Australian Open 2009 reports and pics
I will be going to the AO for qualifying and the first 4 days of the main draw, and will post any reports or pics in this thread.
Wednesday, 14 January 2009
The weather today was very hot in the morning but cooled down as the day went on. Matches continued until about 10 or 10.30pm.
Joe Sirianni def Go Soeda 3-6 6-3 8-6
I arrived at this match in time to witness Joe's comeback from 0-5 down in the 3rd. Joe played really well, especially his backhand, as he hit many BH down the line winners. Joe had a lot of crowd support and showed a lot of heart and courage as he faced match points which he saved with great play. It was also a combination of Soeda choking as he hit quite a few poor shots to lose some of his service games. I was very impressed with Joe's attitude and his fight, and the win was well deserved.
Peter Luczak(AUS) def.Andrew Coelho(AUS) 6-3 4-6 6-3
This was a poor match and painful to watch, definitely the worst match I saw today in terms of quality of play. The match was basically both of them trading simple errors, Coelho mainly hitting his BH to the bottom of the net and doublefaulting, Luczak framing his groundstrokes and doublefaulting too. Coelho was really in with a chance even though he wasn't playing well, until at 3-3 he inexplicably imploded and lost the next 3 games through strings of crappy UEs. Luczak will really need to pick up his game or he will be easily thrashed in the next round.
Andreas Beck(GER) def Brendan Mckenzie(AUS) 6-1 6-2
I only saw a few games and could tell that it was not going to be competitive. McKenzie did not have the weapons to hurt Beck and was no match for him.
Marc Lopez(ESP)def. Hyung-Taik Lee(KOR) 6-4 1-6 6-3
Lopez playing his usual pusher game, Lee was playing well in the 2nd set and beat Lopez like he should, but his form dropped a bit in the 3rd set. Lopez won a long 15 min game to hold serve and had the mental advantage from there. I left and when I returned Lopez had a break and Lee was unable to break back for the rest of the match.
Danai Udomchoke(THA) def. Boris Pashanski(SRB) 6-1 6-3
I watched the last half of the 2nd set. Danai was playing really well and hardly missed a ball, which somewhat surprised me considering his recent form has not been so good. He was too consistent and quick for Boris, and should have won the 2nd set easier but lost a couple of really close games where he had chances.
Mathieu Montcourt(FRA) def. Miguel Angel Lopez Jaen(ESP) 6-7(6) 6-2 8-6
A tense match with both players getting fired up. Lopez Jaen's looks were surprising, very fair and pale skinned for a Spaniard. Lopez Jaen had a break in the 3rd set but Montcourt did well to get the break back. At 6-6 Lopez Jaen appeared to have some pain in his wrist or arm, he had treatment on the change of ends but it appeared to bother him and he couldn't hold his serve.
Dominik Hrbaty(SVK) def. Michael Yani(USA) 6-1 6-4
I never thought I'd see Hrbaty play someone who hits the ball flatter than he does, but indeed this happened today. Yani is a short skinny guy who hits very flat. It was funny to watch their rallies, as the ball just kept getting lower and lower until someone hit into the net. Yani threatened Hrbaty's first service game by hitting a few great return winners, and had two break points, but Hrbaty managed to hold and from then on steamrolled through the set. Yani then improved his play in the 2nd set and managed a 3-0 lead, however Hrbaty regrouped and won the set 6-4. Hrbaty overall maintained a good level of play and hit many more winners than his opponent. Hrbaty's FH down the line was working well which is always a good sign. Yani tried his best but was outclassed by a better opponent.
Florian Mayer(GER) def.Sergei Bubka(UKR) 6-0 6-3
I only watched the first few games of this match but Bubka was playing atrociously and hit UEs on almost every shot. I guess it was a bad day for him so it's difficult to judge him based on that. Mayer did what he had to do to win.
Pavel Snobel(CZE) def. Ruben Bemelmans(BEL) 6-2 7-6(3)
Although the 2nd set was close Snobel was always in control and never really looked threatened. Bemelmans looked very young, small and skinny. He had nice looking groundstrokes and stayed competitive, and I expect he will get better with experience. Snobel now has the long ponytail look, with odd socks.
Xavier Malisse(BEL) def. Rajeev Ram(USA) 7-6(3) 7-6(4)
I watched most of the 2nd set. Both were playing well and holding serve comfortably, however Malisse was too good in the TB. Malisse was visibly agitated throughout the match, complaining about every single thing that he could possibly complain about, including people moving around, noise, and the colour of the ballkid's shirts. Perhaps he is somewhat indignant that he has been reduced to playing qualifying, I don't know what caused this but he did not look happy. It didn't seem to affect his game however.
Giovanni Lapentti(ECU) def. Marinko Matosevic(AUS) 7-5 7-6(6)
This was actually one of the best matches I saw today, both producing a very high level. Matosevic as usual getting very fired up and screaming "Ajmo" all the time, and really showing his feelings on court. MM can get a lot of pace on his FH and hit some great winners. Giovanni impressed me with his level of touch and feel, as he hit some of the best dropshots and lobs you could hope for. His game is just like his brother's and very entertaining to watch. Matosevic was in trouble in a few service games in the 2nd set but managed to fight and hold on. The set reached a tiebreak which included the best point I saw all day, with both players running all over the court, and ended with MM dropshotting and lobbing Giovanni, who ran back to retrieve the lob and hit a passing shot winner between the legs. MM's response was "How am I supposed to hit that?". MM managed to come back in the tiebreak with some great play, and had a set point, but wasted it with a netted backhand. Giovanni then got a set point and took it straight away to end this very entertaining encounter.
Somdev Devvarman(IND) def. Prakash Amritraj(IND)6-4 3-6 6-4
This was another great match which was high quality and very entertaining to watch the contrasting styles between an aggressive net player and counterpuncher. Devvarman's defensive play was very impressive, he was very quick, getting to most balls, and always got the ball down low on Prakash or hit excellent passing shots. Prakash won his points by being made to hit top quality volleys and making fantastic half volley pickups. I left after the first set which Devvarman could have won more easily as he had many chances to get two breaks. With his quality counterpunching game Devvarman can beat most players at this level but will need to develop some greater weapons to progress into the top 50 or so.
Will post pics from today at some stage.