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WTF Day Seven: Davy Vs. Goliath

Posted by gauloises1 on November 29, 2009

(Credit to the witty ptenisnet for the post title. I should have used it tomorrow, but I may just want to say “:(“, so …)

Nikolay Davydenko d. Roger Federer, 62 46 75

 I will never get sick of Kolya emerging from the smoke with a sheepish smile.

What a match from Kolya. What a match. After saving two break points in his opening service game, he quickly raced to a double break over a sluggish Federer. Roger broke back for 4-2, and it looked like that might buy him the time he needed to get his game together, but Kolya immediately reasserted his double break and served out a rather comfortable opening set.

Roger being Roger, however, the second set was much more closely contested, and after pressuring Kolya’s serve, he finally broke to 30 to take it 6-4. The third set was fantastic, with Kolya repeatedly coming to the net with great effect, and when Federer got to 0-30 on Kolya’s serve at 4-5 courtesy of a lucky netcord and one of his patented trick-shot ridiculous-get winners, it looked like it might go the way of the second. Kolya gutted out a great hold, fashioned himself a break point in the next game, and took it on an absurd backhand return winner.

I couldn’t quite believe that Kolya was really about to get his first win against Federer in 13 attempts, and when Federer produced a sublime backhand winner to get to break point as Kolya was serving for the match, it looked like the impossible would remain just that. Kolya responded with a scorching cross-court forehand to save the break point, though, and took the match when Federer found the net.

12-1, bitches.

Juan Martin del Potro d. Robin Soderling, 67(1) 63 76(3)

I remember a time, not so long ago, when it was a truism of the fandom that Elf wasn’t a fighter. It’s one of the many reasons that matches like this give me a warm, warm glow inside.

I thought the overall quality of this match was higher than that of Federer-Kolya; in fact, I think Peter Fleming said it best when he said after the match, “These guys should be drug-tested, gene-tested, tested to see if they’re aliens from outer space.” They both played fantastically well, serving at ridiculously high percentages and treating the London crowd to brutal, magnificent hitting. And up until the final tiebreak, you simply could not pick a winner. Elf started off stronger, but couldn’t capitalise on any of the 5 (?) break points he earned in the first set, and then played possibly the worst tiebreak I’ve ever seen from him, going down 7-1. Indeed, he was visibly frustrated throughout the match by Soderling’s amazing serving at key moments.

A sublime lob eventually took him to a break point that Soderling’s serve couldn’t save, though, and he broke with a forehand return and held for the set.

The third was a total cracker and you honestly couldn’t choose between them. Soderling returned Elf’s serve better and better as the match went on and earned a well-deserved break with a couple of absolutely sublime returns for 4-2. A sledgehammer cross-court forehand, two unforced errors on the Soderling forehand and some brilliant defence saw him recover the break and we headed inexorably to a third-set tiebreak.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen Elf defend quite so brilliantly as he did in this match, although it frustrated me immensely that he was spending so much time doing just that, but it was his transition from defence to attack and into a sweet backhand winner which actually raised kittens from the dead worldwide that won him the initial minibreak. Soderling battled valiantly but couldn’t work his way back into it, and another cross-court forehand after a marathon exchange earned Elf four match points. Soderling saved the first with an ace, and it was an ace of his own that earned Elf the win, a victory yell and a happy smile.

It was a heartbreaker for Soderling, who played a quite amazing match and has been one-of-the-if-not-the form player(s) this week. But I can’t deny I’m more than a little bit orgasmically ecstatic for Elf. His form after the US Open has been so dismal, and his first couple of matches so lacklustre, I could never have expected that he would make it to the final. But by the skin of his brand-new teeth, and the strength of his Mr Ticklesque arms, he has.

He also took the time to announce in his post-match interview that he’s single. So form an orderly queue, ladies and gentlemen.

Behind me, of course.

16 Responses to “WTF Day Seven: Davy Vs. Goliath”

  1. irefusetotellyou said

    I’m right behind you in line, Gaul. OBVIOUSLY. I have no qualms about sloppy seconds.

    In fact, in that first full picture you have of Elfie, it’s obvious that he’s pretending I’m the tennis ball. Hence the tongue-ing.

    Mmm, Elf tongue.

  2. irefusetotellyou said

    P.S: Sorry, I just feel the need to

    GLOAT AND SMILE AND YELL IN ECSTATIC JOY over EEEEEEEELLLLLLFFFFFFFFFFFF and his fantastically brilliant asfnsadjfnmalktastic win.


