Australian Open 2010: Andrew's reports (preview + 1r)
AUSTRALIAN OPEN (Melbourne, Australia; outdoor hard (Plexicushion); Major)
2. UK TV-alert
3. First-round draw
4. Anna Chakvetadze preview
5. Order of play for Monday
Master thread for my Australian Open 2010 reports:
Where to look at many players:
Where to search for specific players:
* Getty Images
2. UK TV-alert
The evening-sessions on Rod Laver Arena will be televised on BBC Red Button from 08:00 GMT each day of the tournament (digital viewers press Red or tune into Freeview 301).
This coverage will be followed by highlights on a continuous loop (from 17:00 GMT, or 19:00 GMT on Freeview, with daily variations).
Of course, on the days that Andy Murray is playing (his first match is on Monday), the BBC will probably show a repeat of his match at 08:00 GMT instead of the live tennis!
I urge all BBC viewers who care about women's tennis to lodge a complaint whenever the BBC uses Murray as an excuse not to show the women's match on the Rod Laver Arena evening-session:
Additionally, all Murray's matches will be televised live on either BBC 1 or BBC 2 (the first such programme is on BBC 2 on Monday at 03:30 GMT). 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.
There will also be tennis on BBC 1 at 13:00 GMT on Saturday 23rd January.
Daily details of the BBC Red Button schedule:
3. First-round draw
[WC] wild card
[LL] lucky loser
[EF] member of my Eternal Fanship
[DF] member of my demi-fanship
(* ?x v ?y) I prefer ?x to win
(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
3.1 Top quarter: Vera Zvonarëva
* Urszula Radwańska v SERENA WILLIAMS  (dawaj Ula!)
* Petra Kvitová v Jill Craybas
* Renata Voráčová [Q] v Andrea Petković
* Ayumi Morita [s] v CARLA SUÁREZ NAVARRO  (ganbatte Ayumi!)
* SABINE LISICKI [21,DF] v Petra Martić (komm jetzt Sabine!)
* Varvara Lepchenko v Alberta Brianti (go Varvara!)
* Kristina Barrois v Akgul Amanmuradova
* SAMANTHA STOSUR  v Han,Xinyun [Q] (go Sam!)
* VERA ZVONARËVA [9,EF] v Kristína Kučová [s] (my loyalty is to VERA)
* Iveta Benešová v Chang,Kai-Chen (pojďme Iveta!)
* Gisela Dulko [DF] v Zuzana Kučová [Q] (ˇvamos Gisela!)
* ANA IVANOVIĆ [20,DF] v Shenay Perry [Q] (ajde Ana!)
* ELENA VESNINA  v Tathiana Garbin (davai Elena!)
* Yaroslava Shvedova v Kimiko Date Krumm (davai Yaroslava!)
* Stefanie Vögele v Melinda Czink (hopp Stefanie!)
* VICTORIA AZARENKA [7,DF] v Stéphanie Cohen-Aloro [WC] (davai Vika!)
3.2 Second quarter: Daniela Hantuchová & Lucie Šafářová
* CAROLINE WOZNIACKI  v Aleksandra Wozniak (kom sĺ Caro!)
* Tamira Paszek v Julia Görges (my Passion says Julia, but my Reason says Tamira)
* Tsvetana Pironkova [DF] v Galina Voskoboeva (aide Tsvetana!)
* Lucie Hradecká [s] v SHAHAR PE'ER  (my Passion says Shahar, but my Reason says Lucie)
* DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [22,EF] v Viktoriya Kutuzova (my loyalty is to DANIELA)
* Jarmila Groth [WC] v Sofia Arvidsson [Q]
* Ágnes Szávay v Stéphanie Dubois (Ágnes's sexier body just edges Stéphanie's prettier face for me )
* Marina Eraković v LI,NA  (go Marina!)
* Tatjana Malek v AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA  (komm jetzt Tatjana!)
* Melanie Oudin v Alla Kudryavtseva
* Alicia Molik [WC] v Julie Coin (go Alicia!)
* Alizé Cornet v FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE  (allez Alizé!)
