Abu Dhabi & Hopman Cup

42 minutes, that’s how long it took Richard Gasquet and Marion Bartoli to defeat Li Na and Wu Di at the Hopman Cup.  That’s two minutes shorter than it took for Djokovic to defeat Fed at Abu Dhabi.  I guess the exhos have a silent code of swift play.

Despite the lopsided scoreline, it was a joy to watch Reeshard and Marion play mixed doubles.  China’s team, Li Na and Wu Di, showed a light-hearted chemistry with each other and greeted each shot with laughter and smiles.  Despite Marion’s occasional attempts to lighten up the mood (which is a big ask for her, during a match), I don’t think Reeshard cracked a grin the entire time—that’s just the way he is though 🙂

Photo: Getty Images

Fed and Hingis are officially not playing together at the 2012 Olympics, so I hope Reeshard and Marion team up to become the mixed doubles pair that I root for.  It was nice to see Bartoli hitting sharp, flat winners again, although she did lose a tight match to Li Na earlier in the day.  It was a solid win for Li, perhaps a hopeful recovery from her recent slump.

The Australia-Spain tie will take place on New Year’s Day, featuring Lleyton Hewitt against Fernando Verdasco.  An intriguing match-up!

**

In Abu Dhabi, Djokovic made swift work of Fed in 44 minutes, which will surely set up expectations for his title defence at the Oz Open.  Much has been made of the fact that Fed kept his Rolex on for the duration of the match, which highlights the meaningless nature of the encounter.  Still, Fed himself was quick to admit that the defeat was somewhat of a blow (also, doesn’t Rafa always wear his watch during matches?)

Photo: Getty Images

Ferru defeated Rafa in a fun-filled match that was also light-hearted in tone.  The match featured Ferru’s excellent choice of tactics, as he went on the attack many times, showcasing forehands that recalled some of his best performances at the 2011 Oz Open and the WTF.  Ferru looks more than ready to jump-start the 2012 season.

(Photo: Getty Images & AP Photo)

Why yes, I’d like ketchup and lettuce with my burger.

Rafa spoke openly about the slow and steady route he is taking in preparation for 2012, given some of his lingering injury concerns.  The Rafa-Fed match for 3rd place takes place shortly at Abu Dhabi—it should be an interesting match for fans, who are anxious to gauge each player’s form after the short “off-season.”

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About mariposaxprs

I play favorites with Juan Martin Del Potro, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, David Ferrer, Feliciano Lopez, Gilles Simon and the long line of mercurial talent that drives me to despair in front of the screen at odd hours during the week.
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4 Responses to Abu Dhabi & Hopman Cup

  1. queridorafa says:

    Now I am literally craving a (turkey) burger… 😉
    Did not hear about this Rolex business! Funny, the things fans notice. I remember I was completely terrified when Rafa signed his watch deal–was convinced it would throw off his balance and he would lose in the 1R of RG that year…luckily, my fears were unfounded!
    I saw some pics of Reeshie and Marion and thought they made quite the cute mixed pair! Andy R. and Serena might have their hands full…

    • mariposaxprs says:

      Since Marion has gone on the record for being a fan of Fed, it’d also be nice if Fed could do a day-long venture in French citizenship for Hopman Cup!! You just reminded me Roddick & Serena will be playing mixed dubs at the Oz Open this year too. Wow, that’s only a couple of weeks away now…

  2. LOL “ketchup and lettuce!” So true, so true!

    • mariposaxprs says:

      Haha I really like the lime green outfit Rafa has for Abu Dhabi. I think the red of Ferru’s outfit makes for a nice hamburger combo, no matter who he’s playing—it can be ketchup & mustard, or ketchup & a burnt burger, etc. 😉 Happy New Year, Emma!

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