Australian Open 2009: Andrew's reports (first round added) -
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Australian Open 2009: Andrew's reports (first round added)

AUSTRALIAN OPEN (Melbourne, Australia; outdoor hard (Plexicushion); Major)

1. UK TV-alert
2. First-round draw: Bottom half
3. Second-round draw: Top half
4. Nicole Vaidišová preview
5. Order of play for Tuesday

Master-thread for Andrew's Australian Open 2009 reports:
Andrew's TV-reports (added Zvonarëva v Safina SF)

1. UK TV-alert

The evening-sessions on Rod Laver Arena will be televised on BBCi from 08:25 GMT each day of the tournament (digital viewers press Red or select the appropriate Freeview-channel: it could be either 301 or 302).

This coverage will consist of the women's match on the evening-session of the Rod Laver Arena (on days that there is one), followed by the men's match, followed by recorded coverage of these matches (or Andy Murray's match) on a continuous loop.

Additionally, all Andy Murray's matches will be televised live on either BBC 1 or BBC 2 (his first match is on Tuesday). I think it's quite possible that bits of other matches might be shown in these programmes if Murray's match starts late or finishes early, as was occasionally the case when the BBC used to do this for Tim Henman.

Other Australian Open coverage on BBC television:
* Saturday 24th January: highlights on BBC 1 (13:00 to 14:30 GMT);
* Saturday 31st January: highlights of Women's Singles final on BBC 2 (13:00 to 14:00 GMT);
* Sunday 1st February: Men's Singles final live on BBC 2 (from 08:30 GMT).

The Women's Singles final will be on the Rod Laver Arena evening-session for the first time this year, therefore it will be live on BBCi.


2. First-round draw: Bottom half

[Q] qualifier
[WC] wild card
[LL] lucky loser
[EF] member of my Eternal Fanship
[DF] member of my demi-fanship
[s] Selesian
(* ?x v ?y) I prefer ?x to win
(!) enthusiastic support
(!!) very enthusiastic support!
(my loyalty is to ?x) I like both players, but prefer ?x
(my Reason says ?x, but my Passion says ?y) I prefer ?x in tennis-terms, but want ?y to win because she's more attractive
(my Passion says ?x, but my Reason says ?y) I find ?x more attractive, but want ?y to win because I prefer her game

2.1 Third quarter

* VENUS WILLIAMS [6] v Angelique Kerber
* Roberta Vinci v Carla Suárez Navarro (forza Roberta!)
* Melanie Oudin [Q] v Akgul Amanmuradova
* María José Martínez Sánchez v TAMARINE TANASUGARN [32]

* ANABEL MEDINA GARRIGUES [21] v Isabella Holland [WC]
* Elena Vesnina v Julie Coin (davai Elena!)
* Jessica Moore [WC] v Christina McHale [WC] (go Jessica!)
* FLAVIA PENNETTA [12,DF] v Mara Santangelo (forza Flavia!)

* Kristina Mladenović [WC] v PATTY SCHNYDER [14]
* Jarmila Gajdošová v Virginie Razzano
* Hsieh,Su-Wei [s] v Chan,Yung-Jan (jia you Su-Wei!)
* DOMINIKA CIBULKOVÁ [18] v Chanelle Scheepers [Q] (poďme Domi!)

* Sabine Lisicki v ALEKSANDRA WOZNIAK [30] (komm jetzt Sabine!)
* Klára Zakopalová v Samantha Stosur (pojďme Klára!)
* Iveta Benešová v Vera Dushevina (pojďme Iveta!)
* ELENA DEMENTIEVA [4] v Kristina Barrois (davai Elena!)

2.2 Bottom quarter

* Anastasia Rodionova v SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [8]
* Ayumi Morita [s] v Tatjana Malek (my Passion says Tatjana, but my Reason says Ayumi)
* Nicole Vaidišová [EF] v Séverine Brémond (POJĎME NICOLE!!)
* ALYONA BONDARENKO [31] v Olivia Rogowska [WC] (davai Alyona!)

* ZHENG,JIE [22] v Camille Pin (jia you Jie!)
* Sorana Cîrstea v Melinda Czink (hai Sorana!)
* Ekateryna Bychkova v Lourdes Domínguez Lino (davai Ekateryna)
* Kateryna Bondarenko v AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA [9]

* VICTORIA AZARENKA [13] v Petra Kvitová
* Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova v Tathiana Garbin
* Elena Baltacha [Q] v Anna-Lena Grönefeld (go Elena!)
* Olga Govortsova v AMÉLIE MAURESMO [20] (davai Olga!)

