Tuesday, January 14, 2014

AO Day 2 - The Man Who Does Not Sweat

Hey Y'all. Galileo here.

Day 2 was very eventful, though few seeds fell. In fact, Haas' retirement is the highest casualty thus far. There were thrills, spills and five setters a-plenty yesterday. Federer -playing in 105 heat- didn't even sweat, whilst Nadal got past Tomic and Murray cruised, too.

Day 3 is already here, so I will get started.

Suicide pool watch:
Day One: Madison Keys, Jeremy Chardy [29]
Day Two: Anastasia Pavlychenkova [29], Fernando Verdasco [31]
Day Three: Ekaterina Makarova [22], Ivan Dodig [32]

...How does Federer not sweat? He looked pristine after an hour and a half of tennis in the fiery inferno disguised as RLA. His opponent, Duckworth, had some weapons and used them against the maestro. Duckworth has a strong aggressive game which he used to try to bully Roger. Duckworth had a combined total of 47 winners but he did have 41 errors, too. Federer had just 22 errors and 41 winners. Amazingly, Duckworth had just one break point, though it was unconverted. Duckworth showed he had weapons at his disposal despite the straight lets loss 6-4, 6-4, 6-2. Federer will right fully be happy with that opening performance. Whilst not perfect, it was an encouraging start to the tournament against a tricky opponent. Federer should be too good for Kavcic up next, but the question will be whether or not Verdasco has the weapons to trouble the great one. One thing is for certain, however, Federer will need more than 96 points against them to prevail.
...There was a minor upset yesterday, actually. Or today. Ok, on Day 2 there was an upset. I am so much better at figuring out the time zones at the French and Wimbledon. Especially Wimbledon. Anyway, I sneakily managed to watch a bit of the Aussie's match against tour vet Sijsling. The Aussie played well and deservedly won in three hours and two minutes. Kokkinakis and his compatriot Kyrgios both won today and I think they could well be the future of Australian tennis alongside with Tomic. Despite not being as talented, they seem to work harder and want it a little bit more. Also, they don't say stupid things in press conferences and interviews, unlike Tomic. Anyway, Thanasi beat Sijsling 7-6, 0-6, 7-6, 6-2 in an obviously up and down performance. Keep in mind that Thanasi is just seventeen years of age, the same as Ash Barty and around the same age as Kyrgios, too. Anyway, the Aussie hit 62 total winners and 54 errors whilst his opponent had 52 errors but 73 winners. This match was a match described by the phrase "live by the sword, die by the sword" and it was quite entertaining stuff, too. Funnily enough, both men won 145 points, but the area where the young Aussie really won this match was the break points. He had five and took three whist his opponent had nine chances but took only four. Thanasi must face Nadal next and I think that he will challenge Nadal for a set, maybe even a bit more.
...Before the event, Simon was on crutches and rumours were rife that he might withdraw. Nope, instead he played and beat his first round opponent Brands in four hours and 32 minutes. In the blazing fiery pits of hell Court Seven, Simon eventually won an epic battle, a war really, 6-7, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 16-14. That last set? An hour and 55 minutes. Brands had a total of 41 aces and just four doubles. Throw in his 111 winners and just 84 errors and that is an amazing ratio. He even won more points than Simon by 231-230. He had 25 break points, some of those being match points but he could only take two. He converted just 8% of break points. That would prove to be his undoing. Simon had 32 aces with 18 faults, complimented by 75 winners and just 53 errors. I couldn't bring myself to watch this match. It was too painful. Simon plays Cilic next, who was also pushed to five. Every tennis player worth his salt has played against the wall but I think even the wall fears Gilles Simon. Hmm, if that Cilic/Simon match goes five I think I might cry.
...American Smyczek had a decent run at the US Open last slam. This slam, he lasted just 90 minutes. He was beaten 6-2, 6-1, 6-1 with considerable ease by Agut. The talented young Spaniard was far too strong and won forty more points than his opponent. Agut gets Delpo next and I think that will go four.
...Down 6-4, 6-4 as the daylight faded and the night crept in, Cilic was surely going out to consistent Spaniard Granollers. Perhaps his 22 aces kept him in it or maybe those 63 winners came at crucial times. Whatever the case, Cilic won 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 in three and a half hours. Granollers won 21 fewer points but made only 34 errors. This was a long grueling match and Cilic/Simon will be an exhausting match for both men. When he made his semi run here back in 2010, Cilic came back from the dead several times, like against Roddick and Del Potro. He also went to five against Tomic. The winner of Cilic/Simon gets Tsonga most likely, and Tsonga should be too much for either of them if they are tired.
...The young Aussie -just 19 years old- got past Becker in four tight sets 6-3, 6-7, 6-2, 7-6. He now plays Paire in a scintillating match up. Melbourne is the largest Greek City outside of Greece and that is why Kokkinakis and Kyrgios really see this is as a home slam. They have roots there and they are Aussies, too. What more could the crowd want? Kyrgios has an explosive game and he has more than a small chance against the inconsistent Paire. He hit 34 aces, though 13 doubles is a bit much, but hit 71 winners, too, and only had 52 errors. It was a consistent aggressive performance from the Aussie young-gun. Becker is a journeyman, but this is still a huge victory for Kyrgios, especially at his home slam. Should he get past Paire, Del Potro or Agut would await. The future is bright for Australian tennis.

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