Juan José: My thoughts are that I hope this is not an epic disaster.
Lindsay: Murray leads the h2h 3-0, but they’ve had some interesting matches. In Monte Carlo last year, Benny was playing Murray really closely until he fell and broke his wrist and elbow all at once.
Juan José: Didn’t they play an awful match, with that horrible, horrible long rally, here a few years ago?
Lindsay: And then yes, four years ago here in the quarterfinals, they played the point that never ended.
Juan José: I remember saying at the time that if that was the future of tennis, I wouldn’t be a part of it. So horrible.
Question for you: do you have any hope of a Benny upset?
Lindsay: Hmmm…that’s a good question. I mean, honestly, it’s Murray in a Masters Series event, so anything can happen. While he still is certainly capable of winning them, he has been less consistent in the Masters since becoming more consistent at the majors.
But, then again, it’s Benny.
So, pretty much nothing would surprise me here.
Juan José: And we’re off! Long-ish rally that ends with a Benny UFE. Par for the course, then.
Lindsay: Sounds about right.
Juan José: There are not a whole lot of people out there for this match.
That might change once Tommy Haas completes his epic choke job against Federer on Center Court.
Lindsay: Not at all. I feel like everyone needs a break this time of the day, especially after the JJ Experience.
Juan José: Benny FH UFE into the net, and he’s broken to start the match.
Lindsay: So far, Murray looks sharp and Benny does not. #analysis
Juan José: Pretty much. And if that trend continues, this will be a very, very short match.
Lindsay: Murray/Benny 1*-0. I’m such a fan of this kit on Murray. It’s amazing how all his new muscles disappeared once he wore a shirt that wasn’t a second skin.
Juan José: Also, the yellow shoulder pads are gone. For the benefit of the universe.
Benny’s forehand so far has behaved like eggs do when they’re left out in the sun for days.
Lindsay: Yeah, that happens sometimes. I wonder if Benny is sad about Marion.
Juan José: He probably is.
Lindsay: Murray holds easily. Murray/Benny 2-0*. Benny’s hair is amazing. It looks like Ken doll hair, all the time. A short cut, but lots of volume, plus boy-band highlights that bring out his eyes. It has not changed his entire career.
It always amazes me.
Juan José: He found the style he liked, and he’s sticking with it. Very un-French of him.
Lindsay: Murray, meanwhile, clearly loves to experiment with hairstyles. I like his look right now.
Juan José: I’m starting to worry about a bagel here.
Lindsay: Yeah…I’m not sure what Benny is doing. He actually usually starts pretty well, then starts to suck.
Juan José: Two straight FH UFEs by Benneteau, and he’s broken himself again.
Lindsay: Murray/Benny 3*-0
Juan José: Should we hold a moment of silence for Benny’s FH? It passed away.
So. Question. Just between me and you, I won’t tell anyone. What do you think Murray’s chances at the USO this year are?
Juan José: He could win it again.
Lindsay: OMG. The best part of Benny matches:
I see BennyTent
— Chris P (@scoobschris) August 15, 2013
Juan José: Uh-oh. I see BennyTent, too. Does Benny get excited by being down two breaks early in a match? That’s one special kind of kink. AND NOW HE’S TRYING TO HIDE IT!!!!
Lindsay: I think I got a screencap of that. OMG.
Juan José: EPIC. He actually tried to pull his shirt over it. I can’t stop laughing.
Lindsay: Meanwhile…. Murray/Benny 4-0*
Juan José: Benny might avoid the bagel here. Up 40-15 after Murray clearly lifts his foot off the pedal.
Lindsay: Phew. That’s how aggressive he needs to be. Nice serve and attack by Benny and his jet. Murray/Benny 4*-1.
Juan José: I think Andy Murray’s interest level in this match is already fading. Maybe that was Benny’s tactic all along.
Lindsay: LOL. Back to Murray, I think he could win the U.S. Open too. I think that we are reaching PEAK Murray years.
Juan José: Benneteau’s botched volley at 15-all, 4-1 just hurt my soul.
Lindsay: He’s probably distracted by the third player on the court.
Juan José: I think Benneteau should get called for a “visible obscenity.”
Benny did a great job controlling that rally and getting Murray on the defensive.
Juan José: He has to do that. But the key to beating someone like Murray is to be able to manage that aggression with some patience. Not sure Benny can do that for 2 sets.
Lindsay: Deuce No. 2 for Benny, who has finally woken up.
Juan José: Are Benny’s eyebrows bleached?
Lindsay: I don’t think so…are they?
Benny missed his chance despite two deuces. Murray/Benny 5-1*.
Juan José: WOW! Benny’s FH comes back to life – a great running CC FH to go up 30-15. He’s still down 1-5, though.
Can't blame the organisers for putting this on Grandstand actually – it's a total snooze.
— Chris P (@scoobschris) August 15, 2013
Lindsay: Nice overhead by Benny, holds. Murray/Benny 5*-2
He is definitely playing better right now, I have hope for a mildly entertaining second set. These guys definitely don’t bring out the best in each other’s games, though.
Juan José: No. Benny seems uncomfortable having to be the main aggressor all the time. No interest in being patient so far.
Lindsay: He doesn’t like defense at all. He likes strike-fests, which is why he’s had success against Federer.
Juan José: It’ll be a hilarious day when Julien Benneteau triggers an FCC fine for ESPN. #BennyAndHisJet
In partially related news, Benneteau just failed to return a 75 mph 2nd serve by Murray.
