Monday, January 19, 2009

That Electric Feel

Here I am in an Internet cafe in Melbourne, spending my hard-earned money so I can blog about my experiences. I hope you're all grateful!
I got to Melbourne Park yesterday a little after eleven, so all the matches had just started. Last year I spent a lot of time hanging out round the practice courts trying to catch big names close up, so this year I promised myself I would actually watch some proper matches during the day. So when I got there, I did a quick trawl round all the courts... and, yes, I did stop at courts fifteen and sixteen and watch some practicing, because there were two big names out - Djokovic on court fifteen (whom I only paused to watch so I could take a commemorative photograph... and because Tipsarevic was on court too) and Nadal on court sixteen, whom I watched for a little while. Anyway, then I sat down in Margaret Court Arena and watched the second set of Vera Zvonareva against Magdalena Rybarikova - the set in which Vera bagelled Magdalena. So a real long set.
Then I got up and left, and I really wish I hadn't, because I tried to get back in to see some of the Tomic/Starace match and there was not a seat to be found! I was very sad - you know how I like ranting on about Tomic. That has to be the big surprise result of yesterday, considering the lack of other upsets - a sixteen year old kid ranked #800 odd winning big over a top #100 player. It'll be interesting to see how Bernard progresses from here... me, I feel sorry for Starace. It must be a bit embarrassing being beaten by a kid who is basically about twelve.
I wandered round a bit more and caught the second two sets of Stan Wawrinka against Ivo Minar out on court nineteen. This was actually a really good match - Minar played really well, so it took Stan four to beat him. There were a lot of Federer fans there (noticeable by their Fed shirts!) and they were all cheering for Stan a lot, which I thought was sweet... though I don't know if Stan appreciates having fans simply because he comes from the same country as Roger, but what gives, eh? There were also a lot of Swiss people there, and pretty much everyone, except for a devoted five in one corner, was cheering for Stan. It was really nice.
I wanted to catch the Cilic match after that, but I had to go back into the city and check into my hostel... stupid late check in times. When I got back, there were literally about two hundred people waiting around an empty court sixteen. The Fed Squad was out in full, so I figured they must be waiting for him. And we waited... and waited... and he didn't show. Which was sad.
And then being in Rod Laver Arena at night was such a special experience! The only other time I've seen an Aussie play was when I saw Guccione against Tursunov in the final of the Medibank last year, and I was pulling against the crowd then. It was really nice this time to be supporting one of our own! It was such an electric ripple that went through the crowd when they announced, 'and, representing Australia, Casey Dellacqua!' It made all the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.
I do confess, however, that when Casey lost a HEARTBREAKING first set tiebreaker, I was kind of pulling for her to lose the second as well, because it was getting late and I wanted to see Federer before I inevitably collapsed of exhaustion. (Did I mention it was really, really hot? I have never sweated so much in my life. And looks like it's going to be worse today...) Hantuchova, thankfully, wrapped it up in two, and there was only a very short hiatus until the Man himself came out - and he was received with exactly the same warmth as Casey Dellacqua. He really is a favourite wherever he goes. He has transcended nationality, in some respects.
I was really nervous - who wouldn't be? - but Roger put my nerves to rest with a beautiful first set, at which he served at 73% and pulled off what has to be one of the most amazing shots of all time to conclude a very amazing rally - a down the line pass behind his back and above his head. Seppi just couldn't compete with that. The first set took about four seconds, but then Roger reeled it in a bit and the second two were much tighter. Seppi had a couple of chances - he even had a set point in the second set - but he never looked like losing. Federer was never behind in the breaker and then he broke Seppi in the last game of the match to win it.
