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Bercy: Cheerfully Brutal 11/09/2010 - 11:22 AM

Gasquet [I'm happy to introduce an exciting new voice at TW, that of the comment poster many of you know as Gauloises. This is a wonderful piece of writing, and I'm hoping to get more of the same as as the week goes on -- Pete]

by Gauloises, Contributing Writer

It’s Monday at the BNP Paribas Masters, and I have just been gloomily informed by a journalist that nothing is really happening today. He has a point; the dominant storyline here is the final three players sealing their qualification for the World Tour Finals, with a sideline in what kind of shape the elite eight will be in when their time comes to cross the Channel.

Whatever the ultimate narrative, none of the players playing singles today are expected to be involved in its denouement. Still, they’re here, and not just to make up the numbers. The question is, who’s had enough of the 2010 season, and who wants more out of it?

I arrive to see Jarkko Nieminen break for the first set against Xavier Malisse. Nieminen, the wiriest human being I’ve ever seen, has been working his way back from injury and qualified into the draw despite a strong run of form in recent weeks. He looks lean and hungry, showing his teeth in a grimace of frustration when he misses.

Malisse, on the other hand, seems more than ready for 2010 to be over. Even when he squanders opportunities, he can’t muster much emotion. When Nieminen fends off a strong challenge and holds to go up 4-2, Malisse bends his racquet into a sort of Mobius strip and sits blankly contemplating it, like a piece of modern art.

It’s over pretty quickly, and the Finn advances to face Andy Roddick in the second round.

Nieminen’s will to win is about the only intense thing in evidence at the Palais Omnisports. The corporate seats are empty—but then so are most of the others. Without the softening of spectators in the seats, the overwhelming impression is of shiny plastic, burningly bright lights, and tessellated girders; it’s a Lego building, an impression not alleviated by the red and white geraniums that line the court, too bright to be real.

The sparse crowd is overwhelmed by the space and the hum of the air-conditioning, louder than any sound the players might make, and the dramatic laser show that opens the next match is incongruous against the general early-afternoon sleepiness of the atmosphere. In fact, when Lopez and Clement stand at the net in separate spotlights, stretching rhythmically, it’s hard to tell whether they’re limbering up for a tennis match or a dance-off in the increasingly freezing air.

My friend chooses this moment to tell me that the Palais Omnisport is usually used for ice-hockey, and although Clement’s sharply-delivered volleys are drawing the first real spontaneous outbreaks of applause from the crowd, I decide to jump ship. There’s only so many times you can watch a stewardess in a faux-60s outfit pick a tennis ball out of the topiary with manicured fingernails, and if I’m going to have a cold and miserable experience, I at least want it to be a connoisseur’s cold and miserable experience.

Which is how I find myself one of maybe twenty people watching Stakhovsky and Youzhny against Aspelin and Hanley on the miniature court two. It couldn’t be a greater contrast to the main stadium; down a precipitous flight of stairs to narrow corridors of brushed concrete, no event signage, and when we walk in to take seats during a changeover, all four of the players glare at us suspiciously, as if wondering what we’re doing there.

It’s a good question.

I thought I was on the lookout for potential storylines, and here I am on the littoral of the doubles draw. But it’s fun, at least on one side of the net; Stakhovsky and Youzhny take the first set 6-3, attacking the net with gusto, chattering away cheerfully between points. Aspelin and Hanley seem a bit more somber; this is how their season will end, on a tiny court in front of a tiny audience, losing at their specialist discipline to a pair of dilettantes, barely a footnote to the tournament.

I’m wondering how they feel about being so marginalized, but with the exception of one racquet tossed so gently that one suspects Aspelin is afraid to break it, all I see is weary professionalism; it’s not glamorous, their faces imply, but someone’s got to do it. This isn’t show business; it’s just work. It’s hard to imagine Isner and Querrey being relegated to an outside court during an American Masters, but that’s where they’re scheduled against Brazilians Thomaz Bellucci and Marcelo Melo.

