It's an odd thing being a Tomas Berdych fan. And by "odd" I mean "tortuous". The kid has all the talent in the world to knock off the Top 10, but he's got the brain of a 3 year old. When you look up the word "headcase" in the tennis dictionary, the Green Goblin's googly eyes will stare back into your soul. They fill you with a false sense of hope. But it is that hope that plants your ass on the couch to watch him whenever he plays at top player. And it is that hope that breaks your heart every fucking time.
Except this time.
Let's be clear: Fed played like ass. Like, sweaty, stinky, 80 year old ass. He couldn't hit his forehand to save his life for 80% of the match. But he hung in there, like he is prone to do, and gutted out a second set win to force a third. Now, obviously those of us who have had our hearts shattered by Tomas before figured the third set would be a 6-0 or 6-1 affair. Hell, I tuned out and went back to trying to figure out some songs on guitar.
But then, inexplicably, Tomas broke Fed. Early. And it was game on. I poured myself a steep glass of vodka and settled into an evening that saw me cursing the world, Roger Federer, and Tomas Berdych. It was fun.
Fed would have match points in the third set tiebreak. And somehow he would fail to convert them. Tomas had the match on his racquet but a forehand that missed by millimeters pretty much seemed to seal his fate as the not-so-lovable-unless-you're-an-idiot loser. But that call seemed to relax Tomas. He smiled a broad smile that seemed to say "well, today's not my day" and decided to bomb away. And the bombs went in. And he won. Oddly.
I still can't believe it, honestly. After the match, Fed would admit that he hasn't been feeling the ball well and he needs to figure out what's up with his game. It has been a US tour to forget for the Orange One.
*This write-up has been brought to you by Ketel One, Anchor Steam, and about 5 minutes of my not-so-valuable time.