Tennis Prose



Hewitt and Tomic lose to Dodig/Melo in doubles at Sony

It was a surprise to see these two Aussies teaming up for doubles here in Miami, the young gun and the wily old vet who have had a bit of a stormy past, regarding the supposed practice session at Wimbledon when Hewitt asked and Tomic declined. But that’s all water under the bridge now and they are mates today vs. Marcelo Melo and Ivan Dodig on court 3.

First, Tomic will play Murray next up on stadium after Tsonga and Troicki, which Jo Willy is leading at this moment 76 43.

I will watch Tomic and Hewitt play doubles and give readers a fully detailed report, so stay tuned…

Match was supposed to be at 5:30 but got pushed back because of Dodig’s marathon with Isner which he lost in a third set tiebreak on grandstand 5-7. So Hewitt and Tomic took court 2 at 8:30. I had to miss most of the first set to speak with Berdych and Raonic about their Federer memories and arrived with the Aussies up at 5-4 on serve. Luck seemed to leave the Aussies as they lost the next three games and the set and then fell down an early break in the second.

Hewitt coach Peter Luczak said this is the first time the two Aussie icons have been paired. Another reporter told me she spoke with Tomic who said they will play together for Davis Cup. Tomic has a head cold right now.

Melo from Brazil is a solid doubles player, ranked 23 in the world, best known for his results with Andre Sa and Bruno Soares. He is tall with a big serve and good hands at net, good returns.

The Aussies got back on serve but at 3-3, Hewitt serving, troubles began again. Hewitt missed two backhand volleys to surrender the break. They could never establish any kind of momentum, just a few flashes of brilliance, like Hewitt’s hands at the net and Tomic’s accuracy from the baseline. The only shouted “Come on” during the match came from a Hewitt fan in the crowd trying to spark his team.

The stadium was just about 80% full with one Australian flag hanging.

Tomic played okay with his finesse game, but he was far from his best form after losing badly to Murray in singles during the afternoon. Tomic’s two best shots tonight were delicate forehand angled crosscourts which twice tricked Melo. But as the highest ranked player on the court Tomic should have been the most dominant unfortunately he was not.

Something happened in this match which I have never seen happen live in a pro tennis tournament – Dodig sneezed at the net just before the start of a point. Have you ever seen a player sneeze on court?

Melo held serve at 5-3 and then on a deciding point in the Tomic serve game, Dodig finished it with another winner. 75 63 for Dodig and Melo.

Hewitt and Tomic smiled and shook hands and left the court 0-1 as a team.

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