Australian Open Day 1: Djokovic and Federer Safely Into Second Round

There was nothing too unexpected happening in Melbourne yesterday aside from the fact that the 17th seed Paire were upset in straight sets and that Karlovic withdrew due to injury. The top two seeds in action yesterday, Djokovic and Federer, both won in straight sets.

Djokovic defeated Chung who I was quite impressed with 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 while Federer made short work of someone called Basilashvili 6-2, 6-1, 6-2. I couldn’t watch Federer’s match as well but Basilashvili is ranked 118th so that’s about the scoreline you’d expect.

As for Chung, his singles ranking is 52 and this was the second time I saw him play since he lost in three tiebreak sets to Stan at the US Open. He looked very comfortable out there not intimidated by his opponent or the stage he was playing on.

His shots are unorthodox and I don’t remember him approaching the net once. Just a player with good movement and baseline consistency. Kind of like Djokovic but, of course, Djokovic has many more dimensions to his game.

He made Djokovic work for it and to win nine games against Djokovic in which could be considered Djokovic’s own back yard and his best surface is a bit special. Sure it was only a first round, but like I said Chung didn’t show any nerves.

He played like he belonged there and he is still only 19 years old. So I think this player has a great future ahead of him and he is a lot of time to add more dimensions to his game and become more complete.

So, in the end, good starts from both Djokovic and Federer but certainly Djokovic had the bigger test and he passed with flying colors. It’s a bit harder to tell with Federer but, at least, it seems he is over his health problems.

We should get a better idea about Federer in his next match when he plays Dolgopolov who defeated Berankis in four sets, but especially if he plays Dimitrov in the third round. Dimitrov had a straight set victory over Lorenzi who just won a challenger.

Dimitrov ended up losing in the Sydney final to Troicki but it was a terrific match that Troicki won 9-7 in the third set breaker so it could have gone either way. So it looks like Dimitrov could be a decent test for Federer if he keeps it together mentally.

Djokovic, on the other hand, plays Halys next and I think we could see some more bakery products here.

  • Elsewhere in the Draw

Thiem won his match against Mayer which I was happy to see but he made things an awful lot harder for himself than it should have been. He looked very good until 6-2, 5-4, and 40-15 but then dropped serve and ended up winning 6-2, 7-6(8), 4-6, 7-6.

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I’m loving the new Nike attire, you?

That’s a hell of a lot more complicated than it should have been but I have known for some time now that there are question marks around Thiem’s mental fortitude. But he is still young and he does have a very nice-looking game.

Then Kyrgios defeated Carreno Busta 6-2, 7-5, 6-2 which is a decent win and a third round between him and Berdych could be interesting. I’d like to see Kyrgios make a strong run to the quarterfinals at least.

  • Update: Djokovic Refused $200k to Lose a Tennis Match

I usually try to stick strictly with tennis but I just had to say something about this. I think it’s a fucking disgrace that the Australian Open is accepting money from the William Hill gambling company amidst new evidence that tennis is rife with match fixing.

Djokovic has admitted since 2009 that he was offered $200k to lose a match and for more evidence you can look at this and this article. For the challenger level players, there is an especially strong incentive to fix matches since all the big money goes to the top guys.

They stand to make huge sums of money by tanking only one match. So if you have such an uneven spread of prize money why wouldn’t you fix matches? I know I wouldn’t but you can hardly blame lower ranked players who try to eek out a living.

Personally, I don’t even accept money from betting sites who contact me and offer me money to advertise on my blog. I hardly make any money whatsoever with this blog. In fact, I have just taken down my Adsense ads which were bringing in small change.

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And yet, I refuse to take filthy gambling money. I don’t believe in gambling because it is people who are trying to get something for nothing and I don’t believe in that. It is against my principles. But apparently it is not against the principles of the Australian Open.

They have no problem accepting money from the William Hill gambling company. So essentially they are saying gambling and match fixing is ok. What kind of message does that send to the players? Just your typical bullshit double standards you see all over the world.

Look no further than Hillary Clinton who vows to end Wall Street’s corruption if she is elected president of the US and yet she takes millions of dollars from Wall Street in campaign donations.

What kind of world is this that we live in?

  • Highlights

The is in your court.

 

Posted in Australian Open, Grand Slams.

8 Comments

  1. WOW. My prediction about Nadal came off alright, and spectacularly so! The match started about 4am today where I am so I set an alarm for about 6am to see how it was going, and it was a set-all and Nadal up 4-3 in the third with a break, so I was thinking that he had the match under control and went back to sleep. Then I woke up to actually get up and saw it was into a fifth set, and just had time to listen to the commentary on the BBC Website (BBC Radio 5 Live) and it sounded like a brilliant fifth set from Verdasco, I’ll have to go looking for highlights now. Nothing altogether unexpected when it comes to Murray, Federer and Djokovic, they were all widely expected to win easily. Federer with a slightly tougher match tonight against Dolgopolov.

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  2. You predicted Nadal would lose to Verdasco? Well done! I would have thought it’s over when Nadal went up 2-1. Verdasco is so talented though he can beat anyone on any day.

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    universal123 Reply:

    No not that good. I predicted he would lose before the QF.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Ah. Still right, though! I thought he could make QF but like I said with Verdasco you never know. That’s why I mentioned it as one of the first round matches of interest. What an epic it turned out to be! Sad I couldn’t watch it but, at least, there is Youtube.

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    universal123 Reply:

    I heard one of the statistics from the match: Verdasco hit 90 winners. That’s just absurd, even over 5 sets. Sure he made a lot of unforced errors, but he also hit one forehand winner in the fifth set after about 4h 30m into the match that was clocked at 111mph. Just unstoppable at that speed. Doesn’t matter how fast you are or how good you are at hooking the ball back into play, in order to return a shot like that, firstly you need to see it, then have enough time to react, then take your racquet back and attempt to block it back. Nearly impossible. Anything much upwards of 100mph on a groundstroke that is well placed is unreturnable I think by definition, unless you just happen to guess right, stick your racquet out and the ball goes over the net. It happens to everyone every once in a while, where you are up against someone just playing out of their mind and not giving a damn what the score is or who they are playing, just playing great tennis. Albeit in this case Nadal gave him too much chance to attack, it would still have been a tough match with Verdasco in that form but Federer and Djokovic wouldn’t get pushed 10 feet behind the baseline struggling to put any depth or pace on their groundstrokes, Djokovic would take the ball earlier and Federer would start crowding the net. Either way they would both probably have won in that situation. Murray maybe not, as he has the tendency to sit back, and is vulnerable to being blown clean off the court like that.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Yeah looks like Verdasco started zoning at 0-2 in the 5th set. Not much Nadal can do about that.

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    universal123 Reply:

    Yeah there is a limit to what anyone can do when someone is lashing winners at 100mph or more and serving over 130mph into the corners consistently.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Verdasco is unplayable in that mode. Just unreal firepower.

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