It was a bad day at Bedrock for the American contingent in both semi-finals, but we did have the consolation of an entertaining mixed doubles exhibition full of Americans (and a lovely German gal married to an American).
Tommy Haas d. John Isner 6/3, 6/4
Isner said it himself: his serve wasn’t quite where he wanted it to be today – nothing wrong from a technical standpoint, it just wasn’t quite there. And he needed to really go for his shots, 100% confident; today, wherever those shots landed, Tommy Haas was there, armed with his A-game.
“I just ran up against a guy who was playing pretty well today,” said Isner.
Haas expressed satisfaction in his performance, and in achieving another ATP final berth at his advanced age, relatively speaking. That satisfaction is perhaps enhanced by the fact that he was seriously reevaluating his career path back in 2010, while recuperating from a hip injury and surgery. Looks like he made an excellent decision, as he prepares to meet defending SAP Open champ Milos Raonic in the final. An interesting point to ponder: back when Haas played for the first time at the SAP Open, Milos was at the age where one starts losing baby teeth.
Milos Raonic d. Sam Querrey 6/4, 6/2
Querrey suffered the same lack of A-game as Isner did, but his opponent, Raonic, was firing on all cylinders and ready to power his way through to his third SAP Open final. Raonic did what he always does at the SAP Open – serves bombs in the 140-mph range, dictates play and ends up with the W.
Steffi Graf/Andy Roddick d. Lindsay Davenport/Justin Gimelstob 6/4, 7/5
The mixed doubles exhibition was exactly what it should be: big names, playful smack talk (Andy, we are not worthy), and laughs for the spectators. Andy rattled Justin’s cage re: his slender calves, his serve, and a serious lack of “unnecessary dives” on Justin’s part – Justin rectified the dearth of unnecessary dives a few games later.
And, not to be outdone, Justin came back at Andy with a little backside discussion, telling Andy that Steffi was having trouble with her first serve because it was hard to serve while looking at Andy’s butt. So of course, Andy wiggled said butt at Steffi, who got the giggles and then DF’d, to the crowd’s delight.
But nothing would top Justin accidentally beaning a ball boy with his racquet. No blood flowed, no tears were shed, no comas induced – and the ball boy subbed in for Steffi as Andy’s partner for a few shots. I think there’d be a huge line of people willing to take a racquet to the noggin for a chance to hit with any one of those former champs – and that line forms behind the DOB’s backside.
I’ll leave you with that scary visual as I say goodnight and head for some serious beauty sleep – I gotta look goooood for the very last SAP Open finals Sunday. *sniffle*