Stepanek playing a nice game that takes away Nadal's rhythm............
I never had a good feel for Stepanek's game until I sat courtside a couple of his matches. You how they say he absorbs pace? Well, it's really not apparent on TV. But what it really looks like up close is a ball traveling at him at 90mph and getting set back at 50mph. It's dramatic. It's just bizarre how much pace he can absorb. Then his backhand slice is equally unusual. Also a shot he can he'll use to scrub pace, but unlike others, rather than being a low, knifing shot, he hit's it about shoulder height and deep to the baseline. Seems to almost checkup at the baseline like a golf ball. And he's fast enough and athletic enough to do it over and over.
The repetition of shots he's giving Rafa are precise and limiting Rafa's options.
Nadal 1-2 on serve