This will be my last report from the Australian Open for the year. Yes, it could have been written last night but had other distractions.
Kyrgios vs. Seppi
First of all I have to say that watching matches at Hisense isn't a great experience. Yes, I managed to get a good seat through a bit of cunning, timing and also a lovely usher. The fact that it'a a velodrome doesn't help at all, they really should just close off those sections for seats it's a waste.
Needless to say the court is pretty full and being general admission creates an interesting atmosphere. There was this one guy sitting behind the Seppi camp really cheering Kyrgios very hard. I wonder how many insults were coming from that camp. I ended up watching the match with a friend of Seppis. I figured having 12 fans instead of 10 would help and the seats were in a better spot than where we originally planned to seat.
As the match starts Seppi starts fairly well which is helped by his excellent serving. Kyrgios was up and down unlike their US Open match where he played brilliant tennis all round. Both are holding serve until Seppi manages a break and then served out the first set with a bit of difficulty. The second set continues on the same way with Seppi hitting well from the baseline and Kyrgios with his huge cannon serve getting him out of trouble, some big shots and dumb errors but that's just the way he is. Seppi still remaining calm manages to break, then takes the 2nd set.
Kyrgios takes an early break in the 3rd and gets the crowd into the match. He is very much a confidence player and was a bit uptight in the first 2 sets, this helped free him up a bit. The crowd are starting to fire up, for the most part they are fine but there are definitely a few who fit the description of an arse clown to tee but more on them later. Kyrgios runs out the 3rd set and continues riding the momentum into the 4th set.
Seppi is an excellent competitor while not playing to the level of earlier is hanging around hoping for an opportunity, which is a match point on Kyrgios's serve. The young Aussie just served huge and saved it an instant then followed up some more big deliveries. I was hoping that Seppi would pull off the form in the 4th set tiebreaker from the Fed match this wasn't the case. Apart from Kyrgios's improved play the fact Seppi went a bit conservative in the 3rd and 4th didn't help him. Most of the Seppi errors were made into the net, he was steering the ball and not staying down with the shots.
Kyrgios gets the early break in the 5th set the crowd is going crazy. He is loving it and Seppi isn't serving well at this moment but is hanging around. The King of Kaltern gets a break back and this was from playing more aggressively from the back it was a slight momentum shift. There were a few half chances which one has to take against a massive server which unfortunately Seppi didn't take and Kyrgios breaks to win in an entertaining match.
Fergus Murphy the umpire did an absolute awful job in controlling the crowd and security should have thrown out the gronks that were calling out in between serves. It got so bad that Kyrgios was telling the crowd to shut up and they were cheering for him. Yes, identify the arseclowns and turf them out of the court. Heck in the earlier rounds they turfed out one of the Fanatics, so not like it can't be done. Yes, it was a Davis Cup atmosphere and some were on the sauce thankfully it wasn't Australia Day then it would have been worse.
He is in the quarter finals
It's interesting my non tennis friends have been reacting to Kyrgios in very different ways. It shows that he is able to draw non tennis people in whether it's to cheer or criticise his antics. Naturally people can boo or cheer how they want but if Kyrgios is getting people into the sport then that's good.
Now he plays Andy Murray who should have too much guile and neutralise his serve mixed in with some junk to get Kyrgios out of rhythm.
Berdych vs. Nadal
Well this was a perfect way to end my time at the Aus Open. We all know that Berdych forgot to to bring his balls when he played Nadal after the Madrid 2006 quarter final. Where the crowd weren't exactly sporting to Berdych, the big Czech who isn't known for his subtlety so he gave the "shhh" gesture at the end of the natch. After that he has hardly won a set against Nadal.
As we know the usual excuse from most Rafa fans when he loses a match is that he is injured. It's never a case of any other player was better than him on the day. So he has been ill yes the plague and SARS are hard diseases to recover from. He has been injured, had no preparation. This is lost on some people you take the court then you're fit to play.
Fantastic start from Berdych hitting the ball well from both sides. Daniel Vallverdu who is known for his ability to break down to matches in fine details along with Berdman proposing to Ester there are some changes that might be the thing he needs if he is going to win a Slam before his career is finished. The fact Wawrinka and Cilic did it last year has to give Berdych some inspiration or lit the fuse to get a GS.
