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Old Jan 17th, 2010, 10:01 PM   #1
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Andrew's TV-reports

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


Welcome to the master-thread of my Australian Open 2010 reports! I have reported on each day of the main draw (starting on 18th January), including TV-reports of any attractive women's matches on the evening-session of Rod Laver Arena that the BBC deigned to televise. I am now in the process of writing up my full TV-reports for members of my Eternal Fanship.

From here, you can navigate quickly to the individual posts within this thread (these links open in new windows - or tabs if you prefer):Full TV-reports for members of my Eternal Fanship:
  • Jelena Dokić (full first-round TV-report uploaded 22nd February 2010)
  • Vera Zvonarëva (full fourth-round TV-report uploaded 1st March 2010)
  • Maria Sharapova (first-round TV-report on hold indefinitely)
--
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 : Nov 27th, 2010 at 04:27 PM. Reason: edit Title and first post to put Maria Sharapova's first-round TV-report on hold indefinitely
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Old Jan 17th, 2010, 10:02 PM   #2
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Andrew's preview / UK TV-alert

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

1. Photos
2. UK TV-alert
3. Notable main-draw absentees
4. The injustice against Wickmayer and Bychkova
5. Qualifying
6. First-round draw
7. Vera Zvonarëva preview
8. Daniela Hantuchová preview
9. Lucie Šafářová preview
10. Jelena Dokić preview
11. Anna Chakvetadze preview
12. Maria Sharapova preview
13. Magdaléna Rybáriková preview
14. Andrew's wishes
15. Order of play for Monday

---------
1. Photos
---------

Where to look at many players:
* http://www.tennis.com/galleries/index.aspx
* http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/gallery
* http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/tennis/photos.html
* http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/news/photos/

Where to search for specific players:
* http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/.../profiles.html
* http://news.yahoo.com/
* http://www.fotosports.com/
* Getty Images

Recommended searches (pretournament practice-sessions and party):
* sharapova
* dokic
* ivanovic
* pennetta
* jankovic
* pivovarova

Jelena Dokić practising:
http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/...603041609.html

I get the impression that Jelena's preparations are not going well, judging by her photos on Getty.

Qualifying - various players including Yuliana Fedak, Kristina Antoniychuk, Olga Savchuk, Elena Bovina, Arantxa Rus, Mariya Koryttseva:
http://sapronov-tennis.org/?p=gallery&id=130

--------------
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:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/homepage/

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.

Sources:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/6102132.stm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/default.stm

Daily details of the BBC Red Button schedule:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tv_a...io/5345480.stm

------------------------------
3. Notable main-draw absentees
------------------------------

#122 Ekaterina Bychkova (see Section 4.2)
#129 Michaëlla Krajíček [DF] (fell in qualifying)
#188 Nicole Vaidišová [EF] (too low for main draw - will play ITF Lutz instead)
#854 Romana Tabaková [DF] (too low)
unranked Iroda Tulyaganova [EF] (hasn't played since May 2008 due to lower-back and left-wrist injuries)
unranked Tatiana Golovin [DF] (hasn't played since May 2008 due to back-injury)

-----------------------------------------------
4. The injustice against Wickmayer and Bychkova
-----------------------------------------------

I can't report on the Australian Open without writing something about the terrible injustice against Yanina Wickmayer and Ekaterina Bychkova that has (in Yanina's case very nearly) kept them out of the Australian Open.


4.1 Yanina Wickmayer
--------------------

Last year, Yanina racked up three violations of WADA's (World Anti-Doping Agency) 'whereabouts' rule, which states that top-50 players (which Yanina became in the second half of 2009) must declare their whereabouts for drug-testing for an hour of their choice, every single day, three months in advance.

I think that the 'whereabouts' rule is a very reasonable thing for professional athletes to subject themselves to, but in Yanina's case, misadministration of this rule has caused an innocent person to suffer.

National anti-doping tribunals are responsible for enforcing the 'whereabouts' rule, and the Flemish Doping Tribunal (VDT) gave Yanina a one-year ban on 5th November 2009 - forcing her to stop playing in the middle of the Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions at Bali.

Due to poor communication (letters being sent to her house while she was away on Tour), Yanina did not learn that she had even one violation until she had three (and they all occurred before she reached the top 50, but the VDT imposes the rule on /all/ players under its jurisdiction, regardless of ranking). She claimed that she could not log into the online system to make changes to her predeclared whereabouts, and that no one would help her.

Yanina got her ban provisionally lifted by a Belgian court on 14th December 2009. She's not out of the woods yet; it's conceivable that the ban could be reinstated by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) - possibly even doubled, if WADA gets its way!

By that time, it was too late for Yanina to enter the Australian Open directly. The tournament-organisers could have given her a wild card, but chose to give it to some low-ranked Australian instead of the world #16, so she was forced to play qualifying!

I am very angry with the VDT, WADA, and the Australian Open organisers about the way that they have treated Yanina.


4.2 Ekaterina Bychkova
----------------------

Ekaterina Bychkova was banned by the Tennis Integrity Unit on 8th January for 30 days, simply for failing to report that she was approached to fix a match (an offer that she declined).

I think it is totally unreasonable to punish innocent people for failing to report crime. It's not an easy thing to do - surely it could have endangered Bychkova's security?

Apparently, Bychkova admitted that she had been approached when questioned by the Tennis Integrity Unit, but was punished for not volunteering an admission within 48 hours of the approach. So her punishment will only encourage other players to lie in that situation.


4.3 Conclusion
--------------

It seems that the innocent get punished, while the guilty get off scot-free because of their high standing in tennis:

* Serena Williams escaped a ban for threatening to kill a line-judge at the US Open 2009. She should have been banned from at least one - if not all four - of this year's Majors. Jeff Tarango was banned for less.

* Andre Agassi escaped legal action for taking an illegal drug in 1997 and lying to the ATP to avoid a ban. It disgusts me that he's allowed to use those admissions to sell his autobiography, which nobody of integrity would buy. He should be stripped of all his titles, and given a long, long jail-sentence.

-------------
5. Qualifying
-------------

This section presents my selections - for full results, see
http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/draws/us/


5.1 First round (Thursday 14th January 2010)
---------------

Nice winner, nice loser:
+ MARIA ELENA CAMERIN [5] d. Zuzana Ondrášková, 6-4 6-2
+ KSENIA PERVAK [17] d. Anikó Kapros, 6-2 6-4
+ Kristina Mladenović d. MATHILDE JOHANSSON [15], 6-1 6-3

What rocked:
+ MICHAËLLA KRAJÍČEK [18,DF] d. Claire Feuerstein, 6-3 6-2
+ YANINA WICKMAYER [1] d. Yurika Sema, 4-6 6-0 7-5
+ Laura Robson [WC] d. Sophie Ferguson, 6-4 2-6 6-4
+ Yuliana Fedak d. Silvia Soler Espinosa, 5-7 6-3 6-2
+ Anastasia Pivovarova d. CHANELLE SCHEEPERS [16], 6-4 6-2
+ Corinna Dentoni d. Yulia Fedossova, 6-4 6-3

Yanina recovered from *2-4 down in the third set, and said: "Playing [qualifying] here is not the funniest thing to do, and I was kind of nervous before the match. Auckland-finals were a couple of days ago, and the conditions are a bit different here, so it was a change."

What sucked:
- MARTA DOMACHOWSKA [24] lt. Sofia Arvidsson, 2-6 6-4 5-7
- Séverine Beltrame lt. SHARON FICHMAN [13], 2-6 4-6
- Monika Wejnert [WC] lt. Bojana Jovanovski, 3-6 6-4 2-6
- MICHELLE LARCHER DE BRITO [4] lt. Ekaterina Dzehalevich, 3-6 0-6
- Eva Hrdinová lt. LOURDES DOMÍNGUEZ LINO [22], 7-5 1-6 3-6
- Julia Vakulenko lt. Bethanie Mattek-Sands, 6-2 3-6 4-6
- Olga Savchuk lt. MARIYA KORYTTSEVA [9], 3-6 4-6
- Jessica Moore [WC] lt. Han,Xinyun, 4-6 4-6


5.2 Second round (Friday 15th January 2010)
----------------

Nice winner, nice loser:
+ MICHAËLLA KRAJÍČEK [18,DF] d. Laura Robson [WC], 6-4 7-6 (9/7)
+ Kristina Mladenović d. Corinna Dentoni, 6-2 4-6 6-3

Krajíček v Robson sounds like it was a great match of flairsome power, and I felt torn in two that they had to play each other, because I wanted them both to qualify.

I became a demi-fan of Michaëlla at Wimbledon 2007, but I'm also excited by Laura's progress - not because she's British (although that could help to reverse the BBC's increasingly male-dominated tennis-coverage), but because she's flairsome, cute, and very very charming.

What rocked:
+ YANINA WICKMAYER [1] d. Naomi Cavaday, 6-0 6-1
+ Yuliana Fedak d. MARIYA KORYTTSEVA [9], 6-2 3-6 6-2
+ MARIA ELENA CAMERIN [5] d. Heidi El Tabakh, 6-3 6-3
+ KSENIA PERVAK [17] d. Kurumi Nara, 6-4 6-3
+ Anastasia Pivovarova d. Oksana Kalashnikova, 6-2 7-5

Yanina sure made Cavaday pay for her cocky comments before the match! "She [Wickmayer] only came through in three sets, so she's definitely vulnerable. If I were her, I wouldn't want to be coming out here against somebody who has caused me problems in the past, which I have done. I'm a lefty, I'm going to make it awkward for her, and I've got no pressure, whereas she's got piles of pressure on her."


5.3 Third round (Saturday 16th January 2010)
---------------

Nice winner, nice loser:
+ Yuliana Fedak d. Kristina Mladenović, 7-6 (10/8) 7-6 (7/4)

Kristina is one of the biggest hitters I've ever seen in female tennis, but also one of the most emotional, so I can just imagine her unravelling against the crafty Yuliana, who is very cunning in both senses of the word!

What rocked:
+ YANINA WICKMAYER [1] d. LOURDES DOMÍNGUEZ LINO [22], 6-0 6-0

Yanina said: "It doesn't make me angry - just disappointed a little bit. I think I deserved my place in the draw as the 16th seed and not as a qualifier, but I knew it was going to be this way. I tried to make the best of it, stayed positive and strong mentally. I'm really happy [with] the way I handled everything."

What sucked:
- MICHAËLLA KRAJÍČEK [18,DF] lt. ANGELIQUE KERBER [7], 5-7 6-3 4-6
- MARIA ELENA CAMERIN [5] lt. RENATA VORÁČOVÁ [14], 6-7 (2/7) 6-0 1-6
- KSENIA PERVAK [17] lt. REGINA KULIKOVA [2], 6-7 (3/7) 1-6
- Anastasia Pivovarova lt. Han,Xinyun, 6-7 (4/7) 6-1 4-6

Michaëlla took out Laura Robson for THIS?

-------------------
6. First-round draw
-------------------
Key
---

[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
(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


6.1 Top quarter: Vera Zvonarëva
-------------------------------

* Urszula Radwańska v SERENA WILLIAMS [1] (dawaj Ula!)
* Petra Kvitová v Jill Craybas
* Renata Voráčová [Q] v Andrea Petković
* Ayumi Morita [s] v CARLA SUÁREZ NAVARRO [32] (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 [13] 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 [28] 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!)


6.2 Second quarter: Daniela Hantuchová & Lucie Šafářová
-------------------------------------------------------

* CAROLINE WOZNIACKI [4] 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 [29] (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 [16] (go Marina!)

* Tatjana Malek v AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA [10] (komm jetzt Tatjana!)
* Melanie Oudin v Alla Kudryavtseva
* Alicia Molik [WC] v Julie Coin (go Alicia!)
* Alizé Cornet v FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE [17] (allez Alizé!)

* Karolina Šprem [DF] v ANABEL MEDINA GARRIGUES [25] (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 [6] (POJĎME LUCIE!!)


6.3 Third quarter: Jelena Dokić & Anna Chakvetadze
--------------------------------------------------

* ELENA DEMENTIEVA [5] 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 [27] (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 [15]
* Sesil Karatantcheva [WC] v Tamarine Tanasugarn
* Chan,Yung-Jan v Kaia Kanepi
* Edina Gallovits v NADIA PETROVA [19]

* Sania Mirza [DF] v ARAVANE REZAĎ [26] (my loyalty is to Sania)
* Olga Govortsova v Angelique Kerber [Q] (davai Olga!)
* Anastasija Sevastova v Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
* Anastasia Rodionova v SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [3]


6.4 Bottom quarter: Maria Sharapova & Magdaléna Rybáriková
----------------------------------------------------------

* Monica Niculescu [s] v JELENA JANKOVIĆ [8] (hai Monica!)
* Katie O'Brien v Patricia Mayr (go Katie!)
* Yuliana Fedak [Q] v Polona Hercog (my loyalty is to Yuliana)
* ALYONA BONDARENKO [31] v Kathrin Wörle [Q] (davai Alyona!)

* MARÍA JOSÉ MARTÍNEZ SÁNCHEZ [24] 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 [23] v Vania King (poďme Domi!)

* Ioana Raluca Olaru v KATERYNA BONDARENKO [30] (hai Raluca!)
* Elena Baltacha v Pauline Parmentier (go Elena!)
* Barbora Záhlavová Strýcová v Regina Kulikova [Q]
* Magdaléna Rybáriková [EF] v DINARA SAFINA [2] (POĎME MAGDA!!)

-------------------------
7. Vera Zvonarëva preview
-------------------------

Vera Zvonarëva is a cute and flairsomely talented player, whom I admire for her beautifully-produced groundstrokes of flairsome power, for the way she combines amazing lateral-retrieval abilities with powerful hitting, and most of all for her tremendous fighting spirit.

Vera was on a tremendous upward surge in early 2009, breaking new ground with her first-ever Major singles semi-final at the Australian Open and her first-ever Premier singles-title at Indian Wells, and rising to a new career-high of #5 in the rankings. She also won an International title at Pattaya City, and her 18:2 win/loss record coming out of Indian Wells was the best of any player on the WTA Tour for the year up to that point.

But on 16th April 2009, Vera suffered a very nasty right-ankle injury while playing at Charleston. She missed the rest of the clay-court season (including the French Open), returned to action at Eastbourne two months later, but it proved to be too soon, as she struggled with her movement, and although she won two matches at Wimbledon, her ankle flared up and she withdrew before her third-round match.

After taking another month off, Vera returned to action again, but although her results were respectable - a quarter-final at Los Angeles, fourth round at the US Open (where she suffered one of her infamous emotional meltdowns after missing six match-points in the second set) and a quarter-final at Beijing (where she avenged her US Open loss to world #10 Flavia Pennetta, but blew a 6-3 5-1* lead against Marion Bartoli) - they paled in comparison to her form before the injury, as she struggled with her right ankle and secondary injuries to both knees.

Vera narrowly failed to qualify for the Sony Ericsson Championships, but went to Doha as the first alternate, substituted for the injured Dinara Safina, and lost a dramatic match to Caroline Wozniacki before she, in turn, pulled out of the tournament, and underwent surgery to remove scar-tissue from her right ankle on 11th November.

Vera started 2010 with a 6-2 6-2 win over #83-ranked Selesian player Ayumi Morita in a women's singles rubber of the Hong Kong Tennis Classic semi-finals. But her right ankle swelled up after that match, so she didn't play singles in the final (which Russia won 6-4 6-3), although she did play mixed doubles (she and Yevgeny Kafelnikov lost 6-4 6-3 to Caroline Wozniacki/Stefan Edberg).

Vera retired from her first-round match at Sydney at *3-3 (15/30) in the first set against Elena Vesnina. Vera said: "My ankle is just not ready to play a full match after spraining it slightly in Hong Kong, but I should be 100% in time for the Australian Open. Just needed a few more days before my first match in Sydney."

Although the above quote is somewhat reassuring, I'm still very worried about Vera as she prepares to defend her Australian Open semi-final. I'm worried that she has come back too soon after surgery, and most of all, I'm worried that she may be risking long-term damage to her right ankle by trying to play before she's ready.

I don't blame Vera for wanting to play the Australian Open, and I wish her all the best for that, but I trust that she'll take the best medical advice if her ankle flares up again in Melbourne. Vera has a long year ahead of her, and I can't wait to see how she'll do when this injury is behind her.


7.1 First-round preview
-----------------------

* VERA ZVONARËVA [9,EF] v Kristína Kučová [s]

Kristína Kučová is a 19-year-old Selesian player (two hands on both sides) who won the US Open 2007 Girls' Singles title, and rose from #217 to #104 in the rankings last year.

Kristína compiled a 37:31 singles-record in 2009, playing mainly on the ITF circuit. She was runner-up at ITF La Palma in March, and reached the semi-finals of ITF Johannesburg in May with a win over Wimbledon 2007 quarter-finalist Michaëlla Krajíček.

Kristína reached the semi-finals of ITF Brno in June, then reached the second round of Wimbledon as a lucky loser, beating #224-ranked fellow Selesian Aiko Nakamura 2-6 6-3 6-3 in the first round before losing 6-3 6-3 to #17 Amélie Mauresmo.

Kristína reached the final of ITF Pozoblanco in July, albeit by the retirement of #143 Anastasia Rodionova in the semis. She reached the semi-finals of ITF Zagreb, upset #78 Alexandra Dulgheru in the first round of qualifying for New Haven, and reached the semi-finals of ITF Athens in October with wins over #76 Stefanie Vögele and #55 Petra Kvitová.

Kristína started 2010 by attempting to qualify for Auckland: she beat #126 Renata Voráčová 6-1 7-5 in the first round of qualifying, but lost 3-6 6-3 6-1 to #103-ranked fellow Selesian Monica Niculescu in the second qualifying-round. Kristína then lost 6-4 6-7 6-0 to #128 Ksenia Pervak in the first round of qualifying for Hobart.

Vera has never played Kristína before, but her recent 6-2 6-2 win over another Selesian - Ayumi Morita at Hong Kong - bodes well for this one, provided that Vera's right ankle is ready.

I predict that Vera will win this match easily, but I worry about how her ankle will react. She might well have to withdraw before her second-round match (or even do a 'Wozniacki' and retire at a set and 5-0 up so that Kristína could play the second round while Vera would face a match-fixing witch-hunt).


7.2 Later rounds
----------------

The second round would bring #45 Iveta Benešová or #94 Chang,Kai-Chen.

Ana Ivanović [20] is the projected seed for the third round, with #36 Gisela Dulko the other strong possibility. Vera's head-to-head against Ana is tied at 4:4, which includes a 6-1 6-2 win for Vera at the Australian Open 2007, and her victory in the Indian Wells 2009 final.

The fourth round should bring Victoria Azarenka [7]. Vera is 4:0 against Vika.

Serena Williams [1] is the obvious quarter-final opponent, but with Serena coming out of the Sydney-final with a leg-injury, I think Sabine Lisicki [21] might make it instead.

Potential semi-final opponents include Caroline Wozniacki [4] and Venus Williams [6].

Potential final-opponents include Dinara Safina [2], Svetlana Kuznetsova [3], Elena Dementieva [5], Jelena Janković [8], Maria Sharapova [14], Kim Clijsters [15] and unranked Justine Henin.

-----------------------------
8. Daniela Hantuchová preview
-----------------------------

Daniela Hantuchová is one of the most naturally gifted and flairsomely talented players in the game. She's a tall, powerful girl - without being in any way ungainly or muscular. She has an all-court style of play - predominantly a fantastic spreading baseline-game, but quite often finishing off points at the net. Her trademark-shots are her pinpoint backhand down the line, and her delectable backhand drop-volley.

Daniela was at her best two years ago, when she reached her first Major singles semi-final at the Australian Open 2008 after enjoying arguably the best year of her career in 2007. Sadly, she hasn't been the same since a stress-fracture in her right heel forced her off the Tour for ten weeks between April and June 2008.

Daniela's 2009 season was solid in that she won at least one match in 21 of her 24 tournaments (excluding Fed Cup), and at least two matches in 12 tournaments. The tournaments in which she won three matches were the highlights of her year: her only semi-final came at Warsaw, she reached two Major fourth rounds – at Wimbledon and the US Open – and a Premier $2m quarter-final at Cincinnati (with a win over world #7 Vera Zvonarëva – Daniela's only top-12 scalp of the year, although she had four other victories over top-16 players).

Daniela compiled a respectable 39:25 win/loss record for 2009 in singles (including Fed Cup). Having started 2009 ranked #21 and dropped as low as #43 in March, she was back in the top 25 by the end of the year.

But her matches in 2009 were so up and down. She often required three sets for her victories (particularly after Wimbledon), and developed an annoying habit of going 3-5* down in a set and breaking back – only to lose the set on her own serve at *4-5. As fit as Daniela is, it's very difficult when you've won a couple of three-setters and have to play again the next day.

Daniela made a good start to 2010, reaching the quarter-finals of Brisbane with wins over #141 Ekaterina Ivanova (6-1 6-7 6-1) and #39 Ágnes Szávay (6-3 6-1). But she suffered a disappointing 6-4 6-2 loss to #55 Andrea Petković.

In the first round of Sydney, Daniela scored an impressive 6-3 6-0 win over #19 Virginie Razzano, without being broken. She then lost 6-2 4-6 6-2 in the second round to #5 Elena Dementieva, who went on to win the title by thrashing #2 Dinara Safina 6-2 6-3, #7 Victoria Azarenka 6-3 6-1, and #1 Serena Williams 6-3 6-2 - Daniela was the only player to take a set off the eventual champion.

So I'm happy with Daniela's form going into the Australian Open - and she's got a pretty good draw, too.


8.1 First-round preview
-----------------------

* DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [22,EF] v Viktoriya Kutuzova

In 2009, Daniela drew a home-player in the first round at each of the four Majors, so I was fascinated to see if that pattern would continue here. It hasn't, as Viktoriya Kutuzova hails from Ukraine rather than Australia.

When I watched Viktoriya play Maria Sharapova at Wimbledon 2009, I was struck by how similar they looked, played, and sounded! Viktoriya pushed Maria hard before Maria won 7-5 6-4 - Viktoriya led *4-1 and 5-3* (Ad) in the first set. Viktoriya was hitting the ball pretty much as hard as Maria; the difference was that Maria came up with occasional flashes of brilliance that Viktoriya simply couldn't match.

In 2009, Viktoriya compiled a 34:25 singles-record (mainly on the WTA Tour, and some ITF tournaments), and rose from #141 to #89 in the rankings.

Viktoriya successfully qualified for the Australian Open 2009, but lost 6-3 6-0 to Nathalie Dechy in the first round. She did likewise at Dubai and Acapulco. She reached the semi-finals of ITF Latina, and the final of ITF Tourhout. She beat #41 Alyona Bondarenko 6-4 7-5 to reach the third round of Charleston.

Viktoriya reached the semi-finals of Strasbourg as a qualifier, thrashing #51 Tamarine Tanasugarn 6-3 6-0 in the first round of the main draw. She reached the second round of the French Open, and successfully qualified for Wimbledon before the aforementioned first-round loss to Maria Sharapova.

That was the first in a five-match losing-streak, which Viktoriya snapped in the first qualifying-round of New Haven. She lost 6-1 6-1 to unranked Kim Clijsters in the first round of the US Open, and had mediocre results for the rest of the year. The Australian Open will be her first tournament of 2010.

Daniela has never played Viktoriya before. The form-book suggests that Daniela is a pretty big favourite for this match, but it could be tough if Viktoriya plays as well as she did against Maria at Wimbledon 2009.


8.2 Later rounds
----------------

The second round would bring #123 Jarmila Groth [WC] or #139 Sofia Arvidsson [Q].

Li,Na [16] is the projected seed for the third round. Daniela leads their head-to-head 2:1 (all in three sets).

Caroline Wozniacki [4] is the expected fourth-round opponent, but Shahar Pe'er [29] is the one who has shown great form recently.

Venus Williams [6] seems the likely quarter-final opponent (though I hope Lucie Šafářová will have something to say about that), so that's as far ahead as I want to look for now.

-------------------------
9. Lucie Šafářová preview
-------------------------

Lucie Šafářová is one of the most supremely talented tennis-players I've ever seen. She's a fearless, ambitious shotmaker who loves to go for broke, and hits many spectacular winners. Her athleticism is amazing: she runs like the wind. Every time I see her play, she is a joy to watch.

In the quarter-finals of the Australian Open 2007, Lucie's average groundstroke-speed was measured at 71mph: 1mph faster than her opponent Nicole Vaidišová, and only 2mph slower than men's #2 Rafael Nadal. And she achieves such speeds with flairsome power: she may be only 5'9" with a light frame, but her groundstrokes are flat and she hits them with superb timing.

Lucie has a swinging lefty serve, and frequently uses it to set up a groundstroke-winner on the third stroke of the rally. She also has Seles-like returns of serve: she takes them early, often standing up to 1˝ metres inside the baseline to receive. She's very aggressive off the second serve.

Lucie has wonderful left-handed angles, and she can mix up the pace with very short, softly-spun crosscourt forehands and backhands to the sidelines, which are a speciality of hers.

After her slump of 2008, Lucie enjoyed improved form in 2009 - although still not up to the standards of 2007 - compiling a 36:25 singles-record, and rising back up the rankings from #65 to #40 (her career-high is #22 from August 2007).

Lucie reached the quarter-finals of Brisbane 2009, and the third round of the Australian Open, where she lost 3-6 6-2 6-1 to #17 Marion Bartoli after leading 6-3 *2-0.

Lucie reached the quarter-finals of Memphis, Monterrey and Barcelona, and the third round of Madrid. In the second round of the French Open, she had a match-point against Venus Williams before losing 6-7 6-2 7-5.

Some mediocre results followed, then Lucie's form improved as she scored 6-3 7-6 wins over #24 Kaia Kanepi in the first round of Los Angeles, and #30 Iveta Benešová in the first round of Cincinnati.

She then won five matches to reach the quarter-finals of Toronto as a qualifier, with main-draw wins over #26 Kaia Kanepi, #11 Ana Ivanović, and #25 Zheng,Jie. But she lost in the first round of the US Open to #20 Patty Schnyder after leading *5/2 in the third-set tiebreak.

Lucie reached the final of Québec City with four wins over players ranked no higher than #91, but disappointingly missed out on a title for 2009 as she lost 4-6 6-3 7-5 to Melinda Czink despite leading 6-4 1-1* (40/30*), and 5-4* (15/0*) in the third set.

Lucie beat #11 Ana Ivanović again en route to the quarter-finals of Tokyo, and also reached the quarter-finals of Linz. But her season ended with the ignominy of a loss to #290 Romina Oprandi in the first round of ITF Ortisei.

Lucie started 2010 with a quarter-final at Brisbane: reached by beating #65 Anna-Lena Grönefeld 6-7 (5/7) 6-4 6-1, and thrashing #34 Aleksandra Wozniak 6-3 6-1. She then lost to eventual champion Kim Clijsters in a see-saw match: 6-1 0-6 6-4. Lucie lost just nine points in the second set, hitting clean winners all over the court!

In the first round of Hobart, Lucie retired with a left-pectoral-muscle strain at 2-6 7-6 2-3* against #31 Kateryna Bondarenko. The week before the Australian Open, I can only hope that this was a precautionary retirement.


9.1 First-round preview
-----------------------

* Lucie Šafářová [EF] v VENUS WILLIAMS [6]

A very tough draw for Lucie against the seven-times Major champion, who leads her 3:0 head-to-head:
- 2006 Rome: Williams won 6-1 6-4
- 2009 Rome: Williams won 6-2 4-6 6-2
- 2009 French Open: Williams won 6-7 (5/7) 6-2 7-5

And all these meetings came on clay, which is Lucie's best surface and Venus's worst.

Lucie did have a match-point against Venus in the second round of the French Open 2009. With Venus serving to stay in the match at *4-5 in the third, Lucie hit two searing crosscourt backhand winners for 0/30, but was desperately unlucky to lose the next two points. She had the match-point at 30/40, but Williams saved it with a one-two punch.

Venus's career seems in decline, seeing as she hasn't won a Major since Wimbledon 2008, a Major outside of Wimbledon since the US Open 2001, and will be 30 by the time Wimbledon comes round again. But she still compiled an impressive 38:16 singles-record in 2009, and maintained her year-end #6 ranking from 2008 to 2009.

Venus can be surprisingly vulnerable at the Australian Open - like last year, when she lost in the second round to #46 Carla Suárez Navarro 2-6 6-3 7-5 after leading 5-2* in the third set. So what can a #41-ranked Lucie do to her this year?

Venus's title-victory at Dubai 2009 goes some way to the high ranking that she still has. She beat #4 Elena Dementieva and #1 Serena Williams in that tournament, and followed it up with an International title at Acapulco, thrashing #15 Flavia Pennetta 6-1 6-2 in the final.

Venus reached the semi-finals of Miami and Rome, beating #11/12-ranked Agnieszka Radwańska in both tournaments - 6-1 6-2 at Rome. After surviving the aforementioned French Open skirmish with Lucie, she folded 6-0 6-4 to #31 Ágnes Szávay in the third round the next day.

Venus once again reached the final of her beloved Wimbledon, making a mockery of Dinara Safina's #1 ranking by thrashing the Majorless one 6-1 6-0 in the semis. But she lost the final 7-6 6-2 to #2 Serena Williams.

Venus thrashed #4 Elena Dementieva 6-0 6-1 in the semi-finals of Stanford, but lost the final to #14 Marion Bartoli. She lost 6-0 0-6 6-4 to unranked Kim Clijsters in the fourth round of the US Open. She lost to #40/39 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the second rounds of both Tokyo and Beijing.

Venus went 1:2 in the round-robin phase of the season-ending championships at Doha (the win coming against #3 Svetlana Kuznetsova), but due to the vagaries of the round-robin system, she still qualified for the semi-finals - and beat #8 Jelena Janković before losing the final 6-2 7-6 to #2 Serena Williams.

Venus has prepared for the Australian Open 2010 with a series of exhibitions. She lost 6-3 6-4 to #14 Maria Sharapova at Hua Hin, Thailand. She beat #4 Caroline Wozniacki 6-4 (just one set, due to rain) in a women's singles rubber of the Hong Kong Tennis Classic semi-finals, and beat #35 Zheng,Jie 6-3 6-2 in a women's singles rubber of the Silver-Group final in Hong Kong.

Lucie's chances are not good, but if she can rediscover the magic that beat Kim Clijsters 6-0 in that second set at Brisbane, then she just might get another match-point against Venus - and this time convert it!

------------------------
10. Jelena Dokić preview
------------------------

I have been a Jelena Dokić fan ever since she hammered world #1 Martina Hingis 6-2 6-0 in the first round of Wimbledon 1999. The enormity of the upset sent me into a state of shock, but the manner in which it was achieved sent me into a state of delight. Jelena was hitting one gasping winner after another, especially at 6-2 4-0* when she broke Hingis' serve with one of the most amazing single games I have ever seen: a flurry of return-winners, a drive-volley winner and a most audacious dropshot.

I love the way Jelena hits the ball - not just with power and accuracy, but with wonderful aesthetic flair. With her sharp, beautifully-driven, flairsome groundstrokes, Jelena is a joy to watch, especially during one of her purple patches when she's hitting clean winners all over the court!

Jelena could have had an absolutely stellar career, had it not been for her severe personal problems. She split from her family in 2002, when the antics of her crazy, abusive father Damir became too much to bear. By 2004, she was battling severe depression, and spent four years in the wilderness, actually retiring from tennis for a while in 2007.

Jelena came back in 2008 with a solid year on the ITF circuit - winning three titles - and then made a spectacular run to the Australian Open 2009 quarter-finals, returning to the top 100 so that she could play regularly in the Majors and on the WTA Tour again.

Her emotional Australian Open 2009 run also redeemed her in the eyes of the Australian public, who had been ready to lynch her when she switched nationality to Serbia on the eve of the Australian Open 2001 (she switched back to Australian nationality in December 2005).

Sadly, the rest of 2009 did not go anywhere near as well for Jelena as the Australian Open, as her health deteriorated, and she suffered only first- and second-round exits on the WTA Tour and the other three Majors.

Firstly, her schedule left her exhausted, and then at Indian Wells, she started suffering from a mystery illness, which was diagnosed in July as mononucleosis, forcing her to spend eight weeks in bed between first-round losses at Wimbledon and the US Open.

In April, she complained that a heel-injury had left her unable to train, which led to a decline in her physical fitness; by Wimbledon, she looked a little overweight - especially when compared with how fabulous she looked at the Australian Open.

At the French Open, she was dominating world #4 Elena Dementieva 6-2 *2-1 in the second round before she was cruelly struck down by an excruciating lower-back injury that forced her to retire at *3-4.

After the US Open, Jelena chose to drop back down to the ITF circuit for the rest of the year. The decision paid off in that she won her fourth and fifth career ITF singles-titles from three consecutive finals to end her season on a winning note - and ensure that she will stay in the top 100 when her Australian Open 2009 ranking-points come off.

Jelena started 2010 as she had started 2009: with a first-round loss at Brisbane, this time to #21-ranked former world #1 Ana Ivanović 7-5 1-6 6-3 in a match that divided the crowd's loyalties, as they regard Ana as Australian despite her Serbian nationality.

Jelena served 11 aces as she beat #83-ranked qualifier Elena Baltacha 6-4 6-2 in the first round of Hobart - after going *1-3 (0/30) down in the first set and saving break-points.

However, her 6-2 6-2 loss to #30 Shahar Pe'er in the second round is a serious cause for concern as she prepares to defend her Australian Open quarter-final.

I do think Jelena can have a better year in 2010 than in 2009, but the Australian Open draw has not been kind to her, and I fear that she is going to have to take a big fall before the good times come.


10.1 First-round preview
------------------------

* Jelena Dokić [EF] v ALISA KLEYBANOVA [27]

This is a repeat of Jelena's epic match in the fourth round of the Australian Open 2009, when she beat Kleybanova 7-5 5-7 8-6 with an incredibly gutsy performance - despite looking exhausted at the end of the second set, and miraculously escaping serious injury when she went over on her left ankle at 6-5* in the third. That was their only previous meeting.

Kleybanova is pretty much a clone of Lindsay Davenport: tall and bulky, a hard hitter with limited mobility. Now 20, she's still rising in the rankings year after year: from #33 to #26 in 2009.

Kleybanova went 32:24 in 2009. She upset #5 Ana Ivanović in the third round of the Australian Open before falling to Jelena. She reached the fourth round of Miami and the semi-finals of Fčs. She upset #3 Venus Williams in the second round of Madrid, but crashed out of the French Open and Wimbledon to players ranked #167 and #191.

Kleybanova upset #4 Jelena Janković to reach the semi-finals of Toronto, where she extended Maria Sharapova to three sets. After some mediocre results, she upset #7 Vera Zvonarëva to reach the third round of Tokyo, where she again extended Maria to three sets.

Kleybanova reached the semi-finals of Moscow with a pair of 6-1 6-2 victories followed by a 6-4 6-3 win over #9 Janković. She then lost 6-2 6-1 to #67 Olga Govortsova.

Kleybanova has started 2010 with two first-round losses: 6-4 2-6 6-2 to #40 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova at Brisbane, and 6-2 6-7 (3/7) 7-5 to #3 Svetlana Kuznetsova at Sydney - the latter quite worrying for Jelena.

Conclusion: Kleybanova is a dangerous opponent who is quite capable of taking down players ranked in single figures, but is also prone to losing to players ranked in triple figures. So it's hard to know what to expect on Monday evening. I predict another three-setter, but it could go either way.


10.2 Later rounds
-----------------

Jelena's likely second-round opponent would be #44 Sorana Cîrstea. Sorana impressed me greatly with her full-blooded hitting and huge first serve in a loss to Victoria Azarenka at Wimbledon 2009, but she has been struggling with a foot-injury lately, and her only match so far this year has been a 6-1 6-4 loss to Peng,Shuai in the first round of Hobart.

The other possible second-round opponent is #146 Olivia Rogowska [WC], who gave Dinara Safina an almighty scare at the US Open 2009. Rogowska beat Jelena 6-3 3-1 retired in the Australian Open 2008 wild-card play-offs.

The third round would bring the winner of the clash of the titans - Elena Dementieva [5] and unranked Justine Henin - so that's as far as I want to look ahead at this stage.

----------------------------
11. 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).


11.1 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.

---------------------------
12. Maria Sharapova preview
---------------------------

Maria Sharapova is a tweenage tennis-phenomenon with the potential to be the best player in the world, as she continues to improve an already brilliant game. Her on-court presence is reminiscent of my all-time favourite player Monica Seles, with her powerful, early groundstrokes, her extreme on-court intensity, passion, focus, determination and fearlessness, and yes - her grunting! At her best, she gets in a zone where the ball seems to come to her in slow motion, enabling her to hit winners at will.

Maria is coming off a disappointing 2009, of which she missed the first four months following surgery to her right shoulder in October 2008. Thus she missed out on defending the Australian Open title that she won in 2008.

Maria came back in May 2009 - after a lay-off of over 9˝ months - and reached the quarter-finals of the French Open in only her second tournament back. At times, she looked as impressive as ever, with her ferocious groundstrokes and iron will that had helped her win three Major titles and become world #1 in 2004-2008. She showed great determination in fighting through some tough three-setters - not least when she reached that French Open quarter-final by winning four such matches in a row.

Yet at other times, Maria really struggled, going through alarming periods of unforced errors, and often serving double faults in double figures for a match. She also got very tired after the tough matches, especially early in her comeback, when her first three tournaments - although she had plenty of wins in them - ended in listless straight-sets defeats.

Maria enjoyed strong results in the 2009 US Open Series (a semi-final at Los Angeles and a final at Toronto, defeating world #9 Victoria Azarenka and #7 Vera Zvonarëva, respectively), and the first title of her comeback at the Premier Tokyo Pan Pacific Open.

But she disappointed in the Majors in 2009 - after missing the Australian Open and reaching the French Open quarter-finals, she lost in the second round of Wimbledon and the third round of the US Open, so she'll be looking to rectify that with a deep run here.

Maria has prepared for the Australian Open with some impressive wins in exhibitions: on 2nd January 2010, she beat world #6 Venus Williams 6-3 6-4 at Hua Hin, Thailand. The following week, she beat #4 Caroline Wozniacki 7-5 6-3 in a women's singles rubber of the Gold-Group final of the Hong Kong Tennis Classic, which Team Russia won 2:1. In the semi-finals of Hong Kong, however, she had struggled quite a bit in beating #35 Zheng,Jie 6-7 (5/7) 6-4 6-2.

Maria is my only realistic hope for a member of my Eternal Fanship to win the Australian Open 2010.


12.1 First-round preview
------------------------

* MARIA SHARAPOVA [14,EF] v Maria Kirilenko [DF]

This is a mouth-watering match between the two 22-year-old Russian glamour-girls, and if history is anything to go by, it could be a real cracker in tennis-terms too!

The Super Maria Sisters are best friends from of old; they played junior-tournaments together, and won the Birmingham 2004 doubles-title together.

Big Maria leads the head-to-head 2:1:
+ 2005 Los Angeles: Big Maria won 7-6 (9/7) 6-2
- 2005 Beijing: Little Maria won 6-4 *2-1 retired (right pectoral muscle strain)
+ 2006 Miami: Big Maria won 3-6 6-4 6-1

Little Maria is at her best when she plays dynamic all-court tennis: stepping into her shots, going to the net, and hitting her terrific returns of serve. That's what it would take to beat Big Maria, but if Big Maria is hitting her groundstrokes hard and deep, and serving well, then Little Maria may not get a look-in.

Little Maria is coming off a poor 2009 season, in which she struggled with a left-knee injury, went 23:25 in singles, failed to add to her five WTA singles-titles, and slipped from #29 to #63 in the rankings (she's now ranked #59 to Big Maria's #14).

Little Maria's highlights of 2009 were beating #27 Carla Suárez Navarro to reach the Barcelona-final in April, beating #12 Agnieszka Radwańska in the second round of the US Open, and beating Radwańska again at Moscow, when Radwańska was ranked #10 but Little Maria thrashed her 6-3 6-3.

Little Maria has made an encouraging start to 2010, reaching the quarter-finals of Auckland with 6-2 6-3 victories over #71 Tatjana Malek and #58 Kaia Kanepi. She then lost 6-0 3-6 6-1 to #30 Shahar Pe'er, which is pretty respectable considering Pe'er's impressive form, and the distraction of a noisy political protest during each of Pe'er's matches at Auckland.


Nick Bollettieri's preview
http://nickstennispicks.com/2010/01/...ngles-round-1/
>>>
Sharapova spent a lot of time at the Academy during the off-season, working on her game. I watched her with her tremendous coach, Michael Joyce, and I would say that she is getting pretty close to looking like her old self again. That is a great sign for the WTA Tour, as she is a big-time crowd-pleaser both on and off the court.

Kirilenko is a 22-year old Russian who is currently ranked #59 in the world. It seems like her name has been around for a while, but she has never really had a major win. She has been to the fourth round of the Aussie Open, which is her best result at a Major in her career.

Match-up:

Sharapova is 2:1 against Kirilenko, but the two haven't played since 2006. Sharapova and Kirilenko are friends off the court, but on the court is another thing. Sharapova thrives when she plays other Russians, and she is going to want to get off to a good start. We know Sharapova has the groundstrokes, but the question is going to be her serve and her movement. If her serve is working, then she will be fine. If not, she could be in trouble. I see Kirilenko winning a set, but Sharapova will advance.

Nick's Pick: Sharapova in 3 sets.
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My comment:
>>>
The Super Maria Sisters are a mouth-watering match-up, and Little Maria does have the history to take a set off Big Maria, but it will take something special to do that which Venus Williams and Caroline Wozniacki recently failed to do in exhibitions against Big Maria.
<<<

12.2 Later rounds
-----------------

The second-round opponent would be #114 Yvonne Meusburger [Q] or, more likely, #50 Timea Bacsinszky.

