Just making some comments about what I can remember about matches I saw!
Qualifying Day 1
Gabashvili def Coelho
I saw the whole 2nd set, score was a lot closer than it looked, as Coelho had tons of bps on different service games but didn't play those points well and only managed to break once, but then gave it back through sloppy play on his own serve. Coelho played well overall but just didnt play the big points well. Gabashvili was not at his best, and made a lot of UEs but did enough to get through.
Mertinak def Sirianni
Both took it in turns to play good and then awful. Mertinak used his power and Joe mixed it up with his variety. In the last set Joe was the one who was awful, and gave it away with lots of UEs and DFs.
Bolelli def Greg Jones
Both players were playing pretty well and had a lot of entertaining rallies. Jones had his chance to win when he served for the match at like 10-9, but he lost the game and then played a bad game serving at 11-12 to lose the match.
Qualifying Day 2
Lacko def Golubev
Golubev gave a woeful performance, was troubled by hand blisters, and Lacko was too solid for him. Lacko is consistent but lacks the power to be a great player.
Cilic def Schukin
Cilic played well, he is a typical Croat with big serve, is powerful and volleys well. He was impressive today.
Chiudinelli def Stakhovsky
Marco played very well, apart from choking a bit at the end of the 1st set. Sergei fought hard but couldnt make it in the end. Marco was taking a lot of time between points at one stage, got a time violation and then argued it!
01-16-2007, 03:46 PM
Monday MD 1
Djokovic def Massu
Novak was in his best form, and was simply awesome. He hit winners from everywhere and every shot was working for him. He had about twice as many winners as UEs. Massu didn't play his best but he couldnt have done much even if he did. It was a great atmosphere with lots of Serbs and lots of Chileans supporting their player and being very loud and rowdy.
Querrey def Acasuso
Querrey looks like a good player. He has a good serve and solid groundstrokes. I just saw the end and it looked like he was outplaying Acasuso. Jose was fighting well, and hit some rocket forehands, but couldnt win in the end. Jose refused to shake the umpire's hand, I didnt see the reason for this.
Monfils def Bracciali
This was a great match to watch. The stands were packed and there were hardly any spare seats for most of it. Both players were playing well. Bracciali was hitting the ball really hard and dominating most of the points, but made a lot of UEs too. Monfils was scrambling so well and getting everything back, doing the splits when he was stretched out wide and hitting great winners on the defense. He also served a lot of aces. In the end Bracciali made too many UEs and Gael was too solid for him. There were a lot of French supporters for Gael and Alize Cornet was there as well.
Udomchoke def Vassallo Arguello
Only saw a few games but obviously Danai was too good for him. Danai hit harder, covered the court better, counterpuched better, was more consistent and just had more weapons. Vassallo kept hitting the ball in with topspin and wasnt consistent enough. Danai had break points early and didnt convert and lost the game, and lost his serve too, but I knew he wouldnt have trouble breaking back as he was the better player and Vassallo's serve was not good. Sanchai Ratiwatana and Yen Hsun Lu came to watch for a bit after their practice.
Dlouhy def Gabashvili
Dlouhy was serving for a routine straight sets win at 5-4 in the 3rd set. He choked badly and lost the game and then the set. I left, watched two other matches, including the whole Djokovic match, came back 2 hrs later and he was again serving for the match at 5-4 in the 5th set. He choked again and it went back on serve. So poor Dlouhy ended up playing over 4 hrs when he should have won in about 2 hrs.
Lu def Greul
Yen Hsun was playing really well, probably the best I've seen him play at the AO. Everything was working for him. His serve and groundstrokes were very accurate and quite powerful and he volleyed well too, and played some excellent counterpuching points. He had no trouble winning this at all. There was a group of Taiwanese fans supporting him, they got very excited when he won.
Melzer def Karlovic
Karlovic served well as usual, there was one game which was all aces, and 3 of them were 2nd serve aces! However his groundstrokes were rubbish, I think they were even worse than usual. Even club players could beat him if there was no serve and just groundstroke rallies.
