Due to a few factors and none of them at all were alcohol related, these reports have been delayed, so in other words you are going to get to two helpings in the one post, so that might be good for some people, it might not be, but we'll see how it goes.
Malisse vs. Lammer : Xavi was quiet and not bitching about everything, funny how this is when he is playing at a good level. Lammer made too many errors and made it a difficult match for him, even harder, the extra class gap between the two was clear.
Lopez vs Desein : Marc followed up his good performance from the other day against Lee in this match. He hardly made errors and frustrated the hell out of Desein who has some big shots, but he lacked the patience and execution, for which Lopez took advantage of.
Luczak vs. Ascione: Much better from Luczak, who lost concentration at the end of the 1st set to lose serve, this plus Ascione was going for broke and making the winners. In the last 2 sets, it was a combo of Luczak serving better, being more aggressive and running the big Frenchie around, who after 6 shots just wants to belt winners, he was huffing and puffing halfway through the 2nd set. He definitely had too much cassoulet during Xmas.
Sela vs. Zemlja : On paper this should have been a comfortable win for Sela, but this was anything but the case, in fact this is what is known as an old fashioned choke. Zemlja had four match points and on two of them the likable Slovene really duffed them. The first one was a smash that was taken inside the service line, the smash was well hit, but it lacked direction. The court was packed now and there was a small but vocal section of Israelis supporting Dudi, and the other side were mostly Zemlja fans on the second match point that he choked away, there was a big rally with Zemlja bossing the point and was able to hit a big forehand and Sela hit a weak return and Zemlja came in for the put away volley, but had lumberjack hands and instead of hitting a short angle to win the point, he hit it long and his chance was lost. Sela then was able to come back and then break and eventually serve out the match. Zemlja must have been so down after this match, especially the way he lost it.
Lopez vs. Rehnquist: This smelled of 3 set dogfight and this was what happened. It wasn't always the greatest tennis, but there were many gruelling rallies with plenty of net clearance, there were even a few that would not have been out of place at Roland Garros in the mid 80s. Rehnquist got off to a flyer, as Lopez was nervous and raced through the 1st set. Once Lopez settled down and hit more balls into the court and Rehnquist became more reactive than usual, Lopez was able to control the rallies and keep Rehnquist on the run, able to get the ball high to his backhand and then Lopez used his slice backhand as a change up and it worked, as he was able to take the 2nd in a breaker.
The third set was far from pretty in fact it was a breakathon, 3 out of the first 4 service games were breaks of serve. In the 5th game Lopez was serving at 3-1 40-15 and he got a hideous call, which was clearly out, but it was not called, that gives him 4-1, but he lost his marbles and got shitty and managed to lose 4 games on the trot and Rehnquist served for the match 5-4. Needless to say Rehnquist choked and played an average game and Lopez got back into the match, but he was starting to cramp and tried to come over the backhand and not having great success with it and he lost serve at 6-7. Rehnquist was able to serve it out, though Lopez at 30-30 didn't manage to make an easy ball into the court, very hard fought match, which was last round qualies should be.
Luczak vs. Odesnik : Total baseline battle here with Luczak getting off to a flier. He was serving very well getting some excellent kick and movement off the serve and Odesnik was hitting short shit, which was getting punished by Luczak as he ran through the first set 6-1. Odesnik took a toilet break, maybe to have a piss, but also to contemplate his thoughts and the break did him the world of good. He was able to move the ball around and started using his serve a bit better than before, this and the fact that Luczak lost a bit of concentration and wasn't able to keep up the intensity, helped Odesnik take the second set 6-2. The third set was hard fought, long rallies, some good winners from Odesnik, woeful dropshots by Luczak, some landing on the service line and another bounced twice before the net. Odesnik got the vital break at 4-2 and the when serving for the match he was down 30-40, short second serve which Luczak dumped a backhand halfway up the net, then after that Odesnik served two aces and through to the MD.
Ventura vs deChaunac: Jesse Ventura is the better player out of these two, but basically this match came down to Jesse getting hooked on a shocking line call at 4-4, the ball was clearly out. Granollers and Almagro were watching as well and they shook their heads and laughed. Ventura freaks out has the shits and basically cats the rest of the match.
Malisse vs. Dancevic : This should have been a first round main draw match, especially with some of the dudathons that have been dished up like Chardy/Daniel for example. Malisse started well got the early break, then Dancevic took 6 out of the next 7 games to take the set. Frankie's serve wasn't as effective and Malisse is putting more balls into court and breaks at the end of the second set to take it 7-5, then after that Frankie loses confidence and Xavi gains it and is able to run through the last set easily, lucky for Frank, he got in as a Lucky Loser.
Michael Berrer, the guy who should be a weightlifter got through to the main draw, he had been playing average, but he peaked when it counted and crushed Dorsch. Looking forward to seeing the smashes from the 100kg weightlifter.