* Karolina Šprem [DF] v ANABEL MEDINA GARRIGUES  (my loyalty is to Karolina)
* Casey Dell'Acqua [WC] v Anastasiya Yakimova
* Arantxa Parra Santonja [s] v Sybille Bammer (ˇvamos Arantxa!)
* Lucie Šafářová [EF] v VENUS WILLIAMS  (POJĎME LUCIE!!)
3.3 Third quarter: Jelena Dokić & Anna Chakvetadze
* ELENA DEMENTIEVA  v Vera Dushevina (davai Elena!)
* Kirsten Flipkens v Justine Henin [WC] (komaan Kirsten!)
* Sorana Cîrstea v Olivia Rogowska [WC] (hai Sorana!)
* Jelena Dokić [EF] v ALISA KLEYBANOVA  (GO JELENA!!)
* Ekaterina Makarova v Virginie Razzano (davai Ekaterina!)
* Klára Zakopalová v Sara Errani (pojďme Klára!)
* Yanina Wickmayer [Q] v Alexandra Dulgheru (komaan Yanina!)
* Anna Chakvetadze [EF] v FLAVIA PENNETTA [12,DF] (my loyalty is to ANNA)
* Valérie Tétrealt [Q] v KIM CLIJSTERS 
* Sesil Karatantcheva [WC] v Tamarine Tanasugarn
* Chan,Yung-Jan v Kaia Kanepi
* Edina Gallovits v NADIA PETROVA 
* Sania Mirza [DF] v ARAVANE REZAĎ  (my loyalty is to Sania)
* Olga Govortsova v Angelique Kerber [Q] (davai Olga!)
* Anastasija Sevastova v Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
* Anastasia Rodionova v SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA 
3.4 Bottom quarter: Maria Sharapova & Magdaléna Rybáriková
* Monica Niculescu [s] v JELENA JANKOVIĆ  (hai Monica!)
* Katie O'Brien v Patricia Mayr (go Katie!)
* Yuliana Fedak [Q] v Polona Hercog (my loyalty is to Yuliana)
* ALYONA BONDARENKO  v Kathrin Wörle [Q] (davai Alyona!)
* MARÍA JOSÉ MARTÍNEZ SÁNCHEZ  v Evgeniya Rodina (ˇvamos María José!)
* Peng,Shuai [s] v Zheng,Jie (my loyalty is to Shuai)
* Sandra Záhlavová v Coco Vandeweghe [WC]
* MARION BARTOLI [11,DF,S] v Rossana de los Ríos (allez Marion!)
* MARIA SHARAPOVA [14,EF] v Maria Kirilenko [DF] (my loyalty is to MARIA)
* Timea Bacsinszky v Yvonne Meusburger [Q] (hopp Timea!)
* Roberta Vinci v Anna-Lena Grönefeld (forza Roberta!)
* DOMINIKA CIBULKOVÁ  v Vania King (poďme Domi!)
* Ioana Raluca Olaru v KATERYNA BONDARENKO  (hai Raluca!)
* Elena Baltacha v Pauline Parmentier (go Elena!)
* Barbora Záhlavová Strýcová v Regina Kulikova [Q]
* Magdaléna Rybáriková [EF] v DINARA SAFINA  (POĎME MAGDA!!)
4. Anna Chakvetadze preview
Anna Chakvetadze is one of the most flairsomely talented and intelligent players in professional tennis, and one of the most intriguing characters on the WTA Tour. She's ultracute, gets very emotional on court, and fights to the bitter end. Her flat groundstrokes of flairsome power are a joy to watch, and very deceptive - she makes the court look very wide at her opponent's end!
Unfortunately, Anna has been slumping since armed robbers broke into her house and tied her up in December 2007. She has lost confidence and motivation, and 2009 was even worse than 2008, as she went 15:19 in singles, and plummeted from #18 to #67 in the rankings (having been as high as #5 after reaching the US Open 2007 semi-finals).
In 2009, Anna only reached one quarter-final (New Haven) - one of only four tournaments where she managed to win two matches. She had four notable chokes in 2009: Hobart (*5-2 in the third), French Open (6-3 2-0*), Wimbledon (6-4 *5-4) and Toronto (6-3 *4-1).