Lindsay: Yeah. If there’s no pace then it gives Benny too much time to think. He shouldn’t do that.
It’s why he’s a good doubles player. Instincts, not strategy.
Juan José: I completely agree.
Juan José: Murray holds to love, and I wouldn’t have been surprised if he had yawned after converting that set point. First set to him, 6-2.
Andy wins one of the most boring sets of tennis ever 6-2
— EriKa (@SCWTA) August 15, 2013
Lindsay: So. You’re a person who doesn’t follow Benny as closely as I do, which is probably healthy. I’m curious what you think he’ll best be remembered for.
Juan José: That is…IF he’s remembered.
Lindsay: Well, I mean, for those who do remember.
Juan José: I say for his lack of titles and his choke against Federer at Wimbledon. And the hardcores will always remember his jet.
Personally, I wish people remembered that he has 2 wins over Federer and 0 (out of 7 tries) against Nieminen. Benny should be remembered for all those extreme feats of Bennyism.
Lindsay: Agreed. And the time he chased the squirrel in the middle of his match.
Juan José: Yep. But Benny just hit a horrible DF to set up BP in the 1st game of the 2nd set. He follows that up with a FH UFE, and Murray breaks to start the 2nd set. This match might end in like 5 minutes.
Lindsay: Yeah…this is a really boring match, haha. Great first one to Skype!
Lindsay: Did Murray just say, “I’m very slow.”
Juan José: He probably did. I think he’s quite bored by this match.
Lindsay: Murray/Benny 6-2, 1*-0
Juan José: Benny lost that 1st set despite serving 68% 1st serves. That’s special. Also, 15 UFEs.
Oops – Benny’s errant shot just now landed on Pammy’s iPad.
Lindsay: That’s the only target that Benny’s hit all match.
Juan José: LOL!
Lindsay: Murray/Benny 6-2, 2*-0
Juan José: Murray has lost 8 points on serve all match.
Lindsay: Hahaha. And two have been DFs.
Benneteau is at -16 in W/UE. Stats are *actually* telling the story here. Snoozefest.
— Victoria (@unseededlooming) August 15, 2013
Lindsay: Benny holds, and he walks to his chair looking like he’s literally about to die.
Murray/Benny 6-2, 2*-1
Juan José: Benny holds! And the match is so boring that ESPN2 shows Darren Cahill and P-Mac in the studio. That’s one strange lobster costume P-Mac is wearing.
Actually, they left the match for good – they’re showing little league instead.
And they won’t even be showing Nadal/Dimitrov live. Hooray for the US Open Series!
Juan José: LOL. I like how they’re pushing the fact that Nadal-Dimitrov will be on ESPN3, like that’s a normal channel people get.
Lindsay: I can’t find a stream, ugh.
Juan José: Murray just held. He’s up 3*-1
Lindsay: BTW, here’s my write-up of the match that sealed my love for Benny forever:
Juan José: I remember that – missed the match but heard all the raves.
Lindsay: It was insane. And really fun to see a packed crowd of not-hardcore tennis fans enjoying it so much.
Finally got a stream back up.
Juan José: Benny actually held easily, for once.
Lindsay: He does have a good serve when he remembers. Murray/Benny 6-2, 3*-2
Juan José: WOW – amazing CC running FH pass by Benny, AND HE HAS A BREAK POINT.
Lindsay: HE’S ALLLIIIIIVVVVEEEEE
Juan José: More like HE’S AWAAAKEEEE
Murray saved the BP with a good CC FH of his own. Unfortunately for Benny, Murray holds anyway. Now TennisTV shows a graph indicating that Andy Murray has returned 89% of Benny’s serves. That’s not a good thing for Julien Benneteau.
Lindsay: Murray/Benny 6-2, 4-2*
Murray has made 89% of his returns, is that what I just saw?
Juan José: Yep. Very few free points for Benny.
WOW – Ridiculous point won by Murray’s wheels. Benny seems so surprised when Murray hits great CC angled FHs.
Lindsay: This is one of those matches that just feels like biding time until the finish line. 10 more minutes, it will be over. There are a few good shots and moments for both, but mainly just different levels. No hijinks. No personality. No drama.
Juan José: Uh-oh. BH UFE by Benny, and he’s down a BP at 2-4
Lindsay: His backhand has now broken down too.
These rallies are so bad for him, he is not the type to rally. Needs opportunities to strike.
Juan José: And a frustrated FH UFE that missed by a mile seals the break. Murray will serve for the match at 6-2, 5-2.
Lindsay: LOLLL. He just got totally bored with that rally and tried to find an angle that wasn’t there. Sums it up. What a dud.
Juan José: Exactly. That was a Lee Corso “Aww, fuck it” shot.
Lindsay: Benny just blew a kiss to the linesperson. And that is why he is awesome.
Or to Bernardes, sorry.
Benneteau blowing sarcastic kisses to Bernardes. And now I have seen it all.
— Aleksa (@Noleksa) August 15, 2013
Juan José: Game, Set and Match to Andy Murray. 6-2, 6-2. It felt like 0 and 0, to be honest.
Still, Benny almost got his erection on national TV, he blew kisses at Bernardes, and we got to crack jokes. All in all, not a bad way to spend some time.
Lindsay: Well that was depressing. But yeah, still a Benny match. Nice way to ease us into our Skype chats.
Juan José: Agreed! Till next time!