2012 Australian Open Reports from Hewitt=Legend, Photos, krystlel blogs
As per usual, I will do some reports from the qualies. It's not just my thread, anyone who was at the AO during qualies or MD can post in here.
Chances are most of us saw different matches which is a good thing.
It's that time of the year again, where I'm at the Australian Open qualifiying rounds which besides being free, relaxed and the hardcore fans attend have a much different vibe from the main draw, which is appreciated.
Melbourne it's known as the place where it's 4 seasons in one day, but that's the nice way of saying the weather is predictable as the bowel movements of baby. It was a frustrating for players and fans alike, combination of rain, sunshine, hail and strong winds made it difficult.
Farah vs. Veic
Found out the reason Farah didn't play qualies at Chennai. He had some achilles tendonitis which flared up badly, too bad this info wasn't forthcoming before the match. The conditions made this match tough, even then the Farah forehand is a work of art. There is no forward momentum into the ball or drive from the core, it's all arm, so when he mistimes the shot which happens at regular intervals, then it's fodder. Contrast his backhand is technically solid can go both ways, slices well, some good volleys.
Veic was playing his usual game working very hard defensively, the lack of weapons is made up for determination. Farah was having problems pushing up on the serve due to the leg problem, so Veic takes 1st set easily. Farah starts playing better from the baseline, the match became more of a contest. It wasn't always high quality this was mostly due to the conditions more than anything else, the courts were never going to be fast today. Some long games in the 2nd set, where Farah took the chances.
Farah had the momentum took an early break, then Veic broke back. The ending was poor as Farah double faulted twice in the game that Veic broke. Speaking of poor, the quality of linecalling was shocking in this match, they are too tight not to have linespeople on both sides of the court. Both guys were getting pissed off with the linecalls, they were probably better off calling the lines themselves. Hope Veic makes the main draw, the battler he is and Farah is playing main draw doubles.
Hajek vs. Fischer
Jan "Prostejov King" Hajek was meant to be playing Marchenko due to late withdrawals he ends up playing Fischer. Hajek was clearly the better player taking the 1st set 6-3, and just cruising along to *5-3 attempting to serve out the match, then this when things got interesting.
Hajek hadn't been making many errors at all hitting solid and deep groundstrokes moving Fischer around easily, wrongfooting him. When he served for the match he plays a donkey of a game to lose serve, even then it still didn't look like losing. Someone kidnapped Hajek and was impersonating him, either this or someone laid some good odds. Fischer takes the 2nd set 7-5.
Then the fun began Hajek was serving half paced serves, making hilarious errors when he was down 3-0, then it was just a question whether how many times a dropshot would bounce twice before the net or how far out it would be. That was a brilliant tank, that Kim Jong Il would have been proud of.
Ghem vs. Brzezicki
Brazil vs. Argentina, both guys of Polish descent and good friends as well. It was quite an entertaining match and a good standard from guys who are much better on clay, who hadn't arrived in the country not long ago.
Naturally there were quite a few breaks of serve, with neither having great serves and Brzezicki on the 2nd serve gets no leg drive at all so it's very attackable. Brzezicki, this is the man who when asked for reason he retired from a match cited "mental", so I have a soft spot for the guy. Another thing in common both are clearly better on the backhand side, Ghem using the single hander, slicing effectively when he needed to do and Brzezicki with his double hander. Ghem was slightly more aggressive so he was able to take the 1st set.
Second set had the same pattern, once they broke, then they couldn't hold their serve to confirm the break. Ghem served for match and he has a poor record of closing out matches, this was very clear to see why. No leg drive on serve, lack of movement when hitting groundstrokes, but he was able to get to the tiebreaker and the strangest moment of the day besides Carsten "Sideshow" Ball winning match happened at 4-1 in the tiebreaker.
After an extended rally Brzezicki hit an excellent shot screaming out "Vamoooooooos" before Ghem hit the ball and was awarded the point when Ghem missed it. Ghem was pissed off with the umpire said "come on, that put me off ", it was quite loud. He told the umpire to ask Brzezicki, as they are both good friends, so Polaco told the umpire and they replayed the point, which Ghem won. Then he was able to get his first win over Brzezicki in 6 attempts.
