Kvitova Toppled, Djokovic Lauds Becker at Australian Open Day 1
by Staff | January 13th, 2014, 8:59 am

Two women’s Top 10 seeds and four overall exited the park on Day 1 at the Australian Open, compared to a quiet opening day on the men’s side.
Thailand’s unheralded Luksika Kumkhum claimed the highest-ranked scalp of the day, downing No. 6 seed and former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova 6-2, 1-6, 6-4.

“Really happy today that I doing good today, yeah,” said the Thai with the two-handed forehand in her halting English. “I just love hardcourt. I just put every match, I mean, like happy to play and, like, exciting every day. Yeah, just do my best. That’s it. Not a secret.”

Also exiting was No. 7-seeded Italian Sara Errani as former one-to-watch Julia “Gorgeous” Goerges of Germany found the range of her punishing groundstrokes with a 6-3, 6-2 win. Other upset-minded players were China’s Jie Zheng ousting No. 12 Roberta Vinci 6-4, 6-3, and American Alison Riske rousting No. 23 Elena Vesnina 6-2, 6-2.

In other Top 10 action, world No. 1 Serena Williams dispatched Aussie teen Ashleigh Barty 6-2, 6-1; No. 4 seed Li Na punished Croat teen qualifier Ana Konjuh 6-2, 6-0; and No. 9 Angie Kerber avoided an upset with a 6-3, 0-6, 6-2 fight-back against Slovak-turned-Aussie Jarmila Gajdosova.

“My next match, I might stay at the baseline the whole time,” said Serena, who converted 10 of 11 points at the net, and next faces Vesna Dolonc. “It’s nothing I’m permanently working on. I’m just trying to have fun and do what I want to do out there.”

Lower seeds struggling into the second round in three sets were No. 22-seeded Russian Ekaterina Makarova subduing unseeded former No. 1 Venus Williams, No. 26 Lucie Safarova outlasting Israel’s Julia Glushko, and No. 31 Daniela Hantuchova defeating Brit Heather Watson.

“I think she played really well, and I think just my level was a little bit too up and down,” Venus said of Makarova. “I think obviously my error count was a little high. I haven’t looked at the stats yet, so I don’t know what the errors were or the first serve percentage was…I have to give her a lot of credit. She was really determined, and just kept playing hard.”

Teens to watch into the second round included Swiss qualifier Belinda Bencic who outlasted veteran Kimiko Date-Krumm in three, and American Madison Keys who likewise needed three sets to defeat Austrian Patty Mayr-Achleitner.

“I tried not to like think about it, but it was different, yeah,” said Bencic on her first Grand Slam appearance. “I had really trouble to play [Date-Krumm] because she plays a very different game and very flat ball. I could do nothing with it.”

Bencic will next meet the No. 4-seeded Na.

On the men’s side it would have been 16 out of 16 seeds in action advancing into the second round, had not No. 12 Tommy Haas struggled against Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, eventually retiring from the match down 7-5, 5-2 due to a shoulder injury.

Top 10-seeded players in action Novak Djokovic, David Ferrer, Tomas Berdych, Stan Wawrinka and Richard Gasquet all moved safely into the second round without dropping a set.

“Physically I feel great. I’m very motivated obviously to play my best,” said Djokovic who gave up a break in his opening set but won in straights. “I was trying to find the proper, I would say, setting and proper balance and footing in the court. It came at the right time, in the tiebreak in the second, and the whole third set was great. My service games, most of the games were won comfortably. I won many easy points with the first serves and had a high percentage of the first serves in. That’s something that makes me obviously very encouraged for this tournament and for every next match.”

Djokovic says his journey with new coach Boris Becker is off on the right foot.

“He has accepted my kind request to speak to me in German as much as he can because I would like to refresh my knowledge. I used to speak it,” said a light-hearted Djokovic. “He definitely has great observations on my game, on tennis in general. We do speak a lot about different things. We try to get to know each other as much as we can. And the understanding is great in the beginning. I did not expect ourselves to understand each other so well right away in the second or third week that we working are with each other.”

Seeds playing with fire were No. 17 Tommy Robredo outlasting Lukas Rosol 8-6 in the fifth, No. 19 Kevin Anderson coming from 0-2 sets down to defeat Czech Jiri Vesely, and No. 20 Jerzy Janowicz doing likewise against unheralded Australian Jordan Thompson.

Winners of note in all-unseeded match-ups were Denis Istomin over Marcos Baghdatis, Aussie Matthew Ebden outlasting Nicolas Mahut in five, Sam Querrey, Nikolay Davydenko over Lukasz Kubot in five, and last year’s French breakout player Adrian Mannarino defeating American Steve Johnson in five sets.

