Monday, January 16, 2012

2012 Australian Open Tennis Live Blog- Day 2

by John Huffstetler

Monday 8:26 PM EST- Gasquet vs. Seppi
- The enigmatic Gasquet is once again playing an inconsistent match, winning the first set 6-3 and dropping the 2nd 6-3. His inability to put together consistent play despite his immense talent continues here in 2012. In the 2nd set, he had 10 winner and 16 unforced errors, and despite Seppi making just 46% of his first serves, Gasquet was only able to break once in 5 chances.

8:34 PM EST- Ferrer vs. Machado- Ferrer just rallied from a break down in the 2nd to take a commanding 2 sets to love lead over Machado. His footwork looks terrific (as always) and a deep run is a strong possibility again this year from the energetic Spaniard.

8:40 PM EST- Gasquet vs. Seppi- Gasquet is now up a break and 3-0 in the 3rd set. It's amazing how great he can look at times. His one-handed backhand is the best I've ever seen, but he never puts together consistent performances. Let's see if he can pull out this 3rd set in a match he should not lose.

9:51 PM EST- Djokovic vs. Lorenzi- The Djoker has now won 13 straight games to take a commanding lead. Novak continues to play terrific defensive tennis, as he has only allowed Lorenzi to get 8 winners through 2 1/2 sets. He might not even be tested in this tourney until the 4th round with the draw being quite favorable.

11:02 PM EST- Murray vs. Harrison- Ryan Harrison takes an impressive two break lead in the first set over Andy Murray. Harrison is taking advantage of Murray's lack of penetration on the groundstrokes and controlling the mid-court with heavy forehands. The young American needs to continue to attack and play aggressively if he wants a chance at this match.

11:27 PM EST- Murray vs. Harrison- Murray steps his game up to push Harrison late in the first, but Harrison pulls it out 6-4. Murray has the fitness and mental toughness to survive this early setback, but his draw is difficult and the last thing he wants is multiple long matches in the heat down under.

12:02 AM EST- Tipsarevic vs. Tursunov- These two split the first two sets and Janko just broke serve to take a 5-3 lead in the third. His fitness level is so string right now that barring injury, he can easily rally from down 2 sets to love against any opponent. The ability to not fear burning out late in matches is critical to success in majors because it allows Janko to play relaxed and fearless. Players like Tipsarevic, Ferrer, and Murray who don't have overwhelming shots can still climb to the top-10 in the world because of their great fitness.

12:09 AM EST- Murray vs. Harrison- Speaking of Murray, he just secured the 2nd set to even the match against Ryan Harrison. The spectacular shot-making Harrison displayed in the first set turned into errors in the second. Murray looks back in control and he should win this in 4.

12:17 AM EST- Youzhny vs. Golubev- This looks like the end of Mikhail Youzhny's career as a contender for any deep runs or titles. He loses in the first round of a major to a guy with a 4-8 main draw hard court record last year. I love his passion and desire, but this is not a good sign for his future in the sport.

12:55 AM EST- Stepanek vs. Mahut- Radek Stepanek just took an early medical timeout at 3-3 in the first set. This is never a good sign when a player takes one this early. Stepanek backer shave to just hope that he had a tape job that was giving him discomfort and wanted fixed early. This will be interesting to watch here. And as I write this, now MAHUT has called for a trainer! This is unbelievable. How often do both players ask for a trainer in the first set!

1:40 AM EST- Murray vs. Harrison- As expected, Murray rebounds to win this match in 4 sets. Harrison did manage to push Murray physically, which could create problems for Murray later in the week.

2:22 AM EST- Stepanek vs. Mahut- Mahut has taken the first two sets against Stepanek. Neither players appears particularly hindered at this point, despite the early calls for the trainer. Both players are attempting to win by playing old-school and taking control of the net. Mahut secured late breaks in the first two sets to win each 7-5.

2:41 AM EST- Roddick vs. Haase- Roddick just secured the first set against Haase. Last year, these two played here and Haase won the first set before succumbing to the heat and losing in 4. He needed to make a statement early in this match. It will be difficult now to turn this match around with Roddick having the early lead and the higher level of fitness.

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