Yes, it's that time of the year where the Australian Open adventure has ended. It's very rare that I go to the second week of a Slam in other words very similar to the majority of players that I like, but you have to enjoy those moments.
Better get the rubbish out first before writing about the positive aspects. The venue continues its necessary expansion but the challenge is now to get the balance right between expansion and the "Happy Slam" moniker which is what they're trying to achieve. In the first three days there were way too many people in the grounds to the point where it was uncomfortable at times, there were deep queues to matches which in reality shouldn't have had that many people. Then there is the shade issue to the point where some people were just sitting at the back of the courts not moving, nor taking an interest in the matches. There are way too many people who go to the tennis just to say they've been there and not remember a match that they have seen.
The Aus Open website and app were awful. Normally the functions of a website and app are for it to work efficiently and accessibility of information. The previous versions there weren't major issues and worked well unlike the 2018 version which was rubbish, required three updates during the event. Maybe they will need to cap the ground passes but there isn't a chance of that as long as the event generates more and more money then the side effects are just that. The organisation aren't lacking in financial resources, the reduced dining options in terms of quality and quantity are issues that can be solved easily, the other ones require a lot more desire to address the problems.
Cabal y Farah
Onto tennis matters now watched the animated Colombians Cabal and Farah smash Paes/Raja. As a team they've never made the Masters Finals in doubles, their Slam record doesn't do them justice. This is an opportunity for them to improve on the Slam record do so they're playing the retiring Sam Groth and the man who won't retire Lleyton Hewitt, it would be good to shut the local crowd up and Hewitt may finally retire.
Seppi vs. Edmund
Huge opportunity for both to make their first Slam quarter final. Seppi started serving well and was moving the ball around as the best way to play Edmund is to keep him off balance so he doesn't have time to set up the huge forehand which is massive weapon. Edmund wasn't playing that well but he was fighting hard and got it to the tiebreak. Seppi played a solid breaker and took the 1st set and broke early but as we know in tennis it's not a break of serve unless you hold. Seppi played a sloppy game and Edmund was able to break back. The second set took on more significance it was important that Seppi to take it as Edmund starts playing better. At the 12th game Seppi hardly gets a first serve in and his second serve has always been a weakness which was exposed big time as they landed in the middle of the box with nothing on them as Edmund punished these serves with his huge forehand to take the set.
This was the momentum shift as Edmund is playing more aggressively and pushing Seppi around the court. The Italian was just outhit and even the little bits of luck were going Edmund's way and Seppi doesn't have the game, his slice isn't short enough to bring Edmund off the baseline into uncomfortable areas or deep enough to keep him back. Edmund wants to be in the backhand corner drilling forehands all the day once he got the momentum and confidence and was able to do it, the few half chances Seppi had he wasn't able to convert. The last two sets were comfortable for Edmund and well deserved win, he was the better player and able to execute his game plan.
Seppi winning the Canberra Challenger last week and a fourth round appearance in Melbourne has been an excellent start to the season, as long as there are no injuries then he should be fine. If he can finish in the top 50 then that would be a very good season, that's the one thing no one can say seriously about Seppi is that he hasn't maximised his potential which is all you can ask of a player.
Tennis wise the results weren't bad with Seppi and Schwartzman making the 4th round, Fognini strutting like he owns the universe, foot faults called on second serves through the centre line. Johnny Millman defeating Coric, always good to see him on the court, please have an injury free year. Stephane Robert please make main draw next year as the game needs characters and Dreddy Brown qualifying for the main draw. Mikey Russell doing a great job so far with Ryan Harrison. Kavcic to have a year without injury among other things.
The best thing besides watching matches are the variety of people from all over the world that you meet, so going to do a few shout outs. These are no order in preferences, first of all there is Alex the Swedish legend who decided to start a website Tennisportalen in Swedish but is expanding into English with a podcast named after an underrated shot The Block Return Podcast will update in my links when it's active. Valentin, the Swedish Romanian coach who taught me a lot of things and really hates early preparation which makes sense when it's explained.
My younger siblings no, we are not related it's just we've been at this event for so long though we hardly see each other come main draw as they're at different matches. Love your work Kristen and Peta, but that's as obvious as night follows day and pineapple not belonging on pizza. Dave the man from South Tyrol who keeps introducing me to members of the Ladin mafia, he's a great guy who I met through super coach Jamaican Mikey who is always entertaining noticing things half an hour before they happen. The fab 4 Lance, Sean, Arthur and Darko these guys grind through qualies, know what is shit and isn't in tennis world and red card to that arseclown complaining about opening a chip packet. Mr. Qureshi good to see you man and the kids as well, never know in 15 years they maybe playing at the Open. Lizia always great catching up with you. I got to meet this incredibly salty and feisty Korean lass Joanna, have to say I only have positive memories of the experience even though it was so fucking hot, but glad she came to Melbourne finally got to see del Potro and Federer play maybe next time she'll get pics.
Thanks to the very few readers I have of this infrequently updated and odd blog, quality is always better than quantity. I appreciate the very niche market and unlike that clown that impersonates a journalist I'm not going to twist stuff to get more retweets, nor think Slams should be best of 3 sets or have a tiebreaker in the 5th. There are many shit things about tennis, so it's important to embrace the qualities that make it unique
Last of all one of my best friends Sammy he had a difficult 2017, so I was happy to see him back at the venue where we met. He loves the game and was there to lift the mood when I needed it and was grumpier than usual, also he co writes the reports because the matches I want to see, normally there are on at the same time when the WTA goes too far or not long enough. There is enough crap that we have to deal with in our own individual situations, so it's important to some positive influences ah the simple things.