It Looked Ova...
January 22, 2012 | 11:22 AM
The Why it eez: Fyevoreets Done Undah ad Meexed Rezults on Dye 7
It Looked Ova...
Clijsters led her fandom down a winding river through rapids which went by in slo-mo, a 2nd set tie-breaker when she trailed 2-6 to Na Li, down a set. It looked ova - but wazn't. Kim got plenty of help from Na Li, who made errors going for too much and too little to squander her first 3 match points, and then made a regrettable decision on the 4th. After a long exchange Kim tried what was a rarity in their encounter, a drop shot, that cleared the net easily and landed nearer to the service line than the net. Na Li did not expect it or approach it with confidence, pushing it down-the-line into what she no doubt hoped would be open court. It wasn't. Kim sat on her bad right ankle and hit a perfect topspin lob down-the-line for a winner. From then on, she never looked back, wining the breaker 8-6 and going up to a 4-0 lead before slowing down, and nearly stopping at 5-2. Her opponent then ran off 11 of 13 points and threatened to tie the match at 5-5, earning a break point on Kim's serve with three winning returns off 2nd serves. Kim held tight and, on her 2nd match point, benefited from an unforced error from Na Li's strength, her backhand, from inside the baseline.
Final score: 4-6, 7-6 (6), 6-4 (Clijsters def. Li)
Kim's got #1 WOZ in the quarters (a 7-5, 6-0 winner over Jankovic), so there's still a long road for her to go, and she'll have to drag her turned ankle like a ball and chain. It may not be ova for Kim, but it ayen't lookin' grate. Woz's #1 ranking will hinge on her winning.
In the other quarter 4th rounders completed by the women, #3 seed Azarenka destroyed Czech Ivita Benesova 6-2, 6-2, while 8th seed Radwanska ran the table 6-1, 6-1 against unseeded German Julia Goerges.
The Mytes waren't as lucky with their naturalized young hopeful Bernie TOMIC, who ran into the Fed Express and couldn't rally slow it down enough. Ee 'ad eez chances to break serve 'ere an there, but Rog wuz 'aving none of it. As noted on The TC's taped coverage, Rog showed his "rare ability to make the near impossible look mundane" (Sprezzatura).
But even in losing badly, trailing 0-2 in sets and won an early break, Tomic showed the potential to be a difficult man to put away, taking almost all the long points when Fed missed his first serve in the 3rd set. He earned a point to break back at 1-2, and surrendered his serve only with a fight at 1-3. His mixture of power and pushing make his finding openings from the baseline look routine. Against Fed he won more with push than power, and didn't manage to serve effectively, scoring no ices and taking only 52% of points on his serve in spite of a 75% 1st serve rate.
In total, Fed:
- out-winnered Bernie by more than 3:1 (45 to 13)
- made fewer errors doing it (28 to 32)
- took 59% of the points, allowing just one break in 5 chances
- converted 6 of 10 break opportunities
It wasn't Bernie's best outing, but wasn't expected to have been given the detours he'd taken to reach the 4th round. If he learns from his losses and works to take his serve to a higher level, he may trouble the top 4 in another year or so.
Final score: 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 (Federer def. Tomic)
FED's next opponent won't make it so easy: DEL POTRO.
Delpo's opponent, unseeded Philipp Kohlschreiber (ranked #41) arrived in the 4th round with a mixture of grit and luck. The Oz Open has been Philipp's best Major; in his 7 previous attempts, he's reached the 4th round twice before. In the 1st round he'd bested 28 year old veteran, #25 seed Juan Monaco, who's gone past the 1st round n Majors only 3 times in 14 tries (5 sets, 6-0 in the 5th). His next opponent retired after losing the first 10 games, and in the 3rd round Alejandro Falla had taken out 8th seed Mardy Fish, but brought little to the court with Philipp, losing in straight sets.
Delpo gave up less than 40% of the points against Philipp, firing for fewer winners than Rog had done in dominating (31, with 6 aces), but making half the errors
Final score: 6-4, 6-2, 6-1 (Del potro def. Kohlschreiber)
Fed v Delpo will be the marque match in the quarters tomorrow.
BETFAIR ODDS: 11/4 Federer over Del Potro
The other quarter in that half will feature Berdych v Nadal.
RAFA disposed of #18 seed Lopez as he usually does, in straight sets.
It took some time (145 minutes, vs. 104 minutes for Roger, 126 for Rafa), most of which was spent on Lopez' serve games, which were battles from the very start with Rafa wining almost have the points (46%).
Final score: 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 (Rafa def. Lopez)
BERDYCH's defeat of #10 seed Almagro was almost 4 hours long, and involved a come-back and 3 tie-breakers wins by Tomas, (5), (3), and (2). It also ended with acrimony, and it wasn't the first time Tomas had carried a grudge to the finish, when he refused to shake hands, and faced the displeasure of fans (they would have been rooting more for Rafa in the quarters, regardless). Almagro had hit him in the upper arm with a point blank forehand drive with Tomas almost on top of the net and Nicolas at the service line with a sitter. It wasn't clear if the Spaniard apologized, but Berdych wasn't excusing the insult. He spoke quietly of it afterwards when asked on court, but the important story was his 70 winners with 28 aces to 18 aces and 54 winners for Almagro.
Final score: 4-6, 7-6, 7-6, 7-6 Berdych def. Almagro
BETFAIR ODDS: 7/2 Rafa over Berdych
Tonight's Feature match:
- Ivanovic (21) v Kvitova (#2) [LIVE AT 7pm on The TC]
Petra comes in with the pressure of being the heavy favorite though Betfair odds give her just 3/1 edge.
- Sharapova (#4) v Lisicki (#14) [LIVE at 3am on ESPN2]
Australian Open Day 7 final results