Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Winners

by Savannah

The final between David Ferrer and David Nalbandian at Auckland was one of the most anticipated on the Road to the Australian Open. Ferrer is known as a pit bull on the court and Nalbandian, looking Nalbandian fit, had been playing very well of late. Instead of a knock down drag out brawl on the court Ferrer routined Nalbandian in straight sets 6-3, 6-2. Nalbandian still goes into Melbourne as one of the dark horses and is expected to go deep.
Althought it's "only an exhibition" Kooyong has long been a feather in a players cap and is one of the favorite stops on the way to Melbourne. This years final was between Lleyton Hewitt and Gael Monfils. In the end it was Hewitt who defeated Monfils. Monfils had both knees taped. Does Hewitt have it in him to get to the second week at Melbourne? Like Andy Roddick in the United States Hewitt is carrying Australian men's tennis on his shoulders. To say the Aussies would be ecstatic if he has a good showing is putting it mildly.
The other reason for cautious optimism among the Australian tennis establishment is the maturation of Jarmila Groth. I saw most of her match with American Bethanie Mattek-Sands who now, thanks to Alicia Molik, has a bulls eye on her back. Mattek-Sands could not handle the wind at Hobart though and it was Groth who held up the trophy in the end. Groth looked like a world beater but Bethanie was hardly in the match. Both women are expected to do well in Melbourne.
Guy Forget was second and third guessed about his choice of player for the fifth and deciding rubber in Serbia during the Davis Cup final in December. He's going to have to answer more questions after last nights final at Sydney. Gilles Simon defeated an emotional Viktor Troicki 7-5, 7-6(4) coming back in both sets. Simon was down a break in the first set, down a double break (0-3) in the second and was broken at 5-5 and still won in straight sets.
The news from this final was not only the win by Simon.
On the way to defeat Troicki broke his racquet, kicked the net and abused a lineswoman for calling a foot fault on him. He's seen above mocking the woman by offering to shake her hand. I apologize but I couldn't wait up for this match. The stream was taking a long time to load and I threw in the towel. The amazing thing about Troicki's little tantrum is that he wasn't given a penalty for any of it. Steve Ulrich called the match and I guess he was into a "boys will be boys" frame of mind. It remains to be seen if any fines will be levied against Troicki.

Doubles Results
The team of Marcel Granollers and Tommy Robredo defeated the team of Johan Brunstom and Stephen Huss at Auckland 6-4, 7-6(6).
At Sydney Lukas Dlouhy and Paul Hanley defeated Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan 6-7(6), 6-3, 10-5.
On the women's side the team of Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci defeated Kateryna Bondarenko and Laura Dekmijere 6-3, 7-5 at Hobart.

Congratulations to all the winners.

In a change some are saying is long overdue Maria Sharapova announced that Michael Joyce is no longer part of her team. She will play Melbourne under the guidance of Thomas Hogstedt. Joyce had been Maria's coach for 6 1/2 years but after Auckland it was decided that they needed a "break" from each other. Players rarely shake up their teams leading into a Slam and this split, sorry, break, comes on the eve of the beginning of play in Melbourne.
If nothing else it shows that Sharapova wants to be a contender in week two.


vw said...

I watched the Troicki match. It was during the tie break and Viktor got called for a foot fault. Viktor clapped as if to say good job for having an eagle eye during tie break.Then he walked up to the lady and offered to shake her hand again to say good job for having the eagle eye, which she did. It was all very calm and if you were watching it was all sarcastic. The very next poing another judge called Gilly's ball in and hawkeye said it was out so Viktor gave another cynical look as if to say --yeah your line judges suck, see?

Craig Hickman said...

It's always been my understanding that line judges are to be exempt from any contact with the players during a match unless it's an incidental one. (A player chases down a ball and runs into one, etc....)

But to approach a line judge in anyway to dispute a call, even sarcastically, was entirely off limits.

Or perhaps I just think that's the way it ought to be.

A picture is worth a thousand words. If you didn't see the match and yet all you saw was that photo, it makes perfect sense to imagine something untoward occurring.