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post #1 of 65 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 2009, 12:03 AM Thread Starter
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Random notes about the Australian Open

Day one

The change in court colours works to the benefit of TV viewers, but the AO still doesn't make for as good TV as the USO. I don't care for the camera angle, and the court is a strange hybrid - the ball doesn't speed up after impact the way it does on US hardcourts, yet the bounce seems low (the effectiveness of Federer's slice being a good yardstick to measure that), making for some awkward errors and problems in returning serve. Then again, few players are sharp, as playing the AO at the very peak of Australia's summer heat seems to take priority over establishing a proper series of warmup events.

Danger signals everywhere, for tennis in general (sparse crowds at several courts) and for women's tennis in particular (persistent lack of new talent, alarming decline in the player's fitness standards, veterans attempting comebacks because they feel the overall competitiveness of the Tour is exceptionally low).

Can't use the multicourt livestreams, so I got what Eurosport saw fit to broadcast.

ES coverage was par for the course for the first couple of rounds at the Slams: hops from court to court much more than it should, almost aimlessly at times, and ends up wasting most of its time showing irrelevant matches between mid-ranked ATP mugs hoping to find a "dramatic" (read pointlessly long) five-setter.

Görges

Saw her play (briefly) for the first time almost a year and a half ago. I thought that she packed firepower that most of today's hopefuls can only dream of having, but overall her game was astonishingly raw.

So a year and a half went by - and she showed no signs of improvement. Serves some bombs and hits spectacular winners here and there, but is comically inept at anything other than hitting standard groundstrokes from behind the baseline. And considering that Ivanovic's "kill shots or junk" game provides little in the way of rhythm, the stage was set for a trainwreck.

Not to mention the tactical cluelessness, almost painful to see at times. Gave away 384734957340 BPs with needless errors, failed to make adequate use of her serve when an even halfway decent serve into Ivanovic's BH would have allowed her to start the point from an advantageous position, and a good serve into Ivanovic's BH = point won.

On the other side of the net - increasingly true of Miss Language Barrier what is true also of Kuznetsova: has she ever played a good match?

Rybarikova

One of those players that I really want to see play. Only a handful of points yesterday, when she was sucking. Zvonareva kept pounding her FH side, which probably means her BH is her most solid wing.

Meusburger



Jankovic

Played just enough to do the business, which seems to have become her policy in recent months.

Wozniacki vs Peer

Couple of games ES showed she was letting herself be bossed around by Peer But does she look hot.

Peer's FH fell apart about a year ago; before that, it was loopy (like say Jankovic's or Wozniacki's) and relatively harmless but reliable. Now it's frighteningly erratic, and leaks random errors out of standard rally shots. To add to that, she now seems lost on court - which is odd, considering that shot selection is seldom a problem for one-dimensional grinders (unless they rush the net, that is).

Dokic vs Paszek

Word on the street was that Dokic was hitting the ball beautifully, and that she was playing (at least patches of) top 50 tennis. But I didn't like what I saw from her. Slow, unathletic, with very little in the way of defense and one-dimensional she always was, according to what I heard; but for all the challengers she slogged through last year and for all the WC playoffs that she played, she seems extremely rusty. That, some of the inevitable deterioration her game has suffered over the past 4-5 years is also irreversible. Very slow to react and change directions, she rarely hit with any accuracy when on the move, her ROS was often lousy, and the timing of her shots went on and off without warning. Some undeniably ballstriking when she was fully on though, and she seems to have fixed the problems with her serve - it was very effective at times, and helped her defend her lead in the 3rd set even when everything else seemed to be falling apart.

Paszek has hit a wall in her development. Everyone noticed her excellent natural ballstriking skills when she first showed up on the Tour - problem is, she really has nothing else. Her build couldn't be less suited to tennis. Her shots, though clean and accurate, don't qualify as weapons, let alone kill shots, by today's standards. Played too passively, but I suppose waiting for Dokic to self-destruct/choke was the most tempting tactical option.

Hantuchova vs Dellacqua

Hantuchova: an elegant player with an elegant game built around gorgeous ballstriking or an unathletic slowpoke with medium-paced groundstrokes depending on how you look at it. (Nearly) always a delight to watch as far as I'm concerned. OK performance, at least compared to some of last year's horror shows. Seems reluctant to take risks, and unwilling (or unable?) to hit with the consistent depth and accuracy she once did. Probably an ajustment until she finds some better form. Against Dellacqua, it did the business. Against others, it may not be enough.

Dellacqua tries really hard to impersonate a power player (swinging away at 2nd serves, going for broke from defensive positions, etc.), but since she doesn't really have the tools required to do so (so-so BH, FH can be an embarrassment), she's only intermittently successful.

