Australian Open: Friday Notes
by Staff | January 29th, 2009
  • 23 Comments

Roger Federer has reached his 18th career Slam final tying Pete Sampras…

Andy Roddick has lost 16 of 18 meetings with Federer, and he’s 0-7 vs. the Swiss in Slams…


Serena Williams is 9-3 in Slam finals. Dinara Safina 0-1…

When was the last time a brother and a sister won a singles title at the same Slam? Never?…

Roger Federer has not lost a set during night play in Australia…

Federer has also never lost a hardcourt Slam final. He’s 8-0…

Dinara Safina was 0-3 vs Vera Zvonareva on hardcourt until today. What a difference an event makes…

Same for Elena Dementieva who had beaten Serena Williams three straight times before today…

Forecast Update: Heat continues Friday…

The Tennis Channel has signed Jimmy Connors as a commentator for its coverage of the US Open in 2009…

Jelena Dokic revealed that she quit tennis last year when she was overweight and depressed, but then a month later changed her mind and picked up a racquet again…

Fernando “Hot Sauce” Verdasco will crack the Top 10 for the first time following the Australian Open. Is that hair gel, or a shiny helmet Verdasco wears during his matches? Is that legal? You’d think that amount of hair gel would seep into his scalp and throw off the drug testing…

NEW ATP MARKETING GIMMICK — Following the Australian Open, the ATP will hold a web-broadcasted contest between Spnaiards Fernando Verdasco and Feliciano Lopez, where each will look at their reflections in a mirror and see who can hold their gaze the longest. Or at least they should hold such a contest…

From MVN tennis blogger Lexa Lee: “Fat/unfit players, especially the girls: Casey Dellacqua, Kaia Kanepi, Elena Baltacha, Alisa Kleybanova, Kuznetsova, S Williams, and yes, Nalbandian, who seems to be allergic to Slams. Marion Bartoli, ever unfit, wilted after the first set against Zvonereva. And if these girls stay so big, they should at least wear longer skirts, in the name of decency.” — Nalbandian is a girl too?…

NEW WTA EVENTS — The WTA Tour on Wednesday announced 2009 calendar changes: the Warsaw Open upgraded to “Premier” event status (moves to week before French Open, replacing German Open), and new “International” level tournaments in Bad Gastein, Austria; and Marbella, Spain.


Also Check Out:
Roddick, Davydenko Headline Atlanta, Hamburg this Week on ATP
ATP/WTA Previews: Nice, Dusseldorf, Warsaw, Strasbourg
Federer, Djokovic in Action; ATP Previews
ATP/WTA Previews: Soderling, Verdasco Headline Bastad
Roger Federer Arrives In Australia, And He’s Already Hitting Tennis Balls

Don't miss any tennis action, stay connected with Tennis-X

Get Tennis-X news FREE in your inbox every day

23 Comments for Australian Open: Friday Notes

sheila Says:

thrilled that federer made it to finals of ao. unfortunately i think he won’t beat nadal. it seems the only way to beat nadal is to be very aggressive and pin him back behind base line the way murray did @ uso. i hope federer pulls it off, but it seems to me, federer always gets into baseline rallies w/nadal that he can never win. can’t he flatten out his forehand and possibly run nadal side to side. hardcourt may help him do this? i would love 2c federer win this because he would start the year w/a major and also show people that nadal can’t always beat him on every surface. if he loses, then nadal could get grand slam and also show that federer is unable 2 beat him on all surfaces. federer federer plz come thru


MMT Says:

Federer’s best hope if for Verdasco to beat Nadal, because despite his handling of Roddick, I don’t think he looked THAT good. He’s been up and down in this tournament, and Nadal is a bad match up for him (and just about everybody else).

I think Nadal beats Verdasco in straight sets and Federer in 4.


Giner Says:

“Jelena Dokic revealed that she quit tennis last year when she was overweight and depressed, but then a month later changed her mind and picked up a racquet again…”

I’ve heard enough about her. She has been in local newspapers and TV every day since the beginning, and lost after she lost.

I’m very cynical about Australian tennis right now, and to me, Dokic is not an Australian, so her winning a Slam isn’t going to make much difference to me. She is a Serbian that lives in Australia. The only thing Australian about her is her passport.

She’ll represent us (Australia) when it’s convenient for her. She needed our help as a junior, got it and was doing well. Then she followed her dad back home and the results didn’t continue. She faced her darkest years and then decided she wanted to come back because she needs us again. If she continued doing well when representing her home country, she probably would not have come crawling back.

I’m not actually bitter about this. I’ve said that she has every right to play for whoever she wants, but I see through her facade. She can call herself Australian, but we don’t have to accept her. I think that the attention she’s been getting (now that she’s become the top Aussie female player) has been undeserved, and it saddens me how big a story the media makes of it. It shows what little hope Aust haves in tennis.


Giner Says:

You could call it a bad case of premature adulation.

Our spies tell us the head of marketing at the Lawn Tennis Association, the British governing body, flew out of Australia a little deflated after Murray’s exit on Monday night.

Bruce Philipps arrived at Melbourne Park about 6pm, fresh from a flight from London, to meet LTA head Roger Draper and hopefully watch Murray make history by winning the title.

Soon after Philipps lobbed, Murray was defeated by Verdasco.

After a meeting with Draper, Philipps picked up his bags and headed for the airport, again bound for London. The LTA must be cashed up. Return business-class airfares cost about $7000.

A sports writer for London’s The Telegraph was also stung when Murray departed.

He was in the air, not far from landing, when Murray lost. Now he is left to write about how the Poms’ big hope in the juniors, Laura Robson, is faring.

Source: Herald Sun, 27 Jan 2009


jane Says:

Happy to see that Laura Robson (GRB) has made it to the Junior girls’ semi-finals; I hope she wins and takes the title.


Kroll Says:

Giner

I understand how you feel. The Dokic episode has gone on ad nauseum in the Aussie media and its ver annoying, though I do like her quite a bit. The point that you make about her not being Australian is an interesting one. Consider the Serbian viewpoint – She left Serbia when things were bad, went back when things were better (post-war and all) and then again left when she wasn’t happy there. So that doesn’t make her Serbian either. There are two possibilities that I see – She’s manipulated the Aussies by replaying her story of woe over and over (hence the “facade”) or she actually has no sense of belonging and she’s just happier here. Maybe its the success she’s had here, maybe its being away from Daddy or the fact that she’s the darling here – whatever. I am inclined to believe the latter because of what she actually ended up achieving in the AO. All things said and done, she played great and showed tremendous mental strength, which I think would require genuine emotion as opposed to a well planned series of moves.


ojo Says:

Dokic is not an Australian, She is a Serbian that lives in Australia. The only thing Australian about her is her passport.

Giner: I guess you wouldn’t consider Bernard Tomic to be Australian either then would you?


MikaZ Says:

Jelena Dokic was and is an excellent tennis player and she already deserved more on AO but she missed a little of luck.
Australians are happy to have her back and they have that right same as she has right to come back especially because she was minor and manipulated buy her father…I wish her all the best and you’ll see very soon she’ll be in the top 10.


ertorque Says:

Nadal has made it to the finals! As much as I would like Fed to win, I think he will once again be beaten by Nadal. Nadal’s game is just too hot for even Fed to handle. His strong and consistent groundstrokes from both flanks and remarkable speed and court coverage will once again bring the mighty Fed down.
IMO, Fed’s single backand play will be the Archilles heel in the match.
I hope I am wrong……………….