  3. Saoirse said

    Woke up bright an (relatively) early this morning to catch the Koly-Goat match, fully expecting to see Fed steamroll over poor Kolya in straight sets, that 12-0 stat looming large in the back on my head.

    To say I was delighted by his win is the understatement of the century. First, I like Kolya. A lot. Secondly, I was feeling strangely optimistic, for some effing reason, bypassing the whole Sodelpo evening session altogether and bringing out the projections of Elf-related glee that his victory at the WTF would bring me – for whatever makes *me* happy is usually a step in the right direction towards more important stuff, like, you know, world peace. But I digress…

    So, for some reason, I thought a Kolyelf final would be better and more advantageous for JMDP as opposed to another Fed H2H – and to be perfectly honest, I also didn’t think Elf could beat Roger twice in 72 hours. I should have more faith in our man, I know, but I am not quite there yet.

    On the subject on Rog, I heard after the Folya match that it was ‘yet another lacklustre performance from the great Roger’. I don’t completely disagree, but I also think credit should be given where credit is due. Kolya totally won that match, fighting and creating his own opportunities… he was the better player today and totally deserved to (finally) win against Roger.

    So ANYWAYS, all that to say that I am currently having a change of heart about that Kolyelf final I so desperately wanted this morning, because the wee Russian is on fire. I am keeping every limbs crossed for a happy outcome (’cause, yeah, I like Kolya, but not THAT much)and I am more than a little nervous about *zee* big day tomorrow. Anyone else feeling like their nervous system is about to crash and they are going to puke?? Nervousness always makes me feel slightly nauseated…

    Oh and speaking of giving credit where credit is due, kudos to Soderdouche who played not only and amazing match but and extraordinary tournament. You had me on the edge of my couch for 2 hours, your horrible man (but boy, what a tennis player you turn out to be). Congrats for the titanic effort. Now go back to Evil-Town where you belong. It was great to see you go down. Muahahah!!

    • Saoirse said

      Wow, just reread my post and it ain’t pretty. I realize I am not being really coherent, now am I? Why do we always give our post a second glance AFTER clicking on the submit button? Plus, this really is the post never ends, ’cause, you know, it goes and on and on… Sorry.

      I also don’t look like my regular avatar self… ANYWAYS.

      Just thought I’d add my name on the Happy Elf waiting list. Also, can I jump the queue if I am really bendy?? I work at the circus you know…

  4. mina said

    *scampers towards queue*

    i don’t care what number i am… as long as we are all *ahem* properly attended to, it’s all good 🙂

  5. imtotallyrad said

    *takes place in que*

  6. Cubbie/Carrie said

    So happy for the final tomorrow. Either guy winning would be a treat and both fought hard for their place.

    Did Elf just announce he was single out of the blue or was he asked about it? Either situation- hilarious.

    • gauloises1 said

      Petch asked him, “If I’d told you at the beginning of the year you’d be the US Open champion and in the finals of the WTF, would you have believed me?” and Elf laughed and said, “No … but I’m still single, I don’t know what’s going on.”

      • Deirdre said


      • Cubbie/Carrie said


        In one of his Argie interviews earlier this year he said how he knows that he is not good looking (whatevs) and so he is worried that gals who like him only like him because of his tennis success. Boy does not have the highest self esteem.

        Too bad he lost today (but yea to Davy) but he looked quite hot during his speech.

  7. mrdarnley said

    “raising kittens from the dead” funny and I’m still working through Fed farting bunnies ha. Well I’m in the queue now too although I may have to try some Gargamel tactics to see if I can jump it.

    that was a nail biter, very intense. Elf is amazing at how he doesn’t get flustered (knock on wood). That come back from the Soderling’s break was substantial.
    Here’s hoping by tea today we’re all celebrating Elf being the new number 4.

  8. Jess said

    Here’s JMdP’s post match interview,26691,12611_5729806,00.html

    Funny that he just announced his status like that and also ‘hope that he’ll not be single no more on Sunday night!

    Gotta book a flight to London soonest.

  9. Maria said

    Farbulous match from Elf against Soderling, was wincing and whimpering after that first tie break then he learned from that and fought back to take it all. Yeah baby! I wanted to snog his socks off… I larfed a lot when he just announced out of the blue that he’s single. Those two Argentinian ladies blowing kisses to the camera are VERY willing. :p Think I might start calling him Boomerang, he went but he came back, same as in the match with Federer. Oh and this is just yum:
    That boy is sex on stilts.

  10. neil in toronto said

    Never ever bet against us skinny bald dudes, we may not look like much at first, or 12s for that matter, but eventually we’ll get the job done with a smile on our faces and a shine off our Chrome Domuses 🙂

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