Sunday, January 9, 2011

Soderling Makes A Different Sound

Given as the draw for Australian Open qualies is released on Tuesday, I'm betting the final discretionary wildcards for announced on Monday (conveniently when I am at the Medibank International and electronically incommunicado - annoying). Let us keep hoping for a wildcard for Nicolas Mahut (and tweeting vociferously to that effect)!

Now, over to some finals. We had two yesterday, in Chennai and Brisbane, and they were both very good results for those involved.

Newly-family-leaving Stan Wawrinka (if he wanted to make his image different to Federer's, I'd say he's succeeded now) won in Chennai, which is a great result for him, even if Chennai is a bit of a Mickey Mouse tournament. He beat super-talented but super-sketchy Xavier Malisse in three sets. And... I didn't see the match, so that is all I have to say about that.

I did, however, see the Brisbane final, and Robin Soderling is looking DANGEROUS. Capslock merited. He fully merits gaining the #4 ranking. He has been untroubled on serve all week, and he totally dominated Andy Roddick with his flat forehand - and he ripped a few awesome backhand winners too. And it's hard to conceive of just how HARD he hits the ball - I swear it makes a different noise to when other players hit it. I wouldn't be surprised if he managed to burst one one day.

Roddick did not play badly - it certainly wasn't his bestest performance ever, but he didn't suck or anything - but Soderling left him dead in the water. If he continues to play like this in Australia, there are going to be precious few people who are able to stop him. I would actually love to see Murray drawn in his quarter - we could have a battle for the REAL #4. Now that would be something. (Basically, I hope he doesn't draw a be-wildcarded Mahut first round. That would make me sad.) Suffice to say, Soderling is going to do better in Australia than last year... where he lost in the first round.

And speaking of Kim Clijsters, she is also looking VERY dangerous. But after her showing against Petrova last year, I'm not putting any money down.

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