Liveblogging Day One of the 2014 Australian Open

And so…it begins. The first Grand Slam of 2014 is set to start in just a few minutes (26, to be exact), and I’m beyond giddy. I’ll be updating this post as the day goes along, so remember to hit “refresh” on your browser frequently. I’ll also be using Melbourne timestamps, since nobody really cares what time it will be in Houston, Texas.

Here’s the order of play for Day One, in case you haven’t looked at it. I like to check the OOP frequently during the day to see what results are already in the books, and who’s coming on on what court. It’s a handy little thing, as is the Live Scores page.

If you somehow need a thorough draw breakdown for either the men or the women, well, follow those links.

And if you want the minutes go by a little faster, you might find these interesting:

10:50 AM – This is quite handy:

ESPN has online feeds for all six courts, if you’re in the United States and have WatchESPN/ESPN3 as part of your cable package. It’s a wonderful thing.

11:00 AM – The first live video images I see from Down Under include these kids.


There is barely any sound. Why? I’m watching the Court 6 live stream, since a pretty unique match-up is about to take place here: the ageless wonder Kimiko Date-Krumm is set to play 16 year-old Belinda Bencic from Switzerland, who breezed through the qualies.

There’s a 27 year age difference between these women, which is mind-boggling.

11:11 AM – A bit of trivia:

11:26 AM – 

Robson, who is struggling with a wrist injury, is down 1-3 early. So is Belinda Bencic.

Canada, you are…unique:

11:36 AM – More fun trivia:

Belinda Bencic is back on serve with Kimiko Date-Krumm… but she gets broken again immediately, and smashes her racquet in frustration. The ageless wonder is up 4-3.

11:51 AM – Belinda Bencic has taken the 1st set over Kimiko Date Krumm, 6-4. Here are some quick observations on the top prospect from Switzerland:

– She has plenty of pace off both wings and off her 1st serve. Not a whole lot of variety yet, but that’s not a huge issue with me. She hits very good shots from a lot of places. That’s never bad. She also moves decently around the baseline, and returns serve adeptly (though Kimiko isn’t exactly a servebot).

– At age 16, she’s a very well-rounded player already. An obvious weakness is her second serve, which is a sad shadow of her first delivery. Plenty have landed smack in the middle of the service box with very little pace on them. Still, the service motion is quite sound in general, so I expect the second serve to improve.

– Also obvious from watching her is that there’s a fire to excel inside her. In one set of tennis (that she won), Belinda has managed to yell at her camp, smash her racquet and show all kinds of frustrated gestures. I actually think this is a plus – it shows that she cares, and that she has high standards for her play. Later on in her career she’ll learn that sometimes she’ll need to keep that fire under control, but for now, it’s all good.

As I write this, Bencic goes up 0-40 on Kimiko’s serve to start the second set. However, through various forms of trickery and Bencic errors, Date-Krumm survives.

12:00 PM – No matches have ended yet, but here are a few interesting scorelines so far:

– Kirsten Flipkens is up 6-3, 5-0 on Laura Robson. Poor British journos.

– Pauline Parmentier is fighting desperately to avoid a double-bagel against Katerina Pliskova.

– Young American Steve Johnson is up a set and a break on Adrian Mannarino, 6-3, 3-1

Also, this is very sad about Jamie Hampton:

12:08 PM – Unfortunate bit of British trivia:

12:21 PM – We have our first retirement of the event, it seems:

On court 6, Date-Krumm and Bencic are playing out quite the battle. Set 1 lasted 38 minutes, but the first five games of Set 2 have already taken 31. Bencic has gone down a break twice, and twice she has gotten back on level terms. She will serve down 2-3.

12:28 PM – Ladies and gentlemen, ANGELIQUE KERBER!!!



Unrelated: Kimiko Date-Krumm served for Set 2, got broken. However, she broke right back, and forces a decider against Bencic. This match is a little crazy.

12:42 PM – Sad American tennis news:

That was a Steve Johnson update and now this about Venus Williams:

1:00 PM – We have some final scores!

First, the women:


Nice to see Puig advance so easily. Now the men:


In other results of ongoing matches, we have:

– The Logo is down a set to Dellacqua

– Dr. Ivo Karlovic is fighting for dear life against Dodig, down 2 sets and in a 3rd set breaker. Fails, loses in straight sets.

