The December Showdown has begun! It seems a little strange to get so involved in what is just a playoff for one of the 128 spots on offer in the Australian Open draw... but then the showdown is wonderful fun.
The real question seems to be whether Jelena Dokic or Alicia Molik will be the one to get the wildcard. I think you can probably bet your bottom dollar that both would be carded in anyway - they are big names - so I certainly won't be unhappy if one of the many other girls in the draw pulls through. But Dokic and Molik did both have good wins yesterday and looking hot. That would be a bit of a drawcard final!
If I had to pick, I think I'd throw my cap into the Dokic corner, purely for emotional reasons. When she won the playoff a couple of years ago she went into the Open and won her way into the quarters - wasn't that a story? I don't expect we'll ever see the like of that again but it would be lovely to see the circumstances mirrored, so to speak. There might be a kind of magic in that.
Meanwhile, I'm a little surprised at the names in action in the men's draw. Peter Luczak? I suppose with his ranking he doesn't qualify for direct entry - which is an enormous shame, because he managed to get it up so high there for a while. And Marinko Matosevic and Carsten Ball as well... I suppose it's just indicative of the fact that there is only one player for whom entry is a guarantee that is Hewitt. Everyone has to throw their cards in. Everyone has to play. We've been so spoiled on the women's side with Stosur and Groth and whatnot that we forget this a bit.
Anyway, I wish I could say something about the actual tennis, but not having seen any of it, I can't. I will say this, however - fourteen year old Ashleigh Barty, I hope you play some awesome stuff out there. I always have a soft spot for the young 'uns!
3 weeks ago