If the first day of the Australian Open was definitely the day of the five-setters, the second was, without a doubt, the day of the bagels, when no less than 20 bagels were fed to several rather unlucky opponents.
In fact, the match I followed the closest at the beginning of the day was a match that could only be followed by scoreboard (non-televised court), when Philipp Petzschner was facing Lukas Rosol. Rosol was a double bagel and 0-4 down in the third and we were wondering if the Australian Open would finally know a triple bagel. It finally didn’t. Down 0-4, Rosol held and then added to it by breaking Petzschner, but ended up losing 6-0 6-0 6-2. That interminable third game of the last set was particularly entertaining to follow, both on the live scores and on Twitter.
I will not go in depth with the bagel list, but that was really quite a day for the bakery! If, however, you want to have the exhaustive list of Tuesday’s bagels, you can check it here.
Andy Murray and the Lendl effect
There is a common trend as far as Andy Murray (4) is concerned: when things go sour in a match, he will rant, scream, swear and clutch some part of his body that may have hurt him for a bit but just hurts more at this particular moment.
Really, I thought it would be the same when I saw how poorly he started his match against Ryan Harrison, a Ryan Harrison who was really on fire during the first set of their first-round encounter. Surprisingly enough, Murray did not rant, yell at his box, or swear too audibly, and although he did clutch a few body parts during the match, it was not as bad as before.
Is this the Lendl effect? I surely think so! We knew from the beginning of their association that Mr. Lendl wouldn’t cope with such shenanigans.
Murray seems to have taken it to heart and calmed down. I must say it does him good. Suffice to say that if what you see when you look at your box is such an air, you won’t feel like yelling at your coach anyway.
On top of this newfound calm, another thing I noticed yesterday was that from the second set onwards, Murray was coming forward more often and with great efficiency. We all knew he had those volleying skills and I’m rejoicing, as a fan, to see that these first few weeks with Ivan Lendl as a coach brought Murray to play more aggressive tennis, even though his first serve percentage is not what it should be.
After the first set, Murray found most of his range (except, as I mentioned, his first serve) and went to defeat Harrison 4-6 6-3 6-4 6-2. He will meet Edouard Roger-Vasselin in the second round, who went through when Xavier Malisse retired after the first set.
After Fernando Verdasco, it was Jo-Wilfried Tsonga’s turn to wear the funniest outfit on court yesterday. As Amer Delic pointed out on Twitter, the sixth seed looked like a popsicle on court, with the orange shirt and shorts (and those awful shoes)!
Didn’t think it was possible, but Adidas has successfully transformed Tsonga into a Popsicle. #AusOpen
— Amer Delic (@AmerDelic) January 17, 2012
Tsonga defeated Denis Istomin 6-4 3-6 6-2 7-5 and will face Ricardo Mello in round two.
Lleyton Hewitt is a fighter. Whether we like him or not, his combativeness is really something that is indisputable. Last night, he showed once again why we can only admire this trait of his character, as he battled to defeat the talented German youngster Cedrik-Marcel Stebe7-5 6-4 3-6 7-5. The 21-year-old fought relentlessly but Hewitt’s grit and experience prevailed in the end. Keep an eye out for Stebe, as I am pretty sure he will go far.
The second round promises to be entertaining, as we will be treated to a veteran battle between Hewitt and Andy Roddick (15), who easily disposed of Robin Haase 6-3 6-4 6-1.
You can find the complete Day 2 results here.