Canada 2, Serbia 3
The Dream is Alive Part Two
What a day, déjà vu, up 2-1 against Sweden in that memorable tie with Daniel losing 6-4 in the fifth set of the fifth match. Slow agonizing death, always knowing you have a chance but not feeling the momentum going exactly your way, waiting for it to change.
From the start we knew the first match was going to be a real tough one. Djokovic is not the best player in the world by chance. On the other hand, Milos was remarkable, hitting those bombs and that big forehand relentlessly. The other guy just has to be the best counter player in the world. He sets up his opponent by hitting his backhand crosscourt and letting him hit his forehand inside out. Just as you think you have him and change direction by going down the line with your forehand, he runs fifteen feet behind the base line, slices open stance and delivers an unbelievable counter angled forehand cross court. He changes a situation where you are in charge of the point, baits you in going for the obvious open court shot and then rattles an impossible shot….maybe the best shot in tennis. Milos was outstanding and it provided him with a great occasion to evaluate his progress and the work to achieve, if he wants to reach the upper echelon. All of our hopes of Djokovic being tired, not ready for the clay turned out to be wishful thinking, he is the king.
The second match gave us the break we were looking for although Tipsarevic certainly did not show any of the doldrums that affected him this past year. Vasek started well, brought the set to a tie breaker where everything went against him. He played better and better as the match progressed but you never got the feeling he was in control. Finally, down a break in the third set, many thought the match was over. The Serbian bench was relaxed and the loud speakers started playing the Serbian National anthem. This was the opportunity we were waiting for. Vasek jumped all over Tipsarevic and broke him in an electrifying game to bring the third set back on serve. Again, the beginning of the tie breaker was not kind to Vasek, but you could feel the energy in him. Suddenly, Tipsarevic hit a foolish jump forehand that gave Vasek a chance. Unfortunately, Vasek fell on the match point and the glimmer of hope disappeared. What a brave performance.
I can only tell you, days after, that I have never been so proud to be Canadian: Marty Laurendeau and his team, the Tennis Canada people, the Canadian fans, the Canadian cheering section, we were all one, the way it should be.
Thank you all for making this moment one of the most historic ones in all of Canadian sport.
Go Canada, Go! The dream is alive and well.