Tuesday’s matches to look for in Melbourne include (6) Roger Federer vs. Aussie James Duckworth, (24) Andreas Seppi vs. Aussie Lleyton Hewitt, (1) Rafael Nadal vs. Aussie Bernard Tomic, upset specialist Bethanie Mattek-Sands vs. (3) Maria Sharapova, and former French Open winner Francesca Schiavone vs. (20) Dominika Cibulkova.

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48 Comments for Kvitova Toppled, Djokovic Lauds Becker at Australian Open Day 1

Giles Says:

Well done joker for beating Lacko. Great feat!!!

Hippy Chic Says:

Shame about Petra,shes a great talent with a great game,and i only saw the 1st set,but she was her own worst enemy,playing high risk tennis and spraying the ball all over with a catalogue of UFEs,she never did kick on from winning Wimbledon in 2011,she looks likely to end up a one slam wonder.

SG1 Says:

Yup. I keep waiting for Kvitova to break through again but it doesn’t seem to happen for her. Perhaps a sports psychologist may do her some good. She has too much power and talent to go down as a one slam wonder.

On a positive note, Eugenie Bouchard is off to the second round.

Thangs Says:

yes, I feel sad for Kvitova too..When clicked, her shots are amazing….but, she is not adjusting her game when things goes wrong…poor girl.

Bad Knee Rules Says:

No hope for Kvitova, she is finished, Stepanek is wrong choice.

the DA Says:

Kohlschreiber pulls out with a strained left hamstring. Stéphane Robert will take his place in draw. Damn. I was looking forward to a rematch with Isner. Isner’s section of the draw just opened up straight to the 4th round. Well, in theory.

Bad Knee Rules Says:

It looks like Friday is the last day of the heat wave. After Friday it’s going to be pretty cold, with no more hot days until the end of AO.


the DA Says:

haha….Isner has a golden opportunity and what happens? He loses the first set 6-2 to Klizan. This heat is producing wacky tennis from usually reliable players.

Polo Says:

Kvitova following the footseps of Vaidisova.

Humble Rafa Says:

Stepanek is wrong choice.

Don’t you know that the Worm is the undisputed king in bed. That’s the word.

the DA Says:

Isner retires after going 2 sets down. I didn’t realize his ankle was bothering him that much. After Kohls’ withdrawal this means Andy’s section has just blown wide open and Delbonis is the highest ranked remaining. Now watch him blow it! hehe #nojinx

mat4 Says:

I watch part of that match: Isner wasn’t moving on his return games, Klizan acing him on second serves. I thought it was the heat, didn’t know about the ankle.

El_Flaco Says:

Hard draws can turn into easy draws so let’s see how it unfolds.

the DA Says:

Yes, I thought it was the heat too. He was really grouchy too and even swore at one point over a let cord. Very uncharacteristic of him.

Humble Rafa Says:

Real goats gain no pleasure in beating midgets. Just saying.

Margot Says:

@the DA 9.53
Now don’t u dare! ;) So stupidly hot there, hope A gets it done nice and quick.
Go Andy!

the DA Says:

@Margot – I had to get it out there as a reverse psychology trick on fate. :) It’s such a golden opportunity to play himself into form. But…one match at time. At the moment he looks okay. Up a double break.

Perfect fan Says:

Great start by the Wimby champ….6-1 1st set….lookin real good :)

the DA Says:

I’m a little shocked how well it’s going. He’s ripping the ball and I’m loving all the BHDTLs.

Perfect fan Says:

Andy is literally toying with the jap here :))

Margot Says:

Andy looking hot…..;)
So good to see that he’s got his length back, went AWOl against Hewitt. Serve fab, movement fab, forehand fab, bhdl fab…..sighs
Yep DA, knew u were!
Comms just said Dancevic fainted on court, someone else was sick, players sticking to the court! Shocking, and they say only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in it.

Margot Says:

Soeda played better in the third, so some nice practise for Andy! Good to see so many supporters there, especially Andy’s boys.
Let’s Go Andy, let’s go!

Emily Says:

Loving Agassi as the silent third commentator on the Hewitt match, come on Rusty

James Says:

Oh oh! Hewitt loses in 5 sets to Seppi. Earlier today Matosevic lost in 5 to Kei Nishikori. Tomic could be the next Aussie to bow out today.

mat4 Says:

Tomic retired after the first set. Since I watched the match without sound, I don’t know why, but he spoked to the physio at 5/4.

Giles Says:

Rafa through to the next round albeit due to Tomic’s retirement. It’s bloody hot out there so even though not enough match practice for Rafa I’m sure he would like to get out of the heat. Bit of an anti- climax really after all the hype. Just shows you – you never know what’s gonna happen.
Vamos Champ!
Stay Healthy!

mat4 Says:

After the first round, I think that Murray played the best tennis among the favourites, and he is my favourite for the title, although he has a very difficult draw.

Roger still is far from his best, although it could change.

