Sunday, January 25, 2009

Near Misses and Actual Casualties

Lots of huge results happened earlier today during some 4th round action at the Aussie Open.

Following in the footsteps of fellow Serbian Ana Ivanovic (who's Grand Slam disasters continued with a 3-set loss in the 3rd round to Russian Alisa Kleybanova 3 days ago, which by the way, I predicted in my previous post), world #1 Jelena Jankovic lost to 16th seed Marion Bartoli of France (scoreline: 6-1, 6-4). Bartoli was the same player who upset then #1 Justine Henin couple of years ago at the Wimbledon semifinals when no one expected her to. I don't think anyone (except maybe her coach/father) ever predicted that she'd be able to beat Justine at a Wimbledon semifinal match, but she did. And I definitely didn't expect her to beat Jelena today, but she did it again.

I don't get how Bartoli does it. It's like her game is just a 7 usually, and once every two years, she manages to raise her game to an 11 against the No. 1 player in the world at a Grand Slam event. Maybe she sells her soul as a shared stock to the devil, thus the sometimes bug results, and the usually mediocre ones. Anyway, she's one hell of a quirky French player, so I guess I... like her?


Dinara Safina was another player who had a huge struggle in her match against another French player, #15 Alize Cornet (who defeated Daniela in the previous round.) The difference was she managed to win. Lil Sis Dinara (I've decided that she'll always be Marat's lil sis until she wins a grand slam...) was down 2-5 in the 3rd set, and Alize even held one match point before Dinara staged a huge comeback to win the match 7-5 in the 3rd set. With the two Sebs out of her way, I think Dinara has a huge chance to reach her 2nd Grand Slam final here, unless of course, the devil decides to buy stocks from Bartoli again. And in that case Lil Sis is toast.

Last but not the least among the players who were on a sinking ship today was, surprisingly(?), Roger Federer, who had to come back from 0-2 sets down to win in 5 sets against Czech #20 seed Tomas Berdych. Federer started off playing a bit wobbly, making a lot of errors and hitting some short,
loopy shots that allowed Berdych to pound the daylights out of the ball. But as the match wore on, Berdych started to miss his big shots and Fed was able to steady himself and hang tough. He better clean up his game though, if he expects to beat Murray in the final.




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