Tuesday, January 13, 2009

No Repeat Performances

Well, we're not having a repeat of last year's final at the Medibank International. Chris Guccione is through on the strength of a really quite excellent performance against perennial underachiever Tomas Berdych, but Dmitry Tursunov is out. He didn't exactly get bundled out, but he went down in a tight two-setter to Richard Gasquet, who is looking better than I've seen him for a while. It's going to be interesting to see how that one works out for him.
On the men's side, it was a good day for Australia - both Gooch and Hewitt are through. That Hewitt match was really good to watch - no matter what one might think of his personality, he's dynamic on court, and you have to admire his chutzpah. Julien Benneteau should be fiercely disappointed to lose that one. Another loser was Radek Stepanek, who did retire, yes, but who was being pummelled by Jeremy Chardy (a Star!) when he called it quits. He cites illness... I have my doubts. Mostly because I don't like him. Which is a fair enough reason. But good on Jeremy!
Speaking of Stars, Ernests Gulbis is looking pretty decent over in Auckland over a good three-set win over Marcel Granollers, who is no slouch - he has a title to his name, and you don't get that by being a schlep. However, Ernests is going up against the #1 seed today, Juan Martin del Potro... can he upset two #1 seeds in consecutive tournaments? I like to think he can - here's hoping he does!
And how dangerous is Dinara Safina looking over on the women's side? I wouldn't want to come up against her anytime soon. After pounding on Cirstea yesterday, she turned Vera Dushevina into mincemeat. (Ironically, Cirstea and Dushevina are doubles partners. They can share their woes together.)
Meanwhile, more wildcards for the Aussie Open have been announced, and I have to say that I like their choices. Discretionary wildcards have been handed to Bernard Tomic, Sam Groth, Brydan Klein and Carsten Ball in the men's, and Monica Wejnert, Isabella Holland, Olivia Rogoswka and Jessica Moore in the women's. All young guns, all with potential. My goal is for one of these eight to win a match - actually, make it ten, we'll include Colin Ebelthite and Jelena Dokic, who won the playoffs. I have a particular feeling about Isabella Holland... she might just make good!
Today's Results
Medibank International (Sydney)
Men's Draw
Chris Guccione def. Tomas Berdych, 6-3 6-4
Janko Tipsarevic def. Mardy Fish, 6-4 3-6 6-4
Paul-Henri Mathieu def. Andreas Seppi, 6-2 2-6 6-3
Lleyton Hewitt def. Julien Benneteau, 5-7 6-2 6-4
Jeremy Chardy def. Radek Stepanek, 6-4 3-0 retired
Richard Gasquet def. Dmitry Tursunov, 7-6 (7-4) 6-4
Women's Draw
Serena Williams def. Sara Errani, 6-1 6-2
Dinara Safina def. Vera Dushevina, 6-3 6-0
Elena Dementieva def. Jarmila Gajdosova, 6-2 6-4
Svetlana Kuznetsova def. Kaia Kanepi, 6-2 2-6 7-6 (7-3)
Agnieszka Radwanska def. Daniela Hantuchova, 6-3 7-5
Caroline Wozniacki def. Melanie South, 6-2 6-0
Alizé Cornet def. Alisa Kleybanova, 7-6 (7-5) 6-1
Ai Sugiyama def. Anabel Medina Garrigues, 2-6 6-1 6-2
Heineken Open (Auckland)
Philipp Kohlschreiber def. Dominik Hrbaty, 6-1 6-2
John Isner def. Albert Montanes, 7-6 (7-4) 7-5
Juan Monaco def. Victor Hanescu, 6-3 6-4
Gilles Muller def. Florent Serra, 6-3 6-4
Yen-Hsun Lu def. Steve Darcis, 7-6 (7-5) 6-2
Ernests Gulbis def. Marcel Granollers, 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 6-1
Bobby Reynolds def. Oscar Hernandez, 7-6 (7-4) 5-7 6-2
Marc Gicquel def. Agustin Calleri, 3-6 6-4 6-4
Moorilla Hobart International (Hobart)
Magdalena Rybarikova def. Flavia Pennetta, 7-5 6-3
Gisela Dulko def. Zheng Jie, 6-3 6-3
Petra Kvitova def. Alona Bondarenko, 6-2 6-1
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova def. Carla Suárez Navarro, 6-4 6-1
Iveta Benesova def. Mara Santangelo, 6-3 6-1
Virginie Razzano def. Anne Keothavong, 4-6 6-0 7-5
Melinda Czink def. Urszula Radwanska, 4-2 retired
Tsvetana Pironkova def. Olga Govortsova, 6-1 6-2

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