Channel 7 have this thing every year where they try to convince the world that Lleyton Hewitt is going to win the Australian Open, despite huge amounts of evidence to the contrary. This year was no different, but they managed to do it via the most ridiculous 'inspirational' montage I have ever seen.
'Roger will beat Lleyton.'
'Lleyton might get a set if Roger gets so bored he falls asleep.'
'Lleyton has no chance.'
'Roger will smash Lleyton like a guitar'.
(Words mine, but message = everyone they interviewed, from Jim Courier to Brad Gilbert to Darren Cahill to Roger Rasheed).
And this was supposed to be a pro-Lleyton inspiration montage. Perhaps reverse psychology was involved? Or something?
Anyway, no matter what was involved, the predictions of Everyone Who Means Anything came true and Federer's victory over Hewitt was total. There is nothing that Hewitt can do that really troubles Federer - he doesn't have the arsenal. His speed used to be his biggest weapon but he's a good half step short of where he used to be.
And then there is that whole thing where Federer has now beat him fifteen times in a row. There's some psychology for you, Channel 7.
Hardly any of the other men's quarters were quite so simplistic, however. Roger will now face his recent bugabear Nikolay Davydenko... though he will be very glad to see that Kolya went five sets when he really shouldn't have. Jo Tsonga also played a completely unnecessary five sets. Both Kolya and Jo were up two sets to love before Verdasco and Almagro, their respective opponents came back strong.
It's the first time I've ever seen Kolya spray so much, and I think it might have something to do with his mental strength rather than his game. This is his first experience of being talked about as a serious chance and I don't think he likes it much. It will be interesting to see how that plays out in his match against Federer - I think he will either be incredibly strong, because of his previous two victories, or incredibly weak, because to a degree, there is expectation that he will pull off the upset.
I felt a bit sorry for Nando getting knocked out... but then I realised that he hit over twenty double faults and nipped that in the bud at once. Almagro really had no right to take Jo so deep so he can justifiably be proud - that was a great achievement from the little claycourt dude.
In the women, we - surprise, surprise - have the Williams sisters through, and I think you justifiably can predict a Serena/Justine final at this point. We also, for the first time, have two Chinese women in the quarters - great achievement! - and Vika Azarenka came through in a tight one, though Caz-Woz, her fellow teen queen got knocked out.
I blame the pom poms on her socks.
Roger: older and not quite out
6 months ago