Indeed, the elderly French gentleman next to me leans over to ask what nationality they are, and upon hearing ’American’, promptly exits at the next changeover. It doesn’t bother Isner and Querrey; if it’s possible for a tennis match to be cheerfully brutal, this one is. Early in the first set, Melo takes a dramatic tumble across the barrier and on to the feet of the spectators, coming up grinning and joking with the umpire; later, a Querrey serve deflects off Bellucci’s racquet and strikes him in the mouth. By the time the third framed return off Isner’s serve shoots past my nose, there isn’t a spectator on court 2 who isn’t fearing for their lives; the tiny space seems too small to contain the big players and bigger shots, the explosive sound of racquet striking ball and the squealing of tennis shoes on the court.

It’s wonderfully claustrophic; every iota of the competitive intensity of the match is transmitted directly to the growing crowd. How can a doubles match in which three of the players are singles specialists be so thrilling when, come the weekend, no-one will even remember it happened? It’s competition; it’s why the game is played. It’s the best match I see all day.

The inconveniences of the venue begin to tell; in order to get a coffee, smoke or reach the press area, we have to leave by the main entrance and walk around the outside of the building. “For you, no problem!” the security guard tells us each time, his cheerfulness undiminished by repetition, even when we wander across the road for pizza and back before Nicolas Mahut and Richard Gasquet are introduced with a funked-up and spectacularly inappropriate version of the James Bond theme.

Mahut and Gasquet share more than a common nationality and one-handed backhands; if you were telling the story of either, it’s a fair bet you would begin with ‘do you remember…?’. Mahut will forever be branded with that magical 70-68, which earns him a huge round of applause on his entrance and (on my part at least) a vestigial desire to get him a comfy chair, a cold towel, and possibly a hug.

As for Gasquet, it’s looking increasingly unlikely that he’ll ever establish himself as anything other than a future for French tennis that never came to pass. Whether it’s the weight of the past or the pressure of playing at home, most of the first set is a mess of unreturned serves and unforced errors, leaving the crowd nothing to get their teeth into. I’m giving up hope in the magic powers of the night session when the match suddenly catches fire on Mahut’s serve at 4-5 and the air is filled with competing shouts of “Allez!”.

The place might be more than half empty, but those spectators who have come have come to be entertained; they want to be shown something, and they’re willing to make noise enough for three times their number. They in turn fire up the players, eliciting sensational passing shots, audacious volleys, demanding and getting a third set. Mahut scrubs his hand through his spiky hair hard enough to hurt, reddens, grimaces; Gasquet’s reactions are almost pantomime-worthy as he smacks his palm into his face.

The set wears on, with neither player able to break serve. The tiebreak looms. My friend is a Gasquet fan, and she sees a familiar narrative unfolding inexorably; the high-quality match in which he comes so close, only to falter when courage is most required. I, on the other hand, don’t think I can bear to see Mahut falter at the final hurdle again, a resonance that only becomes clearer when Mahut slips and falls to go 0-2 down in the tiebreak.

The subsequent match point is squandered on an unforced error; another is saved by a Mahut ace, and it looks as if we’ll once again be talking about Gasquet’s lack of killer instinct—until a Mahut volley flies wide, and some fantastic, frantic defense by Gasquet draws another volley error. He’s won, and he looks like he can’t believe it.

Mahut is on his knees before getting up to accept a narrow defeat graciously—again. The same old story for one; a twist in the tale for the other—who is now required to defy a far bigger narrative imperative, that of his record against Roger Federer, who waits in the second round.

By the time we exit into the freezing November night, it’s been twelve solid hours of tennis. Nine singles players and four doubles teams have put their 2010 beyond redemption; their opponents have stayed alive, kept open the possibility of one more big win. I’d be the first to admit that I prize drama over aesthetics, a good story over technically flawless tennis; but if this was a day where nothing happened, I don’t know how I’ll survive tomorrow.


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Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 11/09/2010 at 11:41 AM

Gauloises :

I'm so happy that you have become a conributing writer. Congratulations on that and also on such an excellent piece ! Are we still alowed to call you Gauly ?

Pete has excellent taste.

Posted by Sherlock 11/09/2010 at 11:47 AM

Brilliant. Viva la Gauly!!

Posted by CL 11/09/2010 at 11:48 AM

Gauloises. Seriously brilliant. I am SO jealous on so many levels. Of the writing, of the style, of your 'being there.' Watching live, if sometimes not lively tennis, even if in a fridge or a shoebox.

Just a terrific piece all around. On of THE best ever from TWibeland. Thanks.

