Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Australian Open Notes: Day Two Federer and Serena Through

After a rain-interrupted day one in Melbourne, day two of the Australian Open was much more enjoyable for players and spectators.

Top seeds Roger Federer and Serena Williams both advanced, although big Rog was given a test by Russian Igor Andreev.

Andreev took the first set and had three set points - on serve - in the third but failed to convert and against Federer, that is just asking for trouble.

Andreev's problem was that he went away from what had gotten him into the lead and he tried to hit every shot for a winner. Rog just watched him capitulate in that set and then devoured him 6-0 in the fourth to take the match.

Serena Williams belted Urszula Radwanksa off the court to extend her record of never having lost in the first round of a Grand Slam. 41-0 Serena's record is, which is pretty impressive. She's going to be very hard to beat, although she did play her first match with her right thigh bandaged up which might give her opponents some hope going forward.

I wasn't really surprised to see US teenager Melanie Oudin knocked out in the first round. The US media slobbered over her run at the US Open last year, and while her scalps there included Sharapova, Petrova and Dementieva, they all played shocking tennis. It wasn't that Oudin wiped the court with them, she just got on a very good, very lucky run.

Her test will come throughout the year, but the early signs are that Oudin isn't quite as good as the US media make out her to be.


For those that don't mind a little wager to add to the enjoyment of tennis watching, here are a couple of matches to follow on Tuesday night (East coast USA time).


Still a couple of first round matches to be completed on Wednesday morning, the most notable is the matchup between Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki versus Aleksandra Wozniak of Canada.

Wozniak made it to as high as 21st in the world last year, but hasn't been able to maintain the form that got her there while Wozniacki is coming off the best year of her career. She's seeded four here and shouldn't have any problems seeing off her Canadian almost namesake in straight sets.


Other matches to look out for on day three include James Blake against Juan Martin del Potro. The Federer-slayer del Potro probably feels a little bit harshly treated having to face such a well known opponent so early into the tournament, but after his defeat of Federer at the US Open last year, big - no HUGE things are expected from the Argentine this year and it will be interesting to see how he handles it. Take del Potro in five.


Big serving Russian Alisa Kleybanova saw off home hope Jelena Dokic in the first round and faces Romanian Sorana Cirstea in round two. While she's got a powerful game, Kleybanova can rely on her serve a bit too much and I really like the look of Cirstea's game. She's dropped a set in her first round win, but I think she will bounce back strongly here and defeat Kleybanova, again in three sets.

No comments: