Another day down at the Aus Open and well tomorrow the doubles starts, so I will watch some funny combos who are there for the pay cheque while waiting for some singles matches to start.
Giraldo vs. Hernych
Big Santi played a solid match wasn't making too many errors but Hernych with his 1mmm net clearance was definitely helping with his timing off. To expose Giraldo's defensive weaknesses can't be making cheap errors. There was a very good Colombian contingent out in the car park to cheer him on.
Giraldo served well and with Hernych continuing to miss, it was a very comfortable win for Giraldo in what could have been a danger match. He has never done that well in Australia or Grand Slams general. I do hope the likable Colombian wins a title this season though it won't be here at Melbourne Park.
Granollers vs. Robert
Robert had a few break points in the opening service game but was unable to convert them. In the next game Granollers was able to convert his chance and this set the tone of the match. This was always going to be testing for Robert and he'll know have an excellent indication of where he is at physically and at a tennis level.
It was quite a good match overall with Robert trying to change direction regularly mixed in with some junk. Granollers doing his best wall impression and the exquisite grunting on that sexy slice backhand was a sight to behold. He's an unorthodox player but a tough one to play against. They had extended rallies though both were willing to come to the net.
The main difference in this match was that Robert wasn't able to serve well enough to start from a dominant position in the rally and Gruntollers had too many looks on second serve. Overall apart from the serving Robert should be happy with that performance.
On a side note Fernando Vicente still looks like Maxi Lopez.
Cuevas vs. Bachinger
Cuevas has not done well in Australia and this was a dangerous qualifier. Bachinger was serving huge and as the courts are quicker than previous years he was able to rush Cuevas who wasn't able to get into a rhythm.
Playing the big servers one can't get too pissed off there are usually small windows of opportunities to break but these have to be taken. The major turning point in this match was the first set tiebreaker at 2-0 on Cuevas's serve. He hit a good kick serve was able to get Bachinger on the run, hits a forehand winner and umpire calls a let as a ball fell out of the ballboys pocket. Cuevas isn't thrilled and from my position it didn't look like anything distracting but Bachinger later said that it put him off. Cuevas then tanked the tiebreaker and was grumpy for the rest of the match.
Bachinger played an excellent match rushing Cuevas into error feeding on his frustration. At one point Cuevas smacked a ball out of the court into one two courts away in the third set to release some frustration. Too bad Cuevas couldn't draw Estrella Burgos or Saville but the big Bavarian was just too good though Cuevas's backhand is still a sexy shot.
Bautista-Agut vs. Thiem
Best match of the day considering Thiem was a bit underdone. The young Austrian started with an early break and was able to run through the first set. Thiem definitely loves the Fernando Gonzalez forehand takeback, though he'd love the power of that forehand. Bautigol hung in there and was able to win the extended rallies and the fact he had a good week in Chennai plus his extra experience got him over the line.
Javi Piles the ex coach of Ferrer had his first off season with Bautista-Agut will be interesting to see if he can take him further. If Bautista-Agut makes the top 10 then he has definitely overachieved in relation to his ability though we know Piles was able to get Ferrer to number 3.
It's a big season for Thiem but he has a good team around him and should be able to consolidate and Bautista-Agut should be fine as well.
- Nieminen was quite solid but Golubev was playing at the level of someone who bought their wildcard into the levels of Futures qualifying.
- The Fog seems like he was out here for tourism purposes.
- Kavcic is having issues with the foot he had operated on before. They still can't find out what the issue is.
- Rola has had an ordinary start to the season. All Mannarino needed to do was get the ball back and he'd win the points.
On that note the man, the Steve Buscemi lookalike, the Fiorentina man aka Paolo Lorenzi finally won a Grand Slam match. Lorenzi besides the Steve Buscemi looks and great flair for fashion has a limited game but has made the most of his ability unlike say The Fog.
There were rumours about Dogs balls Dolgopolov withdrawing from the event but they were just that. He hadn't practiced for 3 days there were conflicting accounts of the seriousness of the issue but Lorenzi winning a Grand Slam match is great for the sport.