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Old Nov 26th, 2010, 08:50 PM   #271
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Re: Rozzie's Tennis Blogs - Wimbledon, USO, ATP Finals, RG...

ATP Masters 1000, Paris: Monfils v Verdasco (Pt 1)

What Bercy does SOOOOO much better than the O2 is the intro for the players.
The lights go down and this was described by New Balls Please as a funked up Bond-like theme – and it so is.... there is a laser trace show going on around the court lines and it lasts a fair old while before it finally gets to a count down and they bring the players out... they actually have to do the whole shaky-handy thing in the dark, all silhouetted and the atmosphere is pretty amazing.



The French crowd went doolally over Gael – obvs! Drummers in the crowd – meanwhile I was having total camera exposure woes as it’s not good form to have flashes going off indoors.






I finally settled on a sports exposure that includes the rapid fire and of course no flash!
Bit of a error strewn start from both players to start off with but Monfils was the one to settle down with the first break. And at that point we decided to break for lunch!
We decided to have lunch at the lower levels of Bercy which was quite nice and we left at quite a good time – could get a table and just stretch out a bit ‘cos the seats aren’t that comfy in the stadium.
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Old Nov 26th, 2010, 08:56 PM   #272
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Re: Rozzie's Tennis Blogs - Wimbledon, USO, ATP Finals, RG...

ATP Masters 1000, Paris - Day 4: Melzer v Ferrer (Interlude!)

Court 2 is so compact and the seating is so close – not unlink the outside courts at Wimbledon. Except indoors. And in France.

We also had a bit of drama in the TB and some Ferrer angst and muttering as it looked like david wasn’t ready when Melzer was serving at 5-5 – and Ferrer got the point finally. However – Melzer took the TB in the end.



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Old Nov 26th, 2010, 08:59 PM   #273
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Re: Rozzie's Tennis Blogs - Wimbledon, USO, ATP Finals, RG...

ATP Masters 1000, Paris - Day 4: Monfils v Verdasco – Part 2

Meanwhile back on Centre – despite his jitters in the first set – Nando had taken it on a TB (that might have explained why we saw so many Spaniards streaming out for lunch shortly after we were seated at the restaurant)



Monfils took the 2nd set – again on a TB and we rejoined the action at the start of the 3rd set.
Gael pulled off a great hold to level the score at 5-5 and the aptly named Balle de Break gave Monfils a 6-5 edge. Nando just seemed to cave at this point as Gael served it out to take the match
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Old Nov 26th, 2010, 09:04 PM   #274
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Re: Rozzie's Tennis Blogs - Wimbledon, USO, ATP Finals, RG...

ATP Masters 1000, Paris – Day 4: Llodra/Djokovic

A lot of people left at that point so despite the thumping bond theme and Nole coming out with a pair of comedy glasses, and a bow tie, the atmosphere was a bit flat at the start of this match – although they showed Guy Forget and Amelie Mauresmo sitting in the VIP bit and the crowd roard their approval with Guy pointing at Amelie.
First set was evenly matched and the tiebreak was pretty tight – some wasted chances opened the door for Llodra to come back at Nole and to take the first set.



Between the tubthumping drums and the Huge French flags flying about the place, it was all getting a bit Les Mis as Mika had his break points and Nole handed a break to Llodra with a DF.



Novak was totally off the boil and the match was slipping away from him fast at 1-3. Things weren’t all plain sailing for Llodra either – some sticky holds but he kept his lead. Nole unravelled a bit and UEs galre gave Mika a 5-2 lead and he duly served for the match... the Frenchies were having a ball!

We decided to abandon Berdy and Donkey (!) for food and a bit of fresh air but wanted to be back in time for Murray/Cillic.
At Bercy you get scanned for the day and night sessions if you have tickets for both, and get a bracelet so that (theoretically) you can waltz back in. Ummm no. Perhaps RUGBY SCRUM back in – yes...
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Old Nov 26th, 2010, 09:08 PM   #275
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Re: Rozzie's Tennis Blogs - Wimbledon, USO, ATP Finals, RG...

ATP Masters 1000, Paris – Day 4: Federer/Stepanek

I’ve seen Fed loads, and snapped loads of pics for my good friend Tashi. But I’ve just taken a trawl through my blogs of the past – and I’ve never seen Stepanek play. And given his reputation of being a bit of a joker and getting under the skin of players – I was interested to see how this panned out.





Steps has good movement around the court and it was an even match at the start with some comedy moments but for all those flashes of talent – you get the feeling that that Stepanek just can’t keep up that level of intensity – Federer steps up his game a notch and nabs the first set with a single break.
Up an notch again and Radek was down an early break at the start of the 2nd set and really by then it was a bit of a formality.
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Old Nov 26th, 2010, 09:14 PM   #276
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Re: Rozzie's Tennis Blogs - Wimbledon, USO, ATP Finals, RG...

