Getting it done.

Still [insert sentence in English that express a superlative feeling of happiness here], I write these words. It’s my first non-Tennis Challenge post in a good while and, heck, Julien Benneteau just won an epic [my words] three-set match vs. Igor Andreev to reach Winston-Salem quarterfinals.

Could not find a pick from Winston-Salem, so, this one. From Cincy, last week.

Seems like no big deal for all of you, Nole, Rafa and Fed-fans. But hey, for Jules – who’s naturally a top dog, but whose circumstances caused him to drop out of the top-100 – it IS a big deal. Benneteau played today his sixth match in five days – having beaten Verryth and Sajous on Saturday, Roger-Vasselin on Sunday (and that match earned him a Main Draw spot), fellow qualifier Ricardo Mello – whom he steamrolled over – on Monday for a first-round win – seeded player Igor Kunitsyn – whom spoiled him the Eastbourne semifinals [personal note: Still don’t know how] – on Tuesday, and finally, today Mr. Kirilenko in the 3rd round.

As if Jules needed a PR guy (I would TOTALLY do the job) or you needed a match report, but shortened: He got totally overrun by Igor in the 1st set, 2/6. By the end of the set, as @linzsports / @racquetrequired (who is on site doing a great report) tweeted, Benny was having long monologues in the mother tongue, storming at ballkids and blaming random people walking by the sidewalk for his frustrations.

But that just unleashed the beast, and Jules found his classy self again, rebounding for a second set breadstick and a break-up advantage in the third set – soon squandered. He kept holding (and missing chances, like a BP with Andreev serving 4/4 and a 0-30 lead on 5-all) until the tie-break.

I then intentionally walked away from the notebook, and return to behold, in grace, the final result: 2/6, 6/1, 7/6 (7-5). Not bad, huh? In fact, it’s awesome – the awesome Lindsay herself told me Andreev was showing some really fine display of tennis.

In the next round, J.F. Benneteau will play 9th seed and “defending champion” Sergiy Stakhovsky, who pretty much schooled fellow Ukrainian Nikolay Davydenko, four and four. Tough? Yeah. But ‘feel fear’ as opposed to ‘inflicting fear’ is not a featured word on Julien Benneteau’s tennis dictionary.

F.F.F. No, not Fédération Française de Football, or Federation of Fly Fisher, neither Fight for Freedom (Megadeth, anyone?). But yes, Fear (the) Flawless Fantôme.

And you stay classy, Jules. I still want you to play next Saturday.



About Pete S. Liguori
Pete was born in São Paulo, Brasil. Loves sports - pigskin fanatic, tennis lover. One of his most famous quotes is "I'm no Tolstoi, but I love the Dallas Cowboys" His favorite quote of all time is "I'll keep playing", unknown author.

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