For the second straight week, Nole spoiled the hometown celebration, eeking out a three set win over the local favorite, 62 57 76(3).
This match really could have gone either way. Nole dominated for a set and half before coming back to earth and letting LaMonf come back to take the second set. Nole would dart out to a 4-1 lead in the third before losing his game for a bit and LaMonf took advantage, breaking back and forcing a deciding tiebreak, much to the loud cheers of the Paris crowd.
But in the end, Nole showed a maturity that I haven't seen in a long time. Instead of losing his head after losing his lead, he recomposed himself and played a solid tiebreaker, taking it 7-3 on a LaMonf double fault.
In the end, it seemed like this result meant a lot to both. To Gael for performing well in front of the home crowd and electrifying them with the game that we have come to love and hate, and Nole, who picked up his 5th title of the season, second title in a row, and first Masters of the season.
So everyone was in a pretty good mood.
Obviously Nole's got all the momentum going into London. And given his party pooping ways, you gotta like him if he plays Muzz in London. But who knows how much he has in the tank. That said, he was absolutely revelatory this week, playing with confidence and precision. Hats off, Falcon!