Nadal, Roddick, Del Potro Need Four Sets at Australian Open
by Sean Randall | January 22nd, 2010, 9:09 am

What a crazy day it could have been for the men at the Australian Open on Friday. Of the eight matches scheduled only Andy Murray was able to advance in straight sets, and that over Frenchman Florent Serra. Otherwise, everyone else was tested with the lone upset being John Isner of my man Gael Monfils. ADHEREL

I caught some of that match on the tube and I have to feel bad for Monfils’ coach, Roger Rasheed. Gael has so much raw talent but he just discombobulates at all the wrong times. You can’t dive into water coolers. You can’t do half splits on the court and you can’t double fault with a break at hand, and all those things and more Monfils did to help Big John get through. But credit to Isner. I wrote long ago that the guy was destined to be Top 20 and he is without a doubt finally headed to that level. Isner now gets a date with Murray come Sunday.

As for the rest, Feliciano Lopez actually gave Andy Roddick something to think about, as in the Spaniard really can come over the backhand (sometimes). Next up for Andy is Fernando Gonzalez who survived a scare from the ball-belting Evgeny Korolev in five sets. I have to wonder about Gonzo’s health in that match up.

Juan Martin Del Potro still hasn’t found that US Open form, but he did manage to win again, this time in four sets over Florian Mayer. Del Po now gets Marin Cilic who also went four sets to beat a nemesis of his, Stanislas Wawrinka. I still have no read on Del Potro and his mysterious wrist injury. He really is a wildcard if there ever was one. He could walkaway with this title or flame out badly at any moment. I just don’t know.

And late last night, it was Rafael Nadal getting past the pesky Philipp Kohlschrieber in four tough sets. I haven’t had a chance to watch the match (sleep = health!), but given Phil’s exceptional backhand and his past performance on Rod Laver (he beat Roddick a few years ago at the Australian Open), I knew it was going to be a difficult match. Nadal wins in the end and on Sunday he’ll meet Ivo Karlovic, a four-set winner over his countryman Ivan Ljubicic.

So a lot of the favorites could were in some trouble but they managed to escape, for now setting up an outstanding Sunday line-up!

As for tomorrow and my picks. I like Roger Federer, Fernando Verdasco, Nikolay Davydenko, Novak Djokovic, Nicolas Almagro and Mikhail Youzhny all to get through. No real surprises there and really none of those matches should in doubt, though I’ll be keep an eye on just how well Dayvdenko performs against Juan Monaco.

But in the battle of the day Marcos Baghdatis and Lleyton Hewitt get it on in a rematch of their late night encounter from 2008 which was finally won by Hewitt just after 4:30am. This time around, if Baghdatis, who just came off an emotional and physical five-set win over David Ferrer, can get his legs and body back to full strength he should beat Hewitt. It won’t be easy and the match could very well go four hours plus (it won’t end past 4am because it’s first on the night session!). Bags is such a talented player I just hope he can get back into the Top 10. So set your DVRs and/or alarms. It should be a good one.

Taking a look at the women’s draw it’s very surprising to see Kim Clijsters get tossed aside like a rag doll 6-0, 6-1 by Nadia Petrova. The loss was the worst of Kim’s career and while Petrova deserves her due, I have to think something was amiss with Clijsters. She can’t just lose that badly, can she? Who knows.

Justine Henin was also on the brink of heading for the exits before she recovered against Alisa Klyebanova. No such recovery for Jelena Jankovic who got blasted off the court by Alona Bondarenko. The takeway is Henin’s struggling with her body (she says) and Jankovic (like her Serb countrywoman Ana Ivanovic) might never get back to another Slam final.

I should also mention that Svetlana Kuzetsova is currently in quite the dogfight with Kerber at the moment.

All this of course is looking real good for Serena Williams who tomorrow meets Carla Suarez Navarro. Recall Carla beat Venus a year ago in Melbourne. Serena’s not going to like that by any stretch! Venus, Caroline Wozniacki and Victoria Azarenka are also playing, but they are merely a sideshow to Serena. At least that’s how I see it.

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155 Comments for Nadal, Roddick, Del Potro Need Four Sets at Australian Open

KillerC Says:

monfils has the game, but still missin sum mental power and trys too much flare’.. lightning strikes/ never know he might actually win a “big one”!
isner is real deal// he put in the hard work- i think he could even get into top 15 or better. I was surprised how people voted recently on a poll for sam Q to have the better yr than john, but considering sam Q’s career almost ended last yr with falling thru the table, i wouldnt be surprised if isner does better this yr, if he stays healthy

jane Says:

Sean you forgot to mention/make a pick for Haas versus Tsonga.

MMT Says:

I’m sorry, but “your man” Monfils is not the real deal – he will never win a slam because he’s a dead head and soft. I don’t think Isner will get past Murray – he’s too tricky and quick and if he can break down his serve there’s really nothing else for him to fall back on.

As long as del Potro is in the draw, I think he’s as much a contender as Federer and Nadal for this title. He’s very competitive and gotten mentally stronger, I think, after his US Open win. And in Cilic he has the perfect tonic – a brainless ball-basher with no plan B. He’ll have more trouble with Roddick who I think is too fit to lose to Gonzalez who will be playing on fumes.

Nadal will win in straight sets – maybe 4 if Karlovic catches lightning in a bottle for a set. Karlovic will never win anything important – no threat at all to win this thing, and Nadal is to good all-around to lose to such a 1-dimensional player.

Voicemale1 Says:

The Monfils problem is still today what it’s always been: he plays on the tour with a Junior’s mentality. All the grandstanding, show boating, the acrobatics – it’s all Kid’s Stuff. He’s more interested in being applauded than playing serious tennis regularly. As for Isner, he played well. But everyone saw him grasp his knee during the match. It was said he weighs 247 lbs – and that’s a LOT of weight to be lugging around on the court. They also said last night Isner basically started playing in earnest every year only during the North American Hard Court Season. Prior to his win in Auckland he’d only been out of the USA to hit tennis balls once- as a warmup hitter for the US Davis Cup Team. Now that he’s seemingly going to play more regularly throughout the calendar, it won’t be all that long before that massive frame pounding down repeatedly on courts like this, especially over 5 sets, will initiate cumulative injuries from the impact. You could see it last night: when Monfils lined up his forehand he often times had a lot of vacant court to hit in to; Isner was planted in the middle of the court 10 feet behind the baseline, either unable or unwilling to chase down those shots. The players who force Isner to change direction ad infinitum, and slice low to his backhand will likely be very successful against him.

Roddick actually was a bit lucky in that Lopez played better than he ever has against Roddick, and tightened up in the 4th Set. Before that he was matching Roddick squarely shot per shot, and early on had more than DOUBLE the aces of Roddick. As for Del Potro, you have to like that he keeps winning, even if it is winning very ugly. It’s stunning for me to think a guy like that can actually get Bageled in a set, losing the 2nd at Love to a guy ranked #60. Good that he could right the ship after that, but geez – it’s hardly the stuff to inspire confidence.

Murray – I’m still not convinced. He’s won in straights in all matches, that’s true. But he’s yet to face a guy inside the top 60. And Serra made him work very hard through the 1st Set. Murray had 3-0, lost that; then served for the set at 5-3 only to get broken again; and had to run pillar to post to make spectacular shots and eke out the set at 7-5. Serra made him run quite a bit, and someone better will certainly do more of that.

Nadal played sub par for a set and a half and still won. So he’s like both Murray and Del Potro in that way. He beat Karlovic at Queens in 2008 over a Best of 3 on grass, and I’d have to think Nadal would be even more favored here in Best of 5. He knows what he’s going to get: Ivo will Serve & Volley a lot because he has no hope of rallying from the back court with Nadal.

Daniel2 Says:

Why is it Del Potro’s wrist injury “mysterious”? he has been dealing with that since the end of last season. Besides if he says he is injured why somebody has to doubt him? a little bit more respect, please.

been there Says:

Monfils, Monfils, oh Monfils! *tears, tears*. lol.

