Lots of drama happened on Day 1 of the Australian Open. Uncomfortable to watch drama. Think Black Swan instead of The Fighter.
The day started out with Maria Sharapova hitting five consecutive nervy misses on serve. She finished the game with 10 double faults overall and looked uneasy throughout, but a very out of shape Tammy Tanasugarn could not chase down Maria’s shots. In fact, she often did not even try. The 63 61 scoreline might suggest a dominant performance, but like P-Mac said “Maria left us with lots more questions than answers today.”
Sam Querrey had his own troubles as he lost to Lukasz Kubot, who made the 4th Round here last year. The Polish player known more for doubles until recently looked like the more confident singles player as he won 57 62 36 61 86. Kubot looked quite tired in the last set, but he played more aggressively than Sam to go up a break in the 13th game and then proceeded to serve out the match. He also made sure to show us that he had more energy than we all thought by doing the Can-Can for his victory dance. Querrey despite being a Top 20 player continues to disappoint in Grand Slams bowing out 10 out of 14 times in the 1st Round. Miserable.
The match that may have been hardest to watch was Thiemo De Bakker choking away a 2 set and a break lead over Gael Monfils. Gael looked a bit gimpy in the 2nd after losing the 1st in a tiebreak, but then it was De Bakker who must have injured his brain when he was trying to close out the match. One missed sitter volley in particular caused groans from spectators at Hisense Arena and in front of TV sets around the world.
Thiemo made sure to explain on Twitter by saying, “Pulled my groin at 4-1 in the third! Sick of it” I think Gael Monfils said it better after the match, “I know Thiemo a bit. I know sometime he snap in the head. So this is like a strong belief. We know like he can snap. It’s a weakness for him. So you play with that. You know, before the match my coach Rog told me, ‘Sometimes Thiemo is not a big believer.’ When I saw that, you get it (snapping fingers).”
Like Monfils, Fish pulled off his first ever comeback down 2-Sets-to-Love against Romanian Victor Hanescu. Many other 5-setters played today, but for now I must get some sleep. Not sure De Bakker or Hanescu will be falling asleep so easily though. Too soon?