Well, I did not expect this. I would have sworn that France was going to win this one. I was convinced that Llodra would have the guns to pull through and that Monfils might get a sneaky one in over Djokovic. But I was totally, utterly wrong. Sorry about that, Serbia. And congratulations.
It's hard to pick a hero for this tie - I mean, you can safely say it wasn't Tipsarevic, but beyond that, not so much. You really do have to go with Djokovic, I think, who won those crucial two points and gave Troicki a fighting chance going into the fifth and deciding rubber. You can throw Troicki's name into the ring as well - he did, after all, win that rubber - but his serve was the yippy one in the doubles. So Novak gets the honours, I think - but it was a big team effort.
Let's talk about the two matches for a second. I think they both would have been terribly anti-climactic - especially after the epic doubles match - if it wasn't, you know, the Davis Cup final. I definitely wasn't expecting Djokovic to put the hurt on Monfils the way he did. I definitely was expecting more from Monfils than he brought. It seems like he left it all on the court against Tipsarevic... he should have saved some up for this match, because with the way Tipsarevic was playing, he didn't need to use it all then.
I think the crowd definitely drove Djokovic on, but I think it also negatively affected Monfils... which it didn't in the first match, so I found this surprising. I thought that Monfils sort of enjoyed being the antagonist then. Today... not so much. Maybe it's different because it's Djokovic. I don't know. But Gael won't be too happy with himself.
And neither will Michael Llodra, and I am really sad about this one, because I would have totally backed him against either Troicki or Tipsarevic. Unlike Obradovic, I would have played Tipsarevic here, but his choice was obviously a good one, because it paid off big time. Troicki had the match of his life out there. He was definitely spurred on by the crowd here, because he had an absolute blinder. I have never, ever seen him play that well.
...and I can't remember the last time I saw Llodra play so poorly.
This one breaks my heart, because I am in love with Llodra's game. He epitomises French tennis - the flair, the style, the everything. But today he epitomised the bad side of that - the erraticness. And it was horrible to watch.
This is the kind of match that can break a man, and I will be so, so sad if it breaks Llodra. He is so much better than this. He has so much more ahead of him. Here's hoping he can just put Davis Cup behind him and rock 2011 like the French tennis god he is.
But for now, congratulations to Serbia. Talk about a fairy tale.
Roger: older and not quite out
6 months ago