Coming into his match with Novak Djokovic, Stan Wawrinka had been in great form but few really anticipated that he would provide much resistance against Novak, let alone keep him on court for five hours and almost beat him.
Ultimately Novak won 1-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-7, 12-10 but Wawrinka is bound to now be a crowd favourite for years to come much the same way Fernando Verdasco became after his 2009 match against Rafael Nadal.
Wawrinka was simply impressive. He hammered 16 aces down compared to Djokovic’s 9 and didn’t serve a double fault until the fourth hour of the match. He punished 69 winners to 51 from Nole but was ultimately undone but his error count. Read more »
Despite winning the Hopman Cup as part of Team Spain, Fernando Verdasco has failed to find the form that pushed him into the hearts of many at the 2009 Australian Open. Verdasco has been bundled out of the Open by Kevin Anderson.
Anderson won the third round battle 4-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6, 6-2 with 160 points to Verdasco’s 149. Read more »
It’s no secret that there is an “eye candy” component to tennis as a sport. By that we mean that there are plenty of players that even non-fans of the actual game will tune in to check out.
Often the players at the very top of the game are making huge sums of money but those lower down, even in the top thirty, can struggle to make ends meet by the time they’ve paid coaches and trainers as well as covering travel and accommodation costs. There are a huge number of lower ranked players who make most of their money through sponsorship/appearance deals of various kinds. Read more »
The King of Clay has spoken and he will not play on blue clay again.
Rafael Nadal is refusing to play in Madrid again on the new blue clay which players have said is markedly different and more slippery than natural clay. The fact that Madrid is now talking about changing the colour of the ball will only irritate Nadal more.
Overnight Nadal fell to his compatriot and close friend Fernando Verdasco in a third round match that he twice had the opportunity to serve out after gaining a 5-2 lead in the third set. Read more »
Andy Murray was hoping to try and change the statistic that 26 of the last 27 Grand Slams have been won by Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic, but it was not to be. The strange almost five hour match was won, eventually, by Novak 6-3, 3-6, 6-7, 6-1, 7-5. Defending champion Novak will now face Rafa for the title.
In his quarterfinal Novak had been clutching at his hamstring and struggling to breathe but initially looked to be OK, but not at his best, in his match against Murray. Despite an early break Murray stayed unusually positive even after Djokovic took the first set despite increasingly struggling to breathe. Read more »
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!
Bernard Tomic was the favourite coming into his match against Spaniard Fernando Verdasco but it was a match Verdasco never should have let slip away.
Fernando started with the advantage despite Tomic’s cocky attitude coming into the match. Tomic grabbed his leg and gasped for air early as Verdasco exposed Tomic’s inferior court movement, forcing him back meters behind the baseline with his huge forehand and his wide serve. Read more »
This years Australian Open is a tough one to call, mostly because there are a few niggling injuries in the top 15 and quite a few who are yet to show form that warrants their high ranking.
Then there are a few variables.
Sam Querrey is returning after a lengthy and serious injury time out but according to American insiders is playing well. David Nalbandian is always dangerous and overflowing with potential but always seems to come up short or injured, much like Lleyton Hewitt. Read more »
Bernard Tomic is working hard to make a lot of people, myself included, eat their words. The latest scalp the young Australian has claimed is that of world number 8 Mardy Fish whom he beat 6-4 3-6 7-5.
It’s an understatement to say Fish will not be impressed, particularly after what happened at the Hopman Cup with Dimitrov and his reaction behind the scenes, but Tomic is delighted. Read more »