Down Under Day 4: Karolina’s Sprem.


Meet Marcos Baghdatis. Every usher’s nightmare. Incapable of finishing a match “on time”, but utterly capable of bringing in mobs of rowdy, excitable fans armed with flare canisters. 

For two sets, Baghdatis struggled on the “business points”. Whilst there was very little between Marcos and Ferrer during the first two sets, Ferrer – with his sheer doggedness and consistency – always played a fraction better towards the tail end of the set.

Had it been any other crowd, the vocalists would’ve been silenced at this point.

But this wasn’t any other crowd. Fun fact – Melbourne is the second largest Greek speaking city in the world after Athens. On a day like this, it comes in handy. 

Groups of Cypriots and expat Greeks in the stadium cheered like energizer bunnies as Baghdatis clung onto the third set. Before we knew it, Baghdatis smelled a drop in level in Ferrer and clinched the fourth set. By then, the elderly and corporate ticket holders were leaving in droves to escape the “OLE OLE OLE MARCOS” chants booming through Hisense Arena. 

Was anyone surprised? Who would Marco Baghdatis be without Australia?

Be it his inspiring 2006 run or his 2008 dusk to dawn epic against Lleyton, no matter how further down the rankings Baghdatis slipped, he’s always been treated like a superstar down under. And today, it took some superstar treatment for Baggy to finish the duel. But he did it the hard way – cramping, smashing rackets, shanking shots, missing opportunities … He did it. 4-6, 3-6, 7-6, 6-3, 6-1. 

By the way, Sprembag = an item or not?



In the non-upset of the day, Gisela Dulko claimed her second glamour scalp in the last 12 months, downing Ana Ivanovic in 3 sets, 67 75 64.

I did not see it, nor do I wish to see it, with both players leaking a total of 146 unforced errors in the match.

I do not even wish to talk about Ana Ivanovic. why kick a player when she’s down and fading into irrelevance?

Her press conferences of late have filled with therapeutic “bingo words” like “balance”, “just enjoy”, “relax”, “the positives”. Exhibit A: 


I think every athlete goes through it. You know, you just have to sort of, yeah, be positive and stay positive. Sometimes it’s hard.

But, you know, it’s like you have families that support us a lot and you can go through it together. And then, you know, I’m sure, you know, we learn from it. We’re not going to let it happen again.

 Q. What do you do this year to give yourself a break when you’re away from tennis? How do you unwind and relax? Is there something different in your routine this year?

ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, you know, I still have to find things that’s gonna make me relax. I really like reading and watching movies. Sometimes I spend too much time in the room; it’s not good either.

Just find something, go for a walk just to keep your mind off of tennis, you know, surround yourself with positive people.


At some point, you just say “whatever makes you happy dear” and look the other way.


While 2010 hasn’t brought about a change in fortunes with Ana Ivanovic, Venus Williams seems to be regaining her form. Against a potentially tricky Sybille Bammer, Venus was back to her “hard, flat and fast” best. While the first set went in a flash, she stayed aggressive throughout the second set, despite suffering a slight drop in form half-way through the set. 

Although truth be told, Sybille Bammer managed a total of 4 winners in the match, and not for the effort of trying either. There is only so much you can do against Venus when you have zero offence game.

Venus plays her third lefty in a row – Casey Dellacqua next round, who enjoyed a 3-set victory over Karoline Sprem, while lil sis Serena enjoyed an equally sharp victory against ex Safina-conqueror Petra Kvitova.

The Williamses liked their lefty cupcakes, it seems.



Later on in the night, the Federer Funhouse resumed business as Roger sealed an easy win over Victor Hanescu, 62 63 62. 52 winners to 17 unforced errors. So shiny I’d like to wear it on a chain around my neck.

On a good day, mere mortals run, the all-time greats fly. Our man, he soars

And even Jim Courrier couldn’t keep his hands off him.




Oh by the way, Prince Whatever walked in during the middle of the match. Apparently, it was a big deal. 





Yes folks, feel the love I have for the royal family of Bri- err “Australia”.

xx doots


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16 responses to “Down Under Day 4: Karolina’s Sprem.”

  1. Jack says :

    I don’t really care much for the royal family too.And I’m British. I’m not their biggest fans, their too snooty for me. Plus due to them and their annoying voices, everyone around the world persumes we talk like that!!!

