Very mixed day this one. It was very frustrating at the beginning because I didn't see a point of the Tsonga vs. Kavcic match.
There are specific reasons this happened, but the nicest thing that will be said that there was an admin error. Stupid Saturday at the Aus Open is the worst day when the crowds are at their largest, nearly impossible to see matches on the outside courts especially if Tsonga is playing.
Could not see Kavcic in his biggest match at a Slam, it doesn't matter the result whether he won 1 game, 1 set. Just wanted to see this moment, but wasn't able to due to no fault of my own. It was a fantastic week for him, hope he can build on it.
Seppi vs. Cilic
Thought this was a tough but winnable match for Seppi and thankfully I was able to get into see the last 2 sets after all the crap beforehand.
While Cilic was leading 2 sets to 1, never really felt that Seppi was out of the match at all. It's about managing the momentum shifts and Seppi managed to keep hanging in there and was able to take the 4th set.
Cilic gets the early break in the 5th set for a 2-0 lead. The absolute turning point to this match was Seppi holding the service game for *1-2 when apart from the last point he basically served a game of second serves and the Seppi second serve is still a liability.
This was huge for Seppi who got confidence from serving so poorly yet holding on that game. He stepped up his game, became steadier and Cilic was leaking errors from both sides. Seppi's improved durability backing up from a long 5 setter against Istomin in the heat served him well and while Seppi did improve his level, what was disappointing was the Cilic performance in the last set leading 2-0 and then losing 6 games in a row.
Seppi now plays Chardy for a place in the quarter finals this is a massive opportunity for him. Seppi isn't the most naturally talented player, but has maximisied his potential, kept working very hard at his game to be the best player he can. The rewards came last year and started the year in an impressive manner, better he than a ballbashing buffoon like Chardy, who won't back up the big win in the next round.
Raonic vs. Kohlschreiber
Raonic is looking even more like Chief Wiggum than usual. This was a very comfortable win for Raonic especially after he won the first set buster. He was in good serving rhythm and hitting huge kickers to Kohli's backhand who couldn't return the serves at all.
With the first set down Raonic was able to use the serve and forehand combo to dominate from the baseline. Kohlschreiber looked like a little kid at the beach with sand kicked in his face by Raonic.
Simon vs. Monfils
Hahaha, what to say about this match. Not really sure words could do justice. It was so hilariously bizarre that it had to be watched until its completion for the sheer ridiculous nature of it.
These guys thought it was a hitting drill just paddling the ball back and forth without too much pace. Yes, they had a 71 shot rally, plus a few in the 40 stroke territory. Tactically Monfils isn't known for his mensa like abilities and this will be highlighted later on.
Simon likes pace, so Monfils wasn't trying to give him any well so the theory looked like. The first 4 sets there was more pushing than a woman giving birth to sextuplets. As bad as this was, it was still more watchable than a WTA match or when Simon played Robredo in Bercy.
Monfils with the ham acting early one, he loves the drama and the clowning as much as an alcoholic loves alcohol. He claimed he was injured and then Simon while leading 2 sets to 0 actually takes an injury timeout. You'd have to be a pretty big douchecanoe to take a timeout when leading 2 sets to love if you weren't injured.
Simon always looks like he is asleep or there is something wrong at the best of times. After the timeout Simon was just existing on court running now and then, whereas Monfils can't actually say he was playing better than before, not even he could stuff these 2 sets up against a guy who looked ill and was cramping.
The bizarre nature of the match where both looked like they were gasping for their last breath, the nonsense paddling rallies and general surreal nature of watching this deserved a 5th set. Simon got slightly more energised and Monfils not exactly sure what to do about this and ironically the tennis was more watchable in this set.
Monfils showed why he is a tactical genius. Yes, it's hard playing a friend or someone who is ailing, but the ball is still round and yellow, it needs to be hit. Instead of moving Simon around the court, a few times side to side, then go in behind that corner to test whether he can turn or not. Perhaps some drop shot and lob combos as well. No, the genius decides to hit up the middle of the court.
Simon fighting through all this crap and gets it done. He still doesn't know how he won this match and probably better off not knowing how either. Monfils well he can always join the circus. Yes, Simon will be fodder for Murray as per usual, but the fact he won such a bizarre and hilarious match will make this event memorable.
Should those two be charged for bringing the match into disrepute, well not sure about that. The fans who paid their tickets for this should be given free tickets.