The third round should bring an intriguing rematch against Dominika Cibulková [23]. Domi thrashed Maria 6-0 6-2 in the quarter-finals of the French Open 2009, but that was only the second tournament of Maria's comeback, and she had nothing left after winning four three-setters to get there. Maria won their other two matches - also on clay, which is Domi's best surface and Maria's worst - 7-6 6-3 in the Amelia Island 2008 final, and 6-2 3-6 6-4 at Rome 2008.

Dinara Safina [2] is the expected fourth-round opponent (although I hope Magdaléna Rybáriková will have something to say about that). After reaching the #1 ranking without winning a Major, Safina has had a terrible last few months, and pulled out of Brisbane with a back-injury. She started the year with a pretty impressive 7-5 6-4 win over world #10 Agnieszka Radwańska at Sydney, but was trounced 6-2 6-3 by #5 Elena Dementieva in the quarter-finals.

Maria's head-to-head against Safina is tied at 3:3, after Maria blew unbelievable leads against Safina at Moscow 2005 and the French Opens 2006 and 2008. But that's far less likely to happen to Maria on Plexicushion than on clay, and the form-book certainly favours Maria at this stage.

The quarter-finals could bring Jelena Janković [8], Marion Bartoli [11], or even Hobart-champion Alyona Bondarenko [31] - against any of whom I would fancy Maria's chances.

Potential semi-final opponents include Svetlana Kuznetsova [3], Elena Dementieva [5], Kim Clijsters [15] and unranked Justine Henin.

Potential final-opponents include Serena Williams [1], Caroline Wozniacki [4], Venus Williams [6], Victoria Azarenka [7], Vera Zvonarëva [9], Ana Ivanović [20] and Sabine Lisicki [21].


12.3 Maria's pretournament press-conference (Saturday 16th January 2010)
-------------------------------------------

Source: www.australianopen.com

Q. Given you've only played the exhibition-tournament in Hong Kong, how has your preparation been?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Good. Really well. I've had the last couple of months to look back at the year, really go out on the court and work on a few things that I felt like I needed to work on. You know, kept working on my shoulder. Made sure that was strong and ready to go for the year.

Q. Do you feel last year was very much a rebuilding-year for you?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, certainly. You know, I could say in the beginning of the year, I didn't know when or if I was going to be back on the court. Toward the middle of the year, I got back on the court. Little by little, was trying to create a base.

Yeah, but just really fortunate to be back here.

Q. Can you remember this time last year whether you even looked at a television-screen and saw what was going on here?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I actually did. I got to watch a lot of it, because it was around 5 or 6 p.m. back home that the coverage started. I remember kind of like my little TV control-room. It was many months after I had the surgery, so I was actually excited to watch the tennis.

Q. What were your recollections?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: That was a while ago. <smiling> If you ask me how I was playing a year ago, I wouldn't know either. I don't remember. I don't know.

Q. Tennis was a good thing in your life?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: If it was something bad, if I didn't have great thoughts about it, I think it would have been a lot tougher to come back. There's so many ways out during that period of time. You know, there's so many wake-up calls, excuses you could make to not want to be back out there.

But there was never really that thought in my mind, that I didn't want it again. I always wanted to go out there. I wanted to get better; I wanted to compete. I worked hard to get back on the court. I think that's why I just have to be really grateful and fortunate for every match that I get to play for the rest of my career.

Q. What is your take on the scene now? You are hopefully back firing at full capacity. The two Belgian girls are back. Is it more interesting than maybe it was a year ago?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: I honestly hope that this will be one of the most exciting years in women's tennis. You know, you have the story-lines of the comebacks. You have the depth of the top 10. There's many possibilities. I hope that we can create, you know, great rivalries between each other, and good matches. There's no better way to start than a Grand Slam.

Q. Talk a little bit about the first round. You are playing another Maria [Kirilenko] in the first round.

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, you know, we kind of grew up together playing junior-tournaments. We know each other's games really well. We haven't played each other in a long time [Miami 2006]. She's a great player. She knows how to play tennis really well.

I just have to go out there, you know, and be ready from the first point.

Q. How tough was it not to be here last year?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Tough. But it was tough not being at the US Open before that. It was tough not being at the Olympics. After a while, I pretty much got over it. You know, pity-party was over, and I just started appreciating the game and I wanted to watch it on TV, whereas a few months before that, I necessarily made it a point to turn it off.

Q. Can you give us an idea how many tournaments you're looking at playing this year, whether you're going to have a more gruelling schedule?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Certainly not more gruelling than I've had, you know, in my career in the years that I've had. If anything, it will be a little bit easier. You know, you aim towards the big ones, and you try to get your level up towards the Grand Slams [sic]. Obviously, the rest of the tournaments are very important. Now we've built a base where we've created tournaments that are pretty big with, you know, the ones that are in Palm Springs, Indian Wells, Madrid, Rome, all those, Beijing. So you obviously want to do well there.

But the year's long. You've got to stay healthy. You've got to stay motivated. You've got to be realistic, as well.

Q. How much better is the shoulder now than it was, say, US Open time?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: A lot better. A lot stronger. I probably have a lot more confidence in it. Maybe a few months ago, I didn't really know how it would feel on a particular day. Now it's a little bit more consistent. Not a little bit; a lot.

Q. What sort of work have you been doing in the off-season, specific to your shoulder?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Just a lot of just keep doing the rehab-work, little bit more intense. When I was back at the tournaments, you know, I was trying to play more tennis. The shoulder is pretty sensitive to making sure you have the right amount of tennis, but also making sure you have the right amount of strength in the gym, the small exercises you do, building the smaller muscles around the joint, the area where you had the surgery.

There was a very fine line trying to get as much tennis as I needed to get better, but also being smart about how much I did. In the off-season, I really had the time to go in the gym and spend hours and go out on the court and play, and serve buckets of balls without having to worry about time or amount of balls I hit.

Q. Are you confident that your serve can get back to where it was?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah. I truly believe that. I think if I didn't, I wouldn't be here.

Q. How far off are you [from] full capacity, your best tennis? Do you feel you're near to that right now? I appreciate it's the start of the season, but...

MARIA SHARAPOVA: I wish I could tell you who's gonna be sitting here in a couple of weeks, but I can't. Just like I can't tell you who's gonna be playing great tennis or not.

We all try to get ready as best as we could. We all try to be in the best shape we can. Obviously, everyone's coming off of the off-season, so everyone's feeling, you know, fresher than we do during the year.

Q. You know your game. You know how you're feeling. You feel confident?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I feel good. You know, I've had a few matches in the last couple of weeks. Had a good week here. Yeah, I am.

Q. Where did you put in your off-season work? Florida, California?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: I spent half the time in Florida, and towards the end of the year in California, yeah.

Q. In any way, do you feel like you're defending champion, because you weren't here last year?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Not really, because I didn't play last year, and the defending champion is usually the person who won it the year before, so not really.

Q. Does the memory of winning give you any confidence?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: It certainly does. You know, I've had some great matches here. I've had some tough losses, some disappointing ones. I've had some great matches which I've won. Coming back here, I've had really great memories, always a great time. You know, always enjoyed playing here, so...

Yeah, definitely you always get those feelings back when you come here, yeah.

--------------------------------
13. Magdaléna Rybáriková preview
--------------------------------

Magdaléna Rybáriková is one of the most enjoyable tennis-players to watch. Of course it helps that she is an absolute stunner, but she is also very entertaining in tennis-terms. In many ways, she is a throwback to a bygone era with her excellent volleys, one-handed sliced backhands and dropshots. Yet she has upgraded that model to the modern era with a big serve and groundstrokes of flairsome power, with which she likes to go for the lines. She hits plenty of brilliant winners, especially off her forehand!

In 2009, Magda cemented her position on the WTA Tour with a solid season in which she went 32:26 in singles and rose from #58 to #46 in the rankings, highlighted by her first WTA singles-title at Birmingham, where she scored six consecutive wins including world #16 Zheng,Jie 7-6 6-4 in the third round and #20 Li,Na 6-0 7-6 in the final.

Magda was also a semi-finalist at Hobart 2009, beating world #13 Flavia Pennetta 7-5 6-3 in the second round, and a semi-finalist of Pattaya City with a 6-4 6-1 quarter-final thrashing of #12 Caroline Wozniacki - sweet revenge for the Wimbledon 2006 Girls' Singles final!

A shoulder-injury halted Magda's momentum after winning Birmingham; her next highlight was winning five matches to reach the quarter-finals of New Haven as a qualifier, beating #27 Francesca Schiavone in the first round, and #14 Marion Bartoli - albeit by retirement - in the second round. She reached the third round of the US Open, the quarter-finals of Seoul and Tokyo (beating #13 Nadia Petrova 6-2 6-2 in the second round of Tokyo), and qualified for the International season-ending championships at Bali.

Magda started 2010 with an impressive 6-2 6-3 win over world #27 Anabel Medina Garrigues at Auckland, but followed that with two dismal losses. She lost 6-1 6-0 to #30 Shahar Pe'er, and admitted that she was distracted by a political protest so noisy that there was a 15-minute delay between sets as the officials debated whether to continue. Magda then went down tamely to #34 Aleksandra Wozniak in the first round of Hobart: 6-3 6-1.


13.1 First-round preview
------------------------

* Magdaléna Rybáriková [EF] v DINARA SAFINA [2]

This is, of course, a very tough draw against the world #2, who spent much of 2009 ranked #1 despite never having won a Major. Their only previous meeting came in the second round of the French Open 2008: Safina won 6-0 6-1, so Magda's first objective is to prove how far she's come since then.

Safina is a real bully on the court: tall and muscular, she has powerful groundstrokes, and loves to psyche out her opponents with her in-your-face body-language.

The most important thing to remember when playing Safina is that it's never over until it's over - at the French Open 2008, she came back from a set, 2-5 and match-point down against both Maria Sharapova in the fourth round and Elena Dementieva in the quarter-finals, en route to her first Major final.

Safina reached her second Major final at the Australian Open 2009, beating world #7 Vera Zvonarëva 6-3 7-6 in the semi-finals, but being crushed 6-0 6-3 by #2 Serena Williams in the final.

Safina won the Premier titles at Rome and Madrid, and reached her third Major final at the French Open 2009, winning her first four matches for the loss of just five games before beating #9 Victoria Azarenka 1-6 6-4 6-2, and #19 Dominika Cibulková 6-3 6-3. But she froze in the final, handing #7 Svetlana Kuznetsova an easy 6-4 6-2 victory.

Safina reached the semi-finals of Wimbledon, but defending champion Venus Williams made a mockery of Safina's #1 ranking by crushing her 6-1 6-0. Safina then won the International title at Portorož, and was runner-up at Cincinnati.

But then began a terrible run of form for Safina, from which she has yet to break free. She lost to #72 Petra Kvitová in the third round of the US Open - between first-round losses at Toronto and Tokyo. She lost to #226 Zhang,Shuai in the second round of Beijing, and retired from the season-ending championships at Doha with a back-injury so serious that she pulled out of Brisbane 2010 about a month in advance.

Safina started her 2010 singles-campaign with a pretty impressive 7-5 6-4 win over world #10 Agnieszka Radwańska at Sydney (after going 0-5 down in the first set), but was trounced 6-2 6-3 by #5 Elena Dementieva in the quarter-finals.

Magda has to forget about her own recent losses, and remember how bad the last few months have been for Safina, how underprepared Safina is, and how much pressure Safina will be under as she defends her final and tries to get the monkey off her back of having never won a Major.

-------------------
14. Andrew's wishes
-------------------
14.1 Second round: Top half
---------------------------

* Urszula Radwańska d. Petra Kvitová
* Ayumi Morita [s] d. Renata Voráčová [Q]
* SABINE LISICKI [21,DF] d. Varvara Lepchenko
* SAMANTHA STOSUR [13] d. Kristina Barrois

* VERA ZVONARËVA [9,EF] d. Iveta Benešová
* ANA IVANOVIĆ [20,DF] d. Gisela Dulko [DF]
* ELENA VESNINA [28] d. Yaroslava Shvedova (difficult to choose!)
* VICTORIA AZARENKA [7,DF] d. Stefanie Vögele (my Passion says Stefanie, but my Reason says Vika)

* CAROLINE WOZNIACKI [4] d. Tamira Paszek
* Tsvetana Pironkova [DF] d. Lucie Hradecká [s]
* DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [22,EF] d. Jarmila Groth [WC]
* Marina Eraković d. Ágnes Szávay

* Tatjana Malek d. Melanie Oudin
* Alizé Cornet d. Alicia Molik [WC]
* Karolina Šprem [DF] d. Casey Dell'Acqua [WC]
* Lucie Šafářová [EF] d. Arantxa Parra Santonja [s]


14.2 Second round: Bottom half
------------------------------

* ELENA DEMENTIEVA [5] d. Kirsten Flipkens
* Jelena Dokić [EF] d. Sorana Cîrstea
* Klára Zakopalová d. Ekaterina Makarova
* Anna Chakvetadze [EF] d. Yanina Wickmayer [Q]

* Sesil Karatantcheva [WC] d. Valérie Tétrealt [Q]
* Edina Gallovits d. Chan,Yung-Jan
* Sania Mirza [DF] d. Olga Govortsova
* Anastasija Sevastova d. Anastasia Rodionova

* Monica Niculescu [s] d. Katie O'Brien (my Passion says Katie, but my Reason says Monica)
* Yuliana Fedak [Q] d. ALYONA BONDARENKO [31]
* Peng,Shuai [s] d. MARÍA JOSÉ MARTÍNEZ SÁNCHEZ [24]
* MARION BARTOLI [11,DF,S] d. Sandra Záhlavová

* MARIA SHARAPOVA [14,EF] d. Timea Bacsinszky
* DOMINIKA CIBULKOVÁ [23] d. Roberta Vinci
* Ioana Raluca Olaru d. Elena Baltacha
* Magdaléna Rybáriková [EF] d. Barbora Záhlavová Strýcová


14.3 Third-round wishes
-----------------------

* Urszula Radwańska d. Ayumi Morita [s]
* SABINE LISICKI [21,DF] d. SAMANTHA STOSUR [13]
* VERA ZVONARËVA [9,EF] d. ANA IVANOVIĆ [20,DF]
* VICTORIA AZARENKA [7,DF] d. ELENA VESNINA [28]

* Tsvetana Pironkova [DF] d. CAROLINE WOZNIACKI [4]
* DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [22,EF] d. Marina Eraković
* Alizé Cornet d. Tatjana Malek
* Lucie Šafářová [EF] d. Karolina Šprem [DF]

* Jelena Dokić [EF] d. ELENA DEMENTIEVA [5]
* Anna Chakvetadze [EF] d. Klára Zakopalová
* Edina Gallovits d. Sesil Karatantcheva [WC]
* Sania Mirza [DF] d. Anastasija Sevastova

* Yuliana Fedak [Q] d. Monica Niculescu [s]
* MARION BARTOLI [11,DF,S] d. Peng,Shuai [s]
* MARIA SHARAPOVA [14,EF] d. DOMINIKA CIBULKOVÁ [23]
* Magdaléna Rybáriková [EF] d. Ioana Raluca Olaru


14.4 Fourth-round wishes
------------------------

* SABINE LISICKI [21,DF] d. Urszula Radwańska
* VERA ZVONARËVA [9,EF] d. VICTORIA AZARENKA [7,DF]
* DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [22,EF] d. Tsvetana Pironkova [DF]
* Lucie Šafářová [EF] d. Alizé Cornet

* Anna Chakvetadze [EF] d. Jelena Dokić [EF] (tough decision, but I think Anna needs it more, and it /is/ her turn)
* Sania Mirza [DF] d. Edina Gallovits
* MARION BARTOLI [11,DF,S] d. Yuliana Fedak [Q]
* MARIA SHARAPOVA [14,EF] d. Magdaléna Rybáriková [EF] (sorry, Magda)


14.5 Quarter-final wishes
-------------------------

* VERA ZVONARËVA [9,EF] d. SABINE LISICKI [21,DF]
* DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [22,EF] d. Lucie Šafářová [EF] (sorry, Lucie)
* Anna Chakvetadze [EF] d. Sania Mirza [DF]
* MARIA SHARAPOVA [14,EF] d. MARION BARTOLI [11,DF,S]


14.6 Semi-final wishes
----------------------

* DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [22,EF] d. VERA ZVONARËVA [9,EF] (sorry, Vera)
* Anna Chakvetadze [EF] d. MARIA SHARAPOVA [14,EF] (I regret it)


14.7 Final-wish
---------------

* DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [22,EF] d. Anna Chakvetadze [EF]

----------------------------
15. Order of play for Monday
----------------------------

I list only those courts on which members of my Eternal Fanship are scheduled to play singles.

Rod Laver Arena: Day-session (start 11:00 AEDT = 00:00 GMT)
WS 1r: MARIA SHARAPOVA [14,EF] v Maria Kirilenko [DF]
WS 1r: Valérie Tétrealt [Q] v KIM CLIJSTERS [15]
MS 1r: ANDY MURRAY [5] v Kevin Anderson [Q]
|
Rod Laver Arena: Evening-session (start 19:00 AEDT = 08:00 GMT)
MS 1r: RAFAEL NADAL [2] v Peter Luczak
WS 1r: Jelena Dokić [EF] v ALISA KLEYBANOVA [27]

It's a bit of a bummer that the women's match is second on the evening-session this year, especially when I've decided to stay up through the Australian day. I prefer the women's match to be first, with a predictable start-time, but I can see why they put Jelena second after all those three-hour marathons she had on the RLA evening-session last year!

I suppose I should just be grateful that women are still allowed to play on the RLA evening-session after all the complaints about the late finishes, which have prompted many to suggest that there should just be one men's match in the evening-session.

It's a real shame that I won't get to watch the Super Maria Sisters, as their match is not scheduled for the evening-session.

Hisense Arena (start 11:00 AEDT = 00:00 GMT)
WS 1r: Magdaléna Rybáriková [EF] v DINARA SAFINA [2]
MS 1r: ANDY RODDICK [7] v Thiemo de Bakker
MS 1r: Michael Russell v JUAN MARTÍN DEL POTRO [4]
WS 1r: Kirsten Flipkens v Justine Henin [WC]

Show Court 3 (start 11:00 AEDT = 00:00 GMT)
MS 1r: IVAN LJUBIČIĆ [24] v Jason Kubler [WC]
WS 1r: Anna Chakvetadze [EF] v FLAVIA PENNETTA [12,DF]
MS 1r: Fabrice Santoro [s] v MARIN ČILIĆ [14]
WS 1r: Sorana Cîrstea v Olivia Rogowska [WC]

Full order of play:
http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/schedule/

--
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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Andrew's TV-reports for Day 1

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

1. Photos
2. First-round results
3. First-round scoreboard-report: Rybáriková v Safina
4. First-round scoreboard-report: Sharapova v Kirilenko
5. First-round scoreboard-report: Chakvetadze v Pennetta
6. First-round TV-report: Dokić v Kleybanova
7. First-round draw
8. Andrew's wishes
9. Order of play for Tuesday

---------
1. Photos
---------

Recommended searches for Day 1:
* sharapova
* rybarikova
* dokic
* chakvetadze
* kirilenko
* pennetta
* peng
* zheng
* wickmayer
* flipkens

Magda Rybáriková had strapping on the ring-finger of her left hand.

----------------------
2. First-round results (Monday 18th January 2010)
----------------------

From an Eternal-Fanship perspective, this was the worst opening day of a Major I can ever remember, as my players went 0:4 (with three remaining).

From a BBC-televisation-of-women's-tennis perspective, it was very satisfactory, as they showed Dokić v Kleybanova in full on the Red Button, and also caught the last 6 games of Clijsters v Tétrealt in a special BBC 2 programme intended for Murray v Anderson.

Nice winner, nice loser:
- MARIA SHARAPOVA [14,EF] lt. Maria Kirilenko [DF], 6-7 (4/7) 6-3 4-6
- Anna Chakvetadze [EF] lt. FLAVIA PENNETTA [12,DF], 3-6 6-3 2-6
- Peng,Shuai [s] lt. Zheng,Jie, 6-0 1-6 2-6

What rocked:
+ Yanina Wickmayer [Q] d. Alexandra Dulgheru, 1-6 7-5 10-8
+ ELENA DEMENTIEVA [5] d. Vera Dushevina, 6-2 6-1
+ MARÍA JOSÉ MARTÍNEZ SÁNCHEZ [24] d. Evgeniya Rodina, 6-0 6-0
+ Elena Baltacha d. Pauline Parmentier, 6-4 3-6 7-5

What sucked:
- Jelena Dokić [EF] lt. ALISA KLEYBANOVA [27], 1-6 5-7
- Magdaléna Rybáriková [EF] lt. DINARA SAFINA [2], 4-6 4-6
- Ioana Raluca Olaru lt. KATERYNA BONDARENKO [30], 2-6 6-7 (6/8)
- Anastasija Sevastova lt. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 2-6 4-6
- Timea Bacsinszky lt. Yvonne Meusburger [Q], 4-6 6-4 2-6
- Kirsten Flipkens lt. Justine Henin [WC], 4-6 3-6
- Anastasia Rodionova lt. SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [3], 1-6 2-6
- Valérie Tétrealt [Q] lt. KIM CLIJSTERS [15], 0-6 4-6

Suspended overnight:
* DOMINIKA CIBULKOVÁ [23] v Vania King, 3-6 2-1* (15/30*)
* Sesil Karatantcheva [WC] v Tamarine Tanasugarn, 1-6 6-5*
* Barbora Záhlavová Strýcová v Regina Kulikova [Q], 7-6 (7/5) 6-7 (10/12) *4-3

-----------------------------------------------------
3. First-round scoreboard-report: Rybáriková v Safina (Monday 18th January 2010)
-----------------------------------------------------

- Magdaléna Rybáriková [EF] lt. DINARA SAFINA [2], 4-6 4-6

A respectable result for Magda, as my first concern was for her not to be humiliated. So even though I can't stand Safina, I'm pleased that Magda achieved a much closer scoreline against a much higher-ranked opponent than her two previous losses this year.

Both sets followed the pattern that Magda was broken, broke back later, but was broken again immediately.

The first set could have been different if Magda had converted a break-point at 2-1*, or one of two break-points at 4-5*.

The second set could have been different if Magda had converted a break-point at 3-4*.


First set
---------
RYBÁRI * *___*@__ 4
SAFINA _* *@*__@* 6

The match was first on Hisense Arena, and started at 11:15 AEDT.

Magda serving 0-0: 40/0. 40/15. Held.
Safina serving 0-1: 0/15. 40/15. 40/30. Held.
Magda serving 1-1: 0/15. 15/15. 15/40 (BP×2). Deuce. Ad Magda. Held.
Safina serving 1-2: 15/0. 15/15. 30/15. 30/40 (BP). Deuce. Ad Safina. Held.
Magda serving 2-2: 15/0. 15/30. 30/30. 30/40 (BP). Broken.
Safina serving 3-2: 40/0. Held.
Magda serving 2-4: 15/0. 15/15. 30/15. 40/30. Held.
Safina serving 4-3: 15/0. 15/15. 30/15. 30/40 (BP). Broken.

Yay!

Magda serving 4-4: 0/15. 40/15. Deuce. Ad Safina (BP). Broken.

Safina serving 5-4: 15/0. 15/15. 30/15. 30/30. 40/30 (SP #1). Deuce #1. Ad Safina (SP #2). Deuce #2. Ad Magda (BP #1). Deuce #3. Ad Magda (BP #2). Deuce #4. Ad Safina (SP #3). Safina won the first set 6-4 at 12:02 AEDT (47m).


Second set
----------
RYBÁRI __* *@__*_ 4
SAFINA @* *__@* * 6

Magda serving 0-0: 15/0. 15/40 (BP). Broken.
Safina serving 1-0: 0/15. 15/15. 15/30. 40/30. Held.
Magda serving 0-2: 15/0. 15/30. 40/30. Deuce. Ad Magda. Held.
Safina serving 2-1: 0/15. 40/15. Held.
Magda serving 1-3: 40/0. Deuce. Ad Magda. Held.
Safina serving 3-2: 30/0. 30/40 (BP). Broken.
Magda serving 3-3: 15/0. 15/15. 15/30. 30/30. 30/40 (BP). Broken.

Safina serving 4-3: 0/15. 15/15. 15/30. 30/30. 30/40 (BP). Deuce #1. Ad Safina. Deuce #2. Ad Safina. Held.
Magda serving 3-5: 40/0. Held.
Safina serving 5-4: 40/0 (MP #1). 40/15 (MP #2). Safina won 6-4 6-4 at 12:44 AEDT (second set 42m, match 1h29m).


Statistics
----------

Safina was the more aggressive player, with a W:UE ratio of 25:39 to Magda's 16:28.

Both players got 65% of their first serves in. Magda won 57% of the points when she did so, and 48% on second serve; the corresponding winning-percentages for Safina were 74% and 36%.

Magda's first serve was faster than Safina's: fastest 111-106 mph, average 99-99 mph (Magda's was slightly faster). Safina had much the faster average second serve, though: 87-80 mph.

Magda served one ace and 3 double faults, Safina 2 aces and 9 double faults.

They each had 6 BPs, but Magda only broke twice, Safina four times.

Magda won 10 of 12 points at the net (83%), while Safina won 13 of 17 (76%). I wish Magda could have got there more often, because she has the most beautiful net-game of my Eternal Fanship.

In points, Safina won 73-63.

-------------------------------------------------------
4. First-round scoreboard-report: Sharapova v Kirilenko (Monday 18th January 2010)
-------------------------------------------------------

- MARIA SHARAPOVA [14,EF] lt. Maria Kirilenko [DF], 6-7 (4/7) 6-3 4-6

Shocking. Positively shocking. I like Little Maria a lot - in fact I must confess to being a little bit obsessed with her - but she was never supposed to knock Big Maria out of a Major!

Big Maria hadn't lost in the first round of a Major since the French Open 2003 - and only then after qualifying.

It was an absolute marathon, filled with deuces as the Super Maria Sisters fought tooth and nail for every key game. The first set lasted 1h14m, the second set 1h13m (even though it was only 6-3), and the total match-duration was 3h22m.

I remember that Little Maria once described tennis as gladiatorial: the last one standing wins. Big Maria's stamina has been suspect in the past, due to the energy she expends on her intensity and running everything down, so third sets can be difficult for her - especially when she's already been on court for 2h27m in the first two sets!

BBC commentator Sam Smith blamed Big Maria's loss on a lack of match-play - she said that the Hong Kong exhibition was insufficient. She said that Big Maria didn't "get the ball through the court", that she played well in patches, but made numerous errors at other times. She said that Little Maria played the best she'd seen her play for a long time.

At 4-2* in the first set, Big Maria had four break-points that would have given her a double break. Instead of going 2-5* down, Little Maria held, and broke back in the next game. Big Maria also wasted a *4/2 lead in the tiebreak - from which she lost the last 5 points of the first set.

Big Maria broke for *2-0 in the second set after a marathon-game of 9 deuces, was broken back immediately, and broke again for *3-1 after 5 deuces. She also had to save two break-points at *5-3 before serving out the second set.

When Big Maria went *0-3 down in the third, I felt that only a choke by Little Maria would save her. Big Maria broke back for *4-5, only to lose her own serve in the next game.

I can only hope that Big Maria gives Little Maria her lovely earrings to wear for the rest of the tournament. It would be a shame for them to go to waste.


First set
---------
SHARAPOVA @ @* *___* *_ 6(4)
KIRILENKO _@__* *@* * T 7(7)

The match was first on Rod Laver Arena, and started at 11:14 AEDT.

Little Maria serving 0-0: 0/15. 15/30. 30/30. Broken.
Big Maria serving 1-0: 0/40 (BP #1). 15/40 (BP #2). Broken.
Little Maria serving 1-1: 0/40 (BP). Broken.

Big Maria serving 2-1: 30/0. 30/30. 40/30. Deuce #1. Ad Big Maria. Deuce #2. Ad Big Maria. Deuce #3. Ad Little Maria (BP #1). Deuce #4. Ad Little Maria (BP #2). Deuce #5. Ad Big Maria. Held.

Little Maria serving 1-3: 15/0. 15/15. 40/15. Held.
Big Maria serving 3-2: 40/0. 40/15. Held.

Little Maria serving 2-4: 0/15. 15/15. 15/40 (BP×2). Deuce #1. Ad Big Maria (BP #3). Deuce #2. Ad Big Maria (BP #4). Deuce #3. Ad Little Maria. Held.

Big Maria serving 4-3: 0/40 (BP #1). 15/40 (BP #2). Broken.
Little Maria serving 4-4: 0/15. 40/15. Held.
Big Maria serving 4-5: 40/0. Held.
Little Maria serving 5-5: 15/0. 15/15. 40/15. 40/30. Held.
Big Maria serving 5-6: 30/0. 30/15. 40/15. 40/30. Held.

6-6 tiebreak (all scores Sharapova/Kirilenko): 0/0*. *0/1. *1/1. 2/1*. 3/1*. *3/2. *4/2. 4/3*. 4/4*. *4/5. *4/6 (SP #1). Little Maria won the first set 7-6 (7/4) at 12:28 AEDT (1h14m).


Second set
----------
SHARAPOVA *@ @* * * 6
KIRILENKO __@__* *_ 3

Big Maria serving 0-0: 0/15. 40/15. Deuce #1. Ad Little Maria (BP). Deuce #2. Ad Big Maria. Held.

Little Maria serving 0-1: 0/15. 15/15. 15/30. 30/30. 30/40 (BP #1). Deuce #1. Ad Little Maria. Deuce #2. Ad Little Maria. Deuce #3. Ad Little Maria. Deuce #4. Ad Big Maria (BP #2). Deuce #5. Ad Little Maria. Deuce #6. Ad Little Maria. Deuce #7. Ad Big Maria (BP #3). Deuce #8. Ad Little Maria. Deuce #9. Ad Big Maria (BP #4). Broken.

Big Maria serving 2-0: 0/15. 15/15. 15/30. 30/30. 30/40 (BP). Broken.

Little Maria serving 1-2: 30/0. 30/15. 40/15. Deuce #1. Ad Little Maria. Deuce #2. Ad Big Maria (BP #1). Deuce #3. Ad Little Maria. Deuce #4. Ad Big Maria (BP #2). Deuce #5. Ad Big Maria (BP #3). Broken.

This match has already passed the 2-hour mark!

Big Maria serving 3-1: 40/0. Held.

Little Maria serving 1-4: 15/0. 15/30. 30/30. 30/40 (BP). Deuce. Ad Little Maria. Held.

Big Maria serving 4-2: 40/0. 40/15. Held.
Little Maria serving 2-5: 40/0. Held.

Big Maria serving 5-3: 15/0. 15/15. 15/30. 30/30. 30/40 (BP #1). Deuce #1. Ad Little Maria (BP #2). Deuce #2. Ad Big Maria (SP #1). Big Maria won the second set 6-3 at 13:41 AEDT (second set 1h13m, match so far 2h27m).


Third set
---------
SHARAPOVA ___* * *@ 4
KIRILENKO *@* * *__@ 6

Little Maria serving 0-0: 15/0. 15/30. 40/30. Deuce #1. Ad Big Maria (BP). Deuce #2. Ad Little Maria. Held.

Big Maria serving 0-1: 0/30. 15/30. 15/40 (BP). Broken.

Little Maria serving 2-0: 15/0. 15/15. 30/15. 30/30. 40/30. Deuce. Ad Little Maria. Held.

Big Maria serving 0-3: 0/15. 40/15. Held.
Little Maria serving 3-1: 40/0. Held.
Big Maria serving 1-4: 40/0. Held.
Little Maria serving 4-2: 30/0. 30/15. 40/15. Held.
Big Maria serving 2-5: 15/0. 15/30. 40/30. Held.
Little Maria serving 5-3: 0/30. 15/30. 15/40 (BP). Broken.

Big Maria serving 4-5: 0/30. 15/30. 15/40 (MP #1). 30/40 (MP #2). Little Maria won 7-6 (7/4) 3-6 6-4 at 14:36 AEDT (third set 55m, match 3h22m).


Statistics
----------

Big Maria had an erratic W:UE ratio of 45:77. She served 9 aces and 11 double faults.

Little Maria was more conservative, with a W:UE of 26:41, serving one ace and 4 double faults.

Big Maria hit faster serves than Little Maria, but not by much: fastest 112-108 mph, average first serve 103-102 mph, average second serve 91-88 mph.

Big Maria got 61% of her first serves in, winning 70% of the points when she did so, and 40% on second serve.

Little Maria got 65% of her first serves in, winning 62% of the points when she did so, and 47% on second serve.

Big Maria converted 5 of 16 BPs, Little Maria 5 of 13.

Little Maria won 16 of 19 points at the net (84%), which is pretty impressive. Big Maria won 14 of 21 points at the net (67%).

Big Maria actually won one more point than Little Maria: 118-117.


Big Maria's press-conference
----------------------------

Q. From your viewpoint, what went wrong?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Just didn't win the match. You know, bottom line.

Uhm, you know, certainly had my chances and just didn't execute. You know, I felt like I was - when she was up and then I'd get back there, back in the game, I just didn't take advantage of that, and let her, you know, let her control the situation again.

Q. What are the challenges of playing someone you know so well and is a friend?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Uhm, I mean, when we go on the court, we don't really think about that. We just go out and we try to play our game, you know. No matter how well you know someone or not, it's a new day and a new match, and you just try to go out there and perform.

Q. Is this one of the matches early in the season [that] you were looking for consistency and it just wasn't there today?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah. I mean: there is no grey area. It was just up and down in many areas, and just finished at the down level.

Q. Was it a lack of match-practice? You needed a few more matches perhaps to sharpen up?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: I mean: I don't really know what 'match-practice' has to do with being up 4-2, 15/40 [in the first set] and not making a second-serve return, so...

Q. Your serve let you down again at crucial times. How much of a frustration has that become for you?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Actually, I thought I served pretty big. I don't think that was the reason I lost the match today. Uhm, I served big when I had to. I served big second serves.

You know, if I'm gonna serve at that pace and do it for three hours and make those types of mistakes, then I'm okay with it. You know, I'm okay with making mistakes when I'm going after it, trying to control the situation instead of being passive.

Q. So you're happy with where your serve's at?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: There's still a lot to improve. You know, there's a lot of consistency that I'll have to add to it.

But as far as, you know, how I hit it and, uhm, the level, where it was compared to where it was last year, it's great. I felt really good about it coming here.

Q. Did you ever feel really good at any time during the match off the ground?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: I mean: she's not really the type of player that makes you feel that good, but there are many of those types of players. She changes the pace a lot. Uhm, you know, she just has a little bit of a different type of game. Today, she was just able to execute many things really well.

Q. In Grand Slams [sic], you've always given the impression of knowing exactly where the ball is going. Have you lost a little bit of the belief that where you hit it is where it's going to land?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: I wouldn't say it's 'belief'. I think 'belief' is either something you have or you don't have. Whether it's just a little bit of, uhm, you know, maybe confidence, uhm, obviously it's the first tournament of the year and, you know, I just came up against somebody that just played really good tennis. That's just the way it goes.

Q. How would you describe your sense of confidence right now?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Uhm, well, I'm leaving on Monday of the first week, so that explains a lot.

Q. What is your level of confidence like with your own body and your fitness? Does that play on your mind at all?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: With what?

Q. Your fitness, the shoulder.

MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, [it] doesn't.

Q. During matches, does it play any part? Is it holding you back at all?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: No.

Q. Where is your level of disappointment, or do you just chalk it up: "It's first round of a Grand Slam [sic], that can happen first round of a Slam"?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: I mean: I could be disappointed, or I could just take it as it is and just go back on the court and just keep working.

I choose Option Two.

Q. Why didn't you play any tournaments before?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: I never do. It's worked before.

Q. So do you go on and start thinking about Paris [the French Open] now?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: About Paris?

Q. About Paris.

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Not yet. Are you saying I'm going to go on a clay-court right now? Wishful thinking.

No, not yet. We have a few more events before Paris, so...

Q. What do you say to yourself now in order to recover, let's say, psychologically from a defeat, which is painful, I guess?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Uhm, that it's a bad day and you have to get on with your life. You know, there are many worse situations in life. There are people that don't even know what a tennis-match is in the world.

You know, just a bad day. A bad day's not going to stop me from doing what I love. I'm still gonna go back on the court and work hard and perform. I'll be back here on a Saturday of the second week, so you'll watch.


Little Maria's press-conference
-------------------------------

Q. Would that be the best win of your short career?

MARIA KIRILENKO: Well, I think I already beat her maybe a few years ago, Maria, and I beat already [a] couple [of] good players from top ten.

I think it's one of, yeah, the best wins for me.

Q. Did you have a game-plan going into the match?

MARIA KIRILENKO: Well, of course, yes. And I expect it, you know. Maria Sharapova plays so aggressive, and her ball's coming so hard.

And, yeah, I was prepared, you know. I was also trying to be aggressive. And, yeah, I think that's helped me as well.

Q. What was going through your mind with two match-points?

MARIA KIRILENKO: Well, nothing, I think, special. I was just concentrate - try to concentrate on the point and imagine that it's not the match-point, you know. Because when you have a match-point, of course the nerves [are] going to you, and you just, yeah, too [much] emotion.

And, yeah, I try to be, you know, calm, focused. Then, yeah, when I won the match-point, [it] was great.

Q. At what point in the match did you know that you had her in the bag?

MARIA KIRILENKO: Actually, in the first set, I was a little bit late, you know. She was playing so aggressive, and I kind of made a defensive, you know, play.

And then I start to feel much better in the second set, actually. I start to feel that I can be aggressive as well. I did more winners than in first set.

And from that point, I started to feel that, yeah, I'm playing good from the baseline and I can beat her.

Q. You've had some knee-problems. Suddenly, did you feel like you were moving much better than you had for a long time?

MARIA KIRILENKO: Yeah, it's true. I had a knee-problem last year, actually here in Australia. It was not so good. Actually after Wimbledon, yeah, I start to make some treatment, you know. It's really helped me.

Since that time, I have less pain on my knee. For example, today I played three and a half hours, and I didn't even have a pain. And I was moving quite good, I think.

Q. To be a friend of Maria and know her well, it helps or it doesn't help at all?

MARIA KIRILENKO: Well, actually I'm friends with everybody, you know. All the locker-room are my friends.

I mean, you know, when you [are] on the court, you don't think about that she's my friend or what. Both of us want to win, you know, and be in the next round.

So that's what you think about.

Q. Is it possible I read on your lips "vamos" sometimes when you do a point, or not?

MARIA KIRILENKO: Yes, because I'm practising in Spain, in Valencia, and all the guys, coaches, they [are] always saying "vamos". That's why, I think, say, instead of say, "come on", I say, "vamos".

Q. What did you do in the off-season, and what was your routine leading up to this?

MARIA KIRILENKO: Yeah, I had last tournament in Moscow - in my hometown. After that, I had holidays at home actually for, I don't know, I think two weeks, and then I start to practise in Moscow with my fitness, and also a little bit of tennis, you know, step by step.

Then I went to Valencia for practice more.

Q. When did you come here?

MARIA KIRILENKO: I came [on] Wednesday, I think. Because I played Auckland, and then I didn't play Sydney because I was late for the 'qualies'. I had to play 'qualies' there. I had a nice week [of] practice before Australia.

Q. You put your fingers to your lips late in the match. Was that to get the crowd to quieten down?

MARIA KIRILENKO: It's unbelievable. I got so many questions in the locker-room, in the players' lounge. What did you do? What does it mean? I don't know. Everyone can think, "What does that mean?"

Normally, it was for me actually, that everything is calm, you know. Because, you know, of course it's a great win, but it's only the first round I pass. It's nothing big [that] happens, actually.

Q. Do you know that usually Arshavin does the same when he kicks the goal?

MARIA KIRILENKO: Yeah, that's true. That's what Kuznetsova just told me. Because she thinking that I was watching Arshavin before the match.

But that's not it. I said, "No, I didn't watch."

Q. At 5-3 [in the third set], you threw away a couple of line-challenges. You seemed quite desperate to get it finished. How important mentally is it to come through a match like that?

MARIA KIRILENKO: Yeah, I get a little bit nervous at 5-3 when I was serving. Actually, her return: she start to play quite aggressive. For me, [it] was little bit difficult, you know, because the ball [was] coming so fast.

When you [are a] little bit nervous, you need to control the ball as well. Maybe [the ball from me] was a little bit short, and she, yeah, just made some winners.

But actually, I didn't do mistakes. I didn't make easy mistakes, so she won that game.

Q. Is it hard, as a returner, to know what to expect with Maria's serve?

MARIA KIRILENKO: I mean, yes, her serve - she didn't do too much double faults actually today. I expected to get more.

And, yeah, her serve was quite fast. You know, I watched on the speed-machine: [it] was 108 [miles per hour]. Like she improved with the serve, the speed of the serve.

And I think my return is quite good. I returned so many her serves today, especially first serve.

Q. Last year, you were playing a lot of doubles together with Pennetta. Everybody said it was the best pair from an aesthetic point of view. Did you split up because there was a rivalry in terms of beauty?

MARIA KIRILENKO: It sounds like you're from Italy, right?

Yeah, I played with Flavia one and a half years, I think. After Wimbledon, I don't know, we both decided to stop and change the partner, because sometimes it's going so well, and then, you know, it doesn't go well. Then you want to stop for a moment.

I don't know; maybe we [will] continue to play with her in the future.

Q. What did you think of Maria's outfit or costume? Do you ever pay attention to things like that?

MARIA KIRILENKO: It was blue, I think, like Powerade. I mean: yeah, what can I say? [It] was [a] good dress. She always have a nice dresses [sic]. I think I always have a nice dresses as well.

