Archive for January, 2012

 

Scaling tennis mountain

Saturday, January 21st, 2012

Day 6 means we’re tantalisingly close to the end, but still just too far. Enjoyable for us, barely maintained torture for the players baking out on the Melbourne courts every day. Here’s a quick roundup of everything that has happened in these last few days:

Novak Djokovic barely stopped for breath whilst beating Nicholas Mahut, losing only 2 games, and looks as good as he did this time last year when he went on to win the Australian Open. Poor Mahut didn’t have much of a chance with a strapped up leg and Novak in a good mood, and it took only an hour and 14 minutes before was dispatched from the tournament. He was a hit with the crowd, though. After all, it was Mahut who narrowly lost to John Isner in the fifth set that went to 7-68 at Wimbledon 2010.

Michael Llodra couldn’t stop the force of Andy Murray. He was beaten 6-4 6-2 6-0 by Murray, not able to put up much of a fight. Murray’s sparkling form has had little to test it, so it will be interesting to see what happens to him over the next few days.

From the looks of things, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are on course to clash in the semi finals. Fans are rubbing their hands in glee. Roger is reaching his 1000th match on the Tour, and does he look like he’s slowing down? Does he heck. Having twins didn’t slow him down, turning 30 didn’t slow him down, so what will? Maybe Rafa, if only temporarily.

Then again, Roger’s game is an effective speed bump for Rafa’s form too. He dispatched the dangerous I more »

 

Day 3

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

Day Three of the Australian Open and already my confident choice of Stosur to win has been blasted in the foot by the proverbial shotgun. Surely the biggest upset of the tournament so far, Sam Stosur was beaten 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 by world number 59 Sorana Cirstea. Stosur was the home favourite, and the disappointment was palpable in the crowds as she was systematically blown away by a more focused opponent. A US champion should definitely not be beaten this early on in the first tournament of the year, on home turf, with a relatively straight forward opponent. Unfortunately for Sam it’s a habit she appears to have picked up this year.

The rest of the women’s results appear to be moving in a smoother direction. Petra Kvitova – no stranger to being thrown out in shock early exits – managed it through past Dushevina. Maria Sharapova is also safe, only dropping one game against the Argentine Dulko. Azarenka could come out of this tournament aa world number 1, and she seems on course so far after beating Australian wildcard Dellacqua with style and flourish.

Paths for the top seem similarly smooth in the men’s draw. Nadal, Federer and Djokovic have all made solid starts to the tournament. Andy Murray did better than his British compatriots and pushed through the first test. Even though he dropped the first set, Murray breezed through the rest of the first round challenge and that’s that hurdle passed.

Federer moved with the typical grace of a player who has done this all befor more »

 

2012 cometh

Monday, January 9th, 2012

The annoying thing about tennis stars is that they probably keep to their New Year’s resolutions. More than that, I doubt they make any of the same sorts that we mere mortals do. Diets, new fitness regimes, I will bet any money that these sorts of resolutions do not pop up on tennis star’s lists. Apart from, maybe, ‘a new and improved’ diet, or ‘a brand new fitness regime with my new coach’.

Well that’s one that might be on Andy Murray’s list. As the dawn rises on 2012, Andy Murray announces the addition of Ivan Lendl to his coaching team. Yes, finally, Andy Murray has sat down and made the decision about who is going to be his coach. Ivan Lendl, the former world number 1 originally from the Czech Republic, has been hired to make Andy Murray the flavour of the year. Murray has been without a coach for a while, and so far it seems like he has made a good choice. Apparently, they share the same sense of humour. Probably something you need when you are/coach Andy Murray.

Too mean? Probably for my first blog, yes. Apologies, Andy. Good luck with the year ahead and it will indeed be interesting to see how the new coaching situation is handled. Murray has just won the Brisbane Open after all. So yes, this does look like a positive thing for Murray. It’s just that if I have to hear sports pundits call it ‘Murray’s year’ I am going to break new year’s resolution number 3.

Speaking of Australia, the draws have been announced for this year’s Open. Murray is seeded fourth, with more »

 
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