October 22, 2021

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FedStan vs. RaoBis – all-star dubs (pics)

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. – There was no way to see this (legal or other) unless you were on site at the tournament, so we took plenty of pics of the Federer-Wawrinka vs. Raonic-Gulbis doubles match the other night.

It’s not that often that four top-25 guys get together on a doubles court. It wasn’t exactly the best doubles ever. But it was entertaining because of the personalities involved. And it’s pretty jarring to see Milos Raonic laughing so much on a match court.

He has fun on the practice court with some people (Monfils being a major one), but most don’t get to see that, either.

Here are a few notables.

*When Ernests Gulbis came out, he immediately shook the chair umpire’s hand. It was Federerian.

*Gulbis took the return on those deciding-point deuces. Can’t say it worked out all that well, from memory.

*Raonic playing the deuce court isn’t the greatest idea of all time. That T serve that forces him to hit an inside-out backhand return is awfully effective.

GulbisRaonic

*Wawrinka missed a lot of volleys – a LOT of volleys. Easy volleys.

*Gulbis tried to crank every serve as hard as he possibly could; we’re guessing he bet Raonic he could win the mph contest. He didn’t come close.

*Gulbis’s hair was a total bird’s nest by the end, for whatever reason.

*He also, every time both teams were trying to cross over at the side of the net, ALWAYS let Federer and Wawrinka go first. He may be a nut job, but he’s a courtly one. We’re starting to think maybe he has a little man-crush on the Fed.

Federerwawrinka

*The match ended when Gulbis double-faulted both his points away in the second-set tiebreaker. And everyone in the stadium knew the second one was coming.

*The Fed put on a sweater-vest before going out for the on-court interview. It was kinda Wimbledonian of him.