But I changed from Stella from US Open, and still I think they did making good clothes for me: so colourful. I'm really comfortable in that, as well.

Q. Your boyfriend plays Federer. Have you had a word about how to take down the big guns?

MARIA KIRILENKO: Yeah: he had Federer and I have Sharapova. I think before the matches, he said that we can start the year like loud, you know. And I already start the year loud, I think. So now [it's] his turn.

Of course [it] is going to be tough, but, you know, in the first round, you know, never know what's gonna happen.

--------------------------------------------------------
5. First-round scoreboard-report: Chakvetadze v Pennetta (Monday 18th January 2010)
--------------------------------------------------------

- Anna Chakvetadze [EF] lt. FLAVIA PENNETTA [12,DF], 3-6 6-3 2-6

I didn't honestly expect Anna to beat Flavia after the 2009 they both had; I'm pretty pleased with the scoreline after Anna's last two losses to Flavia.

But now Anna must rue blown leads in both the sets that she lost: *3-2 in the first, 2-0* in the third. In both cases, she didn't win another game in the set.

The match featured two rain-delays: about 25 minutes at *3-4 (15/30) in the first set, and over 2 hours at *3-1 (15/15) in the second. They did not appear to affect the momentum.


First set
---------
CHAKVETA _* *@____ 3
PENNETTA * *__@*@* 6

The match was second on Show Court 3, and started at 13:34 AEDT.

Flavia serving 0-0: 15/0. 15/15. 40/15. 40/30. Held.
Anna serving 0-1: 40/0. Held.
Flavia serving 1-1: 0/15. 40/15. Held.
Anna serving 1-2: 15/15. 40/15. 40/30. Held.
Flavia serving 2-2: 0/30. Broken.
Anna serving 3-2: 0/40 (BP). Broken.
Flavia serving 3-3: 0/15. 40/15. Held.
Anna serving 3-4: 0/30. 15/30. Rain-delay (c.14:05 - 14:30 AEDT). 15/40 (BP). Broken.
Flavia serving 5-3: 0/30. 15/30. 15/40 (BP×2). Deuce. Ad Flavia (SP #1). Flavia won the first set 6-3 at 14:35 AEDT (1h01m).


Second set
----------
CHAKVETA * *@* * * 6
PENNETTA _*___* *_ 3

Anna serving 0-0: 15/0. 15/15. 40/15. Held.
Flavia serving 0-1: 15/0. 15/30. 40/30. Held.
Anna serving 1-1: 0/30. 40/30. Deuce #1. Ad Anna. Deuce #2. Ad Flavia (BP). Deuce #3. Ad Anna. Held.
Flavia serving 1-2: 0/40 (BP). 15/40 (BP #2). Broken.

Anna serving 3-1: 0/15. 15/15. Rain-delay (c.14:55 - 16:59 AEDT). 05:59 30/15. 40/15. Deuce #1. Ad Flavia (BP). Deuce #2. Ad Anna. Held.

Flavia serving 1-4: 0/15. 15/15. 15/30. 40/30. Held.
Anna serving 4-2: 30/0. 30/15. 40/15. Held.
Flavia serving 2-5: 15/0. 15/15. 40/15. Held.
Anna serving 5-3: 0/30. 30/30. 30/40 (BP). Deuce. Ad Anna (SP #1). Anna won the second set 6-3 at 17:18 AEDT (second set 2h43m, match so far 3h44m - including rain-delays).


Third set
---------
CHAKVETA @*______ 2
PENNETTA __*@*@*@ 6

Flavia serving 0-0: 15/15. 15/40 (BP). Broken.
Anna serving 1-0: 40/0. Held.
Flavia serving 0-2: 0/15. 30/15. 30/40 (BP). Deuce. Ad Flavia. Held.

Anna serving 2-1: 0/30. 15/30. 15/40 (BP×2). Deuce. Ad Flavia (BP #3). Broken.

Flavia serving 2-2: 15/0. 15/15. 40/15. Held.
Anna serving 2-3: 15/0. 15/30. 15/40 (BP #1). 30/40 (BP #2). Broken.
Flavia serving 4-2: 40/0. Held.

Anna serving 2-5: 0/15. 30/15. 30/30. 40/30. Deuce. Ad Flavia (MP #1). Flavia won 6-3 3-6 6-2 at 17:52 AEDT (third set 34m, match 4h18m - including rain-delays).


Statistics
----------

Anna was more aggressive and erratic, with a W:UE ratio of 24:52 to Flavia's 19:39. Anna used to be a counterpuncher in 2005, until she discovered flairsome power in 2006, but since 2008 she's too erratic.

Both girls got 60% of first serves in, and their second-serve winning-percentages were almost identical (Anna 49%, Flavia 48%). The big difference was in their first-serve winning-percentages (Flavia 70%, Anna 58%).

They each served 3 aces, with Anna serving 5 double faults to Flavia's 3.

Flavia served faster than Anna in all categories: fastest 109-106 mph, average first serve 97-94 mph, average second serve 76-73 mph.

Anna broke 3 times from 7 BPs, Flavia 5 times from 11 BPs.

Anna won a poor 4 of 9 points at the net (44%), while Flavia won 12 of 17 (71%).

In points, Flavia won 84-77.

--------------------------------------------
6. First-round TV-report: Dokić v Kleybanova (Monday 18th January 2010)
--------------------------------------------

- Jelena Dokić [EF] lt. ALISA KLEYBANOVA [27], 1-6 5-7

I saw this match on the Red Button, as the BBC condescended to show it instead of recorded Murray! I guess they must have taken on board the complaint I submitted last year about gender-equality and jingoism!

What struck me about the match was how emotional Jelena looked. Ever since she walked down the corridor onto Rod Laver Arena, she looked as though she was trying not to cry. Her body-language throughout the match was all negative: looking glum, chewing on wasps, waving her racket, muttering, &c. The "c'mon"s and fist-pumps that punctuated her fourth-round win over Kleybanova at the Australian Open 2009 were conspicuous by their absence.

In BBC 2's live coverage of Murray v Anderson earlier, Chris Bailey said that all was not well in the Dokić-camp; that Jelena was in tears on the practice-court; that there were clearly some differences of opinion between Jelena and her coach Borna Bikić.

I think that Jelena was in a terrible head-space - perhaps a combination of the pressure of defending her Australian Open 2009 quarter-final with some off-court distractions, such as the alleged air-rage incident involving the Bikić-brothers on the flight from Hobart to Melbourne. Apparently they were warned by police for repeatedly nudging the seat of a fellow passenger; Jelena herself was not involved in the incident.

Or perhaps her father Damir has taken a turn for the worse in jail? He's been on hunger-strike since October 2009, so I'm surprised not to see news of his death by now...

Jelena hit some very nice groundstrokes of flairsome power in this match, reminding us what a brilliant striker of the ball she is. But it was a very up-and-down performance, as she also hit several wild errors, her footwork was much poorer than it was at the AO 2009, she didn't close in properly when she went to the net, and she didn't serve well.

Kleybanova served extremely well, hitting 11 aces and numerous unreturnables. That made it very difficult for Jelena to get into the match - especially in the first set, when the 6-1 scoreline was a harsh assessment of Jelena's performance. But Jelena could do little to exploit Kleybanova's lack of mobility.

Kleybanova endangered her victory by throwing in a bad service-game at 6-1 *5-4, but Jelena threw away the lifeline at *5-5 by getting broken to love, and Kleybanova finally closed it out after one deuce at *6-5.

I'll post my full TV-report at a later date (pessimistic estimate: 21st February).

-------------------
7. First-round draw
-------------------
7.1 Top quarter: Vera Zvonarëva
-------------------------------

* Urszula Radwańska v SERENA WILLIAMS [1] (dawaj Ula!)
* Petra Kvitová v Jill Craybas
* Renata Voráčová [Q] v Andrea Petković
* Ayumi Morita [s] v CARLA SUÁREZ NAVARRO [32] (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 [13] 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 [28] 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!)


7.2 Second quarter: Daniela Hantuchová & Lucie Šafářová
-------------------------------------------------------

* CAROLINE WOZNIACKI [4] 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 [29] (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 [16] (go Marina!)

* Tatjana Malek v AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA [10] (komm jetzt Tatjana!)
* Melanie Oudin v Alla Kudryavtseva
* Alicia Molik [WC] v Julie Coin (go Alicia!)
* Alizé Cornet v FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE [17] (allez Alizé!)

* Karolina Šprem [DF] v ANABEL MEDINA GARRIGUES [25] (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 [6] (POJĎME LUCIE!!)


7.3 Third quarter
-----------------

* ELENA DEMENTIEVA [5] won
* Justine Henin [WC] won
* Sorana Cîrstea v Olivia Rogowska [WC] (hai Sorana!)
* ALISA KLEYBANOVA [27] won

* Ekaterina Makarova v Virginie Razzano (davai Ekaterina!)
* Klára Zakopalová v Sara Errani (pojďme Klára!)
* Yanina Wickmayer [Q] won
* FLAVIA PENNETTA [12,DF] won

* KIM CLIJSTERS [15] won
* Sesil Karatantcheva [WC] v Tamarine Tanasugarn, 1-6 6-5*
* Chan,Yung-Jan v Kaia Kanepi
* Edina Gallovits v NADIA PETROVA [19]

* Sania Mirza [DF] v ARAVANE REZAĎ [26] (my loyalty is to Sania)
* Olga Govortsova v Angelique Kerber [Q] (davai Olga!)
* Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova won
* SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [3] won


7.4 Bottom quarter
------------------

* Monica Niculescu [s] v JELENA JANKOVIĆ [8] (hai Monica!)
* Katie O'Brien v Patricia Mayr (go Katie!)
* Yuliana Fedak [Q] v Polona Hercog (my loyalty is to Yuliana)
* ALYONA BONDARENKO [31] v Kathrin Wörle [Q] (davai Alyona!)

* MARÍA JOSÉ MARTÍNEZ SÁNCHEZ [24] won
* Zheng,Jie won
* Sandra Záhlavová v Coco Vandeweghe [WC]
* MARION BARTOLI [11,DF,S] v Rossana de los Ríos (allez Marion!)

* Maria Kirilenko [DF] won
* Yvonne Meusburger [Q] won
* Roberta Vinci v Anna-Lena Grönefeld (forza Roberta!)
* DOMINIKA CIBULKOVÁ [23] v Vania King, 3-6 2-1* (15/30*)

* KATERYNA BONDARENKO [30] won
* Elena Baltacha won
* Barbora Záhlavová Strýcová v Regina Kulikova [Q], 7-6 (7/5) 6-7 (10/12) *4-3
* DINARA SAFINA [2] won

------------------
8. Andrew's wishes (updated after Day 1)
------------------
8.1 Second round: Top half
--------------------------

* Urszula Radwańska d. Petra Kvitová
* Ayumi Morita [s] d. Renata Voráčová [Q]
* SABINE LISICKI [21,DF] d. Varvara Lepchenko
* SAMANTHA STOSUR [13] d. Kristina Barrois

* VERA ZVONARËVA [9,EF] d. Iveta Benešová
* ANA IVANOVIĆ [20,DF] d. Gisela Dulko [DF]
* ELENA VESNINA [28] d. Yaroslava Shvedova (difficult to choose!)
* VICTORIA AZARENKA [7,DF] d. Stefanie Vögele (my Passion says Stefanie, but my Reason says Vika)

* CAROLINE WOZNIACKI [4] d. Tamira Paszek
* Tsvetana Pironkova [DF] d. Lucie Hradecká [s]
* DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [22,EF] d. Jarmila Groth [WC]
* Marina Eraković d. Ágnes Szávay

* Tatjana Malek d. Melanie Oudin
* Alizé Cornet d. Alicia Molik [WC]
* Karolina Šprem [DF] d. Casey Dell'Acqua [WC]
* Lucie Šafářová [EF] d. Arantxa Parra Santonja [s]


8.2 Second round: Bottom half
-----------------------------

* ELENA DEMENTIEVA [5] d. Justine Henin [WC]
* Sorana Cîrstea d. ALISA KLEYBANOVA [27]
* Klára Zakopalová d. Ekaterina Makarova
* FLAVIA PENNETTA [12,DF] d. Yanina Wickmayer [Q]

* Sesil Karatantcheva [WC] d. KIM CLIJSTERS [15]
* Edina Gallovits d. Chan,Yung-Jan
* Sania Mirza [DF] d. Olga Govortsova
* Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova d. SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [3]

* Monica Niculescu [s] d. Katie O'Brien (my Passion says Katie, but my Reason says Monica)
* Yuliana Fedak [Q] d. ALYONA BONDARENKO [31]
* Zheng,Jie d. MARÍA JOSÉ MARTÍNEZ SÁNCHEZ [24]
* MARION BARTOLI [11,DF,S] d. Sandra Záhlavová

* Maria Kirilenko [DF] d. Yvonne Meusburger [Q]
* DOMINIKA CIBULKOVÁ [23] d. Roberta Vinci
* Elena Baltacha d. KATERYNA BONDARENKO [30]
* Barbora Záhlavová Strýcová d. DINARA SAFINA [2]


8.3 Third-round wishes
----------------------

* Urszula Radwańska d. Ayumi Morita [s]
* SABINE LISICKI [21,DF] d. SAMANTHA STOSUR [13]
* VERA ZVONARËVA [9,EF] d. ANA IVANOVIĆ [20,DF]
* VICTORIA AZARENKA [7,DF] d. ELENA VESNINA [28]

* Tsvetana Pironkova [DF] d. CAROLINE WOZNIACKI [4]
* DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [22,EF] d. Marina Eraković
* Alizé Cornet d. Tatjana Malek
* Lucie Šafářová [EF] d. Karolina Šprem [DF]

* Sorana Cîrstea d. ELENA DEMENTIEVA [5]
* FLAVIA PENNETTA [12,DF] d. Klára Zakopalová
* Edina Gallovits d. Sesil Karatantcheva [WC]
* Sania Mirza [DF] d. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

* Yuliana Fedak [Q] d. Monica Niculescu [s]
* MARION BARTOLI [11,DF,S] d. Zheng,Jie
* Maria Kirilenko [DF] d. DOMINIKA CIBULKOVÁ [23]
* Elena Baltacha d. Barbora Záhlavová Strýcová


8.4 Fourth-round wishes
-----------------------

* SABINE LISICKI [21,DF] d. Urszula Radwańska
* VERA ZVONARËVA [9,EF] d. VICTORIA AZARENKA [7,DF]
* DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [22,EF] d. Tsvetana Pironkova [DF]
* Lucie Šafářová [EF] d. Alizé Cornet

* FLAVIA PENNETTA [12,DF] d. Sorana Cîrstea
* Sania Mirza [DF] d. Edina Gallovits
* MARION BARTOLI [11,DF,S] d. Yuliana Fedak [Q]
* Maria Kirilenko [DF] d. Elena Baltacha


8.5 Quarter-final wishes
------------------------

* VERA ZVONARËVA [9,EF] d. SABINE LISICKI [21,DF]
* DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [22,EF] d. Lucie Šafářová [EF] (sorry, Lucie)
* FLAVIA PENNETTA [12,DF] d. Sania Mirza [DF]
* Maria Kirilenko [DF] d. MARION BARTOLI [11,DF,S]


8.6 Semi-final wishes
---------------------

* DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [22,EF] d. VERA ZVONARËVA [9,EF] (sorry, Vera)
* Maria Kirilenko [DF] d. FLAVIA PENNETTA [12,DF]


8.7 Final-wish
--------------

* DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [22,EF] d. Maria Kirilenko [DF]

----------------------------
9. Order of play for Tuesday
----------------------------

I list only those courts on which members of my Eternal Fanship are scheduled to play singles.

Hisense Arena (start 11:00 AEDT = 00:00 GMT)
MS 1r: FERNANDO VERDASCO [9] v Carsten Ball [WC]
WS 1r: Monica Niculescu [s] v JELENA JANKOVIĆ [8]
MS 1r: JO-WILFRIED TSONGA [10] v Sergiy Stakhovsky
WS 1r: Lucie Šafářová [EF] v VENUS WILLIAMS [6]
MS 1r: NOVAK ĐOKOVIĆ [3] v Daniel Gimeno-Traver

BBC Red Button will be showing Youzhny v Gasquet on Margaret Court Arena, instead of the Rod Laver Arena evening-session, so no women's match on the BBC on Tuesday!

Full order of play:
http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/schedule/

--
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 : Jan 18th, 2010 at 11:19 PM.
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Andrew's report for Day 2

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

1. Photos
2. First-round results
3. First-round scoreboard-report: Šafářová v V.Williams
4. First-round draw
5. Andrew's wishes
6. Women's Doubles: First-round draw
7. Order of play for Wednesday

---------
1. Photos
---------

Recommended searches for Day 2:
* safarova
* ivanovic
* mirza
* dulko
* bartoli
* cornet
* urszula radwanska
* niculescu
* rezai
* molik
* makarova
* o'brien
* stosur

----------------------
2. First-round results (Tuesday 19th January 2010)
----------------------

Lucie Šafářová's loss makes it 0:5 for my Eternal Fanship so far, with Daniela Hantuchová and Vera Zvonarëva to play their first-round matches on Wednesday.

The BBC's decision to televise Youzhny v Gasquet from the Margaret Court Arena, instead of the Rod Laver Arena evening-session, meant that there was no women's match on BBC Red Button today. We could have seen the third set of Molik v Coin if only that choker Gasquet had converted his match-point at 2:1 6-5*.

Nice winner, nice loser:
+ Karolina Šprem [DF] d. ANABEL MEDINA GARRIGUES [25], 6-3 6-2
- Sania Mirza [DF] lt. ARAVANE REZAĎ [26], 4-6 2-6
- Yuliana Fedak [Q] lt. Polona Hercog, 4-6 0-6
- Klára Zakopalová lt. Sara Errani, 2-6 6-7 (5/7)

What rocked:
+ SABINE LISICKI [21,DF] d. Petra Martić, 6-1 6-4
+ ANA IVANOVIĆ [20,DF] d. Shenay Perry [Q], 6-2 6-3
+ Gisela Dulko [DF] d. Zuzana Kučová [Q], 6-0 5-7 7-5
+ MARION BARTOLI [11,DF,S] d. Rossana de los Ríos, 6-4 6-1
+ Sorana Cîrstea d. Olivia Rogowska [WC], 6-3 2-6 6-2
+ ALYONA BONDARENKO [31] d. Kathrin Wörle [Q], 6-2 6-2
+ Katie O'Brien d. Patricia Mayr, 6-3 6-3
+ Roberta Vinci d. Anna-Lena Grönefeld, 7-5 6-4
+ Ekaterina Makarova d. Virginie Razzano, 6-2 6-3
+ SAMANTHA STOSUR [13] d. Han,Xinyun [Q], 6-1 3-6 6-2
+ Casey Dell'Acqua [WC] d. Anastasiya Yakimova, 6-2 3-6 6-4
+ Petra Kvitová d. Jill Craybas, 6-1 7-5
+ Sandra Záhlavová d. Coco Vandeweghe [WC], 6-0 6-1
+ Barbora Záhlavová Strýcová d. Regina Kulikova [Q], 7-6 (7/5) 6-7 (10/12) 6-3
+ Kristina Barrois d. Akgul Amanmuradova, 6-0 7-6 (8/6)

What sucked:
- Lucie Šafářová [EF] lt. VENUS WILLIAMS [6], 2-6 2-6
- Alizé Cornet lt. FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE [17], 6-0 5-7 0-6
- DOMINIKA CIBULKOVÁ [23] lt. Vania King, 3-6 7-6 (7/5) 5-7
- Urszula Radwańska lt. SERENA WILLIAMS [1], 2-6 1-6
- Olga Govortsova lt. Angelique Kerber [Q], 3-6 3-6
- Arantxa Parra Santonja [s] lt. Sybille Bammer, 3-6 2-6
- Monica Niculescu [s] lt. JELENA JANKOVIĆ [8], 4-6 0-6
- Varvara Lepchenko lt. Alberta Brianti, 0-6 6-3 1-6
- Tatjana Malek lt. AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA [10], 1-6 0-6
- Alicia Molik [WC] lt. Julie Coin, 6-3 6-7 (4/7) 3-6
- Ayumi Morita [s] lt. CARLA SUÁREZ NAVARRO [32], 5-7 4-6
- Edina Gallovits lt. NADIA PETROVA [19], 3-6 4-6
- Sesil Karatantcheva [WC] lt. Tamarine Tanasugarn, 1-6 6-7 (0/7)
- Melanie Oudin lt. Alla Kudryavtseva, 6-2 5-7 5-7
- Chan,Yung-Jan lt. Kaia Kanepi, 6-7 (4/7) 2-6
- Renata Voráčová [Q] lt. Andrea Petković, 2-6 4-6

-------------------------------------------------------
3. First-round scoreboard-report: Šafářová v V.Williams (Tuesday 19th January 2010)
-------------------------------------------------------

- Lucie Šafářová [EF] lt. VENUS WILLIAMS [6], 2-6 2-6

A lacklustre performance from Lucie: the statistics indicate that she served very poorly, and had a W:UE ratio of 11:34. My interpretation of the statistics is that the left-pectoral-muscle strain with which Lucie retired from Hobart last week was still bothering her.

Venus assessed the match as follows: "I was playing a really talented player. Everyone knows how well Lucie can hit the ball. She definitely gets a lot of pace, and she's left-handed. We've had some tough matches in the past. I just wanted to stay focused and execute my game. Great way to start."

Lucie made a *0-3 start to the match (having wasted a break-point at 0-2*), so it was a relief when she finally lit the scoreboard by holding for 1-3*. She also held for 2-4*, but lost the first set on a double break.

Lucie broke at the start of the second set, but was broken back immediately. She saved break-points at *1-2 (15/40) to hold for 2-2*, but won just four points in the last four games of the match.


First set
---------
ŠAFÁŘOVÁ ___* *__ 2
WILLIAMS *@* * *@ 6

The match was fourth on Hisense Arena, and started at 18:51 AEDT.

Venus serving 0-0: 40/0. 40/30. Held.
Lucie serving 0-1: 0/40 (BP #1). 30/40 (BP #3). Broken.

Venus serving 2-0: 15/0. 15/15. 15/30. 30/40 (BP). Deuce. Ad Venus. Held.

Lucie serving 0-3: 40/0. 40/15. Held.
Venus serving 3-1: 40/0. Held.
Lucie serving 1-4: 30/0. 30/30. 40/30. Held.

Venus serving 4-2: 0/15. 30/15. 30/30. 40/30. Deuce #1. Ad Venus. Deuce #2. Ad Venus. Held.

Lucie serving 2-5: 0/15. 15/15. 15/40 (SP #1). Venus won the first set 6-2 at 19:26 AEDT (35m).


Second set
----------
ŠAFÁŘOVÁ @__*____ 2
WILLIAMS _@* *@*@ 6

Venus serving 0-0: 0/30. 15/30. 15/40 (BP #1). 30/40 (BP #2). Deuce #1. Ad Venus. Deuce #2. Ad Lucie (BP #3). Broken.

Lucie serving 1-0: 0/40 (BP #1). 15/40 (BP #2). Broken.
Venus serving 1-1: 40/0. 40/15. Held.
Lucie serving 1-2: 15/0. 15/40 (BP×2). Deuce. Ad Lucie. Held.
Venus serving 2-2: 40/0. Held.
Lucie serving 2-3: 0/15. 15/15. 15/40 (BP). Broken.
Venus serving 4-2: 0/15. 30/15. 30/30. 40/30. Held.
Lucie serving 2-5: 0/40 (MP #1). 15/40 (MP #2). Venus won 6-2 6-2 at 20:03 AEDT (second set 37m, match 1h12m).


Statistics
----------

Lucie served very poorly, getting only 48% of first serves in, winning 59% of the points when she did so, and 25% on second serve. Her swinging lefty serve is usually one of her great strengths, so if that wasn't working, it was a pretty severe handicap.

From the first set to the second, Lucie upped her first-serves-in percentage from 39% to 57%, but her winning-percentages deteriorated from (78%, 29%) to (46%, 20%). This suggests that she took the pace off her first serve as the match progressed - possibly because her left-pectoral-muscle strain worsened.

Venus got only 47% of first serves in, but her second serve was almost as effective as Lucie's first serve: Venus won 76% on first serve and 57% on second serve.

Venus's first serve was much faster than Lucie's: fastest 117-103 mph, average first serve 106-91 mph, average second serve 84-83 mph. Venus is one of the very fastest servers in women's tennis, but Lucie's slow first serves suggest that the left-pectoral-muscle strain with which she retired from Hobart was still bothering her.

Lucie served one ace and 6 double faults (3 in each set), which is quite high for just 8 service-games. Venus served 2 aces and 3 double faults.

Lucie broke once from 5 BPs, while Venus converted 5 of 11 BPs.

Lucie had a lacklustre W:UE ratio of 11:34 to Venus's 18:21.

Lucie won 3 of 5 points at the net (60%), Venus an impressive 11 of 12 (92%). Lucie only went to the net once in the second set - and lost that point.

In points, Venus won 62-37 (first set 31-20, second set 31-17).

-------------------
4. First-round draw
-------------------
4.1 Top quarter: Vera Zvonarëva
-------------------------------

* SERENA WILLIAMS [1] won
* Petra Kvitová won
* Andrea Petković won
* CARLA SUÁREZ NAVARRO [32] won

* SABINE LISICKI [21,DF] won
* Alberta Brianti won
* Kristina Barrois won
* SAMANTHA STOSUR [13] won

* VERA ZVONARËVA [9,EF] v Kristína Kučová [s] (my loyalty is to VERA)
* Iveta Benešová v Chang,Kai-Chen (pojďme Iveta!)
* Gisela Dulko [DF] won
* ANA IVANOVIĆ [20,DF] won

* ELENA VESNINA [28] 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!)


4.2 Second quarter: Daniela Hantuchová
--------------------------------------

* CAROLINE WOZNIACKI [4] 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 [29] (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 [16] (go Marina!)

* AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA [10] won
* Alla Kudryavtseva won
* Julie Coin won
* FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE [17] won

* Karolina Šprem [DF] won
* Casey Dell'Acqua [WC] won
* Sybille Bammer won
* VENUS WILLIAMS [6] won


4.3 Third quarter
-----------------

* ELENA DEMENTIEVA [5] won
* Justine Henin [WC] won
* Sorana Cîrstea won
* ALISA KLEYBANOVA [27] won

* Ekaterina Makarova won
* Sara Errani won
* Yanina Wickmayer [Q] won
* FLAVIA PENNETTA [12,DF] won

* KIM CLIJSTERS [15] won
* Tamarine Tanasugarn won
* Kaia Kanepi won
* NADIA PETROVA [19] won

* ARAVANE REZAĎ [26] won
* Angelique Kerber [Q] won
* Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova won
* SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [3] won


4.4 Bottom quarter
------------------

* JELENA JANKOVIĆ [8] won
* Katie O'Brien won
* Polona Hercog won
* ALYONA BONDARENKO [31] won

* MARÍA JOSÉ MARTÍNEZ SÁNCHEZ [24] won
* Zheng,Jie won
* Sandra Záhlavová won
* MARION BARTOLI [11,DF,S] won

* Maria Kirilenko [DF] won
* Yvonne Meusburger [Q] won
* Roberta Vinci won
* Vania King won

* KATERYNA BONDARENKO [30] won
* Elena Baltacha won
* Barbora Záhlavová Strýcová won
* DINARA SAFINA [2] won

------------------
5. Andrew's wishes (updated after Day 2)
------------------
5.1 Second round: Top half
--------------------------

* Petra Kvitová d. SERENA WILLIAMS [1]
* CARLA SUÁREZ NAVARRO [32] d. Andrea Petković
* SABINE LISICKI [21,DF] d. Alberta Brianti
* SAMANTHA STOSUR [13] d. Kristina Barrois

* VERA ZVONARËVA [9,EF] d. Iveta Benešová
* ANA IVANOVIĆ [20,DF] d. Gisela Dulko [DF]
* ELENA VESNINA [28] d. Yaroslava Shvedova (difficult to choose!)
* VICTORIA AZARENKA [7,DF] d. Stefanie Vögele (my Passion says Stefanie, but my Reason says Vika)

* CAROLINE WOZNIACKI [4] d. Tamira Paszek
* Tsvetana Pironkova [DF] d. Lucie Hradecká [s]
* DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [22,EF] d. Jarmila Groth [WC]
* Marina Eraković d. Ágnes Szávay

* AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA [10] d. Alla Kudryavtseva
* FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE [17] d. Julie Coin (better the devil I know)
* Karolina Šprem [DF] d. Casey Dell'Acqua [WC]
* VENUS WILLIAMS [6] d. Sybille Bammer


5.2 Second round: Bottom half
-----------------------------

* ELENA DEMENTIEVA [5] d. Justine Henin [WC]
* Sorana Cîrstea d. ALISA KLEYBANOVA [27]
* Ekaterina Makarova d. Sara Errani
* FLAVIA PENNETTA [12,DF] d. Yanina Wickmayer [Q]

* Tamarine Tanasugarn d. KIM CLIJSTERS [15]
* NADIA PETROVA [19] d. Kaia Kanepi
* ARAVANE REZAĎ [26] d. Angelique Kerber
* Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova d. SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [3]

* Katie O'Brien d. JELENA JANKOVIĆ [8]
* ALYONA BONDARENKO [31] d. Polona Hercog
* Zheng,Jie d. MARÍA JOSÉ MARTÍNEZ SÁNCHEZ [24]
* MARION BARTOLI [11,DF,S] d. Sandra Záhlavová

* Maria Kirilenko [DF] d. Yvonne Meusburger [Q]
* Roberta Vinci d. Vania King
* Elena Baltacha d. KATERYNA BONDARENKO [30]
* Barbora Záhlavová Strýcová d. DINARA SAFINA [2]


5.3 Third-round wishes
----------------------

* Petra Kvitová d. CARLA SUÁREZ NAVARRO [32]
* SABINE LISICKI [21,DF] d. SAMANTHA STOSUR [13]
* VERA ZVONARËVA [9,EF] d. ANA IVANOVIĆ [20,DF]
* VICTORIA AZARENKA [7,DF] d. ELENA VESNINA [28]

* Tsvetana Pironkova [DF] d. CAROLINE WOZNIACKI [4]
* DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [22,EF] d. Marina Eraković
* AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA [10] d. FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE [17]
* Karolina Šprem [DF] d. VENUS WILLIAMS [6]

* Sorana Cîrstea d. ELENA DEMENTIEVA [5]
* FLAVIA PENNETTA [12,DF] d. Ekaterina Makarova
* NADIA PETROVA [19] d. Tamarine Tanasugarn
* ARAVANE REZAĎ [26] d. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

* ALYONA BONDARENKO [31] d. Katie O'Brien
* MARION BARTOLI [11,DF,S] d. Zheng,Jie
* Maria Kirilenko [DF] d. Roberta Vinci
* Elena Baltacha d. Barbora Záhlavová Strýcová


5.4 Fourth-round wishes
-----------------------

* SABINE LISICKI [21,DF] d. Petra Kvitová
* VERA ZVONARËVA [9,EF] d. VICTORIA AZARENKA [7,DF]
* DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [22,EF] d. Tsvetana Pironkova [DF]
* Karolina Šprem [DF] d. AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA [10]

* FLAVIA PENNETTA [12,DF] d. Sorana Cîrstea
* ARAVANE REZAĎ [26] d. NADIA PETROVA [19]
* MARION BARTOLI [11,DF,S] d. ALYONA BONDARENKO [31]
* Maria Kirilenko [DF] d. Elena Baltacha


5.5 Quarter-final wishes
------------------------

* VERA ZVONARËVA [9,EF] d. SABINE LISICKI [21,DF]
* DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [22,EF] d. Karolina Šprem [DF]
* FLAVIA PENNETTA [12,DF] d. ARAVANE REZAĎ [26]
* Maria Kirilenko [DF] d. MARION BARTOLI [11,DF,S]


5.6 Semi-final wishes
---------------------

* DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [22,EF] d. VERA ZVONARËVA [9,EF] (sorry, Vera)
* Maria Kirilenko [DF] d. FLAVIA PENNETTA [12,DF]


5.7 Final-wish
--------------

* DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [22,EF] d. Maria Kirilenko [DF]

------------------------------------
6. Women's Doubles: First-round draw
------------------------------------

This section presents my selections - for the full draw, see
http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/draws/wd/

* Jelena Dokić [EF]/Petra Kvitová v (NURIA LLAGOSTERA VIVES/MARÍA JOSÉ MARTÍNEZ SÁNCHEZ)[3]

* Magdaléna Rybáriková [EF]/Renata Voráčová v Shahar Pe'er/Galina Voskoboeva

* Lucie Šafářová [EF]/Aleksandra Wozniak v Elena Baltacha/Liga Dekmeijere

* Anna Chakvetadze [EF]/Tamira Paszek v Lucie Hradecká [s]/Andrea Hlaváčková

* (GISELA DULKO [DF]/FLAVIA PENNETTA [DF])[13] v Alyona Bondarenko/Kateryna Bondarenko

* (HSIEH,SU-WEI [s]/PENG,SHUAI [s])[4] v Arantxa Parra Santonja [s]/Julia Görges

------------------------------
7. Order of play for Wednesday
------------------------------

I list only those courts on which members of my Eternal Fanship are scheduled to play singles.

Show Court 3 (start 11:00 AEDT = 00:00 GMT)
WS 1r: VERA ZVONARËVA [9,EF] v Kristína Kučová [s]
MS 2r: FERNANDO GONZÁLEZ [11] v Marsel Ilhan [LL]
WS 2r: ARAVANE REZAĎ [26] v Angelique Kerber [Q]
WS 2r: Sorana Cîrstea v ALISA KLEYBANOVA [27]

Court 7 (start 11:00 AEDT = 00:00 GMT)
WS 1r: DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [22,EF] v Viktoriya Kutuzova
WD 1r: (RAYMOND/STOSUR)[6] v Koryttseva/Kustova
WD 1r: Molik/Shaughnessy v Jans/Rosolska
WD 1r: Dokić [EF]/Kvitová v (LLAGOSTERA VIVES/MARTÍNEZ SÁNCHEZ)[3]

Dementieva v Henin is first on the Rod Laver Arena evening-session, but the only way we're going to get to watch it on the BBC is if Murray v Gicquel, which starts on Margaret Court Arena at the same time, finishes first!

My understanding is that the BBC plans to show Murray v Gicquel live on both BBC 2 and the Red Button. I don't expect the BBC to show Dementieva v Henin on the Red Button - I don't think the BBC is even capable of showing two simultaneous Australian Open matches, even when it has reserved two channels for the tennis.

Full order of play:
http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/schedule/

===================
ITF WOMEN'S CIRCUIT (Lutz, Florida, USA; green clay; ITF $25k)
===================
First-round draw
----------------

* NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ [4,EF] v Christina McHale (POJĎME NICOLE!!)

--
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 : Jan 19th, 2010 at 01:25 PM. Reason: minor aesthetic correction
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Andrew's TV-reports for Day 3

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

1. Photos
2. First-round results
3. Second-round results
4. First-round scoreboard-report: Zvonarëva v K.Kučová
5. First-round scoreboard-report: Hantuchová v Kutuzova
6. Second-round TV-report: Dementieva v Henin
7. Second-round draw and previews
8. Andrew's wishes
9. Women's Doubles: First round
10. Mixed Doubles: First-round draw
11. Order of play for Thursday

---------
1. Photos
---------

Recommended searches for Day 3:
* hantuchova
* zvonareva
* azarenka
* bartoli
* pennetta
* wozniacki
* wickmayer
* kucova
* peer
* errani
* hradecka
* zheng

Vera Zvonarëva had a big black support on her right ankle - a sad reminder of Wimbledon 2009, when she pulled out before her third-round match.

----------------------
2. First-round results (Wednesday 20th January 2010)
----------------------

Nice winner, nice loser:
+ DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [22,EF] d. Viktoriya Kutuzova, 3-6 6-1 7-5
+ VERA ZVONARËVA [9,EF] d. Kristína Kučová [s], 6-2 6-0
+ Julia Görges d. Tamira Paszek, 6-0 3-6 6-3
+ SHAHAR PE'ER [29] d. Lucie Hradecká [s], 6-7 (5/7) 6-2 6-1
+ Ágnes Szávay d. Stéphanie Dubois, 6-3 6-2

Daniela and Vera restored some pride to make it 2:5 for my Eternal Fanship - although with Daniela *0-4 down in the third set, it was very nearly 1:6.

What rocked:
+ Tsvetana Pironkova [DF] d. Galina Voskoboeva, 6-4 6-4
+ VICTORIA AZARENKA [7,DF] d. Stéphanie Cohen-Aloro [WC], 6-2 6-0
+ CAROLINE WOZNIACKI [4] d. Aleksandra Wozniak, 6-4 6-2
+ Iveta Benešová d. Chang,Kai-Chen, 7-5 6-2
+ Yaroslava Shvedova d. Kimiko Date Krumm, 6-4 6-2
+ Stefanie Vögele d. Melinda Czink, 7-5 6-7 (5/7) 9-7

What sucked:
- ELENA VESNINA [28] lt. Tathiana Garbin, 6-7 (5/7) 4-6
- Marina Eraković lt. LI,NA [16], 2-6 0-6
- Jarmila Groth [WC] lt. Sofia Arvidsson [Q], 2-6 6-4 4-6

-----------------------
3. Second-round results (Wednesday 20th January 2010)
-----------------------

Nice winner, nice loser:
+ Yanina Wickmayer [Q] d. FLAVIA PENNETTA [12,DF], 7-6 (7/2) 6-1
+ MARION BARTOLI [11,DF,S] d. Sandra Záhlavová, 6-4 6-4
+ ALYONA BONDARENKO [31] d. Polona Hercog, 6-4 7-5
+ Zheng,Jie d. MARÍA JOSÉ MARTÍNEZ SÁNCHEZ [24], 2-6 6-2 6-3
+ Sara Errani d. Ekaterina Makarova, 6-2 6-3

While I regret the loss of Flavia - especially when it consigns Anna Chakvetadze to the bottom quarter of the wooden-spoon list - I can't help feeling that this is poetic justice for Yanina, after she was forced to qualify despite her ranking of #16.

What rocked:
+ Maria Kirilenko [DF] d. Yvonne Meusburger [Q], 6-3 6-1
+ Roberta Vinci d. Vania King, 7-6 (9/7) 7-5
+ Elena Baltacha d. KATERYNA BONDARENKO [30], 6-2 7-5

I'm very pleased that Little Maria didn't fold in the next round. By beating Big Maria, she has inherited a tremendous responsibility! That responsibility may extend to the obligation to eliminate Dinara Safina at the fourth-round stage...

What sucked:
- ELENA DEMENTIEVA [5] lt. Justine Henin [WC], 5-7 6-7 (6/8)
- Sorana Cîrstea lt. ALISA KLEYBANOVA [27], 4-6 3-6
- ARAVANE REZAĎ [26] lt. Angelique Kerber [Q], 2-6 3-6
- Katie O'Brien lt. JELENA JANKOVIĆ [8], 2-6 2-6
- Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova lt. SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [3], 2-6 2-6
- Barbora Záhlavová Strýcová lt. DINARA SAFINA [2], 3-6 4-6

Mingers' disco:
+ NADIA PETROVA [19] d. Kaia Kanepi, 6-4 6-4
- Tamarine Tanasugarn lt. KIM CLIJSTERS [15], 3-6 3-6

------------------------------------------------------
4. First-round scoreboard-report: Zvonarëva v K.Kučová (Wednesday 20th January 2010)
------------------------------------------------------

+ VERA ZVONARËVA [9,EF] d. Kristína Kučová [s], 6-2 6-0

For the first six games, it looked like it was going to be a tough match against the world #108, as Vera broke for *3-1 but was broken back immediately for 3-2*. After that, however, she didn't lose another game, and wrapped up victory after just 56 minutes.

Kristína's serves were extremely slow. I didn't realise she was only 5'4".


First set
---------
ZVONAR * *@ @*@ 6
KUČOVÁ _*__@___ 2

The match was first on Court 7, and started at 11:13 AEDT.

Vera serving 0-0: 0/15. 15/15. 15/30. 40/30. Held.
Kristína serving 0-1: 15/0. 15/15. 30/15. 30/30. 40/30. Held.
Vera serving 1-1: 40/0. 40/15. Held.
Kristína serving 1-2: 0/40 (BP #1). 15/40 (BP #2). Broken.
Vera serving 3-1: 15/0. 15/40 (BP #1). 30/40 (BP #2). Broken.
Kristína serving 2-3: 0/15. 15/15. 15/30. 30/30. 30/40 (BP). Broken.
Vera serving 4-2: 40/0. Held.
Kristína serving 2-5: 0/30. Vera won the first set 6-2 at 11:41 AEDT (28m).


Second set
----------
ZVONAR *@*@*@ 6
KUČOVÁ ______ 0

Vera serving 0-0: 0/15. 30/15. 30/40 (BP #1). Deuce #1. Ad Kristína (BP #2). Deuce #2. Ad Vera. Held.

Kristína serving 0-1: 15/0. 15/40 (BP). Broken.
Vera serving 2-0: 30/0. 30/15. 40/15. Held.

Kristína serving 0-3: 15/0. 15/40 (BP×2). Deuce #1. Ad Kristína. Deuce #2. Ad Vera (BP #3). Broken.

Vera serving 4-0: 40/0. 40/30. Held.
Kristína serving 0-5: 15/0. 15/40 (MP #1). Vera won 6-2 6-0 at 12:09 AEDT (second set 28m, match 56m).

And now I can give my undivided attention to Daniela Hantuchová, who has just lost a deucy first set 3-6 to Viktoriya Kutuzova...