– Belinda Bencic is trying to serve out the match against Date-Krumm at 5-2 in the 3rd, but fails. Up 5-3 now.

– Venus Williams is up 3-0 in the 3rd against Makarova.

1:10 PM – Belinda Bencic got broken at 5-2, but breaks right back to take the match, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3. Impressive from the young Swiss. Now my stream moves to Hisense Arena, where another 16 year-old WTA prospect, Ana Konjuh, is facing World No. 3 Li Na.

1:36 PM – More trivia (Day 1 is full of trivia):

This thing is so very, very big:

1:44 PM – Sad (but unsurprising) Logo update:

Sad, and somewhat surprising, Venus Williams update:

You do not mess with Makarova in Melbourne.

2:00 PM – Some more final scores. Women first:


And now the men:


My stream is back on Court 6, since Juan Mónaco is already up a set on Ernests Gulbis. In related news, Gulbis has only won one match at the Australian Open in his career.

First thing I notice: Juan Mónaco’s very nice adidas kit:


This news is both bad and good:

Bad, because the ATP rule sucks. Good, because for once, there’s one rule for all events. So there. However…

So, who knows.

2:24 PM – Stan Wawrinka is already done with any post-match routines, and is making media commentary via retweets:



3:00 PM – Some more results coming your way. Women first:


Now the men:





3:29 PM – Appropriate:


Completely unrelated:

3:49 PM –

Some more results:

And this:


4:18 PM – Tommy Haas has a clothing sponsor – it’s Japanese brand ellesse.


Meanwhile, where Cadantu and Parmentier won their battles to avoid getting double-bageled, Petra Martic failed:

4:27 PM – Oy, Madison Keys…

A little later…

This is a funny sequence of tweets:

In case you De Scheepers fans out there were wondering:


4:43 PM – Ernests Gulbis has won just his 2nd ever match at the Australian Open!


Also, I love this:

And some more results:



5:01 PM – Jerzy Janowicz about to come on Hisense Arena, but first, my favorite tweet of Day 1 so far:

5:10 PM – This tweet is only partially correct:

Mannarino won in 5 earlier, Australian Open.

Also, another 5 setter is in the books:

2014-01-13_00135:19 PM – Apparently, Madison Keys is fighting hard to stay alive in the tournament. Had to break back to level the score in the 3rd set to 7-all. No 3rd set breaker for women’s matches at the AO, remember.

In shocking news:

And in slightly shocking news:

5:35 PM – Many kudos to Madison Keys. Surviving this kind of epic struggle is always a great asset for a young player (some of those match points came in the second set):

In completely different news…

And in tone-related news (tone being depressing):

6:09 PM – Oh, Chrissie Evert…

In related news, Kvitova is struggling with Luksika Kumkhum. Down a break in the 1st set. But she’s not the only seed struggling:

Kvitova update (lost the first set 2-6):

6:30 PM – Jordan Thompson is having quite a coming out party, and leads Jerzy Janowicz 2 sets to love. He’s frustrated Janowicz with some fantastic defense and impressive serving, while Janowicz has been a complete disaster, in almost all facets of his game.

In unrelated news, Tommy Robredo is still alive, despite being down a break early and then 1-5 in the fourth set tiebreaker:

And Madison Keys is funny:

7:09 PM – The men’s defending champion is set to take the stage:

Meanwhile, Janowicz and Thompson are in quite a tussle in the 3rd set, and P3tra Kvitova is, well, in a third set. Also, this:

7:43 PM – Novak Djokovic has taken the 1st set from Lukas Lacko, and Jerzy Janowicz has taken all the momentum away from young Jordan Thompson. The Pole now has a break lead in the 4th, up 4-1 now.

In Petra Kvitova news, she broke back to stay alive in the third set, so she’ll serve to maintain that status at 4-5. However, Kumkhum breaks once again, and produces the massive upset.

Here she is, quite thrilled during her post-match interview:


 Here are some more results:

2014-01-13_0253 2014-01-13_0254

Apparently, Rosol served for the match in that fifth set, and had at least one match point. Tough loss to digest.

