Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Wiggling Bepa and the “Man to Beat”



I didn’t follow any of Dubai this year only finding time to tune into the final.


As such, I don’t have too many opinions. But I do think it bears mentioning that although this is now 3 consecutive titles for Nole in DooBye, this is the first and only of those three in which he’s either displayed the form or met with the opposition consistent with that success.


What’s perhaps more surprising is that it was Fed who’d been the better player all week – Nole termed his win over Berd “his worst performance of the year” – yet it was Nole who was able (in the first set at least) to bring the type of tennis that’s won him Slams (plural).


Does this form, this incredible streak he’s on, make him the best player in the world right now?


Probably. I really don’t see the controversy in stating that.

The fact that he’s the ‘man to beat’ right now must surely be incontrovertible and isn’t (despite troublemakers’ best efforts to stir things up) a slight on anyone. On the other hand, it also says next to nothing about his chances at any of the upcoming Slams or, for that matter, at IW/Miami. Nothing, that is, other than that he must be held up as one of the four or five players with the best shot at winning it.


Quite possibly the best wiggling-Bepa pic ever.

Yes the wind was a factor (though I think it’s very telling how Caro-supporters gloss over how Bepa was successfully contending with exactly the same conditions) and I’d be lying if I said Caro was at her best (main difference centres on whether she was done physically after two contiguous weeks or simply due a dud) – yet I still think all of that pales in comparison to how very far Bepa has come.

Can you honestly see her playing some of the matches she played this week even twelve months ago (let alone prior to that)?

If you want my honest opinion it was Hantuchova that delivered the performance of the week – I’m still not completely certain why she lost that match.

But doesn’t that also precisely and exactly capture why it’s Bepa and not Dani holding up the trophy at the end of the week?

Some of Bepa’s surprisingly low-key, economic play (often under the type of pressure would have resulted in her inexorable collapse not 16 months ago) was so un-Bepa like, I almost mistook it for someone else.

Just as un-Bepa-like, is the fact that she was able to continue in that vein for the entire week.



Who are you and how did I get here?


Yes Delpo won his first title since his comeback and yes that is a flux capacitor from late 2009.

Also, incidentally, his third consecutive semi final and a rise of 77 places to #89 in the rankings.

Spare a thought, if you can tear yourself away from the Delpo welcome-home party, for Tipsy, who is now 0-3 in ATP finals and the only “titleless” member of the top 100 Serbian stable.

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