* Peng,Shuai [s] v FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE [28] (jia you Shuai!)
* Sesil Karatantcheva [Q] v Nuria Llagostera Vives
* Gisela Dulko [DF] v Anastasiya Yakimova (ˇvamos Gisela!)
* SERENA WILLIAMS [2] v Yuan,Meng [WC]

3. Second-round draw: Top half

* Kirsten Flipkens v JELENA JANKOVIĆ [1] (komaan Kirsten!)
* Nathalie Dechy v AI SUGIYAMA [26] (allez Nathalie!)
* Lucie Šafářová [EF] v Marina Eraković (my loyalty is to LUCIE)
* Tsvetana Pironkova [DF] v MARION BARTOLI [16,DF,S] (my Reason says Marion, but my Passion says Tsvetana)

* Sania Mirza [DF] v NADIA PETROVA [10] (go Sania!)
* Karin Knapp v Galina Voskoboeva
* Monica Niculescu [s] v Sara Errani (hai Monica!)
* VERA ZVONARËVA [7,EF] v Edina Gallovits (DAVAI VERA!!)

* Ekaterina Makarova v DINARA SAFINA [3]
* Patricia Mayr v KAIA KANEPI [25]
* DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [19,EF] v Mathilde Johansson (my loyalty is to DANIELA)
* ALIZÉ CORNET [15] v Andrea Petković (allez Alizé!)

* CAROLINE WOZNIACKI [11] v Virginia Ruano Pascual (my loyalty is to Caroline)
* Jelena Dokić [WC,EF] v ANNA CHAKVETADZE [17,EF] (having to lose one of them so early is like a dagger in my heart)
* ALISA KLEYBANOVA [29] v Stéphanie Cohen-Aloro
* ANA IVANOVIĆ [5,DF] v Alberta Brianti [Q] (ajde Ana!)

4. Nicole Vaidišová preview

Nicole is coming off a mainly disastrous 2008, in which she went 19:19 and dropped from #12 to #41 after reaching just one semi-final all year: Sydney. Now that that's come off the rankings, she's dropped even further to #52!

Nicole's on-court attitude in 2008 often left much to be desired - at times, it even looked like she was tanking. She changed coaches from her stepfather Aleš Kodat to David Felgate in April, and her relationship with ATP Tour player Radek Štěpánek may also have been a distraction.

Nicole was also hampered by a right-wrist injury in 2008, which is supposedly better now.

Nicole: "It was just a year for me of transition, a lot of changes, and it took a toll. I'm just ready for next year. I took some time off and did a lot of rehab, and I feel as well as I can be."

But things are already going from bad to worse in 2009. At Sydney, Nicole recovered from *1-4 to beat Alla Kudryavtseva 7-6 4-6 7-5, but couldn't do the same against an on-form Elena Vesnina in the second round: 4-6 3-6. Then, in the first round of Hobart, Nicole lost 6-1 6-1 to #131 Mara Santangelo!

Nicole is always capable of getting her act back together for a Major, though, as we saw at Wimbledon 2008, where she reached her second Wimbledon quarter-final in a row. Grass favours a player with huge weapons, and is more forgiving of impatience than clay or a slow hard court.

Plexicushion could favour Nicole too, as she reached the fourth round of last year's Australian Open with three very impressive sets of statistics over lesser players, then lost to Serena Williams. And she reached her second Major semi-final at the Australian Open 2007, of course, although that was on Rebound Ace.

4.1 First round

Nicole's first-round opponent is #96 Séverine Brémond, who beat her in their only previous meeting: 7-5 6-3 in the second round of the US Open 2008.

Brémond went on to reach the fourth round of that US Open - her second Major fourth round (she also reached the quarter-finals of Wimbledon 2006).

Brémond didn't have a particularly impressive 2008 apart from that, compiling a 26:20 win/loss record. Looking at her results, the ones that jump out at me are semi-finals at ITF Monzon and ITF Saint-Malo in April, a final at ITF Zagreb in May, a successful qualification for Wimbledon followed by a first-round loss in the main draw, a final at ITF Saint Raphael in October, and a win over #35 Tamarine Tanasugarn in the first round of Québec City.

Since that win, Brémond is on a 3-match losing-streak: #189 Angela Haynes at Québec City, #139 Catalina Castańo at Brisbane 2009, and #97 Camille Pin at Sydney - the last two losses coming in first rounds of qualifying.

So it's a good time for Nicole to avenge her US Open loss to Brémond; unfortunately, after Nicole's unbelievable loss at Sydney, it's also a good time for Brémond to snap her losing-streak!

4.2 Later rounds

Nicole would likely meet Alyona Bondarenko [31] in the second round - just a solid counterpuncher, whom Nicole beat 6-1 6-4 at Zürich 2007, so it would be Nicole's match to win or lose.

In the third round, Nicole could face her old nemesis Svetlana Kuznetsova [8], whom she trails 0:4 head to head; however, Kuznetsova has suffered an abdominal muscle-injury, and is racing against time to be fit for the Australian Open.

