Tennis Prose



AO Day 3

Mackenzie McDonald showed why one American coach once told me a couple of years ago, “he has the best strokes of all the American players.” The former NCAA champion from UCLA dominated Rafael Nadal from the baseline and forced him into his old fabricated injury act down when 64 53. Forget about Nadal’s old tricks, McDonald was decisive, dominant and sensational again, after his marathon first round win vs Brandon Nakashima.

Sebastian Korda is quietly rampaging through the draw, he beat qualifier and old junior US Open opponent Yosuke Watanuki 62 75 64. Remember, Korda held a match point a couple of weeks ago vs heavy favorite Novak Djokovic in the Adelaide final. There’s no telling when the 22 year old will take that next mental step and finish matches like that vs the ultra elites.

Yoshihito Nishioka is playing his career best tennis and is at his career best ranking. The 31 seed beat Dalibor Svrcina 63 64 62 and will play McDonald next.

Keep your eye on the unknown Czech Republic rising star Jiri Lehecka, victor over Chris Eubanks in four sets. The 21 year old powerhouse ranked 71 defeated Zverev at United Cup.

Frances Tiafoe needed his A game to beat the up and coming 17 year old Chinese force Jerry Shang 64 64 61.

Felix Auger-Aliassime, who John McEnroe predicts will win a Grand Slam in 2023, lost the first two sets to Slovakian Alex Molcan but ultimately prevailed 36 36 63 62 62.

Diana Shnaider lead Maria Sakkari by a set and 5-5 and annoyed the Greek woman with her animated celebrating and intensity, provoking the heavy favorite to lecture the chair umpire about the North Carolina State freshman’s antics. Sakkari dug deep and prevailed in three. Shnaider is now expected to leave college tennis and focus on pro competition.

Former champ Vika Azarenka looked devastating again in the second round, crushing Podoroska 61 60.

American Bernarda Pera upset Qinwen Zheng 64 64.

Danielle Collins won another marathon thriller 76 in the third vs Muchova.

Coco Gauff beat Emma Raducanu 63 76.

Wimbledon Cham Elena Rybakina beat Juvan 61 62.

Bibi Andreescu played another mediocre match and lost to Spaniard Bucsa 62 67 46.

Iga Swiatek’s dominant form was too much for Colombian Osorio 62 63.

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  • catherine · January 19, 2023 at 4:05 am

    Hard work pays off: Sabalenka bt Rogers 6-4 6-1 and Aryna did not commit one d/f. She explained later the resources she tapped into to get rid of the serving yips. 18/19 dfs per match was regular for her last season.

    Zverev out to Mmoh in 4 but I think Z is suffering one of his many injuries.

    So Laura Siegemund, of all people, seems the last German standing. Germany’s Golden Generation in women’s tennis seems to have left no legacy. I don’t rate Niemeier, at least not yet.

    Giorgi presses on. Also Vekic.

    I might be wrong but I seriously can’t see much future for
    Andreescu. Which is sad. She was just so good in the few months before it all seemed to go off the rails.

    I left a comment below about Gauff/Radacanu but two more points – Emma improved as the match went on, which is a good sign, and the two players seem to have a mutual regard for each other which seems genuine. Nice to see.

    Fernandez lost to Garcia but it was tight. Leylah’s a step above Emma for the present.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 19, 2023 at 7:47 am

    Amazing day Catherine, so many surprises, top contenders sent home by obscurities – Fritz dismissed by Popyrin, Ruud by Brooksby, Zverev by Mmoh, Vekic hasn’t lost a match yet this year. Emma and Gauff are the future and they both have good friendly natures and seem to get along well with everyone, two good sportswoman who minimize the drama factor. Bibi’s game and antics are no longer extraordinary or special, she may have slipped into journeywoman status.

  • Steve · January 19, 2023 at 7:58 am

    Small note, Alex Molcan is not SerbianšŸ˜‰

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 19, 2023 at 9:07 am

    Yes he’s Slovakian thanks, got the flag mixed up.

  • catherine · January 19, 2023 at 11:15 am

    Jabeur out to Vondrousova who’s back from injuries.

    BTW – I’m a little surprised at the drunken antics of some fans in Melbourne. This never used to be a problem in tennis.
    In cricket, yes, especially Eng v Aust matches. But I don’t remember tennis as being so alcohol fuelled.

    Players complaining about the balls – apparently not spin-friendly. Swiatek hasn’t said anything.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 19, 2023 at 1:52 pm

    Catherine, don’t be surprised if some dark force is hiring these belligerents to hound Djokovic. The establishment does not want him to win this tournament. Both the WTA and ATP are so deep in talent now, there are so many dangerous Vondrousovas, Vekics, Brooksbys, McDonalds, etc out there lurking and stalking – and more than capable – of beating the elites. I think Emma changed tennis in 2021 as she proved to everyone and inspired every lower ranked unknown player that, “Hey if Emma could do it, why can’t I?”



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