Posted by Arun 11/09/2010 at 11:48 AM

Wonderful piece of writing, Gaul.

Posted by naughty T....urbane gentleman 11/09/2010 at 11:52 AM

squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
excellent stuff ms.G

Posted by Master Ace 11/09/2010 at 11:55 AM

Gauloises,
Good read! Hope you and your friend enjoy Bercy. By the way, take a glove or net with you to Court 2 to catch the tennis balls.

Posted by Matt Zemek 11/09/2010 at 12:02 PM

Not an ill-chosen word or misplaced emphasis to be found.

Glorious, Gauloises! Thanks for gracing this page and site with your work.

It's not just about Marin Cilic autograph sessions, is it? :-)

Posted by skip1515 11/09/2010 at 12:04 PM

Very well done, Gauloise. Thanks.

Pete, if you changed the locale this could be a description of the US Pro Indoor at the Spectrum in Philly: indoor hockey arena with the (pervasively cold) ice lying under the temporary court and empty stands during the day matches. Professional indoor tennis; I have to say I have a soft spot for it.

Posted by AmyLu 11/09/2010 at 12:05 PM

Simply brilliant, gauloises! Thanks so much for sharing with all of us. :)

Posted by Holds 2 Love 11/09/2010 at 12:05 PM

I have been an intermittent lurker, but never felt I had a contribution to make on par with (for example) the insight and eloquence of Andrew, the stunning photographic contribution of Rosangel, the encyclopedic awareness of Master Ace or the wonderful humor of so many TW regulars. So what has finally compelled me to de-lurk? This byline! Great maiden article Gauloises, looking forward to more. Thanks to Pete for this decision and this blog.

Posted by Tari 11/09/2010 at 12:14 PM

Simply genius! Well done. :)

Posted by CL 11/09/2010 at 12:18 PM

****waves to Tari**** (too early for martini - even for me. ;-))

Holds2Love - please de-lurk some more. Except during Fedal skirmishes or WozWars, we hardly ever bite and new contributors bring so much.....newness. ;-)

Posted by manuelsantanafan 11/09/2010 at 12:20 PM

Enjoyed the article.

Sherlock, if you're still around, you might enjoy the following snippet from Peter Vecsey's Sunday NY Post column on Maurice Lucas:

Kings coach [Paul Westphal] e-mailed:

"Everyone will recall Luke's toughness, competitiveness and his strengths as a teammate and competitor. No argument from me on all of the above. But he could surprise you with aspects of himself that defied easy assumptions.
"In the late '70s, we were both participants in the old 'Superstars' competition on ABC. We could pick seven of a possible ten events. I grew up by the ocean in Redondo Beach, and noticed that Maurice, a 6-9 power forward from Pittsburgh was signed up for the swimming event. Even though we were required to wear Speedos to participate, I signed up anyway. After all, a win would put me in the finals, and this HAD to be a sure win!
"Exempting one minor detail; Luke failed to mention he had been the Pennsylvania state swim champion. He swam like a dolphin, and was already being interviewed by the great Bill Russell about his win as I was being pulled from the pool, gasping for air in my Speedo!"

http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/more_sports/luke_always_warm_sPCrpRPwIrjPPvpyaeyMVM/5

Posted by Kristy 11/09/2010 at 12:25 PM

Wonderful read, gauloises! So glad you're going to be a contributing writer. Looking forward to your take on Roddick and Muzz (among others) tomorrow. (Or do they play tomorrow. Whenever.)

Posted by Master Ace 11/09/2010 at 12:30 PM

Kristy,
OOP is not out yet but Roddick, Murray vs Nalbandian, Djokovic, and Federer will play tomorrow.

Posted by Colette 11/09/2010 at 12:32 PM

Great stuff, Gauloises. Hope we can look forward to lots more.

I've been pining the lack of *viewing* doubles matches. Would love to have seen the Murray bros. win Valencia. Querry & Isner lost a tight one today to Dlouhy & Paes.

Posted by karin1492 11/09/2010 at 12:38 PM

Good news from ESPN (a place that I'm beginning to despise because of certain "journalists" regarding NCAA football) and ABC. They're going to resume coverage of the Miami and Indian Wells tournaments next year!

