Tuesday, January 17, 2012

2012 Australian Open Tennis Live Blog- Day 3

Tuesday 7:45 PM EST- Fish vs. Falla- Falla leads 4-3 up a break in the first set- Fish just broke back to even the first set at 3-3, but Falla immediately responded with another break. Fish played a terrific first round match, securing an easy victory over Gilles Muller. Falla, the tricky left from Colombia, appears prepared to offer more resistance to Fish this round

8:01 PM EST- Fish vs. Falla- Match tied at 5-5 in the first- Fish just broke Falla's serve as he attempted to serve out the set. It will be interesting to see how Falla responds as a player with a history of mental lapses at key moments in big matches.

8:20 PM EST- Fish vs. Falla- Falla leads 7-6- Falla rallied nicely winning the tiebreaker to secure a critical first set from his perspective. Fish appeared to be the tighter of the two players in breaker, shanking several ugly groundstrokes and complaining about his shoes in between points. Fish has now changed shoes before the start of the second set.

9:00 PM EST- Fish vs. Falla- Falla leads 7-6, 6-3- Falla plays a terrific second set to take a 2-0 lead over Fish. Fish has his work cut out for him if he wants to win this, as Falla is moving beautifully side-to-side and hitting consistent, well-placed groundstrokes.

9:14 PM EST- Anderson vs. Stakhovsky- Score tied 3-6, 6-1, 5-6 (On serve)- Stakhovsky just broke Anderson to even up the match in the third set. This is an interesting match-up because both players have a similar attacking style and love to take control of the point by coming to net.

9:59 PM EST- Fish vs. Falla- Falla leads 7-6, 6-3, 6-6- Falla and Fish head for a tiebreaker in the 3rd set. Falla hasn't been playing his best tennis since calling for the trainer up a break at 3-2 earlier in the set. The injury appeared to be just leg cramps, but closing out the match here is critical.

10:08 PM EST- Nadal vs. Haas- Nadal leads 4-0- Nadal makes an early statement by taking a commanding two-break lead over the veteran German. This match should be quick.

10:10 PM EST- Anderson vs. Stakhovsky- Anderson wins 3-6, 6-1, 7-6, 6-3- Anderson closes out a hard-fought match against Stakhovsky. He will now face Tomas Berdych in the third round in what could be a terrific match. Anderson had a 26-13 main draw hard court record last year.

10:14 PM EST- Fish vs. Falla- Falla wins 7-6, 6-3, 7-6- Wow, Falla pulled it off and in impressive fashion. He looked relaxed and poised in both of the critical tiebreakers. Falla will now face Philipp Kohlschreiber in the 3rd round for a shot at probable 4th round opponent Juan Martin Del Potro, who has to be happy with the way the draw just opened up for him.

11:08 PM EST- Del Potro vs. Kavcic- Del Potro leads 6-4, 7-5, 4-3 (Up a break)- DelPo looks poised to take a straight set victory over Kavcic. He has broken serve 6 times in 2 1/2 sets, and with Fish out, has an easy draw to reach the quarterfinals.

11:38 PM EST- Nadal vs. Haas- Nadal leads 6-4, 6-3, 1-3- Not surprisingly, Haas has shown terrific fight to stay competitive in this match. Nadal is playing at a high level, but Haas has broken to take a lead in the 3rd set, hoping to force Nadal and test his possibly injured knee.

12:09 AM EST- Nadal vs. Haas- Nadal wins 6-4, 6-3, 6-4- Nadal breaks twice to take the third set in impressive fashion and win the match. More importantly, he looks healthy so far through two matches. No doubt he will be watching this Isner/Nalbandian duel just under way at 3-3 in the first to see who he might be meeting in the 4th round.

12:17 AM EST- Isner vs. Nalbandian- Nalbandian leads 4-3 (up a break)- After dropping an early break to Isner, Nalby responds with 2 consecutive breaks of the huge American's serve (not an easy task). This has the potential to be the match of the day and I will be following it closely and providing updates.

12:38 AM EST- Isner vs. Nalbandian- Nalbandian leads 6-4, 1-0 (up a break)- When Nalby is on, he is tough to compete with. He continues to break Isner's serve game with relative ease, while fighting of some break chances on his own serve.

12:53 AM EST- Young vs. Lacko- Lacko leads 6-3- There have been some tremendous rallies in this match. Young has played relatively well with 12 unforced errors to Lacko's 13, but Lacko keeps tracking down Young's would be winners and hitting some spectacular shots to stay in the point. As a result, Young has only 4 winners to Lacko's 15. I don't think Lacko can keep up this shot-making and I expect Young to push this match to 4 or 5 sets.

1:08 AM EST- Isner vs. Nalbandian- Nalbandian leads 6-3, 3-5- Nalby's play can be so inconsistent at times. He just lost serve at love to give Isner a chance to serve out the second set. Nalby double-faulted once and wildly missed a forehand during the last game.

1:10 AM EST- Young vs. Lacko- Lacko lead 6-3, 4-0- Lacko is in complete control of the match now. My belief that Young would stay the course and eventually Lacko would stop making these difficult winners seems to be misguided. Young has completely abandoned any strategy and his now charging the net recklessly off mediocre approach shots and getting crushed. His strategy in the first set was working but now he has lost any chance of climbing back into this match.

1:39 AM EST- Isner vs. Nalbandian- Nalbandian leads 6-3, 3-6, 4-2- Nalbandian just broke serve to take a 4-2 lead in the third set. In this set, the points have more frequently turned into long baseline rallies, which favor Nalby's strong groundstrokes. Nalby has also stabilized his service games not allowing one break chance this entire set.

1:43 AM EST- Dolgopolov vs. Kamke- Kamke leads 3-2 (up a break)- Dolgo failed to convert on a few break chances early in this first set and Kamke just broke Dolgo serve to take the early lead. The rallies have been terrific thus far with Dolgo using variety of both ends and Kamke remaining steady and using depth on his forehand to force errors.

2:04 AM EST- Young vs. Lacko- Lacko leads 6-3, 6-1, 3-6- Young rebounds to grab the third set. After playing foolishly and dropping the 2nd, he played patiently and allowed Lacko to make errors to secure a well-played set. If he continues to play like he did in the 3rd, he could definitely push this match to 5.

2:09 AM EST- Dolgopolov vs. Kamke- Kamke leads 6-4, 0-2- Kamke takes the first set behind some steady play, allowing Dolgo to make errors (21 in the first set). Dolgo has broken early in the second, but he continues to make errors off the forehand side. When he does make his forehand, he's floating it short and to the middle of the court and Kamke is crushing it on the rise.

2:35 AM EST- Young vs. Lacko- Lacko wins 6-3, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3- An early break in the 4th set propelled Lacko to the victory. Young had a couple chances later in the set to even things up but failed to convert. The inexcusably lose second set from Young proved to be critical.

2:46 AM EST- Dolgopolov vs. Kamke- Dolgopolov leads 4-6, 6-1, 4-1 (up two breaks)- Dolgo has firmly taken control of the match by cutting down on his errors and driving his forehand more effectively through the baseline. His top level is as good anyone not named Djokovic on the planet right now.

2:50 AM EST- Isner vs. Nalbandian- Match tied 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6- Only one return point was won the entire tiebreaker and that was by Isner on set point. They head to a 5th set now with the momentum on Isner's side. Isner will need to continue and serve effectively and come to net to win this match. Nalby wants to establish long baseline rallies like he did in the 3rd set.

That will wrap up our live blog for today's session. Enjoy the rest of the Nalby/Isner match and the Tomic/Querrey tilt. We'll be live blogging once again tomorrow night.

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