    Anyway, nice shiny stats for Roger. Hopefully he can keep this going and save us a lot of heart attacks.

    Poor Ana!!! I’m not a big fan of her but as a Masha fan, I feel for any player with serving yips.

    Venus is slowing creeping through the draw unnoticed. She could be the darkhorse of the tourny.

    Also, just wondering if you read what Tomic said after his match yesterday?? What a whiny brat!! Plus he has a very high opinion of himself for someone who’s done fuck all in his career so far. Feel sorry for you doots, that he is your supposed “future tennis star”

  2. Dippy says :

    Sad for Ana, she has so much potential. I guess she needs to ride through the slump. Perhaps she needs to get advice from King Fed. He did give Kutzy good advice before she went on to win her 2nd GS. Roger looking good, can’t wait for his 3rd match.

  3. Paul says :

    The royal benefit cheats are a disgrace in my opinion. They are part of an evil British history which stretches back centuries and should not be celebrated, wether it is helping to enslave many Africans, plundering less developed countries for its own benfit or what happene to the Aboriginees in Australie, its just pretty shocking.

    The royal family are an outdated part of a country failing to modernise itself.

  4. FortuneCookie says :

    On a breakfast TV show over here in Britain they had a reporter in a big square (Federation?) in Melbourne this morning because of William’s tour,and the presenters in the studio asked her hopefully if the tons of people sat down behind her were waiting for him,and she went ‘um…no…they’re all watching Federer on the big screen set up for the Australian Open…’
    So funny!As for the tennis not too much to say,thanks Fed for not screwing up,oh Ana…and Jim,you don’t need to ask the diaper question!!

  5. Mia says :

    They must have read your blog re Australia’s plan of adopting Federer and decided to bring in reinforcement for the British cause. 🙂

  6. breadstix says :

    I left the TV just as William showed up (not that the two were in any way related), the commentators made a pretty big deal of it too hah.

    Feel bad for Ana now, but in the same way as I felt bad for MAndy at the end of last year when he lost #3, got dumped etc. Never been her biggest fan but it’s horrible watching a player, let alone a former #1 and slam winner, go into freefall like that.

    You didn’t have to usher Baggy’s match, did you? 😉

  7. Chairman, Federer Puny Left Arm Society says :

    The ride begins next week. Please tighten your seat belts.

    I get a feeling that Roger’s semfinal streak will end next week. I think he will lose to “Playstation”.

    Playstation has been bulldozing his opponents.

    • pban says :

      well chairman are you actually wanting the streak to end or simply worried like most of us here that it might because the tone of your post seems to suggest the former. In fact I am frazzling so much about it actually happening that I will not jinx Roger by refuting your post

    • dootsiez says :

      Oh gee Chairman, stop being so cheerful.

      As for Playstation, he’s had opponents whose names *I* can’t even read/spell. He better be bulldozing them.

  8. Chairman, Federer Puny Left Arm Society says :

    Chairman is a worried Federer fan. I have no evil intentions!

    I thought he was going to lose to Mr.Kirilenko. Luckily, he survived.

    I am really worried about Playstation. He is hitting the ball really well. He is moving well. He is serving well.

    We will see

  9. pban says :

    sorry if I sounded curt chairy but my nerves are on edge during a slam and I see potential minefields lurking at every corner for Fed, like you Iam petrified about Davy but then Montanes and Hewitt/Baggy are making me nervous as well. It is pure hell being a Fedfan but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

    • Alex says :

      Really? After #15 I’m cool as a cucumber. For the first time ever during the US Open final I was hardly nervous. Just a peeved.

  10. pban says :

    I changed my schedule for the 2nd weekend taking on extra shifts so I will be very annoyed with Fed if he is not there. Not really pleased with his efforts today, leaking too many UE especially from the backhand wing….won’t do against the players expected next.

    • dootsiez says :

      Nah, he was fine pban.

      It’s Montanes, Fed’s not gonna snap out of the second gear for him. A few backhand shanks are regrettable, but I honestly don’t care what he does as long as he’s mostly solid, which he was.

  11. t says :

    i feel the need to defend the ivanovic match – i usually avoid womens matches, but this one really surprised me. i didnt notice the high error count – but the match itself was full of interesting and exciting rallies. if this is how ivanovic and dulko usually play, then i may watch more of their matches in the future.

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