Murray Needs Three In Debut At Brisbane, Serena Stomps Stephens, Gets Azarenka Tonight; Tomic In Tune

by Sean Randall | January 3rd, 2013, 9:54 am

A few results during the overnight to catch-up on. In Brisbane, tournament favorites Andy Murray and Serena Williams both won, but in different ways. Serena had little trouble handling the rising Sloane Stephens 6-4, 6-3 while Murray, who was making his 2013 debut, needed three sets to oust unknown Australian qualifier John Millman 6-1, 5-7, 6-3.

“I think it was a pretty high quality match,” said Murray. “The first set wasn’t that comfortable. [In the second set] he gained in confidence and started going for his shots more. He was returning my first serve extremely well and playing right up on the baseline and just going for big shots. It was tough for me to dictate too many of the points. I made some adjustments with the way I was serving in the third set that turned it around, but he played really, really well for the most part.

“I wasn’t too disappointed with the way I played tonight either, so it was a good first match for me. For a first match of the year, that was a perfect match in many ways to go through some tough moments, a lot of long rallies, close games, and important points.”

Expectations for Milos Raonic are sky high for 2013, but his year began on a down note losing to peer Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 6-3. The Federer-esqe Bulgarian won all 26 points on his first serve in the victory. Maybe Dimitrov is the kid to watch this year, not Raonic?

Dimitrov now faces Jurgen Melzer tonight in the quarterfinals. Murray meets Denis Istomin, who beat Lleyton Hewitt, and in two good ones, its Baghdatis-Simon and Dolgopolov-Nishikori.

The women’s semifinals tonight will take center stage. In the first big showdown match of the new year, Serena will clash with top ranked Victoria Azarenka tonight! Serena has won 11 of 12 in this series including all five last year. Just to add some further drama to the women’s tour, I’d like to see Vika win that, but…

In the Hopman Cup, the big news was Bernard Tomic’s win over Novak Djokovic the other night. Tomic, who made little progress in 2012 – actually regressed, has won all three matches this week with wins over Tommy Haas, Djokovic and last night Andreas Seppi. That’s all nice and good, but let’s highlight that it is exhibition tennis.

However, injuries at exos are nothing to sneeze at and unfortunately giant John Isner had to withdraw with a knee injury. The American No. 1 says he expects to be fine for the Australian Open.

And in a first result today from Doha, Gael Monfils comeback was cut short by Daniels Brands in the quarterfinals. Monfils still won two matches including a nice win over Philipp Kohlscreiber so perhaps there’s some life left in his game. I hope.

Top seed Tomas Berdych is in control at the moment in Chennai. Marin Cilic won earlier.

PAT RAFTER ARENA start 11:30 am
M Baghdatis (CYP) vs [3] G Simon (FRA) – ATP

Not Before 1:30 PM
[4] A Dolgopolov (UKR) vs [5] K Nishikori (JPN) – ATP

Not Before 4:00 PM
[1] A Murray (GBR) vs D Istomin (UZB) – ATP

Not Before 7:00 PM
[1] V Azarenka (BLR) vs [3] S Williams (USA) – WTA
A Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) vs [LL] L Tsurenko (UKR) – WTA

SHOW COURT 1 start 2:00 pm
[7] J Melzer (AUT) vs G Dimitrov (BUL) – ATP

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49 Comments for Murray Needs Three In Debut At Brisbane, Serena Stomps Stephens, Gets Azarenka Tonight; Tomic In Tune

laslo Says:

I heard Murray got hit with a time violation.

RZ Says:

laslo, the ATP is enforcing the time violations in 2013. Monfils and F. Lopez got hit with them too.

skeezer Says:


Giles Says:

I think the umpires are being over zealous in enforcing the new rule. It is like a new toy for them. Give it a few months and it will soon fizzle down!

Margot Says:

@ Ben
I meant, of course, if the server violates the 25 second rule and the ump. is choosing to ignore it.
Not some wild 16 second moan!

skeezer Says:


You mean it will all fizzle down by the Clay season? Sadly your probably right, lol. Rafa will have a sissy fit by laying down in the middle of the Clay court and making a Clay Angel until he gets his way, or, threaten and quit the tour.

