Giving tennis more than a shot

Australian Open – Day 3 Roundup

 

First of all, I would like to apologise for not having done a roundup of Day 2. I will not say “It won’t happen again” because it is always possible that it will happen again before the end of the Australian Open.

 

Nevertheless, some very interesting things happened in the second day, including three upsets. Eighteenth seed Aleksandr Dolgopolov fell to Gaël Monfils in a spectacular match that really lived up to the expectations. Tommy Haas, seeded 19, lost a five-set marathon to fellow veteran Jarkko Nieminen. Finally, Blaz Kavcic won his first hard court match in a year by upsetting 29th seed Thomaz Bellucci.

 

Some very unfortunate players

Day 3 brought a few bad news, starting with Brian Baker (photo). As though Baker hasn’t had enough hardship in his career, he injured his knee at 1-1, 30-30 in the second set of his second round match against countryman Sam Querrey. Up a set when this happened, adding (literally) insult to injury, Baker was forced to retire.

 

Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

After tests were undergone by the American, the news broke: he tore his lateral meniscus, has a locked knee, and requires another surgery. That is roughly a four-month layoff for Brian Baker, as if the last years haven’t been enough.

 

Another player plagued with injuries over the last years is Nicolas Mahut. Forced to end his season ahead of time because of another knee injury, the Frenchman, knowing he was not 100% fit to play, had given back his main draw wild card a few weeks before the tournament. Since John Isner’s pull-out came a little too late for him to be in the main draw (he was the next alternate in), Mahut was only entered in doubles, with Michaël Llodra.

 

The French pair won the first set against Lindstedt and Zimonjic, but Mahut’s knee troubled him again and the team was force to retire after losing the second set of their first-round match.

 

Mahut is going back to France, where he will pass some tests to find out the gravity of that injury.

 

A jewel called Jerzy

Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

The match of the day was without a doubt the one opposing Jerzy Janowicz to Somdev Devvarman, and not necessarily because of the quality of the match, rather than because of the intensity of the drama.

 

The match was a difficult affair for the Pole from the beginning. Devvarman’s game has all the ingredients to trouble him, particularly because of his great speed, which enables him to reach most of Janowicz’s drop shots.

 

The first set went into a tiebreak, where the Indian quickly took a 5-1 lead, before letting the 24th seed back in the breaker with a few errors, making the matters very tight.

 

Serving at 9-8, Janowicz was the victim of a bad line call, when Devvarman’s forehand seems to have sailed out. However, it was not called, and that is when the Pole completely lost it:

 

In his defence, it was not the first such mishap from both linesmen and chair umpire in the set, and we could see him growing more and more unnerved (and that is an understatement) as the set went by. Both players were victims of such calls. However, this time, it cost Janowicz the set.

 

His outburst made him completely lose his focus, the set, and the next one.

 

Photo: AP

Photo: AP

Two things happened next: “JJ” got back in control of his nerves and of his game, while Devvarman’s level dropped significantly, and he seemed to have some physical struggles as well. The Pole took the next two sets, 6-0 and 6-1, forcing a fifth set, which he took, completing his 0-2 comeback to win, 6-7(10) 3-6 6-1 6-0 7-5, in exactly four hours.

 

If his game and his outburst weren’t reminiscent enough of Marat Safin, some of his replies in his post-match interview also brought back memories of the flaming Russian:

 

Q. What exactly frustrated you out there on court?

 

JERZY JANOWICZ: Mostly only first set because the umpires, they’re making so many mistakes. One of the most important mistake was set point in this tiebreak, 9 8. Was shanked forehand from Devvarman. The ball was really slow. It was clean out. I was already happy. I was already shouting, C’mon. But the referees didn’t say anything.

 

This was the moment when I went nuts. Otherwise the rest of the match I was pretty calm.

 

 

Q. Do you have any regrets about the things you did on the court in terms of when you went nuts?

 

JERZY JANOWICZ: Well, sometimes happens like this. You can’t control your emotions all the time. This was really big point for me. We played this set for more than 1 hour, 10 minutes, so this was really important point for me.

 

Actually, I went nuts. I calmed down little bit later on. Sometimes I have problem to control my emotions, but I’m trying to work on this.

 

 

Q. Have you gone as nuts as that in a match before?

 

JERZY JANOWICZ: Yeah (smiling).

 

 

Q. Have you hit the umpire’s chair before?

 

JERZY JANOWICZ: Maybe (smiling).”

 

His whole post-match interview is a pleasant read. His answers are honest, straightforward and, at times, very funny.

