Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Luis Horna and Pablo Cuevas provide the real surprise of Roland Garros and show that dreams can come true in unlikely circumstances


Luis Horna and Pablo Cuevas provide the real surprise of Roland Garros and show that dreams can come true in unlikely circumstances

Yes, this has been a bit late, but better late than never as they say in the classics. Unlike Rafael Nadal, who donkey punched his way through the field to win the singles in a very brutal and yet predictable manner. Also Ana Ivanovic who while very attractive, does not need to fist pump after every point won the womens event, but this wasn’t a surprise, especially since JuJu Henin decided to retire from tennis, whether it’s permanent or not, we’ll see.

Now onto the fun part of this blog entry. If someone had told me at the start of the doubles that Horna/Cuevas would the Roland Garros doubles champions I’d have asked “hey what are you smoking and where can I get it from”. The great ride started when they played the French duo of Clement and Llodra in the first round, an excellent combo and competent at singles as well, so they definitely aren’t doubles specialists. They were handled with ease, then took out Nieminen and Lindstedt in the next round and after this they took out Dlouhy/Paes in the 3rd round. They made the quarter finals taking out 2 seeded combinations.

The boys reached the quarter finals and then the fun with the Bryans began. The Bryans were huge favourites obviously for this match, but luckily the conditions were very heavy and it rained as well, making the court heavier and better for the South Americans to return serve and they took advantage. The 3rd set tiebreaker was hilarious when Ceuvas jumped the net and it was clearly nowhere near the Bryans, but after the match when Lucho and Cuevas won, the Bryan bitches refused to shake Ceuvas’s hand. There was no need for that, next time boys you have to get the rattle yourself from outside of the pram, you crybabies.

The semi final against another unseeded team Soares/Vemic was their most difficult match, as they got closer to the final, they blew match points, but managed to make it through to the final.

As we know the Cinderella tales don’t often come true, but this one was special. A Peruvian and Uruguayan making a GS final in doubles, the fact that Horna and Cuevas are singles players and don’t take doubles too seriously, in the process they knocked out three seeded teams and were big underdogs against Nestor/Zimonjic the number 2 seeds.

Lucky the conditions were quite heavy and it suited Lucho and Cuevas for sure and they came out on fire slapping returns that the doubles specialists weren’t used to handling at all. Lucho ripping on the forehand side and Ceuvas with the single hander, these devastating shots were too much for Nestor/Ziki who looked all at sea out there under the onslaught. The first set was over quickly and the second was slightly more competitive, but the same pattern continued the South Americans won 6-2 6-3.

It was great to see 2 singles guys show the doubles specialists how to get it done. They had not been used to such hitting from the baseline and service returns, yes it wasn’t conventional doubles, but it’s not important, they are out there to win.

The after match scenes were wonderful, as there weren’t many people left in the crowd, but Mastelli and Orsanic the coaches were there along with friends and family members, celebrating the win. Lucho started in English and then he switched to Spanish, too bad the Aussie commentators who were as stunned as most people talked over them.

One could see they couldn’t believe that they won and Cuevas said afterwards “we weren’t expecting to get that far”. Taking out four seeded players, showing that the doubles specialists, really should play more singles as it would help their overall games.

Lucho become the 2nd player from Peru to win a Slam and Cuevas the first Uruguayan to do it, so it was a very special achievement and one that was such a surprise made it even better that it was my personal highlight of Roland Garros.

Neither of then will be going to the Olympics, but that’s not such a big thing. Lucho has take some positive momentum from the success and the time is now to rebuild Lucho’s ranking in singles and Cuevas to establish himself in the singles top 100.


Anonymous said...

Great article and a dream come true for the boys!

Actually this will be the first doubles match I have in my collection :)


Anonymous said...

I am late again as usual. I was so glad to see this result. Ever the rooting for the underdog but also they seem like such nice guys too! And the paycheck will help;-)


Denys said...

This was a fantastic result for the guys and yes a well written article. It was great that they defeated four top doubles combinations along the way.

Lucho just won a challenger and maybe this can get him back to where he should be in singles.