There is no such thing as over zealous. You either enforce it or you don’t.

Giles Says:

^ and making a Clay Angel…..”. Lol. I am sure he will deal with things adequately. And who knows he might not even break the time violation rule! #JustServeAlreadyRafa

skeezer Says:

Here’s a hopin. Hey here is a guy who was marked just a Clay Courter, and he won a Slam on Grass! So he can and has adapted!


dari Says:

I woke up to watch the second half of Murray this morning. He was frustrated to say the least and was stretching abdominal muscle frequently. it was worrisome, but he is a stubborn type,i guess, wouldn’t quit. hope it was the right decision. want him to do big things at AO

Humble Rafa Says:

Great Davy in Great form.

The Great Davy Says:

The so call ‘tour iron man’ is getting his it’s tomorrow. Real Iron Man is Your Great Davy according to Tennis-X, and Davy is taking title back!

Wog boy Says:

Serbia Open is not going to be played this year!

jane Says:

I read that Wog Boy: oh well, I guess it’s one less obligation for Nole.

Brazil Federer Fan Says:

Good to see the umpires enforcing the rule. I hope they make sure the MTO rule is updated too. Something on the lines of, you take MTO, you forfeit a break or something.

That will make the crooks fall in line. Ofcourse, there will still be doping, but hopefully they will out something on that front too!

Alok Says:

The umps have gotten very complacent with the rules and everything else, especially since hawkeye was added. They are now just sitting on their chairs and see very little. Fed was right about hawkeye.

I think the umps will try to enforce the time rule, because they know that they are being watched, but like everything else, they’ll eventually start tapering off and it will all go back to the same old scenario.

As many of the tennis analysts have stated, the only sulution is a time clock on court, but that will also have problems if it’s the ump who’s setting the time, as they could easily forget to do so. I think a clock manned by an individual whose sole job is to man the clock would be the answer, but we’ll see how long it will take for ATP to realize that the umps will be lax in following the rules.

Alok Says:

@Wog Boy, 8:44pm, why is that so?

skeezer Says:

All hail! Let the Bull Horn ERA begin!


“Mr. Nadal, time violation, point penalty”

Rafeelyou; ” Whatttt? Ok, I do rub the lines with my feet, spit on the Clay on occasion ( this helps me have an advantage for my footing), pick my butt, wipe the towel this way and that, tuck the hair over my ears, touch my nose, bounce the ball many times and….slowly stand there for a moment before serve whilst my opponent falls asleep. However, with all due respect, I do provide a “snare” right before I toss, this is not a giveaway is it? I am afraid of that.

So, are you NOW saying this isn’t fair? What rule is this? I never was called on this before, are you sure it is a rule? I have won many titles this way, so whats up with this? OMG! I will now protest and sit down and pout, I am not playing unless you all placate to my required bottle aligning at changeovers, and my Unc Toni giving instructionals from the stands. This is the way it has always been. Please keep in mind opponents must go always by my rules, play at MY pace, and I will always arrive later than my opponent, you all know they must wait. Thank you for all titles this way. It is always difficult and nearly impossible otherwise. My fans know this. With Love, Rafeelyou.”

Humble Rafa Says:

What is stupid thing about umpires enforcing the time rule.

Do you mean, The Egg Lover and your Humble Highness matches will be over in an hour if we can bounce the ball 25 times per point. This enforcement will take away the joy of anticipation.

I hope the powers-to-be realize the damage they are causing to the game by implementing this ridiculous rule.

Humble Rafa Says:

*can’t bounce the ball 25 times per point.

