Today was a weird day. Walk with me.
First off, it was Heineken Day at the Australian Open which basically means, if I understand it correctly, cheap beer. If you had a grounds pass you could get in and drink pretty cheaply on site. So things were already kicking by the time I arrived at noon.
The sun was out and the Ozone-less Aussie sky was beating down pretty good for much of the day. The heat only contributed to the odd happenings around the grounds. I'm sure the crowd over at Court 6 was settled in just to watch some hot Pico on Feli doubles action with a side of thigh porn. But you knew it wasn't going to be that straightforward when Pico came out with his hair tied back like Baggy.
So of course we didn't get much hot Pico on Feli action. Instead, we got gross Pico/Feli on Mahesh action. DID NOT WANT.
I was watching the match and my take on the haps is this: Pico and Feli took exception to Leander and Manesh yelling "Vamos" after points, taking cheap shots at them, and there are some reports that Leander kept trying to body check Pico on the changeovers. After Mahesh "Vamosed" loudly after Pico missed an easy volley late in the second set, all hell broke loose.
Feli jumped in and all four started barking at each other at the net, getting into each other's faces. Pico tried to pull Leander aside to discuss the sitch and Pascal jumped down off his chair like Batman and tournament officials got into it and started to separate the four. Pico got mad that the officials were physically pushing and pulling him away when all he was trying to do was talk it out with Mahesh.
Of course the cuties would lose and Feli refused to shake hands and words were had. I guess I'll let the boys explain themselves:
I mean, we were playing, match was quiet, and one of the players, he was trying to provoke us all the time. At one point, we were a little bit tired of the style he was using on the court, and that's all what happened. But at the end, I was talking to Mahesh and everything was fine. Nothing else to comment.
He was trying to provoke us all the time. I know it's the style he been using the past 20 years. But that's okay. Nothing else.
What say ye, Mahesh?
We always do play a very aggressive style of doubles. That's what's given us all our good results. They, being two singles players, they've probably never seen it before. They probably were taken aback a little bit. They were probably not happy that we used the word 'vamos'. I don't think they have a patent on that one. Small things like that added up. Kept adding to their frustration that we were playing good tennis as well.
Unfortunately, believe it or not, this is not the first time it's happened to me. When Leander and me were playing Orsanic and Oncins in Dubai 95, they got upset because we used 'vamos'. This was in 2000. Two years ago when I was playing González and Acasuso at the French Open, I used 'vamos' and they got upset. I've been using it for a long time. If these guys are going to get upset, I'm going to continue to use it.
LEANDER PAES: At the end of the day, whether it's 'vamos' or 'allez', we're Indian, nobody has patent, we're saying it to each other.
I would probably side with Leander and Mahesh if they didn't come off as so damn smug in their presser. I suppose being on the winning side earns you the right to be smug. They're right, the Spaniards/Argies don't "own" the language, just like the Serbs don't own "ajde". But don't pretend that you don't know what you're doing and that you're all innocent and taking the high road. I saw the match, dudes. You, Mahesh, were being an intentional prick.
From there I tuned in to see Vera cruising over Lucie, having pocketed the first set and up 4-2 in the second, only to double fault to give Lucie the break back. From there Lucie found a whole 'nother gear and would force a tiebreak that was tight and involved a lot of fantastic rallies. Finally, Vera would hit an incredible lob winner reminiscent of the one Kim hit against Venus at the USO10 that got her match point and she was able to close it out. But it was very close to calamity on Laver.
So there I am, reclining in my chair, when I tune over to watch Moose vs. GGL, and this is what I see on the second point:
As Andy would say after he cruised to victory in an hour and 20ish minutes, "It's a bit embarrassing."
Of course, while Andy was plastering GGL, Jo was running out of gas against Dolgopolov. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! But yes. He seems to have picked up a lower back issue and after fighting as best he could for three sets, he dropped the last two 1 and 1. So super cutie Jo is out and Dolgo lives on to take on The Sodness Monster. Barf.
Oh, but it would get weirder.
Big John was locked in a dogfight with Marin "The last 10 months never happened" Cilic and he looked well on his way to winning when he battled back and eeked out the third-set tiebreaker to go up 2-1. But as is the case with most of John's matches, it came down to a few points and with the sun beating down, John looked gassed. Instead of just blasting and trying to put pressure on Marin, he sat back, content to rally and hoped for Marin to miss.
Marin didn't and the match went into extra innings, the first five setter that Big John would play since Wimbledon. Marin would finally win 9-7 in the fifth. John was absolutely gutted in press. He would have played Rafa.
To round out the day's weirdness, The Cone actually made a match of it with Kim (though it was more Kim being wonky than Cone doing anything other than monologue in French and slam her racquet a bunch), Marcos retired in his match with Melzer with a PINKY INJURY, and Makarova and IVETA BENESOVA are in the fourth round after they each bounced seeds, Nadia and Pavs, respectively.
Did I mention Robbie decided to screw with me and dropped into the Live Blog?
And this all happened before the sun went down...