Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Australian Open Report: Day 2

The top seeds continued to dominate, some bagels were dished, and a couple of Grand Slam champions were taken out. Onwards to day two...

In a trend that started on day one, the top men continued to breeze through their first round matches. Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray won when their opponents retired, with Nadal not giving his opponent any games. Robin Soderling also won in three easy sets, a far cry from last year when the two-time French Open finalist was bounced in the first round.

Other players with a straight-set wins include 10th seed Mikhail Youzhny, 11th seed Jurgen Melzer, 15th seed Marin Cilic, 20th seed John Isner, 31st seed Feliciano Lopez, Radek Stepanek, and Juan Martin Del Potro. Del Potro is playing his first slam match since he lost here last year in the fourth round.

A few others, however, were made to go the distance including David Nalbandian and 2-time Grand Slam champion Lleyton Hewitt with Nalbandian winning against the Aussie 9-7 in the final set. 13th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 21st seed Marcos Baghdatis, and 30th seed Thomaz Belluci also had to win in five sets. With that said, the lone seed to fall yesterday was 24th seed Ernests Gulbis in straight sets.

It was pretty much the same story in the women's side as the top women moved on easily. Kim Clijsters embarrassed struggling Dinara Safina dishing out a double bagel to the former world no. 1. Vera Zvonareva, Samantha Stosur, Shahar Peer, Nadia Petrova, Flavia Pennetta, Alize Cornet, Lourdes Dominguez Lino, and Iveta Benesova delivered similar beatdowns to their opponents who only managed to get three or less games the entire match.

The big "upset" of the day was the resurgent 19th seed Ana Ivanovic who fought off four match points against Ekaterina Makarova before the Russian eventually winning on her fifth match point 10-8 in the final set. Other notable losses include 27th seed Alexandra Dulgheru, Patty Schnyder, Melanie Oudin, and Kimiko Date-Krumm. Date-Krumm however still put up a fight against 12th seed Agnieszka Radwanska (nearly 20 years her junior!) losing 5-7 in the final set.

Other notable winners yesterday include 7th seed Jelena Jankovic, 16th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 18th seed Maria Kirilenko, 25th seed Petra Kvitova, 26th seed Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, Lucie Safarova, Vera Dushevina, Carla Suarrez Navarro, and Shuai Peng.

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