1. The under-the-radar Juan Martin del Potro continues to roll. He beat Benjamin Becker, 6-2, 6-4, 6-2, hitting a whopping 50 winners and just 18 unforced errors. Those are some gaudy stats.
2. I don’t know what to think about Petra Kvitova at this point. She should’ve won her match against Laura Robson today. I am not taking away credit from Robson, but Kvitova is a Slam champion. She needs to remember how to play like one. I don’t know what the solution is, but she needs one quickly.
3. Nikolay Davydenko is just not what he used to be. Yes, he came up with some magic at the beginning of the year in Doha to beat David Ferrer, but the days of calling him a tough second round opponent for a Big Four opponent, as some did with Roger Federer, should be long over.
4. I wasn’t sure what to make of Bernard Tomic’s performance against Daniel Brands. On one hand, he pulled out a tough match in four sets. On the other hand, he wasn’t playing very well (aside from the serve), and played more like his 2012 passive self. He hadn’t been doing that this year, and I didn’t like seeing that side of his game again.
He wants to be a top player, and a top player wins when they’re not at their best. He passed an important test by getting the win. But if he plays the way he did tonight against Federer in the third round, he’ll receive an embarrassing wake-up call.
1. Gael Monfils is chaos. The wacky Frenchman got bageled by Rendy Lu, but managed to force a fifth set and serve for the match. He then proceeded to double fault on four match points. It was an insane sequence of Ace-DF-Ace-DF-Ace-DF-Ace-DF. It defied belief. But then again, this is Gael Monfils we’re talking about.
2. Garbine Muguruza, a Spaniard by way of Venezuela, is a very intriguing young talent. The tall 19-year-old gave Serena a much tougher time than the 2 and 0 scoreline would suggest. There were a lot of things to like about her game: easy power off both wings, sound swings on both strokes. I won’t be surprised if we hear more from her in 2013.
3. Bernie Tomic has a tough time returning big serves. The muse behind Lindsay’s hilarious post managed to win only 28% of return points against Daniel Brands in their protracted four-setter today. I did not like how many short returns in the middle of the court were available for Brands to tee-off on, and those were the rare returns that actually landed inside the court. The third set was particularly embarrassing for the #BernieGOAT, as he didn’t win a single return point until the tiebreaker, where he strangely managed to win four. If Tomic had such a tough time against Brands, how in the world is he going to cope with Federer’s serve in their blockbuster third round?
4. This is how you end up when you play a 292-minute five setter in blistering conditions:
Total physical collapse after the match.. feeling quite happy though, just don’t know, because of my win or morphine 🙂 twitter.com/blaz_kavcic/st…
— Blaz Kavcic (@blaz_kavcic) January 17, 2013
Kudos to both Blaz Kavcic and James Duckworth for surviving an incredible physical struggle.
5. Laura Robson’s forehand down-the-line is a thing of beauty. I don’t think I can get tired of seeing the young Brit hit that shot. Naturally, it helps when it goes in – which it did more often than not in Robson’s epic win over 8th seeded Petra Kvitova.
1. I learned that Bernie looks ridiculous in a hat, and that everyone agrees with me.
2. I learned that Serena Williams and Svetlana Kuznetsova are my favorite people ever.
— Svetlana Kuznetsova (@SvetlanaK27) January 17, 2013
3. I learned never to promise a childhood friend that they can crash in your tiny NYC apartment during the Australian Open, because you will then miss all of the tennis and have nothing to write about. (But as a positive, you will go to sleep at a normal hour.)