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Monday, January 27, 2014

Stan is the Man!




I'm so happy that Stan has finally won his first major!! I always knew he had it in him if he just really believed!! Dyahe lang na Nadal is making issue about his injury (parang si Serena, pag natalo, ay injured ako - di ba pwedeng, on that day, mas magaling lang talaga ang kalaban!) pero at least Nadal did not retire!!! He would've received a lot of hate tweet and hate posts in FB!! Even I would send him one!! Remember Justine Henin retiring against Amelie Mauresmo in 2006 ata? That really sucked and I think Henin lost a lot of fans that day, me included........

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Grigor Dimitrov: Sexy Australian Open Quarterfinalist



Ohh lala!! Finally Grigor Dimitrov is in a grand slam quarterfinal and the first one is here in the Australian Open 2014.  Maria Sharapova, currently his squeeze, is pretty lucky huh!  I really think so!  He's definitely one of the lookers in the men's tour right now!

Eugenie Bouchard: Surprise Semifinalist Australian Open 2014

I have been hearing about Eugenie Bouchard of Canada for sometime now and to finally see her play today and defeating Ana Ivanovic shows that she's one of the new players to really watch out for in women's tennis.  I love the way she plays!  She's very aggressive and her groundstrokes are booming!  I would've loved to see her play Serena Williams, which is a distinct possibility in the future.  

Her ranking will surely rise after this grand slam, possibly in the top 20s.  I would love to see more of her in the slams in the future!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Treat Huey in the Quarterfinals of the 2014 Australian Open Men's Doubles!

I just learned now that Treat Huey, probably our country's best men's doubles tennis players, is in the quarterfinals of the men's doubles of the Australian Open!!  His partner is a Brit (Dom Inglot) and I think they've been playing for sometime now!

Anyway, they joined the KL Open last year, but they didn't go that deep (and I missed their matches kasi I should've stayed a full week!)  I'm pretty excited for them and they might even make the semi-finals because they have unseeded opponents!  Go Philippines!!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Female Breakout Player Australian 2014: Casey Dellacqua

Casey Dellacqua, currently ranked #120, is this year's Australian Open female breakout player.  She won her first round match today, 62 62, against Russian veteran Vera Zvonareva, who's on a comeback. 

She then defeated Kirsten Flipkens (#18) of Belgium in the second round, 63 60.  She then defeated Zheng Jie (#36) of China 62 64 in the third round.

She will next meet Eugenie Bouchard (#31) of Canada in the fourth round.

Male Breakout Player: Australian Open 2014 - Stephane Robert:

Stephane Robert of France is a veteran journeyman who at 33 years old is ranked #119.  He outdoes himself this year as he reaches the third round of the Australian Open for the first time ever in his career.  He defeated Aljaz Bedene (#104) of Slovenia, 76(3) 63 60 in the first round, then upset Michal Pryzsiezny (#64) of Poland in the second round, 76(3) 61 67(3) 61.  

He then met Martin Klizan of Slovakia (#106) in the third round, 60 76(2) 64.  This is the first time Stephane Robert has reached the fourth round of  any grand slam.

Australian Open 2014: Elite Men's Team Award


Spain wins the Elite Men's Team Award  in this year's Australian Open by putting four of their players in the fourth round of the event.  They are led by Rafael Nadal (#1), David Ferrer (#3), Tommy Robredo (#18) and Roberto Bautista Agut (#62).

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Zarina Diyas: Player Ranked Outside the Top 100 Who Reached the Third Round of the 2014 Australian Open

Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan, currently ranked #152, won her first round match today in the 2014 Australian Open, against Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic (#173), 62 64.

She then defeated Marina Erakovic (#52) of New Zealand, 64 60 in the second round.  She is slated to meet Simona Halep of Romania (#11) in the third round.

Martin Klizan: Player Ranked Outside the Top 100 Who Reached the Third Round of the 2014 Australian Open

Martin Klizan of Slovakia reached the second round of the Australian Open for the first time in his career by upsetting John Isner of the USA in the first round, who retired after two sets 62 76(6).

He then defeated Blaz Rola (#185) of Slovenia in the second round 64 63 57 76(2).  

He will meet Stephane Robert (#119) of France in the third round.  He has a very good chance of being in the fourth round of a slam for the first time in his career.  He is, after all, the higher ranked player among the two!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Blossoming of Belinda Bencic

One thing that I love about watching grand slams is that it gives fans opportunities to spot new talent.  It's only the third day of the Australian Open and there have been a slew of new names on the marquee giving top players a hard time!  One of them is Belinda Bencic and although Li Na bageled her in the first set of their second round encounter, the second set is more of a display of what Belinda, this new Swiss miss can do!

