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Archive for the ‘paris masters’ Category

Flying High

Posted by gauloises1 on November 16, 2009

Novak Djokovic destroyed Rafael Nadal in the semifinals and then outlasted Gael Monfils to take the Paris Masters trophy.

novak djokovic

I mean, he beat Nadal 62 63 and then played a set and a half of quite brilliant tennis against La Monf, leading 62 30. The local hope took advantage of a few lapses on Nole’s part to fight back and take the second set 75, which ignited the crowd, and the third set was a tense affair with multiple breaks. La Monf showed fantastic fight and did himself properly proud in his first Masters final.

gael monfils celebrates

gael monfils

gael monfils

But today was all about Nole, and even when it went to a third-set tiebreak I didn’t honestly feel like he was going to lose. And so it proved, as he took the tiebreak 7-3 for the victory.

novak djokovic in action

novak djokovicnovak djokovic

Nole came into this tournament in the strongest form out of all the top players, and he’s leaving it as the favourite for London. And he finally has a Masters title after four finals.

novak djokovic trophy

And his hair looks amazing.

Posted in gael monfils, novak djokovic, paris masters | Tagged: , | 6 Comments »

Bambi & The Sex. So Wrong. So Right.

Posted by gauloises1 on November 14, 2009

It’ll be Gael Monfils vs. Radek Stepanek in the second semi-final in Paris after both won their quarter-finals earlier today. I didn’t see either match but from watching the highlights on mute, Monfils-Cilic looks like it was very entertaining stuff, with Bambi taking it 64 in the third.

marin

bambi

This is the third time Bambi’s been to a Masters semi-final and it’s cool for him to do it on home soil. As for Marin, he’s had an up-and-down season but the last few months have been really strong. Good stuff.

In the other semi-final, Stepanek was leading 4-0 when JMDP was forced to retire with an abdominal strain. Yeah, that’s not good news.

del potro stepanek

JMDP says that the injury shouldn’t make him doubtful for London, but I’m not sure. Not to mention that if there’s one way to incur the surefire wrath of the fandom, it’s to send Marat Safin into retirement, then have to retire yourself. Silly boy.

Having said that, I’m pleased to see Steps in a Masters semi-final again. The fact that he’s still going strong at 30 is fairly impressive, right? It can’t just be me that thinks that. I can see that match against La Monf being all kinds of fun, not to mention that it’s good for the Czechs to see Steps rounding into strong form ahead of the Davis Cup final.

steps

Bring it on.

Posted in gael monfils, juan martin del potro, marin cilic, paris masters, radek stepanek | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »

Rafa-Nole Semi Puts Verdasco Into WTFs

Posted by gauloises1 on November 13, 2009

The London World Tour Finals is set, courtesy of Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, who defeated the remaining contenders Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Robin Soderling in the Paris quarterfinals this afternoon.

robin soderling

jo-wilfried tsonga

Nadal-Tsonga was by far the better match, it must be said. Soderling was wound visibly tight and Djokovic appeared exhausted, especially during the second set which he dropped 16, but in the end too many unforced errors cost Soderling. It was a ground-out win rather than domination by Djokovic, but a win all the same. Good stuff.

Nadal was probably the surprise of the day. Tsonga was picked as the favourite coming in by more than a few pundits, but really Rafa was unrecognisable as the same person who played Almagro and Robredo. I thought he was serving brilliantly and hitting his forehand really well to stave off five break points in the early stages of the match, and from then on he didn’t look like losing. As for Tsonga, he wasn’t playing badly but terrible shot-selection cost him at the biggest moments. It’s Nadal’s first win over a top 10 player since Madrid and would seem to signal a welcome return to form.

novak djokovicrafael nadal

The elimination of Tsonga and Soderling gives Fernando Verdasco a lock on the no. 8 spot in the race, meaning we’ll be seeing him in the 02. I would have really liked to see Soderling qualify, just because for me his achievements and the way he’s played this year have been stunning, but Verdasco’s had the best year of his career too – no question. So congratulations to him.

fernando verdasco

Soderling and Tsonga will presumably be lined up as first and second alternates for London – if they chose to play. It’ll be interesting to see how that pans out.

It’s also worth noting that Nadal, Nole and JMDP all have opportunities to gain big points here and close the gap on those ahead of them in the rankings – although in JMDP’s case that may be a pipe dream. Still, there’s a lot of potential for ranking changes as a result of the last few matches of the year,* which I think is cool. Keeps things interesting.

