Sunday, March 6, 2011

A F%^& YEAH Weekend

There are so many people I want to say F%^& YEAH about today, but first, I have to blow your mind with the last installment of my Cherbourg coverage. It was not good times today - my main man Mahut lost both in the singles final and in the doubles final. But let's take a moment and go, hey, actually, the fact that you were in both of these finals is pretty damn shiny! Then let's holler F^&* YEAH.

My loudest, unconditional and most heartfelt F^&* YEAH, however, has to go out to Jelena Dokic. Lady, you rocked my freaking socks today. How many players are there who can go for eight years without a title and still have the heart to come back? Dokic is a player who has had an awful lot of bad luck in her career - more, I think, than just about anyone else. But one thing she does not lack, especially in this post-Damir world, is heart. And she demonstrated this not just in winning the Kuala Lumpur final, but the way she won it - she was literally a few points from defeat in the second set breaker. She could have gone down tamely in straights, and everyone would have been like, oh well, well done Lucie, what a great week for Jelena.

But no. Jelena Dokic is not having any of that nonsense. She clawed her way out of that breaker and then she pounced. She was a total third set tiger and that got her the trophy. And I don't think it's controversial to say that Jelena has one of the best smiles in tennis. F^&* YEAH JELENA DOKIC!

And then there is Davis Cup.

The Indian boys weren't able to keep the momentum going - they went down 4-1 to Serbia in the end - but I think they deserve a F^&* YEAH anyway, because they have played awesomely this weekend. So too does Jeremy Chardy, who went from not winning a single ATP match all year to being France's Davis Cup hero. I'm not normally a massive Chardy fan, but that kind of heroism (especially from someone stuck so deep in such a big rut) deserves a F^&* YEAH.

But the biggest Davis Cup F^&* YEAH goes to Kazakhstan in general and Andrey Golubev in particular.

I haven't talked much about Andrey this year - largely because his results haven't been that great. (But don't worry, I haven't dumped him for Mahut. I can love them both.) But this match was a powerful reminder of why I love him so much. If he plays well, he is capable not just of beating anyone, but of freaking demolishing them. Doesn't matter where, doesn't matter when, doesn't matter who. If Andrey Golubev has his eye in, he will make you hurt.

Just ask Tomas Berdych.

The Czech crowd were totally stunned. Who was this surprise ranga beating their main man? Berdych was their guaranteed pointmaker for the weekend! He was supposed to win both his singles matches in a snap of his fingers, and just hope that one of the others could pick up another point somewhere. It was supposed to be easy.

But Andrey Golubev was not on board with this idea at all. And four sets later, Tomas Berdych limped off the court, pulverised and broken. And then Mikhail Kukushkin went out there and made history against Jan Hajek.

This was Kazakhstan's first ever appearance in the World Group. If they can continue turning in these kinds of performances, they are going to be a force to be reckoned with. And I, for one, think that deserves a F%^& YEAH.

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