Hrbaty def Vanek
This was a terrible match. Hrbaty played awful, especially at the start when he netted every ball. Vanek was a really bad player, he had no weapons to hurt Hrbaty with, the only good things about his game were some good dropshots and lobs. Vanek served for the 1st set but choked and it went to a TB. Hrbaty was up 6-3 in the TB, but lost all the points, then had another sp later but didn't take it, and lost the set. Vanek was up 4-1 in the 2nd set, but choked the lead, then he served for the set at 5-4 but choked again. Hrbaty fought really well to get it to the TB, which he won easily. Hrbaty picked up his game as the match went on, and made less UEs, while Vanek got worse. Hrbaty won in the end, but probably would not have survived if he'd played a decent player. The usual Hrbaty cheer squad was there, it really made a difference and helped him to tough it out even when he was playing terrible.
Ferrer def Pless
Both players played well, Pless was hitting harder and in control of the points but Ferrer was just too consistent for him, and Pless made UEs at crucial stages of the match.
01-16-2007, 03:49 PM
thx :yeah: poor nico :sad:
01-16-2007, 04:02 PM
I will write the Tuesday report later, I'm too tired to write any more. All the 2nd matches on the outside courts started at 8.15pm due to the heat. It was just like normal AO but at night under the lights! One match is not even finished yet and its 3am :eek:
01-16-2007, 04:12 PM
Thanks for the report. Look forward to the next one :)
01-21-2007, 04:13 PM
Today was an extremely hot day, one of the toughest days I've had at the tennis, and it would have been even tougher on the players. I think it reached about 43 degrees C. The first matches of the day were all played in the full heat, and it was really a contest of who could stand the heat better. After that the roof was closed on Vodafone and RLA and outside courts were stopped. I was so thankful that I had a Vodafone reserved seat, even though I wouldnt normally go in there, it was useful on a day like this. I spent most of the day on Vodafone for lack of anything else to see, though the womens matches on Vodafone were boring as they were one sided blowouts.
The outside courts started up again at 8.15pm, and continued through until about 3.30am, though I left at about 10.30pm. It was very exciting and different to see all the outside court matches going on in the dark under the lights. It was still extremely hot and humid, even at night, and it was literally like being in an oven in the day, as there was a hot wind too. It was just horrible conditions for the players playing the first match.
Rochus def Guccione
This was a good match from both players. Guccione served very well and Olivier couldn't break his serve for most of the match. Olivier had to play excellent on his own serve, and not miss any shot, as he could not afford to get broken himself. He succeeded in doing this, and it helped that Guccione's baseline game is vastly inferior. The match was very close, and Guccione should have won when he had 0-40 on Olivier's serve at 7-6 in the 5th set and 3 match points. At this stage, lots of people ran down the aisles next to the court, to get ready for autographs as they thought it would be over. However Guccione choked on his match points, on one of them there was a very long rally where Chris just kept slicing the ball into the middle of the court and was too scared to go for anything. He did this for about 10 shots, and finally Olivier hit it away into the corner, then volleyed the reply for a winner. Olivier held his serve and then played some excellent returns to break Guccione in the next game, then served it out. It was a great match from Olivier and Chris would be disappointed at not taking his chances, but he has to learn that he cant play passively against great players and expect to win big points.
Blake def Moya
This was a great match to watch, both played well but Blake was just too good. James had about double the amount of winners to UEs, and Moya didnt play badly but was just unlucky to draw Blake in good form.
