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Forum Umpire:, Gaston Gaudio,
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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.

Other News

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.
 
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Re: 2012 Australian Open Reports

Great reports as usual mate.

Hajek tank was the highlight and Ghem/Brzezicki was good quality.
 

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Forum Umpire:, Gaston Gaudio,
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Re: 2012 Australian Open Reports

Will watch some of Niland, Brown, Zemlja, Zopp if I can.
 

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Re: 2012 Australian Open Reports

LOL at Hajek:haha: I was wondering what happened in that match after he lost his serve at 5*-4 in the second set
 

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Hi, I quoted the relevant parts and put it on Amir's facebook wall. Maybe it would cheer him up.
 

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Re: 2012 Australian Open Reports

Good job. You can do good when you aren't behaving biased. Can you add some pictures?
 

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Re: 2012 Australian Open Reports

*subscribes*
 

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Re: 2012 Australian Open Reports

Very good read indeed. I didn't knew Ghem was a polish descender...

I would be very thankfull if you could do the Sousa - Menendez-Maceiras match report, in R2. :worship:
 

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MONSOON season.
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Re: 2012 Australian Open Reports

Thanks as always :yeah:
 

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Forum Umpire:, Gaston Gaudio,
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Re: 2012 Australian Open Reports

Hi, I quoted the relevant parts and put it on Amir's facebook wall. Maybe it would cheer him up.
That's fine, maybe he will around the courts later today.

Very good read indeed. I didn't knew Ghem was a polish descender...

I would be very thankfull if you could do the Sousa - Menendez-Maceiras match report, in R2. :worship:
Yes, Ghem is German/Polish and as for the Sousa match it depends on whether I can get to that one as long as it doesn't clash with someone else I want to see.

Will check out some of Jaziri's match as well.
 

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Re: 2012 Australian Open Reports

Hopefully you watched Zopp´s match, Ignatik wasted like 1000 MPs, would like to know how it looked there.
 

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Great report and have fun
 

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Forum Umpire:, Gaston Gaudio,
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Re: 2012 Australian Open Reports

Thanks to the poor weather yesterday, there weren't too many matches today. They were the ones that were incomplete from last night or didn't get to start.

Plenty of drama today though in spite of the small quantity of matches. There was a bit of rain around early, nothing too serious but enough to stop play with the slippery lines. Best of all the organisers did the right thing and put the 2 main matches I wanted to see on courts next to each other. Got a core workout from turning the body to be able to see both matches.

De Bakker vs. Brown

This was the highlight pick of the 1st round of qualie matches and it didn't disappoint. Both of these guys had poor 2011s for different reasons.

The match played out fairly typically with Brown hitting some huge slapshot forehand winners, dropshotitis was rampant why hit the conventional when the dropshot is so much sexier. The drive forehand volleys around the knees. De Bakker was solid from the back, hitting some good dropshots of his own but more consistent and this was what got him over the line in a very hard fought match.

This match definitely had the highest per capita rate of good looking ladies that turn up to Aus Open qualies, normally there are only about one or two good ones, maybe it De Bakker's Dennis Bergkamp cat like moves that they were to see. De Bakker is in a pretty tough section, especially when there are certain sections of the draw that aren't strong at all.


Žemlja vs. Gremelmayr

Gremelmayr started off very well, using his forehand to dictate the play and working Žemlja around who wasn't too interested in moving his feet. The rain delay came at the right time for Žemlja just after the first set, cause he was getting run around big time.

In the second set Žemlja started serving better, but while he was creating a multitude of break point chances he was finding it difficult to break since Gremelmayr decided to become Goran Ivanisevic and start hitting aces break point down, he saved 7 break points with aces alone, impressive for a guy who doesn't have a massive serve. Žemlja was getting frustrated with Gremenisievic but managed to stay calm long enough to get the tiebreaker.

Žemlja had the momentum and an early break, had a few chances to get the insurance break where Gremelmayr kept up the seving exhibition. Gremelmayr besides serving huge when he was down was killing Žemlja with the dropshots, which Žemlja was always going crosscourt. Gremlin either hit the open court or lobbed him for a winner. Žemlja was able to get the final break being aggressive on the forehand and stepping in on short second serves, then served it out comfortably.

Zopp vs. Ignatik

Hewitt = Legend saw most of this match whereas I only saw parts, so he'll give you a better and more detailed description. Ignatik early just wasn't making errors at all from the baseline and hitting some class volleys. Zopp just kept hanging in there and saved 5 match points. Ignatik took a timeout at *7-7 0-15 and was also getting coached. Great win for Zopp, he had good support there as well.

Zopp vs. Ignatik

Hewitt = Legend saw most of this match whereas I only saw parts, so he'll give you a better and more detailed description. Ignatik early just wasn't making errors at all from the baseline and hitting some class volleys. Zopp just kept hanging in there and saved 5 match points. Ignatik took a timeout at *7-7 0-15 and was also getting coached. Great win for Zopp, he had good support there as well.

