Spadea finally gets one!
I watched the Scottsdale final yesterday between Vince Spadea and Nicolas Kiefer, and it was a very suspenseful match. The quality of play wasn't particularly high, both men had more errors than winners, but there were so many momentum shifts that I really couldn't predict who would eventually win the match.
Spadea had a chance to serve for the match in the second set up a break, but he choked and Kiefer won that set in a tiebreaker. I thought Vince surely blew his chance to win his first ever ATP title, when Kiefer started the third set with three break points (0-40) on Spadea's serve. Somehow, Vince held on and won that game. There were plenty of more ups and downs between these players in the third, but Vince held his nerve a bit better and came away with the victory.
Now, when I turned on ESPN to watch this match, I thought I would be seeing Andy Roddick vs. Nicolas Kiefer. I was surprised to learn that Vince had beaten Andy the previous night because Andy had the match well at hand, being up a set and a break. I thought that ESPN might try some of their old tricks and show us a repeat of that semifinal match instead of the live final, but thankfully they didn't. Credit to ESPN for staying with the final until the end, because the match went long and NHL hockey was up next.
I think that this type of drama filled, see-saw match is just what the fans are looking for. Many people get bored when they turn on the set and they just see Roddick hitting one ace after another. Im talking about the casual fan now, not the enthusiasts that many of us are. Personally, I don't care who is playing, if tennis is on I will be watching. I wonder what kind of numbers this final posted for ESPN, because once you started watching, it would be difficult to stop, even if you weren't a huge fan, because the question of who would win was in doubt the whole way.
What does everyone here think? Do you think the numbers were really low because Roddick wasn't in the final, and not too many people are familiar with Spadea or Kiefer? Do you think people turned on the set expecting Roddick, but quickly turned it off when they realized he wasn't playing? I would like to know the thought process of those ESPN boneheads that claim they are building "characters" and "story lines" for a sport that is live and unpredictable. This match had everything they could ever hope for, except the huge stars.