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Montreal: Amazing Disaster II

Posted by gauloises1 on August 15, 2009

Better than the original, if you ask me. Juan Martin del Potro beat Rafa Nadal in straight sets, 76(5) 61.



My man.

The first set was the most intense set of tennis I’ve seen for ages, and the margins were infinitesimal. Elf dominated in the early part of the set, but seemed stricken by nerves on the big points, squandering three break points (including one for the set). In the tiebreak, Rafa built up a 5-2 lead (mainly due to UFEs from Elf), but Elf pulled out a frankly incredible lob on the full stretch to save a point he looked to be out of, then attacked and hit a fantastic reflex volley at the net for set point, which he took with an ace.

The second set was one way traffic, with Elf breaking twice in the first three games of the set and not looking back.


And yes, I know … the knees. But in my highly subjective and totally worthless opinion (I actually don’t know anything about tennis, sssh), I thought Rafa’s performance defied expectations. He served well, he moved really well, and although he fell away in the second set, that was due to lack of match play rather than anything else. He’s coming back, and fast.

This match was all about Elf though; he came in as the favourite, he dominated the play, and in the end he handled the pressure beautifully.

Happy days.

15 Responses to “Montreal: Amazing Disaster II”

  1. sonya said

    and i was right! congrats to your man, actually both of them with murray. but i like andy so it’s all good. #3 the , not the end of the world but i seriously hope nadal starts thinking smart now. yes i’m still bitter and angry at him. it’s bad of me but i hope he loses in the second round in cincy so that it hurts even more. yup i want him to suffer.

  2. AmyLu said

    Congratulations! I am very happy for Crazy Elf, as I would love to see him in the finals of this tournament. Still feeling slightly cranky — if I hadn’t watched that stupid tie-break from 5-2 onward, I’d be perfectly happy with how the match played out. I was complaining that Del Potro was being too passive the entire first set, but, at the end of the tiebreak Del Potro’s passivity disappeared, and I wished it would come back. 🙂

    Many positives for Rafa: his movement was better, and while I thought he missed a little more than usual, I think it’s due to lack of play (and some of the shots he were missing are ones that I think are hard to simulate in practice). He seems upbeat in his presser, which is good because I think the most important thing in this process is that he doesn’t get mentally down as he works his way back into form.

    And, many positives for the Elf: this match is really one that he should have won (and in my opinion, really needed to win — this draw was set up really well for him to at least make the semis of the tourney, if not the final — and when those opportunities present themselves, the best players find a way to capitalize). I’m sad that we will miss the Del Potro/Roddick semi tomorrow night — we have plans, as I think that match should be a really fun one. I think Del Potro needs to start stronger, as I don’t think it’s a good habit to start somewhat slowly in these big match-ups. But, anyway, very well done on making another Master’s Semi. I’d love it if he can make it to his first Master’s final.

  3. northcay said

    Top seeds falling like apples on a windy day. Good win both for muzz and JMDP.

  4. linz said

    Many congrats G. I’m super impressed/surprised by JMDP. He is the real deal, and he scares the daylights out of me. I actually love the fact that all the Top 8 made the semis but only 1 out of the top 4 made the semis!

    May the best man win tomorrow =)

  5. irefusetotellyou said


    Excuse me, just died and rolled over on my keyboard.

    Obvz words can’t express my joy for Elf. Something involving a “fuck” and a “viva” and a “praise Jesus” want to come out of my mouth, but they don’t quite go together.


  6. irefusetotellyou said

    This one’s for the ladies:,ap:20050301:ten,photo,

    Love his peach fuzz/5 o’clock shadow. Love his tongue. Love his glistening arms.

    Good night all.

  7. AmyLu said

    Okay, so I’m watching the match on ESPN now — don’t ask why I’m doing this, but I’m really impressed with Crazy Elf in the second set. Really nice to see him play that way.

    And, I wish I’d known a cranky Rafa made an appearance. That was good for a laugh. Or two.

    And, the ESPN crew are idiots. They blathered about the lack of tape on Rafa — have they not gotten the memo that the problems with the knee have been ABOVE the knee? And then they speculated as to whether or not he’s been doing any type of physical work — yeah, he’s only given interviews in which he’s said that he’s spent upwards of five hours a day doing various physical therapies and exercises. Do they actually pay attention to any sort of tennis news? I mean, seriously. An 8 year old Rafa fan could find that information doing a Google search.

