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Archive for the ‘montreal’ Category

I, Witness: Rulin In Montreal

Posted by gauloises1 on August 21, 2009

As usual, you know how I love eyewitness reports, keep them coming …

Today’s installment comes courtesy of Rulin, who was lucky enough to stalk see Elf in Montreal and generous enough to share the love. First up we have Elf practicing shirtless before the semis:

At the end, his coach tossed some balls over to us and then Juan hit some over too.
The practice seemed very positive and it inspired a lot of hope in me that he would win that night, even after he was a set down.
As I said, unfortunately the photos aren’t that close…
Murray actually practiced on the court closet to the camera, so they were my best photos.
I think we all wish the situation was reversed. =P

elf1

elf2

elf3

elf5

elf6

elf7

That last photo … Seriously, I love nice backs. And that is a nice back.

Ahem. Anyway.

Here’s some Sunday photos of (1) JMDP arriving at the stadium (with familiar looking shoes ), looking kind of bleary-eyed (uh-oh…), and (2) the end of his practice.
I got some nice shots of both Murray and Juan practicing, but these are the photos that were sort of foreboding.
It looked like the heat was getting to him, and he spent a couple of minutes just sitting and watching Murray (#1), and also talking to his coach with his head in his towel.
Then he just suddenly left (#2). As I said, he arrived after Murray and left before.
I was preparing myself for a straight set loss after that, so as not to be disappointed… needless to say, JMDP totally exceeded my expectations.

elf arriving

elf2

elf watching

elf leaving

Hmmm … Knowing how it turned out, these pictures kind of make me sad. But then they’re photos of Elf. So not that sad.

Thanks so much to Rulin for the great photos and eyewitness report 🙂

Posted in i witness, juan martin del potro, montreal | Tagged: | 7 Comments »

World’s #2 Wins Montreal

Posted by gauloises1 on August 17, 2009

Andy Murray d. Juan Martin del Potro 67(4) 76(3) 61

muzz

Murray is the first British man ever to win in Montreal and managed it after two sets of absolutely scintillating tennis and one that was … not.

sad elf

All the effects of the previous couple of weeks seemed to catch up with Elf in the final set. The danger signs were there in the second set, in which he stayed competitive by cracking ridiculous winners simply because he didn’t want to run too much. But you can’t do that forever and after losing the second set he simply faded abruptly away.

Montreal Tennis

I for one though hope we get to see a lot more match-ups between these two in the latter stages of big tournaments. I think their games match up well enough that it’s always going to be close, and they seem to have a fairly good read on each other. Seriously, I’m excited about the prospect of this rivalry going forward.

Montreal Tennis

They were also very friendly after the match, with Elf saying something to Muzz at net which made him laugh, and then Muzz coming over to Elf’s chair to ask him what was wrong and whether he was in pain, which I found adorable.

Anyway. Obviously a very disappointing day for Elf, who had a solid shot at winning his first Masters series title and came up short. But if one thing makes it slightly easier, it’s the fact that Murray won despite the amount of unwarranted crap he’s been taking for the unforgivable crime of having overtaken Rafa in the rankings.

It’s also a nice way to bounce back from losing to Roddick at Wimbledon, as was noted in his presser:

Q.  How satisfying is it to have this win after I guess a little bit of disappointment in the semifinal of Wimbledon?
 ANDY MURRAY:  Um, well, it’s a perfect way to come back, I guess.  I mean, I got asked that after Wimbledon, What you going to do?  Obviously you’re going to be a bit disappointed and stuff.
 You know, it goes one of two ways.  Losing to Roddick, there’s no shame in that to start with.  You know, I’d rather go away and become a worse player and not work on anything or go and practice harder, train harder and become better so the same thing doesn’t happen the next time around.

muzz celebrates

Fuck the haters.

Posted in andy murray, juan martin del potro, montreal, titlists | Tagged: | 7 Comments »

OsOP: Sunday is Finals Day

Posted by gauloises1 on August 16, 2009

dinara2

Center Court (NB 13.30hrs)
1. Doubles Final: Black/Huber vs. Llagostera Vives/Martínez Sánchez
2. Singles Final: Dinara Safina vs. Jelena Jankovic (NB 16.00hrs)

jmdp camera sign

Central (starts at 11 a.m.)
Max Mirnyi (BLR) / Andy Ram (ISR) vs. Mahesh Bhupathi (IND) / Mark Knowles (BAH)
Andy Murray (GBR) vs. Juan Martin del Potro (ARG) (NB 1.30 p.m.)

If you want to comment on / discuss matches in progress / scream about how well / badly Elf is playing, here might be a good place to do it.

Posted in cincinnati, dinara safina, juan martin del potro, montreal | Tagged: , | 79 Comments »

“If I Win, Better.”

