This is the inside story of the Gaudio-Massú match, as told by someone who was present. These two characters put the fun back into the ultra-professional tennis world! Here´s the translation:
“IT´S THE STORY OF MY LIFE”
At this stage in Gastón Gaudio´s career when he´s making an effort to return, that he should have decided to fight out a match against Massú and that he beat him 2-6 6-3 6-4 in 2:14 is great news indeed.
Even though currently Massú is not at his best, he´s always there, running and forcing his opponent to play his best. Besides, he´s just won his two very long points to keep Chile in the World Group of the Davis Cup.
During this second round match of the Uruguayan Petrobras Cup the players talked a lot, with their rival, with themselves, with the umpire Adao Chagas, and with the public.
Some members of the public persisted in moving around, leaving the court or returning while a game was in progress. And a couple of kids enjoyed laughing really loud at each error of the players just to aggravate them.
- “Che, ask them if they´re through, if they´ve finished sitting down and we can start to play again!”-
a fed-up Gaudio said to Massú while he was waiting to receive.
- “I would tell them, but if I do I´ll get booed and I´ll look like the bad guy”
– Massú replied in a very loud voice.
But the best phrase was Gaudio´s, after one of Massú´s shots balanced on top of the net and dropped on Gaudio´s side:
- “No, it´s alright, don´t apologize. This happens to me all the time. It´s the story of my life...”
Massú made signs to him to hold his serve because he couldn´t stop laughing.
The next one they talked to was Chagas (the same umpire who Gaudio once asked if he´d got up on the wrong side of the bed
), and there was an unusual moment: Gaudio decided to cross over to the other side of the net, à la Hingis, to check the mark made by his ball which had been called out. They didn´t agree.
In the verbal aspect, Massú is an example of a positive approach, whereas Gaudio´s repertoire is always against himself (“I´m still going to lose”, he announced after hitting a tremendous cross-court drive).
Massú chooses a different road: When his forehand ended in the net, he gave a yell and said: “Noooooo!!! You rushed it!!!! Think!!! Vamos!!!”
. All that in ten seconds flat. Take a look at the sequence, how he processed it: First the shout and the complaint: Noooo, then the diagnosis: You rushed it, then the message: Think, and finally the encouragement: Vamos!!!
In Gaudio´s case, however, his negative shouts don´t always have any bearing on what comes after. He can utter the most ingenious or self-destructive phrase and calmly goes on to play countless balls before winning the point with a perfect backhand down the line.
Today he excelled in defense, he overcame the frustration of the first set and of not being able to confirm the break he had in the third, and went on to win the last two games and close the match with a tremendous crosscourt forehand.
Something worth pointing out: Gaudio didn´t have a single foot-fault