Calm before the storm…(by PJ)
Sooo. The Australian Open draw will be out in less than 12 hours. Am sure I WILL be frazzling regardless of whatever draw Fed gets (born worrier, etc etc)…but I’m betting a hundred bucks he lands on Djokovic’s side of the draw again.
So Tennis Gods, I DARE YOU PROVE ME WRONG. GO AHEAD. DO IT.
Anyway, a quick wrap on the end of the AO lead-in tournaments…I know I should’ve wrapped this up earlier but I was depressed with the result of ATP Brissy and also, I have been quite tied up with work (this is me working extra hard so I can sneak some days off next week…WHERE IT ALL WOULD HAVE BEGUN).
Brisbane International – Brisbane
I got my dream final. I didn’t get my dream result.
*cue the sad violins*
That being said, I was very very pleased with Alex Dolgopolov’s play against Gilles Simon in the semi-finals. He actually played smart tennis and stayed sane more often than not…although he couldn’t resist being all Crazy now and then, of course. Sucks though, that he pulled a muscle during the match while attempting to retrieve a Simon smash, and went into the final not 100%.
Even if he was 100%, it would’ve been a tall order to beat an extremely in-form Muzzface. After being completely uninspiring in his opening rounds, he then steamrolled Bagman and Bratomic and beat Crazy very comfortably in the final.
I didn’t watch the match (thank goodness, would’ve been sporking myself a lot) but sources tell me Crazy was definitely feelin’ it on his injured leg and wasn’t going for his shots. After that, he admitted his leg was bothering him and he played because he felt like he couldn’t pull out of a final…and apologised for “boaring tennis” (omg how cute is he and how biased am I, seriously).
Hope Crazy goes into AO completely fit. It’s probably irrelevant that he didn’t win a match in WTC in Adelaide…but STILL.
As for Muzzface…he’s looking good. He’s looking sharp and the few days/hours he had with Mr.Lendl seems to be working towards his favour. All remains to be seen at AO though. And please let him end up in Djokovic’s half, PLEASE.
Over at the women’s scene, a fired-up Kaia Kanepi ripped through her match with Daniela Hantuchova, taking the title fairly easily. I feel that she’s somewhat a dark horse at AO. She has a powerful serve and a fabulous forehand. Seems that her problems are mostly mental in some sense…but with this win she should go into the Happy Slam with a lot of momentum.
ASB Classic – Auckland
Flavia Pennetta fell victim to the Curse of Injuries Before AO, retiring in the final against Jay Z Zheng Jie. Seriously this injury crap is getting to be really tiring, can you all stop kthxbai.
Aircel Chennai Open – Chennai
Everyone’s favourite New Kid on the Block Milos Raonic took out Janko Tipsarevic in three sets. Three VERY tight sets. All tiebreakers. Great win for Canada’s It Kid, as Tipsy is a top-10 player.
I have yet to really warm to Raonic in some sense. His game is not particularly interesting or attractive to me…so far. Monstrous serve seems to be about all I can see in him…for now. Still, not denying his potential and talent, and I’m definitely checking out his matches at AO. Last time I saw him play live, he was beating one of my favs Headsmashy Youzhny and I wasn’t quite so impressed, haha.
AO – and the rest of the year – should be a good indication on whether is he going the way of Pete Sampras or…errr…Ivo Karlovic (Sorry, Dr.Ivo, I like you just fine BUT YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN).
APIA International – Sydney
Ladies’ final will be between Li Na – who most impressively took out a scarily in-form Petra Kvitova – and Vika Azarenka. I’m definitely on Li Na’s bench on this one…but Azarenka has had two massive matches in the sense that she fought back, nail and tooth, to win her quarter (v Hamster Bartoli) and semi (v Radwanska). Mentally she has improved so much…and there’s nothing straightforward about the final tomorrow.
Men’s side…quite a mixed bag…top seeds all went kaput, with Juan Martin Delpony losing in straights to Marcos Baghdatis, Isner losing to Bobby Reynolds (wtf), Gasquet losing to Istomin (WTF) and Troicki losing to Bogomolov Jr (WTFF).
As it stands…Baggy the Bagman, Jarkko Nieminen and Denis Istomin is through to the semis (WTFF) and the last spot will be occupied by either Julien Benneteau or Alex Bogomolov Jr (WTFFF).
Heineken Open – Auckland
Lots of rain in Auckland this week…and lots of suspended matches. Olivier Rochus and Philipp Kohlscrubber is through to the semis, and it has yet to be determined in the other half although safe to say Ferrer should make it, and god knows about Verdasco.
Will be back to blog a preview of AO…
It’s only 3 days away.
Till the draw,