She's fun to watch and she definitely has the weapons to do major damage so won't be surprised to see her rankings rise in the next few years.  She's only 16!  Imagine that!

Well, however her match with Li Na ends, she definitely has made a mark on me and although her competition in the WTA tour would still be limited due to her young age, I'm sure she'll be given more grand slam exposure.  

We'll know soon if she upsets Li Na!

Olivia Rogowska: Player Ranked Outside the Top 100 Who Reached the Second Round of the 2014 Australian Open

Olivia Rogowska of Australia, currently ranked #169, defeated Mariana Duque-Marino (#105) of Colombia, 63 63, in the first round of this year's Australian Open.  She also reached the second round of this grand slam in 2012.

She will next meet Elina Svitolina (#47) of the Ukraine in the second round.

Thomaz Bellucci: Player Ranked Outside the Top 100 Who Reached the Second Round of 2014 Australian Open

Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil, is another veteran player, 26 years old and currently ranked #129.  He won his first round match here in Melbourne this week as he won over German Julian Reister 46 63 76(5) (#88).

He is slated to meet Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the second round

Blaz Rola: Player Ranked Outside the Top 100 Who Reached the Second Round of the 2014 Australian Open

Blaz Rola of Slovenia, currently ranked at #185, reached the second round of the 2014 Australian Open today as he disposed of Argentine Federico Delbonis (#55) 64 62 75.

He will next meet Martin Klizan (#106) of Slovakia in the second round.

Michael Berrer: Player Ranked Outside the Top 100 Who Reached the Second Round of the 2014 Australian Open

Veteran Michael Berrer of Germany, currently ranked #144, is through to his fifth second round appearance of the 2014 Australian Open after he beats Michael Llodra (#102) of France 64 75 61.

He will next meet Feliciano Lopez (#27) of Spain in the second round.

Hot Argentine Player Horacio Zeballos


Vincent Millot: Player Ranked Outside the Top 100 Who Reached the Second Round of the 2014 Australian Open

Vincent Millot of France, currently ranked #267, is already 27 years old and is probably a journeyman in the ITF circuit.  He gets a bit of limelight this time though, as he defeated Wayne Odesnik (#139) of the USA , 75 46 67(4) 61 63, to get to the second round of this year's Australian Open.  It's his first time ever in the second round of a Grand Slam.

He will next meet Andy Murray of Great Britain in the second round.

Nick Kyrgios: Player Ranked Outside the Top 100 Who Reached the Second Round of the 2014 Australian Open

Nick Kyrgios of Australia won the boys title of the Australian Open last year.  This year, currently ranked #183, he reaches the second round of the main men's draw for the first time, by defeating Benjamin Becker (#81) of Germany, 63 67(5) 62 76(2).

He and Thanasi Kokkanakis have kept the hopes of Australia alive and well in the men's draw.  He will next meet Benoit Paire (#28) of France in the second round.

Dusan Lajovic: Cute!



I have discovered several new junior players who have done well here in Melbourne  At least for them, the expectation is to at least qualify or even better - reach the second round!  Anyway, Dusan Lajovic is one of the new and up and coming players that fit that cute bill!

Dusan Lajovic: Player Ranked Outside the Top 100 Who Reached the Second Round of the 2014 Australian Open

This is the first time I have heard of Dusan Lajovic.  He's currently ranked #117 and he defeated Lucas Pouille of France in the first round here in Melbourne, 64 76(9) 46 63.  He qualified just to make it into the main draw.

He will next meet Kei Nishikori of Japan in the second round.

Thanasi Kokkinakis: Player Ranked Outside the Top 100 Who Reached the Second Round of the 2014 Australian Open

This is the first time I have heard of Thanasi Kokkinakis of Australia.  He's currently ranked #570 in the world yet he won his first round match here in Melbourne, defeating Igor Sijsling (#73) of the Netherlands, 76(4) 06 76(3) 62. 

As Lleyton Hewitt lost in the first round yesterday, Thanasi shows that there are several young Aussie players coming up the rankings to fly the Aussie flag here in Melbourne in the coming years!

Thanasi will next meet world #1 Rafael Nadal in the second round.

Monday, January 13, 2014

A Relaxed Tomas Berdych


It's great to see a relaxed Tomas Berdych here in this year's Australian Open!  Based on the draw, I pick Tomas Berdych to get through to the semi's, on his side of the draw!  Let's see if he does achieve that!

