Sunday, November 15, 2009

Histrionics And Disappearing Acts

PARIS - NOVEMBER 15:  Novak Djokovic of Serbia lifts the winners trophy after winning the Final match against Gael Monfils of France during the ATP Masters Series at the Palais Omnisports De Paris-Bercy on November 15, 2009 in Paris, France.
Getty

I'm usually thoroughly entertained when watching a final between two players I don't like. For a set and a half today, such was the case. The ascendant player was opening the court with viciously angled forehands and striking winners from everywhere with an illusionist's disguise, a marksman's precision. The player fighting from behind was extending rallies with incredible retrieving and every once in a while stinging his opponent with his own power.

But then Novak Djokovic started the first of his recurring disappearing acts after leading 3-0 in the second set and Gael Monfils started his patented histrionics to get the crowd all revved up and in his opponent's face.

Disappearing acts aren't entertaining and histrionics isn't tennis. When will these two grating personalities figure that out?

When a final-set breaker ends on a double fault from the player who was beating his heart to prove he has one, and the eventual champion follows suit after victory and goes all cave man and shit, I wasn't sure any longer that a tennis match had just unfolded.

More like an experimental piece of performance art between two actors exploring the nuances of fear and false bravado.

Glad it's over.

Good for Djoke for pulling out another victory before a hostile crowd. For finally winning a Masters shield in 2009. For beating the world No.'s 1 & 2 in successive weeks. For closing out a long season as the best best-of-three player on the ATP.

9 comments:

Karen said...

Good for Djoke for pulling out "another victory before a hostile crowd. For finally winning a masters shield in 2009. For closing out a long season as the best best-of-three player on the ATP". LAMOROTF at this one. You would think he was Julien "Freaking" Benneteau the way he was thumping his chest. LOL

cms said...

Don't really see how winning one 1000 tournament means he's the best of best-of-three on tour. Davy won one as well. Personally, I think Murray still holds that title for 2009.

Craig Hickman said...

cms, you are probably right. End of season hyperbole. Forgive me.

oddman said...

Congrats to Nole - coming on strong in the end of the season. He's a strong contender for the WTF - and typing that always makes me laff.

WTF... WTF.... guffaw!

Graf_sampras said...

heeeeheeee...FUNNY , FUNNY lines by Craighickman!!!

lynney62 said...

That trophy looks like a spider....kinda U-gly!

Pamela said...

That match and almost every one that came before it is the reason I am not a Monfils fan. He's highly entertaining and incredibly athletic but his play is befuddling most of the time.

He has some serious power, but he can't bring himself to stop the defense and sliding on hard courts. His match with Cilic was nothing but a highlight reel of improbably and incredible shots, but he made it harder for himself than it needed to be.

I'm kind of warming up to Djokovic but all that screaming in the camera is a turn off. I like the swagger, I just can't stand when it crosses over to that. Congrats to him for the win.

Hopefully he flames out in the early rounds at the O2. :) I'm sure the pundits have written Rafa, Roger and Murray off for next year as they usually do. Short memories and all that.

vw said...

I'm sure the pundits have written Rafa, Roger and Murray off for next year
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They never write off Murray. He's usually the favorite to win AO, WIM, and USO.

TopSpin said...

"Disappearing acts aren't entertaining and histrionics isn't tennis."

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Sheer Gold.

Agree with Pamela on Monfils. Incredible athlete, but I'm not certain he always knows what he's doing out there. 23 isn't old but he's been on tour for a while, not to mention that illustrous junior career - I was kinda hoping Rasheed would knock some sense into him...