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I have played for 25 years and coached for the last 17 years--certified United States Professional Tennis Association Professional One--worked for Punahou Schools-voted the #1 Sports School in the United States, as a Program Supervisor, in charge of coaching the High Performance Players as well as coordinating programs for K-12 and Tennis Pro Education.

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Thoughts on a Australian Open

I just watched about eight hours of tennis today. First, it was Safina taking out Cornet. Physically, Safina casts an impressive figure with size and speed, plus add in the tone she has gained since the last time I saw her--Wimbledon, and she looks solid, but she suffers from the Safin Curse of going for a bit much, not enough, and being mentally unstable. Cornet who is 19 impressed me, but she seems to be not as fit.

The next match was Del Potro vs Cilic--and that was a battle of Giants--both men tower at least 195 cm or taller. The power, the court coverage, and the speed were impressive. It will be interesting to see where things fall for them.

Roger's epic battle with Berdych was very interesting. First, it's always impressive how the higher ranked player stages the comeback while the contender seems to falter. Cornet above was up 5-2, and she had two match points. Berdych, as my wife was saying--"You have no luck. He was playing un-ffff believable." She knows I love to see Roger lose, and when she swears it's truly stunning, but Berdych had solid court coverage and rallies--why he went to net so much boggles my mind, but Roger showed the grit and determination. To me, it's becoming obvious--Roger needs his first serve to go in. His slice backhand sits up on the new sloooowwweeerr Courts of the Aussie, and in crunch time, his forehand is breaking down. Yet he is still Roger and capable of some magic. The length of the match helped him as the heat of the day faded away.

Nadal looked really sloppy against Haas, but Nadal's game is built on groundstrokes. The longer the match, the longer the rally, and the more likely he will win. The courts suit his game. It is unfortunate that his playing style is so reckless on his body--the new Beefier Nadal along with the very unfashionable outfit--kind of a black--with an ugly shade of blue stripe on it. Just doesn't do it. Roger's outfit is Nike also, but he looks gooooddd.

Nowak just struggled through Baghdatitis--but the Roller Coaster that is Baghdatitis couldn't keep up with the steady play of the sleepy Nowak. The match finished at 3 a.m. Aussie time, which is a travesty. You could sense Nowak was starting to slip away. Marco had the second set up 3-0, but his play is just too up and down to sustain it. In five, Baghdatitis would be still in, but the Djoker came through--and he is ever so serious.

Andy Roddick looks pretty much the same, and I've been meaning to catch Murray, but I'm having a bit of bad luck.

IT looks like Andy draws Nowak. And unless Andy is on fire, Nowak will beat him down. The Djoker is so solid off the ground--I do think his forehand is weaker, but not by much, and his return will neutralize the Roddick serve. And after the serve, what else do we have? Andy's backhand is so so, and he has this new net rushing thing, but his volley isn't up to par and Nowak passes like a demon. Djoker pulls out three of a kind in straight.

Roger plays DelPotro--Roger is still Roger, but DelPotro is very similar to Berdych but better. I have a feeling Fed gets expressed out in four. But I'm reaching on that one. Why? I think Roger isn't that fit and it just seems he can't finish from the baseline--and Del Potro is the baseline.

Blake plays Tsonga, which is going to be interesting. Tsonga can be a tsunami or a lil surf break. Blake seems to be very stable, but his backhand seem so bad. I tip it to Tsonga with the serve and weapons outlasting the speed and brains of Blake. Tsonga typhoons through in four.

Murray takes on Verdasco... yeah. I know who he is, but do you. Murray stormbreaks through in straight.

The battle of France where a Monfil against a Simon-- and Simon Says--a Gael is coming. On paper and on the court, Monfil is a Simon with more weapons. Monfils in three.

Nadal takes on Gonzo, but to me, after going four hours with Gasquet. Gonzo is bananas now. Plus you got a guy who pretty much is the Sweetest Forehand on tour playing a guy that pretty much hits only to your backhand, and you get Nadal in Three....

It's not often I watch that much tennis so it's interesting.

In the end, I see Murray playing Tsonga and losing, but Tsonga losing to Nadal. Nowak takes down Del Potro with Nadal beating up on Nowak in the Final, but I'm biased. I don't like the Djoker and Murray just doesn't impress me yet.

Sorry Roger, but it's a what have you done lately world...and 27 seems so old now.

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