Statistics
----------

Vera had a positive W:UE ratio of 28:23 to Kristína's 4:17 (3 of Kristína's winners came in the second set).

Vera got 64% of first serves in, winning 85% of the points when she did so, and 33% on second serve.

Kristína got 54% of first serves in, winning 45% when she did so, and 16% on second serve (including none at all in the second set).

Vera served much faster than Kristína: fastest 105-97 mph, average first serve 101-88 mph, average second serve 89-75 mph. Kristína has a very slow serve by WTA standards!

Vera served 6 aces and 5 double faults, Kristína no aces and 4 double faults.

Vera converted 6 of 9 BPs, Kristína 1 of 4.

Vera won 9 of 14 points at the net (64%) - 5 of 9 in the first set (56%), 4 of 5 (80%) in the second set. This suggests that Kristína hit some good passing-shots in the first set.

Kristína won 2 of 2 points at the net (100%) - both in the second set.

In points, Vera won 56-27 (first set 28-14, second set 28-13).

Conclusion: Kristína was out of her depth, but I hope she will appreciate the lesson.

-------------------------------------------------------
5. First-round scoreboard-report: Hantuchová v Kutuzova (Wednesday 20th January 2010)
-------------------------------------------------------

+ DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [22,EF] d. Viktoriya Kutuzova, 3-6 6-1 7-5

Daniela staged an amazing recovery from *0-4 to 5-4* in the third set! She toiled for 2h42m, and doesn't get a day off between this and her second round.

In the first set, Daniela wasted two break-points at 1-0*, and Viktoriya got the first break for *3-2. The world #86 broke again to take the set 6-3.

Daniela faced three break-points at 3-6 *0-1 (including 15/40), then the scoreboard froze for 15 minutes as Daniela rattled off six games in a row to take the second set 6-1.

The key game of the third set was 1-4*, when Viktoriya led 30/0, and had four game-points that would have made it *1-5. After nine deuces, Daniela converted her sixth break-point to make it *2-4.

If Daniela felt any disappointment letting 5-4* (15/0*) in the third set become *5-5, she brushed it aside by holding to love and then breaking to 15 to take the match.


First set
---------
HANTUCHO * *___*__ 3
KUTUZOVA _* *@* *@ 6

The match was first on Court 7, and started at 11:16 AEDT.

Daniela serving 0-0: 15/0. 30/15. 40/15. 40/30. Deuce. Ad Daniela. Held.

Viktoriya serving 0-1: 30/0. 30/15. 40/15. Deuce #1. Ad Viktoriya. Deuce #2. Ad Daniela (BP #1). Deuce #3. Ad Daniela (BP #2). Deuce #4. Ad Viktoriya. Held.

Daniela serving 1-1: 0/15. 15/15. 15/30. 30/30. 30/40 (BP #1). Deuce #1. Ad Viktoriya (BP #2). Deuce #2. Ad Daniela. Held.

Viktoriya serving 1-2: 0/15. 40/15. Held.
Daniela serving 2-2: 15/0. 15/30. 30/30. 30/40 (BP). Broken.

Viktoriya serving 3-2: 15/0. 15/15. 30/15. 30/30. 40/30. Deuce. Ad Viktoriya. Held.

Daniela serving 2-4: 0/15. 15/15. 15/40 (BP×2). Deuce #1. Ad Viktoriya (BP #3). Deuce #2. Ad Daniela. Held.

Viktoriya serving 4-3: 30/0. 30/15. 40/15. Held.
Daniela serving 3-5: 0/30. 15/30. 15/40 (SP #1). Viktoriya won the first set 6-3 at 12:07 AEDT (51m).

And in just 5m over the time it took Daniela to lose that first set, Vera Zvonarëva - who started 3m earlier - has raced to a 6-2 6-0 win over Kristína Kučová.


Second set
----------
HANTUCHO *@*@*@ 6
KUTUZOVA *______ 1

Viktoriya serving 0-0: 40/0. 40/30. Held.

Daniela serving 0-1: 0/30. 15/30. 15/40 (BP×2). Deuce #1. Ad Viktoriya (BP #3). Deuce #2. Ad Daniela. Scoreboard froze...

Daniela serving 2-1: 30/15... 40/30. Held.
Viktoriya serving 1-3: 0/30. 15/30... Broken.
Daniela serving 4-1: 30/15. 40/15. Held.

Viktoriya serving 1-5: 15/0. 15/30. 30/30. 30/40 (SP #1). Deuce #1. Ad Viktoriya. Deuce #2. Ad Daniela (SP #2). Deuce #3. Ad Daniela (SP #3). Daniela won the second set 6-1 at 12:45 AEDT (second set 38m, match so far 1h29m).


Third set
---------
HANTUCHO ____*@*@* *@ 7
KUTUZOVA @*@*_____*__ 5

Daniela serving 0-0: 15/0. 15/15. 30/15. 30/30. 40/30. Deuce. Ad Viktoriya (BP). Broken.

Viktoriya serving 1-0: 15/0. 15/30. 40/30. Deuce #1. Ad Daniela (BP). Deuce #2. Ad Viktoriya. Deuce #3. Ad Viktoriya. Held.

Daniela serving 0-2: 0/30. 40/30. Deuce. Ad Viktoriya (BP). Broken.
Viktoriya serving 3-0: 40/0. 40/15. Held.
Daniela serving 0-4: 0/15. 30/15. 30/30. 40/30. Held.

Viktoriya serving 4-1: 30/0. 30/40 (BP #1). Deuce #1. Ad Viktoriya. Deuce #2. Ad Viktoriya. Deuce #3. Ad Viktoriya. Deuce #4. Ad Viktoriya. Deuce #5. Ad Daniela (BP #2). Deuce #6. Ad Daniela (BP #3). Deuce #7. Ad Daniela (BP #4). Deuce #8. Ad Daniela (BP #5). Deuce #9. Ad Daniela (BP #6). Broken.

Daniela serving 2-4: 0/15. 30/15. 30/30. 40/30. Held.
Viktoriya serving 4-3: 0/30. 15/30. 15/40 (BP). Broken.
Daniela serving 4-4: 40/0. Held.
Viktoriya serving 4-5: 0/15. 40/15. 40/30. Held.
Daniela serving 5-5: 40/0. Held.
Viktoriya serving 5-6: 0/15. 15/15. 15/40 (MP #1). Daniela won 3-6 6-1 7-5 at 13:58 AEDT (third set 1h13m, match 2h42m).


Statistics
----------

Daniela got 66% of her first serves in, winning 59% of the points when she did so, and 56% on second serve. All three of these percentages were at their lowest in the first set.

Viktoriya got 77% of first serves in, but won only 53% when she did so, and 44% on second serve. Her first-serves-in percentage increased from set to set, but her first-serve winning-percentage deteriorated from 73% for the first set to 38% for the second and 50% for the third.

Daniela served one ace and one double fault, Viktoriya no aces and four doubles faults.

Daniela broke 6 times from 15 BPs, while Viktoriya was even more wasteful: she broke 4 times from 12 BPs. The ones she'll rue are the three that Daniela saved at *0-1 in the second set, which changed the momentum of the match; Viktoriya converted 2 of 2 BPs in the third set.

Service-speeds are not available for this match.

According to the official statistics, Daniela made only 2 unforced errors, Viktoriya 8, and there isn't a row for winners.

In points, Daniela won 115-101 (first set 31-40, second set 34-20, third set 50-41).

---------------------------------------------
6. Second-round TV-report: Dementieva v Henin (Wednesday 20th January 2010)
---------------------------------------------

- ELENA DEMENTIEVA [5] lt. Justine Henin [WC], 5-7 6-7 (6/8)

Fortunately, Murray made short work of Gicquel while the first set and a half of this one was slow and deucy, so BBC Red Button joined it halfway through the second set, when the match was already over two hours old! Even though it was only two sets, it ended up lasting 2h50m!

It was a nailbiting half-set, even though my liking for Dementieva is mild, and the way I feel about Henin is indifference bordering on dislike. To have two of the leading title-contenders meet in the second round and produce such a titanic (albeit straight-sets) struggle... I feel very sorry for Dementieva to get such a draw. She did not deserve this after her excellent tournament-victory at Sydney.


Second set
----------

After a 15-minute delay after the end of Murray v Gicquel, while the BBC did whatever it has to do to change courts at the Australian Open, the Red Button joined the match with Henin leading 7-5 *3-4 (having just broken back from 2-4*).

The commentators suggested that, if this were to go to a third set, it could set a new record for the duration of a women's match!

Henin serving 3-4: Henin on the third stroke netted a backhand. 0/15. Henin's deep off-forehand induced Dementieva to net a backhand. 15/15. Henin hit a backhand dropshot-winner off a netcord from Dementieva. 30/15. Dementieva's deep backhand down the line induced Henin to net a forehand. 30/30. An intriguing rally, with several shots close to the lines, ended with Henin hitting a backhand volley just wide. 30/40 (BP). Deep first serve: backhand return long. Deuce. Henin's depth induced Dementieva to hit a backhand long. Ad Henin. Dementieva slugged a crosscourt backhand just wide.

Dementieva serving 4-4: Second serve out wide: Henin slapped a cheap forehand return into the net. 15/0. Henin's short-angled crosscourt backhand induced Dementieva to net a backhand. 15/15. Henin went to the net behind a low-bouncing ball, inducing Dementieva to net a backhand pass. 15/30. Dementieva on the third stroke netted a forehand. 15/40 (BP). Henin's short, low-bouncing backhand induced Dementieva to hit a backhand long.

Henin serving 5-4: Henin's short second serve was punished by a crosscourt backhand return-winner from Dementieva, but Henin challenged it: Hawk-Eye showed that it missed the sideline by about 20%. 15/0. Henin drew Dementieva to the net with a half-volley backhand dropshot, and hit a sliced backhand pass-winner. 30/0. Henin on the third stroke sprayed a wild crosscourt forehand wide. 30/15. Dementieva went to the net and hit a crosscourt backhand drop-volley winner. 30/30. First serve down the middle forced Dementieva to lunge wide and net a backhand return. 40/30 (MP #1). A deep first serve on the service-line forced a short return, but Henin dumped a simple forehand into the net. Deuce. Second serve was punished by an off-backhand return-winner. Ad Dementieva (BP). Henin hit a tentative crosscourt backhand that sat up nicely for Dementieva to fire a backhand winner down the line to break back.

What a game! A match-point choked away, then two brilliant points by Dementieva.

Sam Smith said Henin had slightly abbreviated her forehand for her comeback, "but it hasn't quite bedded in yet".

Dementieva serving 5-5: Henin failed to take initiative from a short-angled crosscourt forehand return, and hit a crosscourt forehand wide. 15/0. Dementieva hit a backhand wide off a deep return from Henin, and muttered to her mother. 15/15. Henin dominated the baseline-rally, her deep, penetrating backhand forcing Dementieva to net a forehand. 15/30. Henin on the fourth stroke netted a cheap forehand. 30/30. Dementieva went to the net and hit a forehand volley right to where Henin was standing; Henin hit a backhand pass-winner down the line. 30/40 (BP). Dementieva went to the net, but her weak volley sat up nicely for Henin to hit an error-forcing crosscourt forehand pass.

Henin serving 6-5: Dementieva opened up the court with a crosscourt forehand return, and hit a forehand winner down the line. 0/15. Henin's depth forced Dementieva to hit a forehand wide. Dementieva muttered emotionally in Russian. Sam Smith: "I haven't seen her this unhinged and this emotional for quite some time." 15/15. Dementieva's deep backhand return forced Henin to net a backhand. 15/30. Dementieva's short-angled crosscourt backhand forced Henin to stretch wide and net a backhand. 15/40 (BP #1). Dementieva hit a crosscourt forehand wide. 30/40 (BP #2). Henin dumped a backhand into the bottom of the net.

Seven breaks in a row!

6-6 tiebreak (all scores Dementieva/Henin):
{*0/0} Henin opened up the court with a down-the-line forehand, and hit a crosscourt forehand winner.
{0/1*} A nailbiting baseline-rally ended with Henin netting a forehand off a deep crosscourt forehand from Dementieva.
{1/1*} Second serve: Dementieva hit a backhand winner down Henin's backhand-sideline.
{*2/1} Dementieva's short-angled crosscourt forehand to the sideline forced Henin outside the tramlines to net a forehand.
{*3/1} Henin forced a floater from Henin, but it landed on the baseline, forcing a weak crosscourt backhand from Dementieva, allowing Henin to hit an error-forcing forehand.
{3/2*} Henin went to the net and picked off a low forehand volley-winner down the line.
{3/3*} Deep first serve down the middle forced Dementieva to lunge wide and earth a backhand return.
{*3/4} Henin's depth induced Dementieva to hit a backhand long.
{*3/5} Henin hit a down-the-line forehand return just wide.
{4/5*} Henin caught her second-serve toss; her second serve clipped the netcord and fell wide for her eighth double fault.
{5/5*} Henin hit a crosscourt backhand just wide.
{*6/5: SP #1} Henin hit a remarkable crosscourt forehand drive-volley winner right into the corner.
{*6/6} Henin's sliced crosscourt backhand kept very low, forcing Dementieva to net a backhand.
{6/7: MP #2} First serve out wide + backhand volley-winner down the line: just inside the sideline. Henin won 7-5 7-6 (8/6) at 21:59 AEDT (second set 1h27m, match 2h50m).

Sam Smith said it was the triumph of a "great champion" over a "great player".

But we saw there what Henin has lost in her year-and-a-half's retirement: she got very nervous when she was close to victory, and also looked physically spent. If Dementieva could have converted her set-point, I think the third set would have been a short one in her favour.

---------------------------------
7. Second-round draw and previews
---------------------------------
7.1 Top half: Vera Zvonarëva & Daniela Hantuchová
-------------------------------------------------

* Petra Kvitová v SERENA WILLIAMS [1]
* CARLA SUÁREZ NAVARRO [32] v Andrea Petković
* SABINE LISICKI [21,DF] v Alberta Brianti (komm jetzt Sabine!)
* SAMANTHA STOSUR [13] v Kristina Barrois (go Sam!)

* VERA ZVONARËVA [9,EF] v Iveta Benešová (my loyalty is to VERA)
* ANA IVANOVIĆ [20,DF] v Gisela Dulko [DF] (my Passion says Gisela, but my Reason says Ana)
* Yaroslava Shvedova v Tathiana Garbin (davai Yaroslava!)
* VICTORIA AZARENKA [7,DF] v Stefanie Vögele (my Passion says Stefanie, but my Reason says Vika)

* CAROLINE WOZNIACKI [4] v Julia Görges (my loyalty is to Caro)
* Tsvetana Pironkova [DF] v SHAHAR PE'ER [29] (my loyalty is to Tsvetana)
* DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [22,EF] v Sofia Arvidsson [Q] (POĎME DANIELA!!)
* Ágnes Szávay v LI,NA [16] (hajra Ágnes!)

* AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA [10] v Alla Kudryavtseva
* FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE [17] v Julie Coin (better the devil I know)
* Karolina Šprem [DF] v Casey Dell'Acqua [WC] (my loyalty is to Karolina)
* VENUS WILLIAMS [6] v Sybille Bammer


7.2 Bottom half
---------------

* Justine Henin [WC] won
* ALISA KLEYBANOVA [27] won
* Sara Errani won
* Yanina Wickmayer [Q] won

* KIM CLIJSTERS [15] won
* NADIA PETROVA [19] won
* Angelique Kerber [Q] won
* SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [3] won

* JELENA JANKOVIĆ [8] won
* ALYONA BONDARENKO [31] won
* Zheng,Jie won
* MARION BARTOLI [11,DF,S] won

* Maria Kirilenko [DF] won
* Roberta Vinci won
* Elena Baltacha won
* DINARA SAFINA [2] won


7.3 Preview: Zvonarëva v Benešová
---------------------------------

* VERA ZVONARËVA [9,EF] v Iveta Benešová

Iveta is a tricky left-handed player ranked #45, who tends to beat lower-ranked players but not trouble the big names. She did beat a #10-ranked Vera back in Charleston 2005, but that was in the middle of Vera's slump. Vera is much more consistent these days.

Vera leads their head-to-head 2:1:
+ 2002 Palermo: Vera won 6-2 7-6 (7/5)
- 2005 Charleston: Iveta won 6-4 4-6 7-5
+ 2008 Rome: Vera won 7-5 4-6 7-5

Iveta, who will turn 27 on 1st February, went 29:27 in 2009.

Iveta reached the Hobart final without dropping a set, but lost 7-5 6-1 to #49 Petra Kvitová. She went out in the second round of the Australian Open: 6-4 6-1 to #4 Elena Dementieva.

Iveta was a semi-finalist at Acapulco and Monterrey, and a quarter-finalist at Miami (albeit without beating a top-20 player). After a poor clay-court season (her favourite surface), she reached the third round of the French Open, but was thrashed 6-0 6-2 by defending champion Ana Ivanović.

Iveta reached the semi-finals of Prague, and the quarter-finals of Tokyo (beating #18 Virginie Razzano in the first round), where she pushed eventual champion Maria Sharapova hard in a 6-4 7-5 loss.

Other than the aforementioned highlights, though, Iveta suffered a lot of first- and second-round losses in 2009.

Iveta made a bad start to 2010, losing in the first round of Brisbane to #55 Andrea Petković, and in the first round of Hobart to #26 Anabel Medina Garrigues.

Iveta has reached the second round here with a 7-5 6-2 win over #94 Chang,Kai-Chen.

Conclusion: Iveta is not on good form, but could be dangerous if Vera's right ankle reacts badly to her first-round match - especially as Vera doesn't have the usual day off to recover.


7.4 Preview: Hantuchová v Arvidsson
-----------------------------------

* DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [22,EF] v Sofia Arvidsson [Q]

I saw Arvidsson lose to Ana Ivanović at the French Open 2008, but nothing about her style of play was memorable, so I assume she's just the prototypical baseliner. She comes into this tournament as a #139-ranked qualifier. Daniela has never played her before.

Arvidsson compiled a 30:24 win/loss record for 2009 - mainly on the ITF circuit. She started the year with six first-round losses in a row.

After a couple of first-round wins at ITFs in April and May, Arvidsson suffered a five-match losing-streak, but snapped it with a run to the semi-finals of ITF Kristienhamn in June (without beating anyone ranked higher than #260).

After yet another five-match losing-streak, Arvidsson reached the third round of US Open qualifying, but lost to #212 Chang,Kai-Chen.

However, she found much improved form from September onwards, winning ITF Saguenay (highest victim #133), reaching the semis of ITF Barnstaple, and beating #69 Jelena Dokić 6-2 7-6 in the final of ITF Joué-les-Tours.

Arvidsson extended her winning-streak to 12 matches by reaching the final of ITF Poitiers as a qualifier: she beat #51 Yaroslava Shvedova 7-5 6-1 in the last 16, but lost the final 6-4 6-4 to #64 Jelena Dokić.

Arvidsson finished her 2009 season with a semi-final at ITF Bratislava, where she lost 6-2 6-2 to #116 Evgeniya Rodina.

Arvidsson started 2010 with a loss in the first round of qualifying for Auckland: 6-7 6-4 6-2 to #131 Julia Schruff.

Arvidsson has reached the second round with the following results:
1q + #137 Marta Domachowska, 6-2 4-6 7-5
2q + #158 Katalin Marosi, 6-3 7-5
3q + #167 Anna Floris, 3-6 6-4 6-2
1r + #123 Jarmila Groth [WC], 6-2 4-6 6-4

Conclusion: Daniela has been very lucky in drawing a second-round opponent who deals mainly in triple-figure rankings, considering that Daniela toiled for 2h42m to win her first-round match, and doesn't have a day off in between. She should make short work of Arvidsson so that she'll be better rested going into the third round.

------------------
8. Andrew's wishes (updated after Day 3)
------------------
8.1 Third-round wishes
----------------------

* Petra Kvitová d. CARLA SUÁREZ NAVARRO [32]
* SABINE LISICKI [21,DF] d. SAMANTHA STOSUR [13]
* VERA ZVONARËVA [9,EF] d. ANA IVANOVIĆ [20,DF]
* VICTORIA AZARENKA [7,DF] d. Yaroslava Shvedova (my Passion says Yaroslava, but my Reason says Vika)

* Tsvetana Pironkova [DF] d. CAROLINE WOZNIACKI [4]
* DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [22,EF] d. Ágnes Szávay
* AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA [10] d. FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE [17]
* Karolina Šprem [DF] d. VENUS WILLIAMS [6]

* ALISA KLEYBANOVA [27] d. Justine Henin [WC]
* Yanina Wickmayer [Q] d. Sara Errani
* NADIA PETROVA [19] d. KIM CLIJSTERS [15]
* Angelique Kerber [Q] d. SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [3]

* ALYONA BONDARENKO [31] d. JELENA JANKOVIĆ [8]
* MARION BARTOLI [11,DF,S] d. Zheng,Jie
* Maria Kirilenko [DF] d. Roberta Vinci
* Elena Baltacha d. DINARA SAFINA [2]


8.2 Fourth-round wishes
-----------------------

* SABINE LISICKI [21,DF] d. Petra Kvitová
* VERA ZVONARËVA [9,EF] d. VICTORIA AZARENKA [7,DF]
* DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [22,EF] d. Tsvetana Pironkova [DF]
* Karolina Šprem [DF] d. AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA [10]

* Yanina Wickmayer [Q] d. ALISA KLEYBANOVA [27]
* Angelique Kerber [Q] d. NADIA PETROVA [19]
* MARION BARTOLI [11,DF,S] d. ALYONA BONDARENKO [31]
* Maria Kirilenko [DF] d. Elena Baltacha


8.3 Quarter-final wishes
------------------------

* VERA ZVONARËVA [9,EF] d. SABINE LISICKI [21,DF]
* DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [22,EF] d. Karolina Šprem [DF]
* Yanina Wickmayer [Q] d. Angelique Kerber [Q]
* Maria Kirilenko [DF] d. MARION BARTOLI [11,DF,S]


8.4 Semi-final wishes
---------------------

* DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [22,EF] d. VERA ZVONARËVA [9,EF] (sorry, Vera)
* Maria Kirilenko [DF] d. Yanina Wickmayer [Q]


8.5 Final-wish
--------------

* DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [22,EF] d. Maria Kirilenko [DF]

-------------------------------
9. Women's Doubles: First round
-------------------------------

This section presents my selections - for the full draw, see
http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/draws/wd/


9.1 First-round results (Wednesday 20th January 2010)
-----------------------

+ (HSIEH,SU-WEI [s]/PENG,SHUAI [s])[4] d. Arantxa Parra Santonja [s]/Julia Görges, 6-3 6-4

- Jelena Dokić [EF]/Petra Kvitová lt. (NURIA LLAGOSTERA VIVES/MARÍA JOSÉ MARTÍNEZ SÁNCHEZ)[3], 5-7 0-6

- Anna Chakvetadze [EF]/Tamira Paszek lt. Lucie Hradecká [s]/Andrea Hlaváčková, 4-6 3-6


9.2 First-round matches to be played on Thursday
------------------------------------------------

* Magdaléna Rybáriková [EF]/Renata Voráčová v Shahar Pe'er/Galina Voskoboeva

* Lucie Šafářová [EF]/Aleksandra Wozniak v Elena Baltacha/Liga Dekmeijere

* (GISELA DULKO [DF]/FLAVIA PENNETTA [DF])[13] v Alyona Bondarenko/Kateryna Bondarenko

-----------------------------------
10. Mixed Doubles: First-round draw
-----------------------------------

This section presents my selections - for the full draw, see
http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/draws/xd/

* (DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [EF]/DANIEL NESTOR)[2] v Anabel Medina Garrigues/Andre Sa

Wow - I thought Daniela retired from Mixed Doubles when she completed her Career Grand Slam in 2005! (with the exception of a first-round loss at the Australian Open 2007).

* Sania Mirza [DF]/Mahesh Bhupathi v Carly Gullickson/Bernard Tomić

* Monica Niculescu [s]/Julian Knowle [s] v Flavia Pennetta [DF]/Marcelo Melo

* Maria Kirilenko [DF]/Nenad Zimonjić v Raquel Kops-Jones/Dick Norman

------------------------------
11. Order of play for Thursday
------------------------------

I list only those courts on which members of my Eternal Fanship are scheduled to play singles.

Show Court 2 (start 11:00 AEDT = 00:00 GMT)
MS 2r: Ilya Marchenko v NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO [6]
WS 2r: VICTORIA AZARENKA [7,DF] v Stefanie Vögele
WS 2r: DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [22,EF] v Sofia Arvidsson [Q]
WD 1r: Kanepi/Wöhr v Azarenka [DF]/Kuznetsova

Court 18 (start 11:00 AEDT = 00:00 GMT)
MS 2r: Michael Berrer v Denis Istomin
WS 2r: VERA ZVONARËVA [9,EF] v Iveta Benešová
WD 1r: Janković/Perry v Krajíček [DF]/Cibulková
MD 1r: Kunitsyn/Sela v Chiudinelli/Troicki

The feature-match second on the Rod Laver Arena evening-session - which the BBC has no foreseeable excuse not to show - is Karolina Šprem v Casey Dell'Acqua. I'm really looking forward to seeing Karolina play again.

Full order of play:
http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/schedule/

===================
ITF WOMEN'S CIRCUIT (Lutz, Florida, USA; green clay; ITF $25k)
===================
First round (Wednesday 20th January 2010)
-----------

- NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ [4,EF] lt. Christina McHale, 4-6 2-6



--
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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Andrew's TV-reports for Day 4

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

1. Photos
2. Second-round results
3. Second-round scoreboard-report: Zvonarëva v Benešová
4. Second-round scoreboard-report: Hantuchová v Arvidsson
5. Second-round TV-report: Šprem v Dell'Acqua
6. Third-round draw
7. Andrew's wishes
8. Women's Doubles: First round
9. Order of play for Friday
10. UK TV-alert for Friday

---------
1. Photos
---------

Recommended searches for Day 4:
* hantuchova
* zvonareva
* ivanovic
* dulko
* sprem
* pironkova
* azarenka
* wozniacki
* voegele
* goerges
* peer
* szavay
* stosur
* zheng

-----------------------
2. Second-round results (Thursday 21st January 2010)
-----------------------

Having gone 2:6 in the first round, my Eternal Fanship went 2:0 in the second round, so at least it's still greater than Britain!

What rocked:
+ DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [22,EF] d. Sofia Arvidsson [Q], 6-4 6-1
+ VERA ZVONARËVA [9,EF] d. Iveta Benešová, 6-0 6-3
+ SAMANTHA STOSUR [13] d. Kristina Barrois, 7-5 6-3

Nice winner, nice loser:
+ Gisela Dulko [DF] d. ANA IVANOVIĆ [20,DF], 6-7 (6/8) 7-5 6-4
+ VICTORIA AZARENKA [7,DF] d. Stefanie Vögele, 6-4 6-0
+ CAROLINE WOZNIACKI [4] d. Julia Görges, 6-3 6-1
- Tsvetana Pironkova [DF] lt. SHAHAR PE'ER [29], 1-6 4-6
- Karolina Šprem [DF] lt. Casey Dell'Acqua [WC], 6-7 (4/7) 6-7 (6/8)

Ana said: "I think it's expectations from myself that I put. And actually, I think I'm striking the ball better now than I did in 2008 or any previous years. Also, you know, my movement is getting there. Last year, my fitness was really lacking, and now I'm putting things in place. It will take some time for it. Considering tennis, I mean: I'm playing much better than I was. It's just that expectation that sometimes I put on myself, and it's very overwhelming."

Schadenfreude:
+ AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA [10] d. Alla Kudryavtseva, 6-0 6-2

More correct results:
+ VENUS WILLIAMS [6] d. Sybille Bammer, 6-2 7-5
+ FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE [17] d. Julie Coin, 6-3 6-4
+ CARLA SUÁREZ NAVARRO [32] d. Andrea Petković, 6-1 6-4

What sucked:
- SABINE LISICKI [21,DF] lt. Alberta Brianti, 6-2 4-6 4-6
- Yaroslava Shvedova lt. Tathiana Garbin, 7-6 (7/5) 2-6 0-6
- Ágnes Szávay lt. LI,NA [16], 6-3 5-7 2-6
- Petra Kvitová lt. SERENA WILLIAMS [1], 2-6 1-6

-------------------------------------------------------
3. Second-round scoreboard-report: Zvonarëva v Benešová (Thursday 21st January 2010)
-------------------------------------------------------

+ VERA ZVONARËVA [9,EF] d. Iveta Benešová, 6-0 6-3

Another easy win for Vera, who led 6-0 3-0* (40/0*) before Iveta lit the scoreboard.

Iveta actually had 40/15 in two of her service-games in the first set, and two break-points in a game of five deuces at 0-4*, but Vera was really stingy about winning every single game.

Iveta managed to hold her last three service-games, saving break-points in every single one (including Vera's first match-point at 5-2*). Vera had a tough time serving out the match at *5-3: she had to save a break-point, and needed three more match-points.


First set
---------
ZVONARËV *@*@*@ 6
BENEŠOVÁ ______ 0

The match was second on Court 18, and started at 13:57 AEDT.

Vera serving 0-0: 0/15. 15/15. 15/30. 40/30. Held.
Iveta serving 0-1: 15/0. 15/15. 40/15. Deuce. Ad Vera (BP). Broken.
Vera serving 2-0: 30/0. 30/15. 40/15. 40/30. Held.
Iveta serving 0-3: 0/40 (BP). Broken.

Vera serving 4-0: 15/0. 15/30. 40/30. Deuce #1. Ad Iveta (BP #1). Deuce #2. Ad Iveta (BP #2). Deuce #3. Ad Vera. Deuce #4. Ad Vera. Deuce #5. Ad Vera. Held.

Almost broken there - a touch of complacency, perhaps?

Iveta serving 0-5: 15/0. 15/15. 40/15. Deuce. Ad Vera (SP #1). Vera won the first set 6-0 at 14:29 AEDT (32m).

Vera is so stingy today. I'm not sure I want the gothic beauty that is Iveta to be double-bagelled.


Second set
----------
ZVONARËV *@* * * * 6
BENEŠOVÁ ___* * *_ 3

Vera serving 0-0: 15/0. 15/15. 40/15. Held.
Iveta serving 0-1: 0/40 (BP). Broken.
Vera serving 2-0: 40/0. Held.
Iveta serving 0-3: 0/40 (BP×3). Deuce #1. Ad Iveta. Deuce #2. Ad Iveta. Held.

Well done, Iveta.

Vera serving 1-3: 0/15. 40/15. Deuce. Ad Vera. Held.

If Vera doesn't get a move on, I'll have to follow her live scores simultaneously with Daniela Hantuchová's again, because Victoria Azarenka has just completed a 6-4 6-0 victory over Stefanie Vögele!

Iveta serving 1-4: 15/0. 15/15. 30/15. 30/40 (BP #1). Deuce #1. Ad Vera (BP #2). Deuce #2. Ad Iveta. Held.

Vera serving 4-2: 0/15. 40/15. Held.

Iveta serving 2-5: 0/15. 15/15. 15/30. 30/30. 30/40 (MP #1). Deuce. Ad Iveta. Held.

Daniela's match started during that last game...

Vera serving 5-3: 0/15. 30/15. 30/30. 40/30 (MP #2). Deuce #1. Ad Vera (MP #3). Deuce #2. Ad Iveta (BP). Deuce #3. Ad Vera (MP #4). Vera won 6-0 6-3 at 15:15 AEDT (second set 46m, match 1h18m).


Statistics
----------

Vera got 56% of first serves in, winning 72% of the points when she did so, and 57% on second serve. It seems that she went for bigger serves in the second set, as her first-serves-in percentage dropped while her winning-percentages improved.

Iveta got 57% of first serves in, winning only 52% of the points when she did so, and 35% on second serve. These percentages improved dramatically from dismal (50%, 40% and 20%) for the first set.

Vera hit 3 aces and 2 double faults, Iveta one ace and 3 double faults.

Service-speeds are not available for this match.

According to the official statistics, Vera made only 4 unforced errors, Iveta 6, and there isn't a row for winners.

Vera broke 4 times from 10 BPs; Iveta had 3 BPs but couldn't convert.

In points, Vera won 72-46 (first set 32-18, second set 40-28).

---------------------------------------------------------
4. Second-round scoreboard-report: Hantuchová v Arvidsson (Thursday 21st January 2010)
---------------------------------------------------------

+ DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [22,EF] d. Sofia Arvidsson [Q], 6-4 6-1

The final scoreline looks easy, but the first set certainly wasn't: although Daniela was never taken beyond 15 on her serve, she couldn't get a break-point against Arvidsson until 5-4* (40/15*).

Daniela wasted a 0/30 opening at 1-0* in the second, then broke for *3-1, and worked hard to achieve a double break for *5-1. She then had to save the only break-point she faced in the match before sealing victory.


First set
---------
HANTUCHOV * * * * *@ 6
ARVIDSSON _* * * *__ 4

The match was third on Show Court 2, and started at 15:04 AEDT.

Daniela serving 0-0: 40/0. Held.
Arvidsson serving 0-1: 0/15. 15/15. 15/30. 40/30. Held.
Daniela serving 1-1: 40/0. Held.
Arvidsson serving 1-2: 30/0. Held.
Daniela serving 2-2: 15/0. 15/15. 40/15. Held.
Arvidsson serving 2-3: 0/15. 40/15. Held.
Daniela serving 3-3: 30/0. 30/15. 40/15. Held.
Arvidsson serving 3-4: 30/0. 30/30. 40/30. Held.
Daniela serving 4-4: 0/15. 40/15. Held.
Arvidsson serving 4-5: 15/0. 15/40 (SP #1). Daniela won the first set 6-4 at 15:35 AEDT (31m).


Second set
----------
HANTUCHOV * *@*@* 6
ARVIDSSON _*_____ 1

Daniela serving 0-0: 40/0. 40/15. Held.
Arvidsson serving 0-1: 0/30. 40/30. Held.

What a waste!

Daniela serving 1-1: 0/15. 40/15. Held.

Was pretty relieved that 0/15 didn't turn into 0/30!

Arvidsson serving 1-2: 15/0. 15/40 (BP #1). 30/40 (BP #2). Broken.

Yay! Daniela hasn't been broken in this match, so she looks set for an uncomplicated victory for once!

Daniela serving 3-1: 40/0. Held.

Arvidsson serving 1-4: 30/0. 30/30. 40/30. Deuce #1. Ad Daniela (BP #1). Deuce #2. Ad Daniela (BP #2). Broken.

Daniela serving 5-1: 15/0. 15/15. 30/15. 30/40 (BP). Deuce #1. Ad Daniela (MP #1). Daniela won 6-4 6-1 at 16:08 AEDT (second set 33m, match 1h05m).


Statistics
----------

Daniela dominated the match with a W:UE ratio of 28:15 to Arvidsson's 6:16.

Daniela got only 45% of her first serves in, but it hardly mattered as she won 86% of the points when she did so (including 100% for the first set!), and 77% on second serve.

Arvidsson got 71% of her first serves in, winning 59% of the points when she did so, and 50% on second serve. Her first-serve winning-percentage deteriorated from 72% in the first set to 44% for the second.

Daniela's serves were faster than Arvidsson's on average - first serve 99-95 mph, second serve 81-73 mph - although Arvidsson did have the faster fastest serve: 107-106 mph.

Daniela served one ace, Arvidsson two aces, and there were no double faults.

Daniela broke 3 times from 5 BPs - including the only one she had in the first set, which was set-point - while Arvidsson squandered the only one she had: 6-4 *5-1 (30/40).

Daniela won 11 of 13 points at the net (85%), while Arvidsson won only one of 6 (17%).

In points, Daniela won 59-36 (first set 29-20, second set 30-16).

---------------------------------------------
5. Second-round TV-report: Šprem v Dell'Acqua (Thursday 21st January 2010)
---------------------------------------------

- Karolina Šprem [DF] lt. Casey Dell'Acqua [WC], 6-7 (4/7) 6-7 (6/8)

I can't say it was a great match, but it was fun for me to watch Karolina for the first time since 2006. She reminds me of Jelena Dokić in that she's a beautiful ball-striker and good mover, but can mix brilliance with elementary errors.

Unlike Jelena, however, Karolina is very one-dimensional: she doesn't mix up the pace with slices, dropshots or lobs, and although she did try coming to the net a few times, she didn't close in well.

Dell'Acqua is quite a pleasant player to watch; she showed a few flashes of brilliance in this match, some nice angles, and more variety than Karolina.

The first set was completely serve-dominated, with only one break-point (against Karolina). Karolina dominated most of the rallies, but made too many errors, and played a bad tiebreak.

The second set, by contrast, had as many breaks as holds. Dell'Acqua broke for *2-1, but Karolina broke back immediately with the help of three winners.

Karolina hit two brilliant winners to recover from *2-2 (0/30), but three double faults in that game gave Dell'Acqua the break for *3-2. Dell'Acqua played a terrible service-game of her own, and Karolina held for 4-3*.

The key game was 4-3*: a game of four deuces with two break-points that would have given Karolina *5-3. Instead, Dell'Acqua held serve, and Karolina started cramping.

Karolina recovered from *4-4 (15/40), as Dell'Acqua got very tight. Karolina held for 5-4*, but had to wait for the next changeover to get treatment for cramp, by which time she was down 5-6*.

Dell'Acqua had her first two match-points at *6-5, but got unbelievably nervous, and Karolina broke back after five deuces.

Karolina led *2/1 and 3/2* in the tiebreak, but was clearly inhibited by the cramping, and the nervous Dell'Acqua finally sealed victory on her fourth match-point when Karolina's crosscourt backhand return appeared to clip the sideline but was called out, and bizarrely, she decided to accept defeat rather than try a Hawk-Eye challenge first.


Prematch routine
----------------

The match was second on the Rod Laver Arena evening-session, which was attended by Prince William of Wales.

Both players were interviewed in the corridor leading to Rod Laver Arena.

Karolina: "I'm just gonna go on the court; I ??wanna jam?? on the Rod Laver Arena; I wanna have fun, and I'll do my best."

Dell'Acqua: "It's just exciting to be back after a long year off."

Karolina was smiling on her way onto the Rod Laver Arena, but I got the impression it was kind of forced, as a way to keep her nerves at bay.


First set
---------
ŠPREM _* * * * * *_ 6(4)
DELL' * * * * * * T 7(7)

The match started at 21:11 AEDT.

Dell'Acqua serving 0-0: Karolina's deep return induced the left-handed Dell'Acqua to spray a forehand wide. 0/15. Dell'Acqua's deep ball just inside the baseline induced Karolina to hit a backhand wide. 15/15. Karolina crosscourt backhand winner. 15/30. Backhand return long. 30/30. Karolina went to the net, but didn't close in properly, and netted a forehand volley. 40/30. Backhand return wide.

The BBC commentators criticised the order-of-play for committee for putting this on the RLA evening-session because Dell'Acqua is a low-ranked Australian (albeit a local heroine after upsetting Amélie Mauresmo at the AO 2008), rather than showcasing the event with a marquee-name.

Karolina serving 0-1: Karolina crosscourt backhand winner. 15/0. Karolina crosscourt backhand wide. 15/15. Big deep virtual ace down the middle. 30/15. Double fault (second serve clipped the netcord and fell long). 30/30. Quadruple fault (second serve into the net). 30/40 (BP). Second serve: Dell'Acqua netted a cheap forehand return, and grimaced. Deuce. Karolina crosscourt forehand winner. Ad Karolina. She held with a crosscourt backhand winner.

A shaky opening service-game with the quadruple fault leading to break-point, but what a let-off on that BP!

Sam Smith briefly recapped the rise, fall and comeback of Karolina Šprem: the win over Venus Williams at Wimbledon 2004, with the umpire giving her a phantom-point in the second-set tiebreak, the elbow-surgery and last year's comeback on the ITF circuit.

Dell'Acqua serving 1-1: She netted a forehand. 15/0. Karolina forehand long. 30/0. First serve: Karolina netted a forehand return. 40/0. Deep first serve induced Karolina to hit a forehand long.

Karolina serving 1-2: Karolina dominated the baseline-rally, and Dell'Acqua mishit a forehand long. 15/0. Karolina's deep backhand forced Dell'Acqua to earth a backhand. 30/0. Karolina sprayed a wild forehand long. 30/15. Karolina's crosscourt forehand into the corner induced Dell'Acqua to mishit a forehand wide. 40/15. Dell'Acqua hit an off-forehand winner onto the baseline and just inside the sideline! 40/30. Double fault (second serve long and wide of the centre-line). Deuce. Dell'Acqua netted a forehand return. Ad Karolina. Dell'Acqua dumped a forehand into the net

Chris Bailey said Karolina was the better mover, but Dell'Acqua was the better ball-striker. On the evidence of that last game, I'd have to disagree with the latter.

Dell'Acqua serving 2-2: Dell'Acqua hit a down-the-line backhand long and wide. 0/15. Deep first serve down the middle: forehand return long. 15/15. A deep first serve forced Karolina to mishit a forehand return wide. 30/15. Karolina, driven wide, netted a forehand. 40/15. Karolina hit a forehand long, and swatted the ball away in frustration.

The commentators said Karolina was one-dimensional: "one pace, one pattern of play" [Chris Bailey].

I agree. People often falsely accuse Maria Sharapova and Jelena Dokić of being one-dimensional, but they have a lot more variety than Karolina.

Karolina serving 2-3: Ace down the middle: on the centre-line. 15/0. Near-ace out wide just wide. Karolina opened up the court with a crosscourt forehand, and hit an off-forehand winner just inside the sideline. 30/0. Karolina hit a forehand very long. 30/15. Dell'Acqua's deep forehand just inside the baseline forced Karolina to hit a forehand wide. 30/30. Near-ace down the middle just long. Karolina hit a brave second serve deep into the corner, and her crosscourt forehand deep into the corner forced Dell'Acqua to net a backhand. 40/30. Dell'Acqua crosscourt backhand wide.

