Sunday, January 11, 2009

Radek Stepanek and Victoria Azarenka win in Brisbane

Victoria Azarenka beat the lumbering Bartoli for her first title in Brisbane and Radek Stepanek took down Fernando Verdasco for the men’s title. Much better men’s match than the mismatch due to Mauresmo’s withdrawal. Some people think Azarenka is a threat to win Melbourne, especially with Maria Sharapova’s withdrawal, of course she was supposed to breakthrough at last year’s US Open. I guess if you keep predicting big things for her you’ll eventually get it right. Then you can say “I told you so” and call yourself a proper tennis writer. Myself I think Wozniacki, but maybe I thought that at last year’s US Open... (where she almost broke through).

Murray beat Roddick to win Doha. “I am not close to my best tennis,” he said, after beating Fed and Roddick (and Fed and Jet Boy last week). Either he going to start ‘playing his best tennis’ and win everything in sight or he’s going to eat his words and come gloriously unstuck in Melbourne. I vote the latter...

Dementieva won in Auckland against Vesnina, while Slovakia was victorious in the Hopman hit-and-giggle. Can that Dominka Cibulkova play or what? Or maybe or her opponents were all quite ordinary with the exception of Safina who lost interest pretty quickly. Still she was undefeated and gets a pretty diamond encrusted ball to show her grandkids. Nice to see Safin try for the first couple of matches. In Hong Kong Jankovic withdrew and Venus beat Zvonareva.

In Sydney Serena escaped against Stosur but preferred to blame the umpire rather than consider that she looks pretty rusty. Still she’s played one more match than usual for this time of year. Also Radwanka and Kuznetsova won while Schiavone failed to qualify. In Hobart Bondarenko, Benesova, Rybarikova and Pironkova won while poor Sally Peers kept up the brave tradition of throwing brave Aussie wildcards to the wolves. Rogowska and Moore to continue tomorrow.

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