The problem with Monfils, is the same as that which affects most French players, male or female. No mental fortitude…the rare exception, imo, being Gile Simon. And in the case of Monfils & Tsonga, just adding to what KillerC says, they get over-excited & get carried away when things are going well…and when things start going bad, they beat themselves up. Basically, they play with their emotions.

I didn’t watch the match but I expected Isner to be trouble…especially with his big serve, little improvements here & there in his game and and growing confidence. Kudos to Isner for a job well done.

With Monfils, seems like he’ll only calm down when he’s over 25, when he starts gaining adult calm & maturity…but am afraid by that time, he’ll have ruined his knees & legs with all that chasing each ball down..even the very un-gettable ones…not to mention the excess sliding & diving on hardcourts. As a retriever/counter-puncher/defensive player, he’s a type of player needs to capitalise when he’s still young, much like Rafa. Time’s running out!

I’m hoping he at least gets a Masters title this year.

been there Says:

“All this of course is looking real good for Serena Williams who tomorrow meets Carla Suarez Navarro. Recall Carla beat Venus a year ago in Melbourne. ”

I think Navarro can cause trouble for Serena. She’s got all the shots & a very lovely backhand. She also plays all-court, so will be able to mix it up from baseline & net-play. From what I’ve seen, she can employ very impressive tactics.

Her one big draw-back is her height. She’s a mere 5ft 4inch, which even for WTA, is just too short. 15+ yr old juniors/teenagers (Melanie Oudin & Laura Robson come to mind) are taller than this.

Poor girl; I mean, however much she trains and however much she wants to improve with all the will, clearly, with that height, despite her immense talent, she’s ‘never’ gonna crack it.

Having said that, I think she’ll cause as much trouble as she possibly can for Serena, but Serena will still win. And if Serena has an off-day (which is rare for her in a GS), who knows…we just saw Petrova destroy Clijsters. Anything’s possible.

Emily Says:

I totally agree with Sean in terms of Del Potro (whom I adore). I watched the end of last night’s match and all of the Blake match and I just can’t get a read on where he’s at. In his defense, I would say that when he called the injury mysterious it is due to the fact that he hasn’t really talked about since the beginning of the tournament and if there is any tape on the wrist, which one would assume there is, it’s covered up. I think he’s hard to read in general as he keeps a pretty straight face, but he’s not hitting the ball like he was at the US Open. I heard those forehands first hand and that amazing cracking sound they make hasn’t shown up. That was the 1st thing I noticed when I was watching the Blake match, but he does seem mentally stronger after winning that 5th set. However, I do love DelPo and I think he’s one of the most exciting prospects in the game. If he brings his A game against Cilic, he’ll win and set up an awesome quarter with Roddick (the best tennis I saw all last summer were their two matches with DelPo winning both). I can only keep my fingers crossed at this point.

Dan Martin Says:

Sean, I think you are right about Isner. He is in another round of 16 and coming off his first title. He has compiled some decent wins even while having health issues last year. I find watching Isner when he feels energized to be so-so, but when he is coasting I am not overly glad to see him play. Still, his style works and he can hit so many aces and service winners that it does invite some coasting for a guy less than 12 months removed from mono. Big John will probably not beat Murray (maybe if he wins 3 breakers in a 4 set match 7-6, 1-6, 7-6, 7-6???). Still, on hard courts he seems like a legit threat against almost everyone outside of the top 5 guys. John Isner hard court specialist.

Adrian Says:

Whatever happens, I just hope Nadal keeps making it through, I’m looking forward to a final with him in it again!

Giner Says:

“Taking a look at the women’s draw it’s very surprising to see Kim Clijsters get tossed aside like a rag doll 6-0, 6-1 by Nadia Petrova. The loss was the worst of Kim’s career and while Petrova deserves her due, I have to think something was amiss with Clijsters. She can’t just lose that badly, can she? Who knows.”

What do you think was wrong with her, and why? Has it happened to her before? Can it happen again? Does it happen to other players of her caliber? Is it common? Was there some mysterious injury or personal issue on her mind that she didn’t mention?

She was perfectly fine two days ago. What do you think causes these things to go amiss?

Giner Says:

MMT: “Nadal will win in straight sets – maybe 4 if Karlovic catches lightning in a bottle for a set. Karlovic will never win anything important – no threat at all to win this thing, and Nadal is to good all-around to lose to such a 1-dimensional player.”

Karlovic is no threat to win the title (or any, really) because his luck will eventually run out. He is however a threat to pull off a big upset, and always will be. It can go either way with Karlovic. The key will obviously be in the tiebreaks. Even the best players have lost to him before and will continue to do so. Anything can happen in a tie break, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he won three of them against Nadal. He won’t be winning enough of them to claim a GS title however.

Colin Says:

Is it necessarily written in stone that Suarez Navarro can never get to the top purely because of her height? She isn’t notably shorter than Henin, who hasn’t done badly.
It seems to me the Americans are more confident of Murray’s beating Isner than I am! He should do, but only too often I’ve found myself saying Andy should have beaten someone after he’s lost to them. One thing I have noticed: Murray doesn’t seem to have been affected by his girl friend’s dumping him.

Veno Says:


I agree that it’s strange how you can have an off-day in a third round of a GS(one on the day of the first match….I could see that, but for the top players the 1st round draw is usually so easy that they wouldn’t pay the piper for having an off-day)

But for some strange inexplicable reason it does seem to happen to some players.

It even happened to Fed in the FO final of ’08!
Of course Rafa played a top tournament then, losing no st, but still….The same as with Kim-Nadia last night, he had an off-day and got punished maximum 1,4 and 0. And that was in a final!!!

Would be interesting to look into and research what factors and especially which combination of factors make such an off-day even possible!

An off-day is something else than someone choking in a match, that happens regularly(especially on the women’s side) to some players who aren’t mentally strong enough to handle the pressure of closing a match out.

(interestingly Kim Clijsters suffers from it, but “seemed” to have solved it during the US Open…however, she wasn’t expected to win there, riding the comeback-fairytale-rollercoaster, so I think we have to discard that one and wait what will happen when she gets into the position again, say another GS final in Paris or London)

been there Says:

“Is it necessarily written in stone that Suarez Navarro can never get to the top purely because of her height?”

Where exactly did you get the idea that it is written in stone, especially the ‘purely because of her height’? Didn’t you notice that I put the ‘never’ in quotes?..meaning, anything can happen, but at 5’4″, she obviously faces a daunting task to win a slam or even crack it to top5 partly ‘coz of her height. Also I said ‘her one big drawback’…meaning, like any other player, she obviously has other drawbacks, but imo, her height adds to these.

“She isn’t notably shorter than Henin, who hasn’t done badly.”

Justin is 5’6″…for the everyday common person, this isn’t too notable from 5’4″…but this is tennis. In tennis, it is quite a difference. Most short WTA players are 5’6″ (yet in day to day life, this is considered average)…so for a pro tennis player to be 5’4″, like Navarro (Zheng Jie), despite being massively talented, yes, imo, it does affect their games & will find it hard to crack it to the top, but not written in stone as you allege.

Much like Olivier Rochus in ATP…at 5’6″, he clearly struggles against his taller opponents (which is almost eveyone), and everytime he plays, his height is commented on …even among the players themselves, some have said his height does him no favours. Someone like Ferrer is 5’9″…we can say ‘not notable’ from 5’6″ ‘coz it’s just three inches, but you never hear anyone comment on a 5’8″/9″ ATP height..but below this, you do.

Obviously, height isn’t everything, a player must first have the talent, otherwise, Karlovic could have won everything. But height does play a role, especially in today’s power game, both in ATP & WTA. Too short, problems, too tall, also problems.

