Thanks to the poor weather yesterday, there weren't too many matches today. They were the ones that were incomplete from last night or didn't get to start.
Plenty of drama today though in spite of the small quantity of matches. There was a bit of rain around early, nothing too serious but enough to stop play with the slippery lines. Best of all the organisers did the right thing and put the 2 main matches I wanted to see on courts next to each other. Got a core workout from turning the body to be able to see both matches.
De Bakker vs. Brown
This was the highlight pick of the 1st round of qualie matches and it didn't disappoint. Both of these guys had poor 2011s for different reasons.
The match played out fairly typically with Brown hitting some huge slapshot forehand winners, dropshotitis was rampant why hit the conventional when the dropshot is so much sexier. The drive forehand volleys around the knees. De Bakker was solid from the back, hitting some good dropshots of his own but more consistent and this was what got him over the line in a very hard fought match.
This match definitely had the highest per capita rate of good looking ladies that turn up to Aus Open qualies, normally there are only about one or two good ones, maybe it De Bakker's Dennis Bergkamp cat like moves that they were to see. De Bakker is in a pretty tough section, especially when there are certain sections of the draw that aren't strong at all.
Žemlja vs. Gremelmayr
Gremelmayr started off very well, using his forehand to dictate the play and working Žemlja around who wasn't too interested in moving his feet. The rain delay came at the right time for Žemlja just after the first set, cause he was getting run around big time.
In the second set Žemlja started serving better, but while he was creating a multitude of break point chances he was finding it difficult to break since Gremelmayr decided to become Goran Ivanisevic and start hitting aces break point down, he saved 7 break points with aces alone, impressive for a guy who doesn't have a massive serve. Žemlja was getting frustrated with Gremenisievic but managed to stay calm long enough to get the tiebreaker.
Žemlja had the momentum and an early break, had a few chances to get the insurance break where Gremelmayr kept up the seving exhibition. Gremelmayr besides serving huge when he was down was killing Žemlja with the dropshots, which Žemlja was always going crosscourt. Gremlin either hit the open court or lobbed him for a winner. Žemlja was able to get the final break being aggressive on the forehand and stepping in on short second serves, then served it oout comfortably.
Zopp vs. Ignatik
Hewitt = Legend saw most of this match whereas I only saw parts, so he'll give you a better and more detailed description. Ignatik early just wasn't making errors at all from the baseline and hitting some class volleys. Zopp just kept hanging in there and saved 5 match points. Ignatik took a timeout at *7-7 0-15 and was also getting coached. Great win for Zopp, he had good support there as well.
Naso vs. Reid
This was a very tight match, not exactly the best quality. Reid has a big serve for a small guy which he was using well and Naso was fighting hard. The real issue in this match was on Reid's match point after an extended rally. Naso hits a backhand down the line which was called out from the linesman, he starts walking over for the handshake. Reid is about to celebrate and then the overrule from the chair umpire on the far side. It's very hard to tell that was a clear mistake and the overrule was delayed.
Reid was about to argue didn't bother, but once Naso got the final break then it was all done served it out easily.
Jaziri vs. Smyczek
Have never been impressed with Smyczek and this hadn't changed. Jaziri was irritated with the conditions, but can see he has some ability and the game is clearly suited to the clay.
Davydenko and Kavcic were training together, there were a few people who still recognised him. He was low profile when he was top 10, will be interesting to see what court assignments he gets if not playing one of the bigger players.
Tomorrow will see Lacko/Bedene, Crugnola/Phau, Luczak/Nielsen, Žemlja and Ghem matches, then again who knows how it will end up