Posted by JB (FOOPs unite!!!) 11/09/2010 at 12:40 PM

GAULY!!!!!!!!!!!

:)))) am inordinately pleased you're posting for us! Please pretty please post again! don't leave us in suspense as to what happens on DAY 2!

Posted by sf 11/09/2010 at 12:42 PM

wow gauloises! excellent stuff.

free-flowing, witty, and FUNNY!

i almost felt like i was walking with you throughout your day at bercy.

i like the part about aspelin seeming fearful to break his racquet! and for what? of course, it costs $$$! yeah, gulbis' family millions can acquire as many of the finest and priciest of racquets as his heart desires (so he can break as many as he wants), but not the struggling tour journeymen! lol.

thanks for cheering up my day thus far.

Posted by Sherlock 11/09/2010 at 12:48 PM

MSF, thanks for the snippet and link to Vescey's article. Great stories there. :)

It was a rough couple days in Blazerland with Lucas' death. Lots of emotional things written around these parts. As talented as Walton was, Lucas was the rock of those great teams. A lot of good memories for young Sherlock, especially of that summer of '77.

Posted by white line fever 11/09/2010 at 01:01 PM

gauly - this is f'ing fantastic. Your biggest fan,

WLF

Posted by Lennon1980 11/09/2010 at 01:09 PM

Great read, Gauloises. Good job.I felt as though I was there. Perhaps I should be glad that I was not.........

Posted by Bismarck 11/09/2010 at 01:11 PM

ooof.
so well written, gaul. my homburg´s off in awe.
wish you a fun week in paris and hope you find the time/mood to delight us with more of your observations. i´ll gobble up every word.

nalbs, nose job, pico, super rad ... some inspiration today surely.

Posted by @work 11/09/2010 at 01:15 PM

What can I say that hasn't been said? :)

Excellent, Gauloises!
I thoroughly enjoyed it, in particular your descriptions of the venue and its environment. Looking forward to more!

Posted by Claire 11/09/2010 at 01:15 PM

Great. Your enthusiasm and love of tennis is clear and makes me long for *live* tennis again - can't wait for the WTF at the end of the month.

Posted by jbradhunter 11/09/2010 at 01:17 PM

Yes thanks for this Gauloises- such a fun read- reminds of my trip to Madrid in 2008 and going to the Masters-- same sort of unmarked courts, small spaces, tennis professionalism, quiet spectators... but I did get to see that brilliant Murray/Nadal match when someone yelled "Vuelve Rafa!" and the crowd burst into laughter (he did eventually, but Murray was awesome in losing)

Posted by Jay 11/09/2010 at 01:22 PM

Great article, Gauloises. I also envy your assignment.

Thanks for saving me some money and vacation time! I've been tempted by the French Federation's offers to purchase early Roland Garros tickets if you also buy tickets for Bercy. I'm a longtime Franophile (though your namesakes are enjoyed by too many of my close French friends), and I look for excuses to get back to Paris. But, you've convinced me that I would not enjoy being there right now.

I once stayed in Bercy when in Paris on business. Unfortunately, there was a transit strike that year, so I had to walk everywhere--there was nothing to do in Bercy.

I look forward to more of your impressions and observations. As with Tignor in NYC, its great to read about my favorite places, if I can't or shouldn't be there.

Posted by jbradhunter 11/09/2010 at 01:22 PM

whoops- I just realized I went to the 2007 Madrid Masters (Murray won the 2008) wow- where'd the time go? and I really want to visit Europe again soon...

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/09/2010 at 01:34 PM

Gaulosies Great piece.Have fun at Bercy.

Posted by RubyF 11/09/2010 at 01:36 PM

Wonderful article! Had to reach for my sweater and socks, and loved ones to temper the desolation, and I am in Miami!

Posted by CL 11/09/2010 at 01:39 PM

***waves to Bisszzy and jbrad****

Probably for serious Fed fans only, but really, is the stadium in Basel made out of Licorice Whips? Bendy Straws? Bendy Lindt Straws? Either that or these kids are STRONG!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vADQfvQIYM

(Have no idea what Fed is saying..Bismarck - are you still there? Translation?)

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/09/2010 at 01:41 PM

I have gael Monfils v Benjamen Becker live now

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/09/2010 at 01:42 PM

Bizzy I am having dinner with Lleytsie on Sunday ok I will say hi

Miss you here at TW

Brad Hi again!

