Nadal v. Murray: We have our match of the tournament! These guys are super foils for one another – Murray with his crafty shot making and petulant demeanor, Nadal with his killer instinct and relentless game. And when two players match up so well, the strategic elements of their games shine through. Either player could break the other at any time and both could hit any shot, any angle, or run down any ball at will. Murray would scramble forward for a dropper, spring up for a high backhand volley, race back to the baseline for a blind-hit cross court backhand, and maybe win the rally. Amazing. I really, really, hope Murray starts getting Djokovic-like results soon. Mopey Murray has won me over – thoroughly.
Nadal, Murray and Djokovic are rapidly forming the great trivalry of the future – this could be what gets me through Roger’s inevitable (but still distant!) decline. For the record, I haven’t chosen sides yet.
If I had to get really picky, I’d say that the match should have gone three sets and that there were too many unforced errors (38 for Murray, 29 for Nadal, and a negative winner/error differential for both.) My biggest complaint, however, is about the lines people. I think the highly-biased audience in the stands could’ve called the lines better. Even chair ump Carlos Bernardes made a lame overrule that nearly cost Andy a crucial game.
It’s not just this match either – the bad line calls have been a problem all friggin’ week! The guys are forced to stop play and challenge a call almost once every game. Most of the time they’re right. It’s really embarrassing, and I’m surprised the players haven’t thrown absolute fits about it. (Roger, the master of the subdued, disdainful nod to the umpire, finally got pissed enough to just shout out “Challenge!” towards the end of the Canas match.)
I’d blame Hawkeye for encouraging laziness, if I wasn’t so grateful to have it around to reverse the mistakes. There’s a chicken/egg quandry for you.
On a happier note, it was satisfying to see Roger put the smackdown on Canas, although the scoreline was more satisfying than actually watching the match itself. Kind of a snore, but as a Roger fanatic, I’m not complaining. As one commentator said: “Revenge is a dish best served cold.”
The rising Juan Monaco got booted today by the nearly-resurrected Gonzo. There goes my big prediction. Sorry to see you go, J-Mo, but I am confident you’re setting the stage for a triumphant ’08. Now buy a razor.
Poignant scene today as David Nalbandian tried to dry off his tummy on a changeover without anyone noticing how gosh-darn “jolly” he’s become. His eyes darted towards the camera nervously, as he reached under his shirt and gave the ol’ gut a pat with the Schweppes towel. Perhaps David is trying to slim down by playing doubles – I just noticed that he’s joined bad-ass Argie forces with Canas. The two of them are playing Bjorkman/Mirnyi, my fave dubs team, tomorrow. It should be an entertaining match if it makes it onto TC.