The TB was dramatic, if poorly played, but the latter stages of the 2nd set saw both players progressively and simultaneously raising their games, allowing for some of the least bad tennis of the day.

Day two may be posted tomorrow or not at all.

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post #2 of 65 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 2009, 12:43 AM
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Re: Random notes about the Australian Open

i love your summary on Meusburger theres not much more to say tbf
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post #3 of 65 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 2009, 12:51 AM
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Re: Random notes about the Australian Open

Great report, thanks!

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post #4 of 65 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 2009, 01:12 AM
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Re: Random notes about the Australian Open

Interesting thoughts about the crowds at AO. I thought the courts looked a little empty at times too.


But what about WTAWorld? Yesterday by the end of the days matches the livescoring thread was only like 25 pages long. I remember when I first signed up those things would go on for ages. WTAWorld is straight up dead compared to a couple years ago. And yet somehow the website manages to crash more
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post #5 of 65 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 2009, 02:42 AM
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Re: Random notes about the Australian Open

It all cyclical to some extent. ATP cast is one of the best ever at this point. I am sure WTA will catch up too sooner or later.
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post #6 of 65 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 2009, 05:22 AM
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Re: Random notes about the Australian Open

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corswandt View Post
Rybarikova

One of those players that I really want to see play. Only a handful of points yesterday, when she was sucking. Zvonareva kept pounding her FH side, which probably means her BH is her most solid wing.
Or that Zvonareva isn't very smart. Rybarikova's backhand as I remember from past years isn't very clean stroke and has from little to no depth or accuracy whatsoever. I am sure she has worked on it since then, but it can't be better than her fh.

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post #7 of 65 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 2009, 05:23 AM
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Re: Random notes about the Australian Open

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Or that Zvonareva isn't very smart. Rybarikova's backhand as I remember from past years isn't very clean stroke and has from little to no depth or accuracy whatsoever. I am sure she has worked on it since then, but it can't be better than her fh.
I was under the same impression, that her forehand was her much stronger shot.

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post #8 of 65 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 2009, 06:16 AM
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Re: Random notes about the Australian Open

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Originally Posted by sunsfuns View Post
It all cyclical to some extent. ATP cast is one of the best ever at this point. I am sure WTA will catch up too sooner or later.
werent we saying that about womens tennis 8 years ago
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post #9 of 65 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 2009, 07:53 AM
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Re: Random notes about the Australian Open

thanls corswandt.

i'm sorry to say shahar was always this lousy, she had a few years of nice GS draws, and her fitness was a bit bit better.
easy to see why the more consistent huge hitters always crushed her - she has nothing of her own.
she's not even that good when playing against Obziler - israels biggest hitter on the forehand side ever.

post tomorrow too, i'd appriciate it.

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post #10 of 65 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 2009, 09:00 AM
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Re: Random notes about the Australian Open

Not quite the optimist, eh?

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post #11 of 65 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 2009, 09:29 AM
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Re: Random notes about the Australian Open

Paszek needs to just get fit, and work on her serve. She is great at hittin gon the run, and getting in better shape will help her get to more balls that she CAN HIT on the run. You are right though, she has hit a wall. But her "build" not being right for tennis is a little harsh. She can fix that in coming years. IM HOPING she does

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post #12 of 65 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 2009, 10:10 AM
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Re: Random notes about the Australian Open

Rybarikova looks great and had so many chances against Zvonareva but she's not quite the complete package yet. She was breaking Zvonareva's serve with ease in the first set, but couldn't hold hers...

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post #13 of 65 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 2009, 10:38 AM
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Re: Random notes about the Australian Open

Why Im the next Nikkiri, bad jinxes, coincidences, damn Sharapova & Daniela knows...

I made a thread but deleted it and copied and pasting it in here

This is just random chatter about my experience so far at the AO (been monday, tuesaday, today and going for the rest of the week) and i was there at the qualies on saturday (17th jan). not to mention this thread is a very good way for me to vent

Next Nikkiri: Why am I the next Nikki or why am I like Nikki? I'll tell u why. I've been to every Maria Kirilenko match there is so far (I saw her lose on monday in singles and i saw the remarkable come bak from a set down in her dubs match today with pennetta) and to every practice session ive known of. i took HEAPS of pics at her singles game with at least 7 or 8 mins of vid footage. warm up, practice and i think bits of a match, i cant remember. PLUS i also got a pic with the gorgeous blonde today but i wont post it coz i look so retarded, lol. hat hair and everything, bad pic, but Maria looks gorgeous.