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/09/2010 at 01:45 PM

Ferus Murphy is the umpire for this match

I can do a match call if anyone wants if not I wont thats ok by me

Robbie and that Chris "boring: Wilkenson are the commentators

I miss my Doug

Roger Rasheed looks on

The crowd erupts as Gael stands up? Fergus Murphy sucks at a French accent

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/09/2010 at 01:46 PM

Gael to serve 1st

Posted by Master Ace 11/09/2010 at 01:47 PM

Wednesday Bercy Order of Play:

4:30 AM = Roddick, Cilic, Monaco vs Djokovic, Ljubicic vs Wawrinka, Murray vs Nalbandian, Melzer, Isner vs Llodra, Davydenko and Ferrer scheduled
1:30 PM - Federer vs Gasquet
2:30 PM - Simon vs Soderling

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/09/2010 at 01:49 PM

Gael with u/errors and Becker gets the break

Becker 1-0 and will serve

Posted by Master Ace 11/09/2010 at 01:49 PM

"Good news from ESPN (a place that I'm beginning to despise because of certain "journalists" regarding NCAA football)"

Karin1492,
Be nice to the ESPN personnel as they are in love with TCU. Also, heard about what is going on with Newton when he was at Florida?

Sorry for OT - Back to Bercy

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/09/2010 at 01:50 PM

Master Ace People can talk I can just give brief updates on play no worries

Posted by CL 11/09/2010 at 01:52 PM

what on EARTH is going on with Gael!!?? Has he won a point?

Posted by Master Ace 11/09/2010 at 01:52 PM

Aussiemarg,
You read my mind on giving brief updates every few games as you can see, interest in Bercy is almost next to nothing.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/09/2010 at 01:53 PM

Love service game by Becker and he consolidates the break

Gael looks sluggish and the last shot he didnt even attempt the shot correctly.

Becker 2-0 and Gael to serve

Becker with 3 b/points again?

Becker breaks again?

Gael looks dis inetested and the fans arent happy

Becker 3-0 and will serve

Posted by Master Ace 11/09/2010 at 01:54 PM

CL,
Per SB, one for 13.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/09/2010 at 01:55 PM

Master Ace No worries I will just now and then update score

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/09/2010 at 02:00 PM

May I make a observation this court is playing slow and I notice that players are having trouble with the timing of their shots.The ball travels slow through the air.

The national anthem of France nearly got played then Gael gets on the board

Becker 4-1 and will serve

Posted by adicecream 11/09/2010 at 02:02 PM

Great article. Also nice to see some "old" posters around.

I'm having a bit of trouble getting up for Bercy myself. Hard to conceive that I have watched enough tennis for now, but I was super excited to see college basketball on TV last night.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/09/2010 at 02:03 PM

Guy Forget is chewing gum madley and Gael is going to be the no 1 singles player for France in the DC.With play like this

Heaven help France

Posted by Arun 11/09/2010 at 02:05 PM

"May I make a observation this court is playing slow and I notice that players are having trouble with the timing of their shots.The ball travels slow through the air."

Cheers, AM.
I thought I was the only one. It really seemed to play slow.

But apparently many players (including Fed, Murray, Llodra, etc) seem to think that the court plays faster.
Kohlschreiber, Bellucci, Lopez etc made nearly 30 aces each in one match in fact.

Posted by Andrew 11/09/2010 at 02:05 PM

Hi gauloises! Lovely, "you read and you're there" writing. When I went to Indian Wells in 2007, I was stunned by how no frills ATP doubles had become - like the old serve and volley Wimbledons of the 1990s. Any rally over 4 shots was a marathon.

Also friendly waves to Bismarck, and a welcome to Holds 2 Love.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/09/2010 at 02:08 PM

Arun Thanks it seems you me and the commies are the only ones that think the same.

I can also tell by the sound when the ball hits the strings its like

"brick bats" lol!

Roger Rasheed hangs his head also chewing gum he must of pinched some of Guy? Monfils f/hand has gone AWOL.

Monfils holds.

