Day 1 is done and there were a surprising number of high profile exits in the women’s draw as Petra Kvitova, Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci all fell. Tommy Haas was the only seed to exit in the men’s draw. So much happened and I have missed out on so much whilst sleeping and working! If you want a full recollection of the stories of Day 1, there is a pretty neat recap on the Beyond the Baseline site. Anyway before I get going with my match previews and predictions tomorrow, here are a few thoughts I took away from the first day.
Note: In the TFF Dream Team, it is very early days, but stakorina takes an early lead from SA23 and #serenasarmy. We ended up with 21 teams so many thanks to everyone who joined 🙂
Petra has a mare:
Oh Petra. It’s a reusable phrase among Petra Kvitova fans and Monday was another day when it was in full use. Kvitova suffered a shocking first round loss to Luksika Kumkhum, 6-2 1-6 6-4. Firstly, credit to Kumkhum, who played very positively and despite a few wobbles serving out the match, came back fighting in Petra’s next service game. It was a really bad day at the office for Petra though, who had such big opportunities to improve her ranking after losing in the second round to Laura Robson last year.
Petra looked so incredibly laboured, particularly throughout the third set and was moving like she had a sack of potatoes on her back. I don’t know if it was the heat or as she mentioned in her post-match interview, that she almost wanted it too much. As an impending heatwave is set to hit Australia, I question whether Petra would have been able to cope as she is well known for struggling in the heat and the humidity. This was a thoroughly disappointing loss for Kvitova after what had been a very positive start to the year at the Hopman Cup and in her first two matches in Sydney.
Can Bouchard and Keys deal with the pressure?
The loss of Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci has opened up cavernous holes in the first quarter. Eugenie Bouchard is now the second highest seed left in the bottom half of the first quarter and from what I have read over the last few days, many people have tipped her for the quarters. If it’s not Bouchard, Madison Keys is another name that is being mentioned too. I fully stand by my prediction that Bouchard will reach the quarter-finals although I think the early losses of the two Italians will create unwanted pressure for the teens, who both have legitimate opportunities to break new ground at a Grand Slam.
Today was a tough day, but both got the W; Keys needed an extra time finish to see off Patricia Mayr-Achleitner, 9-7 in the third and Bouchard saved a set point in the first set against Hao Chen Tang before winning 7-5 6-1. I’d love to see a Keys v Bouchard 4th round, but I am fully aware that is a long way off. Do not count out Kirsten Flipkens yet, who may have been given a shedload of free points from poor Laura in the first round, but she served and defended impeccably well, and is a tough cookie to crack.
Venus and Makarova played a blinding match:
For the couple of hours of tennis I managed to keep my eyes open last night, the first round match between Venus Williams and Ekaterina Makarova was really fun. There was some fantastic hitting between the pair and although the quality may have dipped at times, it was a superbly gripping opening clash on the Margaret Court Arena. I was disappointed to see Venus lose. She has suffered her fair share of tough three set losses in the Slams lately. She played some really fantastic tennis to take the first set, 6-2, but her game rather crumbled towards the end of second set when she served three double faults in one game. The Bourne-GOAT, Makarova lives on and will be a match for anyone at this tournament.
Results of the polls:
Thanks to everyone for voting in the polls over the weekend. In the women’s, Serena was obviously the favourite, but there were a surprising number of votes for Agnieszka Radwanska, who must have a lot of fans! Thank you to the person who voted for Ying-Ying Duan to win the AO 2014. You gave me a chuckle 🙂 In the polls for each quarter, Ana Ivanovic received an alarming number of votes to win the first quarter although Serena was favoured most with 46% of your votes. The second quarter was a three way battle between Li, the now departed Venus and Lisicki, meanwhile Sharapova and Azarenka were top for the third and fourth quarters respectively.
In the men’s, Djokovic came out way on top with 50% of the votes. In the polls for each quarter, Del Potro got a lot of votes to win the first quarter although Nadal was just ahead and I was surprised to see Tsonga topping (barely) the second quarter. You can view the full percentages by going back to the original WTA and ATP previews.