So, no, it’s not written in stone, for either being too short or too tall and no one said so. You misinterpreted it.

magritte Says:

Carla Suarez Navarro is a little shorter than Henin, and Justine is a freak anyway. Arguing that any player her size could generate the same pace she does is kind of arguing that any 6’1″ ought to be able to cover the court like Venus.

jimbojones Says:

Colin you are right. John Isner is the underdog but could win. Isner has an 8 match winning streak going and has some good wins (Roddick, Monfils, Haas) in the past 6 months.

Von Says:


I’d love to see the Georgia Bulldog, Isner, take his winning streak one round further. He’d be in the top 20 or thereabouts, if he can accomplish that feat. I think he can do it, as he is riding high on confidence from his recent title win, and, more importantly, he has improved his return game tremendously. Hopefully, his energy levels hold up though, and he can buoyed into the next round.

Von Says:

I had some doubts that the Lopez/Roddick match would have been the usual easy win for A-Rod, considering how well Feli played against Schuettler, who’s a good returner and a very experienced player, IMO.

I’m very impressed at the improvement of Lopez’ backhand return, and his incorporation of his doubles S&V skills into his game. It was an eye-opener for Roddick, whose MO in the past, was to go to Feli’s BH to draw the error. However, shock attack for Andy, (who should have scouted Feli’s previous match) that strategy didn’t work, and he had to come up with a Plan B. Good for him to be cognizant that he needed to change his plan A to get the much needed ‘W’, or else, I would be one unhappy fan today.

In view of the foregoing, it’s quite understandable and normal, for Andy to be pushed in that match to four (4) sets. More importantly, I’m happy to see that he was using his noggin on the court and quickly implemented the necessary changes to win that match. The tennis media and viewers, do not give enough credit to A-Rod for being aware of what’s happening on the court/environment, that he’s a ‘thinking’ player instead of dubbing him as ‘one-dimensional’ and maybe one who plays by ‘rote’.

With the exception of Murray, Djokovic, and to a lesser extent DelPotro, who had Blake, the other top 7 players have all had tough opponents in the early rounds, which entailed them being pushed to 4 sets to eek out the ‘W’. This is indicative of how dense the field is with talent, thus, upsets and lengthy matches will be norm going forth = nothing’s a given when they get on the court, and not many players should be taken lightly.

jimbojones Says:

Isner has improved that return game Von you are correct. He also has a big forehand when he can line it up. If he holds 90% of the time and returns at a decent level his opponents will be under a lot of pressure. If Blake gets some mojo back with a new coach and Querrey gets his arm working again, Roddick won’t be so alone in the rankings. I think it will benefit all four to have the other three doing well.

Von Says:

jimbo: I’ll be one happy ‘American’ tennis fan, if Blake, Isner, Querrey, and to a greater extent Roddick, can get their MOJO going this year and put American tennis back on track. I’m sick and tired of how much the media beats up on Roddick, even though he’s been the one keeping the Red, White and Blue a flyin’. Thankfully, the Bryans, Serena and Venus, keep us in the tennis buzz!!

I agree with you that it will benefit the four, and will definitely buoy their spirits to know that they’re all doing well. I would also like to see the other older players, Mardy (not much hope there) Dent, and Ginepri make some noise.

I was absolutely heart-broken for James, because he played his heart out in his match vs. Delpo, and he still came up just a wee bit short in the last set. It was somewhat reminiscent of Roddick’s Wimby match — so close, but no cigar — and yet so far!!

Anyway, here’s to better days ahead for American tennis.

steve Says:

“Is it necessarily written in stone that Suarez Navarro can never get to the top purely because of her height? She isn’t notably shorter than Henin, who hasn’t done badly.”

I agree. Suarez-Navarro is a little shorter than Henin, but only by a couple inches. There’s no reason she can’t become a top player.

She has all the shots, except for the serve. She has excellent speed and footwork.

By necessity she will have to develop an all-court game and shorten points, because otherwise she’ll have to run too much. But that’s her tendency anyway.

Ben Pronin Says:


“More importantly, I’m happy to see that he was using his noggin on the court and quickly implemented the necessary changes to win that match. The tennis media and viewers, do not give enough credit to A-Rod for being aware of what’s happening on the court/environment, that he’s a ‘thinking’ player instead of dubbing him as ‘one-dimensional’ and maybe one who plays by ‘rote’.”

Patrick McEnroe praises the crap out of Roddick. He said the same thing about how Roddick is really good at figuring out what his opponent is doing an whatnot. He said the only thing is that sometimes Roddick doesn’t realize what’s going on with himself but he’s gotten better at that over the years. I don’t think anyone in the ESPN booth would say Roddick’s one-dimensional, either. All of them seem to agree that Roddick has added a lot of variety into his game and he uses quite well.

Personally, having watched most of Roddick’s matches so far, I don’t understand why he rushes into net sometimes. Like, it’s not even that he hits a bad approach shot, if anything he almost always hits good approach shots nowadays. But sometimes the comes in off of nothing for the sake of coming into net. It looks like he’s just practicing to me, so hopefully he won’t do that too much should he play Del Potro or Nadal/Murray in the latter stages. Besides that, I’ve come to really enjoy his backhand. He hits it so crisply nowadays and the technique has improved so much since like 2003. I’d like to see him go for more on his forehand sometimes. He plays smart with it but I wouldn’t mind seeing him explode from time to time.

Von Says:

Hey Ben:

“I don’t think anyone in the ESPN booth would say Roddick’s one-dimensional, either. All of them seem to agree that Roddick has added a lot of variety into his game and he uses quite well.”

When I said ‘Tennis media and viewers’ I was not referring to the ESPN crew per se, who, always praises Roddick and are cognizant of his accomplishments. My remarks were principally made toward the other ‘media’ and the ‘tennis fans’, especially on this site, who have dubbed Roddick as ‘one-dimensional’ ad nauseam, and fail to give him his just due, as to how much he has improved on his BH return and his court coverage on the whole.

Oh my, those Roddick net rushes give me a headache. I shout out to him when he does that. However, to be fair, coming to the net in today’s game, is similar to a death wish, and one which is more detrimental than helpful most of the time. What I don’t understand with Andy though, and I can only attribute this to his lack of play over the past 4 months, is the fact that he seems very rusty coming to net. i agree he looks as though he’s practising.

Prior to October ’09 he was doing very well at the net, but for some inexplicable reason, he has now become very awkward, and should avoid doing so until he’s become more match grooved. Three to four months of non-competitive tennis is a long lay off for any player to be effective at net, especially Roddick, since he’s not been a very good net player throughout his career. He seems to be sporadic with his net effectiveness.

With respect to his FH, i think he needs to put some more umph into it when he uses it, ala 2003. It has lost some of its pop. I’d like to see him use it more effectively.

BTW, how did you like that little clip they showed on ESPN while Roddick was chatting with Carillo and McEndry at the booth, viz., ‘Why are you so angry Andy’ or something to that effect? I thought it was so apropos to Roddick, and it’s why I like the guy so much. He’s a no frills guy who is not afraid to show his feelings and wear his heart on his sleeve.

Veno Says:

Hi all!!!

I just copy-pasted my post from a previous thread(sorry, has been a while….)

And a special big shout out to my “mon amie” Von!!! And congrats on Andy’s win! He played a smart, solid match!!! Saw the whole thing!!!

What a great men’s tourney so far!!! Could it get any better? Good times for tennis!

Murray keeps baffling me…..No disrespect to him or his fans, but OMG I can’t get relaxed watching him play and enjoy his great skills, it’s like I’m sitting on a couch spring that pierces my a.s.s. flesh all the time, no matter how or where I position myself on the couch.

Can he be more annoying! But at the same time, it’s truly amazing how good he is. He is besides Federer the only player(besides also maybe Nadal’s banana shot off the ground down the line FH) who can make a selection of shots no other player can make(consistently) and what he retrieves!!!! Amazing! Got to respect that!!!

I just wish he would start to also develop his attacking game more. The world belongs to the Bold and if he doesn’t start to step up against the top guys, grabs the bull by the horns and goes for it more, in stead of all that cat and mouse filandering about all the time, I can’t see him winning a GS, which would be a shame because I think he should. He’s just too good not to.

