04/28/2012 - Bucharest, Romania (Sportsbook Betting Lines) - Gilles Simon of France will try for his third title in Bucharest on Sunday against Italy's Fabio Fognini after both won semifinal matches on Saturday.
The top-seeded Simon earned a 7-5, 6-2 victory over Germany's Matthias Bachinger before Fognini eased past Hungarian qualifier Attila Balazs, 6-3, 6-1, in just 68 minutes.
Simon won the Bucharest crown in each of his last two visits, back in 2007 and 2008, and Saturday's win gave him a 14-1 mark at the tournament. He'll take a 9-2 mark in finals into Sunday's match, last winning a title last July in Hamburg.
"I know that I can play very good here," said Simon. "I know the center court perfectly and I really think I can win this tournament one more time."
The 12th-ranked Frenchman had previously reached semifinals this year at Brisbane to start the campaign and Montpellier in February, before another run to the final four last week in Monte Carlo, where he fell to eventual champion Rafael Nadal.
Fognini will play in his first ATP final. He entered this event with a match record of just 2-5 in 2012, but has dropped just one set in four wins this week.
"Right now I'm really happy because it's my first final," noted Fognini. "I've lost maybe six or seven semifinals in a row, but today I was really solid."
Simon is 3-0 lifetime against the 57th-ranked Fognini, winning a trio of clay court meetings back in 2009.
The 2012 Bucharest champion will pocket $95,000.
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Trash talk has a place in every competitive endeavor (except baseball; those stirrup-wearers are too busy chewing on their sunflower seeds and their supplements to worry about what their opponents are doing).
Fantasy sports is no exception. Any intelligent discussion of the subject would probably start with a thesis statement or a definition of terms. Thankfully, this wont be an intelligent discussion.
Let me just say that I am happy to take a place in this space alongside my talented colleagues, even our commissioner. (You should see how she bleats like a demented paper boy about league fees on our fantasy site).
Trash talking, I would argue, is primarily about amusing your friends, their sheeplike demeanors and sloping foreheads notwithstanding. The best place I have found for football trash talking is at www.SportsAlarm.com.
Beyond the entertainment factor, though, I would recognize that the sophomoric ritual has one advantage, when properly applied. It magnifies your fantasy triumphs and mitigates your fantasy failures by transforming the eventual point total into an afterthought. Winning makes it seem like your opponent really is a truss-owning, lapel-pin-wearing nitwit. And in defeat, trash talk can be the air bag to break the fall from your hyperbolic heights. The plug-necked yahoos on your team, you can say, will be sacking groceries by the end of the season.
The best trash talk, in my view, is layered and nuanced. And it doesnt focus only on your opponents team. It picks apart your opponent. The idea is to create a shock-and-awe-scale blizzard of nonsense, and the goal is to make your opponent drop his hands from his keyboard in exasperation.
What team does your opponent root for? Accuse a Giants fan of having a Joe Namath pillowcase. Wheres your opponent from? Give a look of concern no matter his reply, then say, I'll try to type slower for you next time. Is your opponent into politics? Label everyone a tax-and-spend corporate shill.
Cap all that with a liberal application of irrelevance. For instance, dont just conclude by saying your opponent is a twerp who drafts like my grandmother. Say that your opponent is a sweater-wearing, eyebrow-plucking twerp who drafts his team about as well as Zsa Zsa Gabor gave acceptance speeches at the Oscars. By the time your foe makes sense of that, his starting running back will have had puppies.
But what about you? Hmm? Recall a memorable slam? Have a tried-and-true technique? Know someone who seems impervious to insult? Take a moment and tells us about it. Put together some (fit-for-publication) thoughts. You wont be too busy returning phone messages from your friends, Im sure, to reply.
In addition to the trash talking, the Sports Alarm has a huge gallery of high resolution pictures of beautiful women and models in bikinis. The most popular models are: Lindsay Lohan, Carrie Underwood, Alessandra Ambrosio, and Paris Hilton.