Re: 2011 Australian Open Reports and Pics (krystlel blogs, etc etc)
The first day of Slam qualies are special, usually the only ones there are players, coaches, friends of players, workers, some bored officials, gamblers and the ones who can't afford to go to Kooyong.
Went to the venue a bit late wasn't sure how much play they would get in, but there were able to do quite well for the most part which was a good thing, though not sure about the next 2 days.
Farah vs. Soeda
Was looking forward to seeing Farah place in the flesh, it's a lot different from dodgy livestreams. He hadn't been much form at all in the first 2 matches of the season, but thankfully he was better against the 8 seed.
Soeda, the typical Asian hardcourt player very good footspeed, flat shots, only time hits topspin is when it's a mishit and doesn't make too many errors but without weapons.
Farah had a huge 2010 coming off the US university circuit, then winning the 125K Bogota Challenger in singles and doubles finishing the season in the top 200. The match was quite tight especially in the opening set with Farah serving well and using his 2 hand backhand to dominate in rallies, whereas Soeda was playing his typical game.
Went to the tiebreak, where Farah created more chances and was finally able to clinch it with some good play. He settled down, started to relax and play a lot better. Soeda changed to the hot pink shirt maybe to blind Farah into error, but the tall Colombian wasn't falling for it and won the match comfortably in the end.
The forehand of Farah is a liability and unless this can be remodelled at best or fixing it up some of the problems at the worst, it will prevent him from reaching his full potential. In the 2nd set he wasn't making as many errors, but much of the time he wasn't balanced at all when hitting the shot, hitting the ball too late. Out of 10 forehands, 4 would be short with not much on it, 4 would be be bottom of net and 2 would be decent.
But he works hard physically and hope he can overcome this technical problem.
Zemlja vs. Gutierrez-Ferrol
Zemlja is now coached by Kavcic's old coach. He has problems breathing with the high humidity which was around today. Guti was getting hell pissed off at errors he was making, whereas Zemlja was a bit flat, struggling with the humidity. But he had too much class for Guti, not solely ballbashing with a bit of pushing thrown in for good measure.
Mektic vs. DeHeart
Thought this match would be closer, but DeHeart looked like he wanted to be somewhere else, yes even more so than usual. Mektic played very well, didn't miss many shots was able to use his forehand to pin DeHeart the baseline and push him round the place, forcing DeHeart into error or passing him when he came into the net off shit approach shots.
Millman vs. Rieschick
Seb Rieschick is playing the wrong sport, he should be a bouncer in a nightclub or playing for the German rugby team. Millman started off very slowly and was not able to move the big German around to expose his lack of movement. Rieschick was burying the short balls with his forehand and smashed a big FH winner down the line to take the 1st set.
Millman starts a bit better in the second set, but the same pattern is emerging. Millman grinding, but hitting too many short balls and always cross court and the bouncer taking the initiative gets to *5-3 15-15 and the rain delay happens.
Rieschick gets to match point and Millman saves it, breaks and then wins the next 3 games to take it 7-5. The bouncer is getting tired as Millman elongates the rallies, now the big shots are missing but Millman keeps giving back the break of serve. The bouncer is footfaulting big time, but not getting called, also among the big shots, he is getting deseparate and hitting more dropshots than Dustin Brown. Millman breaks again and is able to serve it out to win 6-4.
Definitely not a pretty match, but this is what happens when players hang in and keep fighting to the end, the rewards come along.
Kavcic vs. Mitchell
The Slovenian serving machine is the top seed here and the 1st set of the match while close isn't really of a good standard. Kavcic is a bit passive and Mitchell a bit nervous, both trade breaks to get it to a TB, which Kavcic played an outstanding breaker to take it.
Mitchell lifts his level of tennis, starts going for the shots and serving better. Kavcic is grumbling at himself in a mix of Slovene and English, especially at the times he couldn't convert the 0-40 leads twice into break points. It was mostly due to Mitchell serving well and hitting some big shots, which continues through to the 2nd set tiebreaker taking it in style.
Adrian Voinea had enough and decides to roll a cigarette and smoke it at the top of the stand in the corner to at the start of the 3rd set. Kavcic finally breaks halfway through the 3rd set with some aggressive play, then the great serve produced a double fault to give the break back. Crazy Kavcic was screaming, but Mitchell was playing some excellent tennis, especially the serve and the groundies were hitting the cornerns. Played well above his current world ranking of 600 at the moment.
They stopped for a small break due to the lines being slippery at 4-4, after trading breaks again. Kavcic is getting anxious and pissed off, especially when Mitchell saves a break point with a dead letcord. Voinea is calming him down, then Kavcic actually decides to step into the ball instead of being passive and breaks serve again.
Then the comedy capers when it comes to Kavcic serving out matches, he missed a few 1st serves and Mitchell starting missing the shots that he wasn't missing before. He was able to serve it out and was very happy to get the W, even though he had a shocking break point conversion rate which in most cases wasn't down to Kavcic's ineptitude. Mitchell played above himself but it was entertaining.
Trevisan vs. Skugor
Skugor woke up after losing the 1st set and ballbashed his way to a win.
Korolev vs, Fernandes
Little Fernandes was getting smoked by Kazakhstani Korolev didn't help he had a shoulder problem.
Haider-Maurer vs. Mertens
Mertens is almost as upright as Schalken, just not as talented. Haider-Maurer won but smashed 2 racquets in the process, he is a bit special.
Marcos Daniel was around the place, just wish I had my Gremio shirt at that time to see his face.
Antonio Veic was doing well when play was suspended, nice guy he spoke to a friend of mine about the match with Koellerer last year in Melbourne. How much he loved the atmosphere and the win of course.
Guccione is still a sexy beast.
“ On Nadal bumping him on the changeover, Rosol said: "It's ok, he wanted to take my concentration; I knew he would try something".
Wilander on Dimitrov - "He has mind set on imitating Federer and yes it looks good. But he has no idea what to do on the court".
Machado wins 6-2 6-1
I definitely would have preferred Gaba winning as he needs the points much more, but Jan would have beaten him anyway. I expect Hajek to destroy Machado, like 6-1 6-2.