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NEW YORK -- Gael Monfils knew he probably couldnt match Novak Djokovics game, so he tried to get into his brain. Sebastian Joseph Jersey .The result was a bizarre semifinal Grand Slam match that had most pundits and commentators up in arms and fuming, while Monfils argued that his only crime was daring to depart from convention and doing everything in his power to reverse his dismal 0-12 record against Djokovic.Even Monfils borderline outrageous tactics were insufficient to bamboozle Djokovic, who survived some anxious moments to win in 2? hours, 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-2.The match began predictably, and depressingly, enough for Monfils. Djokovic leaped to a 5-love lead. Then Monfils adopted a rope-a-dope suite of tactics. He stood flat-footed and seemingly disinterested to receive serve, then looped back short moon balls, daring Djokovic to attack. Sometimes he took reckless swipes at serves or foolishly charged the net at inexplicable times.Commentators, spectators, pundits all were baffled, unsure if Monfils was tanking or pursuing some silly strategy. ESPNs John McEnroe called it the Dont Try strategy. Others used words like bizarre and absurd.The odd thing? It worked. Djokovic was clearly rattled and his game ran off the rails for a while. From 0-5, Monfils bunted and slashed and rope-a-doped his way back to 3-5, 15-40, with Djokovic serving. Monfils bought himself some much-needed breathing room. The process wasnt pretty, but it was effective.The iconoclastic Frenchman later said his strategy was valuable but that critics dont want to see it because theyre too hung up on convention.Everyone is like, Play tennis like this. Do this, he said. But when the guy is too good, you change. I am not academic; I try to be better.Many witnesses to the match had trouble understanding -- or perhaps it was sympathizing -- with the way Monfils chose to play. Clubbing 52 unforced errors, as Monfils did in this match, is not a very good way to win friends and influence people. Its also undeniable that Monfils dramatic shift of tactics turned a potentially ghastly blowout into a strange, sharp-edged and fairly competitive match.Monfils was similarly slapdash in the second set, by the end of which the crowd was getting restless and demanding better tennis. Spectators periodically booed Monfils. When he fell behind 0-30 in the first game of the third set, someone cried out, Play tennis! When he lost the next score to make it 15-40, Monfils was roundly booed.Given that a large number of spectators were listening to McEnroe and his fellow commentators on earpieces, theres a good chance they were egged on by the dismay of the experts.If at the end I had the mic, I would say to the audience, Stop saying that Im unprofessional, Monfils said. The guy is killing me, you know. Im just embracing the fact the guy is too good for me and trying to switch strategy.Monfils did begin playing a more familiar brand of tennis soon after that early break and a Djokovic hold. Monfils won four games in a row with the kind of electric shot-making that makes him such a popular figure. He won the set, but his own analysis was confirmed. Djokovic was just too good for him if the both played straight up, conventional tennis.I could have expected it in a way, Djokovic said of the odd match, without a trace of anger. I was caught off guard. But thats Gael. He loves defense, impossible shots, long rallies.Shortly after the match, McEnroe summed up his disappointment in Monfils performance. He predicted that the players in the locker room would have nothing but contempt for it. He called it the ultimate backdoor effort.Monfils offered a responseIm very sad to learn that such a legend criticize me, Monfils said, because at the end, what I can say to John is, You know, John, I want to be the best. Its tough, you know. And I try my best.Monfils might have added that when the front door is always locked, theres no choice but to try going around the back. Trevon Young Jersey . By having more great seasons. Manning was the only unanimous choice for the 2013 Associated Press NFL All-Pro team Friday. Joseph Noteboom Jersey . Their experience showed Tuesday as the No. 10 Badgers blunted a Saint Louis surge to win 63-57 and advance to face West Virginia in Wednesdays finals of the Cancun Challenge. http://www.cheapramsjerseyschina.com/ . -- There were so many positives from the Orlando Magics first victory of the season that it was hard for coach Jacque Vaughn to stop praising his players. MINNEAPOLIS -- After getting his first night off in more than a year, Jose Altuve looked as fresh as ever Tuesday night.The All-Star second baseman, who sat out Monday for the first time since June 15, 2015, went 4 for 4 and scored twice as the Houston Astros topped the Minnesota Twins 7-5.The four-hit game for Altuve matched a career high and raised his batting average to .361 as he puts his name in the AL MVP discussion.Hes the biggest piece of this puzzle, teammate Carlos Correa said.Correa drove in four runs, including a first-inning homer with Altuve on base. That snapped a drought of seven straight games for the Astros without a home run.Altuve was given the night off during Mondays series opener, ending the longest active streak in the majors at 202 consecutive games played. He didnt miss a beat one day later, and his third hit helped spark a three-run sixth for the Astros.The undersized star has reached base safely in 39 straight road games, the longest current run in the majors.He looked refreshed, Houston manager A.J. Hinch said. I dont think he ever has too much of a bad day. He came out with some fresh legs and the normal swing that he has. Hes just continuing a remarkable season and doing just about everything you could ask out of a player.Astros starter Mike Fiers (8-5) gave up three home runs -- he allowed four total in his previous eight starts -- but benefited from a good night at the plate from his offense. Fiers entered ranked fifth in the American League in run support (6.75 runs per game).No matter the situation, you always need this kind of game, Altuve said. Everybody swung the bat today.Hector Santiago (10-6) took the loss in his first home game for Minnesota and second start with his new team. Santiago was acquired in a trade with the Los Angeles Angels for right-hander Ricky Nolasco and made his Twins debut in Cleveland.Like a lot of other pitchers, Santiago had trouble getting Altuve out.You just try to throw it up there, make a good pitch and hopefully he can hit iit at somebody, Santiago said. Jamil Demby Jersey. It just seems that every time he hits the ball, its somewhere where nobody is at.The Twins hit consecutive homers off Fiers in the fifth to take a 4-2 lead. Robbie Grossman hit a two-run shot to right, and Brian Dozier followed with his 23rd of the year. It was the 10th time this season Minnesota went back-to-back, the third-most in team history.Houston reliever Ken Giles allowed a run in the ninth but earned his second save in five opportunities this year. Minnesotas lineup finished 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position.ASSISTING FROM THE OUTFIELDHouston outfielders came in tied for the most assists in the majors with 35. The Astros added another, and it came at a crucial time.Center fielder Jake Marisnick threw out Trevor Plouffe at home plate following a single up the middle by Jorge Polanco. Houston catcher Evan Gattis fielded the throw perfectly and tagged Plouffe, preventing what would have been a big run for the Twins.That play kept it a 5-4 Astros lead, and Houston went on to build on that advantage in the next inning. Minnesota also threw out a runner at home plate in the first inning, but the Astros outfield assist was a game-changer.It changes the complexion of the entire game, Hinch said. Jake continues to find ways to contribute in center field. Staying under control, he kept the throw low. Great pick by Gattis, good tag at the plate, and a momentum-shifter that would have changed the game.TRAINERS ROOMAstros: RHP Luke Gregerson (left oblique strain) will throw an aggressive bullpen session on Wednesday, Hinch said. Gregerson could return as early as Friday.UP NEXTAL Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel (7-11, 4.56 ERA) starts Wednesday for Houston in the third game of the series. Keuchel pitched a three-hit shutout his last time out against Texas. Minnesota will send Ervin Santana (5-9, 3.62) to the mound. ' ' ' 
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