Friday, March 27, 2009

Smooth Sailing in Miami

All smooth sailing so far in Miami, it looks like. People seemed surprised at Roger Federer doing well, which surprised me - just because he lost a match to Andy Murray doesn't mean he's out of form. But that's the hysteria over Federer that's been around for years, I suppose. In any case, he had a very cruise-y win over Kevin Kim (who was part of the first ever professional tennis match I saw live - James Blake/Kevin Kim, Day 3 of the Medibank International in 2007: there's some trivia for you!) and it was all very matter-of-fact and business like. I haven't seen the match so I don't know if Roger has already done this or not, but I'd really like to see him play aggressive this week, especially when it comes to attacking the second serve. He's said himself that he has to play aggressive to beat Nadal - I'd like to see him try it out.
Actually, I wonder if he's taken a look at David Nalbandian's match against Rafa in Indian Wells, the one where Rafa had to save five match points. Headbandian seemed to have a lot of success attacking Rafa's first serve, especially early on. This is purely judging by the stats as I didn't see the match, but it could be something to try - a sort of throwing down of the gauntlet. 'Your first serve better be pinpoint accurate, Rafa, otherwise I'm just going to smack it, and who knows what will happen then.' I'd like to see more slice instead of topspin backhands, and - but I am not a tennis coach, nor am I qualified to give this kind of advice. I place my faith in the Mighty Fed. He's reversed these massive head-to-head defecits before. He can do it again.
When did this turn into 'how will Federer beat Nadal'? That was not my intention! Back to Miami. No major upsets in the blokes - the only seed to go down was Nicolas Almagro, the Prince of Clay, and as the name suggests, he's hardly Captain Hardcourt. A couple more seeds went down among the women, but again, no one major, unless you count Marion Bartoli. I don't like to count her out, but a lot of the time I don't really like to count her in either, if you know what I mean.
One seed to go was Sybille Bammer, another member of the WTA mum's club that Kim Clijsters will soon be joining, and she was knocked out by Sam Stosur. It's great to see Sam playing well! She's the only Aussie hope left, since Caroline Wozniacki exacted revenge for her third round defeat at the Aussie Open at the hands of Jelena Dokic, and Gilles Simon absolutely hammered Lleyton Hewitt. I'd really like Sam to have a big run at a big tournament - quarters, maybe. The Aussie players deserve some lovin'!
Today's Results
Sony Ericsson Open (Miami)
Men's Draw
Roger Federer def. Kevin Kim, 6-3 6-2
Novak Djokovic def. Frank Dancevic, 6-3 6-2
Gael Monfils def. Michael Russell, 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 6-3
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga def. Agustin Calleri, 6-1 6-1
James Blake def. Julien Benneteau, 6-4 6-4
Tommy Robredo def. Jan Hernych, 6-4 6-4
Taylor Dent def. Nicolas Almagro, 2-6 6-2 7-6 (9-7)
Tomas Berdych def. Mikhail Youzhny, 6-3 3-6 6-4
Marat Safin def. Oscar Hernandez, 6-4 2-6 6-1
Robert Kendrick def. Robin Soderling, 6-4 6-2
Dmitry Tursunov def. Mikhail Kukushkin, 3-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-3
Nicolas Kiefer def. Fabrice Santoro, 5-7 7-6 (7-5) 6-2
Paul-Henri Mathieu def. Marcos Baghdatis, 6-3 2-6 6-2
Gilles Simon def. Lleyton Hewitt, 6-1 6-2
Women's Draw
Dinara Safina def. Mathilde Johansson, 6-1 6-3
Elena Dementieva def. Anastasia Pivovarova, 6-0 3-6 6-3
Svetlana Kuznetsova def. Tamira Paszek, 2-6 7-5 6-1
Anastasiya Yakimova def. Marion Bartoli, 6-4 6-3
Caroline Wozniacki def. Jelena Dokic, 6-3 5-7 6-2
Flavia Pennetta def. Maria Kirilenko, 6-4 7-5
Patty Schnyder def. Lucie Safarova, 4-6 6-1 6-4
Amélie Mauresmo def. Magdalena Rybarikova, 6-3 1-6 6-2
Anna Chakvetadze def. Daniela Hantuchova, 6-3 6-1
Alisa Kleybanova def. Galina Voskoboeva, 6-2 6-4
Agnes Szavay def. Francesca Schiavone, 2-6 6-4 6-2
Samantha Stosur def. Sybille Bammer, 6-1 6-1
Nicole Vaidisova def. Alona Bondarenko, 6-1 6-0
Carla Suárez Navarro def. Nuria Llagostera Vives, 3-6 6-4 7-6 (7-3)

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