Adam's Daily TT Commentary
Day 7 Round-Up
Congratulations to Singapore's balloon, who brought in the Chinese New Year in style by claiming the Marseille title with a tight win over Portugal's Melvins. Trailing overnight, balloon came back with a similar gameplan to how he has played all week, risky shots at crucial times, and it seemed like everything he touched today turned to gold. balloon said afterwards that he dedicates this victory to all his fans back in Singapore and wished them all a Happy New Year, especially his close buddy Silverwhite who helped inspire him to victory.
Melvins endured a miserable day, as he was unable to shrug off the disappointment of his final defeat and also lost the doubles final with Sylvester, being beaten by the experienced duo of Bjorki/Peta Pan. After sharing the first 2 sets, the final set went to a super tie break, and experience shone through. However, Sylvester/Melvins can console themselves with the fact that they are currently the top ranked doubles team in the world, and Sylvester will be unveiled as the new number 1 when the rankings are released tomorrow.
Thank you all for an excellent tournament, it has been great fun to run, and I hope to see you all again next year.
balloon poses for photos with his singles trophy (properties of Adam images)
Bjorki/Peta Pan celebrate their doubles victory
Day 6 Round-Up
Tennis was once again overshadowed, as the singles and doubles final were abandoned until Sunday after rob88hock managed to escape from his psychiatric hospital to wreak havoc once again in Marseille.
The singles final began as expected, the steady Melvins keeping the ball in play while balloon the risktaker went for his shots. Early on, it seemed like the Singaporean's tactics were spot on, but he began to make more and more errors and Melvins began to take control and move into the lead, before screaming was heard, and within seconds a man had run onto the court with no clothes on, screaming that he wanted his "newcomer of the year award". Instantly, the crowd knew it was the infamous rob88hock, and began pelting him with tomatoes. However, the fearless Brit would not leave the court, and even with all 72 security guards trying to drag him away they failed, and play had to be suspended. Fortunately, Jack Bauer is currently on his way to Marseille, and play should be ok to resume tomorrow.
In the doubles final, things are all square leading up to tomorrow, both partnerships unable to make any inroads into their opponents serve.
rob88hock is grabbed by a security guard, but soon manages to break free while being pelted by tomatoes from the crowd (properties of Adam images)
Day 5 Round-Up
Melvins will face balloon in the Marseille final, as both men upset the odds to reach the final.
In the first Semi Final, Melvins saw off a spirited challenge from bad gambler to reach his first final of the year. Having come into Marseille with an impressive 7-4 W/L record this year, Melvins was seen as a dark horse for the title, and has justified the tag with a string of quality performances on his way to the final, and will go into the match full of confidence. In a high quality encounter, Melvins broke early on to take the first set, but the Australian fought back typically to win the 2nd. In a brilliant final set, Melvins claimed victory in a tie break to send the Portuguese fans into raptures. Although bad gambler was disappointed to lose, he praised the tournament and was happy to find some form after a disappointing start to the season, and also said he was looking forward to going home to his beautiful Bollywood actress wife whom he hadn't seen for a while.
In the 2nd Semi Final, balloon reached his 2nd final of the year, blasting aside the challenge of Nimrodg. balloon has picked up the nickname of 'Martina Hingis + Power' as he has a similar game to Fernando Gonzalez, able to explode on some risky shots at any given opportunity. balloon who had great success on the doubles tour in 2006 but not much joy in singles seems to have re-evaluated his priorities and seems to be focusing on singles this year, and it is currently paying dividends as he improves his record to 14-4 for the year.
A congratulations is in order to Sylvester, who is the new provisional doubles world number 1 after he reached the doubles final with his Portuguese buddy Melvins (see image below). They got off to a great start against LK_22/el guero, and seemed to be cruising towards the final, when Melvins began to cramp, clearly struggling from all the tennis he has played in the last few weeks. However, they clung on for victory and when the rankings are released on Monday, Sylvester will replace kindablue at the pinnacle of the rankings. Sylvester's hero, Mansour Bahrami sent accross his congratulatory message via fax from Iran.
'The Woodies' of the TT tour, Bjorki/Peta Pan reached another final with a comprehensive victory over Smasher/GlennMirnyi in an uninspiring match, GlennMirnyi producing a constant stream of moonballs, leading to most of the crowd walking out halfway through.
