Let me first say this - I am very glad Dinara Safina is through to the second round. I would really like to see her do well in this tournament and rebuild the pieces of her shattered confidence.
But how about Olivia Rogowska?
This kid is something a little special, I feel. To come out in her first ever US Open match on Arthur Ashe stadium, the biggest, noisiest stadium in tennis, as a total no one, expected to roll over and lose - and to play the world number #1 that close and that tight for so long - this is something she is going to remember for a very, very long time. And it's something I hope the nation of Australia takes notice of, because she is going to be very, very good.
Women's tennis is actually in a pretty good place right now in Australia. People always bemoan the state of the game, but we have had a really, really good year this year. We have Sam Stosur leading the way, dear old unlucky Jelena Dokic and her princess run at the Aussie Open, we have Alicia Molik and Casey Dellacqua on the comeback trail, Jarmila Groth and Anastasia Rodionova playing solidly and then Olivia Rogowska, leading a pack of really excellent young guns like Isabella Holland, Sally Peers and Monika Wejnert. We're good now - in a couple of years I think we're going to be amazing.
And you can damn well quote me on that.
Back to Dinara for a moment - I think it might actually do her good to have had a bit of a struggle in the first round. She was down a break in that third set and fought her way out of it. One of the things that made her most remarkable when she first started her run in May of 2008 was her determination and her fight. At Roland Garros, where she lost in the final - in the lead up, she was crushing opponents, apart from a bit of a battle with Victoria Azarenka. So, I could be wrong, but if she has to fight her way through the whole tournament, she might be a bit more battle-hardened when she gets to the crunch (if she gets to the crunch). She's been rolling over and dying in finals... maybe this can help her out a bit.
US Open (Flushing Meadows)
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga def. Chase Buchanan, 6-0 6-2 6-1
Fernando Verdasco def. Benjamin Becker, 7-5 6-4 7-5
Fernando Gonzalez def. Nicolas Massu, 6-3 6-3 6-3
Marin Cilic def. Ryan Sweeting, 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 7-6 (7-4)
Tomas Berdych def. Wayne Odesnik, 7-5 6-4 6-4
Jesse Witten def. Igor Andreev, 6-4 6-0 6-2
Viktor Troicki def. Peter Luczak, 6-3 6-3 1-6 2-6 6-1
Jarkko Nieminen def. Fabio Fognini, 7-5 7-6 (8-6) 6-4
Maximo Gonzalez def. Karol Beck, 2-6 1-6 6-1 6-4 6-3
Julien Benneteau def. Flavio Cipolla, 4-6 6-1 6-3 6-3
Horacio Zeballos def. Michael Berrer, 6-3 7-6 (9-7) 3-6 6-0
Denis Istomin def. Brendan Evans, 6-4 6-4 7-6 (7-3)
Josselin Ouanna def. Rajeev Ram, 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 3-6 6-3
Jesse Levine def. Teimuraz Gabashvili, 7-5 6-1 6-2
Paul Capdeville def. Viktor Crivoi, 6-3 6-0 7-6 (7-2)
Novak Djokovic def. Ivan Ljubicic, 6-3 6-1 6-3
Florent Serra def. Janko Tipsarevic, 7-6 (10-8) 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-5)
Dinara Safina def. Olivia Rogowska, 6-7 (5-7) 6-2 6-4
Svetlana Kuznetsova def. Julia Goerges, 6-3 6-2
Caroline Wozniacki def. Galina Voskoboeva, 6-4 6-0
Nadia Petrova def. Katarina Srebotnik, 6-3 6-3
Yanina Wickmayer def. Virginie Razzano, 6-4 6-3
Patty Schnyder def. Lucie Safarova, 4-6 6-3 7-6 (8-6)
Sabine Lisicki def. Aravane Rezai, 7-6 (7-4) 6-7 (4-7) 6-1
Sorana Cirstea def. Ayumi Morita, 6-1 6-3
Petra Kvitova def. Alisa Kleybanova, 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 6-2
Alona Bondarenko def. Alla Kudryavtseva, 3-6 6-3 6-2
Gisela Dulko def. Ekaterina Makarova, 6-3 5-7 6-4
Sara Errani def. Arantxa Rus, 6-0 6-3
Peng Shuai def. Jarmila Groth, 6-2 6-3
Tathiana Garbin def. Mallory Cecil, 6-0 6-1
Julie Coin def. Eva Hrdinova, 6-3 6-3
Kristina Barrois def. Urszula Radwanska, 6-4 6-4
Melanie Oudin def. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 6-1 6-2
Anastasija Sevastova def. Tamarine Tanasugarn, 6-3 7-5
Stephanie Dubois def. Kristina Mladenovic, 6-0 6-4
Petra Martin def. Severine Bremond Beltrame, 6-4 6-2
Anastasia Rodionova def. Lourdes Dominguez Lino, 6-0 4-6 6-1
Roger: older and not quite out
6 months ago