Firstly, many thanks to all those who are regular followers of this site. I really appreciate the fact that I’m not wasting time writing to thin air, and I hope that you’re finding what I’m putting together worthwhile!
This is just a short post to tide you over until tomorrow, when I will get a post up about this year’s 19-year-old Australian Open semi-finalist, Madison Keys… and some other 19-year-olds who have previously made it that far.
Also, this morning (well, late last night!), a Murray versus Berdych pre-match piece of mine went up over at The Changeover. It’s still worth a read: 10 Things You Should Know About Dani Vallverdu. Check it out here!
Anyway, here is the point of this post: Short thoughts from three days at the top.
It’s been a busy few days at the Australian Open, with some seeds and legends generating a lot of attention (and some not so much.) Here are my quick takes on the current status of some of those top players.
Venus Williams – If I can only tell you one thing about Venus Williams’ run to the Australian Open quarter-finals, then it’s this; She NEVER stops fighting. In her three set win over Radwanska, there were some games that she had no business in winning – games that some of her fans would have begged her to let go of, to save her energy, and move on to the next one.
But Give Up isn’t in Venus’ vocabulary, and she won those games anyway. That win, 6-4, 2-6, 6-1 over the 6th seed, was certainly her tournament highlight. Painful though it was to see an all-Williams semi-final broken up round early – especially because Venus self-admittedly didn’t do herself justice in her three set loss to Keys – the elder Williams sister can leave with her head held high. She’d had a 10 match winning streak going, she’d reached her first Slam quarter-final since she was diagnosed with her auto-immune disease, and she inspired many.
With the release of the new rankings on Monday, Venus will return to world number 11. And it all channels back to her fighting spirit.
There’s more to come from Venus Williams.
Rafael Nadal – It was a crazy tournament for Rafa. Coming in riding a wave of pessimism, he flew through his first round before narrowly avoiding a second round upset to American qualifier Tim Smyczek. After that five set epic, he eased through his next two matches, before being upended shockingly straightforwardly by Tomas Berdych – 6-2, 6-0, 7-6(7-5).
But the fact is, Nadal never played his best tennis in Melbourne. The 28-year-old Spaniard is still trying to find his form after returning from an injury-hit 2014.
Last year, he had uncharacteristic struggles on his favourite surface – clay. But maybe this year, the transition to his surface of success will aid him to proceed forwards in his old, dominant ways. It’s like home comfort, no?
Eugenie Bouchard – proved once again that when it comes to top players, she’s waving goodbye. As she came up against her first seeded opponent, Sharapova sent her packing by the simple score line of 6-3, 6-2. A Stephens-esque fate is calling her name, and if Genie wants to make it big as much as she makes out, then she needs to wake up to reality. Something has to change – possibly in the form of creating a Plan B to her game. She still doesn’t have one.
Tomas Berdych – The big Czech man has proved that he now has the confidence, the coach, the desire and the potential to succeed. Now he just needs to polish up his game, and learn to stay calm in the crucial moments.
That includes being able to carry out a game plan, at all times. He choked against Murray today.
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Well, my computer has for some reason gone ridiculously slow, and bedtime is calling, so I will hold this there. See you at the next post! (A sneaky way of saying: Hey! You’d better be here tomorrow!)