Dell'Acqua serving 3-3: Karolina hit a backhand down the middle long. 15/0. First serve out wide shot through on Karolina, forcing her to net a backhand return. 30/0. Karolina mishit a backhand return wide. 40/0. Dell'Acqua forehand long. 40/15. Karolina netted a forehand.

A poor return-game there by Karolina.

Karolina serving 3-4: Karolina's defensive backhand landed on the baseline and bounced high, inducing Dell'Acqua to net a forehand. 15/0. Karolina's deep crosscourt backhand forced a short, weak ball from Dell'Acqua; Karolina dispatched it with an easy forehand winner down the line. 30/0. Deep first serve out wide: defensive forehand lob-return long. 40/0. Karolina on the third stroke slugged a down-the-line backhand wide. 40/15. Big first serve down the middle forced Dell'Acqua to hit a forehand return wide.

An impressive service-game by Karolina.

Dell'Acqua serving 4-4: Karolina on the fourth stroke mishit a forehand into the net. 15/0. First serve: Karolina hit a makeable forehand return just long. 30/0. Karolina went to the net behind a penetrating crosscourt backhand, forcing Dell'Acqua to net a backhand. 30/15. Dell'Acqua's crosscourt backhand forced Karolina to stretch wide and hit a one-handed backhand just long. 40/15. Dell'Acqua's deep off-forehand forced Karolina to hit a backhand long.

Karolina looks like she should be dominating Dell'Acqua, but is making too many errors in Dell'Acqua's service-games. There are a lot of mishits from both players.

Karolina serving 4-5: Karolina's down-the-line backhand forced Dell'Acqua to net a backhand. 15/0. Karolina hit a brilliant pinpoint backhand winner down the line: just inside the sideline. 30/0. Karolina used a Hawk-Eye challenge to show that her "long" first serve caught the back of the service-line by about 10%, so they replayed the point. Virtual ace down the middle (115 mph). 40/0. Double fault (second serve long). 40/15. Dell'Acqua hit an excellent off-forehand winner onto the sideline. 40/30. First serve out wide + crosscourt forehand forced Dell'Acqua to earth a backhand.

Dell'Acqua serving 5-5: Karolina's forehand was called long. 15/0. Ace down the middle: on the service-line. 30/0. Karolina on the fourth stroke pounced on a short ball and hit an off-backhand winner. 30/15. First serve out wide: backhand return long. 40/15. Double fault #1 (second serve long). 40/30. First serve out wide: Karolina netted a backhand return.

So serve-dominated. If this goes to a third set - where there is no tiebreak at the Australian Open - then Friday's day-session may be delayed!

Karolina serving 5-6: Dell'Acqua mishit a crosscourt backhand wide, and emitted a cute little moan. 15/0. Karolina on the third stroke netted a cheap forehand. 15/15. First serve down the middle: backhand return wide. 30/15. Dell'Acqua backhand long. 40/15. Karolina's depth forced Dell'Acqua to hit a backhand wide.

6-6 tiebreak (all scores Šprem/Dell'Acqua):
{0/0*} Karolina's deep return forced Dell'Acqua to hit a backhand wide.
{*1/0} Karolina hit a forehand just long, and swatted the ball away in frustration.
{*1/1} Double fault #5 (second serve just long).
{1/2*} Ace down the middle: called wide, but Dell'Acqua made a successful challenge.
{1/3*} Service-winner out wide.
{*1/4} Karolina went to the net, but misjudged the height of a short, dropping ball from Dell'Acqua, and dumped a forehand volley into the net.
{*1/5} Karolina went to the net; her high crosscourt forehand volley forced Dell'Acqua to hit a down-the-line backhand wide.
{2/5*} Second serve out wide: brilliant crosscourt backhand return winner onto the sideline.
{3/5*} Service-winner down the middle.
{*3/6: SP #1} First serve down the middle: Dell'Acqua backhand lob-return just long.
{*4/6: SP #2} Dell'Acqua's depth forced Karolina to spray an off-backhand long and wide. Dell'Acqua won the first set 7-6 (7/4) at 21:59 AEDT (48m).

Chris Bailey: "Dell'Acqua has the greater ability to create angles and flip the ball around than the one-dimensional Šprem."


Second set
----------
ŠPREM *__@ @* *__@_ 6(6)
DELL' _*@ @__* *@ T 7(8)

Karolina serving 0-0: Karolina rallied well... until she hit a backhand just long. 0/15. Short second serve down the middle forced Dell'Acqua to net a backhand return. 15/15. Dead-netcord return-winner - Karolina did the splits as she made a game but vain attempt to run it down. 15/30. Ace out wide: on the sideline. 30/30. Dell'Acqua's crosscourt backhand hit the baseline and bounced low, forcing Karolina to net a forehand. 30/40 (BP #1). Service-winner. Deuce #1. Second serve out wide: Dell'Acqua hit a short-angled crosscourt backhand winner. Ad Dell'Acqua (BP #2). First serve out wide + deep, error-forcing backhand down the line. Deuce #2. First serve + crosscourt forehand to the sideline forced Dell'Acqua to net a forehand. Ad Karolina. She dominated the rally, went to the net, let Dell'Acqua's forehand pass go, and it was... just long.

Dell'Acqua serving 0-1: Karolina mishit a backpedalling forehand smash long. 15/0. First serve out wide: Karolina hit a wild backhand return long and wide. 30/0. Karolina's depth induced Dell'Acqua to hit a backhand half-volley just long. 30/15. Dell'Acqua dumped a backhand halfway up the net. 30/30. Virtual ace out wide. 40/30. Dell'Acqua hit a deep crosscourt backhand into the corner, forcing Karolina to hit a down-the-line forehand long.

Karolina serving 1-1: Karolina on the third stroke dumped a backhand halfway up the net. 0/15. Double fault (second serve just long). 0/30. Virtual ace down the middle. 15/30. Dell'Acqua played a good spreading rally, but hit an off-forehand just wide, and wasted a challenge. 30/30. Double fault (second serve just long). Karolina's turn to waste a challenge. 30/40 (BP #1). Dell'Acqua backhand just long. Deuce. Karolina on the third stroke dumped a backhand into the net. Ad Dell'Acqua (BP #2). Dell'Acqua's deep forehand down the line induced Karolina to mishit a crosscourt forehand wide.

The first break of the match puts Karolina a set and a break down.

Dell'Acqua serving 2-1: Karolina forehand just long. 15/0. Dell'Acqua's backhand was just long, but she made a successful challenge, so they replayed the point. Karolina hit an off-forehand winner. 15/15. Karolina hit a pinpoint backhand winner down the line: on the sideline. 15/30. Second serve: Karolina hit a crosscourt backhand winner. 15/40 (BP). Double fault (second serve clipped the netcord and fell long).

A champion's response by Karolina to being broken in the previous game!

Karolina serving 2-2: Karolina on the third stroke hit a backhand just long. 0/15. Double fault (second serve long). 0/30. Karolina hit a beautiful off-forehand winner close to the sideline. 15/30. Karolina hit a fantastic backhand winner down the line: just inside the baseline. 30/30. Deep first serve out wide: backhand return long. 40/30. Karolina forehand wide. Deuce. Double fault #9 (second serve just long). Ad Dell'Acqua (BP). Her near-ace down the middle was called long; she wasted a challenge. Double fault #10 (second serve clipped the netcord and fell wide).

A Dokić-like mixture of brilliant shots and elementary errors from Karolina in that game.

Sam Smith: "I'm surprised how often Šprem is going for the lines, given that she's missing."

Dell'Acqua serving 3-2: Dell'Acqua on the third stroke sprayed an off-forehand wide. 0/15. Karolina dumped a very cheap forehand halfway up the net. 15/15. Dell'Acqua forehand just long. 15/30. Double fault (second serve long). Dell'Acqua whacked the ball away in frustration. 15/40 (BP). Dell'Acqua dumped a cheap backhand into the net.

Whatever ails Karolina, it's catching!

Karolina 3-3: First serve out wide + crosscourt backhand winner into the corner. 15/0. Deep first serve out wide forced Dell'Acqua to net a forehand return. 30/0. Deep first serve induced Dell'Acqua to hit a backhand return long. 40/0. Double fault #11 (second serve just long). 40/15. First serve out wide + crosscourt backhand winner onto the sideline.

Dell'Acqua serving 3-4: Dell'Acqua went for a forehand down the line, but it was just wide. 0/15. Dell'Acqua's forehand down the line forced Karolina to net a forehand. 15/15. Ace out wide. 30/15. Karolina hit a deep forehand onto the baseline, forcing Dell'Acqua to net a backhand. Dell'Acqua wasted a challenge, and has one challenge remaining. 30/30. Dell'Acqua netted a backhand return. 30/40 (BP #1). First serve out wide + crosscourt forehand winner back behind Karolina. Deuce #1. Dell'Acqua backhand wide. Ad Karolina. She hit a backhand return long. Deuce #2. Karolina crosscourt forehand + deep forehand down the line forced Dell'Acqua into error. Ad Karolina (BP #2). Dell'Acqua's acute crosscourt forehand forced Karolina to net a backhand. Deuce #3. Karolina hit a running backhand just long. Ad Dell'Acqua. Karolina forced a short ball, and her deep, hard crosscourt forehand forced Dell'Acqua to net a backhand. Deuce #4. Karolina forehand long. Ad Dell'Acqua. She used Hawk-Eye to a call on her first serve, and got the point replayed. Deep first serve: off-forehand return wide.

Karolina is a good mover, but is much more erratic on the run than when she has time to set.

Chris Bailey observed that Karolina's knees may be hurting.

Karolina serving 4-4: Karolina's forehand clipped the netcord, and sat up nicely for Dell'Acqua to hit a forehand winner down the line. 0/15. Karolina backhand winner down the line. 15/15. A deep return induced Karolina to net a backhand. 15/30. Karolina hit an aggressive down-the-line backhand halfway up the net. 15/40 (BP #1). Second serve out wide + deep forehand down the line forced Dell'Acqua to net a forehand. 30/40 (BP #2). Second serve: Dell'Acqua hit a cheap backhand return just long. Deuce. Dell'Acqua netted a cheap backhand, and yelled in frustration. Ad Karolina. Second serve: forehand return just long.

What a wasteful return-game by Dell'Acqua from 15/40. She gets so tight.

Karolina asked for the trainer for cramping, and the umpire asked if she could wait two games. Under the new cramping-rule, it can only be treated during a changeover - you can't take a three-minute medical time-out. If you can't wait for the next changeover, you can concede all the points needed to get to it.

Dell'Acqua serving 4-5: Karolina netted a forehand, and hobbled between points. 0/15. Double fault (second serve into the net). 15/15. Forehand return long. More hobbling from Karolina. 30/15. First serve out wide + crosscourt forehand winner back behind Karolina. 40/15. First serve down the middle.

Karolina serving 5-5: Dell'Acqua backhand just long. 15/0. Dell'Acqua crosscourt backhand winner. 15/15. Karolina netted a forehand. 15/30. Dell'Acqua crosscourt forehand + eror-forcing forehand down the line. 15/40 (BP #1). Dell'Acqua dumped a cheap backhand into the net. 30/40 (BP #2). Karolina went to the net, but Dell'Acqua's dipping backhand forced her to net a low forehand volley.

The trainer massaged Karolina's left thigh at the changeover. I wouldn't mind that job!

Dell'Acqua serving 6-5: Karolina's deep forehand return - just inside the baseline - forced Dell'Acqua to net a backhand. 0/15. Dell'Acqua hit a pinpoint crosscourt backhand winner just inside the sideline. 15/15. First serve down the middle forced Karolina to stretch wide and net a backhand. 30/15. Second serve out wide: Karolina hit an acute-angled crosscourt backhand winner halfway up the sideline. 30/30. Service-winner out wide. 40/30 (MP #1). Dell'Acqua hit a tight backhand very long. Deuce #1. Karolina's deep forehand return forced Dell'Acqua to net a backhand. She dropped her racket in frustration. Ad Karolina (BP #1). 74mph second serve out wide: Karolina netted a cheap backhand return. Deuce #2. Deep first serve: Karolina netted a sliced backhand return. Ad Dell'Acqua (MP #2). Double fault (second serve into the net). Dell'Acqua gave a wry smile. Deuce #3. Karolina's deep return induced Dell'Acqua to net a backhand. Ad Karolina (BP #2). Karolina's forehand was called long. She wasted her last challenge. Deuce #4. Karolina forced a short ball, and dispatched it with a crosscourt backhand winner. Ad Karolina (BP #3). Karolina forced a short ball but hit a forehand would-be winner long by a whisker. Deuce #5. Double fault (second serve long). Another wry smile from Dell'Acqua. Ad Karolina (BP #3). Karolina crosscourt forehand + off-forehand winner.

6-6 tiebreak (all scores Šprem/Dell'Acqua):
{*0/0} Dell'Acqua forced a floater, but dumped a forehand volley into the net.
{1/0*} Karolina netted a forehand.
{1/1*} 75mph short second serve: crosscourt backhand return-winner just inside the sideline. More cramping for Karolina.
{*2/1} Karolina on the third stroke, clearly inhibited by cramp, dumped a forehand halfway up the net.
{*2/2} Dell'Acqua backhand return long.
{3/2*} First serve out wide: crosscourt backhand return wide.
{3/3*} Karolina was attacked by a moth, then hit a backhand return just long.
{*3/4} Karolina forced a short ball, but hit a down-the-line backhand just wide. But she used her tiebreak-challenge to show that it caught about 1% of the sideline for a winner!!
{*4/4} Karolina netted a forehand.
{4/5*} Karolina's deep crosscourt backhand induced Dell'Acqua to net a forehand.
{5/5*} A nervy rally ended with Dell'Acqua taking the bull by the horns and hitting a crosscourt backhand virtual winner.
{*5/6: MP #3} Karolina's off-forehand induced Dell'Acqua to net a forehand.
{*6/6} Double fault #12 (second serve just long).
{6/7*: MP #4} First serve out wide: Karolina's crosscourt backhand return appeared to hit the sideline, but was called wide. Bizarrely, she declined to challenge, despite still having her tiebreak-challenge remaining. Dell'Acqua won 7-6 (7/4) 7-6 (8/6) at 23:09 AEDT (second set 1h10m, match 1h58m).


Dell'Acqua's on-court interview
-------------------------------

"I'm shaking! I was so nervous. So many things were going through my head. I was just trying to hang in there, and do what I could do. I'm just lucky that that last ball went out.

"I'm just so excited to be back playing [after shoulder-reconstruction]. I was in a lot of pain for a few years, so I'm glad it's fixed now. I've got a brand new shoulder now."

She also said that playing Venus Williams in the next round was "just exciting". On the evidence of this match, Venus is going to make mincemeat of her.

-------------------
6. Third-round draw
-------------------

* CARLA SUÁREZ NAVARRO [32] v SERENA WILLIAMS [1]
* SAMANTHA STOSUR [13] v Alberta Brianti (go Sam!)
* VERA ZVONARËVA [9,EF] v Gisela Dulko [DF] (my loyalty is to VERA)
* VICTORIA AZARENKA [7,DF] v Tathiana Garbin (davai Vika!)

* CAROLINE WOZNIACKI [4] v SHAHAR PE'ER [29] (my loyalty is to Caro)
* DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [22,EF] v LI,NA [16] (POĎME DANIELA!!)
* AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA [10] v FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE [17]
* Casey Dell'Acqua [WC] v VENUS WILLIAMS [6] (go Casey!)

* ALISA KLEYBANOVA [27] v Justine Henin [WC]
* Yanina Wickmayer [Q] v Sara Errani (my loyalty is to Yanina)
* NADIA PETROVA [19] v KIM CLIJSTERS [15]
* Angelique Kerber [Q] v SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [3]

* ALYONA BONDARENKO [31] v JELENA JANKOVIĆ [8] (davai Alyona!)
* MARION BARTOLI [11,DF,S] v Zheng,Jie (my loyalty is to Marion)
* Maria Kirilenko [DF] v Roberta Vinci (my loyalty is to Maria)
* Elena Baltacha v DINARA SAFINA [2] (go Elena!)

------------------
7. Andrew's wishes (updated after Day 4)
------------------
7.1 Fourth-round wishes
-----------------------

* SAMANTHA STOSUR [13] d. CARLA SUÁREZ NAVARRO [32]
* VERA ZVONARËVA [9,EF] d. VICTORIA AZARENKA [7,DF]
* DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [22,EF] d. CAROLINE WOZNIACKI [4]
* Casey Dell'Acqua [WC] d. AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA [10]

* Yanina Wickmayer [Q] d. ALISA KLEYBANOVA [27]
* Angelique Kerber [Q] d. NADIA PETROVA [19]
* MARION BARTOLI [11,DF,S] d. ALYONA BONDARENKO [31]
* Maria Kirilenko [DF] d. Elena Baltacha


7.3 Quarter-final wishes
------------------------

* VERA ZVONARËVA [9,EF] d. SAMANTHA STOSUR [13]
* DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [22,EF] d. Casey Dell'Acqua [WC]
* Yanina Wickmayer [Q] d. Angelique Kerber [Q]
* Maria Kirilenko [DF] d. MARION BARTOLI [11,DF,S]


7.4 Semi-final wishes
---------------------

* DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [22,EF] d. VERA ZVONARËVA [9,EF] (sorry, Vera)
* Maria Kirilenko [DF] d. Yanina Wickmayer [Q]


7.5 Final-wish
--------------

* DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [22,EF] d. Maria Kirilenko [DF]

-------------------------------
8. Women's Doubles: First round
-------------------------------

This section presents my selections - for the full draw, see
http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/draws/wd/


8.1 First-round results (Thursday 21st January 2010)
-----------------------

0:4 for my Eternal Fanship in this event:

- Lucie Šafářová [EF]/Aleksandra Wozniak lt. Elena Baltacha/Liga Dekmeijere, 5-7 2-6

- Magdaléna Rybáriková [EF]/Renata Voráčová lt. Shahar Pe'er/Galina Voskoboeva, 2-6 5-7


Consolation:

+ (GISELA DULKO [DF]/FLAVIA PENNETTA [DF])[13] d. Alyona Bondarenko/Kateryna Bondarenko, 6-4 2-6 6-3

+ (MARIA KIRILENKO [DF]/AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA)[15] d. Sorana Cîrstea/Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 6-0 6-7 (4/7) 6-2

+ (SANIA MIRZA [DF]/VIRGINIA RUANO PASCUAL)[10] d. (Yayuk Basuki/Kimiko Date Krumm)[WC], 6-4 6-2

+ Victoria Azarenka [DF]/Svetlana Kuznetsova d. Kaia Kanepi/Jasmin Wöhr, 7-6 (7/5) 6-4

+ (Laura Robson/Sally Peers)[WC] d. Jill Craybas/Abigail Spears, 6-3 7-5

Happy birthday, Laura!


8.2 Second-round draw
---------------------

* (GISELA DULKO [DF]/FLAVIA PENNETTA [DF])[13] v Sarah Borwell/Raquel Kops-Jones

* (HSIEH,SU-WEI [s]/PENG,SHUAI [s])[4] v Klaudia Jans/Alicja Rosolska

* (MARIA KIRILENKO [DF]/AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA)[15] v Elena Baltacha/Liga Dekmeijere

* (SANIA MIRZA [DF]/VIRGINIA RUANO PASCUAL)[10] v Timea Bacsinszky/Tathiana Garbin

* Victoria Azarenka [DF]/Svetlana Kuznetsova v (ANNA-LENA GRÖNEFELD/VANIA KING)[14]

* (Laura Robson/Sally Peers)[WC] v (CHUANG,CHIA-JUNG/KVETA PESCHKE)[12]

---------------------------
9. Order of play for Friday
---------------------------

No members of my Eternal Fanship are scheduled for Friday.

Order of play:
http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/schedule/

--------------------------
10. UK TV-alert for Friday
--------------------------

The BBC will be televising the following matches on Friday:

* Baltacha v Safina live on BBC 2 from 00:20 GMT;

* Murray v Serra live on BBC 2 from approximately 03:30 GMT;

* Clijsters v Petrova live on the Red Button from 08:00 GMT.

My guess is that once Clijsters v Petrova is over, BBC Red Button will switch to Rod Laver Arena to pick up whatever remains of Nadal v Kohlschreiber followed by Kerber v Kuznetsova.

--
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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Andrew's TV-report for Day 5

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

1. Photos
2. Third-round results
3. Third-round TV-report: Baltacha v Safina
4. Third-round draw and previews
5. Andrew's wishes
6. Women's Doubles: Second round
7. Order of play for Saturday

---------
1. Photos
---------

Recommended searches for Day 5:
* kirilenko
* bartoli
* bondarenko
* wickmayer
* zheng
* errani
* zvonareva (Melbourne Aquarium)

Maria Kirilenko had her left thigh heavily strapped.

Yanina Wickmayer took a pretty serious-looking medical time-out for a back-injury.

----------------------
2. Third-round results (Friday 22nd January 2010)
----------------------

An exceptionally good day at the Australian Open in terms of women's matches being shown by the BBC: it showed Baltacha v Safina and Petrova v Clijsters, although I wasn't impressed that it shut down its live coverage after showing Nadal v Kohlschreiber without showing the second match on the Rod Laver Arena evening-session: Kerber v Kuznetsova.

Nice winner, nice loser:
+ Maria Kirilenko [DF] d. Roberta Vinci, 7-5 7-6 (7/4)
+ Yanina Wickmayer [Q] d. Sara Errani, 6-1 6-7 (4/7) 6-3
- MARION BARTOLI [11,DF,S] lt. Zheng,Jie, 7-5 3-6 0-6

I followed the Kirilenko v Vinci tiebreak on the scoreboard. It made me the happiest I've ever been about a Little Maria victory - having been the unhappiest when she beat Big Maria on Monday.

Vinci was Little Maria's opponent the first time I ever saw Little Maria play: at Birmingham 2004. I was impressed by Little Maria's dynamic all-court tennis early in that match, but then she went off the boil and lost, so I'm very pleased that she didn't do that today.

What rocked:
+ ALYONA BONDARENKO [31] d. JELENA JANKOVIĆ [8], 6-2 6-3

What sucked:
- Elena Baltacha lt. DINARA SAFINA [2], 1-6 2-6
- ALISA KLEYBANOVA [27] lt. Justine Henin [WC], 6-3 4-6 2-6
- Angelique Kerber [Q] lt. SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [3], 6-3 5-7 4-6

Schadenfreude:
+ NADIA PETROVA [19] d. KIM CLIJSTERS [15], 6-0 6-1

Clijsters looked like she was on course to swallow a double bagel, until she held for 0-6 1-3*.

I watched Clijsters v Petrova casually on BBC Red Button. The first set was a strangely subdued and erratic performance from Clijsters, which gave Petrova the confidence to play very well in the second. Petrova outhit Clijsters, who didn't show her usual excellent movement. She was just really flat from start to finish... or rather, until a nailbiting game at 6-0 *5-1, when Clijsters saved two nonconsecutive match-points before her fate was sealed by the seal-faced Petrova.

Clijsters said: "I wasn't feeling the ball well. It's something that you know, as an athlete, can happen once in a while - once a year, hopefully not more than that. But the question is, of course, 'Why?' My coach, my fitness-coach, are like, 'How can something like this happen?'"

Some journalist asked her if she would "burn the tape" of this match. I'm going to burn it onto a DVD-R to keep for posterity!

Quote of the day: "Please wait until the point is over to yell and scream" [Steve Ulrich, umpiring Nadal v Kohlschreiber].

-------------------------------------------
3. Third-round TV-report: Baltacha v Safina (Friday 22nd January 2010)
-------------------------------------------

- Elena Baltacha lt. DINARA SAFINA [2], 1-6 2-6

"Aspiring chef Dinara Safina could have created a new dish of British lamb on Friday, when she roasted Elena Baltacha 6-1 6-2 in less than an hour" [Greg Stutchbury, Reuters].

An interesting match, as it has made me rethink my opinion of Safina.

Going into 2010, I thought that Safina was my least-favourite player: devoid of flair, ugly and hulking, and her on-court demeanour really rubs me up the wrong way, as she bullies her opponents with her in-your-face body-language, and can get very tetchy (not in a cute way like Vera Zvonarëva or Anna Chakvetadze, but in a really objectionable way, and even when she's winning comfortably).

Today, however, Safina was on her best behaviour, and actually played some attractive tennis in the second set: spreading rallies, and pinpoint forehands down the line.

From Baltacha it was a woeful performance, with a W:UE ratio of 4:18, and although she only served four double faults, three of them came when she was break-point down. Safina didn't have to do anything special in the first set.

Despite Safina's poor form and injury-problems since August 2009, the way she played in the second set suggests that she could make another deep run here. She could end up playing Kim Clijsters in the semi-finals, but I'm no longer sure that victory for Minging Clijsters would be the lesser of two evils. [Edit: Clijsters lost 6-0 6-1, leaving Safina as clearly my least-favourite player left in the draw, although it would no longer mean the end of the world if she did ever win a Major.]


First set
---------
BALTAC __@____ 1
SAFINA *@ @*@* 6

Safina serving 2-0: 15/0. 15/15. 30/15. 30/40 (BP). Broken.

Baltacha serving 1-2: BBC 2 joined the match at 11:23 AEDT. 0/15. Baltacha backhand volley-winner down the line. 15/15. Second serve out wide: Safina forehand return-winner down the line. 15/30. Second serve: Safina dumped a backhand return into the net. 30/30. Baltacha on the third stroke netted a forehand, and yelled in frustration. 30/40 (BP). Double fault #1 (second serve long).

Safina serving 3-1: First serve out wide + backhand down the middle induced Baltacha to hit a backhand long. 15/0. Baltacha hit an acute short-angled crosscourt forehand, forcing Safina outside the tramlines to net a forehand. 15/15. Baltacha netted a backhand. 30/15. Baltacha forehand long. 40/15. Safina painted the sideline with a crosscourt backhand winner.

Baltacha is making too many easy errors, and only getting 36% of her first serves in.

Baltacha serving 1-4: Second serve: Safina blasted a forehand return into the net; it would also have been wide. 15/0. Baltacha backhand just long. 15/15. First serve out wide: forehand return long. 30/15. Baltacha netted a forehand return. 30/30. Safina forced a short ball, ran it down and hit an off-forehand winner. 30/40 (BP). Double fault #2 (second serve just long).

Baltacha's last two service-games have ended with double faults.

Safina serving 5-1: Safina on the third stroke sprayed a crosscourt backhand wide. 0/15. Serve forced a short return, which Safina dispatched with an error-forcing crosscourt backhand. 15/15. Safina's ball sat up nicely for Baltacha to clout an off-forehand winner. 15/30. Ace out wide (106 mph). 30/30. Safina wasted a challenge on her first serve. Safina spread Baltacha to force a floater, and hit a crosscourt forehand drive-volley winner. 40/30 (SP #1). Deep first serve induced Baltacha to net a backhand return. Safina won the first set 6-1 at 11:37 AEDT (26m).

Baltacha had a W:UE ratio of 2:12 for the first set, Safina 7:7.


Second set
----------
BALTAC *___*___ 2
SAFINA _*@* *@* 6

Baltacha serving 0-0: Safina blasted a forehand return long. 15/0. First serve: forehand return long. 30/0. First serve out wide + error-forcing crosscourt forehand back behind Safina. 40/0. Virtual ace out wide.

Much better by Baltacha.

Safina serving 0-1: Forehand return wide. 15/0. Safina off-backhand winner just inside the sideline. 30/0. Baltacha, stretched wide, hit a forehand just long. 40/0. Ace down the middle: on the centre-line.

Better by Safina too. She didn't play a great set - or have to.

Baltacha serving 1-1: Safina's deep crosscourt forehand return forced Baltacha to hit a forehand long. 0/15. Deep first serve out wide forced Safina to net a backhand. 15/15. A short second serve gave Safina the initiative; she forced another short ball, and her off-forehand forced Baltacha to hit a backhand lob long. 15/30. Baltacha off-forehand wide. 15/40 (BP). Double fault.

Yet another double fault from Baltacha at break-point.

BBC commentator John Lloyd said Safina could be a threat for the title, because she's no longer #1, and no one's talking about her as one of the 6 or 7 women who could win the title, so she's relaxed.

Safina serving 2-1: Second serve: Baltacha off-backhand return wide. 15/0. First serve out wide + pinpoint backhand winner down the line. 30/0. First serve out wide + forehand winner just inside the baseline. 40/0. Double fault (second serve wide). 40/15. Ace down the middle.

Baltacha serving 1-3: Safina on the fourth stroke netted a forehand. 15/0. Safina netted a backhand return. 30/0. First serve out wide: Safina crosscourt forehand return wide. Safina wasted a challenge: Hawk-Eye showed that the serve was plumb on the sideline. 40/0. Safina hit a pinpoint forehand winner down the line: just inside the sideline. 40/15. Baltacha forehand long. 40/30. Safina backhand long.

Safina serving 3-2: Safina played a good spreading rally, culminating with a pinpoint forehand down the line + crosscourt forehand winner. 15/0. Safina off-forehand winner onto the sideline. Baltacha wasted a challenge to show that it caught 90% of the line. 30/0. Deep first serve out wide: backhand return long. 40/0. Safina forehand long. 40/15. Baltacha forced a short ball and hit a backhand dropshot virtual winner. 40/30. Double fault (second serve into the net). Deuce. Ace out wide. Ad Safina. Deep first serve out wide forced Baltacha to hit a backhand return long. Safina yelled "c'mon".

Baltacha serving 2-4: Safina hit a pinpoint forehand return-winner down the line. 0/15. Baltacha netted a backhand off a deep ball from Safina. 0/30. Double fault. 0/40 (BP #1). A deep, body-jamming ball from Baltacha induced Safina to blast an off-backhand wide. 15/40 (BP #2). Safina forehand just long. She wasted a challenge. 30/40 (BP #3). Baltacha on the third stroke hit a down-the-line backhand wide.

John Lloyd: "I think she's been awesome today. She's dismantled her opponent. Her groundstrokes have been superb."

Safina serving 5-2: Deep first serve down the middle forced Baltacha to earth a backhand return. 15/0. First serve forced a short, mishit return, which Safina dispatched with a crosscourt forehand winner. 30/0. Baltacha forced a short ball and hit a deep backhand down the line - just inside the baseline - forcing Safina to earth a forehand. 30/15. Safina hit a crosscourt forehand just inside the sideline, forcing Baltacha to net a forehand. Baltacha wasted a challenge. 40/15 (MP #1). Safina hit a down-the-line forehand winner onto the baseline. It looked like Baltacha had a play on it but decided to leave it. Safina won 6-1 6-2 at 12:08 AEDT (second set 31m, match 57m).

Sam Smith: "No one's really talking about Dinara Safina as a possible even /contender/ for this title, which is extraordinary when you think that she's the #2 seed and a finalist last year. She had such a rough end of 2009, and with all the injury-problems. Maybe it's taken the pressure off her."

Safina's on-court interview: "I'm happy to be back here on Rod Laver. I had a bad experience last year [being thrashed 6-0 6-3 by Serena Williams in the final], so I have to win to forget the bad memories. I had unbelievable matches on Rod Laver last year: good matches and then the drama-matches: saving match-points, everything, fighting, runnning. But I'm actually pleased with my game today, and I'm pretty satisfied."

Safina sounded very emotional during that interview, her voice trembling as she said the last sentence. I think she's still putting herself under a lot of pressure to win her first Major, even though the expectations on her have dropped.

--------------------------------
4. Third-round draw and previews
--------------------------------
4.1 Third-round draw
--------------------

* CARLA SUÁREZ NAVARRO [32] v SERENA WILLIAMS [1]
* SAMANTHA STOSUR [13] v Alberta Brianti (go Sam!)
* VERA ZVONARËVA [9,EF] v Gisela Dulko [DF] (my loyalty is to VERA)
* VICTORIA AZARENKA [7,DF] v Tathiana Garbin (davai Vika!)

* CAROLINE WOZNIACKI [4] v SHAHAR PE'ER [29] (my loyalty is to Caro)
* DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [22,EF] v LI,NA [16] (POĎME DANIELA!!)
* AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA [10] v FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE [17]
* Casey Dell'Acqua [WC] v VENUS WILLIAMS [6] (go Casey!)

* Justine Henin [WC] won
* Yanina Wickmayer [Q] won
* NADIA PETROVA [19] won
* SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [3] won

* ALYONA BONDARENKO [31] won
* Zheng,Jie won
* Maria Kirilenko [DF] won
* DINARA SAFINA [2] won


4.2 Preview: Zvonarëva v Dulko
------------------------------

* VERA ZVONARËVA [9,EF] v Gisela Dulko [DF]

A mouth-watering match-up between two of the most attractive players. Vera leads their head-to-head 4:1, although it's been nearly four years since their last meeting:
- 2001 ITF Civitanova sf: Gisela won 6-3 6-4
- 2002 ITF Naples 2r: Vera won 6-0 6-3
- 2004 Memphis qf: Vera won 6-3 6-4 (and went on to win the title)
- 2004 Wimbledon 3r: Vera won 6-4 6-2
- 2006 Berlin 1r: Vera won 3-6 6-2 6-2

Gisela is a good clay-courter with a terrific all-round game, who is also very solid on other surfaces: she beat Maria Sharapova at Wimbledon 2009, and Ana Ivanović in the second round here.

Gisela has a lovely forehand of depth and accuracy, but has a relatively weak two-handed backhand, and has difficulty handling weight of shot from her opponents. But I wrote that in 2004, when Gisela was a rather frail-looking 19-year-old girl, and she is much stronger now. When she beat Maria at Wimbledon, she served with pinpoint accuracy, setting up many one-two punches (serve + forehand winner), and tired Maria out with numerous dropshots.

Gisela went 31:21 in singles in 2009, and rose from #51 to #36 in the rankings (her highest has been #26 in 2005).

Gisela reached the quarter-finals of Hobart 2009 with a 6-3 6-3 win over #24 Zheng,Jie, but lost 6-4 6-4 to #41 Iveta Benešová. She lost 6-3 7-5 to #2 Serena Williams in the second round of the Australian Open.

Gisela was runner-up at Bogotá, beating #67 Edina Gallovits 6-2 6-3 in the semi-finals, but losing 6-3 6-2 to #66 María José Martínez Sánchez in the final.

She reached the quarter-finals of Monterrey, and third rounds at Indian Wells and Miami - the latter by beating #3 Jelena Janković 6-4 7-6 (7/5)! But she lost again to Benešová in the third round: 6-3 6-2.

Gisela reached the quarter-finals of Stuttgart by beating #8 Victoria Azarenka 6-4 6-3, but lost to #9 Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-3 6-2.

After three relatively disappointing tournaments on clay, Gisela reached the third round of the French Open, beating #61 Tamira Paszek 6-1 6-3, #51 Anna-Lena Grönefeld 7-6 0-6 6-2, and losing 6-4 6-2 to #19 Dominika Cibulková.

At Eastbourne, Gisela was thrashed 6-3 6-1 by #12 Marion Bartoli in the first round. She beat #60 Maria Sharapova 6-2 3-6 6-4 in the second round of Wimbledon, but lost 3-6 6-3 6-4 to #10 Nadia Petrova in the third round.

Gisela reached the semi-finals of Bĺstad with wins over #29 Sorana Cîrstea and #12 Dominika Cibulková - both on third-set tiebreaks - then lost to #54 María José Martínez Sánchez.

Gisela suffered first-round losses at Palermo and Cincinnati and New Haven, with a second-round loss in Toronto qualifying in between. She reached the fourth round of the US Open, but was thrashed 6-0 6-0 by #52 Kateryna Bondarenko.

Gisela's 2009 season ended with a loss to #39 Iveta Benešová in the second round of Tokyo, after which she was sidelined with a left-adductor injury. She lost two exhibitions to Maria Sharapova in December.

Gisela started 2010 with two losses in the Hong Kong Tennis Classic: 6-1 to world #7 Victoria Azarenka in a women's singles rubber of the semi-finals, and 7-5 6-3 [10/4] to #35 Zheng,Jie in the a women's singles rubber of the Silver-Group final.

Gisela then reached the quarter-finals of Hobart with wins over #37 Melinda Czink 6-4 6-2, and #182 Tamira Paszek 6-1 0-6 7-6 (7/5), before losing to #26 Anabel Medina Garrigues 6-1 5-7 6-1.

Gisela's route to the third round:
1r + #138 Zuzana Kučová [Q], 6-0 5-7 7-5
2r + #21 ANA IVANOVIĆ [20,DF], 6-7 (6/8) 7-5 6-4

Vera's route to the third round:
1r + #108 Kristína Kučová [s], 6-2 6-0
2r + #45 Iveta Benešová, 6-0 6-3

Conclusion: Despite Gisela's famous wins over Maria at Wimbledon and Ana here, her form is not that good, and neither is her head-to-head against Vera. Vera has been ruthlessly efficient in her first two wins here, but she'll face a much stronger opponent in Gisela. Will Vera's right ankle be up to the challenge? Will Gisela have enough left in the tank after her two three-setters, or will she fold in the third round as at Wimbledon 2009?

Oh, and we were gone
Hanging out with your dwarf-men
We were so turned on
By your lack of conclusions

[David Bowie, "The Bewlay Brothers"]


4.3 Preview: Hantuchová v Li
----------------------------

* DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [22,EF] v LI,NA [16]

Li,Na should certainly be a step up from Daniela's previous opponent. Daniela leads their head-to-head 2:1, all in three sets:
+ 2006 Dubai: Daniela won 3-6 6-4 7-6 (7/4)
- 2006 Doha: Li won 4-6 7-6 (7/5) 6-1
+ 2007 Indian Wells sf: Daniela won 7-5 4-6 6-1

Li is a baseline-player with a big forehand, who loves to go for broke: she hits plenty of winners, but can gift-wrap her opponent's victory with a slew of unforced errors, and can also get very nervous. On her day, she can beat anyone: her victims include Serena and Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Kim Clijsters and Jelena Janković.

In 2009, Li compiled a 35:16 singles-record, and rose from #23 to a career-high #15 in the rankings.

Having missed the Australian Open 2009 with a right-knee injury, Li beat #10 Agnieszka Radwańska in the first round of Monterrey, and went on to reach the final, losing to #13 Marion Bartoli.

Li beat #6 Vera Zvonarëva en route to the Miami quarter-finals, where she lost to #1 Serena Williams.

After a series of early exits, Li reached the fourth round of the French Open, and gave Maria Sharapova a hard time before losing 6-4 0-6 6-4. But she beat a tired Maria 6-4 6-4 in the semi-finals of Birmingham before losing the final 6-0 7-6 to #58 Magdaléna Rybáriková.

After third-round finishes at Wimbledon and Los Angeles, Li reached her second Major quarter-final at the US Open without beating anyone ranked higher than #28, but lost 6-2 6-4 to unranked Kim Clijsters.

Li reached the quarter-finals of Tokyo by beating #9 Victoria Azarenka 7-6 4-6 7-6, but lost 6-4 6-3 to #8 Jelena Janković. Li finished her 2009 season with a 6-2 6-0 loss to #4 Elena Dementieva in the third round of Beijing.

Li started 2010 with a 6-1 6-3 first-round loss to #58 Kaia Kanepi at Auckland. But her Sydney-campaign is much scarier: she beat #4 Caroline Wozniacki 2-6 6-3 6-2 before falling to #12 Flavia Pennetta 6-2 7-6 in the second round.

Li's route to the third round:
1r + #253 Marina Eraković, 6-2 6-0
2r + #37 Ágnes Szávay, 3-6 7-5 6-2

Daniela's route to the third round:
1r + #86 Viktoriya Kutuzova, 3-6 6-1 7-5
2r + #139 Sofia Arvidsson [Q], 6-4 6-1

Conclusion: Li is a dangerous and unpredictable opponent for Daniela, but I give Daniela a 50% chance of victory despite Li's higher ranking (currently #17 to Daniela's #25). Given how much Li likes to go for broke, the outcome is probably going to be in her hands more than Daniela's.

Well, now aren't we scaring ourselves
Unnecessarily
Aren't we trying too hard
'Cause it's in our hands

[Björk, "It's In Our Hands"]

------------------
5. Andrew's wishes (updated after Day 5)
------------------
5.1 Fourth-round wishes
-----------------------

* SAMANTHA STOSUR [13] d. CARLA SUÁREZ NAVARRO [32]
* VERA ZVONARËVA [9,EF] d. VICTORIA AZARENKA [7,DF]
* DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [22,EF] d. CAROLINE WOZNIACKI [4]
* Casey Dell'Acqua [WC] d. AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA [10]

* Yanina Wickmayer [Q] d. Justine Henin [WC]
* NADIA PETROVA [19] d. SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [3]
* ALYONA BONDARENKO [31] d. Zheng,Jie
* Maria Kirilenko [DF] d. DINARA SAFINA [2]


5.2 Quarter-final wishes
------------------------

* VERA ZVONARËVA [9,EF] d. SAMANTHA STOSUR [13]
* DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [22,EF] d. Casey Dell'Acqua [WC]
* Yanina Wickmayer [Q] d. NADIA PETROVA [19]
* Maria Kirilenko [DF] d. ALYONA BONDARENKO [31]


5.3 Semi-final wishes
---------------------

* DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [22,EF] d. VERA ZVONARËVA [9,EF] (sorry, Vera)
* Maria Kirilenko [DF] d. Yanina Wickmayer [Q]


5.4 Final-wish
--------------

* DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [22,EF] d. Maria Kirilenko [DF]

--------------------------------
6. Women's Doubles: Second round
--------------------------------

This section presents my selections - for the full draw, see
http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/draws/wd/


6.1 Second-round results (Friday 22nd January)
------------------------

+ (GISELA DULKO [DF]/FLAVIA PENNETTA [DF])[13] d. Sarah Borwell/Raquel Kops-Jones, 7-5 6-2

+ (HSIEH,SU-WEI [s]/PENG,SHUAI [s])[4] d. Klaudia Jans/Alicja Rosolska, 6-3 6-2

+ (SANIA MIRZA [DF]/VIRGINIA RUANO PASCUAL)[10] d. Timea Bacsinszky/Tathiana Garbin, 7-6 (7/3) 6-3

+ (Laura Robson/Sally Peers)[WC] d. (CHUANG,CHIA-JUNG/KVETA PESCHKE)[12], 6-3 6-4


6.2 Second-round matches to be played on Saturday
-------------------------------------------------

* (MARIA KIRILENKO [DF]/AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA)[15] v Elena Baltacha/Liga Dekmeijere

* Victoria Azarenka [DF]/Svetlana Kuznetsova v (ANNA-LENA GRÖNEFELD/VANIA KING)[14]

-----------------------------
7. Order of play for Saturday
-----------------------------

I list only those courts on which members of my Eternal Fanship are scheduled to play singles.