Sylvester is presented with his trophy to recognise he is the new doubles #1 (properties of Adam images)
Day 4 Round-Up
The much fancied bad gambler proved a worthwhile new favourite for the title as he brushed aside the challenge of Finland's el guero to reach the Semi Final. Although he's always had the talent, bad gambler is now beginning to put in some performances to match the words which come out of his mouth, and is beggining to divide the tennis world, some of whom believe he is good for the game. while others simply believe he is the new Lleyton Hewitt with his in-your-face attitude. Either way, it seems like married life has calmed him down, as his reckless play is a thing of the past, and his class was too much for el guero today. He commented afterwards that he particularly enjoyed playing Finnish players, as they suited his style of play. Melvins defeated Smasher to complete a disappointing day for Finland, gaining revenge for the Finn knocking out his buddy Sylvester in the 1st round, and Melvins now has the unenviable task of facing bad gambler for a spot in the final.
In the other Quarter Finals, Nimrodg and balloon each won tight clashes to set up a Semi Final meeting. The Israeli Nimrodg, the best thing to come out of Israel since Ronny Rosenthal (
) continued his impressive run, seeing off the last French hope in the draw *julie* who sadly had to retire from the match at a set and a break down. balloon is the only seed left in the draw after knocking out Germany's Bjorki, who later accused her opponent of messing with her mind, as she claims it looked like he wasn't going to turn up for the match at all at one point.
In the doubles Quarter Finals, top seeds Sylvester/Melvins came through an epic battle to defeat Crocodile/tal20. Helped by the fact that Crocodile arrived late for the match, meaning tal20 had to play against the Portuguese duo on his own for a few games, Sylvester/Melvins struggled to find their best form but did enough to get through. It is great news for fans who have warmed to their highly entertaining play all week, especially Sylvester who is being labelled 'The new Mansour Bahrami'. In the Semi Final, they'll face LK_22/el guero, who produced a magnificent display to thrash tennisfancroatia/Garlichead. tennisfancroatia was so speechless after the resounding defeat that he even didn't even mutter his usual collection of swear words.
Smasher/GlennMirnyi also excelled, with a great display to knock out 2nd seeds Labamba/Mara_M. GlennMirnyi, who at the beginning of the tournament labelled the organisation as "absolutely preposterous" may well have to take back his words, as he has played his best tennis since late 2006. It's a rarity these days when Labamba doesn't reach a Semi Final in either singles or doubles, but he can go back to Finland and still receive a hero's reception. Mara_M can also leave the tournament happy, knowing she has won a place in the tournament organiser's heart and will be most welcome to return next year. French hopes for the tournament were totally put to bed in the other Quarter Final, as the inseperable Peta Pan/Bjorki defeated the French duo *julie*/Pixie, who served for the match 7 times and had 23 match points but were unable to close it out.
Day 3 Round-Up
Shocks aplenty in Marseille as the top 3 seeds all crashed out in the 2nd round. Top seeded linus, who in all honesty had looked out of form right from the beginning of the tournament was beaten by the Flying Finn, el guero. He'll face the Aussie hope bad gambler, who we believe is currently out buying a Bentley after coming into a small fortune. This commentator is growing slightly concerned, as it is felt that bad gambler's head has got so large that he might not be able to fit out of the locker room tomorrow.
2nd seeded Labamba, the tournament favourite was the next high profile casualty, as he fell to France's *julie*. After the greatest moment of her TT career, *julie* said to her French fans that she felt she had a point to prove to the critics who had labelled all French players 'chokers'. Labamba as usual was full of praise for his opponent, but claimed yesterday's destractions had put him off course, and had also commented that he had been saddened by jibes from his fellow competitors about being a traitor. *julie* will face Nimrodg in the QF after the Israeli comic defeated savestheday91, the Serbian who is TT's answer to Vladimir Voltchkov, exceptional in Davis Cup but truly awful in ATP tournaments.
