In the words of Mr Gigglefits, without him, Rafa, Sod – hell, without even Muzz or Djoko, my interest in the WTF final just went “nerrrrrrgh” [motions downwards].
It was nuclear warfare in the O2 arena today, as Mr Bodily-Waste and Mr Dimples traded blistering groundstokes for two hours. Pee had break chances in the first set, but Dimples answered each time with an impressive display of clutch serving. Dimples continued to serve huge until Pee folded in the first set tiebreak, winning only one point.
The plonk-plonk-BOOM hitting from both men continued in the second set, until at 3-4, when Pee secured his first service break of the match and served out for one set apiece.
There was no dip in levels during the third set, as both players continued to hit the snot out of the ball for fun, work, money, and glory. Dimples secured the first break in the middle of the set, but wavered slightly to give the break back the next game. Both players then continued on serve til 6-all, when it became Dimple’s turn to play a listless tiebreak, ultimately conceding the match 76(1) 36 67(3) to Bodily Waste.
In the other match of the day …
What on earth is going on with the Gillette boys these days?
Tiger got in a car accident. Henry went all touchy-feely with a ball. And Mr Gigglefits can’t for the life of him play a first set that is not spastic.
To make matters worse, the ATP World Tour Final will now be decided between two men with an unhealthy taste for facial fuzz. FRACK THIS. SO MUCH.
I take no one for granted. Davo was always going to be a hard semifinal opponent despite his incredible 0-12 H2H against Gigglefits. If you looked back on their previous meetings, most of them have been very close sets. But each time we got to the business end of the set, Gigglefits would raise the stakes to remind us all why he’s Rawjah-friggin-Feduruh: like any good carpenter, he nails things.
So when Davo lost the first 7 points of the match to Giggles, one could be forgiven for thinking that the Swiss had come into the match with a complete set of hammer and nails.
But then, everything fell apart. Davo held for 1-1, and promptly broke Giggglefits in the third and fifth games. Although he gave one break back, but he took advantage of Giggles’ poor serving (40-EFFING-PERCENT) and closed out the set 6-2.
Like in his three previous matches, the Fed raised his game considerably in the second set, serving at 73% and losing just five points on serve for the entire set.
Which makes me wonder: dude if it was that easy, WHY COULDN’T YOU HAVE SERVED LIKE THAT IN THE FIRST SET?
Despite Gigglefits’ loss, the last two sets turned out to be highly entertaining tennis. Particularly throughout the last set, both players cruised on serve until 5-4 0-30, when Giggles came within 2 points of victory.
It was then that we saw something from Davo unseen in his previous matches against Giggles – the ability to rise to the occasion when it mattered.
And I thought he had no fire in his belly…
The Russian produced some flawless tennis in the next 4 points to hold for 5-all. Like many of the matches this week, the momentum swing came out of the blue. One minute, Davo was staring at his 13th defeat to Federpotty, the next Potty was struggling on serve for the first time since the end of the first set.
Davo blasted a backhand return up the line for a clean winner on breakpoint, and went on to serve out the match. Gigglefits had a breakpoint chance the next game to take the match to a tiebreaker, but once again, Davo unleashed a forehand winner and managed to closed out his first victory over Potty 2 points later.
So … are you a “good news first” or “bad news first” kinda person? Since I’d like to leave on a good note, let’s start with the bad:
Mr Gigglefits hasn’t started his matches badly this week. He’s started them half-dead. The common trend in all of his 4 matches is that the first set was always plagued with poor serving, mistimed groundstrokes and early breaks. In contrast, the second set has always seen a scary elevation of play from Federer – comfortable holds, forehand starting to flow and of course, a whole lotta fight.
This is pure speculation of course. I’ve seen Giggles look flat in a match, I’ve seen him fight when he’s down. I’ve even seen him look lost on a tennis court.
But this week, he seemed more animated and emotional on court. It’s not the same sort of “I-got-soul-but-I’m-not-a-soldier” attitude that he was showing during the US Open last year. Was I imagining things or did you too find more than a hint of annoyance in Giggles’ normally unruffled body language? Perhaps it was simply frustration with his game, or perhaps something in his personal life. Who knows? But I’d rather not see it again when he steps on court in 2010.
Did I mention we’re leaving on a good note?
The match itself – Davo finished with 27 winners to 21 UFEs. Gigglefits – 32 winners and 30 UFEs. Barring the shambolic first set, it was high quality tennis that could’ve gone either way. And from what I saw this week, Giggles still has a lotta fight in him.
Given the sheer number of times Davo’s played lights-out tennis and ran into Federer at a grand slam, I really can’t begrudge him a single win in 13 meetings.
Looking at the bigger picture, I won’t go through all of Federer’s achievements this year again. We all know them off by heart.
What I will say is this: I still remember watching the French Open 2009 final at 2am in Australia. I had tears in my eyes and gratitude in my heart, and I marveled at how I could feel this much happiness for someone I didn’t personally know.
It’s been a roller-coaster year with many historic, memorable moments. When I turn into an old fart, I plan to tell the story of Federer’s career in 2009 to all my fucked-up grandkids EVERY. SINGLE. CHRISTMAS. WHILE RHYMING.