Sunday, September 28, 2008

There is a Choupi in Metz, which might not seem much because she is not in Tokyo Fan Reports

Metz kicks off the indoor season

The first European indoor event of the year in Metz, located in the north east of France. The usual thing of the titleholder not coming back here to defend the title has happened again, at the same time not exactly how many people will miss Tommy Robredo to be honest.

It’s not a bad field and I have decided to focus on this event, because Choupi will be going to Metz for a few days and we (the readers) love fan reports that tell us more about what’s going on at the event, then the stock standard press release.

Some interesting first round matches for sure. Big Karlovic and Baghdatis, who is trying to finish off the year without more injury problems. He definitely won’t be getting any rhythm in this match, but he can practice his returns of serve.

Acasuso and Cañas, this one is very important for Davis Cup, as Chucho needs to get something out of this season, plus he can play quite well indoors and Willy isn’t at his best at the moment.

Ljubicic is making his comeback from back problems and he loves a roof. Ancic and Gulbis is an intriguing match, Ancic could be too steady for him.

Seppi and Calleri are there as well, hope for some good results in this event and even more so the fan reports.


Choupi said...

Well, I will try to provide fan reports, but I will have to combine both work and driving to the event, which will offer me a very busy week.

Btw, Metz is located in the North East ;)

Martine said...

Looking forward to the reports Choupi!!!

Chucho-Willy is interesting but "really difficult" because I want both of them to win...
I'm cheering for Willy in this one but I can live with Chucho winning too, of course.

Hope Gordo, Schwank and Seppi do well too and good luck to Marcos today against Karlovic!


Choupi, live from Metz, Day 1 said...

Having to combine work and driving to the event makes the days really short!! I arrived at the venue when Chucho and Willy were leaving the court. At least, I didn't have to suffer because, like Martine, I was also cheering for both in that match.

I saw the little Frenchie Jérémy Chardy, who had made a tremendous jump in the rankings this year. He was playing Janko Tipsarevic. Great match in perspective and I haven't been disappointed. Several breakpoints in the 1st set for Chardy but he couldn't convert them, making errors that are unforgiveable. And Tipsarevic was great when he needed to be. Great passingshots down the line from both. All this led to a tiebreak in which Chardy made stupid mistakes, won by Tipsarevic. I was thinking that Chardy would fight because he was in front of a French crowd and he did. But he really looked tired like he had already played 4 sets. He got broken at the end of the 2nd set and all was over. When interviewed, he said he was disappointed because he thought he had the weapons to win that match. I can only agree....

Then, I went to see what was on in the warming room. Paulo was training with big Ivo Karlovic. God, the size difference is amazing!!

I was waiting for Ancic vs Gulbis because I thought this match would be promising, at least on the paper. But Mario isn't at his best. Anyway, he fought hard, always encouraging himself, which was highly needed, as he got broken several times in the 1st set. Always managed to come back, naturally reaching the tiebreak. Gulbis is talented for sure and his forehand is a beauty. Poor Mario lost the tiebreak. Was sounding and looking like the previous match. Except that Mario got broken sooner than Chardy, middle of the set. We tried to support big Mario the best we could but it hasn't been enough. He waved the crowd when he left the court, obviously aware and thankful for the support.

Back to the warming room where Calleri was just over with his training session with Hanescu. Hope it's not a bad sign but he was making the same movements with his shoulder that I saw him do in Stuttgart, when he was hurt.

Then, King Moya was on the court, making the show against countryman Montanes. The 1st set lasted only 20 minutes, Moya outplaying Montanes so much that it almost ended on a bagel. Montanes was giving the points to Moya. But he woke up in the 2nd set and pushed Charly the best he could, which was successfull as he stole the set breaking Charly to take the 2nd set. Everything was possible from that moment on. The 3rd set hasn't been as tight as the 2nd one, as Montanes started to give points again and got broken quite easily. Logical result, with his experience, Charly didn't let him come back and won that match. Great match from him, always impressive from such an "old" fellow" of the circuit ;)

That's all for today folks.

Denys said...

Thank you for your wonderful report Choupi. So are you impressed with Gulbis? He does have a lot of ability, it would be good if he could harness it and become a fixture in the top 10, he defintely has the potential to do so.

Chucho and Willy, well both needed to win, but not too disappointed that Acasuso won.

Rose said...

Hi Choupi, It is a very long time since I posted here, but I just wanted to say I enjoyed your Metz report, and would it be OK if I posted your report on Janko's match (with Chardy) onto his Forum? With a credit to you of course. If not- I will understand. Hope you keep on having fun.


Choupi said...

Yes Rose, you can post my report on Janko's forum. And it's been indeed a very very long time...

Denys, I wouldn't say I'm impressed by Gulbis, but he sure is a very talented player who needs to be carefully looked at. I'm sure he'll do some damage on the tour ;)

Rose said...

Dear Choupi - thanks very much indeed. It is appreciated:-))

Martine said...

Thanks for the report Choupi!!
Great read as always ;)

Good to hear you got to see some interesting matches.
Sadly your report also confirms what I was afraid of yesterday when following the SB of Gordo's match :((

Have a good time for the next matches!


Marc said...

Always excellent to have a reporter at these events, very much appreciated.

It seems like not a good event for blogger boy's favourite players. At least Acasuso won a match, but Seppi losing easily to a qualifier and Calleri as well.

Choupi, live from Metz, Day 3 said...