Vamos David Ferrer!

I haven't seen the first match of David Ferrer because I am at the mercy of whatever games the cable operators here decide to show. I really hope they have this system where fans can actually choose the match they want!  Anyway, David makes it safely into the second round and his fans are just eager to see him do well here in Melbourne!

Johanna Larsson: I Am Now A Fan!

Yes, I have heard of Sweden's Johanna Larsson before but I have never actually seen her play!  Until today, where she was drawn to play defending champion Vika Azarenka in a first round match.

That picture was taken before she hit the court and the score now stands at 54 on her favor.  She is serving for the first set.  She is playing really well!!  Fantastic forehands and just keeping toe to toe with the champion.

Doesn't matter how this match plays out in the end!  I am now your fan, Johanna Larsson!

Dominic Thiem: Player Ranked Outside the Top 100 Who Reached the Second Round of the 2014 Australian Open

Dominic Thiem of Austria, currently ranked #136 in the world, won his first round match today in Melbourne,  against Joao Sousa of Brazil (#50), 57 64 63 76(3).  It's also his first time into the second round of a grand slam.

He will next meet South African Kevin Anderson (#21) in the second round

Damir Dzumhur: Player Ranked Outside the Top 100 Who Reached the Third Round of the 2014 Australian Open

Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia-Herzegovina, currently ranked #188 in the world, won his first round match in Melbourne today, winning over Jan Hajek (#103) of the Czech Republic, 64 62 61.

He then won his second round match against Ivan Dodig (#34) of Croatia, 46 46 63 41 retd.  This is his first grand slam appearance.  He will next meet Tomas Berdych in the third round.

Luksika Kumkum: Rising Thai Tennis Star

I have seen Luksika KumKhum's name before in the draws of the grand slams, but here in Melbourne today, she finally makes a big splash, by defeating Petra Kvitova, currently ranked #6 in the world.  Luksika, currently ranked #88, played really well today but still had to fight through in three sets, 62 16 64.  

This certainly opens their side of the draw.  Luksika will meet Mona Barthel of Germany in the second round.

Alla Kudryavtseva: Player Ranked Outside the Top 100 Who Reached the Second Round of the Australian Open 2014

I haven't seen Alla Kudryavtseva play all year last year, so it was great to see her name back in a grand slam draw starting here in Melbourne.  She is currently ranked #162 and today, she defeated Caroline Garcia of France, ranked #76.  She will meet Angelique Kerber in the second round.

This is her third time into the second round of Melbourne.

Irina Falconi: Player Ranked Outside the Top 100 Who Reached the Second Round of the 2014 Australian Open

Irina Falconi of the US, currently ranked #142, won her first round match in Melbourne today, 63 61, against veteran Anabel Medina Garrigues.  She will next meet Ekaterina Makarova in the second round.  It's the first time Irina goes into the second round here in Melbourne.

Lucie Hradecka: Player Ranked Outside the Top 100 Who Reached the Second Round of the Australian Open 2014

Lucie Hradecka is one of my favorite Czech players and although she has made inroads as a doubles player, I have seen her play before as a very good singles player.  I don't know why her ranking hasn't really stayed inside the top 100 but here in Melbourne today, she won her first round match against Donna Vekic (#94) of Croatia, 63 61.  She is currently ranked #146 in the world.

It will be a battle of the two Czech Lucie's in the second round, as Lucie Hradecka will meet countrywoman, Lucie Safarova.

Belinda Bencic: Player Ranked Outside the Top 100 Who Reached the Second Round of the 2014 Australian Open

Belinda Bencic is being touted as the next Martina Hingis after she won the junior Wimbledon and French Open titles last year.  She's only 16 years old, currently ranked #187 in the world, and today, she won over veteran Kimiko Date-Krumm, 43 years old, 64 46 63 in an exciting first round match here in Melbourne.

She will next meet Li Na in the second round.

My Favorite Italians Out of Melbourne in First Round

When I was first figuring out the women's draw last night, I picked Sara Errani to reach the quarters of her draw and Roberta, be her opponent in the fourth round.  Both play very well on this surface, but well, it was not meant to be.  Both ladies lost their first round matches today and it certainly does some rearrangements in the top upper draw, where they both come from.

The Adorable Ashleigh Barty

Ashleigh Barty had the unenviable task of having to meet Serena Williams in the first round of Melbourne.  Even the help of her hometown crowd didn't help the cause of the youngster but you could really see she tried her best to at least, make a dent in the champion's armor.  She eventually lost 26 16, but at least, Ashleigh got a new fan in me!  She's only 17 anyway, and she should continuously improve her game!