Bad jinxes: every single fucken time ive seen Daniela practice or im watch her match (both today's and monday night's matches) my camera battery ALWAYS DIES. without fail, every single damn time its sooo annoying. hence it means ive had to use my phone, its camera is pretty shit to take photos with, especially fast-moving pics, e.g. tennis. so ive had to make vids of her lol. ive got at least 1 and a half hours of daniela. stalker much? not really haha, well the 3 times i saw her today (morning practice, match against johansson & arvo practice session) she snubbed me ALL 3 times for an autograph

Coincidences: everytime ive seen one of daniela's practice sessions its by coincidence. seriously. first time i saw her was yesterday when she was on court 22, i had just come out of the toilets coz i had to wash my hands and dab water on my 3/4 pants coz i was eating a frosty fruit when i saw sveta finish up her practice session & its melted all over me when I was watching sveta LOL. anyway long story cut short, while i was fumbling for my camera (who's battery already died) then when i looked up again svazy (sp) kicked danka off and dani had to practice on court 20. saw her morning practice this morning was making my way to the practice courts near hisense (courts 16-23) and i saw danka walking through to a court. thankfully my battery hadnt died yet. it died when i was watching her match AND my phone's battery (since i was making vids lol) died when i was watching her late arvo/evening (5pm-6pm) practice

Damn Sharapova: Masha, masha, masha. omg. I thought "Allez" meant "C'mon" in russian NOT french. i always thought it was russian coz sharapova cursed the crowd last year (funniest thing ever lol) when she lost to safina at RG, so when i was watching lil masha's single match on monday i made a sign that said "ALLEZ MARIA" and afterwards i got her to sign it. i thought she knew wat it meant, apparently not since its french. omg. p.s does ANYONE know wat C'mon is in RUSSIAN? argh.

Danka knows: i think she thinks im either a lesbian or a stalker or BOTH! coz i think she recognises me everytime im at one of her practice sessions or matches, she's glared at me/in my direction a few times, haha. im not a stalker, im just trying to get her autograph and a pic with her

Other stupid stuff: Ive been snubbed for an autograph sooo many times. a few players include: Safina, Danka ( ), Serena, Sammy (stosur) and ana. there are a few more. also i know some ppl only go to the AO or watever (locals i mean) for the experience and they get a ground pass, but seriously they're so stupid and unappreciative! they stare at the player and flick through their guide book/program to see who the player is. a few remarks ive heard are "look, its that serbian girl. wats her name?" (that was about JJ), "look mum, thats sam stosur. im 99.9% sure its sam" (a retard said that about DOMI!!! domi lookes absolutely NOTHING like sam, argh. they saw her face and was about 6 or 7 metres away from her) and omg, i cant believe ppl r sooo damn naive and retarded "OMG! look over there, thats sharapova, isnt it? yeah, yeah im sure it is" (about danka). bloody hell wat a bunch of idiots.

im hungry, grumpy, fatigued, tired, badly sunburnt and tanned weirdly lol. jus let me have this rant ok?

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post #14 of 65 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 2009, 11:02 AM
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Re: Random notes about the Australian Open

One thing Ive noticed for first time in a while is a few players being upset with the camera pointed at them during changeover. Petrova wanted to hit the guy I think, she complained to the chair umpire

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post #15 of 65 (permalink) Old Jan 21st, 2009, 01:48 PM
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Re: Random notes about the Australian Open

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corswandt View Post
Day one

The change in court colours works to the benefit of TV viewers, but the AO still doesn't make for as good TV as the USO. I don't care for the camera angle, and the court is a strange hybrid - the ball doesn't speed up after impact the way it does on US hardcourts, yet the bounce seems low (the effectiveness of Federer's slice being a good yardstick to measure that), making for some awkward errors and problems in returning serve. Then again, few players are sharp, as playing the AO at the very peak of Australia's summer heat seems to take priority over establishing a proper series of warmup events.

Danger signals everywhere, for tennis in general (sparse crowds at several courts) and for women's tennis in particular (persistent lack of new talent, alarming decline in the player's fitness standards, veterans attempting comebacks because they feel the overall competitiveness of the Tour is exceptionally low).

.

Thanx for all. But regarding the shot you take at the AO scheduling - I think people fail to realize that the AO, unlike the other 3 Slams, is not to be taken for granted. Prior to the AO's move to mid-January, tennis was essentially a 3-Grand Slam sport. If AO moved to March as many proposed, there is a real chance that the event could fail in Australia. The AO's being placed in what first seemed a strange date has in fact been a wild success for both the domestic and the global popularity of the event. Personally I love being able to see Grand Slam tennis in the middle of winter, it has really grown on me. If it means that the players are a bit rusty in the early rounds, that's a small price I'm willing to pay.
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