Indian Wells day 2

Thanks a lot to Cindy for sharing photos and story of her stay at Indian Wells. Read first part here.

Women’s doubles…Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci against Svetlana Kuznetsova and Sam Stosur. It was a great match which went to a third set.

BNP Paribas Open Indian Wells March 2014

The winners…Stosur and Kuznetsova:

BNP Paribas Open Indian Wells March 2014

Radek Stepanek waiting for the serve:

BNP Paribas Open Indian Wells March 2014

Stepanek was playing Istomin. Stepanek won:

BNP Paribas Open Indian Wells March 2014

Here is the coin toss in the match between Peter Polansky and Juan Monaco.

BNP Paribas Open Indian Wells March 2014

Last match we saw was on the beautiful new Stadium 2. We were up high but look how well we could see. The match was Casey Dellacqua and Ash Barty v. Sabine Lisicki and Martina Hingis:

BNP Paribas Open Indian Wells March 2014

Sabine Lisicki and Martina Hingis:

BNP Paribas Open Indian Wells March 2014

Dellacqua and Barty. They won in three sets.

BNP Paribas Open Indian Wells March 2014

More Indian Wells pics:

The talk of the day is of course Ana Ivanovic‘ win over Serena Williams.
According to her coach, Serena blocked her back and neck before her match against Daniela Hantuchova in the third round.
The Serbian reaches the quarterfinals at a Grand Slam for the fisrt time since the 2012 US Open.

A sad end to a terrific tournament for a Casey Dellacqua: she lost the last 8 games of her match against Eugenie Bouchard 6-0. Joining Ivanovic and Bouchard in the quarterfinals are Li Na and Flavia Pennetta.

Australian Open 2014 champion?

  • Serena Williams (49%, 70 Votes)
  • Victoria Azarenka (15%, 21 Votes)
  • Maria Sharapova (12%, 17 Votes)
  • Na Li (9%, 13 Votes)
  • Other (5%, 7 Votes)
  • Caroline Wozniacki (4%, 6 Votes)
  • Jelena Jankovic (3%, 4 Votes)
  • Agniezska Radwanska (2%, 3 Votes)
  • Angelique Kerber (1%, 2 Votes)
  • Petra Kvitova (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Sara Errani (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 144

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No surprise in the men’s draw: Novak Djokovic, Stanislas Wawrinka, David Ferrer and Tomas Berdych progress to the quarterfinals.

Who will be the 2014 Australian Open champion?

  • Rafael Nadal (33%, 92 Votes)
  • Novak Djokovic (28%, 80 Votes)
  • Roger Federer (27%, 76 Votes)
  • Juan Martin Del Potro (4%, 11 Votes)
  • Andy Murray (4%, 10 Votes)
  • Stanislas Wawrinka (2%, 5 Votes)
  • Tomas Berdych (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Other (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (1%, 2 Votes)
  • Richard Gasquet (0%, 1 Votes)
  • David Ferrer (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 283

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Video highlights:

Tweet of the day: Gisela Dulko

Really happy about her friend’s Flavia Pennetta qualification for the quarterfinals

Video of the day: Henri Leconte and Mansour Bahrami


Matches to follow on Day 8:

Dominika Cibulkova (20) – Maria Sharapova (3)
Sloane Stephens (13) – Victoria Azarenka (2)
Rafael Nadal (1) – Kei Nishikori (16)
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (10) – Roger Federer (6)
Agnieszka Radwanska (5) – Garbine Muguruza
Jelena Jankovic (8) – Simona Halep (11)
Andy Murray (4) – Stephane Robert
Grigor Dimitrov (22) – Roberto Bautista Agut

With her 6-3 6-3 win over Daniela Hantuchova, Serena Williams set up an an all-time Australian Open record with her 61st singles victory at Melbourne Park. She’ll play Ana Ivanovic who defeated Sam Stosur 6-7 6-4 6-2.

Li Na saved one match point to defeat Lucie Safarova 1-6 7-6 6-3. She’ll face Elena Makarova in the next round. Other players qualified: Angelique Kerber, Flavia Pennetta, Casey Dellacqua and Eugenie Bouchard.

Novak Djokovic, David Ferrer and Tomas Berdych blast their way to last 16. Joining them in the fourth round are Fabio Fognini, Kevin Anderson and Florian Mayer.

Seeds upsets:

Florian Mayer def Jerzy Janowicz (20), Tommy Robredo (17) def Richard Gasquet (9)

Video highlights:

Quote of the day: Casey Dellacqua

With her win over Jie Zheng, Aussie Casey Dellacqua qualified for the fourth round for the second time of her career, having also reached the fourth round in 2008. And she sure enjoyed the heat:

But, yeah, the heat was great. I love it. It makes my body feel good, too, the heat, the warm. Yeah, I really enjoyed it out there. Yeah, it would be nice if it would be a bit hotter for the next week. I’m sure everyone else will be over it.

Pic of the day: Daniela Hantuchova

Daniela Hantuchova

Video of the day: Australian Open Heat


Matches to follow on Day 6:

Agnieszka Radwanska (5) – Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (29)
Rafael Nadal (1) – Gael Monfils (25)
Andy Murray (4) – Feliciano Lopez (26)
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (10) – Gilles Simon (18)
Milos Raonic (11) – Grigor Dimitrov (22)

Serena Williams, Li Na, Novak Djokovic, Tomas Berdych and Richard Gasquet raced into the third round. Sam Stosur dispatched Tsevetana Pironkova 6-2 6-0 and will meet Ana Ivanovic on Friday.