Alok Says:

DuMaurier(?) is about the only ump who in all likelihood will be more consitent with the rule. He’s done it many times, especially with nadal, at toronto some years ago and some other important matches. However, Nadal didn’t like it at all, and had words with DuM, called for the tournament director, and much more. I don’t think this ump is afraid of any of the players. Now, Lahyani is whole different situation. he just likes to smile prettily and be mr.congeniality, sucking up. LOL.

the DA Says:

Okay, this new time rule has led to the first farcical moment. During the Dolgo/Nishikori match Kei was preparing to serve when Dolgo went to change his racquet and Nishikori got a time violation! wtf? Kei is normally a quiet, calm guy but he was not pleased. If this sort of thing is going to be happening, it’s going to be an interesting month ahead.

nadalista Says:

Oh, thank goodness for the snark aimed at Rafa by the usual suspects! Love it. Honestly, I would be worried if they directed some kindness towards Rafa. C’est normal….

Imagine if we had to deal with not enough snark, too much positivity from “them” on top of Rafa’s prolonged absence……Aaaagh!!

Giles Says:

A time clock would take away all discretion from the umpire. Do you really want the players to have a 30/40/50 shot rally and be expected to comply with the time rule? #Sadistic

Giles Says:

the DA. Sure sounds farcical to me. I can see World War 111 ensuing in the not too distant future!

Giles Says:

Hey skeezer. I can see you are salivating at the prospect of the Bull receiving tvw’s . Do you have any preferences in this regard, ie, would you prefer them to be when he is playing against the man (your man) whose A@@ he has kicked too many times to remember or just anyone?

El Flaco Says:

Djokovic and Nadal usually get to the line in 20 seconds, but it takes them another 10-15 seconds to serve.

Giles Says:

BERDYCH gets whipped by world no. 80 ( Spaniard)!!

nadalista Says:

ATP 25second Rule watch:

Nishikori v Dolgopolov, Brisbane:Dolgo goes to change his racket in the middle of Kei’s service game, holding the service up. Kei eventually steadies himself up and is about to serve when he (Kei)gets docked a first serve for going over the 25 second rule!

Who needs common sense and discretion when you’ve got rules?

Wait for it, it gets curiouser: when Kei approached the Umpire (Damian Steiner) to protest, the Umpire laughed him off!

Please wake me up when the lunatics are safely back in the asylum……..

nadalista Says:

……..and of course Kei HAD to return the favour. During Dolgo’s next sevice game, Kei SLOWLY goes to change his own racket, practically begging the Umpire to penalise him. Mr. Steiner duly obliges and docks him a point.


Giles Says:

I don’t think the umpires fully understand the new rules. Just taking pot shots at players! #Jerks

nadalista Says:

Moral of the whole Kei-Dolgo saga:

The server should not concern himself with whether the returner is ready or not, he should just serve within 25 seconds on pain of getting penalised!

skeezer Says:


Its a change for the better, and it still may have to get tweaked. But it is NOT in the best interest of the game to go back. The players will adapt, and there will be resistance and mistakes by both sides no doubt.

Both players should be ready when the time is up, simple as that. Give them some room for everyone to figure it out. Obviously this ump doesn’t know what he is doing with the new rule nor understanding the concept of it…..ugh.

nadalista Says:


I got no problems with this particular rule or any rule for that matter, as long as everybody is being adult about them rules.

Hopefully the Dolgo-Kei match incident serves to calm people down and stop them behaving like kids with a new toy.

Yes, enforce the rule but do not throw away common sense and discretion……..

nadalista Says:

……and why couldn’t the ATP implement this rule TOGETHER with the ITF? From what I gather, these “new” rules will not be implemented or enforced during the Slams as they are ITF events!

Could you confuse the players (and officials) any more?

You know something’s wrong with the product when bureacrats start fussing with the packaging…..

Ben Pronin Says:

ITF and ATP rarely see eye to eye (slam scheduling, Davis Cup, etc). But yeah it’d obviously be better if everyone was on the same page.

But this whole ordeal is pretty dumb and shows why the umps should be allowed to use discretion. If a player needs to change a racket then let him change his racket. This isn’t a black and white thing.

jane Says:

^ Agree Ben.

nadalista Says:

And of course this just gives some attention-seeking umpires an excuse to “insert” themselves in the proceedings.

