed me today. :lol: But overall, the match had some entertaining moments. The 1st set was even a bit competive. But, great job on your semi Rafa!! Make it all the way!!!! :woohoo:
 

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I am glad Nadal finally broke the 4th round/quarter final jinx. Not too happy with his performance today but his form from match to match varies so much that I don't know whether it will be the Rafa who played against PHM or against Niemenen today. Anyways don't care much what happens in the semi. He probably will lose anyway:lol:
 

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Nieminen had all his chances in the first set, after that never in doubt. Solid win for Nadal, but the next match should be his first real test. Congrats on your first HC slam semi, Rafa.
 

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awful serve from rafa.... 5df...... awful...

apart from poor serve, rafa played a solid game. not brilliant but not bad....

hope he can raise his game in the semi, and i m sure he will....

vamos!
 

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Never in doubt

now lets see him play someone in the Semis who actually knows how to crack a winner twice a game
 

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Jarkko needed to take one of those set points in the first set to make this interesting. It was a good first set from him, but after that he couldn't keep it up. :(

Now it's back to the army for Jarkko and a week in the forrest should be a good way to forget this loss. He'll return to the courts in Marseille.

Rafa needs to play better in the SF to overcome Youzhny or Tsonga.
 

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Congrats on your first hard court semi Rafa- but gosh darn...that was a bit of a snoozer. I am sure it will be the dud of the day. I started rewatching Sunday's episode of The Wire for a bit during the match.

Great point though towards the end when he either got to break point or saved break point.
 

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I said from the beginning that if he got past the QF, the rest would be gravy. And it's true. He could go bomb out in the SF winning only a game or two, or he could fight and go down in a blaze of glory. Or the unthinkable and unlikely could happen, and he could win. This tournament will have been a success either way, IMO.
Spot on.

As far as the match is concerned, the match had moments of sheer all court brilliance...and moments of mental gridlock (on the part of Rafa). Nieminen threw everything he had at Rafa in the first set...and STILL lost. He hit the ball flat and attacked whenever he got the chance...playing MUCH better than did in the previous round. And he still lost the set.

Rafa coasted from there. What pleased me the most (other than being in his first hard court grand slam semi...without losing a set)...was the fact that he withstood an incredible barrage of flat balls (like he will face in the next round)...and survived.

Only negative: the turtle time between points.
 
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