Well since this is the off season and I thought I would place my reports from the 2004 and 2005 Australian Open, so these archived reports will be bought back starting from today. It will be interesting to see how they look after this time.
Well it's Thursday and I made it to the first round of the qualifiers for the Australian Open. I arrived in the afternoon as I am not too interested in women's tennis to sit down for long enough to watch a match.
The complex is getting its last touches before the mayhem and the chaos begin on Monday, and they play all the matches on the smaller courts, and the show courts are blocked off so the top players are practicing in peace.
The qualies are good fun, it's free, I met some interesting people and yes I saw some matches today. The Swiss had the contingent of Wawrinka, Bastl, Hueberger and Kratochvil all hoping to qualify for the main draw.
I saw Wawrinka play against Marcos Daniel of Brazil, and Wawrinka didn't play too well he made too many errors when he wasn't going for any winners, and sadly he lost 6-4 6-4. Bastl, Heuberger and Kratochvil all won through to the next round.
After Michel's match I asked about why he withdrew from Adelaide, he had some dizzy spells and thought it was the best to save himself for Melbourne. I asked about him about Rosset, who decided not to come down this year which was a disappointment. He said Marc was tired from playing all those challengers to try and get his ranking down, so he would get into the main draw, but he didn't finish high enough. I would be lying to say I am a huge fan of Rosset's game, but he is a very funny guy and I enjoy seeing him around the tournament.
Unfortunately Andre Sa lost to that prick Jeff Morrison who was complaining even though he was winning, which is a bit strange to me. Then I watched this Austrian guy Daniel Kollerer who beat Patty Schynder in a battle of the sexes match in Austria a few weeks ago. Kollerer managed to win his match, but he needs some anger management, and I don't think he is above some questionable tactics when he plays.
I ran into some Swedish fans, it was only a small core watching Björn Rehnquist playing against Israeli Noam Okun. It was a tough match Rehnquist lost 7-6 1-6 7-5, he had chances but wasn't good enough to take it on the day.While I was watching the Kratochvil match against Niemeyer a big serving Canadian. I ended up talking to this guy David from Mallorca. I found out he is very good friends with Rafa Nadal and family, he coaches in Barcelona and he was a big fan of Kratochvil's game. The plan was to meet up tomorrow in the afternoon and see more matches.
Choke of the day goes to Arvind Parmar who was up 5-1 40-0 in the final set against Kevin Kim, he had 10 match points and somehow managed to lose the match, when you are that far ahead and lose, there is no sympathy coming from me.
Day two of the qualifiers was a good day, not because of any great results, but because there were more of the players arriving and practicing.Bastl and Heuberger managed to lose their matches and Misha got through in two very tough sets against Coutelot. Misha has the most handsome German player of all time Bernd Karbacher helping him at the moment, hopefully he can win some matches this year and getting his ranking so he can get into more main draws.
Met up with David and we commented that Nadal made the semis in Auckland, and we didn't think that he would make the final and he would arrive tomorrow. Then we had some very interesting conversations about tennis and other sports, he is actually a very nice guy for a Real Madrid fan, but I can't hold that against him.
Also I ran into Fabrice this Swiss French guy I met at the AO a few years ago, and luckily he remembered me and we joked about the old times. He had some more friends from the his region so I decided to call this group "The Fondue Boys", more from them later for sure.
Coria was training on show court 3 which was open, he was hitting with Volandri. He seemed to be moving quite well, I actually noticed his coach Alberto Mancini more I remember him, when he was a handsome, very strong guy who knew how to hit a topspin backhand. Now he is just a fat guy with less hair, but he has done a great job with Coria.
Next I saw Kiefer wandering around the grounds, he seemed to be in another world and I think his time has gone unfortunately I could be wrong, but I doubt it. Up on the player fare was Corretja and Gaudio who I happen to like. It was a bit warm so I sat in the shade and watched them play, and David was telling me about the Davis Cup when Argentina should have won.
He likes Gaudio play, but doesn't like him too much. They were hitting quite well, though Gaudio seemed to have a problem of moving forward to finish the points. Corretja even beats Gaudio in the practice sets as well. I spoke with Corretja who is definitely one of the nicest guys on tour, and hopefully he can do some good work again.
I saw Gonzalez training and yes he does absolutely belt the crap out of the ball. He was going alright and he won his practice set. His coach Horacio De La Pena is always joking around, he talks like Speedy Gonzalez on LSD and all the time as well, luckily I had the Spanish translator with me. I wished him luck and said for the good of tennis you have to beat that arsehole Roddick, Gonzo laughed and said I will do my best.
Other people I saw training were Koubek, Costa, Blake and Nico Lapentti, decided to call it day and then think about tomorrow.