1. The first women’s semifinal was nothing but disappointing–I have all the respect in the world for Ekaterina Makarova, and she certainly earned her spot in the final four. But it’s always a bit frustrating when someone makes it that far in the tournament who is completely out of their element, whether due to the stage or the match-up.
I just don’t like to see players make the semifinals who don’t believe they can win the whole thing. It happens frequently, on both tours.
2. That being said, keep slaying, Sharapova. The five-time major champ has looked lethal since that Panova match.
3. The Serena Williams vs. Madison Keys match was the most dynamic and intriguing 7-6, 6-2 match I’ve ever watched. I stick by what I said during it–Keys made a few too many errors in this instance to take down the 18-time major champion, but l firmly believe that she has the game to take down an in-form Serena in the future.
l feel like we’ve taken a step up with the break-out teenagers the past three years at the AO. Bouchard had the mentality to handle the breakthrough much better than Sloane did, but Keys seems to have the hunger, the team, and the game to keep moving forward. I’M EXCITED.
This 1-5 game, by itself, is my favorite Australian Open match since Seppi-Kyrgios.
— Brian Phillips (@runofplay) January 29, 2015
4. I wrote about the upcoming Serena Williams vs. Maria Sharapova final for Bleacher Report. There are a few reasons to think that things could be different for Sharapova this time, but it’d be surprising if this wasn’t No. 19 for Serena.
5. So, Murray and Berdych had a pretty #hormones-filled encounter, thanks primarily to the focus on Dani Vallverdu.
— Courtney Nguyen (@FortyDeuceTwits) January 29, 2015
There were staredowns and words exchanged during changeovers and Kim Sears stole the show by, well, doing this:
Andy Murray and his girlfriend look like they love a good swear https://t.co/EsAqDfOG5N
— Richard Ösley (@RichardOsley) January 29, 2015
At one point, during the change of ends after Berdych won the first set over Murray, Berdych said something as the two passed and it upset Murray and so Murray whined to the umpire, which was bizarre.
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) January 29, 2015
Oh, and to top things off, Berdych complained a lot about soft balls during the end of the first set, giving tennis its very own #deflategate.
Anyways, here’s what the guys had to say about the on-court soap opera:
Q. What was the issue with the balls in the first set?
ANDY MURRAY: I don’t know. He was the one that had the issue with the balls. It wasn’t me.
Q. That was one of sort of several incidents. Felt like a very incident-packed first set. What happened at the change after the end of the first set? You said to the umpire that he said something to you as he walked past.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I don’t know what he said, but he said something literally as we were walking right past each other change of ends. I don’t know exactly what he said. I just told the umpire that he said something to me and that was it.
Q. You mentioned in the on-court interview there was a lot of extra tension related to Dani.
ANDY MURRAY: Guys wanted there to be. You wanted there to be tension. It’s completely normal for that to happen. I sat in here the other day and got asked more questions about Dani than I did about the match I just played. So you wanted there to be tension. Yeah, because of everything that’s gone on it’s kind of a natural thing to happen. If you learn how the brain works, it’s completely natural for that. So kind of expected, and, yeah, had planned for that to be the case as well.
Q. There seemed to be an extra needle or tension in the match. Did you feel that?
TOMAS BERDYCH: No. I mean, it was a big match generally. That’s how it is, I mean, when you’re playing Andy Murray for a semifinal of a slam. What else you need to get more attention? So I think it’s a big match anyway, and that’s what I felt on court.
Q. You exchanged words after the first set. Do you remember what happened there?
TOMAS BERDYCH: I really remember that, even though you can see that, that I just won a set. I say to myself, Well done, Tomas. That’s it. That’s what I said. I think I’m allowed to do that when I win a set. That was it.
Q. Were you surprised he was upset by that? Andy started complaining about that to the chair umpire.
TOMAS BERDYCH: No, I mean, I was not really looking at it at all. What, I have to be worried about every word that I’m going to say? I mean, I just pumped myself up for winning a first set and that’s it, then sit on the chair. I’m not really looking left or right what’s going on. I just keep focusing myself and that’s it. Maybe next time I should stay even more calm and that’s it. But, no, I mean, I was just doing my stuff and that’s it.
6. Andy Murray clearly felt slighted that people were making such a big deal about Dani’s coaching of Tomas in the lead-up to this match, and leaving Mauresmo out of the conversation.
So, like a boss, Murray stood up for Mauresmo and for female coaches after the match. What a guy.
— Australian Open (@AustralianOpen) January 29, 2015
— Andy Murray (@andy_murray) January 29, 2015
7. WELL HELLO THERE, STANLEY.
— Matt Whitfield (@lifeontheMlist) January 29, 2015
8. This is amazing.
— Carlitostennis (@Carlitostennis) January 29, 2015
9. As is this.
How many of you know Lucille by Kenny Rogers?? pic.twitter.com/6hiwgBio2v
— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) January 29, 2015
10. But Tennis Australia having a Davis Cup press conference during the final women’s semi? That was not amazing at all.
poor timing of @TennisAustralia Davis Cup press conference in the middle of Serena vs Keys semi. TA needs help how to market womens tennis
— Pam Shriver (@PHShriver) January 29, 2015
11. Three more singles matches to go. We’ve got this, you guys. We’ve got this.