Djokovic is now truly bold, beautiful and bald. He capped a marvellous 2010 by leading Serbia to its first ever Davis Cup championship in front of a raucous, baying and partisan home crowd in Belgrade.
The Davis Cup always manages to evoke strong emotions; incredible comebacks are the need of the hour and happen more often than not.
This year’s final was no stranger to drama either. The score was even-stevens after the first day’s play. The top seeds on either side, Djokovic and Monfils justified their ranking and clinched wins over their less acclaimed opponents,Simon (6-3 6-1 7-5) and Tipsarevic (6-1 7-6(4),6-0) respectively.
It will be Robin Soderling versus Gael Monfils this Sunday at the Paris Masters but not before both protagonists overcame hiccups en route to the final.
The first semi featured Michael Llodra—on a hot streak—against Swede Soderling.
The initial set went with serve 6-6. And it was Llodra—playing with the foot pressed to the accelerator—who romped home 7-0 in the tie-break.
That served as a wake-up call to Soderling who started to find his feet in the second, hitting his returns nice and deep. But it was all bazookas and Llodra’s brilliance until 5-5.
Soderling broke Llodra to go up 6-5 and then served out the set to make it 1-1.
Scintillating tennis continued with Llodra negating an early break to come roaring back into the match in the third set.
Image via Wikipedia
How does it feel to ride the tail of a tiger?
The 10th seed must have felt secure leading 4-3 in the first set, serving for the 8th game.
But Llodra broke back and the scores were soon level at 5-5.
Never discount home advantage. Never discount serve and volley either especially on a super fast hard court.
This is Llodra’s second major upset in recent times. He knocked out Tomas Berdych at the 2010 US Open. This also gives the French a psychological advantage going into the Davis Cup final to be played at Belgrade from December 3 – 5, 2010.