We’re all thrilled for Gael and his big 5-set win over Berdych in the first round of Roland Garros today. However, no one was thrilled to suffer through this eye-injury inducing shirt combo. Contrary to what his top suggested, Gael’s performance was composed and business-like. Is this a new era—crazy on the outside but all business on the inside? We’ll have to wait and see. He’s got an interesting (read: gonna be nutty and has relapse potential written all over it) second round meeting with Ernests Gulbis.
This kit is not new. But I was hoping it was going to go on an early retirement.
I’m not sure what Lacoste is trying to do here. It’s like a black, blue and white color-blocking thing except it’s black, blue and white.
Is it even legal to wear something that is the same color as the ball? This yellow number by UA was so glaring that I felt like the camera needed a polarizing filter.
Hisense Arena is full of crap. First, it took out Viktor Troicki while he was playing his match against Novak Djokovic. After only one set, Vik was done. Then, Andy Roddick and Robin Haase took the courts. Two games in and Robin rolls his ankle and for a second there didn’t look like he was going to be able to play on. Thankfully, he was after taking an injury time out. Robin even took the first set off a very frustrated Andy who used Robin’s head as target on one point. I do not approve of the violence.
After all that, this happened just as Maria Sharapova and Julia Goerges were getting ready to play.
Good luck to everyone playing on Hisense Arena today!
Masha and Julia’s match. I knew it was going to be a battle and that it would likely go three. I didn’t lie when I said I’ve detached myself from any emotion during the match. I really didn’t feel a thing after Masha lost that first set and it was largely because I expected her tolose one. But after dropping that first set and almost giving up an early break in the second, Masha picked up her crap, cleaned up her game a bit (no more DFs that came as a package deal of 3 for 1) and was ready to slug it out. After winning that tight second set, you could see Masha’s confidence ooze out of her. She wasn’t going to miss anything in the first few games in the third and that helped her gain an early big lead. It wouldn’t be fun tennis without a final twist so Julia almost catches up to keep us on edge but Masha was locked in, kept enough distance and closed the match with an ace.
Not so fun:
Venus Williams already looked pretty immobile in her second round match but she somehow won that. (I don’t blame her. I would do everything I can to not give Sandra Zahlavova a win as well.) So, going in to this third round match-up with Andrea Petkovic, I really thought she’d school everyone on winning with only one good leg. First point of the match and Vee couldn’t move to the return. Yikes! Second game of the match and she lets out a loud scream of pain that even I had to grab my groin.
Vee had to retire, obviously. There was some booing from the crowd which I thought was disgusting. You boo someone who looks like they’re not trying out there or they have bad attitude but not when they’re giving their best effort to give you a match.
Notable Day 5 results:
Stanislas Wawrinka  def Gael Monfils  7-6(4), 6-2, 6-3
Fernando Verdasco  def Kei Nishikori 6-2, 6-4, 6-3
Andy Roddick  def Robin Haase 2-6, 7-6(2), 6-2, 6-2
Tommy Robredo def Sergiy Stakhovsky 5-7, 6-2, 6-4, 6-2
Svetlana Kuznetsova  def Justine Henin  6-4, 7-6(8)
Andrea Petkovic  def Venus Williams  1-0 ret.
Maria Sharapova  def Julia Goerges 4-6, 6-4, 6-4
Day 5 is where we begin to see seeds meet each other. It should be a lot more fun than yesterday’s snorefest. Venus Williams, Caroline Wozniacki, Justine Henin, Novak Djokovic and Tomas Berdych will all be taking the courts against seeded players. Roger Federer, Andy Roddick, Maria Sharapova, Li Na and Fernando Verdasco will not be facing seeds yet but will be tested by pretty tough opponents.
You have to catch almost all matches today!
Caroline Wozniacki  vs Dominika Cibulkova 
Justine Henin  vs Svetlana Kuznetsova 
I really hope Sveta shows up.
Stanislas Wawrinka  vs Gael Monfils 
I’m not a fan of either player so it’s nice to know that one of them will leave today. Well, preferably Stan because Gael is just… Gael.
Venus Williams  vs Andrea Petkovic 
Hopefully, Vee’s got the psoas straightened out. And also the outfit.
Viktor Troicki  vs Novak Djokovic 
Vik, Nole, bring it.
Julia Goerges vs Maria Sharapova 
For obvious reasons.
Kei Nishikori vs Fernando Verdasco 
All right, Fernando, this is your second chance at AO life. Don’t screw it up.
Tomas Berdych  vs Richard Gasquet 
May or may not be fun to watch. It all depends on Richie.
