Sunday, January 24, 2010

Australian Open miscellany

U.S. Open junior champion Heather Watson, seeded 2nd in junior girls' competition in Melbourne, was upset today in the first round by Tang Hao Chen, 6-1, 4-6, 6-1. Watson, by the way, is one of five finalists (there were 303 nominations) who could win the Sportingbet Sports Personality of the Year award.

Justine Henin has now won 500 career matches.

Laura Robson and Sally Peers have made it to the quarterfinals, after defeating Vera Dushevina and Anastasia Rodionova in straight sets. Robson turned 16 on January 21.

Yanina Wickmayer, who struggled with back pain in her third round match, has withdrawn from doubles competition.

U.S. Open mixed doubles champion Carly Gullickson and her Australian Open partner, Bernie Tomic, have gone out in the first round. They were defeated today by Agkul Amanmuradova and Rik De Voest.


Jen said...

Continuing with the miscellany while waiting for the Henin-Wickmayer match to begin...

I had not realized that Yanina Wickmayer -- while certainly still young at age 20 -- has beaten but two players ranked in the top twenty in her life! Those are Virginie Razzano (ranked 18) in the 1st round of last year's U.S. Open, and Flavia Pennetta (12). The footnote is that she has now beaten poor Pennetta three times -- once last year and twice already in 2010!

In any case, with no wins at all over top 10 players, this speaks to the magnitude of the upset were she to take out Justine. On the basis of this information, I don't see that happening. Enjoy the match!

Diane said...

I couldnt' stay up, Jen. I wanted to. And given that the Cilic-Del Potro match was on TV, I don't even know how much of the women's match was shown. I don't have ESPN360 and the Tennis Channel live stream shuts down early, so I'm stuck with Tennis Channel or ESPN.

The score indicates that Wickmayer played a pretty good match. I know she must be disappointed, but I think she's going to continue to have a good season, assuming her back problem gets resolved.

I certainly hope I get to see Justine play Nadia.

Jen said...

Diane, I too have been frustrated by ESPN's so-called coverage of the women's matches at the Open. It seems that any excuse is good enough to ditch even Henin's work for something like Del Potro-Cilic, not exactly household names in the U.S. Last night, we saw about half of the first set, including Justine's spectacular play in the tiebreak (three consecutive high-risk winners to close it out), little of the second set, but 80 percent of the dramatic third.

What was so impressive is that Henin, after being simply flattened in the second set, went for every shot in the first game of the third, hit winners, and turned the match around right there. She then served as well as she has during her comeback, holding until she was up 5-3. At that point she went all out to break Yanina's serve rather than have to serve it out herself. Again, in what is becoming a trademark, she ended the match with a net charge. All Justine's strategic choices worked, as did her whipping crosscourt forehand, which pulled Wickmayer wide at crucial moments.

Yanina was remarkably composed herself, never broke down, hit a ton of winners, and ran like the wind while committing fewer unforced errors than did Henin. If she is not in the top 8 by year's end, I'll be very surprised!

Diane said...

I understand Justine turned her ankle. I hope she's okay.

Thanks for the match report, Jen!

Jen said...

Diane, I'm more than a bit digusted by the scheduling of the QF matches tomorrow (our Monday, Tuesday down under). Justine and Nadia play first, at 11am down there. That's a very, very tough time for the injured Henin. She would have had a much better chance playing the night session for instance. And of course that match time is two hours prior to the start of the ESPN2 coverage! So unless they play a marathon 3-setter, we can forget about seeing any of that one. Geez!

Diane said...

Won't it be on Tennis Channel?

Anonymous said...

Ah, that's funny. I canceled my expensive Tennis Channel cable package when Henin retired. I didn't watch a televised tennis match for over a year -- true story! Now it seems I will need to get it back. Enjoy the match, Diane, and I'll follow along on Aussie Open radio :>

Jen said...

That's me, of course. Somehow I slipped and posted before applying my name -- sorry!