Seeds upsets:

Monica Niculescu def Sabine Lisicki (15), Casey Dellacqua def Kirsten Flipkens (18), Florian Mayer def Mikhail Youzhny (14), Sam Querrey def Ernests Gulbis (23), Denis Istomin def Dmitry Tursunov (30), Damir Dzumhur def Ivan Dodig (32)

Video highlights:

Stat of the day: 60

With her win over Vesna Dolonc, Serena Williams equals Margaret Court‘s record of most matches won at the Australian Open

Pic of the day: Ernests Gulbis

Ernests Gulbis

Site of the day: Grand Slam Gal

Mel did the tennis fan Slam in 2012, so she knows a thing or two about her tennis. Check out her site Grand Slam Gal where she shares her tips for buying Australian Open, her guide to going to the Australian Open, and enjoy her pics of Rafael Nadal, Sam Stosur, Rafter/Hewitt and more!

Video of the day: Gasquet and Davydenko rally


Matches to follow on Day 4:

Rafael Nadal (1) – Thanasi Kokkinakis
Benoit Paire (27) – Nick Kyrgios
Marin Cilic – Gilles Simon (18)
Serena/Venus Williams – Kristina Mladenovic/Flavia Pennetta

Aussie Youngsters

Every year, hundreds of players who gather Down Under agree the atmosphere at the Australian Open defines the tournament. However, in recent times the home crowd has had little to put their fanatical support behind.

The Woodies of Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde have provided some doubles pleasantries but since Chris O’Neil claimed the women’s title in 1978, the closest they’ve come to a home singles champion is Kim Clijsters’ triumph last year as the Belgian’s ‘Aussie Kim’ nickname finally meant more than just her dating past with Lleyton Hewitt.

Hewitt almost ended the barren spell for a nation which has produced legendary names such as Rod Laver and Margaret Court in 2005. Marat Safin claimed the title from a set down and no one has come close since. That could be set to change though.

Sam Stosur became the first Australian Grand Slam winner since Hewitt at Wimbledon in 2002 when she claimed the US Open crown four months ago. At 27, she has less time to make more history but encouraging signs have emerged indicating the next generation of Aussie talent can succeed where Hewitt couldn’t.

For a start, the current Wimbledon junior champions are both Australians. Luke Saville and Ashleigh Barty can boast the grass court event amongst the highlights of promising junior careers. Saville reached the final of the Australian Open juniors last year and was joined by several compatriots at the top of the junior world rankings including Andrew Harris, Andrew Whittington and Nick Kyrgios. Meanwhile the girls, including Barty, won the 2011 Junior Davis Cup.

Barty has even begun to make a mark on the pro circuit at just 15 years of age. The Queensland native last month won herself a place in the main draw of the Australian Open senior tournament after beating established players including a former top 50 name in Casey Dellacqua during the wildcard play-offs. Her focus and attitude are better than some players twice her age and being equipped with the talent to match makes her a strong contender for future stardom.

Australia can also pin their hopes on a crop of youngsters who add depth if not future tour champions. Olivia Rogowska and Isabella Holland are both 20 and pushing for the WTA’s top 100 while James Duckworth and Ben Mitchell are 19 and sit just outside the ATP top 200.

Clearly interest is still alive in the sport, which is always a positive but with the rapid decline of Hewitt, it’s left a hole as to who could challenge for the Melbourne title on the men’s tour. Another top 10 player is perhaps needed to push the next generation forward. Matthew Ebden isn’t too old to enjoy some top level tennis after a successful 2011 where he finished the year inside the top 100 but the main prospect is Bernard Tomic.

The 19-year-old is the youngest man in the top 100 and has already cemented a place in the top 50. With a Wimbledon quarter-final berth under his belt too, he could be challenging for the title on his favourite surface very soon.

Like Barty, he has the right frame of mind to use his big serve and excellent movement to make something of himself. However, there are questions concerning his attitude. Australia’s Davis Cup captain Pat Rafter has spoken out about Tomic’s work ethic while he’s also been involved in some controversial incidents in the past.

What stands Tomic out from the rest of the up and coming players on the tour is his love of a big stage. The more that’s riding on a match, the more he thrives. That intrepidity has seen him record victories over Robin Soderling, Tomas Berdych and Stansislas Wawrinka so far but it’s also had a negative impact. When he’s played lesser known opponents his effort levels have waned, although without that casual approach he might not be where he is today.

Things have started looking good for him in 2012 though. A 6-1, 6-2 demolition of Tatsuma Ito en route to a semi-final berth at the Brisbane International shows he can cope with players below and above his ranking. His relationship with the press has also improved. Whereas before he showed very little personality, he now cracks the odd joke and embraces his home fans.

Whether that will continue outside of Australia is yet to be known but right now, he can be seen as a huge threat in the Australian Open draw. With more experience Tomic could win majors and is the ray of light for the next generation of Aussies; both players and fans.

By Lewis Davies