Thursday, January 17, 2013
On we roll
You know it's a very hot day when Roger Federer is sweating that much. Still 104 degrees in the first evening match, they at least didn't have to deal with the intense sunshine that the daytime matches had to contend with. It was a fairly easy, though definitely not epic win for the world #2 against someone who has beaten him a couple times before. I'm sure he felt cautious about this one, knowing Davydenko had really stretched him in Oz a couple years ago, plus had recently been a finalist in Doha a couple weeks ago. However, Davy certainly wasn't up to form, making many, many unforced errors and really making it pretty easy for Roger.
Of course, this sets up what has been getting a lot of attention in the media - Fed vs. Tomic at the AO. Tomic is taking full advantage of the situation and saying things that frankly I hope get him into some trouble. Yes he has turned his game around from the depths it had fallen to the second half of last year, and yes he beat Novak Djokovic in an exhibition match, meaning he obviously is playing some good tennis, but it seems he may be setting himself up to be made a bit of a fool of if he isn't able to live up to his own expectations, after making comments implying Federer may not even make it to the 3rd round - even though it hasn't happened in over eight years. It all remains to be seen how this match will go, but I hope that Roger teaches his young opponent that he is still the master.
I am finding that I had already forgotten, in the 4-5 months since the last major, how much of the action we don't get to see,. especially in the first couple rounds. There is just so much tennis going on, and I feel like I have seen just a tiny fraction of it, in spite of watching hours and hours a day. But one thing that does seem evident is that the top players for both the men and women are in tip top form, with some of the women hardly losing any games in their first two rounds. Things will start heating up more now for some of them and we have some good matches to look forward to, like Maria Sharaova vs Venus in third round action.
And I have to make mention of the sad situation that happened for Sam Stosur the other night. She has always struggled to play in her home country and once again her nerves got the best of her. It was heart wrenching to watch. After dropping the first set and looking like the same old - same old, she managed to get things together, won the second set and was up 5-2 in the third. Then the demons attacked again. She got broken serving for it the first time. Oh well, she has another insurance break, she can do it the next time. Not so. Errors, tentative play, and aggression from her opponent caused her to lose her serve again. Then discouragement took over and her opponent took advantage. Soon the match was over with her losing the last five games of the match. I have major sympathy for her. All the advice in the world doesn't seem to help. I really hope for her sake she can find a new way to wrestle through this incredibly frustrating malady.
For those who are still alive in the tournament, though, on to the third round. And many of us are needing to adopt the hash tag the AO twitter page is using - sleepisfortheweak!