ATP Tennis 360

January 19, 2010 5:32 PM

Australian Open day 2 - Under the Oceanic sun

"If you don't like the weather in Melbourne you have only to wait ten minutes and it will change". The local papers induced optimism to players during a first day seriously affected by the rain. the second went effectively better.

Igor "mr Kirilenko" Andreev didn't succeed in repeating his girlfriend astonishing upset. Yesterday Maria defeated the "other Maria", Sharapova, in three sets after 2 hours and 75 minutes. Her favourite film is "Butterfly Effect". Unfortunately for her, and for Igor, the effect hasn't passed from her to the Russian, who was unplayable for the whole first set, when he hit at full force every ball and almost every ball bounced incredibly near the line. But Federer, despite offering a far from being irresistible performance, closed the match with a bagel in the fourth set.

Yesterday Andy Roddick almost felt down on a line judge during his easy disposal of the ex Wimbledon junior champion Thiemo De Bakker. "It seemed he was playing wrestling: he didn't move leaving me falling". In the post match press-conference a journalist has curious doubt: "Now who is caring about your dog?" asked to the Kid.

Andy Murray easyly outpowered Kevin Anderson 61 61 62 despite serving only 35% of first serves. What could happen when he started increasing this percentage?

The ex fisherman and basketball fan (his first idol was Karl Malone) John Isner defeated Andreas Seppi from Italy. The Italian isn't exactly lucky: it's the second time in less than a year, after Wimbledon 2009, his opponent change after the draw is completed. He should have faced David Ferrer, but Gilles Simon's withdrawal made the Spaniard take his place and the recend ATP Auckland winner gain the 33th seed. You can't expect by the good poker player quick lateral movements, but you can take for granted a considerable amount of aces and an extremely positive record aces-doubles: 22-1 this time. Seppi lacked of self confidence, as usual, in the big moments: in the fifth, at 3-4 30-40 (with Isner serving) he wasted an easy inside-out backhand and started losing the match.

Lleyton Hewitt had a relatively easy debut against the qualifier Hocevar. This is his 14th consecutive Australian Open: only Wayne Ferreira, Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde have the same record.

Richard "Lionheart" Gasquet was considered a danger for everyone in the draw, being him unseeded. "Lionheart" had to face the Russian Mikhail Youzhny, famous for coming back from two sets down in 2002 Davis Cup final decisive rubber, in France, against the debutant Paul Henry Mathieu and for breaking his forehead till bleading with his own racquet. The match is meant to become a classic. Almost five hour of backhand to backhand battle, of outstanding quality and psychological frailty. Richard showed the best and the worst of his tennis. He went two sets up, but started suffering muscular giggles on his lower back. He lost third and fourth set after tight tiebreaker, and when he netted an easy forehand saw his record in matches finished in five sets going down to 4-10: this is also his third defeat arrived after wasting an advantage of two sets: in the other two occasion he surrendered to Andy Murray at Wimbledon and fernando Gonzalez in Melbourne 12 months ago.

Jo Wilfried Tsonga, conqueror of the Ukrainian Stakhovsky, hoped in an easier second round. "I'd prefer Fognini" he said in the press conference. "He's not really offensive, so it's better because I don't have to run". Unfortunately for him the Italian lost to Taylor Dent in 80 minutes.

Nikolay Davydenko lostm only two games to Kindlmann. Now he's searching for an evolution to cancel the record of the highest ranked player not to have played a Grand Slam final yet: "Like Del Potro tell me now I am like PlayStation 3 in London. Now I try to come level PlayStation 4, to be faster and faster" he said. Anyway, he remains realistic: "I'm not Paris Hilton".

Ireland has found his new hero except Jamie O'Hara and the Rugby XV: Louk Sorensen, the first Irish player to win a Grand Slam match since more than 30 years. Sorensen, who lives in Stuttgart, defeated Lu Yen-Hsun from Taipei 64 36 62 61. The last Irish in Melbourne was Matt Doyle in 1985, although he was Irish in Davis Cup but played for the United States in the tournaments. Louk's father, Sean, had the pride and the honour to play the 1977 Wimbledon first round against Rod Laver.

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