Andrew Miller Says:

I hope Tennis-X is able to speak about Nadal-Verdasco! I am definitely going to say that I am impressed…Verdasco does not need to do anything more, he has earned my respect:
From the AP

“Nadal beats Verdasco in grueling semifinal
From the Associated Press

6:17 AM PST, January 30, 2009

MELBOURNE, Australia — Top-ranked Rafael Nadal outlasted fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco 6-7 (4), 6-4, 7-6 (2), 6-7 (1), 6-4 Friday to reach the Australian Open final after the longest match in the tournament’s history.

The fans were riveted as the left-handed Davis Cup teammates went at each other for 5 hours and 14 minutes. There were no arguments, no gamesmanship, just great shots, with the momentum shifting on a handful of key points.

The previous longest match at Melbourne Park came in 1991, when Boris Becker needed 5 hours and 11 minutes to beat Italian Omar Camporese, with the fifth set going 14-12.

Nadal earned the right to try to keep second-ranked Roger Federer from tying Pete Sampras’ record of 14 major titles on Sunday. Federer advanced to his 18th Grand Slam final with a straight sets win over Andy Roddick on Thursday.”


MikaZ Says:

I think that Federer is still much more complete player then Rafa and we’ll see that in this final.


张奔斗 Says:

Unfortunately I believe we’ll see the same result in this perennial matchup at slam finals.


jane Says:

Wish I could’ve stayed up to watch this marathon match! I am going to look for replays as it sounds like it was amazing. Both played their hearts out judging by the scoreline.

ertorque – I think you have to take into account Federer’s history in hardcourts, and the fact that he will be more rested going into the final. I still give him the advantage and think he’s the favorite to win the title


Max Says:

Who knows, Federer may just pummel Nadal like he did in Shanghai ’07. I think he’s been waiting a while for this opportunity. Looks like a Fed victory this time, and it’s about time.

I expect more of the same, lame “Nadal was tired” excuse from the fans, and some tailor-made excuse from the Nadal camp JUST IN CASE he ends up losing.

Interesting how most of their encounters are on clay. Historically, Federer has invaded Nadal’s “territory” more than Nadal has invaded Federer’s. It’s about time these two bastards met in another hardcourt final, and a slam final too.


bob22 Says:

>Roger Federer has not lost a set during night play in Australia
Is that conincedence, or it is just me who see how his play schedule is planed in advance?


bob22 Says:

Excellent points Giner on both articles! It is more then obvious that ATP, ITF and GrandSlam bodies must be audited.
Poor Davidenko, was accused of fraud but what about others? AUS Open, has absolute discretionary power to do what ever they want and players are just toys in their hands…
It will be so interesting to audit Craig Tiley phone calls like they did in Davidenko’s case. Yes, but in this “free” world we are all equal, aren’t we?


Kroll Says:

Max
“I expect more of the same, lame “Nadal was tired” excuse from the fans”

Funny you should say that, as I cant remember the need for anyone using that excuse in a while, after all, Rafa beat Fed in all four meetings last year.

I think last year was mostly the lame “Fed is tired” excuse brought to fore.


Giner Says:

Giner: “I guess you wouldn’t consider Bernard Tomic to be Australian either then would you?”

A good question. Both of his parents are fully Croatian (their accents are Croatian too), and he was born in Germany. They went to Australia when Bernard was age 4, and he grew up here from early childhood (4+). I consider him more Australian than Dokic. He is less Australian to me than Hewitt, but he speaks with an Aussie accent which comes with going to school here.

The thing is, I believe he is genuine, and Australia is his home more than Croatia or Germany are. Therefore he represents the country he lived in for most of his life.

Is Maria Sharapova a Russian? That’s another one I have difficulty answering.

What makes you an Australian, or an American or a Croat? Is it your genes, your parents genes, where you were born, where you currently live, or where you spent most of your life? The answers are subjective.

We’ve all got bits of every nationality mingled in us. If you go back far enough in time, every human living at the time would either be an ancestor of everyone alive today, or of none at all. Similarly, if you visit a tennis match, believe it or not, everyone seated in the stadium around you would at some point many generations later be co-ancestors of yours. Your DNA will mingle with the DNA of everyone else through your descendants and you will all be ancestors of everyone alive in the future, assuming you are fortunate enough to continue an unbroken line of descendants. Hard to believe, but true.

