AO Qualies Day 1
Yes, here it is the reports for the Aussie Open have started again. How much sense this will make is dependant on the persons individual tastes, state of alertness and whatever other random condition.
Got to get the important stuff out of the way first. The AO fashion gurus have decided to deck the umpires out in lime green, well allegedly it's lime green but in fact it blends with the tennis balls, so it's tennis ball green and Malisse would have another reason to get annoyed on court. The ballkids are wearing hot pink well they will stand out for sure, though any potential homophobes wearing this does have a certain humour value.
There was a firecracker that went off from these random Aussies who were cheering on Santos against Kindlmann, they didn't last long after that.
Koubek vs. DeHeart
Koubek isn't as fashionable as before, but he has hall of fame status with the yellow shorts. He started out making too many mistakes initially, but was able to keep holding his serve easily enough. Then at 4-4 15 all deHeart says "hey these balls are flat", then tosses them to Koubek who has that usual half asleep expression and then agrees. After that Koubek is defending well and pressing deHeart into going for more shots and in the process making more errors. Koubek hits a forehand down the line on his set point to take it 7-5.
The second set continues on the same path as the end of the first, extended rallies with deHeart hitting some average slice backhands and Koubek some cannon fodder dropshots, he manages to get the break early in the 2nd.
As he pressed for the double break he started the very loud grunts, the grunting sounded like a Mercedes but had the power of a Lada, then deHeart gets into the act as well with the over grunting he is trying to be a Harley and ends up being a Vespa. Koubek had the chance for the double break but was too passive, at the same time deHeart was generous after an elongated rally he has Koubek on the back fence and misses a volley that even Andreev would have put away. He eventually breaks back, but Koubek stepped it up and played some excellent passing shots along with good defence broke at 5-4, then served it out easily.
Dimitrov vs. Kendrick
Tough match for the Bulgarian and didn't get to see much, just from 2-3 in the 3rd set. It was basically Dimitrov hitting a winner, then an error with Lundgren having a bemused look but still encouraging him. Kendrick wasn't being too mouthy this time and when he had the chance, he came forward to the net to finish the points off. His extra experience was the main thing that got him over the line in this one.
Phau vs. del Bonis
Phau the guy who lost to cockchimp Klein in the 1st round last year and one of the fastest guys on tour against the Argentine. Del bonis wasn't playing too badly, hitting some heavy shots but had a concentration lapse in the 2nd set to go down 4-0, and ended up losing that one 7-5. Phau the little running machine just got too many shots back into court.
Millman vs. Vagnozzi
One of the few Aussies players I genuinely like and he is a very good man. The conditions had been very changeable with the gusts of wind coming up at various times and forcing the players to adjust mid stroke. Millman always had this match in control and Vagnozzi today played like Cipolla, except he had a topspin forehand and also his touch volleys were successful. Millman didn't serve to well, but was solid from the baseline in so much the conditions allowed at times he was a bit too passive waiting for the ball to come to him when it was short, but he defended well when Vagnozi could use his forehand.
It was one of those matches where it was clear who was going to win, but at this time of the day it was very difficult with the wind and the sun making an appearance as it started out cloudy.
MaChado vs. Klein
Both were holding serves fairly well and Machado had one break point at 4-4, but Klein saved it. From there Machado stepped it up and was using his forehand to dominate the rallies and was able to break then serve out the set at 7-5.
Klein glares over in our direction a few times after Machado has won a point. Once the 2nd set started Klein dropped his bundle and with that the forehand breaking down, which Machado was exploiting with his greater weight of shots. Klein starts whining about "stopping missing sitter forehands", which he does the next point afterward.
Peta Pan who was there as well, was cheering Machado on, she clapped a bit louder than usual and cockchimp Klein was seething. Some of the other Aussie qualie players were standing near us watching the match and were quite satisfied that Machado gave Klein a good beatdown in the last set. The "kaffir" comments definitely have not endeared him to his peers, which is surprising I guess.
Kavcic vs. Soeda
This match had the Silver Fox Sanguinetti coach of Soeda and the first match of the year for the animated Slovene. This was a very hard fought match with extended rallies. Kavcic didn't play a very smart match, he was always hitting to the open court and Soeda runs everything down always leaning to that side, yet Kavcic only went back behind him once in the whole match and won the point while doing so. Kavcic was using his forehand to set the play up and move Soeda around and he was trying to make the play for the majority of the match. Soeda kept getting everything back and frustrating the hell out of Kavcic who was commentating on every point. He had the break in the 1st set and was unable to hold onto it, a mix of passive play when in the lead and his dogged opponent. Soeda plays a better tiebreak and wins it, while Kavcic is getting pissed off. Soeda calls for the trainer and gets a massage on his legs, allegedly it was an injury but it was cramps.
Kavcic tries to make him run, but struggling to get the balance right between the dropshots, lobs and the drives as Soeda keeps making shots. Kavcic keeps his cool long enough to get the 2nd set. The 3rd set is more of the same plenty of grinding with both guys trying to dominate off the forehand. Kavcic creating the chances to break, but can't hold the break losing it straight away. Kavcic through some quality defensive skills and errors from the tiring Soeda breaks for 5-3, but plays a clown game to get broken. The self commentary gets louder and louder, but Kavcic manages to hit a winning shot to take the match, which he came close to blowing badly.
There were only about 5 Kavcic fans and most of the crowd were Japanese and Kavcic's coach wrote at least 25 pages of notes on this match.
Dustin Brown vs. Klec
Dreddy had enough money to afford the plane ticket as it has not been easily financially for him on the tour. The hair was immaculate and the game was very varied, there were some chip shots, a few dinks, then some big forehands and lobs, then some of the biggest and easiest misses. Dustin was getting a bit fired up there and he was doing his swearing in German. It was one of the matches, just happy to get it over with. At times he served well, then at others the big serve went missing as he and Klec traded breaks, but Dustin was able to focus long enough to get the win.
He was doing well off the court as well, but that's no surprise.
Malisse made the 2nd set harder for himself against Kuznetsov, he really should qualify comfortably here and it's a relief to him that he is back out there playing on the proper court and not the law court.
Nadal was around watching Marc Lopez play, it was the time I left that match, but there is evidence he was there as Peta took pics. Big Sam Querrey was watching DY and personally I love the fact he just lopes around the place and doesn't get pegged for a tennis player. Matosevic as well smiling the whole time I saw him, but maybe I should have mentioned Seppi's serve that irritated the hell out of him.
Last of all the regal one "The King" Oscar Hernandez was there in all his splendour and showing his caring nature watching as many of his countrymen as possible.