Sheva was another surprising exit, the Dutchman bowing out to Melvins in probably the match of the 2nd round. He commented that he was more interested in going to watch some UEFA Cup action tonight before preparing for his home tourmament in Rotterdam, something which is becoming a worrying trend in the tennis world, first Nalbandian and now Sheva. Melvins, who is having a good run in the tournament with a QF spot in singles and doubles, will face another man who has reached the QF in both, defending champion Smasher, who saw off the challenge of east_players. The Hungarian had a final parting shot at the tournament organiser after being furious at the lack of respect shown to him the whole tournament.
Expected wins for balloon and Bjorki (according to Bilbo) against Buffel and Crocodile respectively mean they shall meet in the QF, a battle between the only 2 seeds remaining.
Day 2 Round-Up
The TT world is in shock, after 2nd round matches had to be abandoned for the day after a crazed lunatic threatened to detonate a bomb unless his demands were met. The madman, later identified as Brit rob88hock said he would be willing to lose his own life to prove a point, claiming he is being driven insane by the fact he should have won the 'Newcomer Of The Year' award in 2006. Matches had to be aborted after just 5 games had been played, though I am happy to report that Jack Bauer has taken the man into custody and will be transferring him to a secure mental hospital.
In the brief period of play before the interruption, there was some great tennis being played as the egotistical bad gambler showed he isn't all talk by storming to an early lead. Björki also looks like she's heading for the Quarter Final after sweeping ahead of French hope Crocodile. More controversy as the bad tempered east_players once more hit out at the tournament director, claiming it was a disgrace that the Australian Open champion wasn't playing on a show court. Very little else of note took place, as the day was marred by the incidents, and we hope order will be restored tomorrow.
Thankfully, a big fixture pile up was avoided as all doubles matches had been completed earlier in the day. 3rd seeds savestheday91/Sheva were the highest casualties, as they crashed out disappointingly to LK_22/el güero. Albanian stud scarecrows made it a miserable tournament by bombing (pardon the pun) out at the first hurdle again, losing to 2nd seeds Mara_M/Labamba. scarecrows later denied rumours that he had tanked because he had a string of women he needed to take out for Valentine's Day tomorrow. Top seeded Portuguese duo Sylvester/Melvins came through after an epic fight, though Sylvester may be disciplined by the authorities after claiming he played the match drunk.
Day 1 Round-Up
A fantastic day for Finnish tennis in Marseille, as 4 players progressed to the 2nd round as they began to make amends to their fans for their dismal showing at the Davis Cup, where they rather feebly relinquished their title. 2nd seed and favourite for the tournament Labamba, the most popular man in Finland behind Teemu Tainio eased past the challenge of French wild card Pixie. Defending champion Smasher saw off the challenge of French youngster Azarielle, who in typical French fashion had looked so impressive in qualifying but was unable to produce the goods on the big stage. Next through was the much fancied el guero, who gained swift revenge for his Davis Cup humiliation against Sylvester by dumping him out the tournament at the earliest possible stage. Lastly, grenberg completed the magnificent quartet as the rookie made the most of his LL spot by surprising #6 seed kindablue with an excellent display to reach Round 2.
Top seed linus survived a major scare to progress into the second round at the expense of qczi. Investigators had been called in to look into suspicious patterns involving this match, and it looked as though these suspicions were founded as linus produced a sloppy display and was in the brink of defeat, until her experience saw her through. The woefully out of form savestheday91 seems to be showing signs of her old self, as she continued her resurgence with an impressive victory over 5th seed ZackBusner, who said he had spent too long the night before deciding tactics and felt devoid of energy. Romanian beauty Mara_M faces an alarming slide down the rankings after failing to defend her singles points, losing to Melvins, although she seems more concerned about getting into the pants of the tournament organiser than the possibility of a lowly ranking.
Nimrodg, inspired by his recent nomination at the National Comedy Awards looked in good form as he saw off the dangerous Blaze-2004 who seems to be turning into something of a doubles expert. *julie* defeated Peta Pan to delight the home fans, and Crocodile kept hopes of an all French Semi-Final alive with a resounding victory over gumoll, who looked close to tears after the defeat, though he wasn't shown much sympathy by the partisan French crowd who jeered his every move.
Female fans were left disappointed as the handsome Albanian scarecrows bowed out of the tournament at the first hurdle, losing to Australian Open champ east_players, who later hit out at the tournament director for handing out a $250 fine.