Nalbandian def Tipsarevic
This was played in the full heat of the day, outdoors on MCA. Nalbandian was playing badly and on the brink of losing down 2-5 in the 3rd set, but Janko choked serving for the match. After Nalby levelled at 5-5 Janko started feeling the heat and looked tired. He lost the TB, and took a timeout to get heat treatment. It didnt do much good though, as he was clearly struggling for the rest of the match. He could hardly move to any ball, couldnt hit as hard, wasnt reaching up for his serve, and tried to finish points quickly when he could. It was terrible to watch him wilt like that, and I got the feeling that he was just going to stand on court playing like that until he lost 12 more games. Nalbandian wasnt really playing that well, but only needed to get the ball in and Janko could not run to it. The result was obvious after Nalby won the 3rd set, but the rest was like a car accident, I could not look away. In the 5th set Janko tried to make a stand, and put all his effort into the match. He held his serve but failed to break Nalby and lost his serve the game after. So he realised even his best effort wouldnt work, and did the sensible thing and retired, as there was no point standing there for longer in the heat as he could hardly even stand anymore.
Gonzalez def Korolev
This was played at night under the lights. There was a great atmosphere with plenty of Chilean fans supporting Gonzo. They had waited for this match all day through the heat delay, and even sat through the whole first match on this court waiting for Gonzo to come on. This was a good match, with both players playing well. Korolev is very talented, he is a power player and has a massive forehand. His forehand was about as hard as Gonzo's, and they both took turns to blast away with their forehands. I saw only the first set, it was very close and not much in it, but Korolev just played a better TB.
Smeets def Lacko
This was played in the heat of the day, and Smeets handled it better than Lacko, who had probably never played in this heat in his life. Smeets played great, he served well, came in and volleyed a lot, and his some great forehands. Smeets had a lot more power than Lacko, who is basically a consistent counterpuncher, who had no weapons to trouble Smeets.
01-26-2007, 02:48 PM
Today the weather was a welcome relief from the previous hot day. The sun hardly ever came out and it wasn't that hot at all. A lot of matches were completed including ones held over from the day before.
Udomchoke def Ferrero
This was quite a good match. There were lots of Danai supporters in the crowd as well as Ferrero fans. Danai played very well and was very consistent, and came in a lot to finish the points. Ferrero didnt seem to have as much power as he did at his peak, and made a few too many UEs. He also didnt take a lot of chances, as he was leading in the first two sets yet lost them. Danai was the better player in the end and deserved to win.
Ancic def Garcia Lopez
Ancic had an army of loud Croatian supporters there as usual. I only saw the 3rd and 4th sets and Ancic was just too good and was killing him. The rain delayed the match in the 4th set when Ancic was close to victory. The Croatian fans all went inside the RLA building, and walked around in circles where the food stalls are, chanting Croatian things, and then chanting "Mario Ancic". Talk about having nothing better to do in a rain delay.
Ferrer def Johansson
David played very well and was way too consistent for Tojo, despite Tojo having the usual dedicated Swedish support. David counterpunched beautifully, and Johansson really wasnt at his best.
Hrbaty def Spadea
Hrbaty played poorly at the start, made a lot of UEs and missed a lot of his chances to break. However he gradually picked up his game during the course of the match, and in the end was playing well. Spadea maintained a consistent level throughout, but didnt really have enough weapons to hurt Hrbaty when he was playing well. Spadea behaved very badly, he got a warning for audible obscenity in the 2nd set, and then in the 3rd set he again swore at some people in the crowd and got a point penalty. He was really angry about this and even wanted to call the referee. In the 4th set he was really pissed off, every time he hit a winner he would turn and glare at Hrbaty's supporters. Hrbaty had good Slovak support, Vinny had weird fans who kept yelling corny things like "Yeah Vince baby!" "USA all the way!" and "Take it to the max!".
01-26-2007, 03:04 PM
Today started off cloudy and not very hot, and rain at the start delayed play for about 1.5 hrs. So I started off in Vodafone and watched the Hingis match. After that the outside courts started, so I headed out there. The sun came out, it started to heat up and was very hot for the rest of the day.
Berdych def Smeets
Robert played well but had no answer to the power of Berdych. Berdych was just a class above him and never looked threatened.
Nalbandian def Lapentti
Nalby played a lot better than he did against Tipsarevic. I expected that Lapentti would threaten Nalby, but he didnt come close. He didnt have the firepower and hit a lot of balls short or high that Nalby dealt with.
