There’s something in the air at the Australian Open this year.
Something really special.
Or maybe, there’s something in the weather.
For Day 1, 2 and 3 of the event so far the weather has been, well, pretty decent weather for tennis.
A few rain spots here and there but no significantly disrupted play.
And certainly no freaky hot temperatures causing the extreme heat rule to be invoked and the roof to be shut on Rod Laver Arena or Hisense Arena.
In fact, from a weather point of view, there has been very little for the players to complain about at all.
Could it be the conditions that are bringing out epic tennis left, right and centre? Or is the field fitter, stronger and less injury prone than previous years?
Whatever the reason, the tennis so far this week has been incredible.
Sixteen five setters already.
After just three days.
That sure is a Whole New Level.
And some amazing tennis in the women’s draw too.
The most memorable for me being the epic between Ana Ivanovic and Ekaterina Makarova, which the unseeded Makarova won 3-6 6-4 10-8
5 Set Men’s Matches Galore in the First Three Days. 16 in Fact.
Give Me More!
Roger Federer d Gilles Simon 6-2, 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, Round 2
Federer playing five sets in Round 2 of a Grand Slam, with a chance of losing?
Ridiculous! Or not.
I went out for dinner last night thinking this match would be over in three, or a maximum of four sets. Federer was on track for the win in the first two sets.
Then bam, Simon whipped out some smashing form to win the next two sets, making his fans and entourage face the possibility of a Grand Slam where Federer goes out early.
After five match points, Federer eventually won in five sets, saying after the match:
“He’s a great player first of all so matches against him are never easy,” said Federer. “This is the first win I’ve had against him, every time we played we go the distance, so hopefully we don’t play each other any more. It was really important to get the second set and from then on it was a tough match, it showed what a great mover, return player he is. It’s great to play against him, I really enjoyed myself out here tonight, it’s really special, and obviously I’m really happy.”
David Nalbandian d Lleyton Hewitt 3-6, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(1), 9-7, Round 1
It might have just been the luck of the draw when Nalbandian and Hewitt came up against each other in Round 1.
Or maybe it was fate.
With both men in great form here were huge expectations for the quality of this match. So much so that there was a possibility of a massive let down if one of the players didn’t bring out their absolute best.
But this match was definitely lived up to expectations.
Lletyton had the chance to go two breaks up in the fourth set and set up a win but Nalbandian didn’t let that happen and pushed through to force a fifth set which he eventually won.
Top tennis guys.
Fernando Verdasco v Janko Tipsarevic 2-6, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(0), 6-0, Round 2
Verdasco fans, me included, were nervy about having to say good-bye when the ninth seed dropped the first two sets to Tipsarevic.
Luckily for us, but not so lucky for Tipsarevic, Verdasco found his form and came back to win in five sets. The score line in the final set was 6-0, with Tipsarevic saying that by that point, he was exhausted.
Nicolas Almagro d Igor Andreev 7-5, 2-6, 4-6, 7-6, 7-5, Round 1
Fourteenth seed Almagro certainly didn’t get an easy Round 2 victory over Andreev but eventually made it through to the next round.
Jo-Wilfred Tsonga d Philipp Petzschner, 4-6, 2-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4, Round 1
The mighy Jo-Willy dropped the first two sets and it seemed like it could have been all over for him but bam, he turned it around and won it the hard way. In five sets. And gave the Tuesday night crowd at some fabulous entertainment along the way.
Gael Monfils d Thiemo de Bakker 6-7(5) 2-6 7-5 6-2 6-1, Round 1
It looked like being an easy win for de Bakker who had a chance to close the match out in three sets. But no, Monfils will be around for a while longer after he came back to win in five sets.
De Bakker had a medical time out during the fourth set and talked about an injury after the match so maybe that was the opportunity that Monfils needed.
After the match Monfils commented: “I think it’s the first time, yeah, I come back from two set down and even a break. So, yeah, I think it’s a great win. So I’m happy with that.”
Baghdatis d Zemlja 3-6 7-5 6-1 4-6 6-2, Round 1
This could have been one of the easy first round matches for the lovely Baghdatis, seeded 21. But no, Slovenian qualifier Kemlja pushed Baghdatis to five sets in nearly 3 and a half hours. Read more.
Baghdatis now faces Del Potro.
Lukasz Kubot d Sam Querrey 5-7, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1, 8-6, Round 1
Kobot upset 18th seed Querrey on Day 1, putting him out in the first round of the Australian Open, which has happened now for three years running. Read more.
More Five Set Round 1 Matches
- Pere Riba d Carsten Ball 1-6 7-6 6-2 2-6 6-4
- Andrea Seppi v Arnaud Clement 3-6 2-6 7-5 6-3 6-2
- Tomaz Belluci d Ricardo Mello 7-5 7-5 4-6 3-6 6-3
- Mardy Fish d Victor Hanescu 2-6 4-6 6-3 7-5 6-3
- Federico Gil d Pablo Cuevas 6-4 6-7 4-6 6-3 9-7
- Philipp Kohlsschreiber d Tobias Kamke 1-6 4-6 7-6 6-4 6-4
- Ivan Dodig d Ivo Karlovic 6-4 3-6 6-7 6-4 6-4
- Albert Montanes d Dustin Brown 6-4 6-2 3-6 2-6 7-5
Wow! That’s a lot of hours of top tennis already.
Keep it coming Aus Open!
Grand Slam Gal
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