2009 Legg Mason Tennis Classic finals: More unabridged tweets

For the first time, Meniscus decided to live-tweet one of the many events that we have covered over the years – the 2009 Legg Mason Tennis Classic singles semifinals. The experience was enjoyable enough that similar commentary was provided during the singles championship, which happened to be one of the most entertaining finals in years. Second seed and defending champion Juan Martin Del Potro narrowly knocked off top seed Andy Roddick in a third-set tiebreaker. Here’s how the 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (8-6) encounter unfolded on Twitter, with some additional information for kicks:

Sunday, August 9, 2009:

2:30-ish: It’s a hot and super-muggy day in the Nation’s Capital this fine August Sunday at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic. Stocked up on H2O.

3:03 p.m.: Yeah! Roddick and Del Potro are on the court. The crowd is excited.

3:07 p.m.: They are warming up: Three-time Legg Mason champ (Roddick) vs. defending champ (Del Potro).

Next hour, between 3:07-4:07 p.m.:

1) Roddick raises his hand to greet the crowd a couple of times during his introduction – while practicing overhead smashes. Nice.

2) And they’re off! Lots of fans (waving fans) in the crowd. Del Potro challenged a Roddick smash on the very first point and won it.

3) Ha, Charlie [Brotman, the tournament’s longtime announcer] is announcing that a “very nice car” – a Jaguar convertible – is parked illegally and about to get towed. No tennis 4U!

4) Roddick breaks to go up 4-2 in the first after challenging a Del Potro serve. Quality of match equal to what we saw in both semis.

5) Del Potro just HAMMERED the ball into Roddick’s body…with a 360, Andy’s able to fend off the shot as a volley and lead 5-2.

6) Andy serves an ace to close out the first set, 6-3.

7) Some shouts of encouragement for Del Potro after he holds serve to start the second set.

8) I love how being down love-30 on a serve is often cause for panic and concern from the crowd. Andy is fine, everyone.

4:07 p.m: See? Four straight points, and it’s 2-2 in the second set. Still muggy out here. Do I smell Indian food from where I’m sitting at stadium court?

Between 4:07-4:53 p.m.:

1) Del Potro earns three break points but is disgusted after hitting a ball long on the first. He covers his head with his shirt.

2) He breaks! Del Potro breaks! He’s up 5-3 in the second set and we could be out here for awhile.

3) A Roddick ball Del Potro thought was going long stayed inside the baseline; flustered, he double faults and Andy breaks back for 5-4.

4) Another sellout crowd of 7,500 today. Total attendance for the week: 76,881. BTW, they’re still on serve with Del Potro up 6-5.

5) Del Potro breaks again! He lets out a scream and clenches his fist, taking the second set, 7-5. Great stuff!

6) Del Potro argues a late second-serve call that would have given him a return winner and deuce at 1-0. They replay, and NOW it’s deuce…

4:53 p.m.: Andy does serve himself out of the game, although his first serve doesn’t seem to be as potent as earlier when it was consistently 130+ mph. 1-1.

4:58 p.m.: Del Potro has cracked again. He blew an easy overhead smash and double faulted to hand Roddick the break to go down 1-2. Déjà vu.

5:10 p.m.: That said, Del Potro breaks at love to even the score at 3-3. He has a cool, Federer-like demeanor and just goes about his business no matter if he’s leading or behind.

5:28 p.m.: Someone in the press box cheers for Del Potro. Well to heck with journalists’ expected non-partisan etiquette at sports events, why not. They’re still on serve, with Del Potro up 6-5.


5:36 p.m.: Lots of cheering from the crowd, trying to encourage Andy, with the American down 2-4 in the tiebreak.

5:40 p.m.: Del Potro up 6-5, match point. Cheers of “ANDY, ANDY.” Del Potro hits a ball long and it’s 6-6!!!! The crowd goes nuts!

5:43 p.m.: Del Potro wins the tiebreak 8-6 and the title! Andy challenges the call to no avail. Very close. 3-6, 7-5, 7-6. Key aces helped JMDP. (He ended up with five in the third-set tiebreak alone, one of them on a second serve.)

5:44 p.m.: Like the Isner-Roddick semi, this one also reaches 2.5 hours in length. They’re rolling out the red carpet now for the trophy presentation.

5:50 p.m.: They have already pasted the lettering in the stadium with Del Potro as the ’09 champ. A bit of trouble getting the white letters to stick due to the length of Juan Martin’s name. Say, why is Justin Gimelstob speaking in this ceremony??

5:52 p.m.: D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty is also in da house. It was also just announced that Legg Mason has sponsored this tournament for 16 years.

5:58 p.m.: Roddick in his speech: cites “tough [weather] conditions” and says that Del Potro played “an unbelievable tiebreaker.”

6:00 p.m.: Soft-spoken Del Potro barely heard from my perch at the top, but I believe he said he was “so tired.”

6:15 p.m.: Roddick to do his press conference in 15 minutes.

6:24 p.m.: Tony Kornheiser of ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption” and The Washington Post honored his bet with Andy and showed! He is wearing a red Washington Nationals hat (with the “W” logo)…

6:34 p.m.: Roddick on Del Potro: “I rolled the dice, he hit Yahtzee.” Andy is surprised that reporters are apologizing to each other for accidentally stepping over each other, asking questions and speaking simultaneously in presser.

6:36 p.m.: Andy asks if he can use the towel that the moderator happens to be holding. The moderator says sure, it was intended for him anyway. Andy covers his head with the towel and jokingly talks to press in muffled tones through it.

6:53 p.m.: That’s it from us! Great tennis at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic this year!!

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Photo Gallery: 2009 Legg Mason Tennis Classic
all photos by Kwai Chan / Meniscus Magazine