  8. Carrie said

    Amy- I thought one of the dudes (Chris?) said that actually you sometimes need to remove the tape as it can hinder more than heal. I may be wrong though but I think I was initially irritated and then one of the dudes explained.

    Interesting match for me as a fan. We were out tonight and I remained unspoiled. And I got back right when the tape delay was starting on ESPN. It was weird as I still had no idea who I wanted to win it. I cheered for each good play and was upset about each bad one- by either guy.

    The first set made me feel good about Rafa. He played pretty well and was moving quite well. The second set was bad- but to me that was very much in part because he was playing against his most dreaded type of opponent- a hard hitter on hard courts. I am actually feeling better going out of Montreal than I was going in. If he can keep ramping up- it may be a decent USO- woo hoo!

    Elf- he had the Eeyore on for the first set full stop. He would have some great plays- the bh return was really good- and then some d’oh moments. But then when he was down 2-5 in the first set TB it was like he found another gear. That lob was gorgeous and I was so impressed with his play after that.

    He had some sweet comments (I think- if I heard correctly) after the match about Rafa when he was interviewed by Darren. He said that he was very happy to see him back. I think Elf may still be near Ferru level of English question comprehension as he does not always answer the question asked.

    And is it just me or is BG kinda big on the Elf?

  9. irefusetotellyou said

    HUH? The match was on ESPN? WHY DO I MISS THESE THINGS?!?!?

  10. happy ions said

    @5 by irtty, lolz!

  11. SA said

    Can’t be bothered to be upset with this loss. Rafa played a hella lot better than I ever imagined he would during this tournament. Good to see him playing well. That’s all I want out of Montreal and Cincinnati, him playing well. I’ll worry about W’s and L’s again starting at the USO.

    As for Elf he did what he was suppose to do-win. And I’m not angry at him for doing it at Rafa’s expense. I guess I am a fan of his now. I was happy for him after the win. And yes, like Carrie said, his answers in interviews aren’t always about the question entirely and it’s ridiculously cute. And he did have some nice words about Rafa, saying it was good for him and the tour that he’s back. Damn you Elf and your adorableness.

    Has he ever won a Master’s Shield? I’m rooting for him to win. Or J-W. I know Muzza’s your guy, but can the tennis gods give us a J-W/Elf final, please? It’ll make me very happy.

    (watch we get an Andy/Andy final. le sigh)

  12. AmyLu said

    Carrie, you’re completely right that the segment was rescued a bit by acknolwedging that the tape can make things worse, but I just find it frustrating that the announcers keep talking about his patellar (spelling?) tendinitis. He has suffered from patellar tendinitis in previous years (hence the tape), but the tendinitis he now has is above the knee (and I think the name had something to do with the quadricep), and while that tendinitis may have developed due to the tape and treating of the patellar tendinitis — he’s not actually having trouble with that particular problem right now. I think the main problem is that his very detailed and specific answers regarding his situation (and his doctor’s words) have not been translated well at all from Spanish to English. And that frustrates me (and one of the culprits is his own website — they do a terrible job of translating his Spanish to English).

  13. neil in toronto said

    In my heart of hearts, i knew the match would come down to who took the first set. I thought Rafa moved beautifully, its just his groundies and shot selection were a bit weird at times. Full credit to Elf, for someone who looked like he was going to keel over in the first set, he certainly became a completely different player once the tie break was over. The match was thoroughly entertaining, and both guys managed to pull of some wicked shots. I’m kinda neutral on the semi’s and finals now, but i like that save Murray, the lower ranked players all won their quarters.

  14. irefusetotellyou said

    Neil — “for someone who looked like he was going to keel over in the first set”


    And speaking of happy days, G …

    When Jesus JMDP waved …
    (o when he waved)
    He waved my fears away.
    He taught me hoooow
    To love
    Love and play.

    [Lyrics/music adapted from that one Jesus song.]

  15. neil in toronto said

    I’ve noticed Elf almost always looks like he needs a nap, even when he’s really cracking the ball well 🙂

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