Jarmila Gajdosova: Lost in the First Round But Happy to See Her Back

I don't remember seeing Jarmila Gajdosova in any of the Grand Slam draws last year and I really thought she retied already.  Hindi pala.  It was great to see her back and play really well in her first round match here in Melbourne.  She lost though to Angelique Kerber but she at least, won a set!  She should do well in the succeeding slams, if she continues to play this well!

Vesna Dolonc: Player Ranked Outside the Top 100 Who Reached the Second Round in the Australian Open 2014

Serbia adds another player into its already increasing bench of good female players.  Vesna Dolonc, currently ranked #104 in the world, won her first round match here in Melbourne, by defeating Spaniard Lara Arruabarrena.  She got to the third round here in 2011 and also got to the third round of Wimbledon last year.  She will most likely face Serena Williams in the second round.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Australian Open 2014: Bottom Lower Women's Draw

Victoria Azarenka has won the Australian Open for the past two years, and she is really in good form again in 2014, so there should be no reason for her not to defend her title!  Among the top four women though, I think she has the toughest draw, which should be good for her since it should prepare her for the last two final rounds.

Her most likely opponents include Bojana Jovanovski and Svetlana Kuznetsova.  I pick Agnieszka Radwanska as her quarterfinal opponent.  Agi is a very tricky player and could defeat Vika on any given day, if she's on fire.

Most likely awaiting her on the semifinals would be Maria Sharapova and possibly Serena Williams in the finals.  Definitely not an easy slam to defend this year!

Australian Open 2014: Top Lower Women's Draw

Maria Sharapova is another of the women who has a fighting chance of winning Melbourne this year.  She has won it before and based on the draw, she should be able to get the semifinal slot on her side of the draw and have a good chance of getting another Australian Open title.

She has some tricky opponents along the way though, like Carla Suarez Navarro and Camila Giorgi.  I pick Jelena Jankovic as her quarterfinal opponent.

Australian Open 2014: Bottom Upper Women's Draw

Li Na has been the bridesmaid to this even twice already in the past three years.  Will 2014 be the year that she finally wins it?  Well, looking at the draw, she really has a good chance of doing it.  She started 2014 solidly by winning in Shenzhen.

She does have very tough prospective opponents along the way which include Kimiko Date-Krumm, Lucie Safarova, Sabine Lisicki and Angelique Kerber.  That should prepare her tough for her most likely toughest fight, a prospective semifinal meeting with Serena Williams!

It's good that she has tough matches along the way so that when she reaches the second week, she's very sharp already!  Good luck Li Na!

Australian Open 2014: Top Upper Women's Draw

Interestingly, Serena Williams has been absent from any of the Australian Open women's finals, for the past three years!  Well, she started 2014 with a big bang by winning the Brisbane Open, so this should be the year Serena lifts the Australian Open trophy again, for the sixth time.

Or at least, have a fighting chance of doing so, after seeing her draw.  She should easily be the one to get the semifinal slot in her side of the draw and I pick Sara Errani as her most likely quarterfinal opponent.  She doesn't have an easy road though as she will most likely run into veterans Daniela Hantuchova and Ana Ivanovic as she progresses.

Vera Zvonareva, who is returning this year, is also on her side of the draw but I just pick her to reach the second round.  The top Italians, Roberta Vinci and Sara Errani should be the ones slugging it out to meet Serena in the quarters.

Let's see how it all unravels tomorrow!

The Seniors Are Still Active On the Draw in Melbourne

As I looked on the draw of men's Australian Open 2014, I can see that there are still several senior players who can do damage in the draw!  Most notably, there's Tommy Haas, who I think, can possibly reach the fourth round in his side of the draw!  He may be 35 years old already but he's currently ranked #12 in the world!  Imagine that!

Radek Stepanek is also another journeyman, who at 35, should reach the second round here in Melbourne this year.  He's currently ranked #44.

My favorite player, Tommy Robredo, is already 31 but still, currently ranked #18.  I predict that he will reach the third round here in Melbourne. 

Nikolay Davydenko, a former top 5 player, is 32 and is currently ranked #61.  I think he should reach the second round in Melbourne this year.

Mikhail Youzhny is another senior player who I think should reach up to the third round here in Melbourne this year.  He's 31 and currently ranked #15!  That's pretty high!

