Sunday, January 15, 2012

2012 Australian Open Tennis Live Blog

by John Huffstetler

Over the next two weeks, we will be updating a live blog of Australian Open news and notes to keep you informed on all the happenings down under.

Sunday 10:34 PM EST- Verdasco vs. Tomic- Dasco just secured a 2 sets to none lead over the young Aussie. Tomic looks a bit sluggish on the court. He's either feeling fatigue following his Sydney win last week or feeling the pressure of the hopes of the home crowd, but he's lacking pop on his groundstrokes and Verdasco has been able to drive forehands from the mid-court. This would be a disappointing loss if he can't turn it around and win at least this 3rd set.

10:41 PM EST- Berydch vs. Ramos- Berydch is embroiled in more of first-round battle than originally expected. This is my first time seeing the young Spaniard Ramos live and I'm impressed with his footwork and defense. He needs more pop and depth on his groundstrokes, but the lefty has game. Berydch will most likely still win, but Ramos is someone to look for to perform on the clay courts early this summer.

11:24 PM EST- Verdasco vs. Tomic- The Aussie takes the 3rd and has now broken serve to open the 4th. This match seems destined for 5 sets. Dasco is known for his fitness and ability to rally late in matches, but his ankle seems to be giving him trouble early in this 4th set.

12:17 AM EST- Fish vs. Muller- Wow, what a performance by Mardy Fish today. He just dominated a string opponent in Muller and only committed 12 unforced errors. He looks game for a deep run.

12:18 AM EST- Dolgopolov vs. Jones- Dolgo, my darkhorse title contender, is off to a terrible start, dropping the first set 6-1 to the young Aussie Jones. He's playing wild, sloppy tennis to this point, but he has a chance for a break early in the second set. Let's see if he can turn it around and play the tennis he's expected to play here.

12:57 AM EST- Tomic vs Verdasco- What a comeback!! Tomic wins 7-5 in the 5th to the delight of the home crowd. He received terrific positive support from the always terrific Aussie fans and they propelled him to the hard-fought victory. Not only that, Dolgopolov is down 2 sets to none, and the draw will come wide open for Tomic if he loses. Great day for the Aussies so far.

1:22 AM EST- Dolgopolov vs. Jones- Dolgo just took the third set to stay alive in this match. He has a long way to go to win this one, and no doubt the home crowd will be behind Jones.

1:28 AM EST- Baghdatis vs. Becker- Marcos looks strong early in his first match up a set and a break on Becker. His footwork is critical to his success or failure on the tennis court and he's moving beautifully. Looks like Marcos will be a factor once again down under.

1:48 AM EST- Dolgopolov vs. Jones- It's amazing how quickly a match can turn. Dolgo takes the 4th 6-1 and they head to a 5th set with all the momentum on the young Ukrainian's side. I would be shocked if he lost at this point.

2:20 AM EST- Nadal vs. Kuznetsov- The interesting aspect to watch here is Nadal's fitness. The news that Nadal will sit out a week after the Aussie received heavy public scrutiny, as people questioned his health. Here, he took the first set 6-4 and his footwork looks strong at this point. He does have a large wrap on his right knee. No doubt Rafa is hoping for an uneventful 3-setter here so he can rest those legs.

2:27 AM EST- Dolgopolov vs. Jones- My darkhorse is still alive! Dolgo wins easily in the 5th set. Jones completely lost his legs to the point where it looked like he would need to retire. You have to give him credit for gutting it out and putting in the effort for the home crowd. Dolgopolov vs. Tomic looms in the 3rd round and what a match that would be between two young phenoms.

2:33 AM EST- Baghdatis vs. Becker- Marcos closes out the match in comfortable fashion in 3 sets. He looks lively and poised to make another run. I hope he does because this tournament is just better when he's in the mix.

2:35 AM- Isner and Micthell- Isner just took the 1st set 6-4 over the young Aussie. Anything short of an easy 3-set victory would be a disappointment for Isner against a guy who had a 2-9 qualifier record last year.

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