Thursday, February 5, 2015

Australian Open 2015 Final Thoughts

I left the last blog before the end of play in Melbourne, and thought I'd add a couple of last notes: Djokovic/Wawrinka Semifinal: I think both men came out with an "Oh, no; not HIM again!" attitude, and who could blame them? Their last few matches have been brutal battles down to (and even past) the wire. I don't think either man wanted to do that again, and it showed in the noticeable sub-par performance in this match. Novak wanted just a little bit more (or Stan a little less), and the final set was anti-climactic. Murray/Berdych Semifinal: Berdych needs to grow up if he's going to win a Slam. The Big Four are not going to give up without a huge fight, and attitudes better suited to junior tennis aren't going to cut it against them (just to be fair, Murray's girlfriend needs to do the same). Women's Semis: Didn't watch. Don't want to listen to screamers. Knew what was going to happen. Men's Final: Djoker simply outlasted Murray, draining him to the point that there was nothing left to give. And, yes, Murray also needs to grow up some more if he's going to vie for a place in history with the Big Three. He needs to take the time and make the effort to shore up a dismal (by pro standards) second serve, especially against the best returner currently playing, quit his incessant whining and go about his business in the manner of Novak if he expects to win again. Women's Final: See notes on semis above.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Australian Open 2015

I've watched as much of the Aussie Open as my sleeping schedule will allow (on the US East Coast, that's tough!), and I've been impressed and disappointed a lot, as I'm sure you have been, as well. Following are some of my faves (and worsts) #1 Disappointment: Roger Federer failing to move past the 3rd round. I hope Roger's extended season last year (playing the Davis Cup finals and the Indian league) were the reasons he lost early in Melbourne. Granted, Seppi played a career match, but Roger should take him every time like he had before. If Roger had won the 4th set breaker, we might not be having this discussion right now, but... #1 Surprise: Madison Keys making the semis. Finally displaying what many hoped for her, Keys poster 3 impressive wins in a row: upsetting Wimbledon champion Ptera Kvitova, followed by a gut check back-up win over Madison Brengle, then taking out a resurgent Venus Williams in the quarters. Can she beat Serena and make the finals? Unlikely, but stranger things have happened. #2 Disappointment: Simona Halep. I had high hopes for Halep, even picking her as my dark horse to win it all, but then she put on a strange display against Ekaterina Makarova, barely appearing to make a professional effort in losing 4 & 0. I hope this is just a matchup problem and not something we'll see from Simona all year. # 2 Surprise: Stan Wawrinka still in the tournament. I thought the pressure of defending would get to Stan, but he's proven to be a resilient returning champion. I look forward to another classic match with Djokovic in the semis. Miscellany: Nadal appears to be out of form still, and I hope he has no lingering effects from last season. He looks lost to me right now. Venus Williams may be making a late-career resurgence. Best of luck to her. Tim Smycek made more friends in defeat than he ever could have in victory. As usual, can we PLEASE STOP WITH THE SCREAMING, LADIES?