I don’t know about you but I prefer my umpires in the background, not the foreground……….

Ben Pronin Says:

I prefer referees to know what an incomplete pass looks like but sometimes the wrong team wins anyway. Mistakes will be made. That’s why the challenge system exists, right?

skeezer Says:

Don’t want them in the foreground or background. I want the ump in the chair where he belongs.


The official who sits in a raised chair in line with the net and who is in overall charge of the match.

Don’t want the “players” in charge of the match,

Giles Says:

^^Yeah, if there are a few more Dolgo/Nishikori like incidents then the players should take charge.

skeezer Says:

^^^^Yeah, let’s let the players make up there own rules, fitting there own individual needs, lol.

Most all professional sports that play a game have some sort of time limit that is not discretionary;


Alok Says:

IMO, the time rule is a situation that’s probably causing the umps some anxiety, due to most of them not adhering to the rules in the first place. I’m sure a lot of them are catching heat for allowing some players to consistently abuse the rule, and it’s most likely being viewed by the powers that be as an umpire’s fault for allowing the abuse and not a fault of the players, which is a bad reflection on the umps.

Had the umpires done their jobs correctly, then there would be no need to make the rule *mandatory*. The rule has been there all of the time, except that the umpires allowed the players to run the show. I suppose some of them thought they were being nice, but it’s now come back to bite them.

It’s possible that some of them are very nervous about being disciplined or losing their jobs and are over-zealous in execution. Also, there will be irregularities in how they administer the warnings due to it being a matter of judgment and interpretation, which is normal, because they are individuals. Hence there will be inconsistencies, because no two individuals think alike.

IMO, the umpires are needed in the chair, where they belong, overseeing everything, keeping order and court decorum. In any case, some players do whatever pleases them even with an umpire in the chair, but, I’d hate to think what it would be like if there wasn’t an umpire in the chair.

Brazil Federer Fan Says:

The umpire seems worse than a rafaturd! Surely, rules can be enforced without being a jack@ss?

You can see the usual suspects who dont want rules to be implemented because some umpire might be more dumb than a rafa fan! [similar people who wouldn’t want any drug tests too, if they had their way! we all know why!]

The rule is good for tennis. If you have umpires who are retards, obviously it will not be put to good use, but a good umpire will ensure that no player can hi-jack the tempo of the game because they are suffering from OCD or other psychological issues!

Giles Says:

^^^Why are you so jealous of MR. NADAL??? Would it have something to do with the fact that he beats your fav time and time and time again?? Yes/No !!!

nadalista Says:

Well, in football (the variety where the players play the ball with their feet, not their hands) all fans are agreed that they do not want the referee deciding the outcome of the match with his arbitrary decisions……..they prefer that the PLAYERS decide the outcome of the match, on the pitch.

Maybe that explains why it is the #1 sport in the world…….

nadalista Says:

……but I will say this: I am enjoying seeing time violations meted out left, right and center with no Rafa in sight!


skeezer Says:


In Soccer there is a clock. Its not abritary. You have so much time to play the game. Don’t you see the gigantic clock on the field? The players don’t decide to play longer or shorter.

You types are worthless in this discussion. Its not about the rule, its about your man no matter what. If a headline came out that said ” ATP lets Rafa make up his own rules” you types would post “Yahoo!”

nadalista Says:

Skeezer, skeezer, you types? Really? LOL.

Keep your rag on, old chap……..resorting to personal attacks is a sure sign that you’ve lost the argument and are the worthless one!

Stick to the topic and argue your point calmly like a grown man.

As far as the soccer example is concerned, you missed my point. My point has nothing to do with the time allowed on pitch, it’s to do with the role of the referee in the match. Get it? I repeat: in soccer, the referee is not encouraged to influence the outcome of the match. What has this got to do with the size of the clock on the field?

Btw, I have never seen a clock ON the field of play in soccer. OFF it, yes, ON, never. Maybe they put one on the field of play the MLS, certainly not in the rest of the world

We are discussing the new rules, not Rafa……but clearly you have him in mind when you think about them.


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