Guga x Squillari - Tough Game
Guga beat Squillari 3/6, 7/5, 7/5 last night in a 2:22 long match. Guga was beyond recognition in the beginning, getting smacked 5/0. He then got back to the match, but too late for the 1st set. On the second set, Guga improved, but was still far from his best. He did some serious racquet bashing, getting a warning. The guy was mad. Meanwhile, Squillari was smacking some inside out forehands and cruising on drop shots. More mad Guga. Nevertheless, Guga managed to stay in the game, and after just landing the ball in the court for about half the set - which kind of worked, by the way - he decided to shift up a few gears and started smacking the ball back to Squillari, as well as resorting successfully to S&V. On 5/6, he broke Squillari. The third set was best in quality, with both players playing aggressively and Guga relying on quality S&V to keep Squillari guessing. As in the 2nd set, level game until 5/6, when Guga broke Squillari ending the game in a down the line backhand winner.
After the match, Guga said he relied on his guts and, most of all, crowd support. Hats off to him because, even playing far from his best for half the match, he managed to come back.
It seems to me that Guga is feeling the unhuman pressure put on him by press and fans. It's win or win. The problem is that most of the idiots of the press understands about tennis as much as we understand about the migratory flow of the beluga whales. Whenever facing a non-top 20, they present it almost as if Guga had no reason at all to lose. Meligeni once said that if Guga held the ranking he holds today (17) but never had been past 15, he would be seen as an eternal hero. But once number one, he has the eternal obligation to be the best.
In the Semis Guga faces Acasuso, who beat Brazilian-born German Thomas Behrend.