Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Aussie Open Day 3: Henin Fights off Dementieva, Rafa, DelPo and Muzz Move on to Round 3

Bold Whether Justine Henin's near-flawless comeback has been expected or not, the Belgian has played extremely impressive tennis in her 2-week old return to the game. In a much anticipated 2nd round encounter with 5th seeded Elena Dementieva, the former number 1 advanced, 7-5, 7-6 (6) in an enthralling 2 hour 40 minute match. In the court-side interview, Henin told reporters, "my heart was there 200%". Henin's countrywomen, Kim Clijsters, looked so-so in a 3 and 3 win over the lovely Tamarine Tanasugarn. Mama Kimmie will take on 19th seeded Nadia Petrova, whe joined fellow Russians Svetlana Kuznetsova and Alisa Kleybanova in the 3rd round.
Juan Martin del Potro's wrist injury has been apparent in his first 2 matches, but despite being hampered, the Argentine continues to fight, and his 2nd round epic with James Blake was filled with emotions (see above). The American looked more like the Blake of old, but it still wasn't enough as DelPo squeaked out a victory 6-4, 6-7 (3), 5-7, 6-3, 10-8. “It was a great victory for my career. I have no words to explain this moment. I’m so tired,” said JMDP after the 4-plus hour fight. Andy Roddick took out Tomaz Bellucci in straight sets and will play Feliciano Lopz, who was a 4-set winner on day 3. Marin Cilic looked very shaky in a 5-set thriller with 17 year-old Aussie Bernard Tomic, who squandered a break in the final set to go down 6-7 (6), 6-3, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4. Fernando Gonzalez and Stan Wawrinka moved on as well.

2nd seeded Dinara Safina advanced with a solid 2 set win over Barbora Zahlavova Strycova and kept her under-the-radar run alive. Maria Kirilenko avoided a letdown after upsetting Maria Sharapova and earned a comfortable straight-set W, while Jelena Jankovic and Marion Bartoli advanced to the final 32 with easy victories.

Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal, both located in the last quarter of the men's draw in Melbourne, looked dominant in easy victories to move closer and closer to a potential meeting between the two in the quarterfinals. Rafa will play a dangerous Phillip Kohlschreiber, who earned his spot in the 3rd round with a 4 set win over American Wayne Odesnik, and Murray will take on Florent Serra. 3 Giants also turned in wins on Tuesday, as 6'10 Ivo Karlovic, 6'9 John Isner, and 6'4 Ivan Ljubicic kept their Australian Open hopes alive. 12th seeded Gael Monfils rounded out the winner's circle in the 4th quarter with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 win.

No comments: