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Beyond the Baseline

Simon wins 71-shot rally, then match

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zk_rhsDxUFs

What happens when you pit two defensive counterpunchers on court with the fourth round of a Slam on the line? Well if it's Gilles Simon and Gael Monfils, two Frenchmen who have a history of forcing each other into metronomically long rallies, you get yourself a 71-shot rally that actually isn't as exciting as it sounds. The two traded rally balls for over a minute and a half before Simon finally pulled the trigger on a flat forehand cross court that eventually won him the point. The rally left both men exhausted but it was indicative of the match itself, which an injured Simon miraculously won 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 1-6, 8-6. The fact that Monfils lost this match against an injured opponent when he looked well on his way to victory is everything you need to know about the Exasperating Case of Gael Monfils. Unbelievable.

http://twitter.com/Gael_Monfils/statuses/292658788522156032

Two nights ago Petra Kvitova and Laura Robson played an error strewn match that was the epitome of pure offensive tennis gone wrong, a match that Robson won 11-9 in the third amidst high drama but wonting tennis. Saturday night saw the opposite, with Simon and Monfils content to rally for hours despite both suffering from injuries throughout the match (Simon had a knee and elbow injury that forced him to spin in 75mph serves) and playing some of the most frustrating tennis to watch of the tournament. Again, there was drama and intrigue in the same way that the worst reality television can be must-watch TV.

Both men are at their best when playing against more offensive minded players who give them something to react to. Take that away and you get neverending hitting sessions. In addition to the 71-shot rally there were two more of 47-shots and more than two dozen that exceeded 20 shots. By the end, both players were staggering between points and eating chocolate bars and drinking Coke on changeovers.

http://twitter.com/SI_BTBaseline/statuses/292613638781550592

Amazing feat of modern tennis? Or ugly battle of attrition? Not even the tennis players watching the match from the comfortable confines of their hotel rooms could decide. While Caroline Wozniacki and Milos Raonic found the match "unbelievable" and riveting, retired pros Goran Ivanisevic and Ivan Ljubicic suggested the combatants should be arrested for their frustrating display of tennis. Consider me on team Ivanisevic.

Here are some of the best tweets from the night:

https://twitter.com/SI_BTBaseline/status/292596968461586432

http://twitter.com/sabinelisicki/statuses/292580397118783488

http://twitter.com/CaroWozniacki/statuses/292597004062834688

http://twitter.com/CaroWozniacki/statuses/292613129588858880

http://twitter.com/theljubicic/statuses/292611994681503745

http://twitter.com/galo_blanco/statuses/292613361030533121

http://twitter.com/andreapetkovic/statuses/292613576198348800

http://twitter.com/milosraonic/statuses/292618758416105472

http://twitter.com/SvetlanaK27/statuses/292619559922442240

http://twitter.com/milosraonic/statuses/292619980913127424

http://twitter.com/arodionova/statuses/292620944168599552

http://twitter.com/SvetlanaK27/statuses/292621334498910208

http://twitter.com/EVesnina001/statuses/292621418179461121

http://twitter.com/Dinarik27/statuses/292622160248332292

http://twitter.com/SvetlanaK27/statuses/292623876276490241

http://twitter.com/theljubicic/statuses/292617228174643200

http://twitter.com/BMATTEK/statuses/292624385557295104

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KPED4-ND44Y

http://twitter.com/oli_golding/statuses/292622424468504576

http://twitter.com/Dinarik27/statuses/292624807848194049

https://twitter.com/SI_BTBaseline/status/292600277733879808

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MzIyKmqEFtM

http://twitter.com/BMATTEK/statuses/292627447197872128

http://twitter.com/SteveTignor/statuses/292625150313127936

http://twitter.com/ivokarlovic/statuses/292627870466072576

http://twitter.com/Kamakshi_Tandon/statuses/292626478678560768

You can watch the last 20 minutes of the match in the clip below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1o_F5d0X6o

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