“Jelena Dokic was and is an excellent tennis player and she already deserved more on AO but she missed a little of luck.
Australians are happy to have her back and they have that right same as she has right to come back especially because she was minor and manipulated buy her father…I wish her all the best and you’ll see very soon she’ll be in the top 10.”

I think she played a great open, but she’s being overexposed by the media. Even today she is still in the papers. Every paper, every day. I doubt any other country has anywhere near as much of a fixation on her. They’ll report her matches and that’s it. Now they’re talking about her ‘living hell’ and her Dad, and how she struggled with her emotional problems and lack of confidence and all that. Enough is enough. We get it already.

After winning ONE match at the AO, she was offered a place on the Fed Cup team already. In hindsight she deserves her place, but how desperate could Australia be to give it to her after only one win?

“Nadal has made it to the finals! As much as I would like Fed to win, I think he will once again be beaten by Nadal. Nadal’s game is just too hot for even Fed to handle. His strong and consistent groundstrokes from both flanks and remarkable speed and court coverage will once again bring the mighty Fed down.
IMO, Fed’s single backand play will be the Archilles heel in the match.
I hope I am wrong……………….”

He just played the longest match in AO history, which was even longer than his Wimby 08 final with Federer. He only gets a day off, while Fed has 2 days off and 2 short matches in a row. This will affect Nadal physically at least some. Back in 03, Roddick played an epic against El Aynaoui (which was actually shorter than Nadal-Verdasco) and 2 days later did not have enough fuel to beat Scheuttler. Roddick himself said afterward he wasn’t 100%.

So yeah, I expect that to be a factor, but will it be big enough to lose him the match? Who knows. He’s not dropped a set until this point, so maybe he’ll recover enough to play good.

“I expect more of the same, lame “Nadal was tired” excuse from the fans, and some tailor-made excuse from the Nadal camp JUST IN CASE he ends up losing.”

Right, because playing the longest match in AO history 2 days earlier does not make you tired at all? Ask Andy Roddick. At least Roddick and El Aynaoui played short points because they had big serves. These two were Spanish grinders who played from meters behind the baseline and rallied.


Noel Says:

“Is that conincedence, or it is just me who see how his play schedule is planed in advance?”

Well that line is a bit misleading if I were to presume your understanding of it. It refers to THIS year’s oz open event and there is hardly anything to derive any meaningful conclusion from…… Fed has lost many sets/matches in the night. Safin beat Fed in the 2005 Oz open sf in a night match where Fed obviously lost three sets. Nole beat Fed in a night match last year…….As for this year,Fed lost two sets to Berdych in a day match but a lot of people felt that Berdych would actually have won had it been a night match. Ironic. Isn’t it? Fed’s superior physical conditioning was at least partly responsible for that win. Berdych can beat anyone on HIS day and is considered by many to be a Safin-like talent with unrealized potential and suspect temperament. He can be an astonishing ball striker on a good day and simply blast good players off the court. One simply can’t read too much into Fed losing two sets to a player like Berdych in a day-or for that matter,night- match.

Fitness is not an issue with Fed anymore as it used to be earlier. In fact it is one of his strenghths and he is amongst the fittest on the tour. He practices in 45 degree c heat and almost 100% humidity in Dubai. He has never retired during a match in such a long career. The only time he retired in a tournament was when he recently withdrew before a match at AMS Paris due to a back injury.

Having said that I think most players,including Fed, will prefer the night matches in such hot weather because every ounce of energy conserved can help in a seven-match best of five event. A lot of players run out of steam by the sf or the final stage despite the longer rest period between matches as compared to regular tour events.

