Fabio Fognini will be making his debut in the 4th round of the Australian Open, but to get there is had to go through a little pain. Check out this amazing point that he and Sam Querrey played during their 3rd round match where Fabio completed the point with a body slam right into the concrete. Can someone say, "OUCH!"
Entries in Sam Querrey (9)
They say that living and life and looking good while doing it, is the best revenge in a break-up. I have no clue whether Sam Querrey's break-up with his fiancée last year was on good terms, but he clearly is embracing that rule by wearing some great gear at the Australian Open.
Yesterday it was revealed that Sam signed a multi-year deal Fila, and he said this of the pairing,
"Fila has such a great history of sponsoring champions and I am excited to wear the same brand as the players I admired as a junior."
He is debuting the Spring 2014 Collection now at the Australian Open, and you can check out the whole collection here.
Photo courtesy of Fila
If you could switch places with anyone and live their life for one day, who would it be and why?
Probably Tom Brady. He’s like my favorite athlete I love football, I think he is really cool and he has a super hot wife, so....
What is on your screen saver right now?
I think it’s just a picture of rocks. It’s just a generic apple background.
What is your favorite piece of clothing?
Just like a normal, plain t-shirt.
If you could sit down and have a conversation with 3 people alive or dead who would they be?
Tom Brady would be number one, then I would probably go with a lead singer of Blink 182, either Tom or Mark, they are like one of my favorite bands ever so that would be really cool, and I would probably go with LeBron James.
What happened to home court advantage?? I know that the draw for a tournament must be fair, but I am going to assume that many American tennis fans, (as well as the tournament director) were left scratching their heads after the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships Men's Singles Draw yesterday. Let me give you a preview of some first round matches.
Andy Roddick vs. Richard Berankis - If you've been following tennis at all recently, you would know that the rise of 20 year old Richard Berankis has been a frequent topic of water cooler conversation. He is the youngest player to be ranked in the top 75, and is part of recent Youth Movement that also includes rising star Milos Raonic. He reached the 3rd round of the Australian Open, and more recently the QF of the SAP Open. This will be Roddick's first match since his loss in the 4th round in OZ to Stanislas Wawrinka. Roddick should be able to win this match easily, especially in front of the hometown crowd, but as Berankis moves up the ranks, so does his confidence, and it is possible, (though unlikely) he could upset the #1 seed. If Roddick makes it through he'll likely face Janko Tipsarevic in the 2nd round, and the last time they played Janko upset A-Rod in the 2nd round of the US Open in 2010.
Sam Querrey vs. Denis Istomin I would have said 1 week ago, that Querrey would have no problem with this match, but Querrey is now 0-3 for the 2011 season, bowing out in the first round of the SAP Open last week. Denis Istomin on the other hand reached the QF of the SAP Open before being beaten by Fernando Verdasco. They've met each other twice in 2009, splitting the head-to-head. Tennis is 90% mental and Querrey doesn't seem focused. I smell an upset.
and last but not least, the kicker...........
John Isner vs Juan Martin del Potro OMG. This could be a final and it's a first round match-up. They've met twice both in 2009 and Del Potro dominated. Delpo who is making a comeback after wrist surgery is still not in 2009 form, but he is playing well, last night taking out Lleyton Hewitt convincingly in straight sets at the SAP Open. All I can say is......... the Tennis Gods are cruel.
And no, I didn't forget about James Blake and Mardy Fish. I honesty don't have an opinion about Blake yet since this is only his second tournament since October 2010. I will say that Fish probably has the easiest draw of all the American men, as long as he has gotten his thyroid under control.
And let me just mention for fun Fernando Verdasco vs. Milos Raonic. Raonic's star is rising....fast. He is in the finals of the SAP Open (a walkover due to Monfils wrist injury) vs either Verdasco or Del Potro. This should be an amazing match.
Sam Querrey tried to play hookie from his press conference today after his first round loss to Lukas Lacko at the SAP Open in San Jose, CA where he was a semi-finalist last year. He is now is 0-3 for 2011, so while his frustration is understandable, press conferences are mandatory for seeded players. It was later tweeted that he was dragged back by the ATP and he did his press like a good boy.
