Re: Australian Open 2009 reports and pics
Saturday 17 January 2009 - Final round qualifying
Evgeny Korolev(RUS) def. Danai Udomchoke(THA) 6-3 7-5
When I arrived I went to see this match first. Korolev had won the first set and they were starting the 2nd set. Korolev was again impressive, hitting his groundstrokes with great power especially on the forehand. Udomchoke was consistent but there was not much he could do if Korolev's shots went in. Korolev went up a break and had chances to close out the match at 5-3 and at 5-4 but had a bit of a lapse and made a few UEs, and Udomchoke took advantage to level the score at 5-5. Korolev held his serve again and at 6-5 up played an excellent game to break serve for the match. Overall Korolev played very well and Udomchoke didn't play that badly. Korolev should be a dangerous opponent in the main draw.
Lamine Ouahab(ALG) def. Ryan Sweeting(USA) 6-4 3-6 8-6
I was interested in this match as I had not seen either player before. Ouahab has a nice game, he is a good solid baseline player and likes to hit the angles and the dropshots too. Sweeting likes to be aggressive on both sides and go for the winners from the baseline. Ouahab was the slightly more consistent player. Sweeting didn't seem to be playing his best and was shouting at himself a lot. Ouahab was up a set and played a terrible game to give Sweeting the break in the 2nd set. In the 3rd set Ouahab kept being up a break but losing it due to nerves and UEs. Finally he managed to close it out late in the 3rd set after a long battle.
Dominik Hrbaty(SVK) def. Marco Chiudinelli(SUI) 6-1 6-3
After seeing Chiudinelli play well against Beck I thought he may have given Dominik a few problems. It was not to be. Dominik was in red hot form, playing pretty much his best tennis. He was just smacking winners everywhere and Marco couldn't do anything about it, apart from running along the baseline trying to retrieve Dominik's shots. Marco didn't play badly at all but his best shots were coming back at him with interest. Hrbaty very quickly went up 6-1 3-1. The games Marco won were because he started going for broke and making the winners, in some rallies he was hitting his balls on the line, they had to be that good to beat Hrbaty today. I was so happy with Dominik's form, I was not sure that I would ever see him play this well again after all he's been through. At 3-1 Hrbaty had a little bit of a lapse, he still set up the points well but missed a few of the finishing shots. He lost two service games with many points like this. However at 3-3 he got it together and eliminated the unforced errors, breezing through the last 3 games. Both sides of the court were packed with spectators and Hrbaty had a lot of crowd support. Dominika Cibulkova was actively cheering him on, sitting next to his new fiancee. Today Hrbaty played some of the best tennis I have ever seen from him, granted it was against Chiudinelli but the way he was hitting his shots he would have beaten most players. After I match I commented that anyone in the main draw who has drawn a qualifier should be very afraid after this performance by Hrbaty. He is easily the best qualifier I have seen this week and I expect him to do well in the main draw.