Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Australian Open 2012 - Day 1 & 2 Summary


Day 1 Top seeds Nadal, Federer and Wozniacki advance easily to second round

World No.2 and second seed Rafael Nadal beat American Alex Kuznetsov 6-4, 6-1, 6-1.

Rafel Nadal who was playing with a strapped knee outplayed the qualifier in straight sets. Nadal said that he had injured his right knee while sitting in a chair on Sunday and suffered “unbelievable pain” and said he was not sure that he would play the match.  Nadal did not face much resistance in the match from his opponent as he broker serve in the first game of the opening two sets and played in an aggressive fashion hitting 42 winners in the match.

Nadal who took an MRI which revealed no major damage said that he had to take treatment and anti inflammatory medication in order to play today, hoped he would be fine to play the second round against Tommy Haas.  

The man he is seeded to meet in the semi final third seed Roger Federer also made it through to the second round beating Russian qualifier Alex Kudrayvtsev 7-5, 6-2, 6-2. Federer who is looking to win his 17th grand slam title here after failing to win a grand slam in 2011 had a good work out in the night session against the Russian who troubled him in the first set with some aggressive winners but ran out of steam and made number of unforced errors later in the match.

Women’s World No.1 Caroline Wozniacki beat Australian Anastasia Rodionova 6-2, 6-1 in a match that was closer than the score line suggests. Defending Champion Kim Clijsters seeded 11th because of an injury shortened 2011 season beat 19 year old Portuguese qualifier Maria Joao Koehler 7-5, 6-1.

Third seed Victoria Azarenka who is hoping to win her first grand slam title after winning Sydney tournament last week crushed Heather Watson 6-1, 6-0 to enter the second round. Last year’s losing finalist Li Na seeded 5th beat Ksenia Pervak 6-3, 6-1.

Eighth seed Mardy Fish beat Gilles Muller 6-4, 6-4, 6-2. In other matches 19 year old Bernard Tomic outlasted 22nd seed Fernando Verdasco after making a great come back from two sets down to win 4-6, 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-2, 7-5. The Australian No.1 who has taken over the mantle from Lleyton Hewitt was upbeat after the victory thanking the crowd who pulled him through.

Other players to advance include 2009 US Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro, Tomas Berdych, John Isner, Nicolas Almagro, David Nalbandian and Baghdatis. Other casualties include seeds Jurgen Melzer and Ivan Ljubicic who lost to Ivo Karlovic and Lukas Lacko respectively. 25th seed Monaco lost to Phillip Kohlschreiber while Nikolay Davydenko also lost to Italian Flavio Cipolla in five sets.

On the women’s side 19 year old youngster Christina McHale beat the 24th seed Lucie Safarova 6-2, 6-4. Eight Seed Agnieszka Radwanska beat Bethanie- Mattek Sands in a tight three setter 6-7(10), 6-4, 6-2 over three hours. Others to advance to the second round include Francesca Schiavone and former World No.1 Jelena Jankovic while seeds Flavia Pennetta and Yanina Wickmayer lost. Indian star Sania Mirza crashed out in the first round to Tsvetana Pironkova 6-4, 6-2.

Day 2 - Novak Djokovic through to second round, Stosur falls 

World No.1 and top seed Novak Djokovic beat Paolo Lorenzi 6-2, 6-0, 6-0 to showcase his terrific form to enter the second round of the Australian Open. The defending champion who had a sluggish finish to the 2011 season showed why he is rated the top favourite by the bookies to retain his title. The Italian actually started well breaking Djokovic serve to lead 2-1 but failed to win another game as Novak increased his level of play.

Fourth seed Andy Murray beat young American Ryan Harrison 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 coming back from a set down to win in 3 hours and 12 minutes on a hot day in Melbourne. Murray said that he had expected a tough match and got it. He played better towards the end of the match.

Us Open champion and home favourite Sam Stosur crashed out of the Australian Open losing to Romanian Sorana Cirstea 7-6(2), 6-3. The 5th seeded Australian has not had much match practice in the last few weeks did not play with much confidence as she made over 40 unforced errors.

Petra Kvitova beat Russian Vera Dushevina 6-2, 6-0. Maria Sharapova beat Gisela Dulko 6-0, 6-1 to advance. Serena Williams beat Tamira Paszek 6-3, 6-2 in an entertaining match on centre court. The American who broke serve in the eight game of the first set won through easily thereafter.

In the night session Lleyton Hewitt beat 21 year old German Cedrik-Marcel Stebe in a tight four setter after rallying form 1-5 down in fourth set to win in 4 sets. The Australian who received a wildcard into the tournament because his ranking fell to 181 after missing a large part of 2011 season with a foot Injury. He will next face Andy Roddick in an exciting match up in the second round after the American beat Robin Haase in the first round. Hewitt has not beaten Roddick since 2005.

In other matches, David Ferrer beat Rui Machado in straight sets while Jo Wilfried Tsonga beat Dennis Istomin in four sets. Other winners include in form Janko Tipsarevic, Giles Simon, Richard Gasquet and Milos Raonic.

In the women’s draw, Marion Bartoli, Sabine Lisicki, Ana Ivanovic and Kuznetsova made it to the second round safely.

For more news and up to date match report check out my Tennis blog.