In unrelated news, Novak Djokovic’s 1st round kit (he’ll probably wear 2 more) is a disaster:


It’s not as bad as what Tomas Berdych wore earlier (and caused quite a stir on Twitter):


But let’s not kid ourselves: Uniqlo dropped the ball here. And just wait until you see the other kits Djokovic will be wearing.

Till that happens, here’s Boris Becker:

8:28 PM – Some more results:

This was nice to see, given how well Pironkova played during her dream run to the Sydney title last week.

Jerzy Janowicz finally woke up and completely dominated the last two sets of his match against young Australian Jordan Thompson, to clinch it 1-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2, 6-1. Jerzy really did go from performing at an F level to an A- level. Looked rusty, flustered, slow, and clueless for 2 sets, but then put together the kind of tennis that makes you think he can join the elite of the sport at some point. Here are some match stats:


Meanwhile, on Rod Laver Arena, Novak Djokovic has been forced to play just the second first round tiebreaker since 2006. Lukas Lacko has been playing well, and managed to survive a few break points that Djokovic manufactured earlier.

Still, Djokovic takes it 7-2, and we’re one set away from seeing Serena Williams on Rod Laver Arena.

Meanwhile out on Court 11:

And on Court 6:


9:03 PM – Novak Djokovic has clinched his first round match against Lukas Lacko, making it now 25 straight wins for him, dating to the end of the US Open. Final result: 6-3, 7-6(2), 6-1.

Here is a barrage of results for you, but it should be the last one, since there are only 3 matches on court right now (and none others are scheduled):

2014-01-13_0411_001 2014-01-13_0412 2014-01-13_0412_001 2014-01-13_0413 2014-01-13_0413_001 2014-01-13_0413_002 2014-01-13_0413_003 2014-01-13_0414

These are the things that happen on the first day of a Grand Slam.

On court, we have Serena Williams and Ashleigh Barty, who are warming up, Dennis Istomin and Marcos Baghdatis (Istomin is up a set and a break), and Nikolay Davydenko and Lukasz Kubot (who are in a fifth set of their very symmetrical match – Davydenko is up 5-3 in the decider).

9:40 PM – It seems Davydenko has finally advanced:


Meanwhile, on Rod Laver Arena Serena Williams is up a break on 17 year-old Ashleigh Barty, and Marcos Baghdatis is no longer down a break in the second set against Denis Istomin.

Unrelated: I’m not a fan of Serena’s dress for this Australian Open:


I usually like most of what Serena wears, but this super pink, strangely shiny thing is a rare flop.

10:23 PM – Ashleigh Barty and her injured abductor managed to take only 3 games from a pretty sharp Serena Williams today. A propos of the World No. 1, a bit of trivia I had no idea about:

Afterwards, Serena had a few nice things to say about Barty, who showed flashes of her immense talents. The WTA, as we know, is just brimming with young potential. If it all materializes, the tour could really experience a nice era in a few years.

Out on Margaret Court Arena, Denis Istomin is one game away from safe passage into the second round. He’ll try to break Marcos Baghdatis’ serve at 5-4 in the 3rd set.

10:39 PM – Denis Istomin ends up beating Marcos Baghdatis in straight sets:


 Denis then apologizes to the extremely pro-Baghdatis crowd for beating their guy. The dude is nice. Played well, too (in the little bit I saw).

So that wraps up the Day One Liveblog. Thanks for following along, or for using it to catch up on the day’s happenings. Enjoy Day 2!

Juan José loves a well struck backhand down the line, statistics that tell a story, a nice lob winner, and competent returns of serve.

3 Responses

  1. Jess
    Jess January 13, 2014 at 12:53 am |

    Li should try youku or sina, Chinese people are so good at finding/sharing online resources.

  2. Andrea Castillo
    Andrea Castillo January 13, 2014 at 9:26 am |

    Amazing review! Thank you a lot! I think Australian Open is the most exciting slam to watch but unfortunately due to time change is always in the night or early morning and i have no chance to watch but with your review it looks like i´m not losing anything! Thank you a lot and what i like the most is tha you use other tweets (Like the Berdych one) Or the not Berdych-bad. Keep going! You´re doing and amazing work here!

  3. SamG
    SamG January 13, 2014 at 11:53 am |


Comments are closed.