Well, Nalbandian beat Federer again. This time, in straight sets and this time the commentators on TV gave him the love he deserved. One thing I like that one guy said more than once, is that Nalbandian kept Federer "off balance". I felt one could literally see this, that is was visible, how off balance Federer was. A lot of the "unforced" errors that Federer made actually seemed forced to me. And only in South America have I seen statistics for forced errors: the clay court events in Argentina, Chile and Mexico keep stats on "forced" errors. It's tricky to call an error forced or not, but I think that Nalbandian really pushed Federer around and made him reach for shots he wasn't ready to hit.
After that match, who could watch Youhzny vs. Haas? Sorry folks, I could not.
Right this very second, I am watching Nalbandian play against The Turtle (not the Ferret! No! see post called Tennis as Lullaby Plus Ferrets), David Ferrer. Nalby -- as he is affectionately known in this house -- won the first set, barely. Now, I love Nalby. But I think after beating Federer, he is going to have some kind of a "let down". Then, turning on the TV, I find out that Ferrer's record against Nalby is 6 to 2. So, Ferrer normally beats him. Hmm. I saw these two play and wrote briefly about it for http://www.cookiemag.com/ (link to the actual article will be up soon) and it was a tight three setter. I stil feel a pang of guilt for not letting my youngest son use the bathroom because we had snuck up to the first row for the match and I didn't want to lose my seat. Hey, he didn't pee himself or anything. Sometimes, when you are on a car ride with your kids, they gotta wait a bit, no? I want you all to know that if he'd seemed in any way in any physical discomfort, I would have given up my stolen first row seats and taken my boy to the bathroom. Or I would have let him pee in an empty water bottle right there- just kidding! Also, Nalbandian won that match against Ferrer.
Now, after Nalby won the first set this evening, I thought, well, now he's going to lose the next two. You see, Nalby likes coming from behind. He loves to lose the first set. Indeed, he famously lost the first two sets against Federer at the year end champions two years ago and then went on to win the next three sets and beat R-Fed. But when he wins the first- danger. Of course, there are many exceptions to this rule! For instance, people, last night against Federer! Also, one of my favorite wins, was Nalbandian in straights (three of them, it was Davis Cup) over in Hewitt- on GRASS-- in Australia!
But here tonight, Nalby just lost the second set and they are playing the third set now and perhaps my not so generous generalization about Nalby will prove true. Truthfully, I like Ferrer a lot. OK, he doesn't hold the same place in my heart that Nalbandian does, but I'm happy he's had such a good year. He's in the year end chamionships! I think he's number 5 n the world! Damn! Go Ferrer! But if I was hooked up to a lie detector, strapped down on a table, and someone could reach deep into the dark folds of my very innermost, sensitive, er, soul, I think I would want Nalbandian to win. I'll let you know what happens.
People! Wow! He did it! I didn't think he could and I'm ashamed I wasn't more confident in my man. But I will say this- 18 aces and 0 double faults. For a man who is known as a grinder, as the best returner out there, he has really done something with his serve. Also, as my tennis teacher Chris mentioned, and I was unaware, Nalbandian has a new coach and perhaps this is helping him reach him potential!
Now comes Nadal and Youhzny. Then comes Gasquet and Murray. (I'm pulling for the Frenchie, Gasquet.) Back to the hard work of watching tennis!