Rafa on fire vs Soderling
In a 6-1, 6-0 match, Nadal tore up the clay tonight in Rome. Soderling won't feel better but he played a good match. Rafa Nadal was just on fire. I've watched him play many times and now in sequences with the clay court part of the tour in full sway. Tonight in Rome, I watched Rafa and he looked like he was a boxer in the ring with a sparing partner beating the smithereens out of his sparing partner. Rafa looked like he was practicing a warm-up putting the other big boys on notice, "I'm Rafa Nadal; I'm King of the Clay; and I'm not here to play. I'm here like a gladiator in the days of the Roman Empire - I'm here to leave all challengers in the dust. I'm here to WIN." And it's as though we can all smell victory as Rafa closes on Agassi's record. I've watched Rafa battle to win in close sets but I've never seen him so charging and so magnificent all at the same time. I couldn't tell if he was practicing or trying to get off the court because he has a date for a late dinner. My money is on hot date for a late dinner. Wow, Rafa was on fire tonight putting all the big boys remaining in the field on notice that he's not interested with anything but his next ATP Masters Series tournament win - his 15th if I'm not mistaken. That would put him just two behind Andrea Agassi with 17 ATP Masters Series tournament championships. (Excuse me if I made mistakes here - sorry for any errors in numbers.) Well, the heavy-hitting big boys remain and they may have different plans for that ATP trophy. Federer, Djokovic, Gonzalez, Monaco, Zverev, Verdasco, and that honey, Del Potro, are chomping at the bit to take to the court and take the crown of clay as their own. Like the Highlander series - there can be only one. But tonight, going into the quarter finals tomorrow, there are 8. From ATP check the order of play: Del Potro vs Djokovic followed by Federer vs Zverev; Nadal vs Verdasco; and finally Monaco vs Gonzalez. Let's hope for clear skies because tomorrow's quarter finals promise exciting tennis. I don't believe the big boys will go wobbly on us tomorrow. And whatever was driving Rafa off the court tonight in 1 hour and 24 minutes; whoo hoo, Rafa! All leading to the French Open, beginning May 24, 2009.