Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Australian Open week 1

It looks like Nadal is bringing his A-game to the Australian Open. I wasn't quite sure how the time off after Paris last year would effect him. Nadal, seems to be incredibly focused at the Australian Open and he's adjusted well to the change in the court's surface. He's kept his points shorter and has actually been coming to net more often than usual. Nadal has also changed his look for the Australian Open. Instead of the sleeveless look with the long shorts, he's changed to a crew shirt with shorts that are maybe a little shorter.:/

Like Nadal, Gilles Simon also came to play at the Open. Simon, has had strong performances in most of his matches, taking down opponents like Guccione, Ancic, and Monfils. Simon, has really become a different player since his breakthrough during the summer hard court season last year, he's now a serious force to be reckoned with. I don't like has chances against Nadal in the quarters but a quarter-final finish is still enough to keep him in the top 10.

Roger Federer, seems to be continuing his 2008 performance, he looked shaky against Berdych and was lucky that Berdych self-destructed halfway through their five set match. I'm not sure how Federer is going to do from this point forward but he's got some tough opponents still left in the tournament. Can he make it past Del Potro, Roddick or Novak and Nadal to win his 14th grand slam title? I don't know but if Roger does win he will equal Pete Sampras's record of 14 grand slams won during his career. I would like to see this happen because it could be many years before a player like Roger comes around again.

Another player I'd like to talk about is Verdasco. I was surprised to see him defeat Andy Murray. I saw the last two sets of their match, Murray looked burned out and unhappy. Verdasco was by far the fresher of the two, despite being down two sets to one. Verdasco, got an early break in the fourth set which helped level the match out. The fifth set was very close, there was one game where Verdasco was trying his best to hold serve but every time he got the advantage Murray would come up with a great shot and force the game back to deuce. It was a very intense, exciting match.

Bernard Tomic, made his grand slam debut and managed to make the second round before losing to Gilles Muller. At 16, Tomic is in the same position that Donald Young was a couple of years ago. The new guy on the tour and a player with tremendous potential. I'm hoping that Tomic will have an easier time making the adjustment to the pros than Young had.

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