ATP Masters 1000, Paris - Day 4: Murray v Cilic



Andy didn’t get off to a great start with the EXTREMELY lanky Cilic getting an early break.
Andy also earned himself a warning for the ump for ball abuse when he thwacked a ball up court in annoyance which whistled past the ear of some hapless ball kid. Boos from the crowd too 

Andy’s body language was a bit negative and and he was just not seeming to find his range. However we were a bit unprepared for the level of Cilic Chokage to follow as he missed a chance to take the first set – putting it back on serve.
Meanwhile the music at the change of ends sounds like the DJ let monkeys into the booth!

There are some flashes of Murray brilliance – Amazing X-court forehand on the run and some incredible defensive shots, but again it just seemed like they were not stringing together!



We actually drew the conclusion that if Andy comes out a little schlumpy, then you know you’re in for a rough ride!

Cilic stormed ahead in the TB to lead 4-0 with Andy looking very hot and bothered, but yet again Cilic choked away his lead allowing andy back in on serve. Mind you by this time is was getting quite late and we were considering how to get back the 4 stops to where we were and not wanting to trust to late night Metro schedules we were just praying for one of them... ANY of them to take the first set!
Eventually it went to Andy and we left.

Worth a word about the wonders of the Driverless Metro... you can sit up right at the front of the train (which of course we did!) and the tunnels are CAVERNOUS – nothing like the claustroophic London Underground tunnels in some areas. But what is superfreaky is that up in the distance you see the opposite train coming towards you... (also driverless!) – surreal but smart at the same time!
And that was the end of our first day there!
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Old Nov 26th, 2010, 09:23 PM   #277
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ATP Masters 1000, Paris – Day 5: Roddick/Soderling

OK – so it was a later start on the Friday so we had a leisurely stroll around the area and we treated ourself to lunch at The Scribe – very nice..... sadly the weather was a bit bleary but it was worth a jaunt to the panoramic terrace for a few touristy snaps!









We got there for the 2nd half of the first set – which wasn’t too bad and so far it had been going with serve. An uncharacteristic DF from Roddick and a wasteful shot opened the court up for Soderling and gave him the break at 6-5. Roddick’s racquet went airborne at that point.





Some great rallies in the final game of the first set – first to Roddick, next to Soderling, and Robin took the set for the 2nd time of asking!

An immediate break at the start of the 2nd set for Soderling and consolidated, despite some wobbles on that lovely languid serve of his.
I found this set slightly soporific – but I suspect that was more to do with the big expensive lunch and wine!
It was a straight sets victory for Soderling
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Old Nov 26th, 2010, 09:29 PM   #278
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ATP Masters 1000, Paris – Day 5: Llodra/Davydenko

With the prospect of Gael Monfils last up, the crowd were gearing up and again the intro is just amazing for the players.
However – an early break for Kolya and a consolidation saw him take the lead 4-2. The crowd became a bit muted at this point – even with the drummer! Mika was just having a bad day at the office! And just as suddenly it turned – Mika broke back and though he chucked in a DF at Deuce/5-5. The crowd were really getting behind him and he responded by picking up his game and some beautiful work at the net and he took the first set after a shaky start.





Llodra started strongly in the 2nd set – breaking Kolya in the 2nd game and holding. Davydenko was broken again and despite some stunning rallies, Davydenko was unravelling fast – Llodra won convincingly in straight sets – and also wowed the crowd with a cute hitting session with his little boy! Awwwww!
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Old Nov 26th, 2010, 09:33 PM   #279
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ATP Masters 1000, Paris – Day 5: Federer v Melzer

We wandered out again for a break and got back to see Federer leading Melzer 4-0 – Melzer finally scraped onto the board for a breadstick... or should that be a baguette?



Melzer started better in the 2nd and stayed with Federer – holding off break points and helped a bit by Fed going walkabaout a bit with UEs all over the place, and heading towards a TB.



Federer had a shaky start – losing a minibreak advantage and came through to take the match in straight sets, with Melzer killing his racquet in disgust!
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Old Nov 26th, 2010, 09:45 PM   #280
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ATP Masters 1000, Paris – Day 5: Monfils v Murray

More bond theme and the atmosphere was amazing... even more so when the first blood went le Monf with an early break. Murray was able to keep to a single break and wakes up a bit. But not much! Gael started to over-reach a bit with UEs spraying around the place. Muzz had chances to break back but Monfils managed to stay a break ahead. Things got worse when Monfils got himself a double break and a love game gave Gael the first set!



A look at the stats and Andy’s first serve percentage had been woeful and he would have to improve.
He certainly had a comfortable love game to stay ahead on serve, and his persistence and Mobfil’s UEs gave Andy the break 4-2. Oh and for an added bonus we had MoLay as the ump – and he just rocks wherever he roams! Had the crowd in stitches as he raised his hand to stop a challenge – all godlike!



