1. A bizarre exchange from Jeremy Chardy’s post-match presser:
Q. The history of tennis, I think you are the first Jeremy. How come? Is the name of your family?
JEREMY CHARDY: Jeremy?
JEREMY CHARDY: I don’t know (smiling). I don’t know, sorry.
Q. Did you have other Jeremys in the family?
JEREMY CHARDY: No, first one.
Q. Do you have sometimes someone that suggests what you do in the court because you looked inspired against my poor Italian on the court.
JEREMY CHARDY: I don’t know. It’s too difficult for me.
2. Svetlana Kuznetsova pulled off a great win against Caroline Wozniacki to make her first Slam quarterfinal since the 2011 French Open. It was in some ways similar to the match they played in Sydney, where Kuznetsova outlasted Wozniacki in another three set affair.
Kuznetsova appears to be physically fit and more focused than I’ve seen her look in quite some time. It’s safe to call Azarenka the favorite in their quarterfinal match, but Kuznetsova is a Slam champion who can threaten the very best if she’s in the zone.
3. Nobody in their right mind would’ve picked World No. 36 Jeremy Chardy to reach the quarterfinals in his section of the draw. But the 25-year-old backed up his five set upset of Juan Martin del Potro with a solid win over Andreas Seppi to reach his first Slam quarterfinal. It’s a huge result for the Frenchman, who has only ever gotten as far as the fourth round of a Slam back in 2008 at the French Open. Apart from that fourth round appearance, he hadn’t made it past the third round in a Slam in over four years. He’ll jump up approximately 10 spots in the ATP rankings to around No. 25 from the points he’s picked up by making the quarterfinals.
4. Bernard Tomic’s 14-year-old sister Sara lost her second round juniors match. But she was moved by the support she got from her big brother:
Former Australian Open junior champion Bernard, who was eliminated by Grand Slam guru Roger Federer last week, flew out of Melbourne and missed Sara’s match. But he sent her a text to inspire her for the challenge.‘
He said ‘Work hard, focus on what you need to do and you can do anything’.
“I had tears in my eyes with him saying that.”
1. Roger Federer checks betting odds. During his post-match interview after his swift three set win over Milos Raonic, Federer was asked about last night’s Djokovic-Wawrinka match, and went on a rant about how the odds given to Stan were disrespectful. Who knew the ex-IMG client paid attention to those things.
2. Svetlana Kuznetsova is back! Wouldn’t it be hilarious if the erratic Russian won the Australian Open? If she’s at her best, that quarterfinal match against Victoria Azarenka could be an absolute cracker. If she’s not, it will be over very quickly. Interestingly enough, Kuznetsova holds a 4-3 edge in their head-to-head.
3. Apparently, Jeremy Chardy can make Grand Slam quarterfinals. The 25 year-old with the No. 30 career-high ranking will meet Andy Murray in a couple of days. Interestingly enough, Chardy beat Murray the last time they played each other: it was a 4 and 4 win at last year’s Cincinnati Masters 1000. Fun trivia: do you want to know how many matches Chardy had managed to win in his previous six Australian Opens? Just one.
4. Roger Federer watched the entire Djokovic-Wawrinka five-hour marathon. We know this because the Rolex man mentioned it to Jim Courier during his post-win interview. We know Federer watches a lot of tennis, but it was fascinating that the father of two young girls stayed up until 2:00 a.m. on the night before his own round of 16 match was going to take place. Mirka probably made him watch in the living room, and with no sound.
5. I’m probably the only person on Earth who likes Milos Raonic’s New Balance kits.
1. I couldn’t be more impressed with how Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has marched through the draw. Quietly, efficiently, and non-dramatically. It’s very confusing. Tsonga looks extremely fit to start the new season, and it’s a good sign for his coaching partnership with Roger Rasheed that he’s off to such a solid start. He got very unlucky with the draw and has to play Federer in the quarterfinals, but that should be a great test as to how ready he is to make a mark this season. If he takes things seriously and listens to Rasheed then 2013 could be a very nice year.
2. Sloane Stephens is a quarterfinalist at a Grand Slam. How about that! There is so much to love about the 19-year-old American, and her personality and her spunk might be at the top of the list. She got a golden draw to make it this far, but she took care of business and didn’t attract any unwanted attention along the way. She’s professional on the court and off, but she’s also never afraid to speak her mind. Whether she’s calling out her friend and mentor and quarterfinal opponent Serena Williams for being disrespectful, or putting a hush on the grunting talk, she’s always good for a quote. The future is bright.
Sloane Stephens on Jovanovski’s grunting: “Honestly I didn’t even think about it, not even once.” #ausopen
— Steve Tignor (@SteveTignor) January 21, 2013
3. We have all these extra story-lines, and then we have the thing that we’ve learned over and over again for well over a decade: Roger Federer and Serena Williams are pretty darn good at tennis.
4. CAN WE GET THROUGH ONE GRAND SLAM WITHOUT TALKING ABOUT GRUNTING AND EQUAL PAY?!? I have learned that we can’t. And I am sad.
5. Run. For. Your. Lives.
— Douglas Robson (@dougrobson) January 21, 2013