*May not be true, I’m just repeating what I hear because I hate looking at the numbers.

Posted in fernando verdasco, jo-wilfried tsonga, novak djokovic, paris masters, rafael nadal, robin soderling | Tagged: , , , , | 8 Comments »

Paris Results & OOPs

Posted by gauloises1 on November 13, 2009

I hope you admired my concision in the previous post. What I was trying to say is that the quarterfinals lineup is now set, with the inclusion of the two results I didn’t mention: Gael Monfils beat Julien Benneteau 64 63, and Novak Djokovic rolled over Arnaud Clement 62 62.

gael monfils

novak djokovic

So it’ll be Monfils-Cilic, Stepanek-Del Potro (he will lose, and lose badly, I’m telling you right now), Djokovic-Soderling, and Tsonga-Nadal, with Soderling and Tsonga needing to win merely to remain in contention for the WTFs.

Singles – Third Round
[2] R Nadal (ESP) d [14] T Robredo (ESP) 63 36 75
[3] N Djokovic (SRB) d [Q] A Clement (FRA) 62 62
[13] R Stepanek (CZE) d [4] A Murray (GBR) 16 63 64
[10] F Gonzalez (CHI) vs [5] J Del Potro (ARG)
[9] R Soderling (SWE) d [6] N Davydenko (RUS) 63 36 64
[12] M Cilic (CRO) d [7] F Verdasco (ESP) 36 63 64
[8] J Tsonga (FRA) d [11] G Simon (FRA) 62 63
[15] G Monfils (FRA) d J Benneteau (FRA) 64 63

Doubles – Quarter-finals
[8] F Cermak (CZE) / M Mertinak (SVK) d J Kerr (AUS) / T Parrott (USA) 62 64

Doubles – Second Round
[1] D Nestor (CAN) / N Zimonjic (SRB) d [WC] A Clement (FRA) / M Llodra (FRA) 63 64
[2] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) d J Benneteau (FRA) / J Tsonga (FRA) w/o – Tsonga (wrist)
C Kas (GER) / P Kohlschreiber (GER) d [6] J Knowle (AUT) / A Ram (ISR) 75 64

paris oop

Posted in gael monfils, novak djokovic, paris masters | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Paris: The Real WTFs?

Posted by gauloises1 on November 13, 2009

Welcome to Bercy, where the laws of probability and causality no longer apply.

robin soderling

Soderling survives in the race to London, beating Kolya 64 in the third …

nikolay davydenko

… but Kolya qualifies for London anyway, courtesy of …

marin cilic

… Marin Cilic’s victory over Fernando Verdasco, which means that …

jo-wilfried tsonga belly

… Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is still in the hunt if he can beat …

rafael nadal

… Rafa, who survived in three sets against a fellow Spaniard again, this time …

tommy robredo

… Robredo, who served for the match before choking spectacularly …

andy murray groin

… not unlike Murray, who breadsticked Steps in 20 minutes and went on to lose …

juan martin del potro

… but unlike Juan Martin del Potro, who lost a 5-2 lead in both games and tiebreak points to drop the first set to Gonzo, but then saved seven match points to even up the match, at which point Gonzo abruptly retired.

Beat that, London.

Posted in andy murray, jo-wilfried tsonga, juan martin del potro, marin cilic, nikolay davydenko, paris masters, radek stepanek, rafael nadal, robin soderling | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments »

Paris Results & OOP

Posted by gauloises1 on November 12, 2009

Recounting today’s results has completely eluded me. Have a pretty picture of Delpo instead:

juan martin del potro

Singles – Second Round
J Benneteau (FRA) d [1] R Federer (SUI) 36 76(4) 64
[2] R Nadal (ESP) d N Almagro (ESP) 36 76(2) 75 – Saved 5 M.P.
[3] N Djokovic (SRB) d J Monaco (ARG) 63 75
[4] A Murray (GBR) vs J Blake (USA)
[5] J Del Potro (ARG) d [WC] M Safin (RUS) 64 57 64
[9] R Soderling (SWE) d I Karlovic (CRO) 64 76(6)
[10] F Gonzalez (CHI) d J Isner (USA) 75 76(3)
[12] M Cilic (CRO) d [Q] L Kubot (POL) 67(3) 64 62
V Troicki (SRB) vs [13] R Stepanek (CZE)
[14] T Robredo (ESP) d T Berdych (CZE) 64 64
[15] G Monfils (FRA) d [Q] D Guez (FRA) 64 75
[Q] A Clement (FRA) d [16] T Haas (GER) 57 63 76(8) – Saved 1 M.P.