Margaret Court Arena (start 11:00 AEDT = 00:00 GMT)
WS 3r: VERA ZVONARËVA [9,EF] v Gisela Dulko [DF]
MS 3r: NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO [6] v JUAN MÓNACO [30]
MS 3r: FERNANDO VERDASCO [9] v Stefan Koubek [Q]
XD 1r: (KLEYBANOVA/MIRNYI)[6] v Rodionova/Hanley
XD 1r: Dell'Acqua/Kerr v Hradecká [s]/Čermák

Show Court 3 (start 11:00 AEDT = 00:00 GMT)
MS 3r: MIKHAIL YOUZHNY [20] v Łukasz Kubot
MD 2r: López/Schüttler v Clément/Erlich
WS 3r: DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [22,EF] v LI,NA [16]
MD 2r: Ball/Huss v González/Ljubičić

The feature-match on the Rod Laver Arena evening-session is Wozniacki v Pe'er, and the BBC has specifically promised to televise it on the Red Button. I'm amazed that the order-of-play committee didn't put Dell'Acqua v Venus Williams in that slot, but Wozniacki v Pe'er should be a much more attractive and competitive match!

Full order of play:
http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/schedule/

--
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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Andrew's TV-reports for Day 6

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

1. Photos
2. Third-round results
3. Third-round scoreboard-report: Zvonarëva v Dulko
4. Third-round scoreboard-report: Hantuchová v Li
5. Third-round TV-report: Wozniacki v Pe'er
6. Fourth-round draw and preview
7. Andrew's wishes
8. Women's Doubles: Second round
9. Mixed Doubles: First round
10. Girls' Singles: First-round draw
11. Order of play for Sunday

---------
1. Photos
---------

Recommended searches for Day 6:
* zvonareva
* hantuchova
* dulko
* azarenka
* stosur
* wozniacki
* peer

----------------------
2. Third-round results (Saturday 23rd January 2010)
----------------------

Nice winner, nice loser:
+ VERA ZVONARËVA [9,EF] d. Gisela Dulko [DF], 6-1 7-5
+ CAROLINE WOZNIACKI [4] d. SHAHAR PE'ER [29], 6-4 6-0

What rocked:
+ VICTORIA AZARENKA [7,DF] d. Tathiana Garbin, 6-0 6-2
+ SAMANTHA STOSUR [13] d. Alberta Brianti, 6-4 6-1

What sucked:
- DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [22,EF] lt. LI,NA [16], 5-7 6-3 2-6
- Casey Dell'Acqua [WC] lt. VENUS WILLIAMS [6], 1-6 6-7 (4/7)
- AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA [10] lt. FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE [17], 2-6 2-6
- CARLA SUÁREZ NAVARRO [32] lt. SERENA WILLIAMS [1], 0-6 3-6

Karolina Šprem was in Marcos Baghdatis's box for his third-round match against Lleyton Hewitt, and Baghdatis had been in her box for her second-round match against Casey Dell'Acqua!

---------------------------------------------------
3. Third-round scoreboard-report: Zvonarëva v Dulko (Saturday 23rd January 2010)
---------------------------------------------------

+ VERA ZVONARËVA [9,EF] d. Gisela Dulko [DF], 6-1 7-5

It looked like Vera was in for another easy win, as Gisela played a dreadful first set with a W:UE ratio of 3:18 and an abysmal first serve (29% in, 25% won).

Gisela improved considerably to make the second set competitive. The first four games were breaks and counterbreaks, then Gisela saved break-point as she held for 3-2*.

Games continued to go with serve, with Vera wasting a break-point at 4-4* (40/30*), and Gisela held for 5-4* after two deuces. Vera held to 15 and broke to love for *6-5, and needed two nonconsecutive match-points to seal a place in the fourth round that I would certainly have signed for at the beginning of the week, after her premature comeback from ankle-surgery at Hong Kong and Sydney.


First set
---------
ZVONA *@* *@* 6
DULKO ___*___ 1

The match was first on Margaret Court Arena, and started at 11:33 AEDT after a rain-delay.

Vera serving 0-0: 15/0. 15/30. 40/30. Deuce #1. Ad Vera. Deuce #2. Ad Gisela (BP #1). Deuce #3. Ad Gisela (BP #2). Deuce #4. Ad Vera. Held.

Gisela serving 0-1: 0/40 (BP). Broken.
Vera serving 2-0: 40/0. Held.

Long delay at this changeover (c.11:46 - 11:50 AEDT) - a bit more rain, apparently.

Gisela serving 0-3: 15/0. 15/15. 40/15. Held.
Vera serving 3-1: 40/0. 40/15. Held.
Gisela serving 1-4: 0/40 (BP #1). 15/40 (BP #2). Broken.
Vera serving 5-1: 0/15. 40/15 (SP #1). Vera won the first set 6-1 at 12:03 AEDT (30m).


Second set
----------
ZVONA @ @__* * *@* 7
DULKO _@ @* * *___ 5

Gisela serving 0-0 (new balls): 0/30. 15/30. 15/40 (BP×2). Deuce #1. Ad Gisela. Deuce #2. Ad Gisela. Deuce #3. Ad Gisela. Deuce #4. Ad Vera (BP #3). Broken.

Vera serving 1-0: 15/0. 15/40 (BP). Broken.
Gisela serving 1-1: 0/15. 15/15. 15/30. 30/30. 30/40 (BP). Broken.
Vera serving 2-1: 0/40 (BP). Broken.

Gisela serving 2-2: 15/0. 15/30. 30/30. 30/40 (BP). Deuce #1. Ad Gisela. Deuce #2. Ad Gisela. Deuce #3. Ad Gisela. Held.

Vera serving 2-3: 40/0. Held.
Gisela serving 3-3: 40/0. 40/30. Held.
Vera serving 3-4: 40/0. Held.

Gisela serving 4-4: 15/0. 15/30. 30/30. 30/40 (BP). Deuce #1. Ad Gisela. Deuce #2. Ad Gisela. Held.

Vera serving 4-5 (new balls): 15/0. 15/15. 40/15. Held.
Gisela serving 5-5: 0/40 (BP). Broken.

Vera serving 6-5: 15/0. 15/15. 30/15. 30/30. 40/30 (MP #1). Deuce. Ad Vera (MP #2). Vera won 6-1 7-5 at 13:04 AEDT (second set 1h01m, match 1h31m).


Statistics
----------

Vera's W:UE ratio was 22:28, while Gisela's was an abysmal 11:41. The first set was of particularly low quality (Vera 5:7, Gisela 3:18), while the second set was much better if you prefer winners to lack of UEs (Vera 17:21, Gisela 8:23).

Vera got only 52% of her first serves in, but won 70% of the points when she did so, and 61% on second serve. Her first-serves-in percentage dipped from 61% for the first set to 43% for the second, while her second-serve winning-percentage also deteriorated: from an impressive 73% to 53%.

Gisela got 57% of her first serves in, winning 53% of the points when she did so, and 37% on second serve. Her first-serve percentages improved from abysmal (29% in, 25% won) in the first set to respectable (64% in, 56% won) in the second.

Gisela had the fastest serve - 107 mph to Vera's 104 mph - but Vera's serves were faster on average: first serve 98-93 mph, second serve 83-81 mph.

Vera served one ace and 5 double faults (4 in the second set), Gisela 2 aces and 8 double faults (5 in the second set) - which is too high for 9 service-games.

Vera broke 5 times from 10 BPs (2 of 3 in the first set, 3 of 7 in the second), Gisela twice from 4 BPs (0 of 2 in the first set, 2 of 2 in the second).

Vera won an impressive 19 of 22 points at the net (86%), especially in the second set (14 of 16 = 88%), while Gisela was more selective with a higher success-rate: 10 of 11 (91%). Perhaps Gisela should have come in more (she won 6 of 6 in the second set).

In points, Vera won 76-52 (first set 29-13, second set 47-39).

-------------------------------------------------
4. Third-round scoreboard-report: Hantuchová v Li (Saturday 23rd January 2010)
-------------------------------------------------

- DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [22,EF] lt. LI,NA [16], 5-7 6-3 2-6

Just a very close match with a disappointing third set for Daniela. Perhaps she was still tired from that marathon first-round encounter on Wednesday.

The first set was a rollercoaster: Li broke first and led 4-2*; Daniela fought to 5-4* (saving a break-point at *4-4), only to lose the last three games of the set, which Li needed four set-points to close out from *6-5 (40/15).

Daniela raced to a 5-0* lead in the second, but blew her first opportunity to serve it out at *5-1, and almost blew her second opportunity at *5-3: needing four set-points, and having to save a break-point.

I guess that change of momentum from 5-0* in the second set set the tone for the third. Li broke first and had the advantage of serving first to lead 4-1*. Daniela at *2-5 led 30/0, but lost the next four points.


First set
---------
HA * *___*@*___ 5
LI _* *@*___*@* 7

The match was third on Show Court 3, and started at 14:17 AEDT - much earlier than expected, as Mikhail Youzhny had given Łukasz Kubot a walkover in what would have been the first match on this court. When that happened, this match was given a "not before" time of 14:00 AEDT.

Daniela serving 0-0: 0/15. 40/15. Held.
Li serving 0-1: 30/0. 30/30. 40/30. Held.
Daniela serving 1-1: 0/15. 40/15. 40/30. Held.
Li serving 1-2: 40/0. Held.
Daniela serving 2-2: 15/0. 15/30. 30/30. 30/40 (BP). Broken.

Li serving 3-2: 40/0. 40/15. Held.
Daniela serving 2-4: 0/15. 30/15. 30/30. 40/30. Held.
Li serving 4-3 (new balls): 0/30. 15/30. 15/40 (BP×2). Deuce. Ad Daniela (BP #3). Broken.

Daniela serving 4-4: 30/0. 30/15. 40/15. Deuce #1. Ad Li (BP). Deuce #2. Ad Daniela. Held.

Li serving 4-5: 40/0. Deuce. Ad Li. Held.
Daniela serving 5-5: 0/15. 15/15. 15/40 (BP). Broken.

Li serving 6-5: 30/0. 30/15. 40/15 (SP #1×2). Deuce #1. Ad Li (SP #3). Deuce #2. Ad Li (SP #4). Li won the first set 7-5 at 15:14 AEDT (57m).


Second set
----------
HA *@*@*___* 6
LI _____*@*_ 3

Daniela serving 0-0: 15/0. 15/15. 40/15. 40/30. Held.

Li serving 0-1: 15/0. 15/15. 30/15. 30/40 (BP #1). Deuce. Ad Daniela (BP #2). Broken.

Daniela serving 2-0: 15/0. 15/15. 40/15. Held.
Li serving 0-3: 0/15. 15/15. 15/40 (BP #1). 30/40 (BP #2). Broken.
Daniela serving 4-0 (new balls): 40/0. Held.
Li serving 0-5: 40/0. 40/15. Held.
Daniela serving 5-1: 0/40 (BP #1). 15/40 (BP #2). Broken.
Li serving 2-5: 0/15. 40/15. Held.

Daniela serving 5-3: 15/0. 15/15. 30/15. 30/30. 40/30 (SP #1). Deuce #1. Ad Daniela (SP #2). Deuce #2. Ad Li (BP). Deuce #3. Ad Daniela (SP #3). Deuce #4. Ad Daniela (SP #4). Daniela won the second set 6-3 at 15:58 AEDT (second set 44m, match so far 1h41m).


Third set
---------
HA _*___*__ 2
LI * *@* *@ 6

Li serving 0-0: 0/15. 40/15. Deuce. Ad Li. Held.
Daniela serving 0-1: 15/0. 15/15. 40/15. Held.
Li serving 1-1: 40/0. Held.
Daniela serving 1-2: 0/30. 30/30. 30/40 (BP). Broken.

Li serving 3-1 (new balls): 30/0. 30/15. 40/15. 40/30. Held.
Daniela serving 1-4: 15/0. 15/15. 40/15. Held.
Li serving 4-2: 15/0. 15/15. 40/15. Held.

Daniela serving 2-5: 30/0. 30/40 (MP #1). Li won 7-5 3-6 6-2 at 16:36 AEDT (third set 38m, match 2h19m).


Statistics
----------

Li had a superior W:UE ratio of 29:37 to Daniela's 24:36.

Daniela got 68% of her first serves in, winning 63% of the points when she did so, and 47% on second serve. Her first-serves-in percentage improved from set to set, but her winning-percentages troughed at 59% (first serve) and 40% (second serve) for the third.

Li got 77% of her first serves in, winning 69% of the points when she did so, and 45% on second serve.

Daniela's first serve was faster than Li's: fastest 105-101 mph, average 94-92 mph. Li had the faster average second serve: 83-81 mph.

Daniela hit 2 aces and 4 double faults, Li one ace and 3 double faults.

Daniela converted 3 of 7 BPs, Li 5 of 8. In the third set, Daniela didn't have any BPs, while Li converted 2 of 2.

Daniela won 7 of 10 points at the net (70%), Li 9 of 11 (82%). Strangely, Li came in less and less from set to set - not at all in the third.

In points, Li won 96-86 (first set 43-36, second set 26-32, third set 27-18).

-------------------------------------------
5. Third-round TV-report: Wozniacki v Pe'er (Saturday 23rd January 2010)
-------------------------------------------

+ CAROLINE WOZNIACKI [4] d. SHAHAR PE'ER [29], 6-4 6-0

The BBC had promised to show this match, which was second on the Rod Laver Arena following Hewitt v Baghdatis, but when Baghdatis's retirement brought a premature end to the first match, the BBC switched to Hisense Arena to pick up Tsonga v Haas, continued showing that until its conclusion, and only caught Wozniacki v Pe'er from 6-4 4-0*!

Apparently, the first set was very competitive, but what the BBC televised was extremely disappointing in both duration and tennis-quality. Shahar, who has had some very impressive results this month, was mishitting ball after ball, while Caro was content to hit milk-float second serves and just dolly the ball back to Shahar. Shahar couldn't handle the lack of pace no matter how far in she stood, and got very frustrated.

Without having been able to watch the US Open 2009 to see for myself what Caro's really capable of, it's hard for me to envision how she will be able to justify her seeding, should she meet Venus Williams [6] in the quarter-finals. Caro has failed even to take a set off Venus in their four WTA Tour meetings, and Venus beat her 6-4 in an exhibition-set at Hong Kong earlier this month.

I must admit that Caro is a beautiful girl. She gets bonus-points for her magenta fingernail-varnish, and those cute pom-poms on the back of her socks - apparently they fell off during the match, which, sadly, will discourage her from wearing them again.


Second set
----------
WOZNI @*@*@* 6
PE'ER ______ 0

Shahar serving 0-4: First serve out wide + crosscourt backhand winner. 15/0. Double fault (second serve just long). 15/15. Shahar tried to serve and volley, but lacked commitment and got caught in no-man's-land: Caro hit a backhand pass-winner down the line. 15/30. Caro dumped a forehand into the net. 30/30. Shahar wasted a very good first serve out wide, as she mishit a forehand long on the third stroke. 30/40 (BP). Caro hit a forehand onto the baseline, forcing Shahar to bend her knees and net a backhand.

Sam Smith: "Really living up to her billing as the golden girl of Danish sport, and the golden girl of tennis right now. It's very much the royal family and then Caroline Wozniacki, in terms of the celebrity-magazines."

John Lloyd: "No one's really talked about Wozniacki as a threat to win this tournament, and after reaching the US Open final, you have to take her seriously."

Caro serving 5-0: Shahar took the initiative off a moonball from Caro, but hit a crosscourt forehand wide, and yelled in frustration. 15/0. Caro got away with a woefully short second serve, as Shahar on the fourth stroke netted a backhand. 30/0. Caro dumped a backhand into the net. 30/15. Shahar stood well inside the baseline to receive Caro's powderpuff second serve, but hit a backhand return just long. 40/15 (MP #1). Caro pulled up on a down-the-line backhand, putting it just wide. 40/30 (MP #2). Shahar played a good spreading rally, went to the net and hit a crosscourt forehand volley-winner. Deuce #1. Second serve: Shahar hit a pinpoint backhand winner down Caro's backhand-sideline: just inside both sideline and baseline. Ad Shahar (BP #1). She mishit a crosscourt backhand just wide. Deuce #2. Shahar pinned Caro to her forehand-sideline with a series of crosscourt forehands, and eventually had the guts to hit a forehand winner down the line. Ad Shahar (BP #2). Shahar hit a down-the-line backhand long. Deuce #3. Caro hit a pinpoint crosscourt backhand winner just inside the sideline, and screamed "c'mon". Ad Caro (MP #3). Her pinpoint forehand down the line forced a floater, which she dispatched with a crosscourt forehand smash-winner just inside the sideline. Caro won 6-4 6-0 at 22:00 AEDT (second set 33m, match 1h20m).

Sam Smith: "It's been a difficult night for Shahar Pe'er. She started off with such promise, such a competitive first set. That was a very confident Caroline Wozniacki out on the Rod Laver Arena tonight."

Caro's on-court interview: "She started off very well, playing aggressively. I just kept hanging in there, and the crowd supported me, so thank you very much, everybody."

--------------------------------
6. Fourth-round draw and preview
--------------------------------
6.1 Fourth-round draw
---------------------

* SAMANTHA STOSUR [13] v SERENA WILLIAMS [1] (go Sam!)
* VERA ZVONARËVA [9,EF] v VICTORIA AZARENKA [7,DF] (my loyalty is to VERA)
* CAROLINE WOZNIACKI [4] v LI,NA [16] (kom sĺ Caro!)
* VENUS WILLIAMS [6] v FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE [17]

* Yanina Wickmayer [Q] v Justine Henin [WC] (komaan Yanina!)
* NADIA PETROVA [19] v SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [3]
* ALYONA BONDARENKO [31] v Zheng,Jie (my loyalty is to Alyona)
* Maria Kirilenko [DF] v DINARA SAFINA [2] (davai Maria!)

Little Maria: "I think Sharapova hits it harder than Safina, so I am prepared for sure."


6.2 Preview: Zvonarëva v Azarenka
---------------------------------

* VERA ZVONARËVA [9,EF] v VICTORIA AZARENKA [7,DF]

An intriguing showdown, as Vera leads their head-to-head 4:0, but only one of those victories has come after the then-19-year-old Vika's amazing transformation at the start of 2009:
+ 2007 Indian Wells 3r: Vera won 6-3 6-3
+ 2007 Luxembourg qf: Vera won 6-1 7-6 (7/5)
+ 2008 Prague final: Vera won 7-6 (7/2) 6-2
+ 2009 Indian Wells sf: Vera won 6-3 6-3

Vika reminds me a lot of Maria Sharapova with her big, sharp groundstrokes, an almost-identical song-grunt, and of course being tall, slim and blonde. She has power, precision, touch, wonderful short-angled crosscourt backhands to the sideline, and hits plenty of winners.

Vika made a demi-fan of me the first time I saw her play: against Safina in the quarter-finals of the French Open 2009. I don't know if I'll ever have the passion to induct her into my Eternal Fanship, and in fact, having eight active players in my Eternal Fanship has made my soul dangerously unstable, so I dare not induct any more players until some of my active ones retire (or someone VERY special comes along).

Vika's obvious weakness is that she gets very emotional when things aren't going her way, but I am convinced that she has a terrific future. She certainly has the talent to win Majors and become world #1 (hopefully in that order).

Vika enjoyed an amazing 2009, compiling a remarkable singles-record of 45:15, and rising from #15 to #7 in the rankings (briefly touching a career-high #6 in October).

Vika started 2009 by winning her first WTA singles-title at Brisbane, thrashing #17 Marion Bartoli 6-3 6-1 in the final.

Vika was outplaying #2 Serena Williams in the fourth round of the Australian Open when she was sadly forced to retire, leading 6-3 *2-4, with dizziness and gastrointestinal illness. If it wasn't for that, I truly believe that she would have beaten Serena, and, perhaps, gone on to win her first Major title then and there!

Vika won Memphis with a 6-1 6-3 win over #12 Caroline Wozniacki in the final. Caro went on to have an even better 2009 than Vika, but Vika's victory here was a sign that her career will be more stellar than Caro's, because Vika has the weapons that Caro lacks.

At Indian Wells, Vika beat #2 Dinara Safina 6-7 6-1 6-3 to set up a semi-final with none other than Vera, who won 6-3 6-3. Vera and Vika emerged from this match sharing the best win/loss record on the WTA Tour for 2009 up to that point: 17:2. Vera made the record her own by winning the final for her first-ever Premier singles-title.

Vika then won her own first Premier singles-title at Miami, beating #8 Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-3 2-6 7-5 in the semi-finals, and thrashing #1 Serena Williams 6-3 6-1 in the final.

Vika's results tailed off a bit in the clay-court season, with a second-round loss to #34 Gisela Dulko at Stuttgart. She then thrashed #11 Caroline Wozniacki 6-2 6-2 en route to the semi-finals of Rome, where she lost 6-2 6-4 to #8 Svetlana Kuznetsova.

After a third-round loss at Madrid, Vika reached her first Major quarter-final at the French Open by trouncing defending champion Ana Ivanović 6-2 6-3. She then lost 1-6 6-4 6-2 to #1 Dinara Safina, who turned the match around by achieving better depth on her groundstrokes to force errors from Vika.

Vika also reached the quarter-finals of Wimbledon with an ill-tempered 7-6 2-6 6-3 victory over #10 Nadia Petrova, but was thrashed 6-2 6-3 by #2 Serena Williams.

Vika lost her opening match at Los Angeles to #61 Maria Sharapova: 6-7 6-4 6-2. She also lost 7-5 7-6 to #5 Jelena Janković in the third round of Cincinnati, and 7-5 4-6 6-1 to unranked Kim Clijsters in the second round of Toronto.

Vika suffered a disappointing 4-6 6-2 6-2 loss to #28 Francesca Schiavone in the third round of the US Open. She then lost 7-6 4-6 7-6 to #16 Li,Na in the quarter-finals of Tokyo, and 6-3 6-7 7-5 to #15 Maria Sharapova in a second-round marathon at Beijing (Vika led *5-2 in the third set).

Vika qualified for the Sony Ericsson Championships at Doha, and was eliminated at the round-robin stage: she thrashed #8 Jelena Janković 6-2 6-3, but lost 1-6 6-4 7-5 to #4 Caroline Wozniacki, and retired cramping whilst trailing #10-ranked alternate Agnieszka Radwańska 6-4 5-7 1-4.

Vika started 2010 with the Hong Kong Tennis Classic, thrashing #36 Gisela Dulko 6-1 in a women's singles rubber of the semi-finals. Vera and Vika were due to meet in the Gold-Group final, but due to Vera's ankle swelling up, that rubber was not played, so Vika could do nothing to prevent Team Russia beating Team Europe 2:1.

Vika reached the semi-finals of Sydney, starting with a 3-6 6-2 7-5 win over #22 Sabine Lisicki, whom I hold in the same high esteem as I hold Vika. Vika struggled past #64 Kimiko Date Krumm 6-1 5-7 7-5 and #24 Dominika Cibulková 2-6 6-2 7-5, and was thrashed 6-3 6-1 by #5 Elena Dementieva in the semis.

If Vera's route to the fourth round has been ruthlessly efficient, then Vika's has been even more so:
1r + #116 Stéphanie Cohen-Aloro [WC], 6-2 6-0
2r + #74 Stefanie Vögele, 6-4 6-0
3r + #62 Tathiana Garbin, 6-0 6-2

Vera's route:
1r + #108 Kristína Kučová [s], 6-2 6-0
2r + #45 Iveta Benešová, 6-0 6-3
3r + #36 Gisela Dulko [DF], 6-1 7-5

Vika has dropped just 8 games to Vera's 11, but Vera has beaten a higher-ranked player in every round than Vika has beaten.

Conclusion: Vera leads 4:0, but Vika's career has been going much better than Vera's since their last meeting - mainly due to Vera being hampered by her right-ankle injury, which has held up well so far here. I'm pessimistic about Vera's chances because her preparation for the Australian Open went so badly, and because of Vika's immense talent, but bad preparation becomes less relevant in the second week of a Major when you're a top-ten player, and Vera has two obvious advantages over Vika: experience, and confidence from their head-to-head. It's a tough one to call.

------------------
7. Andrew's wishes (updated after Day 6)
------------------
7.1 Quarter-final wishes
------------------------

* VERA ZVONARËVA [9,EF] d. SAMANTHA STOSUR [13]
* CAROLINE WOZNIACKI [4] d. VENUS WILLIAMS [6]
* Yanina Wickmayer [Q] d. NADIA PETROVA [19]
* Maria Kirilenko [DF] d. ALYONA BONDARENKO [31]


7.2 Semi-final wishes
---------------------

* VERA ZVONARËVA [9,EF] d. CAROLINE WOZNIACKI [4]
* Maria Kirilenko [DF] d. Yanina Wickmayer [Q]


7.3 Final-wish
--------------

* VERA ZVONARËVA [9,EF] d. Maria Kirilenko [DF]

--------------------------------
8. Women's Doubles: Second round
--------------------------------

This section presents my selections - for the full draw, see
http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/draws/wd/


8.1 Second-round results (Saturday 23rd January 2010)
------------------------

+ (MARIA KIRILENKO [DF]/AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA)[15] d. Elena Baltacha/Liga Dekmeijere, 6-0 6-2

+ Victoria Azarenka [DF]/Svetlana Kuznetsova d. (ANNA-LENA GRÖNEFELD/VANIA KING)[14], 6-3 4-6 6-3


8.2 Third-round draw
--------------------

* (GISELA DULKO [DF]/FLAVIA PENNETTA [DF])[13] v (HSIEH,SU-WEI [s]/PENG,SHUAI [s])[4]

* (MARIA KIRILENKO [DF]/AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA)[15] v (NURIA LLAGOSTERA VIVES/MARÍA JOSÉ MARTÍNEZ SÁNCHEZ)[3]

* Victoria Azarenka [DF]/Svetlana Kuznetsova v (CARA BLACK/LIEZEL HUBER)[1]

* (SANIA MIRZA [DF]/VIRGINIA RUANO PASCUAL)[10] v (ALISA KLEYBANOVA/FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE)[7]

* (Laura Robson/Sally Peers)[WC] v Vera Dushevina/Anastasia Rodionova

-----------------------------
9. Mixed Doubles: First round
-----------------------------

This section presents my selections - for the full draw, see
http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/draws/xd/


9.1 First-round result (Saturday 23rd January 2010)
----------------------

- Monica Niculescu [s]/Julian Knowle [s] lt. Flavia Pennetta [DF]/Marcelo Melo, 4-6 3-6

Sania Mirza [DF]/Mahesh Bhupathi, who were the defending champions, pulled out due to a calf-injury to Bhupathi.


9.2 First-round matches to be played at a later date
----------------------------------------------------

Sunday:
* (DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [EF]/DANIEL NESTOR)[2] v Anabel Medina Garrigues/Andre Sa

Monday?
* Maria Kirilenko [DF]/Nenad Zimonjić v Raquel Kops-Jones/Dick Norman

------------------------------------
10. Girls' Singles: First-round draw
------------------------------------

This section presents my selections - for the full draw, see
http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/draws/gs/

* Vivien Juhászová v YULIA PUTINTSEVA [11] (poďme Vivien!)
* Laura Robson v Belinda Woolcock (go Laura!)
* Monika Wejnert v Ons Jabeur (go Monika!)
* DARIA GAVRILOVA [3] v Storm Sanders (davai Daria!)
* SILVIA NJIRIĆ [5] v Teiwa Casey (ajmo Silvia!)
* Chantal Škamlová v Juan,Ting-Fei (poďme Chantal!)

----------------------------
11. Order of play for Sunday
----------------------------

No members of my Eternal Fanship are scheduled to play singles on Sunday.

The feature-match on the Rod Laver Arena evening-session is Henin v Wickmayer. While I'm desperately disappointed that Kirilenko v Safina didn't get this spot (and will not therefore be televised by the BBC), I'm looking forward to watching Yanina play on TV for the first time, having watched her in the flesh at Birmingham 2008 and 2009.

Order of play:
http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/schedule/

--
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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Andrew's TV-report for Day 7

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

1. Photos
2. Fourth-round results
3. Fourth-round TV-report: Wickmayer v Henin
4. Fourth-round draw
5. Andrew's wishes
6. Women's Doubles: Third round
7. Mixed Doubles: First round
8. Girls' Singles: First round
9. Order of play for Monday

---------
1. Photos
---------

Recommended searches for Day 7:
* kirilenko
* bondarenko
* wickmayer
* zheng

I'm pleased to see that Caroline Wozniacki's unfortunate experience with pom-poms on the back of her socks hasn't discouraged Maria Kirilenko from still wearing them!

-----------------------
2. Fourth-round results (Sunday 24th January 2010)
-----------------------

Air:
+ Maria Kirilenko [DF] d. DINARA SAFINA [2], 5-4* retired (low-back injury)

I feel kind of sorry for Safina for her back-injury to flare up again after her impressive form of the previous round, and I'm sure it's not the way Little Maria would have wanted to advance to her first Major quarter-final (in Women's Singles), but I would certainly have agreed to this result to have a Super Maria Sister in the quarter-finals instead of Safina!

I don't like the look of all the accessories on Little Maria's left leg: the by-now-familiar thin band around her knee, and the heavy strapping on her thigh. I worry about her having to play two doubles-matches on Monday ahead of her singles quarter-final on Tuesday.

Earth:
+ NADIA PETROVA [19] d. SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [3], 6-3 3-6 6-1

Fire:
- Yanina Wickmayer [Q] lt. Justine Henin [WC], 6-7 (3/7) 6-1 3-6

Water:
- ALYONA BONDARENKO [31] lt. Zheng,Jie, 6-7 (5/7) 4-6

Quote of the day: "It was really close - it could be catching" [Carlos Ramos, umpiring Murray v Isner].

--------------------------------------------
3. Fourth-round TV-report: Wickmayer v Henin (Sunday 24th January 2010)
--------------------------------------------

- Yanina Wickmayer [Q] lt. Justine Henin [WC], 6-7 (3/7) 6-1 3-6

I saw the match on BBC Red Button, and it was by far the best match that the BBC has televised so far this Australian Open, in terms of the calibre of play and competitiveness.

Yanina put up an excellent performance, with her big serves and big groundstrokes that didn't break down, and 15 successful forays to the net. She actually won more points than Henin: 96-93. I knew Yanina was a very good player when I watched her at Birmingham 2008 and 2009, but today, she looked like a Major champion in the making.

I thought Yanina showed remarkable mental strength to hang in there as well as she did, but unfortunately, Henin showed why she is a seven-time Major champion by coming up with something special when it mattered.

The first set was a most intriguing contest. Yanina came out hitting the ball well, and looking like she might overpower Henin as she held for 1-0*. But Henin started to get a lot more balls back, hit the ball better herself, move Yanina from side to side, and jerk Yanina around with slices and dropshots.

Henin got the first break for *3-2, but Yanina broke back immediately as Henin's aggression resulted in three narrow misses.

The rest of the first set went with serve, Yanina saving two break-points at *4-4, and Henin saving three set-points at *5-6 - with an ace, a crosscourt forehand winner, and a deep, error-forcing forehand. It really was a champion's response by Henin rather than a gagarooney by Yanina.

Yanina led 3/2* in the tiebreak, but dumped a forehand halfway up the net, and Henin from 3/3* played four excellent points to take the first set.

I thought Yanina's challenge might fade after losing such an intense first set, but instead it seemed that Henin had a lapse of concentration as Yanina broke at the start of the set, and that Henin's previous exertions in this tournament were catching up with her as Yanina raced through the second set 6-1.

But Yanina was broken to love at the start of the third set, and couldn't put any pressure on Henin's subsequent service-games (apart from pegging her back from 40/15 to Deuce at *4-3). Yanina at *3-5 was broken again to end her Australian Open campaign after seven matches.

I really wanted Yanina to beat Henin, because a lot of people talk about "the Belgians" in women's tennis like they are only Henin and Clijsters, whereas Yanina is my favourite Belgian since the golden years of Dominique Monami (aka Dominique van Roost) and Sabine Appelmans.

I also wanted Yanina to win as a further statement to the Australian Open organisers, who did not deign to give the world #16 a main-draw wild card when her unjust suspension for allegedly violating WADA's whereabouts-rule through no fault of her own was overturned. At least she justified the seeding she should have had.


First set
---------
WICKM * *__@* * *__ 6(3)
HENIN _* *@__* * *T 7(7)

The match was first on the Rod Laver Arena evening-session, and started at 19:08 AEDT.

Sam Smith discussed Henin's struggle against Alisa Kleybanova in the previous round, saying that "she was really stiff, that leg looked like it was a piece of tin, she wasn't moving, and she looked as flat as anything", but she turned it around by getting inside Kleybanova's head.

Yanina serving 0-0: Henin hit a deep down-the-line forehand onto the baseline, forcing Yanina to net a backhand. 0/15. Henin netted a forehand (after Yanina eschewed a promising gap for a backhand winner down the line). 15/15. Henin mishit an off-backhand return wide. 30/15. Henin went to the net, but Yanina hit a fantastic crosscourt forehand pass-winner low over the net. 40/15. Yanina's depth forced Henin to spray a down-the-line backhand just wide.

The early signs are promising for Yanina. She's hitting the ball well, and looking like she might overpower Henin. Sam Smith said Henin would need to take Yanina out of her comfort-zone, rather than allow her to stand and hit.

Henin serving 0-1: Yanina pounced on a short ball to hit a crosscourt forehand winner on the fourth stroke. 0/15. Henin's depth induced Yanina to dump an off-backhand into the net. 15/15. First serve out wide - on the sideline - induced Yanina to bunt a forehand return long. 30/15. Yanina went to the net and hit a forehand volley-winner down the line. 30/30. Henin on the third stroke slapped a down-the-line forehand wide. 30/40 (BP). Henin dominated the rally, went to the net; her backhand drop-volley forced Yanina to net a forehand. Deuce #1. Yanina hit an off-forehand winner as Henin slipped in the middle of the baseline. Ad Yanina (BP). First serve induced Yanina to hit a forehand return long. The first "allez" from Henin. Deuce #2. Henin spread Yanina, inducing her to hit a crosscourt forehand wide. Ad Henin. Yanina went to the net, but hit a makeable crosscourt forehand volley wide.

Ominously, Henin is starting to hit the ball better and move Yanina from side to side.

Yanina serving 1-1: Yanina ran down a dropshot, but hit a crosscourt backhand wide - poor shot-selection. 0/15. Deep first serve: off-forehand return wide. 15/15. Henin's sliced backhand kept very low, forcing Yanina to dump a backhand halfway up the net. 15/30. Second serve out wide: Henin netted a makeable backhand return. 30/30. Yanina played a good spreading rally, opening the court with a crosscourt forehand to hit a deep forehand winner down the line. 40/30. Henin's deep crosscourt backhand return forced Yanina to hit a down-the-line backhand wide. Deuce. Henin blasted a backhand into the net. Ad Yanina. Henin sprayed a wild backhand very long.

Henin is starting to jerk Yanina around with slices and dropshots, but a couple of wild errors kept the threat of a break at bay.

Henin serving 1-2: Henin dominated the point and hit an off-forehand smash-winner. 15/0. Yanina netted a forehand return. 30/0. Henin went to the net and hit a crosscourt backhand volley-winner. 40/0. Henin on the third stroke netted a down-the-line forehand. 40/15. Second serve out wide: Yanina netted a forehand return.

Sam Smith: "[Henin] likes to get into her opponents' heads really early, and dismantle their minds first."

Ironically, Henin helped to train Yanina. They both lost their mothers at a very young age (Henin 12, Yanina 9).

Yanina serving 2-2: Henin went to the net, and stretched low & wide to hit a backhand drop-volley winner. 0/15. Yanina off-forehand just wide. 15/15. Henin's off-backhand forced Yanina to hit a defensive forehand lob wide, and drew a loud cheer from the crowd. 15/30. Yanina went to the net behind a deep but slow forehand down the line; Henin's crosscourt backhand forced her to net an awkward low backhand volley. 15/40 (BP). Double fault (second serve just long).

Sam Smith: "This is very Heninesque: outpowered at the beginning of the match, but got one more ball back, one more ball back, and already she's inside Wickmayer's head. Is she smart enough not to fall in that trap?"

Henin serving 3-2: Henin netted a forehand. 0/15. Henin spread Yanina buthit a wild crosscourt forehand would-be winner just wide of the sideline (I heard a call of "out" followed by a call of "correction", but apparently the umpire did not hear the "correction"). 0/30. First serve out wide induced Yanina to hit a forehand return halfway up the net. 15/30. Henin's off-forehand approach forced Yanina to net a backhand. 30/30. Henin hit a pinpoint backhand winner down the line: just inside the sideline. 40/30. Yanina went to the net behind a down-the-line forehand, leaving a huge gap to her left, but Henin's crosscourt backhand pass was just wide. Deuce. Henin wrong-footed Yanina with a first serve out wide + crosscourt forehand, but hit an off-forehand just wide. Ad Yanina (BP). Double fault (second serve into the net).

Henin continues to be aggressive, but made three errors by very narrow margins.

Yanina serving 3-3: Henin hit a short-angled crosscourt backhand just wide. 15/0. Yanina went to the net behind a deep sliced backhand, and her long right arm helped her to pick off Henin's crosscourt pass to hit an off-forehand volley-winner. Well read! 30/0. Yanina hit a pinpoint backhand winner down the line: just inside both sideline and baseline. 40/0. Double fault #2 (second serve just long and just wide). 40/15. Henin ran down a dropshot and hit a backhand dropshot-winner. 40/30. Yanina went to the net and hit a crosscourt backhand volley-winner.

It's a very dangerous sign when 40/0 becomes 40/30 against a player of Henin's calibre, so I'm very relieved that Yanina managed to get that last point.

Sam Smith said it was easier for Clijsters to come back, because she is bigger and stronger than Henin.

Henin serving 3-4 (new balls): A crosscourt-forehand drill ended with Henin hitting one just long. 0/15. Henin's crosscourt forehand + down-the-line forehand forced Yanina to stretch wide and net a one-handed backhand. 15/15. Yanina's deep return forced Henin to bunt a backhand just long. 15/30. Henin went to the net behind a deep off-forehand, forcing Yanina to net a backhand. 30/30. Yanina opened up the court but netted an off-forehand. 40/30. A crosscourt-backhand drill ended with Henin hitting one for a winner.

Yanina serving 4-4: Ace down the middle called wide but overruled as good. Henin wasted a challenge. 15/0. Yanina had the upper hand but hit a down-the-line backhand just long. 15/15. Henin went to the net, but got caught in no-man's-land as Yanina hit a down-the-line backhand pass-winner. 30/15. Yanina's short-angled crosscourt backhand forced Henin to net a backhand. 40/15. Yanina hit an aggressive off-backhand just wide. 40/30. Yanina backhand just long. Deuce #1. Double fault #3 (second serve well long). Ad Henin (BP #1). Yanina hit an error-forcing off-forehand just inside the sideline, and shouted "komaan". Deuce #2. Henin hit an off-forehand winner back behind Yanina, and shouted "allez". Ad Henin (BP #2). Yanina ran down a dropshot that was way too high, and dispatched it with a crosscourt backhand pass-winner. Deuce #3. Henin hit a loose forehand long. Ad Yanina. Her forehand down the middle induced Henin to hit a sliced forehand long.

A disappointing triple of errors from 40/15, but Yanina still maintains the excellent two-way standard of this match.

Henin serving 4-5: Henin hit a thunderous crosscourt forehand winner just inside the sideline. 15/0. Yanina forced a floater and dispatched it with a high forehand drive-volley winner crosscourt into the corner. 15/15. Yanina netted a forehand return. 30/15. Henin's deep crosscourt backhand forced Yanina to mishit a crosscourt backhand just wide. 40/15. Double fault (second serve just long). 40/30. A ball down the middle from Henin induced Yanina to hit an off-forehand wide.

Yanina serving 5-5: Deep first serve out wide: forehand return floated long. 15/0. Henin slapped a forehand into the net. 30/0. Ace down the middle: just inside the service-line. 40/0. Yanina's backhand clipped the netcord and dropped dead for a winner. She apologised with her palm.

