Tuesday, January 15, 2008

First Round wrap-up

Because Melbourne is 19 hours ahead of us, live play takes place overnight, and even though I'm off work and a huge tennis buff, I am not staying up all night to watch Oscar Hernandez blow out Ivo Minar. Kind of a bummer tonight, as my tourney favorite Maria Sharapova is playing Lindsay Davenport today. Davenport left the game for about 2 years and had a baby, but now that she's back, she's only lost one match. Got her work cut out tonight though. But I digress...
The first round saw the demise of my pre-tourney dark horse and Aussie favorite Chris Guccione. So tough for young players to break through, he lost to a quintessential grinder named Hyung-Taik Lee. I actually saw Lee play live a few years ago; no big weapons, but mentally tough, consistent throughout, and really experienced. That's a perfect storm to knock out a young upstart. Another perfect example of this phenomenon is what happened to John Isner yesterday. Isner is 6-10, played at University of Georgia then turned pro last summer. He started out ranked 849 in the world; three months later, he had exploded up to 109 in the world, and took a set off Roger Federer at the US Open along the way. Yesterday, however, was his turn to face the oldest player still on the tour, Fabrice Santoro This cat will slice and dice anybody, and yesterday was Isner's turn. Believe me, Isner's hoping he never faces the dude in the multi-colored stripety Lacoste shirt again.
Tomorrow night will bring us a match that will be a real treat to watch: Federer vs Santoro (see my preview entry). While no one expects Fed to have much trouble, I promise, you won't see a match with more creative shotmaking all this year, if ever. Tune in if you can!

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