Becker 5-2 and will serve

Posted by Holds 2 Love 11/09/2010 at 02:11 PM

Thanks CL and Andrew. Amazing get by Becker end of the last game. My commentators are speculating that Monfils may have a physical issue, perhaps looked down at his ankle at one point? Now Monfils with double break point... signs of life?

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/09/2010 at 02:13 PM

Colour Me Dead Monfils breaks?

D/faults in Beckers match didnt help his cause

Becker 5-3 and Monfils to serve

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/09/2010 at 02:15 PM

Welcome Holds to Love I love your moniker by the way

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/09/2010 at 02:17 PM

Tsonga is sitting next to Guy and smiles

Becker to serve for the 1st set 5-4

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/09/2010 at 02:19 PM

Monfils found his f/hand though he did have time on the ball there

30 all

Becker is serving to the f/hand wing of Gael and founds the error

Becker with set point

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/09/2010 at 02:22 PM

Deuce and net cord didnt favour Beckers shots

Gael brain snap with a volley that didnt even make the court?

Good ROS by Gael though Beckers feet didnt seem to move at all

deuce

2nd serve for Becker

Becker is getting tight and f/hand wide

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/09/2010 at 02:24 PM

ad to Monfils

Beker f/hand wide and Monfils break.Monfils slowed down the play

5 games all and Monfils will serve

Crazy match

Posted by Holds 2 Love 11/09/2010 at 02:24 PM

Thanks very much, AM.

But no, the commentators are back to "fragile psyche syndrome" as the likeliest explanation. Determined to prove them wrong, Monfils breaks back, much to the crowd's delight.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/09/2010 at 02:25 PM

Love service game by Monfils

Becker 5-6 and will serve to force a t/break

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/09/2010 at 02:27 PM

Holds to Love lol!

I need a stiff drink methinks forget about the "pysche" thingy


Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/09/2010 at 02:29 PM

Becker holds and t/break is in place

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/09/2010 at 02:32 PM

Becker 2-1

Gael to serve

2all Becker f/hand wide

Monfils 3-2 with good 1st serve

Becker to serve

Good 1st serve and Monfils shot finds net

3 all with Becker i more serve

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/09/2010 at 02:34 PM

Becvker good angle f/hand

Bevker 4-3

Gael to serve

Gael with 2nd serve

Lonf rally Becker with slice that was called out and challengers it was out

4 all

Gael with one more serve

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/09/2010 at 02:36 PM

2nd serve for Monfils

Monfils 5-4 Becker shot finds the net

Becker to serve

Good ROS by Monfils

Monfils 6-4 with 2 set points

Becker one more serve

Bevker f/.hand wide

Monfils 76 (7-4} 1st set

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/09/2010 at 02:37 PM

Becker mentally lost it and got tight and should have won the 1st set

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/09/2010 at 02:42 PM

Becker to serve 1st in the 2nd set and is facing a b/point

Becker needs to shorten the points and cant afford to get into long rallies with Gael from the baseline

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/09/2010 at 02:45 PM

Monfils movement on his right foot a bit slow though they way he throws his body around the court I wonder why?

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/09/2010 at 02:48 PM

Another b/point for Gael this game has been going for 6 mins back and forth with deuce points

Gael breaks finally again Becker needs to shorten points and when he gets into a rally he loses the point

Monfils 1-0 2nd set and will serve

Posted by AB 11/09/2010 at 02:48 PM

AM: thanks for the match call. Don't have time to watch at the mo.

gauloise: congrats for the writing assignment and bravo for executing with your usual wit and aplomb.

Posted by AB 11/09/2010 at 02:49 PM

gauloise = gauloises of course

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/09/2010 at 02:51 PM

AB No worries.Though I really dont like match calling Monfils he is soo frustrating to watch at the best of times lol!

Posted by Fern 11/09/2010 at 02:51 PM

Gauloises, just popping in to say that was a terrific article ... and enjoy Paris!

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/09/2010 at 02:52 PM

Gael runs for a shot wide and of course falls down on court

He is alright of course though really?

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/09/2010 at 02:54 PM

Gael was taken to deuce though good 1st serve and he has the ad

Help me he nets a easy volley though he took his eyes off the ball

ad to Becker someone pur me a Stiff Drink asap

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/09/2010 at 02:56 PM

Gael goes for a drop shot and insane from his position

Becker breaks 1 all 2nd set and Becker to serve

Did I mention the Drink?