Day 2 has been totally dedicated to work, so no report. Let's go directly to day 3. It was Kids Day and no public was allowed to enter the stadium before 5.30PM. Which means I didn't see much. But it's been quality over quantity.

I arrived right on time when Calleri/Cañas were starting their match against French pair Mahut/Benneteau. Not a big crowd to watch as they were all watching Gulbis vs Tipsarevic. The 1st set looked till the middle of it like some warming for both teams. The Arggies broke first very early but the Frenchies broke back straight. Willy was complaining about the lights he was finding pretty bad. Calleri's shoulder looked ok. The French pair broked again and could keep the break till they were serving for the set. Great points, which had been pretty occasional, became routine from that moment on. But unfortunately the Arggies got broken again and lost the 1st set.

2nd set has been a pure entertainment for those who like to watch doubles. Far from giving it up, Willy and Gordo fought on every point, every game, and put the pressure on every receiving game. The crowd started to grow as Tipsarevic had won his match over Gulbis. Of course, it's been more support for the French team. But, Willy, who had also showed his frustration, complaining to the umpire about a linesgirl who made such a huge mistake -and yes, he was right, even the umpire agreed but said he couldn't change her- stopped complaing and the set ended on a tiebreak won by the Arggies.

Chucho, the stoner, was watching the match and Willy was often "talking" to him when he wasn't satisfied with a call or a shot.

Super tiebreak has been full of suspense, no team deciding to offer the match. Willy & Gordo had 2 matchpoints that the Frenchies saved with their experience and all of a sudden got a matchpoint against them. Only 1 has been enough to ruin the Arggies hopes. Things were over. It was like a shock because we were all very excited and things were over so suddenly. But anyway, it's been a great match to watch.

Then, I went on Center Court where Llodra was playing against Lopez. I found my seat when Mika had won the tiebreak 13 to 11. The crowd was all behind him, though a small group of young ppl was there with the Spanish flag.

2nd set has been tight, like I imagine the 1st must have been. It was a matter of who was serving the better and who was able to take advantage returning on 2nd serve. Mika had several breakpoints that he couldn't convert because Feli saved them all with a big serve. Another tiebreak, this time, won by Feli after Mika had a matchpoint.

3rd set, things didn't change. Big serves, great volleys, great passingshots. Feli was showing a lot of frustration and after a call he considered against him, he hit a ball which directly hit the linesgirl in front of him in her head. He only got a warning because he didn't hit her on purpose. But this time, Feli got bothered and couldn't save a breakpoint. Mika, pushed by the crowd, myself included of course, resisted til the end and won that match.

When interviewed, Mika said he was very happy to have won that match because it's never easy playing a big server like Feli and things can turn so easily. And he thanked the crowd for staying till the end because he knew it must have been boring to watch, only a battle of big serves....hahaha!! I like that guy.

After that, I decided to drive back home because yes, it was already late and my drive is pretty long.

Martine said...

Great report as always Choupi ;) (it makes up for forgetting yr camera so yr forgiven :p )

I'm glad The Argies were fighting and played a great match.

Quite a trip indeed from yr place to Metz but I'm sure it's worth the effort :)


Denys said...

I wonder if Choupi had fun watching the sexiness of Stepanek.

Choupi, live from the Metz semis said...

Denys, I had fun watching Sexy Lips comical effects....

Have seen the semis yesterday in Metz. I'd say that, compared to the 2nd one, the 1st one has been pretty tasteless. Ok, Stepanek played the fool and gained the support of the crowd because he was funny. But also because they had paid their tickets and wanted to watch tennis. And of course, they were hoping for a longer match. Tursunov didn't seem to be bothered or even interested in Stepanek's clowning. He was playing his match, big serves, big hits. 1 break in both sets that Stepanek couldn't erase though he tried hard, especially in the 2nd set. But Tursunov was definitely too strong for him yesterday. And I liked the fact that he spend a long time with all the kids to sign autographs. He was adorable :)

After a short semi we were hoping for a longer battle between Mathieu and the newcomer Mannarino. I admit I had never seen him play before, and I haven't been disappointed at all. Adrian is definitely a very talented player and he's a guy to watch for sure.
1st set has been so tight that nobody could give a name for the winner till the very last point. Those 2 players were both eager to win and were giving all they could. Great show of passing shots, dropshots, big serves, long rallies. Mathieu was the one who managed to convert a set point. Mannarino, who had absolutely nothing to lose, instead of giving it up, played with even more rage, fighting on every game. He made the break in the middle of the set. Paulo started giving some points and I was thinking, oh no, Paulo, don't do that to me today. Adrian confirmed his break and was serving for the set when Paulo woke up from his dizziness and broke back. The crowd was so hot!! I'd say we were 50-50. I was for Paulo but I would have loved a 3rd set between those 2, because it was such a pleasure to watch. Anyway, Paulo, after coming back, pushed Adrian till another uncertain tiebreak. Neither of the 2 guys were obviously ready to offer a single point. Paulo showed all the talent he's able of and won that match. He looked really happy because yes, it's another final and it's a French tournament. Though he's put a lot of energy to come back and win that match. I have some fears that his batteries are lower than Tursunov's.

Anyway, big congrats to Mannarino for this tournament. I've discovered a new player and I liked what I saw.

Cobalt60 said...

Thanks Choups for all the reports. Always nice to read from a spectator's point of view.

Sigurd Sigurdsson said...

Great reports and thanks for providing them. They have been worth reading and it's always better to read from a fan perspective and especially one while checking out the male talent, actually watches matches as well.

Tursunov too good this week and your fears about Paulo were right.