Henin serving 5-6: Henin sliced a backhand into the net. 0/15. Henin's return landed on the baseline but was called long. She challenged, but Hawk-Eye showed that it was about 20% long of the line. 15/15. Yanina went to the net behind a deep, hard off-forehand, forcing Henin to net a backhand. 15/30. Henin's backhand clipped the netcord and fell back on her side. 15/40 (SP #1). Ace down the middle called long but overruled by the umpire; Yanina challenged, and embarrassed the umpire by how long it was! Henin hit a pinpoint backhand winner down the line: just inside both sideline and baseline. 30/40 (SP #2). Henin hit a crosscourt forehand winner back behind Yanina, whose visor nearly fell off (which would have forced a let). Deuce #1. Yanina off-backhand return just wide. Ad Henin. Yanina hit a crosscourt forehand + pinpoint forehand winner down the line: just inside the sideline. Deuce #2. Ace #1: down the middle, on the centre-line. Ad Henin. She framed a forehand very long. Deuce #3. Henin hit an off-forehand winner just wide. Ad Yanina (SP #3). Henin went to the net behind a deep forehand, forcing Yanina to net a backhand. Deuce #4. Henin hit a deep forehand just inside the baseline, forcing Yanina to mishit a forehand into the net. Ad Henin. Big first serve down the middle forced a very short return, which Henin swept away with a crosscourt backhand winner right in the corner.

A champion's response from Henin to save those three set-points!

6-6 tiebreak (all scores Wickmayer/Henin):
{*0/0} Yanina went to the net behind a deep off-forehand, forcing Henin to hit a down-the-line backhand wide.
{1/0*} Henin's 105mph ace down the middle caught the back edge of the service-line.
{1/1*} Second serve: Yanina netted a forehand return. Henin said "allez".
{*1/2} Yanina punched a backhand winner down the line.
{*2/2} Yanina went to the net and hit an off-forehand volley-winner.
{3/2*} Yanina dumped a forehand halfway up the net.
{3/3*} Henin hit a crosscourt forehand deep into the corner, forcing Yanina to hit a forehand long. Henin said "allez".
{*3/4} Henin hit a pinpoint backhand winner down the line: just inside the sideline.
{*3/5} Henin hit a pinpoint forehand winner down the line: just inside the sideline.
{3/6*: SP #1} First serve down the middle + crosscourt forehand volley-winner. Henin won the first set 7-6 (7/3) at 20:17 AEDT (1h09m).

An excellent set by both players - worthy of a Major final! I really felt that Yanina could take that tiebreak, but sadly, Henin found her best form from 3/3.

I think Yanina showed tremendous mental strength to hang in that set as long as she did, but I think she's going to lose 6-7 4-6 now.


Second set
----------
WICKM @* *@*@ 6
HENIN __*____ 1

Henin serving 0-0: First serve out wide + off-forehand winner just inside the sideline. 15/0. Big first serve forced a very short return... so short that it forced Henin to net a dropshot! 15/15. Henin went to the net, but Yanina hit a crosscourt backhand pass-winner onto the sideline. 15/30. Henin forehand long. 15/40 (BP). Double fault (second serve clipped the netcord and fell wide).

An uncharacteristic let-up from Henin after such an intense first set. She didn't use to have such lapses in the olden days. That's why she was such a great champion, and why she was greater than Kim Clijsters.

Yanina serving 1-0: Henin had the initiative but netted a forehand dropshot. 15/0. Yanina went to the net, but Henin hit a forehand pass-winner down the line. 15/15. Yanina went to the net behind a crosscourt backhand dropshot, forcing Henin to net a backhand. A loud plane flew over Melbourne Park. 30/15. First serve out wide + crosscourt backhand winner back behind Henin. 40/15. Henin netted a cheap backhand return.

Henin serving 0-2: Yanina went to the net, forcing Henin to hit a crosscourt forehand pass wide. 0/15. Yanina went to the net but netted a forehand volley. 15/15. Henin netted a forehand. 15/30. Yanina crosscourt forehand wide. 30/30. First serve out wide + forehand winner down the line. 40/30. First serve out wide forced a floater, which Henin dispatched with an off-forehand smash-winner.

Sam Smith: "I wonder if this is a reaction to such a gruelling first set, whether she has mentally slackened ever so slightly. She gave such an output in the first set."

Yanina serving 2-1 (new balls): Henin backhand just long. 15/0. Deep first serve out wide: backhand return wide. 30/0. Yanina netted a forehand. 30/15. Ace out wide: 107 mph on the sideline. 40/15. Henin pounced on a short ball to hit a forehand winner down the line. 40/30. Yanina backhand long. Deuce #1. Yanina hit a pinpoint off-backhand winner down the line: on the sideline. Ad Yanina. Her crosscourt forehand was called long. Deuce #2. Yanina went to the net behind a penetrating crosscourt forehand, forcing Henin to net a forehand. Ad Yanina. Her crosscourt backhand to the sideline forced Henin to net a backhand. Yanina pumped her fist.

Henin serving 1-3: First serve out wide forced Yanina to bunt a forehand return long. 15/0. Henin netted a backhand. 15/15. Henin crosscourt backhand just wide. 15/30. Henin pounced on a short return to hit a crosscourt forehand winner. 30/30. Henin on the third stroke hit a crosscourt forehand just wide. 30/40 (BP). Yanina's crosscourt forehand induced Henin to hit a down-the-line forehand wide.

Yanina reminds me of Maria Sharapova in that she's tall, has the physique of a swimmer, has a big serve and groundstrokes, and adds variety by going to the net, but not in terms of spins and dropshots. And her shots aren't breaking down today, as Maria's sadly have broken down all too often since her comeback.

Yanina serving 4-1: Henin hit a short-angled crosscourt forehand winner. 0/15. Henin's crosscourt backhand return called wide. 15/15. Yanina hit an off-forehand winner into the corner. 30/15. First serve out wide + forehand winner down the line. 40/15. Service-winner out wide.

Henin serving 1-5: Double fault (second serve just long). 0/15. Yanina, driven wide, hit a pinpoint forehand winner down the line: just inside the sideline. 0/30. Yanina ran down a dropshot but hit a forehand just long. 15/30. Henin tried to spread Yanina, but her defence was too strong, and Henin blasted a crosscourt forehand wide. 15/40 (SP #1). Henin blasted a crosscourt forehand just wide. Yanina won the second set 6-1 at 20:45 AEDT (second set 28m, match so far 1h37m).

Wow - what a turnaround! Yanina kept up her high level from the first set; Henin didn't. I think Henin lacks fitness this early in her comeback, and that first set was really draining - as was her previous round against Alisa Kleybanova, and the round before that against Elena Dementieva. It's all catching up with her now.


Third set
---------
WICKM __* * *__ 3
HENIN @* * * *@ 6

Yanina serving 0-0: Henin's short return forced Yanina to hit a backhand long. 0/15. Henin spread Yanina, forcing her to net a forehand. 0/30. Henin hit a pinpoint off-backhand winner onto the sideline. 0/40 (BP). Yanina on the third stroke dumped a forehand into the net to get broken.

Henin serving 1-0: Henin's forehand clipped the netcord and dropped dead for a winner. 15/0. Henin's depth induced Yanina to spray a crosscourt forehand wide. 30/0. Ace out wide (107 mph). 40/0. Double fault (second serve long). 40/15. Henin went to the net behind a vicious sliced backhand down the line, forcing Yanina to net a forehand on the 16th stroke.

Yanina serving 0-2: Yanina hit a deep, error-forcing off-backhand. 15/0. Yanina's depth induced Henin to hit a forehand just long. 30/0. Double fault (second serve just wide of the centre-line). 30/15. An intriguing rally culminated with Yanina hitting a short-angled crosscourt backhand but Henin hitting a backhand dropshot-winner. 30/30. First serve out wide: Henin netted a forehand. Yanina celebrated with a yell + fist-pump. 40/30. Henin off-forehand just wide.

Henin serving 2-1: First serve out wide + short off-forehand winner just inside the sideline. 15/0. First serve forced Yanina to net a forehand return. 30/0. Henin on the third stroke netted a forehand. 30/15. Yanina netted a forehand off an undercut backhand from Henin. 40/15. Henin's deep forehand down the line onto the baseline forced Yanina to mishit a wild crosscourt backhand wide.

Yanina serving 1-3: Double fault (second serve long). 0/15. Deep first serve down the middle forced Henin to hit a forehand return wide. 15/15. Yanina dominated the baseline-rally, hit a forehand winner down the line, and said "komaan!" 30/15. Second serve out wide: backhand return long. 40/15. Henin forehand long.

Do I sense Henin's level going down again? A couple of unforced errors at the end of that game.

Henin serving 3-2: Henin wasted a challenge to show that her first serve was long by about 5% of the service-line. She netted her second serve for a double fault. 0/15. Henin's off-forehand forced Yanina to stretch wide & low and net a one-handed backhand. 15/15. Yanina crosscourt forehand wide - probably distracted by Henin falling over and yelling. Henin has hurt her left leg (ankle? knee?), and is now hobbling slowly behind the baseline. 30/15. First serve out wide + off-forehand winner back behind Yanina. 40/15. Yanina forehand return long.

A shame Yanina couldn't capitalise on Henin's slip. I think it distracted Yanina more than the experienced Henin.

Yanina serving 2-4: Brave second serve on the service-line: Henin slapped a forehand return into the net. 15/0. Short first serve induced Henin to net another forehand return. 30/0. Henin went for a forehand down the line, but put it wide - extra aggression because she's hurting? 40/0. Ace #4: out wide, on the sideline.

Henin serving 4-3: First serve + crosscourt forehand forced Yanina to stretch wide and net a forehand. 15/0. Ace down the middle: on the centre-line, curling away from Yanina. 30/0. Yanina went to the net behind a down-the-line backhand, and hit an off-forehand volley. 30/15. Henin's short-angled crosscourt backhand forced Yanina outside the tramlines to net a one-handed backhand. 40/15. Yanina's off-forehand forced Henin to stretch wide & low and net a backhand. 40/30. A meaty baseline-rally ended with Henin dumping a sliced backhand into the net. Deuce. Yanina forehand long. Ad Henin. She forced a short ball, and dispatched it with a crosscourt forehand winner.

Sam Smith: "You have to love the mental application here from Wickmayer." Chris Bailey: "You can tell where this match is at for Wickmayer: the screeching's getting a little bit louder."

Yanina serving 3-5: Yanina's off-forehand forced Henin to stretch wide and net a backhand. 15/0. Yanina on the third stroke went back behind Henin with an off-forehand, but unfortunately put it just wide. 15/15. Henin drew Yanina to the net and hit a crosscourt backhand pass-winner. 15/30. Henin netted a forehand. 30/30. Short second serve: crosscourt forehand return-winner. 30/40 (MP #1). Henin went to the net behind an off-backhand that curled away from Yanina for a virtual winner. Henin won 7-6 (7/3) 1-6 6-3 at 21:22 AEDT (third set 37m, match 2h14m).

Henin's on-court interview: "It's a great feeling to be back. It's been a great fight. Thanks to all of you. It wasn't easy. She played a great match. She was aggressive. It wasn't easy for me physically."

--------------------
4. Fourth-round draw
--------------------

* SAMANTHA STOSUR [13] v SERENA WILLIAMS [1] (go Sam!)
* VERA ZVONARËVA [9,EF] v VICTORIA AZARENKA [7,DF] (my loyalty is to VERA)
* CAROLINE WOZNIACKI [4] v LI,NA [16] (kom sĺ Caro!)
* VENUS WILLIAMS [6] v FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE [17]

* Justine Henin [WC] won
* NADIA PETROVA [19] won
* Zheng,Jie won
* Maria Kirilenko [DF] won

------------------
5. Andrew's wishes (updated after Day 7)
------------------
5.1 Quarter-final wishes
------------------------

* VERA ZVONARËVA [9,EF] d. SAMANTHA STOSUR [13]
* CAROLINE WOZNIACKI [4] d. VENUS WILLIAMS [6]
* NADIA PETROVA [19] d. Justine Henin [WC]
* Maria Kirilenko [DF] d. Zheng,Jie


5.2 Semi-final wishes
---------------------

* VERA ZVONARËVA [9,EF] d. CAROLINE WOZNIACKI [4]
* Maria Kirilenko [DF] d. NADIA PETROVA [19]


5.3 Final-wish
--------------

* VERA ZVONARËVA [9,EF] d. Maria Kirilenko [DF]

-------------------------------
6. Women's Doubles: Third round
-------------------------------

This section presents my selections - for the full draw, see
http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/draws/wd/


6.1 Third-round results (Sunday 24th January 2010)
-----------------------

+ (GISELA DULKO [DF]/FLAVIA PENNETTA [DF])[13] d. (HSIEH,SU-WEI [s]/PENG,SHUAI [s])[4], 6-2 6-2

+ (Laura Robson/Sally Peers)[WC] d. Vera Dushevina/Anastasia Rodionova, 6-3 6-3

- (SANIA MIRZA [DF]/VIRGINIA RUANO PASCUAL)[10] lt. (ALISA KLEYBANOVA/FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE)[7], 4-6 3-6


6.2 Third-round matches to be played at a later date
----------------------------------------------------

Monday:
* (MARIA KIRILENKO [DF]/AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA)[15] v (NURIA LLAGOSTERA VIVES/MARÍA JOSÉ MARTÍNEZ SÁNCHEZ)[3]

Tuesday?
* Victoria Azarenka [DF]/Svetlana Kuznetsova v (CARA BLACK/LIEZEL HUBER)[1]

-----------------------------
7. Mixed Doubles: First round
-----------------------------

This section presents my selections - for the full draw, see
http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/draws/xd/


7.1 First-round result (Sunday 24th January 2010)
----------------------

+ (DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [EF]/DANIEL NESTOR)[2] d. Anabel Medina Garrigues/Andre Sa, 6-3 3-6 [10/6]


7.2 First-round match to be played on Monday
--------------------------------------------

* Maria Kirilenko [DF]/Nenad Zimonjić v Raquel Kops-Jones/Dick Norman

------------------------------
8. Girls' Singles: First round
------------------------------

This section presents my selections - for the full draw, see
http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/draws/gs/


8.1 First-round results (Sunday 24th January 2010)
-----------------------

What rocked:
+ Monika Wejnert d. Ons Jabeur, 6-3 2-6 6-4
+ DARIA GAVRILOVA [3] d. Storm Sanders, 6-0 3-6 6-3
+ SILVIA NJIRIĆ [5] d. Teiwa Casey, 6-7 (4/7) 6-0 6-3

Monika needs to be crucifying her fellow juniors more convincingly if I'm ever going to see her captivating smile other than in photos! (I saw Daria and Silvia play in the Girls' Doubles at Wimbledon 2009.)

What sucked:
- Chantal Škamlová lt. Juan,Ting-Fei, 4-6 7-6 (7/3) 5-7


8.2 First-round matches to be played on Monday
----------------------------------------------

* Vivien Juhászová v YULIA PUTINTSEVA [11] (poďme Vivien!)
* Laura Robson v Belinda Woolcock (go Laura!)

---------------------------
9. Order of play for Monday
---------------------------

I list only those courts on which members of my Eternal Fanship are scheduled to play singles.

Rod Laver Arena: Day-session (start 11:00 AEDT = 08:00 GMT)
WS 4r: VENUS WILLIAMS [6] v FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE [17]
MS 4r: NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO [6] v FERNANDO VERDASCO [9]
WS 4r: SAMANTHA STOSUR [13] v SERENA WILLIAMS [1]
|
Rod Laver Arena: Evening-session (start 19:30 AEDT = 08:30 GMT)
MS 4r: ROGER FEDERER [1] v LLEYTON HEWITT [22]
WS 4r: VERA ZVONARËVA [9,EF] v VICTORIA AZARENKA [7,DF]

Wow - I'm amazed that they put Vera v Vika on the RLA evening-session instead of Samantha v Serena! I guess the order-of-play committee must have copped a lot of flak after several women's matches on the RLA evening-session in the first week turned out to be uncompetitive. Or maybe Samantha and/or Serena didn't want to be still out there at 2 a.m.?

In any case, I'm delighted that Vera v Vika is in that slot, because that means it will be televised on BBC Red Button!! The BBC has specifically promised to show Vera v Vika!!

That would already be a huge improvement on 2009, when all that the BBC showed of Vera all year was the third set of her first-round match against Briton Georgie Stoop at Wimbledon. The BBC didn't televise Vera at the AO 2009 at all, even though she reached the semi-finals!

I can foresee only three possible excuses that the BBC might have for not showing Vera v Vika:

(a) The BBC decides to switch to Hisense Arena to show Tsonga v Almagro after showing Federer v Hewitt, in the same way that it cheated us out of Wozniacki v Pe'er on Saturday. This could only happen if Federer v Hewitt finished prematurely (as in retirement) and Tsonga v Almagro were severely delayed - a combination of events that seems highly improbable, given that there is no "not before" time for Tsonga on Monday as there was on Saturday.

(b) Federer v Hewitt finishes well after 23:00 AEDT, so they decide that it's too late for Vera v Vika to start. This seems fairly improbable, given Federer's track-record against Hewitt, although it does worry me that Monday's evening-session starts at 19:30 AEDT rather than 19:00 AEDT as on previous days this year.

(c) Vera gives Vika a walkover (or vice versa). This is always a worry in the back of my mind, because it happened at Hong Kong three weeks ago, and then Vera retired from Sydney with her right-ankle injury.

Full order of play:
http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/schedule/

--
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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Old Jan 25th, 2010, 04:59 PM   #10
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Andrew's TV-report for Day 8

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

1. Photos
2. Fourth-round results
3. Fourth-round TV-report: Zvonarëva v Azarenka
4. Fourth-round draw
5. Andrew's wishes
6. Women's Doubles: Third round
7. Mixed Doubles: First round/Second round
8. Girls' Singles: First round
9. Order of play for Tuesday
10. Article: No women's quarters or semis on the BBC
11. Why women's tennis is superior to men's

---------
1. Photos
---------

Recommended searches for Day 8:
* zvonareva
* azarenka
* wozniacki
* stosur

Caroline Wozniacki looked pretty devastated in her press-conference.

-----------------------
2. Fourth-round results (Monday 25th January 2010)
-----------------------

Nice winner, nice loser:
- VERA ZVONARËVA [9,EF] lt. VICTORIA AZARENKA [7,DF], 6-4 4-6 0-6

I approve:
+ VENUS WILLIAMS [6] d. FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE [17], 3-6 6-2 6-1

I do not approve:
- CAROLINE WOZNIACKI [4] lt. LI,NA [16], 4-6 3-6
- SAMANTHA STOSUR [13] lt. SERENA WILLIAMS [1], 4-6 2-6

Caro took a medical time-out to get her right upper leg strapped, but claimed that it did not affect the result.

While I prefer Samantha to Serena, I was pretty relieved that it took only 1h05m so that it didn't delay the Rod Laver Arena evening-session - and risk Vera v Vika being cancelled for the day - after the previous two matches in the day-session had gone the distance.

-----------------------------------------------
3. Fourth-round TV-report: Zvonarëva v Azarenka (Monday 25th January 2010)
-----------------------------------------------

- VERA ZVONARËVA [9,EF] lt. VICTORIA AZARENKA [7,DF], 6-4 4-6 0-6

Yes: the BBC showed it!

It's hard to decide where to start my summary of this delightful, very strange, up-and-down match, in which Vera led 6-4 *4-2... then lost every game left in the match.

The quality of the tennis was fantastic from the start. Vika showed beautiful flowing groundstrokes, and played wonderful spreading rallies, while Vera provided the perfect foil with her excellent lateral retrieval and aggressive counterpunching. Between them, they hit plenty of groundstroke-winners and volley-winners, and each girl hit a fantastic lob-winner while the other was at the net.

The first set was a tennis-comedy, as the crowd were mimicking Vika's long, high-pitched grunts - they were the ones whom the umpire told to be quiet during the rallies!

Until *3-3 in the first set, my enjoyment of the match - purely in terms of the high calibre of play from both girls - could not have been higher. After that, they made more errors.

Vera saved a break-point at *0-0, and another at *3-3. She had two break-points of her own at 4-3* (40/15*), then had to save three more at *4-4. But there were no breaks until Vika threw in an awful service-game at *4-5, handing the first set to Vera on a double fault.

At this stage, Vika was in a terrible state; she was self-destructing with wild errors, and Vera seemed far too solid, experienced and savvy as she went 6-4 1-0* up.

But Vika began to look dangerous again as she held for 1-1*; her spreading forced Vera to do a lot of running, which made me worry about Vera's injured right ankle.

When Vika played a terrible service-game to go 4-6 1-3* down, the commentators were talking about her like she already lost the match.

In a game of five deuces at *3-1 (40/15), Vera had four game-points that would have given her a 4-1* lead. Vika saved the first three well, and on the fourth, Vika's off-backhand winner was called wide; Vera was already sitting down for the changeover as Vika issued a challenge, but Hawk-Eye showed that it caught about 10% of the width of the sideline!!

Vika went on to win that game, as Vera double-faulted to suffer her first break of the match: *2-3. Vera was getting jittery as she approached the winning-post, although Vika seemed to have blown her chance to get back into the match as she played a bad service-game to get broken for 2-4*.

But Vera tightened up and was broken to love for 4-3*. In the next game, Vika suddenly began to play much better, and when she held for 4-4*, as her spreading began to outweigh Vera's retrieving, I sensed that the match could slip away from Vera.

When Vika broke for *5-4, the unforced errors that had marred her performance had vanished, while Vera had become passive, and she was the one hitting loose shots.

With Vika serving to win her first set against Vera after losing their first nine sets, Vera saved one set-point with a backhand pass that looked long but wasn't called (and Vika was out of challenges), but Vika converted her second set-point with a huge, error-forcing crosscourt forehand.

In a game of seven deuces at the start of the third set, Vera saved four break-points from 0/40, and wasted four game-points, then Vika converted her fifth break-point by forcing a floater and dispatching it with a forehand drive-volley winner.

BBC commentator Sam Smith said of Vera: "Her game and her mind seem to have fragmented over the last half-hour."

After that, I got the impression that Vera had run out of gas - she hasn't been able to train properly since her ankle-surgery in November. When she was broken for 0-3*, she walked to the changeover with a look of despair on her face, and by 0-5*, she was gasping noisily with every shot she hit.

On Vika's match-point at *5-0 (40/30), Vera earned a stay of execution by appealing to Hawk-Eye to show that her backhand that was called long caught the outside edge of the baseline by about 2%, but when they replayed the point, she hit another backhand long, and this time did not challenge.

I'll post my full TV-report at a later date (pessimistic estimate: 28th February), following my TV-reports for Vera's quarter-final and semi-final from the Australian Open 2009.


3.1 How I feel about Vika and my Eternal Fanship
------------------------------------------------

And so my Eternal-Fanship interest in the Australian Open 2010 was extinguished at the fourth-round stage - unless, of course, I happen to induct Vika (or Maria Kirilenko) into my Eternal Fanship in the future.

I did very much enjoy watching Vika play today, and there are certainly plenty of logical reasons to like her: flairsome power, spreading rallies, a wonderful grunt, and a very nice body.

But somehow, I just don't have the Passion to follow Vika with my Eternal-Fanship level of commitment, and I feel Vera's loss much more than Vika's victory.

It's probably best that I don't jinx Vika by inducting her into my Eternal Fanship, anyway. All my EF-players have big problems at the moment, and three of them lost to my DF-players at the Australian Open 2010: Vera lost to Vika, Maria Sharapova lost to Maria Kirilenko, and Anna Chakvetadze lost to Flavia Pennetta.

There are just so many nice players now, whom I like in different ways, that it's increasingly difficult for me to see why some players deserve to be promoted into a higher class of my favour and commitment than other players I like.

Why should I induct Vika into my Eternal Fanship, but not Ana Ivanović, Maria Kirilenko and Sabine Lisicki, for instance?

I should explain that I require two things to induct a player into my Eternal Fanship:

* Passion: I have very strong feelings for the player, including joy at her victories and sadness at her defeats.

* Reason: there are a lot of logical reasons to like the player, including my deep appreciation of her tennis-qualities.

The way I feel about Ana Ivanović is similar to how I feel about Vika: the Reason is strong, but the Passion is lacking.

With Maria Kirilenko, it's the opposite to how I feel about Vika: my Passion for Little Maria is very strong, but my Reason finds her lacking in the tennis-qualities I look for in a player (she doesn't have flairsome power, and I feel that she falls way short of getting the most out of her talent for dynamic all-court tennis).

I feel that Sabine Lisicki has the potential for my Eternal Fanship, but I don't know her well enough yet. At this stage, I have more Passion for Sabine than for Vika, but less than for Little Maria; I have more Reason for Sabine than for Little Maria, but less than for Vika.

The same dilemmata go for my demi-fanship as well as my Eternal Fanship. There are a number of players knocking on the door of my demi-fanship, such as Alizé Cornet (Passion), Caroline Wozniacki (Passion), Dominika Cibulková (Passion), Yanina Wickmayer (Reason), and Laura Robson (growing in Reason and Passion). If I promote one of them into my demi-fanship, why not the others? Where will I draw the line?

I might just finalise my Eternal Fanship like I finalise a DVD-R when it is full, and just see how this decade unfolds against my predefined commitments. Until someone very special - whom I probably haven't even heard of yet - comes along...

As for my demi-fanship, I will meditate on which players deserve to be promoted into it, and you'll see which ones I mark with "DF" when it comes to the French Open.

---------------------
4. Quarter-final draw
---------------------

* VICTORIA AZARENKA [7,DF] v SERENA WILLIAMS [1] (davai Vika!)
* LI,NA [16] v VENUS WILLIAMS [6]
* NADIA PETROVA [19] v Justine Henin [WC]
* Maria Kirilenko [DF] v Zheng,Jie (my loyalty is to Maria)

------------------
5. Andrew's wishes (updated after Day 8)
------------------
5.1 Semi-final wishes
---------------------

* VICTORIA AZARENKA [7,DF] d. LI,NA [16]
* Maria Kirilenko [DF] d. NADIA PETROVA [19]


5.2 Final-wish
--------------

* Maria Kirilenko [DF] d. VICTORIA AZARENKA [7,DF]

This is why I'm not ready to induct Vika into my Eternal Fanship. I have a great deal more Passion for Little Maria, and if this were indeed to be the final, I'd be rooting for Little Maria to grab the Major when she had the chance; Vika's probably going to win plenty of Majors in the future anyway!

-------------------------------
6. Women's Doubles: Third round
-------------------------------

This section presents my selections - for the full draw, see
http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/draws/wd/


6.1 Third-round result (Monday 25th January 2010)
----------------------

+ (MARIA KIRILENKO [DF]/AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA)[15] d. (NURIA LLAGOSTERA VIVES/MARÍA JOSÉ MARTÍNEZ SÁNCHEZ)[3], 6-1 6-2

Happy birthday, Little Maria! I actually have a fetish for the age 23, so she's even more attractive to me now!


6.2 Third-round match to be played on Tuesday
---------------------------------------------

* Victoria Azarenka [DF]/Svetlana Kuznetsova v (CARA BLACK/LIEZEL HUBER)[1]


6.3 Quarter-final draw
----------------------

* (GISELA DULKO [DF]/FLAVIA PENNETTA [DF])[13] v (LISA RAYMOND/RENNAE STUBBS)[6]

* (MARIA KIRILENKO [DF]/AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA)[15] v (Laura Robson/Sally Peers)[WC] (my loyalty is to Little Maria)

------------------------------------------
7. Mixed Doubles: First round/Second round
------------------------------------------

This section presents my selections - for the full draw, see
http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/draws/xd/


7.1 First-round result (Monday 25th January 2010)
----------------------

- Maria Kirilenko [DF]/Nenad Zimonjić lt. Raquel Kops-Jones/Dick Norman, 3-6 6-3 [9/11]


7.2 Second-round result (Monday 25th January 2010)
-----------------------

- (DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [EF]/DANIEL NESTOR)[2] lt. Ekaterina Makarova/Jaroslav Levinsky, walkover

Apparently Daniela had 'flu or something, although I am unable to find official confirmation at this time.

------------------------------
8. Girls' Singles: First round
------------------------------

This section presents my selections - for the full draw, see
http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/draws/gs/


8.1 First-round results (Monday 25th January 2010)
-----------------------

What rocked:
+ Laura Robson d. Belinda Woolcock, 6-0 6-1

In just 36 minutes!

What sucked:
- Vivien Juhászová lt. YULIA PUTINTSEVA [11], 2-6 3-6

Vivien misses out on a mouth-watering second-round clash with Laura.


8.2 Second-round draw
---------------------

* Laura Robson v YULIA PUTINTSEVA [11] (go Laura!)
* Monika Wejnert v KAROLÍNA PLÍŠKOVÁ [6] (go Monika!)
* DARIA GAVRILOVA [3] v Rishika Sunkara (davai Daria!)
* SILVIA NJIRIĆ [5] v Juan,Ting-Fei (ajmo Silvia!)

----------------------------
9. Order of play for Tuesday
----------------------------

No members of my Eternal Fanship are scheduled to play singles on Tuesday - and unlike last year, there's no women's quarter-final on the Rod Laver Arena evening-session - and therefore, no women's quarter-final on BBC Red Button.

There's no way that the order-of-play committee is going to schedule any of Wednesday's quarter-finals or Thursday's semi-finals in the evening-session, so unless the BBC makes an exception to its predefined schedule to show some women's matches from the day-sessions this week, I won't get to watch any more until the final!

Order of play:
http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/schedule/

----------------------------------------------------
10. Article: No women's quarters or semis on the BBC
----------------------------------------------------

No women's quarters or semis on the BBC (Andrew Broad)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/606/A62326749
>>>
I am concerned that the BBC's predefined schedule of only televising the evening-sessions of the Australian Open means that none of the women's quarter-finals or semi-finals will be shown.

Both of Tuesday's women's quarter-finals are scheduled for the day-session, and it has always been the case that Wednesday's women's quarter-finals and Thursday's women's semi-finals are scheduled for the day-session.

This means that, after Monday's fourth-round match between Vera Zvonarëva and Victoria Azarenka, there will be no women's matches on the BBC until Saturday's final.

Am I the only one who finds it unacceptable that a woman can reach the semi-finals of the Australian Open and not be televised by the BBC?

The BBC needs to take greater responsibility for promoting gender-equality within tennis, by making an exception to its predefined schedule in order to show some women's matches from the day-sessions this week.
<<<

-------------------------------------------
11. Why women's tennis is superior to men's
-------------------------------------------

Women's tennis is superior to men's tennis in the following ways:

1. The tennis they play is much more attractive: flairsome power, better rallies, and the way they tend to stand inside the baseline rather than 15 feet behind it.

2. The women are much better looking than the men. Even allowing for the fact that some people prefer looking at men, women's tennis is currently chock full of gorgeous East-European girls, and their outfits are splendid.

3. There's more grunting in women's tennis than in men's, and that makes it more entertaining to listen to.

4. There's much more depth in women's tennis than in men's tennis. There are more than three different players who win Majors these days.

The only real weakness of women's tennis is that all the great players are currently slumping or retired, which has resulted in a power-vacuum at the top.

But it's just a phase, and the women's game will stratify again within two years. It will be very exciting to see which of today's young players will fill that power-vacuum.

--
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 : Jan 25th, 2010 at 05:12 PM.
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Old Jan 26th, 2010, 05:45 PM   #11
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Andrew's round-up for Day 9

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

1. Photos
2. Quarter-final results
3. Quarter-final draw
4. Andrew's wishes
5. Women's Doubles: Third round/Quarter-finals
6. Girls' Singles: Second round
7. Order of play for Wednesday

---------
1. Photos
---------
1.1 Recommended searches for Day 9
----------------------------------

* kirilenko
* zheng
* laura robson

Maria Kirilenko took a medical time-out for a lower-back injury - which is ironic, as that was the injury with which Dinara Safina retired against her. Intriguingly, her left shoelace was untied as she stood on that one leg for the treatment - the leg with the knee-band and the heavy strapping. She also had treatment for a right-hip injury.


1.2 Links for Days 1 to 9
-------------------------

In alphabetical order of family-name:

Azarenka, Victoria [DF]:
- http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/...wta312001.html
- http://news.search.yahoo.com/news/se...renka&ei=UTF-8
- http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/g...eNo=10#picture
- http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/g...256674_1942403
- http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/g...256674_1942621
- http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/8476361.stm
- http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/8469334.stm

Bartoli, Marion [DF,S]:
- http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/...wta020631.html
- http://news.search.yahoo.com/news/se...rtoli&ei=UTF-8
- http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/g...geNo=4#picture

Bondarenko, Alyona:
- http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/...wta020608.html
- http://news.search.yahoo.com/news/se...renko&ei=UTF-8
- http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/g...geNo=5#picture
- http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/g...geNo=2#picture
- http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/8473889.stm

Chakvetadze, Anna [EF]:
- http://news.search.yahoo.com/news/se...tadze&ei=UTF-8

Cornet, Alizé:
- http://news.search.yahoo.com/news/se...ornet&ei=UTF-8

Dell'Acqua, Casey:
- http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/g...geNo=7#picture

Dokić, Jelena [EF]:
- http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/...wta040344.html
- http://news.search.yahoo.com/news/se...dokic&ei=UTF-8
- http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/g...eNo=18#picture
- http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/pic....html?image=20

Dulko, Gisela [DF]:
- http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/...wta040388.html
- http://news.search.yahoo.com/news/se...dulko&ei=UTF-8
- http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/g...geNo=9#picture
- http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/8476361.stm
- http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/pic...-pictures.html

Errani, Sara:
- http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/...wta310761.html
- http://news.search.yahoo.com/news/se...rrani&ei=UTF-8

Flipkens, Kirsten:
- http://news.search.yahoo.com/news/se...pkens&ei=UTF-8

Görges, Julia:
- http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/...wta313381.html
- http://news.search.yahoo.com/news/se...erges&ei=UTF-8

Hantuchová, Daniela [EF]:
- http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/...wta080394.html
- http://news.search.yahoo.com/news/se...chova&ei=UTF-8
- http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/g...geNo=8#picture
- http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/g...geNo=4#picture

Hradecká, Lucie [s]:
- http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/...wta310849.html
- http://news.search.yahoo.com/news/se...decka&ei=UTF-8

Ivanović, Ana [DF]:
- http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/...wta311710.html
- http://news.search.yahoo.com/news/se...novic&ei=UTF-8
- http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/g...eNo=19#picture
- http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/g...geNo=6#picture
- http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/g...geNo=3#picture
- http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/8466962.stm
- http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/pic...s.html?image=1
- http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/ten....html?image=11
- http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/pic...-build-up.html

Kirilenko, Maria [DF]:
- http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/...wta310577.html
- http://news.search.yahoo.com/news/se...lenko&ei=UTF-8
- http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/g...256674_1937533
- http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/g...256674_1938703
- http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/g...geNo=9#picture
- http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/g...geNo=4#picture
- http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/8479985.stm
- http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/pic....html?image=10
- http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/705....html?image=11
- http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/pic....html?image=10

Molik, Alicia:
- http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/...wta130548.html
- http://news.search.yahoo.com/news/se...molik&ei=UTF-8

Niculescu, Monica [s]:
- http://news.search.yahoo.com/news/se...lescu&ei=UTF-8

O'Brien, Katie:
- http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/8466962.stm

Pe'er, Shahar:
- http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/...wta311168.html
- http://news.search.yahoo.com/news/se...=peer&ei=UTF-8

Peng, Shuai [s]:
- http://news.search.yahoo.com/news/se...=peng&ei=UTF-8

Pennetta, Flavia [DF]:
- http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/...wta160391.html
- http://news.search.yahoo.com/news/se...netta&ei=UTF-8

Rezaď, Aravane:
- http://news.search.yahoo.com/news/se...rezai&ei=UTF-8

Robson, Laura:
- http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/...wta316629.html
- http://news.search.yahoo.com/news/se...obson&ei=UTF-8
- http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/8479985.stm
- http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/8478046.stm
- http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/8477313.stm
- http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/8473889.stm

Rybáriková, Magdaléna [EF]:
- http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/...wta312580.html
- http://news.search.yahoo.com/news/se...ikova&ei=UTF-8
- http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/pic....html?image=17

Šafářová, Lucie [EF]:
- http://news.search.yahoo.com/news/se...arova&ei=UTF-8

Sharapova, Maria [EF]:
- http://www.mariasharapova.com/
- http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/...wta310137.html
- http://news.search.yahoo.com/news/se...apova&ei=UTF-8
- http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/g...eNo=15#picture
- http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/pic...e.html?image=9
- http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/pic....html?image=15

Šprem, Karolina [DF]:
- http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/...wta190881.html
- http://news.search.yahoo.com/news/se...sprem&ei=UTF-8

Stosur, Samantha:
- http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/...wta190787.html
- http://news.search.yahoo.com/news/se...tosur&ei=UTF-8
- http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/g...geNo=4#picture
- http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/g...geNo=6#picture
- http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/8476361.stm

Szávay, Ágnes:
- http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/...wta311872.html
- http://news.search.yahoo.com/news/se...zavay&ei=UTF-8

Vögele, Stefanie:
- http://news.search.yahoo.com/news/se...egele&ei=UTF-8

Wickmayer, Yanina:
- http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/...wta312536.html
- http://news.search.yahoo.com/news/se...mayer&ei=UTF-8
- http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/g...eNo=10#picture
- http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/g...geNo=5#picture

Wozniacki, Caroline:
- http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/...wta313402.html
- http://news.search.yahoo.com/news/se...iacki&ei=UTF-8
- http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/g...geNo=4#picture
- http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/g...eNo=10#picture
- http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/8478046.stm
- http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/8469334.stm

Zheng, Jie:
- http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/...wta260144.html
- http://news.search.yahoo.com/news/se...zheng&ei=UTF-8
- http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/g...geNo=8#picture
- http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/g...geNo=3#picture
- http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/8479985.stm
- http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/8477313.stm

Zvonarëva, Vera [EF]:
- http://www.zvonareva.ru/gallery/
- http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/...wta260142.html
- http://news.search.yahoo.com/news/se...areva&ei=UTF-8
- http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/g...geNo=3#picture
- http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/8476361.stm

------------------------
2. Quarter-final results (Tuesday 26th January 2010)
------------------------

Nice winner, nice loser:
- Maria Kirilenko [DF] lt. Zheng,Jie, 1-6 3-6

Maria took a medical time-out for a lower-back injury - which is ironic, as that was the injury with which Dinara Safina retired against her. Intriguingly, her left shoelace was untied as she stood on that one leg for the treatment - the leg with the knee-band and the heavy strapping.

Maria also had treatment for a right-hip injury.

Was Maria paying the price for playing two doubles-matches on Monday when she was already injured?

"Well, if I would feel bad, you know, I would not play doubles. Physio, they did really good tape. I said to my partner, 'So I'm not going to run too much in the doubles - just help me a lot.' She was helping me actually a lot. I could sit on the bench, and you could play without me! <laughter> I didn't hurt myself at all in doubles yesterday."

The other result:
- NADIA PETROVA [19] lt. Justine Henin [WC], 6-7 (3/7) 5-7

---------------------
3. Quarter-final draw
---------------------

* VICTORIA AZARENKA [7,DF] v SERENA WILLIAMS [1] (davai Vika!)
* LI,NA [16] v VENUS WILLIAMS [6]
* Justine Henin [WC] won
* Zheng,Jie won

------------------
4. Andrew's wishes (updated after Day 9)
------------------
4.1 Semi-final wishes
---------------------

* VICTORIA AZARENKA [7,DF] d. LI,NA [16]
* Zheng,Jie d. Justine Henin [WC]


4.2 Final-wish
--------------

* VICTORIA AZARENKA [7,DF] d. Zheng,Jie

----------------------------------------------
5. Women's Doubles: Third round/Quarter-finals
----------------------------------------------
5.1 Third-round result (Tuesday 26th January 2010)
----------------------

- Victoria Azarenka [DF]/Svetlana Kuznetsova lt. (CARA BLACK/LIEZEL HUBER)[1], 3-6 3-6


5.2 Quarter-final results (Tuesday 26th January 2010)
-------------------------

- (GISELA DULKO [DF]/FLAVIA PENNETTA [DF])[13] lt. (LISA RAYMOND/RENNAE STUBBS)[6], 6-4 2-6 2-6

- (YAN,ZI [s]/BETHANIE MATTEK-SANDS)[8] lt. (VENUS WILLIAMS/SERENA WILLIAMS)[2], 4-6 6-4 4-6


5.3 Quarter-finals to be played on Wednesday
--------------------------------------------

* (MARIA KIRILENKO [DF]/AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA)[15] v (Laura Robson/Sally Peers)[WC] (my loyalty is to Little Maria)

* (CARA BLACK/LIEZEL HUBER)[1] v (ALISA KLEYBANOVA/FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE)[7]

-------------------------------
6. Girls' Singles: Second round
-------------------------------

This section presents my selections - for the full draw, see
http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/draws/gs/


6.1 Second-round results (Tuesday 26th January 2010)
------------------------

What rocked:
+ Laura Robson d. YULIA PUTINTSEVA [11], 6-2 3-6 6-2
+ DARIA GAVRILOVA [3] d. Rishika Sunkara, 6-0 6-2
+ SILVIA NJIRIĆ [5] d. Juan,Ting-Fei, 6-4 6-2

It's typical of Laura Robson to play a great first set and have a lapse in the second. As a former junior world #1 and Wimbledon 2008 Girls' Singles champion, it's strange to see her unseeded, but after her impressive run at the Hopman Cup,

What sucked:
- Monika Wejnert lt. KAROLÍNA PLÍŠKOVÁ [6], 3-6 5-7


6.2 Third-round draw
--------------------

My selections:
* Laura Robson v Cristina Dinu (go Laura!)
* DARIA GAVRILOVA [3] v Grace Sari Ysidora (davai Daria!)
* SILVIA NJIRIĆ [5] v MARYNA ZANEVSKA [10] (ajmo Silvia!)

------------------------------
7. Order of play for Wednesday
------------------------------

Kirilenko/Radwańska v Peers/Robson is second on the Rod Laver Arena evening-session, and with Robson being British, the BBC has promised to televise it!

