Brazil had a heartbreaking loss on Wednesday as Thomaz Bellucci fell to Federico Gil from Portugal. The fans for both players were very loud and involved. Even Bellucci would mumble words of frustration in Portuguese, directed to the crowd. It was not easy for Brazil’s No. 1 player, playing his first round match, on a day where the conditions did not really help him, he felt it was a little windy out there. He admitted he played poorly.
At a times, Bellucci would hit his big forehand and set up beautiful points, but he could not sustain a high level throughout the game. His unforced errors cost him the match. At the end, Bellucci was still trying to find a way, getting out of a deep hole he was in, down a set, down a break in the second set. Gil went on to serve for the match at 5-3, got to 40/0, only to hit an easy short ball with his forehand to the net, keeping Bellucci’s hope alive. But it did not last long, since Bellucci could not find strength anywhere to prolong points Gil closed out the match, in front of a very happy Portuguese crowd.
What was interesting about the crowd were certain comments they would make to one another. Being a Brazilian myself, I could not help but find it entertaining seeing how two countries who share so many values can have so many differences. In the end, Gil played a very solid match, looked confident and his game plan was very effective against Bellucci. He kept the Brazilian running from one side to another, tiring Bellucci even more, and forcing him to make mistakes. Gil also served especially well to Bellucci backhand, and won many easy points since Bellucci was not returning well.
At the end not a good day for Bellucci, who had a great results at the Brasil Open in February, losing in the semis. Last week in Indian Wells, he delighted his entire country when he played Roger Federer so close, losing the match in three sets.
So, as many players are aware that tennis is a sport where you have to accept losses and work from that. And Bellucci, is very hard working, always pushing himself to the limits, and perhaps even over training sometimes.
Frederico Gil goes on to the second round of the Sony Ericsson Open, and making his country proud of his level of tennis. He will be playing the Estoril Open in April in Portugal, where Juan Martin Del Potro will also play.
Luci Hoffman is covering the Sony Ericsson Open for Tennis Panorama News.