Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Portugal (at heart)
Re: Estonia's Finest (yes better than Kanepi): Jurgen Zopp
Went to qualies and saw the match today, it was high quality stuff. Here's the summary that is in GM:
Jurgen Zopp Vs Uladzimir Ignatik
Was looking forward to witnessing this encounter from the moment I laid my eyes upon the draw. It had tremendous potential with the Belorussian Ignatik possessing all of the shots combined with being a headcase, and the Estonian Zopp who fights for every point and never gives up. Also some cracking surnames from both here as well. And the match certainly lived up to my lofty expectations. Ignatik was on fire for a set and a half, combining lethal serving with miraculous shotmaking. There was nothing Zopp could do, Ignatik simply refused to make an unforced error and was serving out of a tree. Didn't help that the Estonian was having a poor serving day at this point in time. Ignatik takes the opener 6-2 and opens up a 4-2 lead in the second before the light drizzle that had been falling since the commencement of the match turned into something heavier. Play was suspended for about an hour and it was exactly what Zopp needed to clear his head and devise a game plan to combat Ignatik's baseline domination.
The break didn't seem to bother Ignatik however, with the Belorussian easily holding serve again to go ahead 5-2. Zopp held easily and it was time for Ignatik to serve out the match. Up to this point Ignatik had barely made an unforced error but when you're serving for the match that all changes, even for the better players. He threw in a double fault and dumped a backhand into the net before he found his game again to hit some more winners to go up 40-30 and match point. Zopp saved the first match point after a long extended rally before hitting a courageous off forehand where Ignatik could barely get his racquet onto the ball. Back to deuce and Ignatik serves another bomb. 2nd match point. Another long rally before Ignatik hits a backhand long. Two more draining rallies and Zopp wins both of them to break back and get back on serve. Ignatik is pissed but there is more to come. Zopp holds again, but not without a fight with the game going to several deuces and the Estonian saving a third match point. He holds and then breaks Ignatik for the second consecutive time. He proceeds to serve out the set to 15. Ignatik is going nuts at this point, smashing his racquet on the chair and throwing his towel out of the court. Swearing to himself he buries his head in his towel then decides to take a comfort break just as they wer about to go back on. This is the thing with Ignatik, he has all the shots and was an excellent junior but he is a massive headcase and mentally he is not up to the week in week out grinds of the main tour.
He finally returns to the court and is looking calm and relaxed. Ignatik is back to making no errors and serving bombs. He puts more pressure on Zopp's service games and eventually breaks and holds his own serve until 5-3 again and once more he's serving for the match. And once more his game breaks down combined with Zopp fighting hard and not missing on the important points. Zopp saves another match point with some lucky netcords and shanks during a 30 shot rally. It goes to deuce again and Ignatik has another chance but Zopp refuses to miss and Ignatik makes the error. Zopp proceeds to break and Ignatik completely loses it. He throws his racquet at the fence and gives us the finger. I had planted myself down with about 10 rowdy Estonians and we were cheering loudly for Zopp to make it through. At the change of ends Ignatik is clearly getting coached, they were not even bothering to hide it and he receives a warning. Ignatik then got angry over the limited powerade flavours that were available. Deadset, the guys a complete nutter. But he somehow got himself composed to go ahead 30-40 on Zopp's serve to bring up his 5th match point. This was the best rally of the match. The pair trade heavy blows from the baseline before Zopp hits a forehand down the line and approaches the net. Ignatik hit the pass back down the line and the ball clips the tape and rapidly travels above Zopp's head. The Estonian shows quick reflexes to get the volley back deep into the court and Ignatik attempts a lob and Zopp successfully puts away the overhead. Ignatik loses it again, shouts at us and then his coach and then punches the back wall. Zopp holds and it is 5-5. The pair then both settle down and hold until 7-7 before Ignatik starts getting tired and calls for a medical timeout. There was nothing wrong with him, he was just physically and mentally spent. Zopp breaks and wins the match to 15 on his serve.
He showed tremendous fight and courage throughout and simply refused to miss when he was down match points on 5 occasions. The Estonians were happy as was I and Ignatik left the court swearing under his breath. Very entertaining and high quality stuff, probably the best match I've seen so far this week.
Life is an orange and you're just a little pip.
Ol' Rusty Hewitt - Keeping me moist since 1998.