Bedene vs. Mertl
This was a cakewalk for Bedene, who had a good support group here and no it wasn't just screaming fangirls. He was fairly impressive but really didn't need to do too much as Mertl looked like a turkey stuffed at Christmas. Bedene has a good aggressive game, his 2nd round match with Lacko will be one of the better ones, can see Lacko being able to hit through Bedene's forehand on this surface, though who knows when Carsten Ball wins a match.
Luczak vs. Meffert
Luczak started off so rusty which is natural considering his last event was Stockholm indoors which he played after coming back from the beach in Bahamas 2 days before. This is his last singles event and all he has been doing is hitting with his son and Lleyton Hewitt. Meffert got an early break, but that was more through Luczak's ring rust so to speak, there was one highlight that showed how much of a woodduck showing Meffert put in today. Luczak hit a ball down the middle, it didn't move much and he was clean bowled or took an airswing. He wasn't moving his feet at all, either a few service winners, the odd groundstroke winner and plenty of errors.
As time wore on Luczak got more into the match, he started playing a bit better but not brilliant. He got over the line and the comment was "I don't know how I won that". Meffert playing like a donkey definitely helped. He plays the likeable Dane Freddie Nielsen who took out Rajeev Rampras in straight sets. Luczak will have to improve if he is trouble Nielsen who has started the season quite well.
Cabal vs. Schwank
Gordo Schwank has lost some beef for sure, that's good but not a fan of the short hair. I expect Argentine sportsmen to have long hair or at least to the shoulders. This was a bit of a mismatch as Cabal was feeling crap, too bad this info never comes in at the right time. He had a case of the runs wasn't able to move well at all, in fact he was flatter than the chest of a female sprinter. He showed some flashes, but his energy wasn't there and Schwank wasn't losing this at all, would be good if Schwank could make it.
Pospisil vs. Millman
This was Vasek's day alright, he didn't play that well but all those breaks went his way. Millman started well, was hitting more winners than errors and Pospisil was getting frustrated with this. Millman takes the 1st set, then the 2nd set becomes a bit of a break fest, a combination of good play from both guys, some lucky shanks going in on the big points, no one takes advantage as they get into the tiebreaker which was very competitive. Beautiful shank from Pospisil hits the line gets 6-4 then closes it out.
Third set was solid until Pospisil through 2 shanks and a double fault gets the break at 2-2. He was done 0-30 and then a brilliant non call from the linesman on the baseline missing a ball that was a long way out, too the point where we were sitting the baseline, it was closer to use than the baseline, that would have given Millman 0-40. He spits it after that and says to linesman "not good enough, you really should be doing a better job, than missing calls like this". After the incident, he was deflated, Pospisil sees this and was very good in closing out the match against a visibly frustrated opponent. Pospisil really should qualify from this section.
It's an interesting situation for Millman, he has been out for 6 months with shoulder problems, but for reasons unknown he has pissed off Tennis Australia in some manner. It's strange cause he isn't a controversial guy at all, maybe the fact he is articulate, well spoken and not part of the inner sanctum.
He had to use his protected ranking to get into qualies, when they should have given him a wildcard, especially after the excellent 2010 season he had, the shoulder issues were what halted his progress in 2011, hence leading to the ranking slide. Yet, they give one to sideshow Carsten Ball who doesn't deserve one because the man has been stinking up the court, that's his own fault and not injury related. It gets worse in that Millman won't get wildcards to the Aussie challengers, because it's not the tournament directors that decided it more like Tennis Australia.
Amir Weintraub the thoughtful and introspective Israeli struggled with the conditions against Crugnola, too slow for him and his opponent was playing well. Hope he is around tomorrow as I'd like to thank him for his blogs that he has contributed about the struggles with life on the tour at the lower levels, which most fans don't know or want to know about.
Poor Lajovic leading 5-0 40-0 in the 3rd set and loses to Viola 8-6, that is a bad choke, even though he done something to his leg at 5-2 and Andreas Egli the insurance salesman lookalike called the trainer.
Tomorrow thankfully there are mens matches early in the day, so there can be some more time off, sorry for the lack of photos at the moment, technology sucks.
“ 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.