Shanghai: Last Men Standing.
You might’ve noticed a complete lack of Shanghai coverage this week: 1) the tennis has been mostly uninspiring given the number of retirements this week, 2) life away from tennis, it actually exists. And unfortunately for me, it exists solely to kick my ass.
But I did manage to catch a few matches this week, and a lot of this happened:
He was never known for his mental tenacity, but Nikolay Davydenko hung on like a leech despite losing the first set. In a classic third set, neither players wavered on breakpoints, bringing the match to a deciding tiebreak.
Sometimes you just have to say too good – Davo turned up the heat during the tiebreak with some of the best tennis I’ve seen from him since Miami 2008. Meanwhile Djokovic slipped into a full-blown comatose, winning only 1 point to concede the match 46 64 76(1).
Such a performance from the Russian probably deserves a picture. Or not. I’m just not that into the whole receding hair-line flaunt.
How about lovely Irina instead?
Come back soon Roger! Before I start cheating on Mirka with other WAGs.
Not much to say about second semifinal, except that Feli probably would’ve retired earlier than he did, had he not been playing his friend Rafa. It was such painful, abysmal tennis from Feli’s side of the net that you couldn’t really judge Rafa’s level. He did what he had to do.
The injury-ridden semifinal aside, Feli Lopez continues to show that he is capable of playing beautiful tennis for just one week per calendar year.
He used up that quota for 2009 against Soderling, a match that proved to the tennis masses that – yes, contrary to popular belief, Feli does have an organ of nervous tissues in between his ears, and yes – he does use it sometimes.
And whatever happens, Feli will always have the most beautiful eyes in tennis. Amen.
In matches earlier in the week: you know, just because it’s nearly the end of the season, doesn’t mean players can just STOP SHAVING and let themselves go.
How do you think my employers would feel if I just stopped plucking my eyebrows by October each year? Huh? HUH?!!
Yes, you Gilles. You too.
I forgive the pair of them after they both put up respectable performances against Nadal and Djokovic to somewhat redeem their year of disillusionment.
Or perhaps disillusionment runs deeper, deep into the third set in fact, where players like Nadal and Djokovic don’t blink,and others like Simon and Blake wonder, for just a split second, whether they have what it takes.
A split second later, they’re down a break and the match is over.