Giving tennis more than a shot

ATP World Tour Finals – The Forehand Gone Away

This is what I remember the most of the second and last singles match of the day, in which World no 1 Novak Djokovic recovered from a slow start and ended up defeating no 7 Tomas Berdych 3-6 6-3 7-6(3) in almost three hours of very, very intense tennis. The match really got me riveted to my seat until the end, and that shows the quality and equality of the match, which really was played… on a forehand gone away.

 

The forehand I’m referring to is that of Tomas Berdych, which was great during the whole match, but then decided to go on vacation at match point in the third set, and came back shortly before the Serbian had match points of his own in the tiebreak and not without Djokovic taking good advantage of the situation, attacking the gone forehand whenever possible with great results. It is even more of a pity that however gritty and gutsy Djokovic was during the match, Berdych had a genuine chance of taking this first round robin encounter, especially when he got up a break in the deciding set.

 

Nevertheless, we have to give him credit for nearly owning up to his words of the weekend, when he mentioned that when on a great day, he can beat the best. He nearly did but again, was a little too frail mentally in the most important moments of the match. And it brought him yet another gut-wrenching loss.

 

(Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images)

But as much as we can feel for Berdych, we have to admire the grit of Nole the Ist, who really hung in there and fought his way back, something we might not have had the chance to see from him just a little over a year ago. Just like Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal did yesterday, he was lucky to scrape the win, and won ugly. Moreover, he had the humility of admitting that he was, indeed, lucky, noting at the same time the misfortune of his opponent.

 

After the first round robin encounters, only one player won in straight sets: David Ferrer, who not only fully deserves the first place of Group A, but also earned himself a second round robin match encounter with the Djoker-become-king himself. And something tells me we’ll be in for another gruelling match, as again two amazing defences will face.

 

Technically, Tomas Berdych will face Andy Murray, but nothing is certain, as the Scot suffers from a pulled groin and will decide only tomorrow if he continues or not in the tournament. If he doesn’t, Janko Tipsarevic will face the Czech.

 

Sometimes it’s just too good

That’s the only thing to be said about Bob Bryan’s amazing shot during the Bryans first round robin match. They also came back from behind, even saved a match point, but ended up fighting valiantly to defeat Jürgen Melzer and Philipp Petzschner 6-7(4) 7-5 10-7.

 

Here’s the incredible Bob Bryan tweener lob. Considering where it landed, it would’ve been a winner even in singles. A shot worthy of the chest bump that followed!

 

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Pretty unbelievable, eh?

 

The Bryans take the second place in Group A and will, Wednesday, face Robert Lindstedt and Horia Tecau, who had the better of the Indian Express in straight sets. Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes, thus, will face Melzer and Petzschner.

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