On a related note,some have suggested that Rafa won’t be 100% for the final. I do think that Rafa will recover sufficiently and his fitness shouldn’t be a factor in the final unless it becomes a real epic. Rafa gets about 42 hours before the final and he breezed thru his matches before the sf. He also had quite a few night matches like Fed. His physical conditioning and strength are second to none and even his 90-95% level will probably suffice. I am sometimes shocked by his incredible athletic abilities. That is why he is so difficult to beat in a best of five format. I get this gut feeling that he has passed the danger and will take care of Fed relatively comfortably. He is an absolutely TERRIBLE matchup for Fed. I think Rafa has improved enough for me to say that he will be my favorite against Fed on any surface except on an extremely fast one.


Ojo Says:

Giner,
You seem not to like Serbians very much. It shows. Are you a Croat?


Giner Says:

“On a related note,some have suggested that Rafa won’t be 100% for the final. I do think that Rafa will recover sufficiently and his fitness shouldn’t be a factor in the final unless it becomes a real epic. Rafa gets about 42 hours before the final and he breezed thru his matches before the sf. He also had quite a few night matches like Fed. His physical conditioning and strength are second to none and even his 90-95% level will probably suffice.”

He said he doesn’t expect to be 100% but will still give his best. You can say this is excuse making, but it’s hard to deny. He played the longest match he’s ever played, which is longer than any match that has ever been played at the AO or even Wimbledon until now.

How much will it have taken from him? That we don’t know. He may not be 100% but still good enough to win. Or he may lose and it had nothing to do with tiredness. If he played this long match in an earlier round and continued getting straight setters after that (like Fed did after Berdych), he’d probably be close to 100%.

I suspect that fatigue will not play any part if the match is over in straight sets. Fatigue won’t kick in until the 4th set if it does. Then he can get treatment for his legs which is frowned upon but people do it and it’s within the rules.

“Giner,
You seem not to like Serbians very much. It shows. Are you a Croat?”

No Ojo. I only dislike Dokic, not Serbians in general. I actually like Novak Djokovic and Ana Ivanovic. I think the Serbs have done a great job on the tennis scene with 3 great players. Too bad Dokic wasn’t in on whatever they were doing at the time.

I have no reason to dislike Serbs, and I am not a Croat. I am opposed to ethnic hatred. Hate someone because they did something personal to you.. don’t hate someone over something that happened before you were born and was not directed at you, and don’t hate certain people because you’re taught to hate them. A person’s genes is not a good reason to hate them. It isn’t their fault.

I hope I cleared that up.


Ojo Says:

Well good, that clears things up. For me, I feel the same about Federer. He is the only one I do not like or want to win.I pick anyone over him. So if he wins over Nadal tomorrow it’ll be a bad hair day for me. LOL


Kroll Says:

“I only dislike Dokic”
You have a legit reason for that or is it because its the media going nuts about her? You mean you are Sick about hearing about her. Entirely different things my dear.

Top story: Novak Djokovic: My Wrist Injury Isn't That Bad, I Will Play Madrid!
Most Recent story: Maria Sharapova Has A New Nike Ad And It Includes Boyfriend Grigor Dimitrov [Video]
  • Recent Comments
Rankings
ATP - Apr 21 WTA - Apr 21
1 Rafael Nadal1 Serena Williams
2 Novak Djokovic2 Na Li
3 Stanislas Wawrinka3 Agnieszka Radwanska
4 Roger Federer4 Victoria Azarenka
5 David Ferrer5 Simona Halep
6 Tomas Berdych6 Petra Kvitova
7 Juan Martin Del Potro7 Angelique Kerber
8 Andy Murray8 Jelena Jankovic
9 Milos Raonic9 Maria Sharapova
10 John Isner10 Dominika Cibulkova
More: Tennis T-Shirts | Tennis Twitter | Live Tennis Scores | Headlines

Copyright © 2003-2013 Tennis-X.com. All rights reserved.
This website is an independently operated source of news and information and is not affiliated with any professional organizations.