Finally, there's Roger Federer, who at 32, is still at #6 and should reach the 4th round in Melbourne this year.  Heck, if he defeats Tsonga, his perennial conqueror, he should even reach the quarterfinals.  Murray is the guy he has to defeat in his side of the draw though to reach the semifinals.

Stan Wawrinka Seeded 8th in Melbourne!


I am so happy to know that Stanislas Wawrinka has finally been seeded in a slam, seeded #8 here in Melbourne this year!  I don't remember though if he was ever seeded in any other slam, but this is the first time I have seen him be in the top 8!  He's on the side of Djokovic in the draw, so he has serious work to do to be able to get that semifinal slot in his side of the draw.

Possible tough opponents in his draw include Vasek Pospisil and Richard Gasquet.

How Deep Can Hewitt Go?

When Lleyton Hewitt defeated Roger Federer in Brisbane a few weeks ago, the buzz has grown again as to how well Hewitt can possibly play in this year's Australian Open.  To be able to defeat a player still currently ranked #6 in the world, and is undeniably the greatest in the sport, that at least gives Hewitt some confidence coming into this slam.

He has a tough first round draw in Andreas Seppi, who is seeded #24 here in the Australian Open 2014.  So, let's see how Hewitt rises to the occasion.  As for me though, I believe he should reach up to the third round, where he will most likely fall to Kei Nishikori.  But well, that's just me prognosticating!  Go Lleyton!

Australian Open 2014: Bottom Lower Men's Draw

Can Novak Djokovic make it to five Australian Open titles?  I certainly think so. He's still in very good form up to now. He's currently ranked #2 in the world and he finds himself in a relatively easy draw!  I am picking him as the guy who will most likely get the semifinal slot in his side of the draw and I pick Stan Wawrinka as his most likely quarterfinal opponent.

His other most likely opponents in the draw include Tursunov, Montanes and Gulbis.  Compared to the other top four, his most likely opponents are not so difficult to beat.  Oh well, we'll see, as the Australian Open 2014 unravels!

Australian Open 2014: Top Lower Men's Draw

This might finally be the break that Tomas Berdych is looking for in the Australian Open!  As I looked on his draw, I think he's the best person who could step up to the plate and get the semifinal slot for their side of the draw.  This year is probably his best shot!

Actually, David Ferrer is ranked higher than him but I don't think the surface here is somewhere David could excel in so I still feel that Tomas has the better chance to excel among the top two players in this side of the draw.

Berdych's prospective opponents include Tommy Haas and Ivan Dodig.  Aside from Ferrer, another dark horse that could get the semifinal slot is Jerzy Janowicz of Poland, who already has one Wimbledon semifinal under his belt.

Well, among the four sections of the draw, this is the one which I am going to monitor the most!  Any of the guys in this draw has a big chance of getting into the Australian Open semifinal for the first time ever!

Australian Open 2014: Bottom Upper Men's Draw

Among the top players in the men's draw for this year's Australian Open, Andy Murray would be the guy I would be most likely to cheer on the most - mainly because he has been bridesmaid to this title three times in the last four years.  With his Wimbledon breakthrough last year, I think he already has the mental strength to finally get his very first Australian Open title!

However, it's not going to be an easy draw for him though and potential tough opponents include Feliciano Lopez, John Isner, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Roger Federer - so definitely, his work is cut out for him for this tournament.

I believe Jo-Wilfried Tsonga should be his quarterfinal opponent here but Andy should get the semifinal spot for this side of the draw.


Australian Open 2014: Top Upper Half Men's Draw

I think among the top four seeds, Rafa Nadal has the toughest draw, so if he does win the 2014 Australian Open, it would just show how ready he is to compete with just anybody!  He has only won this slam once in 2009 and had another chance at it two years ago, but lost in the final to Djokovic.  2013 was a bit tumultuous for Rafa, so to come back and start 2014 at the top spot can be a sign that he is ready to slug it out for the Aussie Open title #2!

The first thing I observed in the top upper half of the men's draw, aside from having Rafael Nadal there as the #1 seed, is the presence of several of the men who will most likely populate the top 10 in the next few years! 

 I could mention four already - Kei Nishikori, Benoit Paire, Grigor Dimitrov and Milos Raonic - all potential top 10 players in the near future!  They all have what it takes to be a top ten player - only time will tell if they are able to achieve their true potential.

Nadal's prospective opponents though may include Monfils, Nishikori and del Potro.  In fact, I am betting on Juan Martin del Potro to be his quarterfinal opponent.  However, I believe  Rafa should take the semifinal slot for this part of the draw, even with the presence of all that talent.  They can always prove me wrong though!