Australian Open Tennis Days 1 and 2 from the Aussie mens corner.

22 Jan


Day 1 and the first Aussie to hit the courts was Greg Jones – the big-serving tall right hander from New South Wales. In the draw courtesy of a wildcard Jones was drawn against fast rising Ukranian star, world number 13 Alex Dolgopolov. Jones got off to a flying start with the Show Court  crowd behind him taking the first 2 sets. Jones needed to get the trainer to treat his blisters – one of the curses of hardcourt tennis – and of 5 set matches at the change of ends following the second set. He lost the next 3 sets to go down 1/6 4/6 6/1 6/1 6/2. Close – but no cigar and Jones may well rue this missed opportunity.

The only other Aussie in action (apart from Bernard Tomic -whose memorable 5 set epic over Fernando Verdasco is treated in more detail on another page) was young Ben Mitchell. Fresh out of juniors Mitchell found himself drawn against the 16th seed John Isner from the USA. All 6 feet and 10 inches of him. And with a monster serve to match, Isner is one of the new breed of super tall athletes on the ATP tour. Mitchell would have salvaged quite a lot from his straight sets defeat, and was far from disgraced. He went down 6/4 6/4 7/6.

HEWITT – the battle begins.

No surprises in who put in a tenacious and gritty performance – yep Lleyton Hewitt got through in a roller coaster 4 set performance against unheralded – but certainly won’t be for long – young German Cedrik-Marcel Stebe. The German lefty looks like a schoolboy – but his size and appearance belied the aggressive shot-making and power from his racket. Stebe is one to watch over the next few years as he adjusts to the demands of the senior ATP tour. Hewitt was resolute and exuberant in victory. His celebration on his back in the middle of Rod Laver Arena gave little away in how much this meant to him following a frustrating year of surgery and pain.

Truth be known little Lleyton was not giving himself much chance of being able to play. BUT – once he takes to the court then his fighting qualities surface and off he goes again through the wall of pain. Lleyton found himself in a battle – up 2 sets, but with a momentum swing going against him faster than the king tide of the Bay of Fundy. Stebe took the 3rd  and raced to a 5/1 lead in the 4th set. It was still 35 degrees, and the only thing that had cooled off was Lleyton. But like he has done so many times throughout his 15 year careeer on the tour, Hewitt dug deep and found the inner self-belief and will that has been his trade mark. He reeled off the next 6 games straight, killing off the momemtum and the challenge from Stebe. Hewitt in 4 sets – 7/5 6/4 3/6 7/5. Perhaps Paul Kelly should pen a song for Lleyton as he has done for Don Bradman and Shane Warne – would go something along the line …” his big heart has broken his little body…”

In what was a good day for the Australian men, young Aussie James Duckworth showed he is ready to take the next step and advanced with a polished performance against Estonian qualifier Jurgen Zopp in straight sets to set up a meeting with Serbia’s Janko Tipsarevic. Matthew Ebden also had a good victory taking out Brazillian Joao Souza. Ebden looks in great shape and you really can see the result of all the hard work he has been doing in off court preparation. Not so lucky but still giving some early hope was Marinko Matosevic. He went down to french excitement machine Gael Monfils. The first set there was some great rallies of power hitting from both players, and Matosevic did not look out of place at this level. He needs to work on both the physical and mental side of his game as he fell away a little too easily in the end. Still the promise is there, Monfils in straight 7/6 6/3 6/3.

to view all player rankings check out this link.

The PRO.

One Response to “Australian Open Tennis Days 1 and 2 from the Aussie mens corner.”

  1. sallyparrott January 23, 2012 at 11:40 am #

    Reblogged this on Words with Wings: Elevating writing and commented:
    If you follow The Australian Open and the tennis tour you may want to take a look at this informative blog from a Pro on the inside!

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