Didn’t watch DelPo.

Rafa is still the warrior we all know. The difference between his attitude and focus on the court and Bernie’s behaviour was telling. But the fast court doesn’t allow him to transform the match in a trench warfare.

Bad Knee Rules Says:

^^ Quitter

Bad Knee Rules Says:


gonzalowski Says:

Vamos Rafa! yes, maybe it’s good this rest, the next round will be good for practicing.

Delpo’s way is expected to be thougher until QF; with today’s relatively long and hard match, plus possibly Paire and Raonic at this weather…

gonzalowski Says:

Isner, Hewitt, Tomic… past week winners/fianlists on the trunk. It’s because of the weather?
Will Delpo betray just the same?

mat4 Says:

I can`t see DelPo losing against Paire or Raonic. I even believe that Dimitrov is due for a big result, and, anyway, I don`t believe that a player from Argentina has more problems in big heat than a player from Canada.

But yes, DelPo has a tough draw.

Giles Says:

There’s a poster accusing Tomic of being a quitter.
It’s the Rafa effect!!

Perfect fan Says:

Lot of u mus be knowin this but can’t help posting it here….simon-brands natch still going HOT….14-14 FINAL SET :))

gonzalowski Says:

Brands is the one who put in big difficulties to rafa at the past RG

mat4 Says:

Simon finally won. His opponent in the second round will be Cilic, who has also won a five setter, albeit in an easier way, then the winner of Tsonga-Belucci.

I have to admit that I don`t remember such an unbalanced draw (although there probably were a lot such this one).

Ben Pronin Says:

So far, Djokovic’s first round match was tougher than Nadal’s.

hawkeye Says:

Has Federer ever had a tough first round draw in a major? Ever?

Just saying.

Ben Pronin Says:

Hawkeye, yes Federer has had tough first round matches. Andreev 2010 in Ausralia? Falla at Wimbledon? Feliciano Lopez at the French in 2011? Just a few that come to mind.

Daniel Says:

Nadal was sweeting as if he just come out of a shower. Even Fed was sweeting.
Condition there similar to the ones we have in Rio right now. Hot as hell!
The good side is I will leave work at 5:30 pm run to the beach and still watch one of the most amazing sunsets (around 7:30 pm) in the world in Ipanema beach. Only way to survive Summer without going depressed;-)

Daniel Says:

Right now Murray is the only safe bet for Quarters. He can beat his section in one leg.
If he indeed beat Federer, Nadal and Djoko to win his first Slam after a surgery comeback that would be a huge history! That would do wonders to this season, to break with a bang latest Nadal x Djoko duopoly.
Will see, hope he is fit all the way.

Kimberly Says:

I actually like playing in the heat but im sort of a freak, and by the heat I mean mid to high 90s. But I also do hot yoga classes.

hawkeye Says:

Haha, Feli on clay? Really? Feli was 139 in the world at the time.

C’mon Andreev and Falla? Both players were outside the top 100 a few months after both meetings.

You didn’t read my question. I was referring to his first round draw.

Do yourself a favour and stop worrying about Nadal. Focus on players you enjoy watching. It’s better for your mental state.

(At least I know you can see this post even if it never sees the public light of day, no?)

Stay cool Ben Pronin.

hawkeye Says:

Perfect fan Says:
Andy is literally toying with the jap here :))

January 14th, 2014 at 2:29 am



Ben Pronin Says:

Hawkeye, the point is they turned out to be tough matches. Falla almost won. Lopez had almost beaten Federer about a week before in Madrid. And Andreev was a point from being up 2 sets to 1.

The point is, sometimes the draw doesn’t play out the way we expect it to on paper. People thought Tomic would be a tough out. Unfortunately, he had to retire. So despite the “cake draw” Djokovic got, he had a tougher first round match than Nadal.

Why are you telling me to not focus on Nadal when you’re so focused on Federer. I didn’t even mention him but you decided to bring him up. Hypocrit.

James Says:

Hawkeye’s comments haven’t appeared yet, so it seems like Ben Pronin is talking to himself ;)

Well, regardless of how it turns out, Nadal was handed a tough draw. Playing Tomic in the first round in Melbourne is a bit tricky even for great players like Nadal.

It’s unfortunate that Tomic had to retire from the match with a leg injury. I hope it isn’t serious.

I hope Rafa gets a good match practice against another young Aussie in the 2nd round.

Monfils seems to be in good form, easily defeated Harrison in straight sets. He’s serving bigger than I remember him do in NY. Monfils-Rafa match would be awesome if it happens.

hawkeye Says:

James!!!! Nailed it outta the park!!!


Glad someone publicly noticed!

Ahh, the tangled web we weave, when we first set out to deceive.

Top story: Djokovic Dumped Out Of Monte Carlo By Medvedev; Nadal Unstoppable Now?