Lleyton Hewitt reduced John “Mr.Ace” Isner to a Volandri whatsoever in the first Shanghai Masters 1000 big match: Rusty won 6-2 6-4.
Long John had immediately the epiphany of his fate when Hewitt grabbed an early break to 2-1 with a perfect backhand lob (yes, you’ve read well) surprising the 6’9” giant fighting with the range of his groundstrokes. A second break and an easy hold gave Rusty the first set. Things seemed easier and easier for the Australian, while Isner’s serve improved for three service game before failing again; three break points in the same game were too much for the American who saved two but surrendered to the inside-out forehand from Hewitt who wasted two match points on Isner’s serve at 5-3 but closing easily in the next game.
While Davydenko defeated Kunytsin (in the less intriguing match of the day, the one I could never watch, despite the great respect due to a champion like Davydenko) securing a third round clash against Mano de Pedra Gonzalez and Tommy Haas overpowered Benjamin Becker, the lights of the stage were devoted to “Psycho”, a tennis drama in two distinct acts. In the first Marin Cilic decided to completely waste the few hopes to be in the eight elected for the World Tour Finals and gave space to Mr Instability, Thomas Berdych, as I resumed in the previous post. Not satisfied, the Czech now awaits for the wild-card Marat Safin. Would bookmakers accepts bets on the total amount of broken racquets in the match?
“French gift” could be the title of the second act of the drama. Principal characters Gael Monfils and PHM, alias Paul Henry Mathieu. The 23-years-old confirmed once more that without injuries he could firmly stand in the top-10. But he has three zero in his ranking points (he withdrew from Wimbledon and the Masters 1000 in Rome and Madrid) and has to be pleased with his berth fourteenth best player in the world. Today Mathieu, in the “2002 Davis Cup final” version tried, and succedeed in making everything elementary for La Monf, who broke twice and clinched the first set with a comfortable 6-2 after an unreturnable serve. Same scheme in the second. Tame double fault by PHM to hand Monfils the break to 2-1. Mathieu is returned the player uncapable to beat even the center keeper’s son and surrendered 6-2 6-2 when Monfils displayed a decent sliced backhand drop shot over the net: Mathieu could have done something more anyway.
Stanislas "the Manislas" Wawrinka needed three hours and ten minutes to subdue Lukas Kubot, but seven games sufficed him to go though to the third round. Andy Roddick was forced to retire when he was leading 4-3. The Swiss started masking his tiredness with fierce groundstrokes targeting the American backhand. Andy served well, wasted two breakpoints in the seventh game, but pulled up after the forehand winner from the Swiss. He asked for the injury time, but even after the treatment he limped badly and shaked hands with Wawrinka, who now will face Radek Stepanek (75 64 to Andreas Beck)