Break points on Andy’s serve and a lot of muttering going on but he finally held to consolidate the break. Andy broke Monfils for the set – but it felt pretty lacklustre; more like hit and hope.



The crowd came to life to give Gael a lift and he finally broke Andy in the fifth game. A very costly DF for Andy (already down 2-4) pretty much gave Monfils virtual match point and to be in a French crowd for two French wins was pretty amazing.







And thus ended Rozzie en France for the 2nd time this year... next stop... London!
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Old Nov 26th, 2010, 10:02 PM   #281
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ATP World Tour Finals 2010 Day 1: Bryans Squared v Petzschner/Melzer

One week off and back to the courts!



Last time I went to the WTFs (hee!) we booked our tix mega early and ended up in the Nosebleeds (with Nole’s elderly fanboy in front of us!! WOOHOO!) ... I got this ticket a bit later when they released new tickets and was meeting other friends there. We got waylaid by the Barclays offer of a free Winter Pimms. Several times, over the two days we were there!
OK – where was I... oh yeah – tennis and stuff.
First up was the Bryans Squared v Petzschner/Melzer





This was a nice match up – the teams were even stevens – maybe Mike Bryan’s serve had been a bit shakier of the two but the first chink in the armour came on Petzschner’s serve with the first break, and the Bryans consolidating the break. Melzer was able to keep the deficit to a single break but the first set went to the Bryans.



Petzscher was a bit more confortable at the start of the 2nd set and they seemed to settle a bit – but again the break happened on Petzschner’s serve in the 11th game leaving the Bryans’ to serve it out for the win.



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Old Nov 26th, 2010, 10:11 PM   #282
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ATP World Tour Finals 2010 Day 1: Murray/Soderling





Soderling started really slow and an early break for Andy who was looking very sharp. He was moving well, where Soderling just seemed sluggish, although it came out later that he was suffering a stomach upset.



Great change up from andy to get another break and a superb angled drop shot, on 1 knee to take the first set...





Robin was still moving sluggishly – his timing totally off and a Df gave Andy a break to lead 4-3. Andy finished the set in commanding form and a good start for the WTF campaign.





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Old Nov 26th, 2010, 10:16 PM   #283
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ATP World Tour Finals 2010 Day 1: Farewell to Carlos Moya

Whilst I would have given my right arm to have been there for the WTA Tour farewell to Elema Dementieva – we were there to witness a farewell instead a farewell to Carlos Moya – as it typical for these things they brought out players past and present (well ok – the players at the WTFs and some oldies!)... but Rafa was the designated speaker and the crowd were very appreciative of the highlights of Moya’s career.



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Old Nov 26th, 2010, 10:22 PM   #284
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ATP World Tour Finals 2010 Day 2: Bhupathi/Mirnyi v Kubot/Marach

Winter Pimms and the requirement for a hot dog meant getting in just after the start of the match and we’d missed an early break. Bhupathi had a tight hold to stay within reach and they managed to break back on Marach’s serve.



Having watched Max since the Jamie days – he was impressive at the net with an amazing reflex volley and bit by bit they got more into the game.



Into a TB and Bhupathi/Mirnyi just got stronger as the TB went on and took the first set.



The trainer was on briefly for Kubot and the momentum stayed with Bhupathi/Mirnyi and after what had seemed to be a shaky start for them when we first came in, they commanded the match and came away with a strong win.

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Old Nov 26th, 2010, 10:32 PM   #285
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ATP World Tour Finals 2010 Day 2: Berdych v Djokovic



Berdych started off with a resounding... DF! An error strewn game and Nole breaks. Mind you – Novak had a string of errors in his game but he managed to hold. More DF misery for Berdy and a long struggle just to manage to hold. This was gonna be a loooong match if they were going to this every game!





Berdych seemed to steady the ship a little bit and kept Nole pegged back to a single break but alas more errors cost him the first set 6-3.



Like Soderling – he looked a little tired, little off his timing...
Things didn’t get better for Berdych – broken in the 2nd game of the 2nd set – This was going to be a long way back for Tomas if he didn’t get his act together smartly.



He got himself on the scoreboard finally but a very lucky net cord sealed the game for Nole at 5-2. Berdy managed to at least serve to stay in the match – but Nole served it out without any problem for a comfortable first round!





And THAT was the end of my 2010 tennis season – a season which saw me free the blogs from their spiritual home on Tennis Forum as part of JJ’s Sub-forum, and released to fly on their ownsome! Saw a few articles published courtesy of Ashley Fisher at www.tennis-update.com and the start of hopefully a few more regular outings from the ramblings of a humble tennis fan

Thanks y’all for reading – See ya in 2011!
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