Leander Paes(IND)/David Rikl(CZE) - Jiri Novak/Pavel Vizner(CZE) 7:6(6) 6:7(6) 7:6(4)

My original Posting from www.sports-india.com

Hey guys, I just came back from Halle. At the moment, I start to write this report, it is already after midnight in Germany - please excuse me if my English is not the best any more. Like you all know [B]Paes/Rikl def. Novak/Vizner 7:6(6) 6:7(6) 7:6(4)[/B] After Paes won his serve without any problems, Novak had several break points against himself in the second game of the match. But JN/PV managed to tie the score. Until the tiebreak of first set, nothing special happened afterward, all games were won without major problems by the servers. Four great players battled on court and showed a stunning tennis doubles match. Lee started the tiebreak, our guys got the 1-0 lead by a Rikl volley, Paes raised to a 2 point lead by volley against Novaks serve, too. After Novak had no problem with his second point to serve as well as Rikl did in both of his points and the first point of Vizner, the teams changed sides at a 4-2 Lee/David lead. Vizner made a volley error immediately afterwards giving our guys the 5-2 lead. After Lee hit the net in his first serving point, he served well in his second try - 6:3. Novak did two great serves changing the score to 6:5. At David's serve, the set already seemed to be won, but Vizner showed a great reaction and got the ball to tie the score. Rikl did the next point with his serve, Vizner could not keep his serve at 7-6 LPDR after a great Rikl return - first set Czech Republic/India :-) Though Lee struggled with his first serve at 0:1 in second set, he managed to win his serving game. After two narrow points and serving weaknesses of Vizner, he was 15:40 behind. He made a silly stroke mistake stroking an easy one far out. From now on, I made a new opponent. When I saw the ball was out, I jumped up with a loud YES sitting directly near Vizner. Poor guy, he did not like that :-) All the following servers did their jobs so that after Lee's serve, LPDR lead 4:2. Now the inglorious show of the referee started. The first raindrops fell from the sky giving a slight shower. Usually, that must mean suspending the play, especially on the slippery grasscourt and the treadless tennis shoes. But the guy on the umpire chair seemed to want to become the hero of the day and to finish the match. Vizner and Rikl won their serves, but on Novaks serve at 5:3 score, you could start seeing the players slip around and positively they did not want to play on. Novak won his serve, 5:4. Leander was completely unable to serve properly and got an ball abuse call after he made a double fault at 15-40 and shot the ball out of the court. Our guys beat the first break point and had the right position to tie the score to deuce. But Leander slipped terribly when he wanted to volley the ball. Referee, that was YOUR point, that was YOUR break. No matter whether Lee, David, Novak or Vizner, you risked the health of the players - two months before Athens! The players showed now that the definitely did not want to play on and finally the play was suspended at the score of 5:5. There was very light rain for about an hour, but after about 90 minutes, the court was uncovered again... And it started to drizzle again. So the match could not be restarted, and some four hours after the suspension, it was put on Center Court as the last match there - and the first doubles match to be held on Center court at this tournament (doubles is really massacred in Germany...). After the break, the Czech guys started better. At Vizners serve, Lee and David did not seem to be in the game. They just managed to win David's serve, after Novak and Vizner changed a 30-0 to a 30-40 score. In tie-break, Lee lost his first serving point by a great Novak return, but got back this small break soon afterward. The score on court change was 3:3, but Rikls serving point afterwards was taken by the opponents with a great return. Rikl to it back with a great return. Paes won both of his service points to get the 6:5 lead and the first match point for our team. But Rikls return on Vizner's serve bounced away badly and another great return at 7:6 NV meaned the tieing of sets. Both teams were back in the match now and impressed the crowd with a fantastic doubles match of two even-strengthed teams. Lee started to serve on third set and won it without problems. Novak was 15:40 back, but Vizner and he made two good points to deuce the score. But first Lee and then David returned great, 2:0 LPDR, break ahead! But instead of giving our guys strength, David seemed to be a bit nervous and made easy mistakes that made our guys get the re-break at David's serve - 2:1. When Lee served at the score of 2:2, Novak/Vizner even had break points to get the lead, but Lee fought back with David who was again much better. N/V had another break point against David at 3:3, but again could not score the big point. Lee won his serve without problems, so the scoreboard stated 5:4 for David and him. At Novak's serve, they had double match point at 15:40, but Novak was too strong in serving and won his game. Rikl made some great points at own serve bringing him and his partner to a 6:5 lead. Again, there was no chance to beat Vizner's serve, so again, it was tie-break. Lee served great, Rikl made a good return and Lee a great passing shot at Novak's serve, so we were 3:0 in front with two small breaks ahead. Though N/V took both back at Rikl's serve and tied the score to 3:3 when the sides were changed and even lead 4:3, our guys fought back, giving their opponents no chance at their own serve and taking advantage of an misunderstanding at Novak's serve. The score was 6:4, double match point LPDR, Novak to serve. What shall I say: they took their chance! Lee and David showed a great fight and a fantastic doubles match for the second time this week. Again, I was deeply impressed of their great understanding of doubles tennis, scoring several smart points. Nevertheless, their Czech opponents showed a great match, too.