Day 2, the fun day where there were so many matches that I wanted to see but couldn’t. Thankfully there was help in the form of Sammy. It’s usually not problematic when the matches are on close courts, this wasn’t the case today.
Robert vs. Fratangelo
This was a brilliant performance from Robert, the shotmaking was on fire from both sides. As he hits the ball so flat when he’s on then it’s a joy to watch. He has cat like movement, it looks like he is not in position and then pow a forehand or backhand down the line winner. Thankfully there were plenty of them.
Fratangelo was just smoked and he knew it. Next round for Robert who plays the Rajeev Ram who was the beneficiary of a Kevin Anderson retirement who was doubtful before the event. So a huge opportunity for both in the next round.
Millman vs. Schwartzmann
Mailmain broke in the first game but Schwartzmann broke back immediately. The match was hard fought until the dramatic and unfortunate ending.
Schwartzmann settled better and controlled the rallies for the first two sets with clean hitting especially backhands down the line. Millman retreated to at best a passive position in the court or at worst negative. Apart from staying injury free the biggest factor in his improvement is the greater weight of shot, it’s when to use it.
Millman had chances in the 2nd and couldn’t convert. It looked like a straight sets win for Schwartzmann but Millman is known for his fighting tendencies. He hit with some better length, scrapped his way to the tiebreaker and managed to win it.
Schwartzmann gets some treatment on his hand and then halfway through the third game he collapses with cramp and heat exhaustion. Since players can’t get treatment for cramps at a non change of ends, then those games are forfeited. When the umpire called time Schwartzmann not being able to move, he conceded another two games hence the 5-0 scoreline.
It was so disappointing for Schwartzmann that he had to retire and sure Millman got the W, you don’t want to win it like that. He apologised to Schwartzmann, his coach Prieto and showed genuine sportsmanship which is everything to be expected from Millman. Schwartzmann will be fine and that Aussie sun is a brutal beast.
Gimeno-Traver vs. Smyczek
Smyczek is the classic solid American hardcourt player. He’ll do well in Challengers, have a couple of good runs at ATP events to keep his ranking.
While DGT has superior weapons, the big serve and forehand but as the courts are much quicker than in previous years he struggled with his timing. Smyczek is the player you have to beat, not someone who will fade away when struggling.
The second set was the only time where Gimeno-Traver was able to serve well enough and use the forehand to push Smyczek back. The 3rd set was close until some very cheap errors including an easy mid court forehand which the American took advantage of. Once he held for the 3rd set there was only one winner from there.
Giraldo vs. Young
This was on a very small court but with some boisterous Colombian fans providing some fun atmosphere. Giraldo actually played quite well apart from the set he lost.
He was thinking he could just tee off on the groundies when he was in no position to do so. In other words classic Giraldo but after the match he was very receptive to the Colombian fans afterwards which was great.
Rosol vs. Daniel
This was a very close and high quality match for the first 4 sets. This was the first time I’ve seen Taro Daniel play in the flesh. Can definitely tell he went to the Spanish school of tennis, this is not a bad thing. The forehand is big and the backhand is solid. The serve he doesn’t use his height effectively and he can get rushed on the forehand side.
Both players started within themselves and playing many extended rallies. Rosol does strike the ball cleanly but his early attempts at dropshots were almost Igor Andreev like landing on the service line and they were duly punished.
Rosol takes the first two sets as the conditions became a bit slower and cooler which helped Daniel who was unfazed by losing the sets. He served fairly well and was hitting some excellent backhand as Rosol’s level dipped slightly.
Daniel fighting hard manages to break eventually in the 3rd set. He’s getting more confidence and Rosol for the most part was solid mentally, though of course he was doing his usual niggly tactics with questioning any call.
The Japanese youngster has a solid match temperament which is an underrated skill. Both of them besides being tough to break, made some challenges that even Federer would have been embarrassed by they were so awful. Daniel manages to take it to a 5th set and the crowd are loving.
Rosol plays some good shots to get the early break and keep the crowd from riding Daniel home. The early break took the wind out of Daniel’s sails and the extra experience of Rosol was enough to get the job done.
Great to see Brian Baker on court after the injuries. He wasn’t here for tourist purposes. Showed some excellent tennis and just hope he doesn’t have any more injury issues.
Tommy Robredo is tougher than $2 steak.
Today this video is the perfect way to end this entry and as a tribute to Rafael Nadal.