And he shouldn’t pronounce himself one of the favourites for the title, he may think it, but publicly he shouldn’t. “Only when you have won a Grand Slam before, you can consider yourself a favourite to win a Grand Slam” Same holds for Kolya(Davydenko) I thought Andy Murray would have learned from last year, but alas….

The women’s side….hmm, still not overjoyed, but it has been worse. At least as usual there’s plenty of drama. Ivanovic and Jankovic…..What happened?….JJ wants to return to the top position? Keep on dreaming dear….And Ivanovic….Oh my, it’s just painful to watch…She can’t even toss a tennis ball above her head!!!

A professional, GS winner, Multi-millionaire tennis pro, not able to toss a ball 3-5 ft above her head!!! And she blames it on squeezing the tennis ball in stead of just loosely gripping it. Imagine having a job in an office, where you’re not even able to turn on the computer and start your standard operating programs!!! Your A.S.S. would get fired!!!

Agree with MMT on the Clijsters-Petrova match, and having seen the match….unfortunately Kim had an inexplicable off-day, she looked like an average club player.
Props to Petrova for making her pay maximum for it though. Best way to do it….punish it!

Unfortunately though, the OZ Open is much worse off to have Petrova in the 4th RD in stead of Kim. But that’s the way the cookie crumbled. Petrova a never slam-winner for sure.

Henin showed some bottle and that’s good to see, but to be honest… an injury, there is just no way Serena won’t win here. She looks top nodge and fit, filled with desire!!!

At least my cutie Ma-Kiri is through. Hope she beats Safina for her best ever result in a Slam, but hard to see it happen with Safina in this form and happy going about her business in the shadows as an underdog.

Looking forward to tonight’s play!!!

Everybody enjoy the tennis!!!!


Ben Pronin Says:

That clip was great but his reaction to it was priceless. I enjoyed listening to him in the booth. That’s probably as interesting as it can get; a guy who’s beaten AND lost to both Monfils and Isner commenting on their match against each other. It’ll be a sad day for tennis when Roddick retires. Luckily that won’t happen anytime soon.

Veno Says:

I read in A-Rod’s post-match interview that although he’s taking his career per season, between the lines he hinted that the way things are going now and motivation/fitness wise he’d like to continue for at least 3-4 years. I for one am very happy about that!

jane Says:

Von says, “With the exception of Murray, Djokovic, and to a lesser extent DelPotro, who had Blake, the other top 7 players have all had tough opponents in the early rounds, which entailed them being pushed to 4 sets to eek out the ‘W’.”

I’d say Davy hasn’t really had a tough test, but Monaco will be a more difficult one tonight.

“I was absolutely heart-broken for James, because he played his heart out in his match vs. Delpo, and he still came up just a wee bit short in the last set”

I hear you – I watched the first few sets and kept expecting James to drop off in level but he really showed some fight and some alternatives, and then when I woke up after an hour and half to find they were still playing in a 5th I had to stay up to watch the end. How sad to see someone lose in a match like that, especially tough to see a veteran, who may not get that many more chances, go out when he played with that much effort and heart.


Veno – Happy 2010. Nice to see your enthusiasm round here. : )

Veno Says:

Thanks Jane, a tennis-happy 2010 to you too!

I just heard Youzhny has withdrawn! What a bummer. He was playing well! The draw for Novak is really opening up nice. Kubot is through to the 4th RD.

Kimmi Says:

It was raining in Melborne, right? Thanks god they have the roof in the two courts. Other GS should follow suit.

Kimmi Says:

Veno..Did not know about Youzhny, thanks for the info. OMG, how lucky is Djokovic in his qtr, hope Tsonga can hold up.

Von Says:

Hi Veno: A shout out to you too, mon ami!! Nice to see you weighing in with your insightful posts, and enjoying the tennis matches. Have fun watching the great matches tonight! Bummer though, it’s raining in Aussie land. Anyway, enjoy when you play resumes, mon ami.
Ben: I agree that Roddick’s reaction to that clip was priceless. A Kodak moment for sure!

I think he’d make a super tennis commentator when his playing days are over. He’s not prone to gossip, inane chatter, and the viciousness we hear from most of the other commentators.

I’d be very unhappy/heart-broken, if, and when he retires though — it will be a sad day for American tennis and this fan.


Yes, Davy has not been tested at all. He’s gotten a very nice draw. I doubt Monaco would prove to be a problem for him as he’s more of a clay courter than a hard-court specialist and does not have the weapons nor the game to threaten Davy = Davy goes through to the 4th round without batting an eyelid.

James’ match has left a hole in my heart, which thankfully, was not a final as was Roddick’s Wimby final. That one still hurts!

This AO has my schedule discombobulated and I’m losing a lot of sleep, as I’m sure most of us who are tennis fans living in a different time zones. The European and Pacific time zones have it a lot easier, maybe we should move temporarily. LOL.

Veno Says:

You’re welcome,

Must be a bummer on one hand for Kubot too!!! He’s be rested but rusty….Not playing for 4 days….that can’t be good…

I still think 36 to 56 hours of rest between matches is ideal.

Veno Says:

Von says: This AO has my schedule discombobulated and I’m losing a lot of sleep, as I’m sure most of us who are tennis fans living in a different time zones. The European and Pacific time zones have it a lot easier, maybe we should move temporarily. LOL.

You’re kidding right? The European time zones( especially the western European ones) haven’t been dealt a great scheduling hand to maintain good nights’ rests LOLZ

Morning session starts at 1 am and the evening session at 9 am, which means I’m depriving myself of sleep if I watch the morning sessions and am at work when the evening sessions start….No, mon amie, for this European, it is no good at all LOL

Veno Says:

Pfffffff, Margaret Court and Rod Laver are playing and Hisense is not….I blame Azarenka lol……She doesn’t seem to want to play when as much as a spatter comes down….Is she made of delicate materials?

The outer courts have started play too

Veno Says:

Why didn’t those Aussie Amateurs close the roofs on Hisense and RLA an hour ago….

jane Says:

Veno, why did ‘Youz of the salute’ withdraw? He seemed to fly through his last match. And he fought so hard to take out Gasquet too. What a shame, even if it does ease up things for Novak. I like Youzhny; he’s got a lot of talent and is fun to watch when it’s all clicking.

Von, yes it’s not so bad for us in the Pacific time zone, though even then some of the matches go into the wee morning hours. zzzzz…

Veno Says:

Et Al:

From AAP:

“Russian Mikhail Youzhny has been forced to withdraw from the Australian Open due to injury.

The 20th seed suffered wrist soreness following his five-hour marathon first round match against Frenchman Richard Gasquet and pulled out of his scheduled third round clash with Pole Lukasz Kubot.

Youzhny had intensive treatment but doctors told him if he were to continue playing he risks a longer spell on the sidelines.”

Veno Says:

The cute blonde Argentinian ponytail who was responsible for Ball-Toss-Jugler Ivanovic’s demise in the second RD getting hammered like a nail into a sideboard by Zvona on MCA…

That really puts Ivanovic form in perspective doesn’t it?

You start to wonder if Adam Scott is slipping her roofies without her knowing….

Veno Says:

BTW< is it me or has there been an Italian invasion on the women’s side this year who’ve come through the first rounds? I keep seeing them everywhere…Garbin, errani, Vinci, Pannetta, Schiavone…..

jane Says:

Thanks for the information Veno; I wouldn’t’ve guessed Youzhny was having soreness based on the scoreline of his second round match with Hajek. He must’ve played through it. He’s still listed on the draw at the AO site, so I guess they’ve not updated it yet.

Sean Randall Says:

Jane, I did leave out Tsonga v. Haas! My pick is Tsonga. Haas seems to be running on fumes.

Too bad about Youhzny. Djokovic could not have put together an easier draw. I just wonder if he does get through to Tsonga if that helps or hinders him.

