Re: Mantilla - What got you started?
It's hard for me in many ways to describe why I like a lot of my favourite players, then again maybe I just want to keep certain things to myself.
With Mantilla it's another familar beginning in 96 Monte Carlo. This for some reason is the place that I tend to either really discover players, or they get noticed to me, this was the same for Corretja and Gaudio it was the confirmation.
I just happened to see the match when he beat Bruguera the 2x FO champion, and it was old style claycourt tennis, plenty of heavy topspin, great running and Bruguera trying to bring Mantilla forward, but Mantilla getting everything back and he beat him in straight sets.
I loved the fighting spirit, and the heart and he knows himself that he isn't the most talented or spectacular to watch, so that was another bonus for me. That year he beat another fave Corretja, and you know you like a player, when they beat a fave of yours, and it's not a bad thing.
After that as well, he has always been the forgotten Spaniard, the one who was a bit shyer than the others, not the glamorous game, he wasn't a chick-magnet unlike say Ferrero or Moya, and he wasn't say as good as Corretja or Costa, but if it wasn't for him, then they wouldn't have won the Davis Cup in 2000.
The Italian Open win was great for him, and he has had some very good performances away from the clay, but he says he will play for another 2 or 3 more years, and I'll try and get some more pics from him.
Also he is a very good guy as well, so that's another thing in his favour.
“ On Nadal bumping him on the changeover, Rosol said: "It's ok, he wanted to take my concentration; I knew he would try something".
Wilander on Dimitrov - "He has mind set on imitating Federer and yes it looks good. But he has no idea what to do on the court".
Machado wins 6-2 6-1
I definitely would have preferred Gaba winning as he needs the points much more, but Jan would have beaten him anyway. I expect Hajek to destroy Machado, like 6-1 6-2.