Australian Open 2011: Roddick Loses Match But Keeps Cool and Mojo, Federer Sets Up All-Swiss Quarterfinal and the Longest Match in Women’s Tennis… Ever
Andy Roddick, America’s final hope at the Australian Open, was knocked out in straight sets by Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka, who meets compariate Roger Federer in the quarterfinals. Elsewhere, Francesca Schiavone defeats Svetlana Kuznetsova in a strenuous four hours and 44 minutes, the longest women’s match ever played at a grand slam.
Bye-bye Andy Roddick. That was the main news to come out of day seven of the Australian Open as America’s last shot in both the men’s and women’s draws was beaten at his own game by Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland in the last-16.
It was arduous to watch; myself always being a big fan of Roddick’s big serve famous for flattening opponents standing in way. Last night, however, Roddick’s favourite weapon was out of ammunition, as he managed only a meagre 9 aces and won only 36 per cent of points on the second serve. He lost in straight sets 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.
Wawrinka, on the other hand, had that winning touch on his side tonight, stacking up 67 winners against Roddick’s 24. Call this premature, but Wawrinka, seeded 19th, couldn’t help but resemble an alternative Swiss tennis star, whose cold shadow he’s been forced to live under for the last seven years.
The circumstances of Roddick’s defeat – this will be the first tournament in which not a single American has made it to the quarter finals since the draw expanded to 128 players in 1987- naturally has got tennis pundits all over the States speaking in anxious tones, as they predict the ominous decaying of American tennis.
In the ESPN studio, Patrick McEnroe pin-pointed Roddick’s fault: “Every time Roddick hits a forehand, he’s in trouble on the next shot. He’s getting no penetration.”
“So what?” said Roddick in a post-match interview. “At least I get to go home now and penetrate my swimsuit model / wife,” – who you coincidentally add as a Facebook friend by clicking here. Creepy fact… kind of.
Although he may find his problems on the court come to haunt him the bedroom if he fails to get the image of Adam Sandler out of his head. Hey man, that’s you get for watching ‘Just Go With It,’ which, quite frankly, looks terrible.
Alright, so enough with the film reviews and speculations over Andy Roddick and Brooklyn Decker’s sex lives. Who will be Wawrinka be squaring up against the in the quarterfinals? Roger The-Great-One Federer, that’s who.
Yes, it will be a showdown of master versus apprentice after Federer beat down Spaniard Tommy Robredo, and in doing so equalled Jimmy Connors’ record of reaching 27 consecutive grand slam quarterfinals – another sour plum in America’s cocktail.
Throughout the entire match Federer was always in control. Even when Robredo when won three games in a row and secured the second set, Federer was still in control. The second was shrugged off as if it were merely mild irritation, a speed-bump in Roger Federer’s gold plated freeway that run all the way to the final. The Swiss magish took the match 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. Easy.
Federer and Wawrinka play each other
The other two matches of day seven saw Novak Djokovic, having acquired a new-found love for tango and sly rule-bending, erm, allegedly. Djokovic looked strong has he dismantled the number-14 seed from Spain Nicolas Almagro, 6-3, 6-4, 6-0.
After the match, Djokovic strenuously defended his and Marian Vajda, his coach’s actions, who was apparently giving his player hand signals, although whether he was just flicking the bird at the camera remains undisclosed. Djokovic went on to consider whether some sort of watchdog other than the umpire be put in place to watch over the actions of the players.
“It’s good to have somebody on the bench in Davis Cup, because they can notice things that you don’t during the match because you’re under pressure, you’re doing something wrong that you shouldn’t do” he said. On whether this – although I’m still exactly sure what – could work in women’s tennis, he went back to playing the class clown saying “The girls are too serious when they invite the coach. They should make more jokes. It would be more entertaining for us to watch the TV. I like it when I see it, what she’s going to say, you know. It’s always like, play your forehand, backhand, crack some jokes.”
I don’t get it, but it makes for better listening than Tomas Berdych after his victory over the plucky Fernando Verdasco. The Czech preceeded into the quarterfinals with surprising ease, beating the highly rated Spaniard 6-4, 6-2, 6-3. Following such a solid performance, Berdych commented: “[The performance] is definitely one of the parts of my game that I was trying to improve on… blah blah blah… this is even better for me and proved that all the hard work I have done… blah blah blah… I hope I can keep it up… blah.”
It needed 30 games and three hours in the final set but Italian Francesca Schiavone eventually won the longest match in women’s grand slam tennis last night, as she beat the stone-faced Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia in a match that lasted four hours and 44 minutes.
It was a match that swung more ways than Charlie Sheen’s address book, with both players struggling physically during the final set. The Italian French Open champion, who saved an impressive six match points along the way, eventually took the match 6-4, 1-6, 16-14.
Elsewhere, Danish world number-one Caroline Wozniacki encountered minimal obstruction on her quest to the quarterfinals defeated the unseeded Anastasija Sevastova from Latvia.
In a match that spared to quantum for sentiment, Wozniacki looked as strong, dogged and determined as ever to bag her first grand slam title, winning the match in that traditionally convincing 6-3, 6-4 fashion.
And my case that Maria Sharapova is better at being blonde and on a billboard that she is at playing tennis was further supported yesterday, as she went out to German Andrea Petkovic, ranked 16 places below the Russian, but with a hopes of a career in tennis.
Sharavpova essentially capitulated the match, 6-2, 6-3, and needed to get the hell out of Melbourne after taking personal offence to some of the outfits she had seen fellow players had been sporting during the tournament.
Oh, and ninth-seed Na Li of China defeated eighth-seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, 6.3, 6-3. I’m out of jokes on this.
Photo courtesy of the Herald Sun
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