Almagro wins the second. Looks like he's catching on to some of Jerzy's tendencies that were bothering him earlier - the wide serve in the deuce court and the drop shot right off the return. No celebration at all from him though. I think he's angry with the ball boys. Either that or the chanting Poles.
Nope, the word "pedantic" does not apply here. It's not pedantic to contend that he just isn't that great on hard courts instead of being tired. That's not really a petty distinction. You'll find he had similar results in previous years. I also generally don't like the cop out for some of these top guys to say they're tired at the end of the year, especially when it's a top player like Almagro whose mediocre results extend all the way back to the end of the clay season. It's not the first time you've used it either.
Of course, you are pedantic. I have come to think of it as part of your peculiar charm. You are a nit-picker par excellence. You can't bloody help yourself. You do it all the time. I say player A is "conservative," you say player B is even more conservative. Fine, but I wasn't talking about player B. But you have this irresistible urge to mention it anyway. Why? Because you are a world class stickler for detail.
Let's say I make the simple comment that the second set tie breaker that Nicolaus just won had a very similar arc to the first set tie breaker. Most people who were watching would probably agree offhand. Not you. I picture you in a basement with mushrooms growing on the ****ing walls with a deerstalker cap on your pointy head going through that statement with a fine tooth comb and asking yourself: Do I really agree that those two tie breakers had a similar arc? I picture you pondering that with furrowed brow, like it was really important. The fact that it took Nic one more point to win the second tie breaker wouldn't bother you at all; not a big deal, you would immediately concede. But you would feel yourself duty bound to point out that, no, Almagro had to rely on more second serves in the second breaker, and that while Jerzy made the same sort of errors, they were for a different reason. One definition of "pedant" is someone overly concerned with minute details. Tell me you are not overly concerned with minute details. But, hey, I would only want to kill you in person. On a tennis thread, you make a lot of good points despite the pedantry. Rock on, Sherlock.
I'm sorry. When you make your typically vapid comments in the future I'll be sure not to object, because after all, we're here to exchange vaguely clever insults and generic pleasantries about the match at hand and not to discuss and debate tennis at large. I should have learned by now, you're right.
Anyway I think we can agree that Almagro cruised in the third set for the win.
Tipsarevic makes a very nice recovery from two sets to one down against Benneteau and moves on, as well. One reason that he has stayed in the top ten for over a year is that he pulls out a lot of tight matches.
Third set to Almagro 6-1. Jerzy ran out of gas at the end. What a vast difference between the way he returned today and the way he returned against Devvarman, and it wasn't all due to the gaping difference in quality of serve between his two opponents. Just never found his rhythm and got outplayed off the ground for most of the match. Good run for him regardless. Not a sign that he's the "real deal" necessarily, but making the third round here in conditions which don't greatly suit his game at least gives hope that he isn't just a 100th ranked player with one fluke run, and that he'll somewhat consolidate his position on tour.
Tipsarevic completes the comeback against Benneteau 6-3 in the fifth.
Nishikori defeats Donskoy in straight sets. Wish I had watched a little more of this match. I haven't really seen much of Donskoy before.
Almagro/Tipsarevic should be good. Just saw Almagro now at four straight Australian Opens reaching the 4th round, see if he can take the jump into the quarters?
Better chance than he has had in previous tournaments. Could go either way. Almagro looks to be in better form, but Tipsarevic is stronger mentally and at his best probably a little better on this surface. I can't decide whom I favor.
Maria off to a great start with a break in the first game of the set, and she consolidates the break, though just barely, as Venus is challenging her on serve, receiving both serves inside the baseline, 2-0. Already looks like it will be a tense, but error prone match....Maria gets a quick second break, pounding on Venus' second serve (this likely a theme for both women). Venus looks like she is not quite in the match yet...she finally holds for 1-4, but has a mountain to climb if she is going to get back into this set....in six games, Venus has acquired 14 unforced errors, 5-1...and with her third break, Maria takes the set. Even with a first serve % hovering around 40%, it is an easy set for Sharapova.
2nd set: Maria is lighting up Venus' second serve, and, in general, Williams is stinking the place out, 2-0...to this point, Venus has won one of 12 points on second serve, very quickly 3-0...Venus recovers from 0-40, the first positive for her in the match, 3-1; too early to talk about a potential turning point but a second break would have been suicidal there...Maria holds as Venus's forehand continues to plague her (15 errors off that side), 4-1...Maria, as is her norm these days, is mixing overpowering outright winners with her usual brittle errors, but she gets the second break anyway, 5-1....almost on cue, Venus breaks Maria for 5-2...Maria supplies some dramatics but serves it out at 6-3 for the match.
A perfect storm tonight. Maria was very sharp (mostly) and Venus was awful until it was too late. Opportunistic win for Sharapova, but the sort of loss for Venus that poses many questions not so much about her game but about her commitment to keep playing.
Tomic got blown out by Federer last year at the Australian in the round of 16, 6-4, 6-2, 6-2. So I guess the curiosity today is too see how much better he can play in another loss.
Some intriguing matches on the men's side--Seppi/Cilic; Monfils/Simon; Raonic/Kohlscreiber; Federer/Tomic. With the exception of the Cilic match they are all late in the day. How to feel jet-lagged without ever leaving home.
Yeah, it would be nice if they could at least somewhat cater to the television audience - or those who prefer either the women's or the men's singles to the other - and put one men's match up first, and not cluster all the women's matches first thing and all the men's matches afterward like they did yesterday.
I think Federer will win in straights, preferably dishing out a bagel or two (but probably not).
Chardy takes the first set 6-3 over Del Potro. Well-deserved too: he played much more resolute tennis and largely dictated play. Delpo showed signs of waking up at the end though, coming back from *2-5 0-40 to force Chardy to serve it out (with some difficulty).
Wow, this performance of Chardy has really caught me by surprise. He's returning serve really well, and these commentators rightly pointed out that his short slices have repeatedly caused Del Potro problems (and not for the first time in his career either). Chardy breaks a second time to take the set 6-3.
And just as I say that, he tightens up miserably and gets broken in the first game of the third... and Delpo hands it right back on a double fault, although Chardy played a couple of nice points before that. 1-1. Delpo serving at 2-3 0-40 and Chardy has some chances but Delpo absorbs the pace and draws a couple of errors, and hits an ace at 30-40 and again at ad-Chardy, ultimately escaping for 3-3.
Last edited by Deficient Mode: 01-18-2013 at 10:24 PM.
Not a terrible tiebreak from Chardy but just better from Delpo. Don't think he missed a first serve and he dealt with the backhand slice much better on both points he won on Chardy's serve. 7-3. Not sure Chardy is going to go away though.
Arrived back home to see that Cilic and Seppi have just gone into a fifth set...and Cilic gets an immediate break for 2-0....and gives it right back. Frustrating player, almost Sharapova-like in the way he can shift from skillful play to incompetence in the blink of an eye....Seppi is hardly playing scintillating tennis but Cilic coughs up another break anyway, 3-2, Seppi to serve....man, this is some ugly tennis....Seppi gets the break, though, for 5-2, and in truth, he has been less gruesome than Cilic...and takes the match. I give him some points for keeping his concentration against a struggling opponent, but this set was not a gem in any way, shape or form.