The rest of it was just an emotional rollercoaster. Monfils served to stay in the match at 5-6. Roger had 40-15. On his first match point, he hit an aggressive, powerful forehand cross-court, and Monfils actually got it back. It caught Roger off-guard. He dumped his reply into the net.
I don't even remember what happened at 40-30. Then it was deuce, Roger had 3 more match points - all on Monfils' second serve. I really thought he had it when Monfils missed the first serve and gave a second serve to Roger's backhand - but his backhand return sailed long.
Commentators said, "I would've bet money on Federer making that one." My thoughts exactly.
But I also would've bet money on him not fading in the third set tie-break after Monfils held to force a breaker. I would've bet money on him not shanking so many balls in the tie-break, with his first serve deserting him, leaving him utterly unable to do anything when it was too late because it was 5-4 to Monfils with two serves for Monfils to come.
Roger screwed up a forehand at 5-4. Monfils, serving at 6-4, served another bomb and clinched it with a service winner.
The crowd went crazy. I watched Roger's handshake at the net, just to see how he was going to react, then turned it off.
I slept this morning thinking about the damn match. This is exactly why I try not to watch his semi-finals and finals live anymore - he's doing this new thing where he plays wicked tennis for the whole tournament, and when he gets to the final stages of the tournament, he starts screwing up. And I absolutely hate watching him lose, because I believe (and know it's true) that he's always better than the guy at the other side of the net. It's disappointing watching him play below his best, watching him struggle, play his heart out, and still not win. It's even worse when this happens against an opponent who is good, but merely in a run-of-the-mill manner - no distinguishing shots, no big weapon, merely known for his crazy athleticism that doesn't have anything to do with tennis per se. (I tihnk he looks more like a basketball player or a sprinter.)
When this tournament started I said that I wouldn't care if Roger won it or not because I hated the tournament. The crowd is absolutely obnoxious when there's a French guy on the court, and it was no different during both semi-finals. I have nothing against Michael Llodra, but the crowd pissed me off so much that I wanted Robin Soderling to win, which he did. The crowd was obnoxious as hell during Roger's match and was out of control during the deciding tie-break, when Roger was getting ready to serve. The worst part was, Monfils waved his arms in the air and got them to cheer louder.
Seriously, show some respect for your opponent please. This is tennis - this isn't a fucking football match. Do you see Roger doing things like that when he plays in Switzerland? Or rather, do you see him doing this like that at all (since he gets support everywhere he goes and not just in his home country)? Monfils needs to grow up. He's officially on my shitlist.
I hope Soderling wins tonight. Nothing would make me happier than the obnoxious French crowd having to go home disappointed for a second year in a row.
GO ROBIN SODERLING.