Posted by gauloises1 on August 16, 2009

From Elf’s presser after beating Roddick:

Q.  In recent times you’ve really –  you just talked about your serve.  You’ve improved your serve and your mental game.  What do you think are the reasons for that, causes for that?
 JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO:  Well, I just was thinking about – I don’t look to the other side.  I just play my game, and I always keep fighting.
 If I win, better.  If I lose, anyway, you just fighting until the final, and that’s what I do today and the other matches, also.

 Q.  What’s your feeling about facing Murray who has also played very well this week?
 JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO:  Yes, he’s playing much better than anyone and will be good for me.  I like to play with players better than me, and I think he has the pressure for tomorrow, but I will try to do my best in my first final, and I want to enjoy it.

And a brief but adorable on-court interview:

Posted in juan martin del potro, montreal, video | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Montreal: No. 2

Posted by gauloises1 on August 16, 2009

Andy Murray d. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 64 76(8)

muzz2

A gutsy rather than a particularly impressive performance, but what really matters is that with this win, Murray has ensured that he will overtake Nadal for the no. 2 ranking on Monday – the first man other than Federer or Nadal to be ranked no. 2 since July 2005, when Nadal overtook Hewitt. And I don’t care what anyone says; I’m delighted.

muzz

Now please, please, please win a Slam, OK?

As for Jo … well, what can you say? It’s Jo. Effortlessly brilliant one moment, simply dreadful the next.

jo2

Still pretty though.

Posted in andy murray, jo-wilfried tsonga, montreal | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

Montreal: The And-gony and the Elf-cstasy

Posted by gauloises1 on August 16, 2009

(I do apologise, I’ve been pouring whiskey into my coke since the end of the first set.)

Juan Martin del Potro d. Andy Roddick 46 62 75

elf

Huge win for JMDP; his first Masters series final.

rod2

Heartbreaking loss for Roddick. Again.

One shambolic service game in the first set, total domination in the second set. JMDP had a break point early in the third and failed to convert. He went match-point down at 4-5 and missed his first serve, only for Roddick to put the return wide.

And then I don’t know quite what happened. JMDP maintained his level and Roddick simply fell apart in the next game, eventually double-faulting away the break. It seemed there was almost no chance that JMDP wouldn’t serve it out, and he did.

I was impressed beyond measure by JMDP’s performance in the final set. He went for his shots relentlessly even when he missed. His self-belief is through the roof right now and if you ask me (which you didn’t), he’s playing the tennis of his life so far.

elf3

All this and he still has time to make ridiculous faces …

elf2

Posted in andy roddick, juan martin del potro, montreal | Tagged: , | 6 Comments »

OsOP: Semi-final Saturday

Posted by gauloises1 on August 15, 2009

flavia

Center Court (NB 13.00hrs)
1. Dinara Safina vs. Flavia Pennetta
2. Black/Huber vs. Amanmuradova/Niculescu
3. Elena Dementieva vs. Jelena Jankovic (NB 19.00hrs)
4. Llagostera Vives/Martínez Sánchez vs. Ruano Pascual/Zheng

83372477MS054_ROGERS_CUP

Central (starts at 1 p.m.)
Mahesh Bhupathi (IND) / Mark Knowles (BAH) vs Daniel Nestor (CAN) / Nenad Zimonjic (SRB)
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) vs Andy Murray (GBR) (NB 3 p.m.)
Andy Roddick (USA) vs Juan Martin del Potro (ARG) (NB 7 p.m.)
Bob Bryan (USA) / Mike Bryan (USA) vs Max Mirnyi (BLR) / Andy Ram (ISR)

Posted in cincinnati, montreal | Tagged: , | 37 Comments »

Montreal: Should Have Played In Your Pants, Nole

Posted by gauloises1 on August 15, 2009

So, yes. Andy Roddick beat Novak Djokovic for the third successive time this year, 64 76(4).

nole

Why do I feel like this photo really sums up Nole’s year?

Disappointing. It’s not that he lost, so much; it’s the way that he lost. All credit to Andy Roddick though, who’s continuing his great form.

roddick

And you know what this means … Washington rematch! Yes, it’ll be Andy Roddick and Juan Martin del Potro facing off in a big match for the second time in two weeks. I’m nervous already.

Posted in andy roddick, montreal, novak djokovic | Tagged: , | 5 Comments »

Montreal: I Love It When Jo Bites His Lip

Posted by gauloises1 on August 15, 2009

That has nothing to do with anything.  I just do.

Yeah, I wasn’t really listening to anything he said.

Posted in jo-wilfried tsonga, montreal | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

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.

rafa

jmdp

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.

jmdp2

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.

Posted in juan martin del potro, montreal, rafael nadal | Tagged: , | 15 Comments »