Doubles – Second Round
S Aspelin (SWE) / P Hanley (AUS) d [3] M Bhupathi (IND) / M Knowles (BAH) 64 67(6) 10-7
[8] F Cermak (CZE) / M Mertinak (SVK) d B Soares (BRA) / K Ullyett (ZIM) 63 64
J Kerr (AUS) / T Parrott (USA) d [4] L Dlouhy (CZE) / L Paes (IND) 67(5) 64 10-5
M Granollers (ESP) / T Robredo (ESP) d [5] W Moodie (RSA) / D Norman (BEL) 64 75
[7] M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Matkowski (POL) d J Brunstrom (SWE) / J Rojer (AHO) 64 76(5)

paris oop

Posted in juan martin del potro, paris masters | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

A Day In the Life of La Monf

Posted by gauloises1 on November 12, 2009

It’s been a while since we had a good ridiculous Bambi action picspam. So enjoy the man in action during his straight sets of David Guez.

gael monfils

gael monfils2

gael monfils3

gael monfils4

Posted in gael monfils, paris masters | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Save Three More, Get a Blue Peter Badge

Posted by gauloises1 on November 12, 2009

Nadal is saving them up for something. He saved five match points (!) against Nicolas Almagro (!) to win 36 76(2) 75 (!) on a day when he was, to put it mildly, not playing his best.

rafael nadal

I thought Almagro was solid but unspectacular. Rafa, however, was not good. There seemed to be nothing – no length, no bite  – on his groundstrokes and time and time again the ball dropped short and soft for Almagro to tee off on. Still, it’s Rafa and suddenly in the game when Almagro was serving for the match, his forehand made an appearance. He did brilliantly to make it into a third and then Almagro cramped mid-way through and barely staggered to the end.

nicolas almagronicolas almagro2

Still an impressive display of tenacity from Nadal. He’ll get both a wake-up call and a boost from this match, and his next opponent (Robredo) should be a nice match for him.

Posted in nicolas almagro, paris masters, rafael nadal | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

The Skull Beneath the Skin

Posted by gauloises1 on November 12, 2009

Webster saw it, T. S. Eliot saw it, and now Nole sees it, sort of:

novak djokovic mask

novak djokovic mask2

Following on from last year’s Zorro mask, Nole continues his tradition of Hallowe’en masks at Bercy … much to the amusement/bemusement/confusement of his opponent Pico. Luckily, he hadn’t disguised himself as someone who had any intention of losing; his play was patchy, but he beat Pico 63 75 – and celebrating by giving his mask to a little kid who immediately put it on. Very cute.

As for Pico, a so-so performance from him. He actually served for the second set, but didn’t look for one moment like he believed he could take it, and so it proved.

juan monaco

So the 2009 season ends for Tandil’s prettiest. But it’s been a good year for him, with some big wins. I hope he can keep it going in 2010.

Posted in juan monaco, novak djokovic, paris masters | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

Silent No More

Posted by gauloises1 on November 12, 2009

Put away the mint sauce, rename the Tricolore the United Colours of Benneteau, and tell Agassi his record is safe for now, because Julien “the Lamb” Benneteau has beaten Roger Federer in a three-set thriller, 36 76(4) 64.

julien benneteau6

This was quite seriously the best match I’ve seen in ages. I couldn’t look away. I didn’t think Federer played badly at all, frankly; he served at 70-something per cent and while there were errors, we’ve all seen worse. But Benneteau was quite simply spectacular. It reminded me slightly of the Soderling-Nadal match at Roland Garros, where I kept thinking that the upstart couldn’t possibly keep up the level of play he was showing. And yet he did. Driving that cross-court backhand, serving quite brilliantly, and stunning touch at net. Loved it.

roger federer

julien benneteau

julien benneteau3

The match ended on a slightly odd note when Federer challenged Benneteau’s match-winning ace, but it was to no avail and Julien’s reaction was something to see as he dissolved in tears in front of his home crowd (who were, it must be said, amazing). So no Bercy title once again for Federer, who now has a good ten days or so to prepare for the WTFs, a famous victory for Benneteau, and the match of the day/week/month for the rest of us. Good stuff all round.

julien benneteau7

Posted in julien benneteau, paris masters, roger federer | Tagged: , | 5 Comments »