Well that is another Australian Open done and yes I had a good time in spite of the growing corporatisation of the event. It's always expanding and Bogan Saturday is still awful, this is when the tourists came in got pissed and annoyed tennis fans but it brings in the bucks so it will keep happening.
Stepanek vs. Kavcic was the best match of qualies and easily comparable to anything in the main draw. I always enjoy qualies because you see a real mix the youngsters who are making their way in the game. Yes, Novak Djokovic qualified for Slams so there is the potential to see new talents at an early stage.
There are the guys who are coming back from injury or have lost form chasing former glories. The Challenger players who know the points can help the ranking and making draw at the Aus Open was a 50K payday definitely helps financially.
Ah! Nico Almagro made news and not for the right seasons. As I wasn't there for the match and I couldn't see what happened but he withdrew after 4 games. Sometime as a player they feel Ok in the warm up and then go out to play but realise they can't do it. What would people rather he tanked 0,1 and 0 or he retired when he did.
This brings me to the ATP an organisation that I have criticised in the past and will continue to do so in the future. However they have bought in a rule which in theory is a very good one. A player who withdraws after the main draw will still get the prizemoney for the 1st round, while the Lucky Loser will play for the points. Obviously if the Lucky Loser wins then he gets the 2nd round prizemoney, it's to prevent injured guys taking spots in the main draw taking the cash when they can't play. Next, let's see if they can stop the retirement from singles and then playing doubles.
Great for the tournament that Djokovic and Murray lost early. It brings a different atmosphere to the event and you could hear the cheers on the outside as they lost to Istomin and Mischa Zverev respectively.
Since they are using a much lighter and faster ball, plus the courts are a bit quicker this has had influence on some of the results. At the same time the game is in a pretty solid state that they can experiment with quickening up the faster courts, of course they aren't going to be like the old days when they were glorified ice rinks.
A Zverev in the quarter final isn't surprising it's just it was meant to be Alex and not the older brother. Mischa has a very funky forehand but he has a big point of difference as players aren't used to the serve and volley. The fact hititng with his little brother and seeing his progress motivated him to come back. Can't say it was a bad decision.
An 88 year old lady to John McEnroe.
"I enjoyed talking to you in Adelaide".
JMac : "Well that's one person".
On John McEnroe, well he definitely isn't a Trump fan at all. However what he said about Kyrgios was that he didn't try in the 4th set, not that he didn't try in the final set. The journalist who asked Kyrgios was shit stirring and it's an easy target as Kyrgios takes the bait. As for who will coach him, it's an interesting challenge and Rasheed is champing at the bit to do it, but Rasheed really is a fitness trainer.
Think I might even follow a couple of results from WTA from now on and no I won't be writing about. I did manage to get an interview during my time here and it's a good one. Just needs to be transcribed.
The venue keeps expanding and for the most part they are doing a good job. The fact the Australian Open is the Happy Slam is a reasonably accurate description. Roland Garros has the best surface but the venue is so small and they need to expand for the amount of people that want to go there. Wimbledon, the place is like a church and churches aren't fun. The US Open well it's Zoo York, 5th set tiebreakers, the distance away from Manhattan is an issue. The Aus Open everything is central and easy to get away.
Apart from seeing tennis I got to meet a legendary guy Alex who came out from Sweden for the show. Met some great old friends and some new people who for the most part were great. Had an interesting discussion about how the Futures level prizemoney is a joke and how unsurprising it is that a lot of the match fixing is happening at that level.
John Millman was looking sharp for his commentary role while he is recovering from the hip issue. He is going to take the protected ranking and come back in April. Matt Barton "The Ginger Tsonga"", yes he knows the nickname is still hilarious. Chris Guccione the block return is still awesome and appreciates the fans.
The tournament staff are class, the drivers, information people. Best of all there is one prick who doesn't like seeing me around the place, so as I left yesterday I told him "Don't worry I am out of here today, but I'm back next year".
Most of all thanks to the crazy people who follow this rather nche blog.