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(Paris Masters 2008) Tsonga def. Nalbandian 6-3, 4-6, 6-4
Forget Djokovic; I hereby declare David Nalbandian my second-favourite player after (duh) Federer. He is amazing! His net play is mind-blowing and gasp-worthy, and his sudden change of pace is just so damn awesomely brilliant. He takes his time to hit his returns, and after two forehand groundstrokes, he suddenly does a drop shot while making it look like he's going for a forehand. Tsonga was completely wrong-footed by that play and he didn't have enough time to run to the net to return it. That was just brilliant.
He's brilliant!! And I'm so sad he lost! When Tsonga was serving for the championship, Nalby had three fucking break points but he lost them all! Oh my god I swear I thought I was going to cry. I was so stoked when he broke Tsonga to take the second set, but when he kicked off the third set and struggled to hold serve, I kind of lost all hope that he'd win. Then Tsonga had to go break him, and of course, Tsonga had to save all those break points when he was serving it out. BLOODY HELL TSONGA. WHY MUST YOU MAKE MY NALBY SAD?
OH MY GOD I'M SO SAD. I really wanted to see more of Nalbandian and was soooooo hoping he'd qualify for Shanghai, but no. I mean, yes, I do like Tsonga, but I like Nalby more! Apart from his flinging his racquet to the ground when he missed a very big point, I just totally love how calm and collected he is under pressure, much like Roger. Like in the second set when he was up 0-40 but Tsonga held in the end, he went on to play a love service game and I could just tell that he put himself back together and concentrated on the rest of the match. And his tennis, oh my god, he's probably one of the best volleyers I've seen that's not named Roger Federer. I swear, Nalby's net play was just mind-blowing. MIND. FUCKING. BLOWING. He defends at the net jealously and hits these amazing lobs that look like they're going to be out, but are actually in, and I'm like, Oh my god, how did he just do that?! And his backhand volleys were like - OH MY GOD.
I am soooo watching the Davis Cup final in December! Argentina's up against Spain and obviously I'd root for anyone to win over Spain (even though David Ferrer is so hot. Too bad Nadal's on the team), but now that I'm so in love with Nalbandian, I have an actual reason to root for Argentina! Del Potro's on the team too so it should be interesting. OH MY GOD! Nalbandian vs. Nadal! Shit I must go find out where they're playing the final; if it's in Spain it's definitely going to be on clay (duh) and Nalby's best surface is indoors hard court (which is probably why he loses early on in Grand Slams. VERY SAD! He's so good he should've won a Slam by now) so he might struggle a bit. But Spain hosted the USA semi-final tie so maybe they're not hosting the final. I must go check.
Anyway, so yeah, I'm really sad my new #2 lost. But yay, Davis Cup in December!
I must say though, shit the French crowd is damn fucking noisy and irritating. I get that Tsonga is French and you want to support your fellow Frenchman, but do you have to be so goddamn obnoxious about it? For crying out loud, this is tennis. It's not football, it's not basketball, and it's a freaking INDOORS tournament. The noises the crowd was making already sounded damn loud on my TV; imagine if you were actually there.
Tennis is not a rowdy sport. During Wimbledon matches it's so damn quiet you could probably hear a pin drop. Tennis originated in Britain, for crying out loud, and amongst the upper class to boot, and we all know how uppity the British are. This is why I love tennis: It's dignified, it's elegant, and when it's played by players like Federer, it becomes a form of art. All this simply doesn't gel with the rowdiness that was the French crowd (and the Spanish crowd too, when Spain played the Davis Cup semi-final with the US). The Swiss crowd in Basel obviously had their full support for Roger, but they sure as hell weren't obnoxious about it at all. The "let's go Roger let's go" chant stopped even before the player stepped up to serve, but the "Tsonga!" chant carried on even when the player's at the baseline, getting ready to serve. NO ONE TALKS WHEN A PLAYER IS SERVING. Hello, NO ONE MAKES NOISE WHEN A POINT IS BEING PLAYED.
I am amazed that Nalby fought such a tight game. In fact, I'm amazed that anyone survived the French crowd at all, especially when they were up against French players. It's just annoying to be subjected to this horrible background noise that makes me feel like I'm watching a football match when I'm watching tennis.
Also, I seriously have a thing against players that show way too much emotions. Great for Tsonga that he saved 3 break points, but he reacted as if he'd just won the service game with the yelling and the triumphant pointing-to-self then pointing-to-crowd. Hello, you still have to score two more consecutive points to hold serve, okay? I just find it really obnoxious that he was all in-your-face about it. Spare a thought for your opponent.
But then, to be fair, he just won his second title of the year and his first ATP Masters. He was playing to a home crowd that was fully behind him. And compared to Nalby and Roger, he's quite inexperienced. And I actually do like him so I can't fault him too much. It still irked me though, and not just because I supported Nalby. But it was pretty much on the same level as Murray's fuck-annoying muscle-flexing when he wins a big point. Murray's this scrawny-looking thing and he wants to flex his muscle? What the fuck, really. (I do enjoy watching Murray play though. But I must say he looks quite retarded when he's receiving a serve.)
Maybe I'm just too used to Roger's calmness and I can't take anything that deviates from that, especially not Nadal's crass multiple downward fist-pump victory routine. Roger reserves the barbaric yawp of triumph for when he actually wins, not during a match when the conclusion is far from being foregone. And now I have found David Nalbandian who shares Roger's calmness (though doesn't quite have it down pat the way Roger does - see the racquet throwing) and plays almost as brilliantly, too. I think if he'd played like this in Basel, Roger wouldn't have won so easily. Roger still would've won, but he'd be made to work for it.
ANYWAY, it's getting late and I need to sleep, so in conclusion, I love David Nalbandian! And the scary thing is, the more I look at him, the more I think he's actually quite hot. He has such pretty eyes and he looks delicious when he's receiving serve. Love!
As for Djokovic, I still like him, but Nalby is the better player. Oh well!
ETA: YESSSSS THE DAVIS CUP FINAL IS PLAYED ON INDOORS HARD COURT! HA HA HA!!! (Hard court isn't one of Nadal's best surfaces. To put it mildly.)