Category Archives: Kooyong Classic

Aussie Boys Hewitt & Tomic Off To Good Starts Ahead Of Australian Open

Australia’s Lleyton Hewitt and bad boy Bernard Tomic are off to a great start in 2013 with their preparation for the Australian Open, which starts tomorrow, with both capturing trophies in the first fortnight of play.

Veteran Hewitt defeated Juan Martin del Potro 6-1, 6-4 for the Kooyong Classic crown with his young family watching on. Hewitt is enjoying a great start to what could be his final year on the tour.

Clearly comfortable with his current form, Hewitt appears at ease with yet Read more »

Australian Open Men’s Picks

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 »

Fernando Verdasco Playing On Fractured Ankle

Fernando Verdasco complained of ankle problems that restricted his play during his straights sets fourth round defeat to Tomas Berdych. Over the weekend he looked comfortable on the practice courts. He wasn’t running but no body was – it was too hot. He wasn’t limping or grimacing but it turns out that sore ankle has been fractured since Kooyong. Read more »

>Gael Monfils Survive De Bakker… Just

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Gael Monfils is a showman. He is also almost always battling some sort of injury. Some of his injuries are just random or are just the results of the load the body goes through to play tennis. His other injuries are the result of him throwing himself, sometime unnecessarily, around the court and frequently coming close to doing the splits.

Monfils seems to treat hard courts like they are clay courts and slide around the court constantly. In his Kooyong Classic final against Lleyton Hewitt we saw him hopping around like he always does when his knees get sore. A few times during his match against Thiemo De Bakker he seemed to pull up quickly but the bizarre match seemed to be more another example of Monfils going hot and cold.

The Frenchman started well, racing to a 5-1 lead in the first set before completely losing his way, and subsequently the first set tie break. Monfil remained unable to re-find anything in the second, finding himself at 1-4 before much time had past.

To his credit, De Bakker, who certainly has a bright future ahead of him, played some great tennis and pushed the lack luster Monfils around the court – even if he did use a crazy number of drop shots to do it.

De Bakker lead 5-2 in the third after an epic seventh game that had nine deuces and easily exceeded 13 minutes that was sealed with an ace. Monfils replied by holding serve to love and slowly but steadily the pressure tightness crept into De Bakker’s game allowing him to be broken after a few poorly timed errors and another love service hold from Gael.

It was impressive to see Monfils fight because sometimes he does sometimes he doesn’t – it depends on which Gael shows up for duty. Before the end of the third set, Monfils had had over 20 break point chances, converting very few. Another confusing statistic was the shear number of drop shots played by De Bakker despite the fact he only won maybe three of them.

In the fifth set a deflated De Bakker was broken and quickly fell behind 1-4. It quickly became clear that De Bakker was struggling with an injury. Monfils won 6-7, 2-6, 7-5, 6-2, 6-1 and will face Portugal’s Frederico Gil.

After the match De Bakker confirmed that he felt pain in his groin during the third set. “I was exactly two sets up. At 4 1 in the third, when I went for a ball, came a little bit in my groin, like a traction. So from that moment I had problems to play rallies and to serve.

I was a little bit lucky at 4 2 already. Like the long game, I just went for it. Came a little bit lucky. And when he broke me back, I knew it was pretty much going to be tough.”

Interestingly Monfils felt he could get into De Bakker’s head and get it to ‘snap’.


Q. Were you surprised he tanked the fourth set? 
 
GAEL MONFILS: Maybe I was surprised it turned like earlier in the fourth like that. Because the first two game, he won it, but he was like in the edge. And then I saw he was tanking. Yeah, maybe if I break him early, yeah, he would tank and then be ready in the fifth. I was kind of surprised. 

But I know Thiemo a bit. I know sometime he snap in the head. So this is like a strong belief. We know like he can snap. It’s a weakness for him. So you play with that. 

You know, before the match, my coach, Rog, told me, Sometimes Thiemo is not a big believer. When I saw that, you get it (snapping fingers). So you tank, be ready in the fifth, because I will. Maybe this is play for me today.

>Juan Martin Del Potro Will Not Defend US Open Title

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 Juan Martin del Potro has announced that he will not defend his US Open title. Del Potro has not played a professional match since the Australian Open where he fell in the fourth round, in five sets, to Marin Cilic. He had been complaining of writs pain at the end of the 2009 season and withdrew from the Kooyong Classic in an attempt to preserve himself for the AO.

When conservative management failed, del Potro underwent wrist surgery in the States recently before returning to Argentina to continue his rehab.

“If all goes well, I’d return after the U.S. Open. The tournament is and always will be very special for me, all my life but I don’t want to rush things. If I have to return next year or at Paris Bercy, I will. Thankfully, I’ve already undergone the operation and everything went well. Now I just have to recover. I don’t want to get desperate in rehab and I’m comfortable with the fact that if I do my time I’ll be playing again on the circuit.”