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1 Response to dc97rafter_damm

  1. Voo de Mar says:
    Points won by each set: | 30-13, 45-40, 30-34, 34-31 |
    Points won directly behind the serve:
    45 % Rafter – 56 of 123
    40 % Damm – 54 of 134

    Australians won that tie 5-0 against Czech Republic (Jiri Novak withdrew due to injury on Friday) at home on grass (Adelaide) in March, but the first rubber is quite interesting in hindsight. Rafter and Damm, both born in 1972 and playing in similar style (the Czech had a two-handed backhand), were the ranking neighbours at the time [43 vs 44] and they had almost identical careers: Rafter had played three ATP finals (1-2 record) while Damm four (0-4 record), and at majors the fourth round was the best result for them both. After that 4-set meeting their paths completely diverged: Rafter became one of the best players in the world of the late 90s while Damm didn’t improve any of his previous results, and one year later he played his last ATP final, losing it to… Rafter in the Netherlands.
    Rafter began the Adelaide all-serve-and-volley match in a fantastic fashion albeit a bit nervous (needed a toilet break after the opening game!), but since the beginning of the 2nd set he was unable to break Damm’s serve for more than two hours, until the last game of the contest. Crucial to the final outcome was the 9/7 tie-break in which Rafter fought off a set point with a service winner at 6:7. Two days later in a dead rubber, Rafter won the longest tie-break of his career (15/13) facing David Rikl, 7-6, 0-6, 6-2.

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