In other SAP Open news:
Yesterday, in his first tournament since October 2010, James Blake won his first round match against Jesse Levine 6-5, 6-1. After dealing with shoulder and knee injuries for the last 2 seasons he says he now feels healthy and has renewed desire to make a comeback. (Check out a great article about his comeback here.) I'd love to see Blake make a run here, but he has a fairly large roadblock in the 2nd round named Milos Raonic, the Canadian rising star who took out Xavier Malisse in the 1st round. As much as I like Milos, I'll be part of the J-Block tomorrow.
Speaking of Milos, he is writing a blog while at the SAP Open, and talked about meeting his idol Pete Sampras:
I got to meet Pete Sampras yesterday. It was really amazing. It's two different things, growing up watching so much of one guy, then meeting the person behind the game. He was really nice. He gave me some well-thought out tips. For me, it was an unbelievable experience, especially when you're coming up and getting to the point where you meet your idols. It means a lot.
And he also blogged about his upcoming match against James Blake:
Speaking of players you grow up watching, my next match is against James Blake. It's nice playing these guys you used to watch. I think I'll have an advantage - I'll know him more than he'll know me! So I'll use that as much as I can. I know he'll go for his shots. I'll just take care of my serve and hopefully I'll get a few chances on the return. I look forward to it.
And if you didn't catch it, Pete Sampras and Gael Monfils opened up the tournament with an exhibition match that produced some really entertaining tennis. Monfils won 7-6 (4), 6-4, but Pete showed that at age 39 he still had game, although at the end he looked like he needed some O2. He was clearly impressed with Monfils:
I played against a lot of good movers in my day, but he was one of the best I've ever played. It was incredible. He slides like 8-feet long. He's got a great future.
but for the future:
Next year, I hope I can play McEnroe or Agassi, someone a little more my age.
See the post-match video here:
Tonight, Fernando Verdasco and Gael Monfils will play their first round matches starting at 7pm PST.
Day 1 of the Australian Open was a long one, for the players and for my neck. My office is apparently not ergonomically set up for someone to watch ESPN2 from 6:30 pm to 3:00 am while simultaneously watching 3 live streams on the computer, and tracking scores on the AO website, but, I do it out of love.
Enough about me, lets talk tennis Doozies and D'ohs (you know, like Homer Simpson?)
Doozies (Matches that went the distance):
Monfils vs de Bakker: Gael Monfils, the number 12 seed, looked as though he was going to make hasty exit from the AO, down 2 sets to love against 22 year-old up-and-comer Thiemo de Bakker. However, De Bakker turned into De Bacle (thanks Brad Gilbert) when he seemed to choke as he tried serve out the match at 5-3. Gael ultimately took the match 6-7 (5-7), 2-6, 7-5, 6-2, 6-1 in 3.5 hours.
In his presser, Gael basically said that de Bakker tanked:
But I know Thiemo a bit. I know sometimes he snaps in the head … It's a weakness for him, so you play with that.
De Bakker would disagree:
At 4-1 in the third, when I went for a ball, came a little bit in my groin, like a traction, so from that moment I had problems to play rallies and to serve.
And when he broke me back, I knew it was pretty much going to be tough.
I want to get a fight there, but if it's not possible - the body says no - there's not much I can do.
Mental or physical? Probably a bit of both, but, we'll never know.
Mardy Fish vs Victor Hanescu: Fish, who had blood work done this week due to fatigue, was also down 2 sets to love against Hanescu, but the Number 16 seed dug deep and won in 5, 2-6, 4-6, 6-3, 7-5, 7-3. Apparently the 19th time is a charm (he had been 0-18 in coming back two sets down in his career.)
Other interesting men's 5-setters: Albert Montanes over Dustin Brown, Ivan Dodig over Ivo Karlovic, and Phillip Kohlschreiber over Tobias Kamke
*And really ladies......there were just too many 3 setters to even count, and that is that.
