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Old 02-18-2006, 04:09 PM   #123
rfprse's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 870

Just finished watching Nadal vs Clement.
A good win for Clement. He looked better than against Santoro. I expected him to play well at the net but he served better than expected (even considering Nadal's not a great returner), played wiser to dictate the flow of the game in his favor, not over concerned about avoiding Nadal's fh. He had a better game plan and excuted well starting from the second set.

The first set suggested a routine match for Rafa. Clement tried to be aggressive and cut the points short, but didn't seem to believe he could pull off an upset.
The second game of the second set was crucial. Nadal was broken, playing a sloppy game (I wonder how much it was due to the loss of concentration from the bee sting). After the break, Celment's service game picked up and his aggressive game plan started to work better.
Imho, Nadal did not play a smart game and at least once Clement's (service, attack) level picked up, should have made an adjustment to prolong the rallies (with more deep loopy strokes pinning Clement at the backcourt) on his own serve and take Clement's legs out to slow him down. He let Clement play the right game. Maybe, he's not fit enough yet to go through a tough tournament. Looked a little tired at the third set. Anyway, not a bad tournament by Nadal. I hope he could find a better form and better balance btw constructing quick points and making the opponents run.

Again, however, good job by Clement. I hope he could win the tournament.
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