20 January 2012

Day 4 at the 2012 Australian Open

Today was a great day of ladies tennis at the Aussie Open. I've always been partial to watching women's tennis and since no WTA matches are shown on NZ television (the exception being the ASB Classic, our own tournament) I have to make the most of seeing the ladies at grand slams.

Thanks to my friend Kait (a great writer - check out her tennis blog here), I went to see Angelique Kerber against Stephanie DuBois. What a compelling match! Angelique was down a break, then serving for the first set, then battling hard to win in 7-5 after some epic long games. We were right in the front and were treated to so much emotion from the German. She almost had a desperate look on her face the entire match - I haven't seen her play too much so perhaps it's a usual thing but I wondered if being seeded and having the added expectation are causing a bit more emotion from her. Either way, it was a great battle with some wonderful rallies and fight. And Kerber has one of the best drop shots I've seen in years - perfectly placed every time.

Then it was time for Russian Anastasia Pavlychenkova vs American Vania King. Pavs didn't look good from the start and kept taking slowish walks to her chair in between points for the towel. (do ballkids only handle towels on Rod Laver Arena?) and generally looked irritated/exasperated. She called for the trainer midway through the first set so I hit the road. I rejoined in the third set, and it was just one of those seesaw battles full of breaks and no real momentum. Vania would cause the upset 6-4 in the third set.

Sabine Lisicki looked really sharp today. After retiring from her match against Kerber in Auckland, I wondered if she could be healthy enough to contend in Melbourne. Today she faced Shahar Peer, who one year ago was a top 16 seed. But today Sabine was in cruise control. She served well and her booming groundstrokes were hit so precisely. She also moved very well to the net and just crushed Shahar 6-1 6-2 in 53 minutes. I'm really excited for what Sabine can bring to the WTA this year - she's got such potential and looks heaps fitter than she did last year.

My fave Serena Williams won without much fuss today and will face Greta Arn next. I am shocked that Arn beat Dominika Cibulkova. I was really looking forward to a Domi/Serena match. I have no idea how that match unfolded but colour me surprised.

I also caught Vika and Li Na in practice sessions today - some other photos from today's action:


Li Na in practice


Kerber


Jelena Dokic

Sorana Cirstea

Jarka and Bethanie


Vika practice


Pavs




Showcourt 2 action: King/Pavs




Happy Sabine

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