May 7, 2011 1 Comment
Some losses put you down, hurt you. Some of them make you proud.
Thomaz Bellucci’s last match in Madrid today, on which he fell to Novak Djokovic in three sets, is one of those belonging to the second group.
Needless to talk about ’11 Djokovic. His streak is well-known to all tennis fans. What is – or, at least, and I hope, was – still obscure to some of us is the 23-year old Brazilian who played him today.
And how did he! He kept top-to-toe with the world no.2 for one set and a half. He even took the first, playing a much more solid tennis and looking way more alive than Djokovic, 6/4. Bellucci’s backhand was tuned in today, so was his serve – I even commented he looked to be possessed by the spirit of Mark Ivanisamprasoddick.
In the second? He kept it coming! While Nole was looking weary and impatient, Bellucci kept hitting winners, moving the Serbian and even breaking him in the early moments of the set.
Unfortunately, and for some reasons – the biggest of them being Nole’s awakening in the middle of the second set – he couldn’t keep it. Djokovic put all his experience, in big points, big matches, decisions, on the table, and that’s when the tide turned. He broke Bellucci twice to take the second, 6/4.
In the third, the big serves were already gone; the backhand was back to his usual shakiness, and Bellucci didn’t resemble a great clay-courter anymore, but this doesn’t change a thing.
Bellucci fought, made the deepest run of his career (Masters SF > Umag + Santiago titles), and showed to himself he CAN play at a high level. Thank you, Bellucci. For making us Brazilians proud, for dragging the eyes of the entire nation to tennis again.
Good luck in Rome. And hope to see you playing on Fridays and Saturdays – and why not, even on Sundays – more often.
Muito obrigado, Thomaz.