Haas def Bozoljac
Saw this from the 3rd set. Haas was playing some excellent tennis, and Ilia just looked very down on himself and wasnt really trying to fight. He was made to look like an amateur and it was very comfortable for Haas.
Grosjean def Rochus
Very entertaining and high quality match. Almost every point was a long rally and a lot of the time the one who had the advantage early in the point lost it due to the excellent counterpunching of the other. Grosjean looked the better player even though it went 5 sets, as he just had more power than Rochus and could really crack it when he wanted to. Rochus had break points late in the 5th set but couldnt capitalise, and straight after that lost his serve and the match. The Belgian fans sang Happy Birthday to Ollie after the match, which was a nice touch.
Gonzalez def Del Potro
This was another entertaining match, with good tennis and great atmosphere. There were plenty of Chilean supporters doing the "Chile" chants, and also quite a few Argentines chanting "Vamos Del Potro" and "Argentina" among other things. Both players were playing well and the match was very close, with nothing much in it. Gonzalez played a bad tiebreak in the 3rd set to go down 1-2 and was so disgusted he hit his racquet on the court a few times, breaking it and getting a racquet abuse warning. Gonzo regrouped at the start of the 4th set though, and broke Del Potro straight away. He held on to the break till the end of the set. In the 5th set Del Potro kept stretching and looked uncomfortable. He was struggling and called the trainer. It looked like cramps as the trainer was massaging his legs. Del Potro continued but served badly and couldnt play his best. He was frustrated and hit a ball hard into the crowd, getting a ball abuse warning. He played on for a while but after he lost his serve again he walked to the net and conceded. He was distraught at having to retire, and sat with his head in the towel for a long time.
01-26-2007, 03:17 PM
I came after 5pm today, so I didnt see as many matches. It wasnt sunny at all and it was very comfortable weather. Some drops of rain was falling at times but it wasnt enough to stop matches.
Gasquet def Monfils
I watched the whole match of this. Monfils was famous due to his big win over Baghdatis in the previous round, and pretty much everyone in the crowd was going for Gael. Richard came out on fire though, and hardly missed, while Gael didnt serve very well and looked a little flat. Richard stunned the crowd by taking the first set 6-0. Monfils improved his game a lot at the start of the 2nd set though, and got his counterpunching game going, and managed to take the 2nd set. 3rd set was close, but Monfils faltered at the end, losing his serve trying to take it to the TB. In the 4th set Monfils looked like he was in pain, and kept stretching his back between points. He got broken early. He called the trainer for treatment on his back, and after he was done, Gasquet wanted the trainer straight after! There didnt appear to be anything wrong with Gasquet though, maybe it was some gamesmanship on his part. Both played better when they came out and kept holding their serves, but Monfils couldnt break back and lost the match. At the end both looked friendly at the net, with Richard affectionately rubbing Gael's head. In his interview, Richard said he was happy to be through, but sad that Gael was out as he was one of his best friends.
Ancic def Hrbaty
Ancic was simply on fire today and too good for Hrbaty. Hrbaty had a lot of chances to break early in the match, but couldnt take them, and from there Ancic steamrolled. Mario served well, his return and groundstrokes were excellent, he attacked Dominik's 2nd serve, and his reach at the net was superb, nothing could get past him. Dominik didnt play badly on his groundstrokes, but his service percentage wasnt high enough, so Ancic was able to attack a lot of 2nd serves.
Robredo def Querrey
I just saw the end of this, Robredo was on fire and soundly beating Querrey off the ground. He hit a lot of winners and generally played great. There wasnt really any atmosphere here, not many people were watching, the stands were really empty as they were all watching Safin-Roddick on the big screen, and hardly anyone was clapping for winners.
01-26-2007, 03:19 PM
Pics are here, including a lot of WTA players. Only uploaded qualifying and MD Monday pics for now, but will put more on later.