Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Vergeer makes great start in Australian Open

Esther Vergeer made a statement in her opening Australian Open match on Wednesday: The top seed defeated Sharon Walraven 6-0, 6-0. 2nd seed Daniela Di Toro also won her quarterfinal match, allowing her opponent to win only three games. Vergeer is on a 405-match winning streak, and she has a 610-25 career record.

Players and former players like to hit with Vergeer during majors. During the U.S. Open, Martina Navratilova hit with her. In Melbourne, Rohan Bopanna hit with Vergeer, and he did it while sitting in a wheelchair.

Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik, seeded second in women's doubles, were upset in straight sets in the semifinals by 12th seeds Victoria Azarenka and Maria Kirilenko. Their opponents in the final will be Gisela Dulko and Flavia Pennetta, who served really well--and played really well--against 3rd seeds Liezel Huber and Nadia Petrova. The top seeds defeated Huber and Petrova 6-4, 7-5, and are now a match away from winning their first major.

The Australia Day crowd was quite noisy and spirited. As Pennetta attempted to serve for the first set, fans broke into song. When she tried to serve again, other fans broke into laughter because of the song. Later, a loud quacking sound could be heard in the stands. There was also a lot of very enthusiastic cheering; if you didn't know better, you would have thought it was a Fed Cup match.