I think it’s safe to say that even though we’re only just into the first day of the second week that this has been the strangest Australian Open ever.
There have been a significant number of injuries on both the men’s and women’s side but at the time of writing there had been an incredible 8 retirements and 1 withdrawal on the men’s side alone.
Rafael Nadal injured his knee getting up from a chair but played on. Kim Clijsters re-sprained her troublesome ankle but played on. Li Na seemed to be the kiss of death for ankles knocking both Anabel Medina Garrigeus and Kim Clijsters to the ground in the early stages of their first set. Read more »
Marcos Baghdatis harnessed his inner Marat Safin during his four set loss to Stan Wawrinka late last night. After going down a break of serve in the third set Marcos was so irritated that he smashed the living daylights out of his racket.
Casually Marcos then handed the impressively destroyed racket to the ball boy to throw out while he was sitting down at the change of ends. Still sitting Marcos grabbed another racket from his bag and smashed that and then grabbed two more rackets, one at a time, and smashed them too. The third and fourth rackets were still in their plastic bags.
Marcos might have loss the plot and the 7-6 (7-3), 6-4, 5-7, 6-1 match but he won out in terms of the fine handed down. The ITF have the power to fine players $2,000 US for abuse of a single racket but the Cypriot was only fined $800.
Meanwhile Donald Young, Juan Carlos Ferrero and Gilles Simon were all fined $1, 500 for swearing while Fernando Verdasco was fined $2, 000 for being coached during his match.
Given that the swearing is generally not something the crowd can hear and that Marcos destroyed four rackets in full view of everyone maybe he should have received a more significant fine – especially when the umpire fining Verdasco said he had no idea what his coaches were actually saying to justify the fine.
Marcos would do well to remember that Marat Safin once had to withdraw from a tournament because he had smashed all his rackets and you only come into a tournament with about six or seven in your bag… Destroying four in one go is ridiculous because what happens if you some how win!
The night match between Feliciano Lopez and Andy Murray had potential, particularly with Lopez being in reasonably good form lately. The Spanish pretty boy has game, the problem is that he often forgets to turn the switch on. Tonight was one of those nights. Murray toppled the Spaniard easily 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 as Lopez struggled to consistently string points together.
Before I walked out in disgust at Lopez’s – I’m going to say it – pathetic performance, I found Andy Murray’s body language interesting. Much like Novak Djokovic yesterday Murray was comfortably leading and yet his head was hung, he was smacking his thigh and thumping his racket into his shoes. Read more »
Donald Young has put some of the controversies of this season behind him and “became a man today,” according to Patrick McEnroe after he outlasted Stanislas Wawrinka 7-6, 3-6, 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 in a match that lasted four hours and twenty minutes.
Young agreed with McEnroe’s statement saying, “I’ve grown a lot the last few years. I’ve learned from all those mistakes. Everybody’s light comes on at a different time, and I feel like mine’s coming on.” Read more »
After Radek Stepanek predictably toppled Donald Young it was left to John Isner and Gael Monfils to fight it out for the final spot in the Washington finals. Isner was the favourite heading in despite Monfils’ higher ranking because of his huge serve and Gael’s tendency to have significant mid-match form fluctuations. It was an inspired Monfils who saved a match point and then went on to win the third set tie break to book a place in the finals with the 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 win over the home crowd favourite. Read more »
John Isner and Gael Monfils will face off in the semifinals in Washington for a chance to face the winner of Donald Young V Radek Stepanek. Monfils took Janko Tipsarevic 6-4, 6-4 while mighty John Isner needed three sets to pass Viktor Troicki 7-6, 3-6, 6-1. Read more »
The other day Donald Young Jr Tweeted a message saying that the USTA had “screwed” him for the last time and essentially when he pressed Tweet he screwed himself. Young Jr beat Andy Murray recently in Indian wells but the straw that broke the camels back was losing a wild card into the French Open to compatriot Tim Smyczek in the play offs held by USTA. Read more »
Andy Murray has been handed a surprise defeat after the brilliant performance of home grown qualifier Donald Young at Indian Wells. The Scot was defeated 7-6, 6-3 after falling behind in the first set tie breaker before his serve abandoned him, allowing him to be broken twice in the final set.
While it is a great win for the American, who will now face Tommy Robredo in the third round, it is a match that only served to further highlight the problems with Murray’s game. Read more »