A few seeds were sent home on Day 1. Sam Querrey , Nikolay Davydenko , Aravane Rezai  and Daniela Hantuchova  all lost their opening round matches.
There were also a few close calls. Gael Monfils  was down 2 sets and a few breaks in the third set to Thiemo de Bakker. Unfortunately, Thiemo suffered some groin and brain issues and could not close out the match. Justine Henin  came up against Sania Mirza‘s forehand which was on fire in the first two sets. Justine had to fight to the death in the second set to level the match then, as expected, Sania went away in the third.
We all called the Yanina Wickmayer  and Jarka Groth match to be close and hard fought and it lived up to the hype. I wish they had screamed expletives at each other but a few death stares courtesy of Wicky almost made up for the lack of verbal abuse.
Notable Day 1 results:
Gael Monfils  def. Thiemo De Bakker 6-7 (5), 2-6, 7-5, 6-2, 6-1
Lukasz Kubot def. Sam Querrey  5-7, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1, 8-6
Adrian Mannarino def. Ryan Harrison 6-4, 6-3, 6-4
Robin Haase def. Carlos Berlocq 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (5)
Florian Mayer def. Nikolay Davydenko  6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-4
Rafael Nadal is the top seed at this year’s Australian Open. He’s going for his fourth consecutive major and second Australian Open title. According to Rafa, he’ll be very happy if he wins this event because it’s the Australian Open and not because it will be his fourth consecutive major. And I believe him. He’s going to face a few tests mid-tournament. A potential fourth round clash with Marin Cilic  or John Isner  and then he has fellow Spaniard, David Ferrer , in his quarter. David has Mikhail Youzhny  in the fourth round.
Possible draw ruiners:
Isner is ranked and seeded lower than Cilic but I think he’ll come through that group, beating Cilic in the process, to face Rafa in the fourth round.
The most interesting first round match on the men’s side, Lleyton Hewitt against David Nalbandian . Whoever comes through that match will have a chance to upset Ferrer in the third round.
Thanks to his title win in Brisbane last week, Robin Soderling will come in as the tournament’s 4th seed. This is the only major where Sod has not gotten past the second round… ever. He’ll surely look to improve that this year. He has a relatively easy first week. Then, a potential fourth round match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga . Andy Murray  anchors Sod’s quarter with Jurgen Melzer  (huh?!) in his 16.
I think the seeds will hold up in this section. Go Muzz!
3rd seed and former Australian Open champion, Novak Djokovic, will try to get to a major final for the second straight time. He doesn’t have an easy quarters but he should be able to come through it. A potential fourth round against Nicolas Almagro  then Tomas Berdych  in the quarters. Berd has Fernando Verdasco  in the fourth round.
Potential draw ruiners:
You can’t count out a big server in the first week and Ivan Ljubicic  will be tough test for Nico in the third round.
Janko Tipsarevic is going to give Fernando all sorts of problem in the second round.
2nd seed and defending champion, Roger Federer, has been in good form since last year’s WTFs. He won the warm-up tournament in Doha a week ago and is looking the best out of all the top guys. He has my man, Andy Roddick , in his quarter… of course. Andy will face Gael Monfils  in the fourth round and Roger has Mardy Fish . Because life is fair.
Possible draw ruiners:
Sam Querrey  in the 3rd round will be a test for Mardy, who, by the way, I haven’t seen in a second. Sam’s never been to the second week down under so this will be a good chance for him. Not that I care about either of them.
Unfortunately, Stanislas Wawrinka , looked pretty good during his title win in India. He has a date with an injured Gael in the 3rd round.
Mikhail Kukushkin defeated Mikhail Youzhny in the finals of the St Petersburg Open in Russia, 6-3, 7-6(2), to win his first ever ATP title. It must have been nice for him to bag his first big boys title in the motherland. Although, Mikhail no longer plays under the Russian flag anymore. He plays for Kazakhstan; his family moved there in 2008.
Jurgen Melzer successfully defended his Bank Austria Tennis Trophy title after he defeated Andreas Haider-Maurer in the finals, 6-7(10), 7-6(4), 6-4. This is his third career title and first for the year.
Gael Monfils defeated Ivan Ljubicic in the finals of the Open Sud de France in Montpellier, 6-2, 5-7, 6-1, to win his first title of the year and third of his career.
Kim Clijsters won her third WTA Tour Championships after she defeated Caroline Wozniacki in the finals, 6-3, 5-7, 6-3. This is Kim’s fifth title of the year and 40th of her career.