Von Says:

Veno: I’m glad to know you Euros suffer as much as we Americans do with respect to the time changes. Misery loves company!! LOL

I agree that 1:00 am is not conducive to watching tennis , especially when you have to work, but you’ll survive.
jane: I’m surviving, but just barely on the sleep thing. Maybe, I’ll move temporarily.

What a bummer for Youz, especially since he fought tooth and nail with Gasquet for that win.

I was unhappy for Gasquet’s loss also, and would have preferred it if he had won that match. No offense to Youz, but I like Gasquet’s tennis more and also wanted him to get back into the top 20.

Born Borg Says:

Tested or not tested, Davy is certain to be in the semi, probably hardly losing a set. That must be painful for some, including me.
With Youzhny’s retirement, Nole’s path has been eased out further. I’d not complain about it.
It is still hard to see who will hoist the trophy come Sunday. Me thinks someone from the top half. I don’t know how much Murray-Rafa outcome will adversely affect that.
So far, I think, only the following players have been “tested,” whatever that means:
Roger (against Andreev)
JMDP (Blake)
Rafa (Kohls)
Cilic (Wawrinka)
I’d not include Roddick here as far “tested” as such is concerned, IF we look at Roddick’s 5-0 H2H lead going into last night match, and in those encounters Lopez had won only 1 set.

Bjorn Borg Says:

Tested or not tested, Davy is certain to be in the semi, probably hardly losing a set. That must be painful for some, including me.
With Youzhny’s retirement, Nole’s path has been eased out further. I’d not complain about it.
It is still hard to see who will hoist the trophy come Sunday. Me thinks someone from the top half. I don’t know how much Murray-Rafa outcome will adversely affect that.
So far, I think, only the following players have been “tested,” whatever that means:
Roger (against Andreev)
JMDP (Blake)
Rafa (Kohls)
Cilic (Wawrinka)
I’d not include Roddick here as far “tested” as such is concerned, IF we look at Roddick’s 5-0 H2H lead going into last night match, and in those encounters Lopez had won only 1 set.

Kimmi Says:

Azaranka and Zvonareva are racing at the moment. Zvona already one break ahead in the second set…looks like there wont be any crying today.

Von Says:

Veno: Re your 7:53 pm post, I posted on the other thread ref Ivanovic. Here’s a copy and paste:

Von Says:
Ivanovic should get married as her mind is not on tennis at all. Maybe, she’s smitten by the love bug, big time, and marriage will the panacea.

Jankovic, should stop wearing her night dresses on court, put on a happy face, and maybe she’ll be awake for her matches, instead of being a whining, grumpy baby on court. She’s ineffective against most of the other players as she does not have a main go to weapon, and her return game, which was previously her strength, has gone south.

January 22nd, 2010 at 5:48 pm

jane Says:

Sean, I wonder the same.

Von, Like Gasquet’s tennis too, and after he got to the finals at Auckland (?) versus Baggy, I thought he may be ready to break through here. Ah well … they’ve only just begun the season. There will be many more chances for Richard to get it going again.

Veno Says:

Thanks for the clear-up Von….

Women’s tennis…….

Thank god for the Williams sisters….

And my favourite Ma-Kiri of course!!!

Veno Says:

@Bjorn Borg:

Davy certain in the semi, probably hardly losing a set?

LOOOL…..Sure….That sounds a bit the same as Murray last year proclaiming he was the favourite for the OZ open because he had a good run-up….

We’ll see how Davy handles the real pressures of a GS Quarter against Fed(if they both make the Quarters of course)

Von Says:

BB: I think Roddick was tested in his match vs. Lopez. I don’t know if you watched the match on ESPN, but when the camera focused on Andy sitting on his chair after the match, he appeared very relieved. I think he realized how very close a match he had to play at that moment when the finality of it sunk into his mind. That said, I’d say Roddick was tested.

Veno Says:

Richard Gasquet will be fine my friends….
Youz had one of his days and did a number on him and Richard was mentally not strong enough to put the hammer down when 4-2 up in the decider.

He’ll bounce back!!!!

Sean Randall Says:

Borg, Davydenko “certain” to get to the SF? I wouldn’t go that far. He could very well lose to Verdasco and of course Federer. Remember the guy has probably never dealt with the Slam pressure he’ll face from here on out. He’s now expected to beat Verdasco, and some will expect him to beat Federer.

Going from underdog to favorite is not that easy of a role change.

Veno Says:

Roddick was certainly tested by Feliciano. Saw the whole match live and although Lopez’s FH started to desert him more and more as the match went on, he played as good as he’s ever played against Andy and was serving his a.s.s. off, especially the first 2.5 sets.

Andy adjusted his tactics, was solid and executed well!!! If he hadn’t figured it out during the second set, he could have lost that match.

Bjorn Borg Says:

Sean and Veno,
My slippage. I meant quarter final, but I’d not be surprised if he wins the whole thing, despite being the hunted now (Sean’s “role change”).
Without the slippage, I more or less agree with this: “LOOOL…..Sure….That sounds a bit the same as Murray last year proclaiming he was the favourite for the OZ open because he had a good run-up….”

jane Says:

BB: “only the following players have been “tested,” whatever that means”

I was thinking of your words from the other day actually – i.e, “stronger challengers” – when I said tested. But I know it’s sometimes ambiguous as to who/what is a stronger challenge, as rankings don’t always tell the whole story and match ups sometimes figure in. BTW, I know you’re a big Delpo fan, do you know much about his wrist injury, how serious it is? I haven’t heard or read much.

Veno Says:

I certainly don’t put it beyond Kolya to win it this year, especially with his results and confidence at an all-time high. But it’s early days still….The other guys will have something to say about that :)

He’d have to beat in-form: Verdasco, Federer, Djokovic and (Nadal/Roddick/Delpo/Murray) in a row in best of 5 matches….talk about a tall order indeed……

Bjorn Borg Says:

If Roddick could be said to be tested, then you’d have to say JMDP was tested by Russell, against whom JMDP had 1-1 h2h going into the match, and it was a fierce display from Russell the Muscle and a pretty tight match, if you watched. If you have not, you should replay from espn360. Trust me, it is worth watching.

Veno Says:


True, but that’s just DelPo’s way…
He likes to Rope-a-Dope a la Muhammed Ali from time to time….And sometimes he doesn’t keep his head, he loses focus and gets hurt(the bagel yesterday???)

He got seriously tested by James though….What a match that was….James just squandered too many opps because he lacked that itsy bitsy patience at the right time….It was a heart-breaking loss for James, but an impressive mental display of strength from DelPo. And the guy is only 21….

Bjorn Borg Says:

No clue how severe the injury is, but one thing for sure, he is not playing as well as he did at the USO. I cannot “wholly” attribute his under performance to the effect of the injury. With the current form, I seriously doubt if he can get past Cilic. If he overcomes Cilic challenge, I’d dismiss the mystery of injury.

Veno Says:

My second cutie Gisela is giving Zvona a match….4-4 in the second….So there still is a possibility of a Zvona break-down in tears….

And glad to see Sam endulge me and making a short match of it so I can watch my main man Rog!!! Closing in on 3 am here!!!

jane Says:

BB, true, he looked to be in stronger form at the USO and the YEC. I could still see him getting past Cilic. Delpo’s a fighter. And he’s a cleaner player than Cilic so far, less errors. Like Sean, I don’t know what to think about Delpo yet. Will wait and see. I don’t think Roddick and Delpo have ever met in a slam, so that would be an interesting match.

I’d like to see Novak get to at least the semis this year, and better his results from last year. He may have to go through Tsonga to do it though. And then likely Fed, or maybe (?) Davy.

Veno Says:

Well, I’m off to my couch awaiting the Fed-Meister play.

Enjoy everyone! Talk later!

Von, later gator!

Von Says:

Wow, Veno, you’re a true fan! You’re up at 3:00 am to watch your guy. I hope it’s worth the sleep deprivation. Enjoy and goodnight!