The fourth round could throw up Agnieszka Radwańska [9], and that's as far ahead as I want to look at this stage. Nicole has never played Radwańska, but on Nicole's current form, just looking at Radwańska's run to the Sydney quarter-finals is discouraging enough: she beat #26 Sybille Bammer and #21 Daniela Hantuchová, then only lost 6-2 5-7 6-4 to on-form Elena Dementieva.

5. Order of play for Tuesday

Court 8 (start 11:00 AEDT = 00:00 GMT)
MS 1r: Nicolas Massú v NICOLAS ALMAGRO [17]
WS 1r: Nicole Vaidišová [EF] v Séverine Brémond
WS 1r: Tatjana Malek v Ayumi Morita [s]
WS 1r: Elena Vesnina v Julie Coin

Full order of play:

Dr. Andrew Broad

My Eternal Fanship: 1. Monica Seles; 2. Мария Шарапова (‘Maria Sharapova’); 3. Daniela Hantuchová; 4. Jelena Dokić; 5. Iva Majoli; 6. Karina Habšudová; 7. Вера Звонарёва (‘Vera Zvonarëva’); 8. Nicole Vaidišová; 9. Анна Чакветадзе (‘Anna Chakvetadze’); 10. Lucie Šafářová; 11. Ирода Туляганова (‘Iroda Tulyaganova’); 12. Magdaléna Rybáriková; 13. Sabine Lisicki

Last edited by andrewbroad; Feb 2nd, 2009 at 11:03 PM. Reason: edit Title
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old Feb 2nd, 2009, 11:02 PM Thread Starter
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Andrew's first-round report

AUSTRALIAN OPEN (Melbourne, Australia; outdoor hard (Plexicushion); Major)

1. Photos
2. First-round review: Vaidišová v Brémond
3. Nicole splits with coach

1. Photos

Search Getty Images for "vaidisova"

2. First-round review: Vaidišová v Brémond (Tuesday 20th January 2009)

- Nicole Vaidišová [EF] lt. Séverine Brémond, 2-6 1-6

Another deplorable scoreline for Nicole, to go with the 1-6 1-6 loss to Mara Santangelo at Sydney. What's wrong with her?

The match took place during the Australian afternoon, while I was sleeping in England, so all I've got to go on is the statistics and this little article:

Tom Perrotta (
Troubles abound for the once sure-fire superstar Vaidišová, who refused to talk to the press afterwards, and faces a potential fine.

2.1 Statistics

The match lasted 1h02m (first set 32m, second set 30m).

Nicole had a woeful W:UE ratio of 14:27, while Brémond's was almost the opposite at 24:14. The contrast was especially extreme in the second set: Nicole 7:18, Brémond 13:4.

Nicole got 65% of her first serves in, but won only 46% of the points when she did so, and 27% on second serve. She upped her first-serves-in percentage from the first set to the second, only for her winning-percentages on both serves to deteriorate.

The corresponding percentages for Brémond were 63%, 74% and 40%. She seemed to go for bigger serves in the second set, as her first-serves-in percentage dipped slightly, but she won 86% of the points when she did get it in.

Unfortunately service-speed statistics aren't available for this match, but to have a first serve like Nicole's and win only 46% of points on it suggests that her right-wrist injury might have flared up again - or perhaps even the shoulder-injury that restricted her serve in 2006.

Brémond served 9 aces and 6 double faults, while Nicole served no aces and 4 double faults.

Brémond's high counts of aces and winners suggest that either Nicole's movement was restricted by injury, she wilted in the 40°C heat, or she was simply not trying - I hate to suggest that, but there were certainly times in 2008 when she gave less than 100% effort.

Nicole broke twice from 6 break-points (converting 1 of 3 BPs in each set), which leaves only one game that she won on her own serve - which is the best serve in women's tennis when it's on.

Brémond broke 7 times from 16 break-points, so perhaps Nicole was lucky to hold serve even once.

Nicole won 3 of 5 points at the net (60%), while Brémond won 5 of 9 (56%) - including 4 of 7 in the second set.

In points, Brémond won 71-46 (first set 34-23, second set 37-23).

3. Nicole splits with coach (Saturday 24th January 2009)

Oz Report Card: Week 1 (Tom Perrotta,
Nicole Vaidišová: How much lower will this incredible talent sink? After she lost to Séverine Brémond in the first round 6-2 6-1, Vaidišová skipped her press-conference and was fined $2,000. She also split with her coach of nine months: David Felgate.

Dr. Andrew Broad

My Eternal Fanship: 1. Monica Seles; 2. Мария Шарапова (‘Maria Sharapova’); 3. Daniela Hantuchová; 4. Jelena Dokić; 5. Iva Majoli; 6. Karina Habšudová; 7. Вера Звонарёва (‘Vera Zvonarëva’); 8. Nicole Vaidišová; 9. Анна Чакветадзе (‘Anna Chakvetadze’); 10. Lucie Šafářová; 11. Ирода Туляганова (‘Iroda Tulyaganova’); 12. Magdaléna Rybáriková; 13. Sabine Lisicki
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