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.