Sam Querry vs. Lukasz Kubot: Kubot sent the number 18th seed packing in a tight 5 set match, 5-7, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1, 7-6. I know I shouldn't be surprised considering his frequent 1st round loses at Slams, but I am, but I'm not, but really....... I AM. The only good part of the match? Kubot's jig after winning.
Photo: Getty Images
Nikolay Davydenko vs Florian Myer: Davydenko who was a quarterfinalist last year, was taken out in 4 sets, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6, 6-4. After his recent win over Rafael Nadal in Doha, I had expected him to do well in the AO. Well, thanks for nothing Kolya....... for the record, because of your loss, my bracket is SCREWED! (Because it's all about me right?)
Top Seeds: Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andy Roddick, Fernando Verdasco, Caroline Wozniacki, Victoria Azarenka, Venus Williams, and Francesca Schiavone all advanced.
For Today's Order of Play, click here.
Photo: Ben Solomon
I've broken out my reading glasses, and after analyzing the draw for about an hour, here are my predictions for the Men:
First let's look at the top half of the draw where we find Rafael Nadal, Robin Soderling, Andy Murray and David Ferrer.
1. Rafa: He has a fairly easy cruise to the semi-finals as long as he can make it past a potential third round match with fellow countryman Feliciano Lopez or John Isner. He could also potentially meet Ferrer, Nalbandian or Llodra in the quarter-finals. I anticipate that he will win all of these matches, but it will be tough, and then he will meet either Soderling or Murray in the semi-finals.
2. Soderling: I anticipate he will also make it to the semi-finals, but he will have to get past Tsonga in the 4th round which should be a great match, and then Murray in the quarter-finals.
3. Murray: Unfortunately for Murray, I think his road will end when he meets Soderling in the quarter-finals. His road up till that point should be smooth sailing. Potential bumps: a run-in with either Melzer or Baghdatis in the 4th round.
4. Ferrer: I think he will make it to the 3rd round safely were he will have his first test against the winner of the Nalbandian/Hewitt match in the 1st round. (Ouch) In the 4th round will have to battle the winner of Llodra/Youzhny, and then if he makes it to the quarter-finals, he will play Rafa.
My predictions: Rafa vs Ferrer and Soderling vs Murray in the quarter-finals with Rafa and Soderling progressing and Soderling going all the wall to the finals.
Now, let's take a peek at the bottom half of the draw, where we have Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Tomas Berdych and Andy Roddick.
1. Federer: To get the the semi-finals he has to overcome 2 fairly large American roadblocks, Mardy Fish and Andy Roddick He would meet Fish in the 4th round and Roddick in the quarter-finals. I think there is definitely a potential for upset if he meets an in-form Fish, and if he makes it past Fish, then he will have a tough match against either Roddick, Monfils or Wawrinka in the quater-finals. His potential semi-final match up would be Novak Djokovic.
2. Djokovic: I think he has the easiest route to the semi-finals. Road blocks? Nicolas Almagro in the 4th round, and in the quarter-finals he could meet Gasquet, Davydenko, Berdych or Verdasco. His potential semi-final match-up would be Federer.
3. Berdych: I honestly have no idea how Berdych will factor in his 1/2 of the draw. His 2nd round match-up would be with Kohlschreiber, 3rd round against Gasquet, and 4th found against Davydenko. If he can make it past them, he will fall to Djokovic in the quarter-finals.
4. Roddick: I really want Roddick to make a run at least to the quater-finals. His first test will be against Juan Monaco in the 3rd round, then he will have a monster match against either Gael Monfils or Stanislas Wawrinka in the 4th round. He will then meet Federer in the quarter-finals. I would LOVE for Roddick to beat Federer, but if history tells us anything, this is where his AO bid will fail.
My predictions: Davydenko vs Djokovic and Roddick vs Roger in the quarter-finals, with Djokovic and Roger progressing and Djokovic making it to the finals.
So there you have it: Novak Djokovic vs Robin Soderling in the finals with Soderling living up to his name "Giant Killer" and winning his first Slam. What do you think?