Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Melbourne: Failed Deliveries & Grand ‘Slums’

Federer d. Davydenko 2-6 6-3 6-0 7-5

Alas, a match that promised us so very much, one that should actually have been given top billing in a night session (someone mind telling me how that happened?), but nevertheless failed to live up to our justifiably bloated expectations.

federer1 (Photo: Press Association)

This should have been billed as ‘Vintage Fed’ v ‘Post-Modern Davy’.

Except there was nothing vintage about it. Not unless vintage refers to Fed shanking his sets away, or a predilection for his opponents to wilt away in the assumed glare of his awesomeness.

Instead we were graced with four mind-numbingly routine sets of tennis, that wouldn’t have looked out of place in 2007.

Don’t let that first set fool you.

Davy only got off to ‘good’ start because Fed pulled off one of his infamous disappearing acts that sees him arrive somewhere in the middle of act two.

It didn’t take very long for Davy’s ‘form’ to be exposed for what it was: a facade masquerading as competence.

Don’t let’s pretend Davy’s form even partially resembled anything from London or Doha, just because it was one barely detectable notch above that horrendous outing him and Nando paved the way with 48 hours ago.

Nor for that matter was Fed’s form anything to write home about.

What, another four setter where he edges past Davy without playing his best tennis? So 2007.

You know Davy’s on when he’s able to string points together and take aim for (and hit) the lines. None of which took place until, at 2-3 down in that fourth set Davy broke back and we finally saw something of the type of play from both men, that should have featured in all four sets.

It lasted all of three games.

Li Na d. V. Williams 2-6 7-6 7-5

I’m still reeling from how bad this one was.

Or whether I hate V’s play more than her dress which, let’s be honest, leaves so very little to the imagination.

A match that left such an unbearable taste in my mouth, it led me to coin an award in it’s honour.

Congratulations Li Na and Venus Williams – joint winners of the ‘Grand Slum’ – awarded at each Slam to the poorest match played by the highest seeds left standing in the second week.

S. Williams d. Azarenka 4-6 7-6 6-2

Serena saves the day - and herself, in a monumental turnaround (from a set and 4-0 down) that’s being rightfully hailed as one of the best of her career.

Little sorry for Vika who was reduced to wondering (in vain) what she could do, having already produced her best tennis and seen it being made to look like an ineffectual mess.

Tsonga d. Djokovic 7-6 6-7 1-6 6-3 6-1

I’ve often thought that the grunt Djoko gives off when serving sounds a little too similar to him puking his guts out.

Last night, leading 2 sets to 1, he actually puked his guts out.

When he returned, he was devoid of almost all the intensity that had enabled him to reach this point.

Great win for Tsonga, though props due to Djoko
too for not taking the easy option of pulling out of a match he had no chance of winning.

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