Oh Serena. You played a grueling three set match against one of the women knocking on the door of superstardom which saw you come back from three match points and after Elena Dementieva easily takes you out you say fatigue had nothing to do with it?
Come on lady. It's a furnace down there right now. Only someone with super human strength could play a match like you did against
Caroline Wozniacki and come back to win the next day. We know you don't like to lose and that you blame yourself when you fall short of your high expectations. You should know by now though that your blaming yourself publicly comes across as not giving your opponents their due. It makes it easy for nonfans to take potshots at you and fans have to go on the offensive defending your statements.
Kick yourself all you want away from the cameras. I'm not saying you should wear sackcloth and ashes but Elena has played very well so far this year and yes, she has looked like a champion. Look on the bright side. She's played a hell of a lot of tennis coming into Melbourne. Unless she's got superhuman strength she's going to stumble at best into week two. And this is coming from someone who picks her to be in the final four at Melbourne.
So take your few days of non tournament play as a gift from the tennis gods. Nurse your anger at losing. Bring it to Melbourne. See you in the semis.
The Australian Whine
Every year about this time some official from Tennis Australia starts in about the threat from Asia in relation to the Australian Open. Last year the concern was about China swallowing the Open whole and taking it to Shanghai. This year it's about the run up tournaments and the threat from the United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi, Doha) to these events.
The designated whiner this year is Colin Stubs described as an "experienced tournament promoter". He is the tournament director for Kooyong. He has the following to say about the new exho at Abu Dhabi.
Stubs...said Australian lead-up tournaments to the Open may be under threat.
"The jury is out as to whether they will ultimately do so. It might just be a honeymoon period," Stubs told The Australian newspaper.
"We don't know, but at the moment, on the face of it, it looks like we do have an issue to address there.
"It is not only this tournament. Brisbane is in the same boat, as is Sydney and Auckland (in New Zealand)."
Stubs's warning follows increasing interest across Asia in hosting a grand slam event.
Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said recently that the Australian Open would not be lost to Asia.
But the tennis series in Abu Dhabi and Doha have already had an impact on the quality of local fields leading into this year's Open.
"I think the dynamics of the early part of the year have changed a little bit," Stubs said.
"It looks to me as though there is a fair bit of money changing hands in Abu Dhabi and as a result of that, you've got to play Doha.
"Now I suppose they (players) have to reassess what they want to do in this particular week. That is one of the issues."
Seriously I understand his concern. Kooyong has been "THE" warmup exhibition for a long time now and to see it's importance diminished has to be alarming to everyone associated with Tennis Australia. The thing is I've read reports that the ATP is looking for Abu Dhabi to take the place of Mercedes Benz in sponsoring the tour. Would it not then follow that the ATP would encourage the big boys to play in the Middle East? Have you spoken to your peers in Germany? As the folks in Berlin what happens when the folks in the Middle East lose interest in a tournament.
I think that the warm up events have been well populated by top ATP players so far. The field at Kooyong isn't bad given when it takes place. Roger Federer is there isn't he? Oh I forgot that he wants to move the Australian Open to February, something Tennis Australia does not want to do. It would change the face of the Slam with all the young people back in school and all. And I understand the weather is more brutal in February than in January in Australia. Meanwhile it's kind of cool in the Middle East in January from what I saw.
It remains to be seen what happens going forward with the Australian Open.
Australian Open News
I mentioned here yesterday that there were reports in French media that Jo-Wilfried Tsonga's back problem had flared up. He withdrew from Sydney yesterday and now
The BBC is reporting that he may be doubtful for the Australian Open. Tsonga is quoted as saying the following:
"I saw my physio a lot yesterday," he added. "I saw the physio from the ATP. I saw the doctor and they told me it's difficult to play like that.
"I just have to wait and come back on the court when I feel better.
"I can't do anything for the next two days. I will stay maybe in my bed and hope I will be better."
Fernando Verdasco played Roger tough in their Kooyong face off winning a set and forcing a third set. Roger said long matches don't bother him at this stage in his career. The score was 6-3 3-6 7-6 (7-5). You decide. Next up for Roger at Kooyong is his friend Stan Wawrinka.
David Nalbandian took out Lleyton Hewitt 7-6(3), 7-5. Glad to see Carnival is over David.
Well, well, well, look who's working with who in Australia. Guess someone dragged someone out of the Twilight Zone.