Honestly, if any of the blokes on the ATP tour served like the girls on the WTA, they would be laughed out of the game. Honestly, how is it possible to serve at 40%ish with 97378409238 double faults and still win matches?
Urgh. But no more whinging about the WTA for today. I have done that time and time again over the past few days. (It is bad, bad, bad. Just in case you hadn't gathered my views on this by now. I am declaring myself Belgian when it comes to women's tennis).
Instead, let's talk about Peter Luczak.
I watched him fall down the rankings last year. When he fell down to #160ish, I gave up following him... and thus did not notice when he crept back up again, higher than ever. And let me tell you, I think it's going to climb higher, even if he takes a bunch of first round losses, because he's going to get into main draw tour events and get points points points. Not that I think he's going to take a bunch of first round losses. Because Mr Milkshake has GAME.
I was there in Brisbane last Saturday when Berdych absolutely pummelled Roddick for a set. I watched that match where he had his foot on Federer's neck last year. I know he's a headcase, but I also know he's extraordinarily talented and can play amazing stuff. This makes him kind of tricky to play, because if he's on fire there's not much a guy can do about it but wait it out, keep your calm and hope the storm breaks.
And that's exactly what Peter Luczak did today. I'm putting him on my official 2010 Late Bloomer list with Andrey Golubev - though in Mr Milkshake's case, it's a little later! Golubev is 22, but Luczak is 30. But seriously, Pete has never played better. He got killed in the first set because Berdych caught alight. But he didn't lose his head, steadied himself in the second and then ran off with the third.
Berdych is ranked fifty-odd places higher than Luczak, so even with the home court advantage and Berdych's headcaseness, you'd pick him to win. But Luczak's age is, I think, one of his strongest points. He is mature on court now. He plays calm tennis now, and that calmness, that serenity, that knowledge that he is at his best, has done him so much good. I wouldn't be surprised to see Mr Milkshake did what Chris Guccione did a few years back and make a surprise run to the final. If he can beat Berdych - the highest ranked player in the draw - I think he can beat anyone in the draw.
Roger: older and not quite out
6 months ago