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OT: Australian Open

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wire chief

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The 1st major is racing through its Monday. Some big names among women, Ivanovic, Kuznetsova & Lisiki,
have been bounced.. Andy Murray has just completed his 1st rounder, and now the TV returns to Rafa.
Roger and Maria are evening matches, for us 3am. No Williams Sisters until tomorrow.
 

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Count Kerber & Safarova among the female heavyweights who crashed on opening day. Men seeds have held.
Espn2 resumes coverage right after Tn/ND.
Venus will start about 1:30 am & Serena at 3am.
After the Williams, we most know of our Sloane Stephens, who has fallen out of the rankings
after a mediocre 2014. She's paired today with Vika Azaranka, also unranked due to injuries.
Totally unpredictable match.
 

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Well, Vika beats Sloane, whose trajectory remains downward.
Meanwhike it's just announced that Venus will take the court about 11pm EST
 

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Maria S. had to save 2 match points in her 2nd round match to win 7-5 in the 3rd set.
Roger drops the 1st set to Simon Bolelli of Italia, but prevails in 4. Rafa on now.
 

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Rafa has completed his 2nd round, but in a fashion that may worry his fans.
After 4 houea+ and 7-5 in the 5th vs. a qualifier, he's obviously barely working himself into form.
After winning last year's French, time off and nagging injuries have resulted in several losses to low ranked guys.
He'll likely be one of the major stories at the Open, so long as he keeps winning
 
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Maria S. had to save 2 match points in her 2nd round match to win 7-5 in the 3rd set.
Roger drops the 1st set to Simon Bolelli of Italia, but prevails in 4. Rafa on now.
I caught part of that match. The commentators were talking about Maria's shrieking after the match. They said you could hear it from 200 yards away. lol
 

BigBird

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I caught part of that match. The commentators were talking about Maria's shrieking after the match. They said you could hear it from 200 yards away. lol

I don't quite understand why, but I do like watching Maria play tennis. She is SO intense in her game. I am also impressed by the fact of her having come to the U.S. At an early age (10?) and mastering English. And she supports various youth tennis programs in Russia. I wonder how much longer she will play on the pro circuit. She certainly doesn't need the money.
 

triaddukefan

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My favorite female player to watch is Taylor Townsend. Disappointed to see that she lost in the first round, though she had a very difficult matchup.
 

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The 1st week of a major will always provide big name match ups, because a player has been off the tour or recently recovering from a malady.
So unseeded Vika meets the Woz at 3 am.
Venus kicks off the 9 pm TV opening(EST) vs. fellow American Lauren Davis. She'll share screen time with 6th ranked A. Radwanska
and top American John Isner.
Meanwhile Serena gets Vera Zvonareva in a match around 11pm. Vera used to be important, She played the Year-end final vs.
Venus a few years back, but we don't hear much about her nowadays. She's one of the old ladies, just past 30 and now ranked #168.
 

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Venus replay of Lauren Davis match is just starting on Tennis Channel.

Azaranka's victory of a fading Sloane Stephens doesn't seem like a big deal, but in the 2nd round she took ot top-tenner
Caroline the Woz to give notice she is back. She has AO victories, so players must take her seriously.
 
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Azarenka looks to be peaking. She'll be a serious threat to almost anyone she plays. Madison Keys played well after a mediocre first set; Coco Vandeweghe was solid throughout, getting the upset against Sam Stosur. Pretty good tournament for the American women so far.
 

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While Australia sleeps I sadly report that halfway through Round 3, Roger Federer is gone, dispatched by the Italiano Seppi in 4.
Roger doesn't ask us to weep for him, because he is still tickled pink to play high level tennis. No doubt he feels the chance to win another Wimbledon is still there. I doubt he entertains strong thoughts about the French.

Meanwhile American men's tennis still looks weak with only John Isner and Steve Johnson(who?) left after 2 rounds.
The women are faring better. There are still a Coco, 2 Madisons, a Varvara and THE SISTERS left.

We should get Serena about 9pm EST on the deuce, with Venus earlier, at 7 on the Tennis Channel.
 

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Man oh man, I'm drained.
After 2 1/2 hours Venus is through to week 2. Her nobody-knows-her opponent Camilia Giorgi is ranked 33 and 23 years old.
We're told she's never won a tournament, sleepwalks through the minor tourneys, but comes alive on big stages.
Boy did she ever. The announcers call her hot and cold, and, man, did she ever bring the heat.

We don't see Venus forced to play behind the baseline. but that's what Camila constantly forced with strokes harder than Venus hits.
It took too long for Venus to step back also on her opponent's 1st serve. Giorgi doesn't give you much on the 2nd serve, which is why she had 15 double faults.