Posted by Bismarck 11/09/2010 at 02:56 PM

cheers a-marge, CL, Andrew et al.

CL,
paraphrasing: "of course i knew they [the twins] were there... of course i was very glad they were there... they didn´t really make it all the way to me onto the court... them being there certainly added to the emotional fabric of the whole event for me... yadda yadda yadda"
the gist.

i should talk to more swiss peeps. understood him worse than usual.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/09/2010 at 02:58 PM

Becker holds and Monfils to serve

Becker 2-1 2nd set

Posted by sf 11/09/2010 at 03:00 PM

enjoying your match calls, am. thanx.

a stiff one is on its way (via the ether!) to you. ;)

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/09/2010 at 03:02 PM

SF Many thanks lol!

Keep them coming if you please

I would rather talk to my best friend Tim?

Hang on did I say that

Its the Monfils effect taking toll on me.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/09/2010 at 03:03 PM

2 games all 2nd set

Becker to serve

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/09/2010 at 03:05 PM

Gael will you stop trying to make insane droppers

Put some disguise on them ok.pfft.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/09/2010 at 03:07 PM

Monfils with good f/hand and has a b/point

Becker not getting his first serve in

Monfils challengers the call and it was in and the point of course goes to Becker

deuce again

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/09/2010 at 03:08 PM

Becker holds tough and Monfils will serve

Becker 3-2 2nd set

Posted by Pete (Chopped Liver) 11/09/2010 at 03:11 PM

Okay, it's official. I from now on, it's Chopped Liver's Tennisworld! Great job, Gauloises

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/09/2010 at 03:12 PM

Pete LOL!

Posted by sf 11/09/2010 at 03:12 PM

am,

has monfils tried any of the crazy (unnecessary) stunts yet? you know, like hitting the ball between the legs whiles flying in the air? lol.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/09/2010 at 03:14 PM

Becker with a b/point with good volley

Monfils the Clown of course falls down on court Again trying to get the shot?

Like who knew?

Posted by sf 11/09/2010 at 03:15 PM

quite a ways to distinguish between you and the "other" pete, mr. bodo, eh?

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/09/2010 at 03:15 PM

SF Not as yet though he is just flinging his body as usual and has fallen down twice now?

Roger Rasheed needs more valium as he looks around the stadium

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/09/2010 at 03:17 PM

This game is not a marathon deuces and chances for Becker to break

Gael what a difference a first serve makes no?

Monfils finally holds

3 games all 2nd set and Becker will serve

Posted by sf 11/09/2010 at 03:18 PM

lol, ma.

ok, keep me posted. i have it recording on dvr at home so i can fast-forward and/or rewind to special (acrobatic) spots if/when i need to - haha.

Posted by sf 11/09/2010 at 03:20 PM

of course the quotation marks should go on "pete," not other. oh well... i'm not sokol, after all.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/09/2010 at 03:21 PM

Bevker with a g/b/hand

Gael goes for a "full length dive"

He has completed a Hat Trick

Well done Gael??

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/09/2010 at 03:22 PM

ad to Becker now

Guy has already injured players for DC like he needs Gael to get injured now??

Deuce again for the 100000000000 time

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/09/2010 at 03:25 PM

ad to Monfils

Becker getting tight and his 1st serve isnt good

Monfils gets the break after a marathon game

Will he go for his 4th dive on court?

Stay tuned and watch this space

Monfils 4-3 2nd set and will serve

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/09/2010 at 03:27 PM

Monfils with a love service game sadly no "full length dives on court"

Monfils 5-3 2nd set and Becker will serve

Posted by sf 11/09/2010 at 03:30 PM

monfils love service game to go up 5-3? incredible!

well, ma, i must say i'm glad he's not doing his "full length dives!" they make me cringe almost every time!

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/09/2010 at 03:30 PM

Becker holds and Gael will now serve for the match 5-4

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,Dear Wayne is Free,VamosWayne 11/09/2010 at 03:32 PM

SF There is no need for Gael to go for insane shots and fling his body around the court.He is wearing staps on both knees at present and is injury prone like I wonder why?

Posted by sf 11/09/2010 at 03:33 PM

ok, finish it off, le monf, no drama, please!

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