"Ok...can someone say HERNIA?!"
They say when a baller lives to see another day of a tourney by saving match points en route to a win they're living on borrowed time. They should be finished but for some stroke of good fortune (read: dumb-ass luck) or plain big ballin' they've survived; they have nothing to lose and can really let their games fly. The others have been warned.
Such was the case with Robin Soderling + Gael Monfils at Paris-Bercy, the last Masters 1000 of the season. They saved a combined eight MPs in their respective epic semifinals with Sod saving 3 during his 6-7(0), 7-5, 7-6(6) win against Michael Llodra and La Monf doing even better saving 5 while upsetting Roger Federer. Both ballers entered the final match with everything to gain including a first Masters 1000 title.
In the end the Swede used his big serve (he lost only six points on serve in the first set) and trademark power hitting to win 6-1, 7-6(1) and capture the title. He also denied the Frenchies the pleasure of seeing their homeboy, who showed some brilliant stuff while earning his first win over Fed, lift the trophy for the second consecutive year (he lost in last year's final to Novak Djokovic.) Sod is now a member of The Big Four moving up to a career-high World No. 4 today and knocking former member Andy Murray back a spot - where he belongs, I might add.
[Photo(s): Getty Images]