Venus did break her once in set one, but lost her service twice for a 6-4 deficit.
Things continued similarly in set 2, as our hero looked up to see she was behing 3-5. That can't look good.
But predictions held, as Camilia turned on the cold spigot and lost in the tie breaker 7-3.
Now Venus jumps to a 2-0 lead, when Giorgi adjust hot and cold into an 11-deuce game-- serve, unforced error,
magnificent angle shot etc., double fault, ad infinitum, and finally won it.
But it was the last game she would take.

In her brief interview the elder Williams seemed to say that she has come out of the match not spent, feeling OK.

Now she faces her first genuine heavyweight in 6th seeded A. Radwonska, who must be very hungry for a major, having come close berfore.
The last time they played, Venus lost. Radwonska doesn't give you hot and cold. She's steady, great retriever, clean striker.
Venus won't have to handle the same power she faced today, but needs to be prepared for wiliness.
 

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Two-time Wimbledon champ Petra Kvitova has been bounced by our own Madison Keys, turning 20 next month.
One break in each set gave her the victory in 2. It's her 1st 4th round entry in a major. She'll play again on Monday, Australian time.

They'll be Madison vs Madison then, as Ms. Brengle defeated fellow American Coco V. in straight sets.
 

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As we'd guess, the last American men are defunkt.

Serena, like older sis, lost the 1st set, but came back strong. Next up is a 24th ranked Spaniard.
 
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I just saw the Kvitova-Keys match on ESPN3. WOW! What incredible power and confidence demonstrated by Madison Keys knocking off the #4 seed.
 

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The round of 16 starts with Cibulkova vs. Azaranka, 7pm EST on the Tennis Channel
Serena kicks off about 9pm on ESPN2.
The War of the Madisons will take place whenever StanWarinka's match expies, maybe 1am.
Venus & A. Radwanska is the featured night match, 3 am our time.

As I type, Dimitrov and Andy Murray are 1 all in sets and on serve in the 3rd.

Happy viewing.
 

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Dimitrov was up 5-2 in the 4th set and went on to lose the set 7-5, and the match. Can't believe he was broken 2 straight times by Murray.
 

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Well, my bioclock is all asunder, since I was in front of my screen from 3 to 6am.
Anyway, Venus started well, producing controlled power and well handling Agna's serrve for a 6-3 1st set.
In set 2 her opponent was very accurate on 1st serves, and Venus' forehand troubles of old crept in. We say uh oh at such times,
because such lapses have historically continued into a 3rd set.
Happily, not this time, as Venus righted herself, and Radwonska increased unforced errors. The ancient Venus prevailed
6-1 in the last set to reach her 1st quarter in almost 5 years.
There are so many aspects of Venus worth admiring, not the least of which is a so far masterful confrontation
of her auto-immune disease to maximize what is possible in spite of it.

Anyway, here's a synopsis of the rest of the day.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/201...-ten-australian-open-venus-williams.html?_r=0
 

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Seventh-seeded Eugenie Bouchard of Canada is about to meet Maria Sharapova, #2.
They'll start on the Tennis Channel, but ESPN2 will pick it up after the Carolina/A&M game.
 

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As you recall, Rafa is at this contest with a long lay off, including some losses leading up to the Open
as he comes out of hibernation. His skill has put him through the early rounds...until he ran up against
the Czech Tomas Berdych. Rafa won only 2 games in the 1st 2 sets, but found himself somewhat in the 3rd.
Notwithstanding, Rafa out in straight sets.

The best Canadian player Eugenie Bouchard has fallen in straight sets to red hot Maria Sharapova, whose ranked just below Serena.

I thank the Aussie schedulers that I won't feel the need to be awake at 3am again, for the Venus & Madison Keys match will be tonight at 7, our time(Tennis Ch). The top 8 are supposed to be in the quarterfinals, but the anomaly here is Venus is #18 and Madison is unseeded.
It happens. Anyway Ms. Keys (no relation to Alicia) was, before the Aussie, just one of a handful of possible up-and-coming Americans, most typifyed by Sloane Stephens. A week later she is definitely on the radar, known now for the fastest stroke in the tournament.
Not yet 20, is she legitimately the new guard?

Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia, seeded 11th, knocked off Vika in her attempted comeback. She' in her mid-20's and been around awhile with some good Majors results. She is Serena's opponent about 9pm on the deuce.

There's never been a top ten Japanese until Kei Nishakori, finalist in the 2014 US Open. He's up vs. last year's Aussie winner, Stan Warinka,
Swiss countryman to Roger, who lately is exceeding the former King of Everything. Now we are in the wee hours of TV watching, about 1:30am.

Day 10 conludes (about 3:30am) with the best Canadian man Milos Raonic going vs. heavily favored Novak Djokovic.

As I type, the last Aussie hope Nick Kyrios is 2 sets down to Andy Murray, and Murray poised to serve for the 3rd.
...And does so.
 

VAMike23

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Venus just starting her match against Madison Keys, on serve early in the 1st set.
 

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FYI for what it's worth, Rafa and Vica can't lose enough for me. Easily my 2 least favorite players in tennis...
 
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