Naso vs. Reid

This was a very tight match, not exactly the best quality. Reid has a big serve for a small guy which he was using well and Naso was fighting hard. The real issue in this match was on Reid's match point after an extended rally. Naso hits a backhand down the line which was called out from the linesman, he starts walking over for the handshake. Reid is about to celebrate and then the overrule from the chair umpire on the far side. It's very hard to tell that was a clear mistake and the overrule was delayed.

Reid was about to argue didn't bother, but once Naso got the final break then it was all done served it out easily.

Jaziri vs. Smyczek

Have never been impressed with Smyczek and this hadn't changed. Jaziri was irritated with the conditions, but can see he has some ability and the game is clearly suited to the clay.

Davydenko and Kavcic were training together, there were a few people who still recognised him. He was low profile when he was top 10, will be interesting to see what court assignments he gets if not playing one of the bigger players.

Tomorrow will see Lacko/Bedene, Crugnola/Phau, Luczak/Nielsen, Zemlja and Ghem matches, then again who knows how it will end up
 

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Re: 2012 Australian Open Reports

Just a quick summary of the Zopp match:

Jurgen Zopp Vs Uladzimir Ignatik

Was looking forward to witnessing this encounter from the moment I laid my eyes upon the draw. It had tremendous potential with the Belorussian Ignatik possessing all of the shots combined with being a headcase, and the Estonian Zopp who fights for every point and never gives up. Also some cracking surnames from both here as well. And the match certainly lived up to my lofty expectations. Ignatik was on fire for a set and a half, combining lethal serving with miraculous shotmaking. There was nothing Zopp could do, Ignatik simply refused to make an unforced error and was serving out of a tree. Didn't help that the Estonian was having a poor serving day at this point in time. Ignatik takes the opener 6-2 and opens up a 4-2 lead in the second before the light drizzle that had been falling since the commencement of the match turned into something heavier. Play was suspended for about an hour and it was exactly what Zopp needed to clear his head and devise a game plan to combat Ignatik's baseline domination.

The break didn't seem to bother Ignatik however, with the Belorussian easily holding serve again to go ahead 5-2. Zopp held easily and it was time for Ignatik to serve out the match. Up to this point Ignatik had barely made an unforced error but when you're serving for the match that all changes, even for the better players. He threw in a double fault and dumped a backhand into the net before he found his game again to hit some more winners to go up 40-30 and match point. Zopp saved the first match point after a long extended rally before hitting a courageous off forehand where Ignatik could barely get his racquet onto the ball. Back to deuce and Ignatik serves another bomb. 2nd match point. Another long rally before Ignatik hits a backhand long. Two more draining rallies and Zopp wins both of them to break back and get back on serve. Ignatik is pissed but there is more to come. Zopp holds again, but not without a fight with the game going to several deuces and the Estonian saving a third match point. He holds and then breaks Ignatik for the second consecutive time. He proceeds to serve out the set to 15. Ignatik is going nuts at this point, smashing his racquet on the chair and throwing his towel out of the court. Swearing to himself he buries his head in his towel then decides to take a comfort break just as they wer about to go back on. This is the thing with Ignatik, he has all the shots and was an excellent junior but he is a massive headcase and mentally he is not up to the week in week out grinds of the main tour.

He finally returns to the court and is looking calm and relaxed. Ignatik is back to making no errors and serving bombs. He puts more pressure on Zopp's service games and eventually breaks and holds his own serve until 5-3 again and once more he's serving for the match. And once more his game breaks down combined with Zopp fighting hard and not missing on the important points. Zopp saves another match point with some lucky netcords and shanks during a 30 shot rally. It goes to deuce again and Ignatik has another chance but Zopp refuses to miss and Ignatik makes the error. Zopp proceeds to break and Ignatik completely loses it. He throws his racquet at the fence and gives us the finger. I had planted myself down with about 10 rowdy Estonians and we were cheering loudly for Zopp to make it through. At the change of ends Ignatik is clearly getting coached, they were not even bothering to hide it and he receives a warning. Ignatik then got angry over the limited powerade flavours that were available. Deadset, the guys a complete nutter. But he somehow got himself composed to go ahead 30-40 on Zopp's serve to bring up his 5th match point. This was the best rally of the match. The pair trade heavy blows from the baseline before Zopp hits a forehand down the line and approaches the net. Ignatik hit the pass back down the line and the ball clips the tape and rapidly travels above Zopp's head. The Estonian shows quick reflexes to get the volley back deep into the court and Ignatik attempts a lob and Zopp successfully puts away the overhead. Ignatik loses it again, shouts at us and then his coach and then punches the back wall. Zopp holds and it is 5-5. The pair then both settle down and hold until 7-7 before Ignatik starts getting tired and calls for a medical timeout. There was nothing wrong with him, he was just physically and mentally spent. Zopp breaks and wins the match to 15 on his serve.

He showed tremendous fight and courage throughout and simply refused to miss when he was down match points on 5 occasions. The Estonians were happy as was I and Ignatik left the court swearing under his breath. Very entertaining and high quality stuff, probably the best match I've seen so far this week.
 
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