Saturday, June 06, 2009

The Lee and Luke show

From the underappreciated official French Open website comes this (sort-of) blow by blow account of the Men's Doubles final between LeanderPaes/Lucas Dlouhy and Dick Norman/Wes Moodie.
5.08 pm: Out come the finalists for the men’s doubles – No3 seeds Lucas Dlouhy and Leander Paes against the unseeded pairing of Wes Moodie and Dick Norman.

5.22 pm: Lefty Norman opens and holds serve. This pair are 6’8” and 6’5” respectively. Whoosh! Leander Paes meanwhile is 5’10 ½” – fine if you’re blogging, I find, but not ideal when you’re up against a Belgian who’s nigh on a foot taller

5.25 pm: Moodie returns services over Paes’ head at the net (told you he was too small…) and the mellow yellows (they are wearing matching lemon-coloured tops) are a break to the good.

5.31 pm: Paes takes a Norman forehand right in the bridge of the nose. He’s got an ice-bag on it now and the trainer’s out

5.37 pm: 3-1 Moody and Norman but at least Paes is up and running again.

5.46 pm: The taller pair are dominating the net and that’s a 5-2 first-set lead in their ample pockets. Paes to serve.

5.56 pm: 5-3, Norman serving and Dlouhy and Paes save set point after set point! The fifth one is finally the charm and the tall South African/Belgian pairing is a set to the good.

6.37 pm: 6-3 to the yellows in the first set, 6-3 to the white-shirters in the second, with Paes showing no ill-effects of the ball being pinged off his nose earlier. We’re into a final set (a full set as opposed to a match tie-break).

6.43 pm: Break to Dlouhy and Paes, who made the final of last year’s US Open.

6.54 pm: Dlouhy holds, despite a raft of break points. 4-2 to the pair in white.

6.58 pm: 5-2 after another break. Time is running out for the team in lemon

7.01 pm: Paes finishes off with an ace and a love game, and goes and gives Martina Navratilova a hug! Congrats to this year’s men’s doubles champions – Lukas Dlouhy and Leander Paes.
If you are counting (and I know some of you are) Paes now has 5 Grand Slam doubles titles to 4 for Mahesh Bhupathi. Bhupathi still leads him 7 to 5 in the mixed doubles category. Incredibly, Bhupathi has won mixed doubles titles with 7 different partners.

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