It was such a privilege and an honour to see him play. I can't express it any better than that. And he handled the crowd really well - and he's really funny! His post-match interview with Jim Courier was hilarious!
Anyway, my time runs out - so catch you all tomorrow morning!
Today's Results
Australian Open
Men's Draw
Roger Federer def. Andreas Seppi, 6-1 7-6 (7-4) 7-5
Andy Roddick def. Bjorn Rehnquist, 6-0 6-2 6-2
Novak Djokovic def. Andrea Stoppini, 6-2 6-3 7-5
Juan Martin del Potro def. Mischa Zverev, 6-3 6-4 6-2
Marat Safin def. Ivan Navarro, 6-3 6-3 6-4
David Nalbandian def. Marc Gicquel, 6-1 4-6 6-2 6-3
Bernard Tomic def. Potito Starace, 7-6 (7-5) 1-6 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (8-6)
Marcos Baghdatis def. Julien Benneteau, 6-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-2
Evgeny Korolev def. Carlos Moya, 6-3 6-1 7-6 (9-7)
Mardy Fish def. Sam Groth, 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 7-5 6-0
Tomas Berdych def. Robby Ginepri, 6-4 6-4 6-3
Viktor Troicki def. Alberto Martin, 6-3 3-6 6-2 6-4
Janko Tipsarevic def. Oscar Hernandez, 4-6 6-1 6-3 4-6 6-0
Fabrice Santoro def. Juan Carlos Ferrero, 6-3 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 6-2
Brydan Klein def. Bjorn Phau, 6-4 6-3 4-6 6-3
Gilles Muller def. Feliciano Lopez, 3-6 7-6 (7-5) 4-6 4-6 16-14
Philipp Kohlscheiber def. Sam Querrey, 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 6-2
David Ferrer def. Denis Gremelmayr, 6-1 6-7 (6-8) 6-1 6-7 (4-7) 6-4
Amer Delic def. Taylor Dent, 6-4 3-6 406 6-3 6-4
Brian Dabul def. Philipp Petzschner, 6-1 6-2 6-4
Simone Bolelli def. Kristof Vliegen, 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-3) 7-5
Dominik Hrbaty def. John Isner, 7-6 (7-4) 2-6 6-2 7-5
Robin Soderling def. Robert Kendrick, 5-7 6-4 6-4 7-5
Paul-Henri Mathieu def. Jarkko Nieminen, 6-2 4-1 retired
Jeremy Chardy def. Marcos Daniel, 6-4 6-4 6-1
Florian Mayer def. Lamine Ouahab, 6-2 6-1 6-2
Tommy Robredo def. Bobby Reynolds, 6-2 7-5 6-1
Yen-Hsun Lu def. Thomaz Bellucci, 6-3 7-5 6-4
Marin Cilic def. Kevin Anderson, 6-3 6-2 6-7 (4-7) 6-3
Stanislas Wawrinka def. Ivo Minar, 6-1 2-6 7-5 7-6 (11-9)
Xavier Malisse def. Michael Llodra, 7-6 (10-8) 6-1 6-1
Guillermo Garcia-Lopez def. Agustin Calleri, 3-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 6-0
Women's Draw
Jelena Jankovic def. Yvonne Meusburger, 6-1 6-3
Dinara Safina def. Alla Kudryavtseva, 6-3 6-4
Ana Ivanovic def. Julia Goerges, 7-5 6-3
Vera Zvonareva def. Magdalena Rybarikova, 7-6 (7-2) 6-0
Nadia Petrova def. Yaroslava Shvedova, 6-3 7 6 (7-3)
Caroline Wozniacki def. Shahar Peer, 6-3 6-2
Alizé Cornet def. Mariya Koryttseva, 6-3 6-4
Marion Bartoli def. Melanie South, 6-2 6-4
Anna Chakvetadze def. Anne Keothavong, 6-1 6-7 (4-7) 6-1
Daniela Hantuchova def. Casey Dellacqua, 7-6 (13-11) 6-4
Galina Voskoboeva def. Agnes Szavay, 6-3 3-6 6-4
Lucie Safarova def. Sybille Bammer, 6-3 6-1
Kaia Kanepi def. Kimiko Date Krumm, 6-4 4-6 8-6
Ai Sugiyama def. Stéphanie Dubois, 6-0 7-6 (7-5)
Sara Errani def. Maria Kirilenko, 6-0 6-4
Alisa Kleybanova def. Sofia Arvidsson, 7-5 7-5
Tsvetana Pironkova def. Karolina Sprem, 6-0 6-4
Ekaterina Makarova def. Aravane Rezai, 1-6 7-5 6-4
Monica Niculescu def. Katie O'Brien, 6-4 6-4
Edina Gallovits def. Maria Elena Camerin, 6-3 2-6 6-3
Karin Knapp def. Monika Wejnert, 7-6 (8-6) 6-4
Mathilde Johansson def. Jill Craybas, 6-2 1-6 7-5
Marina Erakovic def. Petra Cetkovska, 6-4 7-5
Nathalie Dechy def. Viktoriya Kutuzova, 6-3 6-0
Virginia Ruano Pascual def. Mariana Duque Marino, 6-3 6-2
Stéphanie Cohen-Aloro def. Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, 6-3 6-4
Sania Mirza def. Marta Domachowska, 6-1 6-4
Kirsten Flipkens def. Rossana de los Ríos, 6-3 6-2
Patricia Mayr def. Julia Schruff, 6-4 6-1
Andrea Petkovic def. Kathrin Woerle, 5-7 7-6 (7-0) 4-0 retired
Alberta Brianti def. Yanina Wickmayer, 6-4 6-2
Jelena Dokic def. Tamira Paszek, 6-2 3-6 6-4

1 comment:

hcfoo said...

Awww you've missed Tomic vs Starace match. Hopefully you'll get a good seat for the Tomic's second round match tomorrow. Have fun!