It's always been mental for Berdych when he plays Nadal because his game matches up well with the Spaniard. The Nadal forehand comes into his strike zone. Theory is a wonderful thing but it's difficult to put into practice and once Nadal started beating Berdych a few times it had got to the stage where Berdych was rolling over like a puppy just waiting for Nadal to tickle him whenever he wanted.
After the first two sets it was no surprise Nadal was there hanging in and forcing it to tiebreaker. Yes, the feeling was there that if Nadal won the buster then Berdych might have folded like he did against Federer in Melbourne. Berdych hasn't been really tested at this event and the tiebreaker was a good thing for him. The crowd were very pro Nadal but a few of us were happy with the result.
Kudos to Robbie Koenig saying Berdych was going to win today. The main thing now is whether he believes he can win a Slam and if so take the opportunity when it arises.
It was a definitely enjoyable two weeks I had in Melbourne. It's always good to catch up with some old friends and meet some new cool people. Yes, there were gronks but thankfully I avoided most of them. Unlike last year the weather wasn't so brutal which helped in some ways but it meant more people turned up than last year.
Took one of my best friends to the tennis he had never been there before he had noticed that many people who went were only there just to say they've been to the Australian Open. He kept getting asked who was playing on this court, in fact that only happened to me twice but they were nice about it so I didn't troll them with my answers.
On the court after they won a doubles match the on court interviewer tried to interview David Marrero and Pablo Cuevas after their win. It was funny as both didn't want to do it, then Marrero whose English is worse than Cuevas was the one who spoke. Cuevas is just shy when it comes to it. I saw at a training session and asked about that interview, then told them no need to worry you speak better English than Carlos Tevez. They laughed and then proceeded to take the piss out
Fuscovics during qualies had match point against Marchenko and it was an overrule from the chair. Fuscovics not impressed at all then loses the match and Marchenko qualifies. The money and ranking points are huge for those who make the main draw it's something that needs to be emphasised.
As for John Millman with the back, he has a condition where the vertebrae don't always do what they're supposed to. It's something he has to manage and that's what happened in the Mayer match once he got a bit tight then it started restricting. Seems like Blaz Kavcic is going to have the same issues with his foot. It's the one that was operated on last year but it hasn't cured the problem, so it looks like going to be a management issues.
Got to meet Rob Koenig one half of the Dynamic Duo of the Masters Series commentary team. Mr Jason Goodall is here in Australia as well but couldn't get to meet him. He is working with Hawkeye mostly at the tournament trying to arrange packages for ESPN. I'd like to listen to these two commentate on Slams. Mr K put over Seppi big time, good to see someone gets it.
Good to see the Ymer brothers these are young kids from Sweden of Ethiopian background. Elias made the main draw before losing to Go Soeda, this was due to a lack of experience but he has a good work ethic. Hopefully he will get fitter, stronger and improve his defensive skills which help a lot on the main tour. His younger brother Mikael seems to be the more outgoing and best of all they're building his game to do well on the pros seen many players be big time juniors but not able to step up, since what they're doing works in juniors but the next level.
On the final note would like to thank some people Sammy who is a technological Luddite but love his work. Andy you is now a journalist but at least don't go all Ben Rothenburg on me. Phil the Swede who really is a tennis guru any mention of Lars Jonsson or Ulf Stenlund is a winner in my book. The young Ethiopian lad who was always helpful when I needed certain information plus he was delighted when I told him the Ymer brothers were Ethiopian descent, so he got a chance to speak Amharic with them.
Great seeing Lance after his battle with cancer, the Brauman, Arthur and other assorted characters that make the trip worthwhile. Also Petea as she was named by the great man Andrei Pavel. She has questionable tastes in food and finds Ivan Ljubicic hot but she'll always be my sister from another parent. Then there are Murray crew who are always a good laugh.
Kudos to the DJ at Hisense for playing this tune at the change of ends. Yes, it's about Prince aka the Song Formerly Known As
I enjoy coming to this event a lot though it's pretty funny when someone remembers you when they were ballboy and then they're out in the same drinking establishments as yourself. Yes, as long as I am alive that will continue.