Order of play:
http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/schedule/

--
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 : Jan 27th, 2010 at 05:24 AM. Reason: correct title for Section 6
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Old Jan 27th, 2010, 05:41 PM   #12
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Andrew's round-up for Day 10

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

1. Photos
2. Women's Singles: Quarter-finals
3. Women's Doubles: Quarter-finals
4. Mixed Doubles: Quarter-finals
5. Girls' Singles: Third round

---------
1. Photos
---------

Lucie Šafářová [EF]:
- http://www.lucie-safarova.com/galler....php?album=106

Victoria Azarenka [DF]:
- http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/...wta312001.html
- http://news.search.yahoo.com/news/se...renka&ei=UTF-8

Maria Kirilenko [DF]:
- http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/...wta312001.html

Laura Robson:
- http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/...wta316629.html

Quarter-final players including Maria Kirilenko, Victoria Azarenka and Zheng,Jie:
- http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/g...256674_1946260

Day-10 players including Victoria Azarenka and Laura Robson:
- http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/8482244.stm
- http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/pic...on-day-10.html

Various players including Vera Zvonarëva [EF], Magdaléna Rybáriková [EF], Victoria Azarenka [DF], Ana Ivanović [DF], Flavia Pennetta [DF], Sabine Lisicki [DF], Alyona Bondarenko, and loads of Stefanie Vögele:
- http://lovesummertennis.blogspot.com/

----------------------------------
2. Women's Singles: Quarter-finals
----------------------------------
2.1 Quarter-final results (Wednesday 27th January 2010)
-------------------------

What rocked:
+ LI,NA [16] d. VENUS WILLIAMS [6], 2-6 7-6 (7/4) 7-5

Venus served for the match at 6-2 *5-4.

She said: "In tennis, you have to close it out. It's not like there's a clock ticking and then suddenly it's over. You just have to close it out. I didn't do that today."

Q: "What do you say to people that say Wimbledon or the US Open is your only hope of another Major?"

Venus: "If I would have gotten involved in what people said, I would have never left the ghetto."


What sucked:
- VICTORIA AZARENKA [7,DF] lt. SERENA WILLIAMS [1], 6-4 6-7 (4/7) 6-2

Vika led 6-4 4-0*, and 3/1* in the second-set tiebreak. That's twice in the last two Australian Opens that she's been close to beating Serena. Women's tennis is very close to a changing of the guard...


2.2 Semi-final draw
-------------------

* LI,NA [16] v SERENA WILLIAMS [1] (jia you Na!)
* Zheng,Jie v Justine Henin [WC] (jia you Jie!)

As usual, the BBC has no plans to televise these day-session matches!


2.3 My final-wish
-----------------

* Zheng,Jie d. LI,NA [16]

----------------------------------
3. Women's Doubles: Quarter-finals
----------------------------------
3.1 Quarter-final results (Wednesday 27th January 2010)
-------------------------

+ (MARIA KIRILENKO [DF]/AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA)[15] d. (Laura Robson/Sally Peers)[WC], 6-4 6-1

Due to the evening-session being delayed by an hour, and Đoković v Tsonga taking over an hour just to complete their first set, this match was moved to the Margaret Court Arena at 22:00 AEDT, and thus missed out on being televised by the BBC.

The Robson/Peers coalition was not some grand plan to use Sally's Australian nationality to get them on the Rod Laver Arena evening-session and Laura's Britishness to get them televised by the BBC. They literally only teamed up on the eve of the tournament, when Sally's original doubles-partner Isabella Holland pulled out. Sally's coach grabbed Laura in the corridor and asked her to partner Sally, and Laura was like, "err... okay."

Robson/Peers led 4-0*, then Kirilenko/Radwańska won 9 games in a row to lead 6-4 3-0* before Robson/Peers won their lone game of the second set.

Maria is through to her first Major semi-final in Women's Doubles, having reached a Mixed Doubles semi-final with her boyfriend Igor Andreev at Wimbledon 2008, and won the Girls' Singles title at the US Open 2002.


+ (CARA BLACK/LIEZEL HUBER)[1] d. (ALISA KLEYBANOVA/FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE)[7], 6-3 6-4


3.2 Semi-final draw
-------------------

* (MARIA KIRILENKO [DF]/AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA)[15] v (CARA BLACK/LIEZEL HUBER)[1]
* (LISA RAYMOND/RENNAE STUBBS)[6] v (VENUS WILLIAMS/SERENA WILLIAMS)[2]

--------------------------------
4. Mixed Doubles: Quarter-finals
--------------------------------
4.1 Quarter-final results (Wednesday 27th January 2010)
-------------------------

+ Flavia Pennetta [DF]/Marcelo Melo d. Barbora Záhlavová Strýcová/Oliver Marach, 6-4 6-4

+ Ekaterina Makarova/Jaroslav Levinský, 6-4 7-6 (7/3)

+ (LISA RAYMOND/WESLEY MOODIE)[7] d. Chuang,Chia-Jung/Filip Polášek, 6-3 3-6 [12/10]

- (ELENA VESNINA/ANDY RAM)[8] lt. (CARA BLACK/LEANDER PAES)[1], 4-6 3-6


4.2 Semi-final draw
-------------------

* (CARA BLACK/LEANDER PAES)[1] v (LISA RAYMOND/WESLEY MOODIE)[7]
* Flavia Pennetta [DF]/Marcelo Melo v Ekaterina Makarova/Jaroslav Levinský

------------------------------
5. Girls' Singles: Third round
------------------------------

This section presents my selections - for the full draw, see
http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/draws/gs/


5.1 Third-round results (Wednesday 27th January 2010)
-----------------------

+ Laura Robson d. Cristina Dinu, 6-3 6-3
+ DARIA GAVRILOVA [3] d. Grace Sari Ysidora, 2-6 6-2 6-3
+ SILVIA NJIRIĆ [5] d. MARYNA ZANEVSKA [10], 6-3 6-2

Why is it so easy to have all my wishes come true in the juniors, after my Eternal Fanship did so badly in the Women's Singles? Is it simply because I'm not familiar with the Long Tail of junior-tennis?


5.2 Quarter-final draw
----------------------

* TÍMEA BABOS [1] v Kristýna Plíšková
* Laura Robson v Ester Goldfeld (go Laura!)
* DARIA GAVRILOVA [3] v KAROLÍNA PLÍŠKOVÁ [6] (davai Daria!)
* SILVIA NJIRIĆ [5] v Tang,Hao Chen (ajmo Silvia!)

Laura has the disadvantage that her Women's Doubles quarter-final finished just after 23:30 AEDT, which put her well past her bedtime considering all the things that a tennis-player has to do between finishing her match and going to bed.

--
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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Old Jan 28th, 2010, 05:52 PM   #13
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Andrew's round-up for Day 11

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

1. Photos
2. Women's Singles: Semi-finals
3. Women's Doubles: Semi-finals
4. Girls' Singles: Quarter-finals

---------
1. Photos
---------

Maria Kirilenko [DF]:
- http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/...wta310577.html

Zheng,Jie:
- http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/...wta260144.html
- http://news.search.yahoo.com/news/se...zheng&ei=UTF-8

Various players including Zheng,Jie and Laura Robson:
- http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/8484410.stm

Sabine Lisicki [DF]:
- http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/...wta312520.html

Dominika Cibulková:
- http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/...wta312894.html

Yaroslava Shvedova:
- http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/...wta311137.html

Sorana Cîrstea:
- http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/...wta312469.html

Alyona Bondarenko:
- http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/...wta020608.html

Tamira Paszek:
- http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/...wta313035.html

Monika Wejnert:
- http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/...wta315650.html

Focus on Fashion (various players including Maria Sharapova [EF], Lucie Šafářová [EF], Victoria Azarenka [DF], Marion Bartoli [DF], Yuliana Fedak, Aravane Rezaď, Zheng,Jie and Elena Baltacha):
- http://www.tennis.com/spotlight/2010...ion/index.aspx

-------------------------------
2. Women's Singles: Semi-finals
-------------------------------
2.1 Semi-final results (Thursday 28th January 2010)
----------------------

- LI,NA [16] lt. SERENA WILLIAMS [1], 6-7 (4/7) 6-7 (1/7)
- Zheng,Jie lt. Justine Henin [WC], 1-6 0-6

Needless to say, the BBC didn't televise these matches, because they were in the day-session!

I'm a mess without my little China Girl
Wake up mornings; where's my little China Girl?
I hear her heart's beating, loud as thunder
Saw they stars crashing down

[David Bowie and Iggy Pop, "China Girl"]


2.2 Final-draw
--------------

* Justine Henin [WC] v SERENA WILLIAMS [1]

-------------------------------
3. Women's Doubles: Semi-finals
-------------------------------
3.1 Semi-final results (Thursday 28th January 2010)
----------------------

- (MARIA KIRILENKO [DF]/AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA)[15] lt. (CARA BLACK/LIEZEL HUBER)[1], 1-6 6-1 3-6

+ (VENUS WILLIAMS/SERENA WILLIAMS)[2] d. (LISA RAYMOND/RENNAE STUBBS)[6], 6-3 7-6 (8/6)


3.2 Final-draw
--------------

* (CARA BLACK/LIEZEL HUBER)[1] v (VENUS WILLIAMS/SERENA WILLIAMS)[2]

---------------------------------
4. Girls' Singles: Quarter-finals
---------------------------------
4.1 Quarter-final results (Thursday 28th January 2010)
-------------------------

+ Laura Robson d. Ester Goldfeld, 6-1 6-0
+ Kristýna Plíšková d. TÍMEA BABOS [1], 6-4 4-6 7-5
- DARIA GAVRILOVA [3] lt. KAROLÍNA PLÍŠKOVÁ [6], 1-6 5-7
- SILVIA NJIRIĆ [5] lt. Tang,Hao Chen, 6-3 4-6 3-6

Laura had only got to bed at 01:00 AEDT after her Women's Doubles quarter-final on Wednesday, and said: "One of the reasons I played well is that I knew I was tired from last night and I had to be extra focused."


4.2 Semi-final draw
-------------------

* Laura Robson v Kristýna Plíšková (go Laura!)
* KAROLÍNA PLÍŠKOVÁ [6] v Tang,Hao Chen

--
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 : Jan 28th, 2010 at 05:57 PM.
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Old Jan 29th, 2010, 06:20 PM   #14
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Andrew's round-up for Day 12

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

1. Photos
2. Women's Singles: Final-preview
3. Women's Doubles: Final
4. Mixed Doubles: Semi-finals
5. Girls' Singles: Semi-finals
6. Order of play for Saturday

---------
1. Photos
---------

Laura Robson:
- http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/...wta316629.html
- http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/8486714.stm

Semi-finalists including Zheng,Jie:
- http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/g...geNo=7#picture

Various players including Daniela Hantuchová [EF], Vera Zvonarëva [EF], Maria Kirilenko [DF], Flavia Pennetta [DF], Yanina Wickmayer, Laura Robson, Elena Vesnina:
- http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?t=399164

Various players including Daniela Hantuchová [EF], Vera Zvonarëva [EF], Anna Chakvetadze [EF], Maria Kirilenko [DF], Sabine Lisicki [DF], Sania Mirza [DF], Marion Bartoli [DF,S], Flavia Pennetta [DF], Karolina Šprem [DF], Tsvetana Pironkova [DF], Yanina Wickmayer, Caroline Wozniacki, Iveta Benešová, Ioana Raluca Olaru, Viktoriya Kutuzova, Shahar Pe'er, Yan,Zi [s], Katie O'Brien:
- http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?t=399770

Various players including Vera Zvonarëva [EF], Anna Chakvetadze [EF], Ana Ivanović [DF], Sabine Lisicki [DF], Flavia Pennetta [DF], Laura Robson, Dominika Cibulková, Alyona Bondarenko, Sorana Cîrstea, Urszula Radwańska and Arantxa Parra Santonja [s]:
- http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?t=399889

---------------------------------
2. Women's Singles: Final-preview
---------------------------------

* Justine Henin [WC] v SERENA WILLIAMS [1]

An ugly yet intriguing final between the players who won the most and joint-second-most Majors in the Noughties, this promises to be a titanic struggle between two of the best competitors in tennis-history, and it's tough for me to pick a winner - both in terms of who I expect to win, and even who I /want/ to win.

Serena leads their head-to-head 7:6, but this will be the first time they've met in a Major final.

Serena came into the Australian Open after limping to defeat in the Sydney final with a leg-injury, but that did nothing to stop her serene progress through the first four rounds. She then recovered from 4-6 *0-4 to beat future legend Victoria Azarenka in the quarter-finals, and edged past dangerous go-for-broker Li,Na 7-6 7-6 in the semis.

Henin is playing in only the second tournament of her comeback from a 19-month retirement, but Kim Clijsters showed that women's tennis is currently weak enough to just waltz out of retirement and win a Major straight away, so why not Henin, who was always greater than Clijsters?

Clijsters's US Open 2009 win included a semi-final victory over Serena - one that ended with Serena being docked a penalty-point at match-point for an extraordinary outburst in which she - with threatening body-language that has no place in our genteel sport - threatened to kill a line-judge by shoving a tennis-ball down her throat.

The ITF assessed that Serena had committed a "major offence", but rather than have the guts to ban her from one of this year's Majors (Jeff Tarango was banned for less), she got away with a hefty fine, with a suspended ban to be imposed only if she commits a second "major offence" at a Major.

It will be fascinating to see whether, in the heat of battle against Henin - whom she accused of "lying and fabricating" after Henin put her hand up during their French Open 2003 semi-final and didn't volunteer an admission - Serena will indeed have another moment of madness and commit her second "major offence", and whether the ITF will indeed impose her suspended ban if she does.

I don't know which would damage women's tennis more: a player waltzing out of retirement to win the first Major of her comeback for the second Major in a row, or a player winning a Major when she should be banned.

In tennis-terms, I prefer Serena's aggressive, two-handed, loud-grunting baseline-game to Henin's less spectacular, one-handed game, with which she tries to get inside the head of her opponent by getting a lot of balls back. But this contrast of styles is part of what makes it such an intriguing contest.

Henin's route to the final has included some very tough wins: 2h50m to see off #5 Elena Dementieva 7-5 7-6 in the second round, then three sets against Alisa Kleybanova and Yanina Wickmayer in the next two rounds. Then she thrashed Zheng,Jie 6-1 6-0 in the semis.

By ordinary logic, Henin ought to be too tired, and too unfit this early in her comeback to beat Serena in a Major final. But Henin has bounced back from gruelling three-set marathons to win Majors in the past, and if she can get inside Serena's head, she could certainly do so here (perhaps even on a disqualification, should Serena happen to commit another "major offence").

Serena only wins the Australian Open in odd-numbered years, so my prediction is Henin in three sets, followed by a very cold handshake.

-------------------------
3. Women's Doubles: Final (Friday 29th January 2010)
-------------------------

- (CARA BLACK/LIEZEL HUBER)[1] lt. (VENUS WILLIAMS/SERENA WILLIAMS)[2], 4-6 3-6

-----------------------------
4. Mixed Doubles: Semi-finals
-----------------------------
4.1 Semi-final results (Friday 29th January 2010)
----------------------

+ (CARA BLACK/LEANDER PAES)[1] d. (LISA RAYMOND/WESLEY MOODIE)[7], 6-7 (6/8) 7-6 (7/5) [10/7]

- Flavia Pennetta [DF]/Marcelo Melo lt. Ekaterina Makarova/Jaroslav Levinský, 0-6 6-4 [8/10]


4.2 Final-draw
--------------

* (CARA BLACK/LEANDER PAES)[1] v Ekaterina Makarova/Jaroslav Levinský

------------------------------
5. Girls' Singles: Semi-finals
------------------------------
5.1 Semi-final results (Friday 29th January 2010)
----------------------

+ Laura Robson d. Kristýna Plíšková, 6-3 6-1
+ KAROLÍNA PLÍŠKOVÁ [6] d. Tang,Hao Chen, 2-6 7-6 (8/6) 6-2

Laura was *2-3 down, but won 6 games in a row to lead 6-3 *2-0 before Kristýna broke for her breadstick. There was a long delay at 6-3 4-1* (40/15*), which suggests that someone took an urgent medical time-out.

Sam Smith watched that match, and said that Laura "was in smoking form".

The Plíškové are identical twins, which may cause terrible confusion if they have to play each other in the future! Kristýna is left-handed, Karolína right-handed.


5.2 Final-draw
--------------

* Laura Robson v KAROLÍNA PLÍŠKOVÁ [6] (go Laura!)

-----------------------------
6. Order of play for Saturday
-----------------------------

Rod Laver Arena: Day-session (start 13:00 AEDT = 02:00 GMT)
BS final: Sean Berman v TIAGO FERNANDES [14]
GS final: Laura Robson v KAROLÍNA PLÍŠKOVÁ [6]
|
Rod Laver Arena: Evening-session (start 19:30 AEDT = 08:30 GMT)
WS final: Justine Henin [WC] v SERENA WILLIAMS [1]
MD final: (BOB BRYAN/MIKE BRYAN)[1] v (DANIEL NESTOR/NENAD ZIMONJIĆ)[2]

For those in the UK, the Women's Singles final is live on BBC Red Button (Freeview 301), with highlights on BBC One (13:00 to 14:00 GMT).

The BBC has no plans to televise the Girls' Singles final, even though Laura Robson is the only Briton likely to win an Australian Open title this weekend. I don't think the host-broadcasters actually transmit the Girls' Singles final - despite it being on Rod Laver Arena - since the BBC showed only the match-point last year: it looked as though it had been recorded using an amateur video-camera.

--
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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Andrew's TV-report for Day 13

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

1. Photos
2. Women's Singles: Final TV-report: Henin v S.Williams
3. Girls' Singles: Final
4. Girls' Doubles: Final
5. Order of play for Sunday

---------
1. Photos
---------

Laura Robson:
- http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/8488825.stm
- http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/pic....html?image=10
- http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/...wta316629.html
- http://news.search.yahoo.com/news/se...obson&ei=UTF-8

-------------------------------------------------------
2. Women's Singles: Final TV-report: Henin v S.Williams (Saturday 30th January 2010)
-------------------------------------------------------

- Justine Henin [WC] lt. SERENA WILLIAMS [1], 4-6 6-3 2-6

It was as good a final as could be expected between these two, with some intriguing shifts of momentum, both players playing magnificently in patches, but not at the same time. It was also very noticeable that the crowd was against Serena, frequently booing her whilst cheering loudly for Henin.

Serena looked very nervous in her opening service-game, going 15/40 down, but saving herself with big serves. She had to save another break-point at *1-1, as her first two service-games featured nine deuces between them.

However, it was Serena who broke first, as Henin played a sloppy service-game: *3-1. Henin had two break-back points at 15/40, and would have converted the second, had her volley onto the sideline not been wrongly called wide but overruled, forcing them to replay the point. As it was, Serena held for 4-1*.

Henin staged a tremendous fightback to level the first set at 4-4*, as Serena dumped numerous cheap forehands and some backhands into the net. However, Serena held to love for 5-4*, and took advantage of another sloppy Henin service-game to take the first set 6-4.

Henin looked in dire straights at the start of the second set, as ragged errors were creeping into her game, and she faced break-points at *0-1 (15/40). But three unforced errors from Serena let Henin off the hook in that game, and Henin broke to love for *2-1.

Another sloppy service-game saw Henin broken back immediately, and she had to save another break-point at *2-3 (30/40) before holding for 3-3*.

Henin used net-rushing tactics to break for *4-3 (after Serena had led 30/0), and even dominated Serena from the baseline as she held to love for 5-3*.

In fact, Henin won the last 10 points of the second set as she broke to love to take it 6-3. At this stage, Henin was as sharp as a freshly-sharpened pencil, and Serena was looking increasingly frustrated and desperate!

Serena's losing-streak stretched to 15 points as she went *0-1 (0/15) down in the third, her brain apparently scrambled by Henin's sharp play.

But at *0-1 (15/40), Serena recovered magnificently with two aces and a forehand drive-volley winner, while Henin went off the boil. Serena broke to 15 for *2-1 - only to play a sloppy service-game to get broken straight back.

From 2-2*, however, Serena swept the last 4 games of the match as Henin's legs were shot. Henin did save the first championship-point at *5-2 (40/0) with a miraculous short forehand return-winner onto the outside edge of the sideline, but Serena converted the second with a one-two punch to win her 12th Major singles-title - level with Billie Jean King - and her first Australian Open title in an even-numbered year.


First set
---------
WILLI * *@*___*@ 6
HENIN _*___*@*__ 4

The match was first on the Rod Laver Arena evening-session, and started at 19:40 AEDT.

Serena serving 0-0: Ace out wide. 15/0. Serena on the third stroke hit a backhand long. 15/15. Serena on the fifth stroke netted a forehand. 15/30. Henin went to the net, inducing Serena to earth a forehand. CB: "That is very strange if not nervous from Williams." 15/40 (BP #1). First serve out wide + off-forehand winner. 30/40 (BP #2). Big first serve down the middle forced Henin to mishit a forehand lob-return long. Deuce #1. Henin hit a down-the-line forehand winner onto the baseline and close to the sideline. Serena challenged: Hawk-Eye showed that it was long by about 20%. Ad Serena. Ace out wide: on the service-line. Henin challenged: Hawk-Eye showed that it was long by about 40%. Serena backhand just long. Deuce #2. Henin forehand just long. Ad Serena. She netted a backhand. Deuce #3. Serena crosscourt forehand + pinpoint forehand winner right in the corner. Ad Serena. She hit a backhand long. Deuce #4. Second serve: forehand return just long. Ad Serena. Henin netted a backhand.

A very shaky service-game by Serena. Sam Smith said she does get very nervous before matches, and was very nervous in that game. Henin is already going after her returns, achieving great width, and getting inside Serena's head. Henin looks the likely winner so far...

Two successful challenges already!

Venus Williams looks very fetching in the stands - unlike Serena, who looks fat and hideously muscular.

Henin serving 0-1: Henin crosscourt forehand + crosscourt backhand winner. 15/0. Henin forehand just long. But she challenged: Hawk-Eye showed that it was in, so they replayed the point. Henin's deep forehand induced Serena to hit an off-forehand wide. 30/0. Serena hit a huge backhand return; Henin recovered with a deep sliced backhand, but Serena's backhand clipped the netcord and dropped dead for a winner. 30/15. Serena hit a thunderous off-forehand return-winner just inside the sideline. 30/30. Service-winner: just inside the service-line. 40/30. Serena crosscourt backhand just wide.

Serena serving 1-1: Henin crosscourt forehand just wide. 15/0. Double fault (second serve clipped the netcord and fell wide). 15/15. Serena crosscourt forehand pass-winner. 15/30. Virtual ace down the middle. 30/30. Henin's crosscourt backhand return clipped the netcord and dropped dead for a winner. 30/40 (BP). Virtual ace down the middle. Deuce #1. Second serve: off-backhand return long. Ad Serena. She went for a backhand winner down the line on the third stroke, but put it just wide. Deuce #2. Henin went to the net, but Serena hit a pinpoint forehand winner down the line: on the sideline. Ad Serena. She went to the net, but Henin hit an easy crosscourt backhand pass-winner. Deuce #3. Ace out wide: on the sideline. Ad Serena. Henin crosscourt forehand + pinpoint forehand winner down the line + "allez". Deuce #4. Forehand return just long. Ad Serena. Henin crosscourt forehand return-winner just inside the sideline. Deuce #5. Deep first serve out wide: forehand return long. Ad Serena. She went to the net; Henin hit a weak lob, which Serena dispatched with an easy crosscourt forehand smash-winner.

Another tough service-game in which Serena had to save break-point. Her serve is saving her so far, but Henin looks like she's going to be too good for her.

Henin serving 1-2: Henin went to the net, but Serena dipping forehand pass down the line forced her to lunge wide & low and hit a backhand volley wide. 0/15. Double fault (second serve just long). 0/30. Serena hit a huge crosscourt backhand winner onto the sideline. 0/40 (BP). Henin mishit a crosscourt forehand wide.

The complexion of the match changed completely with that game. Serena has the fire in her eyes now, and Henin played a sloppy service-game there.

Serena serving 3-1: Serena dumped a cheap backhand into the net. 0/15. Henin netted a forehand. 15/15. Henin's penetrating crosscourt forehand forced Serena to hit one wide. 15/30. Serena netted a sloppy backhand. 15/40 (BP #1). Deep first serve down the middle forced Henin to lunge wide and earth a backhand return. 30/40 (BP #2). Henin went to the net and hit a backhand volley onto the sideline: it was called wide but overruled by the line-judge, so they had to replay the point. Serena argued with the umpire, but I don't think she's very angry yet. Virtual ace down the middle: curling away from Henin. The crowd booed. Deuce. A long baseline-rally ended with an exchange of sliced backhands, and surprisingly, it was Henin who netted the third in the series. Ad Serena. Henin went to the net, but didn't close in properly, and netted a backhand.

There were loud boos and whistles as Serena walked to the changeover. The crowd's reaction could be about the controversial call at 30/40 (Henin would have won the point and broken back without that call and its overrule), or it could be about Serena's behaviour at the US Open 2009.

Henin serving 1-4: Service-winner. 15/0. First serve + crosscourt forehand winner. 30/0. Serena netted a backhand return. 40/0. A good first serve forced a short return, but Henin blasted a wild crosscourt forehand wide. 40/15. Double fault #2 (second serve into the net). 40/30. Serena netted a forehand.

Serena is dumping a lot of cheap groundstrokes into the net: mainly off her backhand, and some off her forehand.

Serena serving 4-2: Serena went to the net, but Henin hit a crosscourt backhand pass-winner. She got a loud cheer from the crowd - no doubt where their allegiance lies! 0/15. Henin's crosscourt backhand return induced Serena to net another backhand. 0/30. Second serve: Henin hit a makeable backhand return long. 15/30. Serena off-forehand just wide. 15/40 (BP #1). Serena went to the net and hit a crosscourt backhand volley-winner. 30/40 (BP #2). Henin broke back with a crosscourt forehand winner.

I'm not sure exactly why, but my loyalty is sliding strongly in Henin's favour now. I keep feeling Schadenfreude whenever Serena dumps a shot into the net, and frustration when Henin hits one long.

Henin serving 3-4 (new balls): Henin hit a searing crosscourt forehand winner that left Serena standing in the middle of the baseline. 15/0. Deep first serve: crosscourt backhand wide. 30/0. Backhand return long. 40/0. Deep first serve on the service-line forced Serena to hit a forehand return long.

Tremendous fightback from *1-4. The momentum is with Henin now, but I don't get the feeling it's going to be that simple...

Serena serving 4-4: Serena's deep forehand just inside the baseline forced Henin to hit one long. 15/0. Ace out wide: just inside the service-line. 30/0. Service-winner out wide. 40/0. Henin hit a sloppy forehand return very long.

A much more convincing service-game by Serena switches the momentum back in her favour. She seems very determined now.

Henin serving 4-5: Double fault (second serve clipped the netcord and fell long and wide). 0/15. Ace down the middle: curling away from Serena. 15/15. Serena pounced on a short, high-bouncing ball with a forehand winner down the line. 15/30. Ace down the middle. 30/30. Double fault (second serve just wide of the centre-line; she challenged: Hawk-Eye showed that it was wide by about 20%). 30/40 (SP #1). Slow serve down the middle: Serena dumped a cheap forehand return into the net. Deuce. Serena's depth forced Henin to float a sliced backhand just long. Ad Serena (SP #2). Henin's crosscourt backhand clipped the netcord and fell wide. Serena won the first set 6-4 at 20:32 AEDT (52m).


Second set
----------
WILLI *__@*____ 3
HENIN _*@__*@*@ 6

Serena serving 0-0: First serve out wide + forehand winner down the line. 15/0. Henin went to the net behind a hard off-forehand, forcing Serena to hit a crosscourt backhand wide. 15/15. Short second serve: Henin dumped a cheap off-backhand return into the net. 30/15. Henin defended well with a series of sliced backhands, but then sprayed a down-the-line forehand wide. 40/15. Ace out wide.

Chris Bailey: "Once Serena Williams gets a lead, she's pretty tough to shake off."
Sam Smith: "If there's a woman who can do it, Henin is it."

Henin serving 0-1: Deep second serve: Serena netted a forehand return. 15/0. Serena hit a forehand onto the baseline, forcing Henin to spray one wide. 15/15. Henin blasted a wild crosscourt backhand wide. 15/30. Henin hit a wild off-forehand wide. 15/40 (BP #1). Second serve: Serena dumped a backhand return into the net. 30/40 (BP #2). Serena mishit a backhand long. Deuce. Ace down the middle. Ad Henin. Serena sprayed a wild forehand long.

Ragged errors creeping into Henin's game now, but they're catching. It was vital for the contest that she held there. At 15/40, I was about to write, "Henin has made some great fightbacks in her career, but it would take perhaps her greatest fightback to save her now."

Serena serving 1-1: Serena on the third stroke hit a backhand long. 0/15. Henin hit a pinpoint forehand winner down the line. 0/30. Henin went to the net behind a sliced backhand; Serena hit a crosscourt backhand pass wide, and emitted a cute, high-pitched yell. 0/40 (BP). Serena went to the net, but Henin's dipping pass forced her to hit a weak backhand volley that sat up nicely for Henin to rip a crosscourt backhand pass-winner.

And the crowd celebrated Henin's break with a loud cheer. It's very partisan.

Henin serving 2-1: Henin dumped a cheap forehand halfway up the net. 0/15. Henin forehand just long. 0/30. Serena blasted a crosscourt forehand return just wide. 15/30. Serena hit a huge crosscourt backhand winner just inside the sideline - Henin wasn't far away, but the power was too much for her. 15/40 (BP #1). Henin ran down a dropshot and scooped a crosscourt forehand dropshot-winner over the net. 30/40 (BP #2). Henin netted a cheap forehand to get broken straight back.

Chris Bailey: "I'm not sure Henin's playing consistently enough to get back into this match and perhaps win it. She's patchy. If anyone's going to turn it around, though, it will be Henin."

Serena serving 2-2: Henin hit an ambitious crosscourt backhand return just wide. 15/0. Double fault (second serve into the net). 15/15. Serena charged to the net behind a deep forehand, forcing Henin to bunt a defensive backhand lob long. 30/15. Henin hit a makeable forehand return long. 40/15. First serve out wide forced Henin to stretch wide and net a forehand return.

Chris Bailey suggested that Serena was the one woman at the moment who could win the Grand Slam of all four Majors in one year. I think it's too late for her to do that, although she did win four consecutive Majors from the French Open 2002 to the Australian Open 2003.

There's too much depth in women's tennis for anyone to win a Grand Slam in the foreseeable future. No one's consistent enough to dominate like Serena did in 2002.

Henin serving 2-3: Serena's deep, powerful crosscourt backhand forced Henin to net a sliced backhand. 0/15. Henin hit a pinpoint backhand winner down the line. 15/15. Service-winner down the middle. 30/15. Henin crosscourt backhand just wide. 30/30. Henin ran down a dropshot and pushed a deep forehand just inside the baseline, forcing Henin to hit a backhand lob wide. 30/40 (BP). Serena hit a loose forehand very long, and Henin shouted "allez". Deuce #1. Serena hit a loose backhand very long. Ad Henin. Serena hit an off-forehand winner just inside the sideline, and the commentators praised her for her 'subtlety'. Deuce #2. Serena hit a dropshot that bounced nice and high for Henin to run it down and hit a crosscourt forehand dropshot-winner, prompting another loud cheer from the crowd. Ad Henin. Her deep crosscourt forehand forced Serena to run behind the baseline and earth a forehand.

Loud cheers mixed with boos from the crowd.

Serena serving 3-3 (new balls): Henin went to the net and hit a crosscourt forehand volley, but it was too short and weak: Serena hit a forehand pass-winner down the line. Sam Smith said Serena seemed to have more time when Henin came to the net than Henin's previous opponents. 15/0. Serena hit an off-backhand winner just inside the sideline. 30/0. Double fault #3. 30/15. Serena went to the net, but Henin hit a pinpoint backhand pass-winner down the line: it clipped the outside edge of the sideline. 30/30. Henin went to the net behind an off-forehand on the sideline, forcing Serena to hit a backhand long. 30/40 (BP #1). Ace out wide: right in the corner. Henin challenged: Hawk-Eye showed that it caught the inside edge of the sideline. Deuce. Henin went to the net and hit a gliding crosscourt backhand volley-winner. Ad Henin (BP #2). Henin's deep forehand return forced Serena to hit a backhand very long. Henin pumped her fist and yelled "allez".

Henin went to the net a lot in that game, and won most of the points when she did so, although she has to hit very good volleys to keep Serena's passing-shots at bay!

Henin serving 4-3: Serena netted a makeable backhand return. 15/0. Henin stranded Serena with a crosscourt backhand, and hit a backhand winner down the line. 30/0. Henin hit a pinpoint off-forehand winner just inside the sideline. 40/0. First serve down the middle forced Serena to stretch wide and net a forehand return.

Now Henin's dominating Serena from the baseline too!

Serena serving 3-5: Henin went to the net, and hit a backpedalling forehand smash-winner into the corner. 0/15. Serena on the third stroke dumped a wild forehand into the net. 0/30. Henin off-forehand return-winner. 0/40 (SP #1). Serena on the third stroke dumped a forehand halfway up the net. Henin won the second set 6-3 at 21:12 AEDT (second set 40m, match so far 1h32m).

Wow - Henin's as sharp as a freshly-sharpened pencil at the moment, and Serena is looking increasingly frustrated and desperate!

Serena took a bathroom-break, and Henin followed her. Henin came back first, and got a loud cheer when she did so. Serena got whistled when she came back.


Third set
---------
WILLI _*@ @*@* 6
HENIN *__@____ 2

Henin serving 0-0: Second serve: Serena dumped a cheap forehand return halfway up the net - evidently, her break has done her no good at all. 15/0. First serve: Serena netted another forehand return. 30/0. Serena netted a backhand, and Henin said "allez". 40/0. Serena forced a floater and went to the net, but dumped a forehand volley into the net.

Serena's playing so badly that I wonder whether she's injured, or whether her brain is just scrambled by Henin's sharp play in the last few games.

More boos.

Serena serving 0-1: First serve out wide: Henin hit a sharp crosscourt forehand return-winner. 0/15. Service-winner. 15/15. Henin hit a forehand return onto the baseline + off-forehand winner onto the sideline. 15/30. Serena went to the net, but didn't close in properly, and hit a dropping ball into the net. 15/40 (BP #1). Ace down the middle (122 mph). 30/40 (BP #2). Serena went to the net behind a down-the-line forehand that forced a floater, which she dispatched with a forehand drive-volley winner down the line. Deuce. First serve forced Henin to bunt a backhand return long. Ad Serena. Ace out wide: just inside the sideline.

A champion's response to 15/40. There's still a lot of tennis left in this one, I feel...

Henin serving 1-1: Serena forehand just long. 15/0. Henin got a short return but sprayed a wild forehand very long. 15/15. Henin netted a backhand. 15/30. Henin off-forehand wide. 15/40 (BP). Henin went to the net, but a dipping pass induced her to net a backhand volley.

Henin's gone off the boil, and Chris Bailey said it was strange that Serena wasn't vocal about celebrating the break. He suggested that she didn't want to antagonise the crowd any further.

Serena serving 2-1: Henin's penetrating crosscourt forehand return induced Serena to hit a forehand long. 0/15. Serena forehand long. 0/30. Serena sprayed a wild forehand very long, and the crowd celebrated the error with some more boos. 0/40 (BP). Henin netted a backhand. 15/40 (BP #2). 80mph second serve: Henin netted a makeable forehand return. 30/40 (BP #3). First serve almost hit the baseline! Second serve: Henin hit a fierce off-forehand virtual return-winner to break back.

The crowd celebrated with yet more boos, and a bit of chanting.

Henin serving 2-2: Ace down the middle + "allez". 15/0. Serena's deep forehand forced Henin to net a backhand. The crowd sounded disappointed. 15/15. Serena went to the net and hit an off-forehand dropshot, but Henin ran it down and hit an awkward lob that brushed Serena's racket on its way over. 30/15. Double fault (second serve into the net). 30/30. Second serve: Serena hit a fierce crosscourt backhand return-winner. 30/40 (BP). Henin got a slow return, but hit a choky backhand wide.

Sam Smith: "Maybe her legs are going a bit. That was a pretty high backhand. She's been through so much (physically) in this tournament."

Serena serving 3-2: Henin hit a wild forehand long. 15/0. Henin's deep sliced backhand induced Serena to net a backhand. More boos. 15/15. Deep second serve: Henin netted a forehand return. 30/15. Serena went to the net, forcing Henin to hit a crosscourt forehand wide. Serena stumbled into the net after the ball was dead. 40/15. Henin's crosscourt forehand induced Serena to hit a forehand long. 40/30. Ace down the middle: Henin challenged, and Hawk-Eye showed that it was wide by about 5%, so they replayed the point. Virtual ace down the middle.

Henin serving 2-4 (new balls): Serena backhand just long. 15/0. Serena opened up the court with a crosscourt forehand, and hit a pinpoint forehand winner down the line. 15/15. Double fault (second serve into the net). 15/30. Henin went to the net, but Serena's dipping crosscourt backhand pass forced her to net a backhand half-volley. 15/40 (BP). Serena's deep forehand forced Henin to hit a backhand lob just long. Serena celebrated the break with a short, sharp yell.

Sam Smith: "Almost certainly [Henin's] legs have gone. Not driving up at all on her serve."

Serena serving 5-2: Ace down the middle (121mph). 15/0. First serve down the middle: Henin hit a forehand return quarterway up the net. 30/0. Ace down the middle. 40/0 (CP #1). Only the netcord saved the first serve from going wide. Deep second serve down the middle: Henin stretched wide and hit a miraculous short forehand return-winner onto the outside edge of the sideline! 40/15 (CP #2). First serve out wide + crosscourt backhand winner. Serena won 6-4 3-6 6-2 at 21:48 AEDT (third set 36m, match 2h08m).

And the handshake was quite lingering, considering that I said it would be cold.


Presentation-ceremony
---------------------

It looked very different this year, as they dimmed the lights and illuminated the stage.

The Daphne Akhurst Memorial Trophy was presented by Margaret Court, who won a record 24 Major singles-titles, including a calendar-year Grand Slam in 1970.

Henin's speech: "Merci. It's been a very emotional two weeks for me - I thought it would never happen again. The best place for me to start was in Australia, because of you guys. I'd like to congratulate Serena: she's a real champion. I'd like to thank all the people who work so hard to make it the best Grand Slam [sic]. There were many legends watching the game, and it was an honour to play in front of them. I'll see you next year - thank you very much."

Serena's speech: "I'm holding so much stuff, so I put my cheque down. You guys can hold it for me. I want to thank God for even letting me play today. I'd like to thank Justine for giving me such a run today. Thank you Margaret for giving me the trophy. I'm so excited to be playing in front of the legends - Billie [Jean King], we're tied! Oh - and thank you to the fans. I'm gonna keep going, 'cause I never know whether I'll be here again. I had a real 'G' moment today."

------------------------
3. Girls' Singles: Final (Saturday 30th January 2010)
------------------------

- Laura Robson lt. KAROLÍNA PLÍŠKOVÁ [6], 1-6 6-7 (5/7)

Laura recovered from a dreadful start and a break down in the second set, but blew a 4/1* lead in the tiebreak to finish as runner-up for the second year in a row.

The articles that I have read described Laura as "out of sorts" today, as she made 31 unforced errors in the blistering heat. She could not cope with the big serve of Karolína, who served 13 aces, and was broken only at 6-1 *5-4.

Laura said: "Starting with Perth [Hopman Cup], getting to the final there, then quarters of doubles, then getting to the final here, I've played a lot of matches. Just a bit exhausted with it."

Karolína said: "I think she has better forehand than backhand. I try to play offensive to her backhand, and also to her forehand. Maybe with the serve I won the match."

Laura was broken from *0-1 (40/15), and Karolína from *3-1 won 5 games in a row to lead 6-1 2-0*.

In the second set, Laura wasted a break-back point at 1-2*, then games went with serve until 4-5* (with Laura saving a break-point at *2-4). But when Karolína served for the match, she was broken for the first time - to love - as Laura levelled at *5-5 and held for 6-5*. Karolína held for 6-6.

Second-set tiebreak (all scores Robson/Plíšková): *0/0. 1/0*. 2/0*. *2/1. *3/1. 4/1*. 4/2*. *4/3. *4/4. 4/5*. 4/6* (CP #1). *5/6 (CP #2). Double fault #3. Karolína won 6-1 7-6 (7/5) at 16:43 AEDT (second set 58m, match 1h20m).

Last year, Laura was smiling as she stood with the runner's-up trophy. This time, she was in tears.

The BBC didn't show the match-point this year, but did televise a nice little interview with Laura - who has the sweetest English accent - in Sport News Update: "Well, she played a really good match. She served well; she didn't miss a lot at all, and, you know, it just took me a while to get into it, but in the second set, I regrouped, and then... just gave it my all."

An extended video of Laura's interview is available online:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/8488252.stm

------------------------
4. Girls' Doubles: Final (Friday 29th January 2010)
------------------------

+ Chantal Škamlová/Jana Čepelová d. (TÍMEA BABOS/GABRIELA DABROWSKI)[1], 7-6 (7/1) 6-2

---------------------------
5. Order of play for Sunday
---------------------------

Rod Laver Arena: Day-session (start 16:30 AEDT = 05:30 GMT)
XD final: (CARA BLACK/LEANDER PAES)[1] v Ekaterina Makarova/Jaroslav Levinský
|
Rod Laver Arena: Evening-session (start 19:30 AEDT = 08:30 GMT)
MS final: ROGER FEDERER [1] v ANDY MURRAY [5]

--
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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