 

Jerzy Janowicz’s game is a delight to watch, for if he is a giant with a powerful serve, he also has great strokes to rely on and make a lot of his matches a treat. Furthermore, he has a very attaching personality, and his outbursts, so reminiscent of Marat Safin’s (minus the racquet-breaking), contribute to make him quite a jewel of a player.

 

Of course, his temper and inconsistencies label him as quite the headcase. However, he is still young and can outgrow some of these issues.

 

Day’s results

There was only the one upset on Day 3, as Evgeny Donskoy won the Russian battle of generations, defeating no 23 seed Mikhail Youzhny, 3-6 7-6(4) 6-2 3-6 6-3, in 3:45.

 

Men’s singles results (Round 2, top half)
  • [1] Novak Djokovic d. Ryan Harrison, 6-1 6-2 6-3
  • [4] David Ferrer d. Tim Smyczek, 6-0 7-5 4-6 6-3
  • [5] Tomaš Berdych d. Guillaume Rufin, 6-2 6-2 6-4
  • [8] Janko Tipsarevic d. Lukas Lacko, 6-3 6-4 3-6 4-6 7-5
  • [10] Nicolás Almagro d. Daniel Gimeno-Traver, 6-4 6-1 6-2
  • [15] Stanislas Wawrinka d. Tobias Kamke, 6-3 7-6(4), ret. (right shoulder)
  • [16] Kei Nishikori d. Carlos Berlocq, 7-6(4) 6-4 6-1
  • [20] Sam Querrey d. Brian Baker, 6-7(2) 1-1, ret. (right knee)
  • [22] Fernando Verdasco d. Xavier Malisse, 6-1 6-3 6-2
  • [24] Jerzy Janowicz d. Somdev Devvarman, 6-7(10) 3-6 6-1 6-0 7-5
  • [26] Jürgen Melzer d. Roberto Bautista Agut, 6-7(4) 6-3 6-7(3) 6-3 6-2
  • [28] Marcos Baghdatis d. Tatsuma Ito, 3-6 6-3 6-2 6-2
  • [31] Radek Stepanek d. Feliciano López, 6-2 6-2 6-4
  • [32] Julien Benneteau d. Édouard Roger-Vasselin, 4-6 7-5 7-6(5) 7-6(5)
  • Evgeny Donskoy d. [23] Mikhail Youzhny, 3-6 7-6(4) 6-2 3-6 6-3
  • Kevin Anderson d. Andrey Kuznetsov, 6-1 7-5 6-4

 

Men’s doubles (Round 1)
  • [1] Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan d. Oliver Marach/Horacio Zeballos, 7-5 6-3
  • [3] Marcel Granollers/Marc López d. Dustin Brown/Christopher Kas, 6-2 3-6 7-6(7)
  • [5] Mahesh Bhupathi/Daniel Nestor d. Pablo Andújar/Guillermo García-López, 6-2 6-4
  • [6] Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi/Jean-Julien Rojer d. David Goffin/Simon Stadler, 6-3 6-1
  • [7] Robert Lindstedt/Nenad Zimonjic d. Michaël Llodra/Nicolas Mahut, 3-6 7-5, ret. (knee – Mahut)
  • [12] Rohan Bopanna/Rajeev Ram d. Thanasi Kokkinakis/Nick Kyrgios, 6-2 6-4
  • Daniele Bracciali/Lukas Dlouhy d. [10] Ivan Dodig/Marcelo Melo, 7-5 6-7(1) 7-6(5)
  • Eric Butorac/Paul Hanley d. [13] Santiago González/Scott Lipsky, 6-4 7-5
  • Yen-Hsun Lu/Go Soeda d. [14] Julian Knowle/Filip Polasek, 4-6 7-6(8) 6-3
  • Jérémy Chardy/Lukasz Kubot d. [15] Frantisek Cermak/Michal Mertinak, 6-4 6-2
  • Simone Bolelli/Fabio Fognini d. Johan Brunstrom/Frederik Nielsen, 6-3 6-3
  • Alex Bolt/Greg Jones d. Alejandro Falla/Santiago Giraldo, 3-6 6-2 7-6(5)
  • Michael Kohlmann/Jarkko Nieminen d. Colin Fleming/Jamie Murray, 7-5 7-5
  • Robin Haase/Igor Sijsling d. Leonardo Mayer/Albert Ramos, 7-6(3) 6-7(6) 7-6(6)
  • Samuel Groth/Matt Reid d. James Duckworth/Chris Guccione, 6-3 6-7(1) 7-6(5)
  • Flavio Cipolla/Andreas Seppi d. Lukas Rosol/Viktor Troicki, 6-3 6-4
  • Paolo Lorenzi/Potito Starace d. Benjamin Becker/Frank Moser, 7-6(0) 6-3

 

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