Veno Says:

nodge s/b notch
and endulge s/b indulge

(Thanks to Von) Merci mon amie :)

Kolya cruising….

And who said Suarez N would pose problems for Serena?

Not at the moment

And my main man hasn’t broken a sweat yet…
Come on Montanes…get in there amigo!!!

Veno Says:

Anyone setting their alarm for Lleyton-Marcos?…Should be yummie!

Kimo Says:

hey everyone :)

I just wanna say that something is definitely wrong with the way the Australian open statisticians calculate winners and unforced errors.

The Fed almost never has more UEs than winners, only when he’s playing terribly that his UEs can exceed the winners, and not by much.

So how come after the brilliant set like the one we’ve just seen he gets only 10 winners to 11 UEs?!

I don’t think they count service winners and count all errors as unforced. That can be the only explanation.

Sean Randall Says:

Davydenko up 7-0 on Monaco. He’s destroying everyone!

Serena on verge of baking her first bagel of the tournament.

Bjorn Borg Says:

Contrary to expectation, not much resistance from Monaco. Davy bagels him in the first set. Watch out the Russian looks awfully unstoppable.

Daniel Says:

Wow, Suarez-Navarro is playing like world n. 2 against Serena in this last game in the final set, which aready last 13 min that I am watching it. Superb tennis right now!

Bjorn Borg Says:

Sean, 9 games in a row for Davy ! Insane !

Kimo Says:

There’s no doubt that Davy is in good shape, but he has always been good against players outside the top 10.

Veno Says:

Davy will destroy every clay courter that comes his way in this tourney…….but from the 4th RD on he’ll get more resistence….

He is in onimous form for sure!

Veno Says:

I think the UE count is off for Fed’s match…they have registered 19 already…they think he’s Shriekapova maybe?

Veno Says:

Fed’s bh down the line is strong today…About his 5th winner from that wing

Veno Says:

And Fed is 2 for 2 in challenges!!! We all know what that means lolzzz

Daniel Says:

Fed is playing great! Made a casual volley to break and now screams in frustration with an easy backhand error.

Kimo Says:

Veno said:

“I think the UE count is off for Fed’s match…they have registered 19 already…they think he’s Shriekapova maybe?”

Hellooooo. I said that like half an hour ago :)

Sean Randall Says:

There is no question Davydenko can beat Federer, I’m just not sure he can hold his nerves and deal with the pressures of doing it in a Slam.

Until Nikolay actually does beat a big name at a Slam – and not Tomas Berdych! – I’ll remain a skeptic.

Kimo Says:

Daniel said:

“Fed is playing great! Made a casual volley to break and now screams in frustration with an easy backhand error.”

I agree, but it’s important he doesn’t get frustrated by not hitting every single ball exactly the way he wants. But what can I say? He’s a perfectionist.

Gannu Says:

Incase we get a Fedex vs Davydenko QF i am wondering whether Davydenko is gonna be the man to interrupt the great fedex streak of 22 consecutive semis…If a seeded player like Monaco can be slaugthered ;like this i wonder whether fedex really has any chance against Davydenko…

Kimmi Says:

federer making crucial errors in this second set.

Daniel Says:

Well, 3 backhand errors in a game he shoud have won. The screams made him lose focus.

Davy is on a mission! Can’t wait for him and Fed in the quarters.

Gannu Says:

Fedex backhand is poor today…way too many UFE…

Daniel Says:


Gannu Says:

Sean… Davydenko hs all the mental strength in this world.. he now belives in himself.. and more imp he is a guy who is not bothered abt making a name for him in history etc..his sole focus is to make money!!! and his extremelly carefree attitude is something which is actually positive and doesnt out him under pressure… All this talk abt favorite and hence being under pressure doesnt bother him because he simply is not that kind of a guy… I am really getting worried for fedex…

Kimo Says:

If those of you watching Davy think he’s in ominous form, switch to Fed’s match, coz he’s playing in TMF mode at the moment.

Daniel Says:

Gannu, it`s not poor, it’s just that today he is going a lot for winners from that wing and in he lines balls. Eventually some will go wide, but you can see that he is feeling the ball today and going for all sort of shots.

Kimo Says:

Gannu, with all due respect, when Davy steps onto the court against Fed, he’s not thinking about money at all. He just want to prove to himself that he can beat a guy who had his number in the past, in a best of five match, to break Fed’s semi-final streak, to beat the world no.1 who has won 15 grand slams while Davy has won none, you bet he’ll think about all that stuff should they meet in the quarters.

The is a slam, not the WTF or Doha. It’s a whole different ball game.

Daniel Says:

Yeah Kimo I agree! That’s why I think he was so frustrated with those errors in 3-3. For today’s stantards, that was unacceptable.

Veno Says:

Don’t read too much into it Daniel…He just vented…

Fed is trying things out because he’s getting no opposition at all…

Hard to keep your level at the highest all the time…

And Davy…the further he goes the more thoughts will come into his mind nearing his dream of winning a slam….

sar Says:

Anyone know the weather situation now? Are the roofs open or closed? They said rain was threatening.

Veno Says:


Especially for you….I wrote that about the UE count to affirm your claim, but I hadn’t been at my comp(on the couch watching the match) so that’s why there was a big lapse in time…

You were right!

Veno Says:

Sar, I’m afraid your an hour and a half behind on the timeline…All is open and rain has disappeared…the sun has come out….but the morning session was delayed because of light rain :)

steve Says:

Suarez-Navarro is on the board in the second set at least, though still down a break.

The second set will be much closer than the first. But then again, how could it not be?

Kimo Says:

sar, the courts are bathed in sunshine at the moment :)

Veno Says:

What do you guys think? Suarez Navarro with her game(and only 21) looks to be a future Roland Garros winner……

Veno Says:

wow, Schiavone took the first set to 2 against Radwanska….

Veno Says:

Well, Kolya playing well and destroying Monaco, but the Argentinian only has hit 4 winners the whole match!!! That’s just sad

Ben Pronin Says:

3 sets, 3 bagels. I’m starting to think that not only will Davydenko win the tournament, but he might not even drop a set!

Ben Pronin Says:

Sorry s/b 3 matches, 3 bagels.

Veno Says:

Monaco broke Kolya! Good for him….

Veno Says:

Don’t get carried away Ben LOLZ

sar Says:

Thanks, I was watching earlier when the wind was swirling. Glad the weather is nice!

Gannu Says:

I still have my own reservations abt Davydenko thinking on those lines.. he is a guy who doesnt bother abt who is standing next to him….i mean there are times when he has lost to player outside top 100 in straight sets and there are times when he has slaugtered top 10 players.. Agreed that he is yet to make a grandslam breakthrough..But when he plays fedex. he is not gonna think “Oh GOd.. this the the god of tennis agianst whom i am playing… i am winningcant believe etc” Its Djokoivc or Del Po etc who have that respect.. on the contrary have u ever seen Davydenko appreciating Fedex or revering him.. In fact he has said that fedex is a very lucky player..i have never heard him saying fedex is amazinng i am honored to play etc.. rge lack of respect itself is a positive sign for Davydenko..I somehow believe Fedex has to play the best match of his life to beat Davydenko this aus open..

Kimmi Says:

Davy is now playing like playstation 3, he wants to improve to playstation 4…that will be tough for everybody.

Veno Says:

If they clash, it will be a good match for sure…
I give it 55-45% to Fed…just on experience and I don’t think he’s going to let Davy beat him 3 times in a row and snap his 22 semi-streak…He’ll be razor sharp!

Ben Pronin Says:

That’s not entirely true. Davydenko has done his fair share of praising Federer. Read some of the things he said after he beat him in London. Davydenko respects Federer but he doesn’t go out of his way to justify his wins/losses the way Murray does.

Veno Says:

remember when Murray had beaten Fed twice in a row before the USO final of ’08?(where Fed still had not super much confidence and struggled)

He hammered Murray, Fed will play his best tennis when he has to in Grand Slams….

