ATP Tennis 360

January 21, 2010 11:48 AM

Margin notes on Australian Open second round

We're only at the second round but e've already seen a pair of matches meant to become a classic: Youzhny-Gasquet and Del Potro-Blake.

The Frenchman and the American confirmed to be a pair of magnific losers, perfect for exhibition matches because not capable of realizing the difference between hitting well and winning a match. Richard "Kiss Me" Gasquet lost for the third time in career wasting a two-sets advantage: what a waste!

After a 405-points-long battle, Blake surrenderered to Palito 10-8 in the fifth in 4 hours and 17 minutes. The Argentinian, who celebrated the victory with a clear gesture meaning "I've character" (euphemistically), grasped to his serve in the key moments and extracted a second-serve ace to save a break points at 1-2 in the fifth. The epic battle procedeed with breaks and counter-breaks until 9-8, when Del Potro found three winning serves to seal the match against an exhausted opponent.

Cilic and Tomic were protagonist of one of the most boring matches in the modern tennis history. It seemed to see Santana against Higueras at the French Open in the Eighties. The young Australian, blessed by the scheduling in the night session on the Rod Laver Arena, complained for the fact the match as programmed after the women's singles and finished after midnight. Insatiable.

Lleyton Hewitt went through against Donald Young, the aethernal American promise whose first round match for 30 minutes because a ballboy peed on himself. "He's flashy" said Hewitt, "he plays a little bit different and rides a bit of a wave for a few games, and then throws in a couple of suck games out of nowhere".

Rusty has now to face Marcos Baghdatis, passed through an epic comeback from two sets down against the Spaniard David Ferrer. Thinking to their last Australian Open meeting, the 2008 third round eventually become the latest Grand Slam finish ever, at 4.33, is natural. But the players has different consideration of that match. Hewitt has it as one of his most remarkable and memorable matches of his career, Marcos instead isn't "thinking about it every night before going to sleep, you know".

Roger Federer continued his rush demolishing Victor Hanescu in front of Prince William: "I'm not gonna tell you everything he just said to me. You've got to have a little bit of a secret" said in the press conference: oh, regal secretiveness!

Roger, whose parents used to assist to his matches divided by Mirka because, father Robert said, Lindy speaks to much and distraughts him, found even time to cheer John Isner in the locker room for his successes.

No problem for Rafa Nadal and Nikolay Davydenko: everybody is exhalting his Playstation style ("Now I want evolving into a Playstation 4" he said), few are underlining he faced two not top-100 players.

One of the most interesting surprise of these first days is the groth of the Slovak Lukas Lacko: just one year ago he was outside the top-300 (I saw him in a Davis Cup Euro/African Group I relegation playoff in Italy and easily lost his two rubbers), now he's ranked 70 and showed consistent groundstrokes, mainly on the forehand side. Unfortunately for him, his second round match was against Rafa Nadal.

Finally, I expected more by Tsonga-Dent. The Frenchman instead won easily, helped by the low first serve percentage of the American (30%): if you want serve&volleying, surely this is not the best possible approach.

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