Sunday, January 20, 2008

Halfway Done with the Australian

Action has just begun on the second week of the Australian Open, and as we get ready for the stretch run, a look back on some of the first week highlights is in order...
Thus far the hands down highlight has been the television coverage by Tennis Channel and ESPN2. Never has a tennis tournament been so comprehensively covered with multiple matches on the radar at any time, the best broadcasters, and hours of coverage every day. I really feel like I've been able to sink into the tournament, not just follow superficially. Now that the inimitable Dick Enberg is in the booth (right now he and Patrick McEnroe are calling the Federer/Berdych match), things are only going to get better.
The Men's Draw Aces:
-Jo Wilfried Tsonga blasting his way into his first Grand Slam quarterfinal
-Janko Tipsarevic stretching Roger Federer to the limit before falling 10-8 in the fifth set
-James Blake coming from two sets down to move into the second week
-Fabrice Santoro's smile
The Men's Draw Double Faults
-Andy Roddick not finding the extra gear a champion needs to top a player he should beat, losing to Philip Kohlschreiber in 5 sets
-Mardy Fish absolutely melting down after one bad call, falling to Jarko Niemenen after breezing through the first set
-the five set thriller between Marcos Baghdatis and Lleyton Hewitt having to end.
The Women's Draw Aces
-the Williams sisters marching through the draw towards a potential showdown in the finals
-local favorite Casey Dellacqua giving the home fans a thrill by beating Amelie Mauresmo
-a slew of new faces in the second week: Domachoska, Kirilenko, Wozniaki, Radwanska
The Women's Draw Double Faults
-#2 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova playing like she'd never been in a Grand Slam before, losing a third round gag-fest
-Elena Dementieva's serve (or lack thereof) It's been years of this, go practice for goodness' sake!
-Sania Mirza having to play under the shadow of a potential prison term for taking her shoes off. I just get the feeling things are going to end badly for this courageous woman.

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