Davy-Verdasco could be a good clash also…..

Veno Says:

True Ben!

Kolya said once Fed was lucky(French Open Semi 7-6 7-5 7-5 in ’07)but he meant the luck went with Federer that match(his English is not so good so some gets lost in translation)

All the other times he’s been respectful of Federer. He’s indeed not known for praising, well, any opponent. Also not Nadal. A true Russian!!!

Kafelnikov was exactly the same

Veno Says:

And if Monaco can squeeze a tiebreaker in the third….who knows….

Veno Says:

Davy: 24 of his 70 points so far are clean winners
Fed: 42 of his 91 points so far are clean winners

Interesting statistic because the scores give the idea Kolya is much more dominating Monaco….

Gannu Says:

Ben Look at this…

Q. Could you explain what was going through your mind when Roger pulled off the shot when you were serving at 4-5 in the third set, when you
made the smash, he smashed it from the baseline? What were your thoughts at that moment?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Yeah, like I say after Love-30, I was thinking, Federer again lucky. In 12 times he beat me. Now again in this point. Yeah, I was thinking, Not again, please. Again I can lose 6-4 in the third set.
But winning, you know, first point, then again I come back better concentration. Then I start to be lucky.

I am not trying desperately to prove my point.. But somehow this doesnt evoke any kind of respect for federer,, there are several such instances when Davydenko has atrributed fedex wins to luck..I just dont believe that he is gonna be in any such kind of pressure watsoever to prove anything..he cares a damn abt his record with anyone!!!

Veno Says:

Again Gannu, I think it’s a translation problem from Russian to English…

Always in the context I interpret Davydenko meaning to say that “the bounce of the ball” favoured the Swiss more than him….

Trust me, he is respectful of Federer

Veno Says:

What the hell is Jim Courier on?

Is he practicing his Stand-Up routine during these on court interviews of Fed?

That was the second awkward interview in a row….


Kimmi Says:

gannu, actually davy was right there. Federer has been lucky in few matches they have played. he always give an example of the FO semi match. he lost to fed in straight sets but he was leading in all three sets. He even had set points I think.

Kimmi Says:

I like Davy and I have always see him with respect to all players. If he is feeling his good form..good for him. I think he deserve at least one GS.

Gannu Says:

Djokovic and Nadal’s draws are a joke… Djokovic will not face a seeded opponent till QF…and yet he is struggling against most of his opponents… Nadal on the other hand gets a one dimensional player in Karlovic and god forbid if his serve is Off then Karlovic will lose miserably..

andrea Says:

in retrospect, kinda glad sharapova is out. her tennis dress looked like she draped a slip of compost over it…ugh. glad i don’t have to watch it for 2 weeks.

for someone with nike at their disposal to conjure up tennis frocks, she sure comes up with some stinkers.

Duro Says:

Nole’s cruising and I got up 4:30 in the morning to watch it. I’m glad anyway (cause I got up), despite I work tomorrow, or should I say in 2 hours from now… Cheers to all Novak’s supporters. Doesn’t look bad, right?

Kimmi Says:

gannu, nadal draw at the moment is much tougher that Djoko. he played a seed yesterday in Kohl which was a tough match for him. Karlovic can be dangerous. he beat federer before and the last time he played nadal in qeens it was a very close match which could have gone either way. So if Karlovic has a good serving day, he can make the match very uncomfortably close. ..and after that he has Murray who can beat him. But Djokovic I agree, he has an easy draw on paper, he can play a seed only in Qtrs and after.

Andrew Miller Says:

Davydenko playing exceptionally well. The Azarenka- Serena Williams match, if both win their matchups, should be quite a match!

Baghdatis-Federer, if it happens, should also be fun.

Andrew Miller Says:

Suarez-Navarro and French Open champion: no. Suarez-Navarro is a shot-maker, not a grinder. That’s more Wimbledon and less French Open.

No, I do not think so. I dont think Wimbledon either. The competition still favors the rest of the top ten over Suarez.

Andrew Miller Says:

that said, Iva Majoli won it and so did Anastasia Myskina (no comeback on the horizon)

Kimmi Says:

Verdasco played only one set 6-1 and his opponent retired, hmmm. Hope he is ready to face the playstation davydenko. wont br easy.

Gannu Says:

Kimmi… One needs to know how to handle Karlovic’s serve.. and i guess the top 5 players i.e Fedex, Nadal, Djokovic, Murray etc.. are excellent in handling him… while fedex chips it in (like Wimbledon when he alone was the person to break Dr Ivo’s serve),,, Nadal on the other hand like murray can stay 10 ft behind the baseline and return… easier said than done.. but these guys especially murray has demonstrated the way to beat karlovic or any top servers.. I still remember the match when Agassi tackled Philippousis serve and i think Nadal would also adopt the same strategy.. stanbding way behind the baseline and getting the ball in…Still getting ivo is better than getting say cilic/Baghdatis/hewitt/Gonzo/tsonga/verdasco in 4th round!!!! So i was talking abt the opponent in relative terms..

Kimmi Says:

well, from the last time they play, nadal could not return Karlovic serve easily, actually they had 3 tie breaks i think..very close match. I know Grass is much faster than this courts in melbourne but still.. So lets hope Nadal return game is on…

Ben Pronin Says:

I don’t think Nadal has all that much to worry about. The match won’t be a grind, just frustrating mentally. But nothing Nadal can’t handle.

I didn’t see the entire match but I remember the third set tiebreaker back in Queens and Nadal hit some great reflex returns to get winners right past Karlovic.

Duro Says:

6:1, 6:1, 6:2. Over and out.

sar Says:

Very nice match Duro. Over and out.

Kimmi Says:

Ben, nadal will win the match but I was just telling Gannu that it might not be as easy as he/she thinks.

When a match like this gets to 5 all, 6 all in a set then its definitely becomes uncomfortable.

steve Says:

Re: Suarez-Navarro. She started a bit late because she finished her “basic education” before starting to train as a pro. I’m guessing that means she has a high school degree, or its Spanish equivalent.

Last year was her first full season on the WTA tour, and she made to the QF of the AO, beating Venus along the way. In ’08 she made it to the QF of Roland Garros as a qualifier in her first Grand Slam appearance. Both results indicate great ability, her problems are 1) maintaining consistency and 2) experience, which can be remedied by 1) more training and 2) playing more matches.

I like her game. To me she looks better going down in crushing defeat to Serena than any of the Azarenkas or Wozniackis do in victory.

And as for the shotmaking, attacking players not being able to win on clay…are you forgetting the great Justine Henin?

jane Says:

sar, Duro, good win, even if it wasn’t a tough opponent! : ) I couldn’t watch as I was at my niece’s dance recital, but managed to check scores in intermission. lol.

I see Davy continues to rock the court, and Fed and Serena are still rolling through also.

I do agree that Djoko’s draw has opened up nicely, given that Chardy, Soderling, Gasquet and now Youz were all eliminated from his quarter. But if all the top guys around tumble, so be it. He plays who is in front of him. Kubot can play pretty well; that won’t be a cakewalk. He’s more of a doubles guy though.

Gannu makes some strong points about Davydenko; he is a major (ahem) threat here. We’ll see if he continues to roll, as Verdasco should be tougher (and rested since he played only a set vs Koubek). But as this point I totally expect a Davy/Fed QF. Baggy and Hewy will likely wear each other out into the wee hours.

Gannu Says:

Hewitt is taking Baghdatis’ case.. leading 5-0.. would be interesting to see how he plays against Roger though the match is far from over …

jane Says:

Yep, so far Hewy is slaying the Bag man.

jane Says:

And Tsonga looked very strong in that last game.

huh Says:

As I have not seen Fed’s today’s match, I cannot comment on it, but I feel fortunate to have seen Fed’s match against Hanescu, it was the single greatest performance of Federer since 2007 end!

And so far as I have seen the draws, Djokovic has by far the easiest draw, just like the one he had at Wim 09; lucky guy!

