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Rafa started very careful, just like against Pouille. Isner tried to take advantage on it and many times was successful. Still, Rafa recovered from 15-40 in fourth game. In general amazing display of dropshots from Isner - Rafa didn't even run to catch them. In deciding moment in tie break Isner's first serve cannot be found and with Rafa's decent play in last points when he finally pushed Isner far behind baseline allowed him to won it from 4-6 -> 8-6.

Second set was slightly better by Rafa - more depth from his forehand was visible. Even had three chances to break for 5-4 and serve for the match, but virtually it was only one - rest were on Isner's racquet. Then Rafa mental midget appeared and got broken in first opportunity for Isner in second set. Big John served it out easily with some great volleys and ace.

In third set Isner had more problems on his serve. His game wasn't so effective as earlier, both groundstrokes and volleys and it ended with break for Rafa. Still he deserves huge credit for his performance today. His execution of dropshots was perfect. Volleys as well. Simply :hatoff: :hatoff: for him. It makes Rafa's victory more satisfying.
 
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Monte Carlo R16: [3] Nadal def. [15] Isner, 7-6(6) 4-6 6-3



NID, Isner could have took it in 2 but was too afraid at key moments. Great win for Nadal not vintage old self yet but a win is a win. :shrug:
 

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Re: Monte Carlo R3: [3] Nadal def. [15] Isner 7-6(8) 4-6 6-3

Isner was amazing at the net today.

Such good hands this man - jaw-dropping stuff, really. Some quality drop shots too.

S&V on clay looks amazing. :)

Thanks, John. A great effort and some sublime tennis. Better luck next time.
 

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Re: Monte Carlo R3: [3] Nadal def. [15] Isner 7-6(8) 4-6 6-3

Isner really should have won this...major choke in the first set from 6-4 to 6-8 in tiebreak and sitter at 6-5. Oh well, Ferrer/Simon should definitely have their chances.
 

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Re: Monte Carlo R3: [3] Nadal def. [15] Isner 7-6(8) 4-6 6-3

what did rafa say to the umpire after shakehands?
 

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Re: Monte Carlo R3: [3] Nadal def. [15] Isner 7-6(8) 4-6 6-3

Vamos Rafa. Please don't let faker win the title.
 

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Re: Monte Carlo R3: [3] Nadal def. [15] Isner 7-6(8) 4-6 6-3

Lucky.
 

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Re: Monte Carlo R3: [3] Nadal def. [15] Isner 7-6(8) 4-6 6-3

Careful from Rafa. Can't really tell much about his form playing a fluky ballbasher servebot like Isner. Tomorrow vs Ferrer will be telling.
 

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Re: Monte Carlo R3: [3] Nadal def. [15] Isner 7-6(8) 4-6 6-3

Isner's volleys :worship: :inlove: :inlove:
 

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Re: Monte Carlo R3: [3] Nadal def. [15] Isner 7-6(8) 4-6 6-3

Escaped.
 

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Re: Monte Carlo R3: [3] Nadal def. [15] Isner 7-6(8) 4-6 6-3

Good match. Isner should have had the first and Rafa the second with that 0-40 game, but anyhow, Rafa gets it done. The 3rd set game to break from Rafa was very well constructed. Rafa's FH was more confident as the match wore on, but there are still weaknesses exploitable, particularly behind the return of Rafa, and dropshot...
 
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