Monday, January 10, 2011

The Woes Of Being Feli

WILDCARD FOR MAHUT WILDCARD FOR MAHUT WILDCARD FOR MAHUT #wildcardformahut. Yep, that's still happening. Wildcards are due to be announced Tuesday, so get aboard the bandwagon for one last push!

The bandwagon was largely pushed by other people yesterday, as I was incommunicado while taking my younger brother to the Medibank International. It was his first time at an international tennis tournament - though he is, like his sister, a big fan (and unlike his sister, an excellent player) - and the tournament did not disappoint. We were lucky enough to be treated to the entire three hours and twenty minutes of the epic clash between Juan Martin del Potro and Feliciano Lopez.

I really, really feel for Feli Lopez. You come into a tournament, you're seeded, you hope to start off easy, with a qualifier maybe, and hey - you get drawn against a guy ranked #259! Awesome! But oh... hey. You look at his name. Juan Martin del Potro.


And then you play really well! I'm serious, you play REALLY well. The crowd's not especially behind you or anything - there's not many of them anyway, and most of them are supporting your opponent - so this one is all you. Your opponent is directing a few wide into the tramlines - he doesn't seem to have his timing quite right yet - and you are pouncing. You are playing awesome stuff.

But he is a world class player, even if he is a bit down on his luck, and he's sticking with you. All right, you think, I'll just hang on and do it in the tie break. And you do it! You take that first set breaker and then - guess what? You keep playing awesome! But he keeps sticking with you, so you're like, fine, another breaker, I've done this before.

And you bring up match point! ...and he saves it. And you two play an absolutely electrifying tie break. And he gets it.

And then you get to the breaker AGAIN. No one can pick a winner. But he gets you. After a long, LONG time, he gets you. He gets the glory. And what do you get? Upset in the first round. A seeded player, beaten by #259 in the world.

It must suck to be Feli right now.

But seriously, this was an awesome match. You will be hard pressed to watch a better tie break than the one that was played in the second set. It was a small crowd on Ken Rosewall Arena, but I think everyone was pretty fully engaged in that match. It was exciting stuff!

My brother and I also caught the twenty seconds it took for Li Na to beat Anastasia Rodionova (seriously, that was... quick), Stosur/Wickmayer, and some of Ebden and Luczak playing doubles, and all in all, it was a fantastic day - and I was very glad there was no movement on the #wildcardformahut front while I was away! But seriously, it was worth it just for that second set tie break between Lopez and del Potro. That was some tennis right there.

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