Roddick, Cilic Start Strong at Australian Open Tune-ups; New Rules
At long last we have some definite results coming out of the first three tournaments of the year. Here’s a small recap of all three events and I also made sure to look into the new time-out rules.
Doha: First round action saw Ivo Karlovic progress in straight sets over Fabio Fognini. Karlovic is currently ranked 37 and he’s getting pretty old so I expect more of the same from him this year; a crap load of aces and a bunch of close losses. Olivier Rochus dropped one game in his opener (not bad for an aging short guy).
There was one upset, however, Mikhail Youzhny lost his opener to Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine (not cool). Youzhny was showing some promise at the end of last year but this is a minor set back, especially since he had a pretty good draw to reach the semis.
And as I write this, Ernest Gulbis is up a set against Albert Montanes and looks to be in good shape to go through. I’m a big Gulbis fan so I hope he really starts to make some noise in 2010.
Brisbane: Boy did Brisbane hit the jackpot in players. Andy Roddick, Richard Gasquet, and Radek Stepanek all came through. Supposedly talented Jeremy Chardy was upset by Alejandro Falla. Roddick and Stepanek both won in straight sets but Gasquet won a tough one against Jarkko Nieminen. That is a great win for the not-so-young-anymore Frenchman.
Justine Henin made a winning start by beating Nadia Petrova (again). The hotties in the draw, Ana Ivanovic and Daniela Hantuchova, both got through in three sets. There was one peculiar result that I would like to give a special mention to; qualifier Sesil Karatantcheva of Kazakhstan defeated wildcard Casey Dellacqua of Australia 6-2 0-6 7-6(1). It’s just unbelievable for a player to lose a match after serving a bagel.
And this isn’t specific to the women, either. Andy Murray has actually lost a match to Gasquet despite bageling him in the second set and Marat Safin and Roddick have both lost matches after winning the first set 6-0. It is just unbelievable and unacceptable. I know how important momentum shifts are in tennis but to lose after gaining that much momentum should be a devastating result to a professional athlete.
Chennai: Janko Tipsarevic scored a solid win over Carlos Moya. Tipsarevic is a weird player who’s really on and off but he’s been on at the Australian Open before, so he should be enjoying this part of the year. Marin Cilic plowed through Igor Kunitsyn to take one step closer to everyone’s dream final (Soderling-Cilic).
Hopman Cup: Russia beat Germany 2-1 after Elena Dementieva somehow lost but Igor Andreev made sure to win and they teamed up to get the doubles point. Great Britain beat Kazakhstan 2-1 because Laura Robson lost her third set 6-0. Murray had no trouble picking apart his opponent but Robson and Murray were pushed to the brink before coming out 12-10 in the third set tiebreaker. Isn’t it funny how an exhibition plays a full doubles match but actual tournaments don’t?
Injury Report: Ok so I don’t know how accurate this is because it was the best I could find off Google, but it looks pretty legitimate. As soon as the ITF has something official on their site, I’ll be sure to post it.
Medical Time-Out can only be taken at changeover or set-break, unless the trainer/doctor determine that the player has an acute medical condition requiring immediate attention (ankle or knee sprain, bloody nose, etc.). If the player requests the trainer during a game, and the trainer diagnoses a non-acute condition, then the player will be instructed to play until the changeover when he can receive the medical time-out.
Bleeding: Bleeding is now officially in the rules that the chair umpire must stop play if a player is bleeding and request the trainer to the court. Blood must be stopped, and the court, balls, and anything else needs to be cleaned up or changed out before play is resumed.
Anyone else think the bleeding rule was though of after the Youzhny incident?
Also Check Out:
Stepanek Too Tired, Mirza Too Bothered — Tennis-X Notes
Tennis-X Contest: Pick the 2009 Year-end Men’s Top 10
Former Top 40 Barbora Zahlavova Strycova Found To Have Violated Doping Rules, Serving 6-Month Suspension
Davydenko, Roddick, Cilic Collect ATP Titles During Week 1 2010
US Open Notes: Hingis Blacked Out, Kuzy Loves NYC