Spain continues to reap athletic rewards as the Spanish duo of Nicolas Almagro and Albert Montanes won the two clay-court titles on the ATP Tour this past week.
Montanes defeated Gael Monfils 6-2, 1-2 in Stuttgart before the Frenchman had to retire with a right ankle injury. It was the second title of the year for Montanes.
“I twisted my ankle on the court and it was impossible to finish the match,” said Monfils. “The week was good. I played pretty good tennis, a lot of confidence came back. To reach a final again was pretty exciting. I had a bad experience (today) but hopefully it will be better soon and I can get back to my best level and try to reach some other finals.”
Meanwhile in Bastad, Sweden, Nicolas Almagro defeated defending champion Robin Soderling in three sets, 7-5, 3-6, 6-2 to capture the SkiStar Swedish Open. Almagro improves to an impressive 6-2 in ATP finals, although one wonders why we don’t see this more often from him on the red clay.
“I didn’t play very well in the 2007 final here, but today I fought very hard and I’m really happy with the physical and mental sides to my game,” said Almagro. “It was a big match, a big fight and we were both battling like gladiators. Robin is a great player and I’m sure he will have many more chances to win this tournament in the future.”
The victories are important for the ranking points that both Spaniards will add to their 2010 totals. With the North American hard-court swing about to start I wouldn’t expect we see any results like this from either player for some time. All of the 11 career titles between them have come on clay.
I’m sure all Monday’s headline’s will be about Federer’s historic exploits. There is no question the man is a genius and deserves his rewards, but for me so much about Yesterday’s final was about Andy Roddick, The Player AND more importantly, the Person.
I, for one, was sceptical of Andy ever making another Major final, but the effort he put in prior to the start of this season to get him self physically and mentally prepared says a lot about the guy. A Wimbledon final was just reward, and the quality of tennis he displayed on both Friday and yesterday was world class and for me, deserving of a better result!
But for me his first answer to Sue Barker (on court interviewer) after he lost, was profound. When asked if tennis can be a cruel sport, Andy’s response was ” No, i’m one of the lucky ones who has all you guys cheering for me…..” Instead of feeling sorry for himself and behaving like a broken man ( which he had every right to, given what had unfolded in the match!!!) Andy chose to count his blessings at what was undoubtably the toughest time perhaps in his career….. To have that attitude, that character, speaks volumes about Andy Roddick as a person, and for that i salute you A-Rod….
For anyone who has has played sport at a high level, they will have a good idea of what Roddick is feeling like tonight, but to have the humility to realise how fortunate you have been in your life/career/sport whatever, at such a raw moment, for me….that is CLASS! If you have class, you don’t need much of anything else in life. If you don’t have it, no matter what else you have, it doesn’t make much difference…..
Hope you all enjoyed The Championships as much as i did!!!