And Fed seems to be the only one who was and is in danger of being either seriously challenged or ousted at each round(Thank God Gulbis fizzled or he coulda put Fed in at least some trouble, if not more. And it is unfortunate to see DP facing so many dangerous opponents one after another, poor DP’s even more unlucky than Fed. And not to mention Rod, hardly an enviable draw he has got, he’s also unsafe. He too had Berdych to face in probably second round, but fortunately he lost, some relief at least… These three guys have utmost challenges to overcome. :(

And Nadal, apart from the first two rounds, has challenge, serious ones to be honest! I was expecting Kohl to challenge Rafa and he really did that! And Murray has first three rounds ok opponenets, but from tomoro he’s big big challenges, the Isner fellow would be his real test!

I never thought, I’d say this actually, but I really was and am still unable to dare predict the possible winner. But I liked Ben prediction of Murray beating Fed in final in 5 sets, not bad at all! :) But that said, I am still rooting for Fed above others.

Hi Mrs.Margot,

I feel very happy to remember me so much! :D
Similar thanks to Maxi too for not forgetting me! :)

And special thanks to contador for providing that great article for Fed, that was one of the best I’ve ever read! :P

huh Says:

Kim losing so badly to Pet shows why Serena’s to be praised as a champ! Is the Fed-hater coward Cindy_Brady aka Goat girl listening???

huh Says:

I am utterly to see Cindy_Brady showing her usual disgraceful stuff by constantly going after Von and harassing her endlessly; claiming in a blog as to how she predicted Sod would go down early(signs of heading to the mental-ward); abusing me calling me tyrant, bully; boasting about her hatred for Fed as told to me by some very respectable posters; always blasting Roddick unjustly calling him selfish, classless etc.; accusing Rafa of using drugs; mocking at Nole for taking MO time-outs(which he very well might be needing, who knows!) or cramping at times, totally ignoring the fact that he has some physical limitations for his strenous and busy life; and just a few days back she was laughing at Muzza calling him some Mark Nichelson of tennis! So much hatred for all! Sheesh and sheesh!!!

huh Says:

Not to mention, Brady also spouted racist taunts about Serena, arghh!!! Sickeningly pathetic soul is this woman called Cindy_Brady, uhhh!

huh Says:

Very Nice to see Veno and duro back, I’m extremely happy they’re going full-flow here. :)

madmax Says:

Hello huh!
So glad you are back! we have missed you! I think it was margot who thought that china may have banned google, which meant that you had disappeared for a while – was so pleased to see your name here – again –


with duro back.

duro, are you feeling much, much better? last time we spoke, you were quite ill I think, is that why you have been away for such a while? I do hope you are feeling better – much better – because we are now at weekend, and moving through to fourth rounds and this is when things become tougher.


i am still sticking with federer. He seems relaxed and playing some great tennis out there, so we shall see whether that is enough to move forward. but he has great chances. i really think that it will turn on his first serves. during the first set against Montanes, he was serving over 80% first serves – and some great shots from fed.

And yes, the interview posted by contador was quite brilliant, quite the best I had read from fed, very insightful.

take care huh and will drop in later.

ignore the person you refer to – what goes around comes around – right?

you’re lovely, huh.

Duro Says:

Maxi! There’s a mystery I hope you’ll resolve for me regarding TT. I cannot log on! I even notice many of my friends cannot too. Do you happen to know what seems to be a problem? Can you ask admin in our name? It’s says: “wrong user name or password” all the time and nothing can be done, not even if we try to change it. Did you think I would skip commenting Novak’s threads otherwise?

Thank you very much for being concerned about my health, Maxi. I am well a long time ago but didn’t participate during this period when season was over. I definitely needed that time to do something else and to “come back” to my family. Now it’s meaningful to participate; Aussie is on it’s way.

Anyway, see you around. Fed is marvelous as always, but be prepared! Bad boys are coming! Kingdom’s at the stake!

Duro Says:


I saw some of your posts, don’t you worry! I was there silently! I even answered you once, but you didn’t see it. I was late with my answer a day or so. I am glad you’re here, too. I wished you, among others, a Happy New Year. See you, huh. Our guys will meat, so get ready to rummmmbbbbbble!!!

Duro Says:

Jane, a special assignment for you: You must find i am it. That brilliant soul have to be with us! I know you can, so use your powers to do so. Cheers for now.

Bjorn Borg Says:

Ne Win was as ethnocentric as any one can be (remember 1964 exodus?). B.t.w. I have not missed Saw Maung and Than Shwe around here.

Scottish Says:

Fed overall looked great out there. He’s got a tough draw from now on in and while I think he will beat Hewitt it’s not going to be easy. Davy hasn’t really seen much of a challenger like Murray and Djokovic who basically have to just show up. I’ve seen Murray hit some amazing shots but he is NOT going to win this if he doesn’t pick up his game. Nadal will crush him. Tsonga seems like he can make some noise here. Delpo is a tough one to figure out. No question he is mentally strong. But his losses in focus have me worried. Tough loss for Blake. Good things to come from him though.

From here on in we’re going to see some amazing tennis and let’s hope for no more injuries.

madmax Says:


No, i havent had any problems, save when I sometimes click on a thread and it goes to HTP500 no server –

But what I would do email directly Ricky or Cheryl on their email address and they will sort it out – am sure –

OllyK still posts over there – so am sure that the problem is your laptop perhaps? Sar also posts over there.

I post over there every now and again, but not as often as here – I prefer it much better over here as the posters here are more knowledgeable about tennis from way back when plus there is more technical analysis over here than there is over at TT.


try your name again – perhaps you are typing in capitals? remember it is case sensitive – if it says wrong username/password – then you must be inputting wrong information – it’s that simple.

Take care and good to see you back duro.

Scottish, Fed does look great overall, and also seems to have lost a bit of weight with all the exercise each day, a few hours on court – his movement on court is excellent.

We had some slo mos in UK of his footwork – breathtaking. Like a hovercraft. Beautiful to watch.

Go federer!

madmax Says:


Here are the addresses i was talking about – good luck!

huh Says:

I completely agree with Veno and Kimmi when they say Davy respects Fed, he simply does, no doubt about it! When all were going crazy claiming how Fed’d be pushed to backfoot and then trampled by the youngies like Nole and Muzza, Davy was the only guy who didn’t believe in such hysterical hype. Davy didn’t agree with the bandwagoners’ contention that Nole-Muzza and the others are more able than Roddick-Hewitt-Safin combo. He was quick to point out that Hewitt-Roddick-Safin are just as competitive, if not more, as the recent topdogs as aforementioned, unless proved otherwise; and I thought he was completely correct! He didn’t dismiss Fed’s comparatively old rivals as against the relatively recent rivals, and that was enough for me to believe that he thinks highly of Fed! Period.

huh Says:

Again hello and thanks lovely maxi! :P


Strictly speaking, I like Nole and would not mind him winning AO at all, if he can; he’s a great player and we all know he can do it. But as always w.r.t. other guys, the question is ‘will he?’. All that you can do is hope, like me! :)

huh Says:

Again hello and thanks lovely maxi! :P


Strictly speaking, I like Nole and would not mind him winning AO at all, if he can; he’s a great player and we all know he can do it. But as always w.r.t. other guys, the question is ‘will he?’. All that you can do is hope, like me! :)

huh Says:

All that I do is hope Fed keeps playing like he did against Hanescu, then it’ll be nearly impossible to beat him.
What a player!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) :) (: (:

Duro Says:

Maxi, thanks a lot for the addresses. It’s not because of the capital letters or something similar. I tried to change completely username and password and it said that my e-mail address was already registered!? So, nothing works, old username, old password, new username, password… It must be something else. I hope I am not banned from the site :)))! See ya!

Skorocel Says:

huh: “All that I do is hope Fed keeps playing like he did against Hanescu, then it’ll be nearly impossible to beat him.”

Agree. Too bad Nadal, Murray, or Djoker aren’t like Hanescu ;-)

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