The most encouraging things I can take out of Anna's 2009 results are her four wins over top-18 players. I thought #16 Anabel Medina Garrigues was a terrible draw for Anna at Rome, but she won 6-2 6-3. She beat #6 Jelena Janković 6-7 6-3 6-2 at Eastbourne, #18 Virginie Razzano 7-6 6-3 at Los Angeles, and #13 Nadia Petrova 0-6 7-6 6-4 at New Haven. It never ceases to amaze me that she is 5:0 against Petrova!
Anna's form seemed to be improving as she took a set off world #7 Vera Zvonarëva in the second round of the US Open, but she was then sidelined for six weeks with a stress-fracture in her right foot, returning only to play Moscow before the end of the year. I like to think that this enforced lay-off was just what she needed for the return to form I hope for in 2010, as she admitted in December that she had lost her motivation in 2008/2009, but assured us that she is enjoying tennis now.
Anna started 2010 with a humiliating 6-1 6-2 loss to 39-year-old world #69 Kimiko Date Krumm in the first round of Auckland. She then tried to qualify for Hobart, beating unranked Alyssa Hibberd 6-1 6-1 and #152 Elena Chalova 6-2 6-2, but losing 7-5 7-6 (7/3) to #83 Elena Baltacha in the third qualifying-round (after saving match-points at 5-7 *4-5 (15/40) and wasting two set-points at *6-5).
4.1 First-round preview
* Anna Chakvetadze [EF] v FLAVIA PENNETTA [12,DF]
On the face of it, this is a terrible draw for Anna, as the 27-year-old Pennetta is coming off the best year of her career, and leads Anna 3:0 head-to-head:
- 2004 ITF Cuneo: Flavia won 4-6 6-3 6-3
- 2009 Fed Cup: Flavia won 6-4 6-0
- 2009 Stuttgart: Flavia won 6-2 6-0
It should be pointed out that all three matches were on clay - Flavia's best surface, Anna's worst - and the last two matches were just four days apart.
Flavia is a very solid and intelligent player, with remarkable discipline and control on her groundstrokes off both sides (her forehand is her stronger side). She moves very well, and also hits plenty of winners.
In 2009, Flavia went 57:24 in singles, and became the first Italian woman ever to reach the top ten before finishing the year at #11. She was runner-up to Venus Williams at Acapulco, and reached the semi-finals of Stuttgart by beating world #4 Jelena Janković.
After a mid-season slump, Flavia won Palermo, and reached the final of Los Angeles by beating #7 Vera Zvonarëva and all-time great Maria Sharapova back to back, although she lost the final to #19 Samantha Stosur.
Flavia reached the semi-finals of Cincinnati after a third-round win over #3 Venus Williams, and reached the quarter-finals of the US Open for the second year in a row with a dramatic 3-6 7-6 6-0 win over Vera Zvonarëva in which she saved six match-points in the second set!
Flavia led Italy to Fed Cup victory, winning both her singles-rubbers in the final.
Flavia started 2010 with a run to the Auckland final, dropping just 16 games in her first four matches, the last of which a 6-3 6-0 drubbing of world #17 Francesca Schiavone in the semi-finals. But she lost the final 6-3 6-2 to #16 Yanina Wickmayer.
At Sydney, Flavia thrashed off-form world #13 Samantha Stosur 6-3 6-1, and beat #17 Li,Na 6-2 7-6 in the second round. But she lost 6-3 6-0 to Aravane Rezaď in the quarter-finals, so perhaps this is a good time for Anna to play her again.
5. Order of play for Monday
Show Court 3 (start 11:00 AEDT = 00:00 GMT)
MS 1r: IVAN LJUBIČIĆ  v Jason Kubler [WC]
WS 1r: Anna Chakvetadze [EF] v FLAVIA PENNETTA [12,DF]
MS 1r: Fabrice Santoro [s] v MARIN ČILIĆ 
WS 1r: Sorana Cîrstea v Olivia Rogowska [WC]
Dr. Andrew Broad
Last edited by andrewbroad; Feb 1st, 2010 at 05:30 PM.
Reason: edit Title