Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Australia Update: Federer Impresses in Kooyong, Djoko Back to Ruthless Ways

Roger Federer posted his first win at the 2009 Kooyong Classic when he eased past Carlos Moya 6-2, 6-3.

Eight of the world's best players are participating in the invitational event in Kooyong, Melbourne, which takes place between the 14th and 17th of January, preparing for the Australian Open.

The full Wednesday results are:

Wawrinka d Baghdatis 6-2, 6-2
Federer d Moya 6-2, 6-3
Verdasco d Cilic 6-2, 7-5
Gonzalez d Ljubicic 6-4, 6-3

Meanwhile, reigning Australian Open champion, Novak Djokovic, managed to claim his first victory of the season, when he crushed Paul-Henri Mathieu, 6-1, 6-2, at the Sydney International.

The world number 3 has recently switched racquets from Wilson to Head and has been going on and on about how the racquet change was the reason for his loss again Ernests Gulbis at the Brisbane first round last week.

Honestly I don't get why he switched in the first place. Am sure it was a business decision of some sort, but if I win the Masters Cup at the end of a season, I wouldn't go and switch racquets when I only have a few weeks to prepare for my Australian Open title defense. Anyways, the racquet is obviously no longer a problem. Let's see how things go for the rest of the week in Sydney.

Other Sydney action saw home favorite, Lleyton Hewitt, eliminate the unpredictable Janko Tipsarevic, to set up a last-eight meeting with David Nalbandian.

Mario Ancic is also alive trying to make a return to his previous glory days before the mono and the more mono and the injuries and the illnesses. I seriously feel sorry for that guy.

Ancic will face Djokovic in the last eight. I'd be interested to see if the Croat will hold his ground against Djokovic. Ancic made it to the last eight after ousting Tommy Robredo 6-2, 6-1.

2008 Aussie Open runner-up, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, needed medical attention for his back, twice during his 6-4, 6-1 win over Simone Bolleli and next meets Jarkko Nieminen in the quarters.

The 4th quarterfinal match features 2 Frenchmen, Jeremy Chardy and Richard Gasquet, who reached the Brisbane semis last week and seems to start the season in good form.

What the players told the press:

Federer:

"I'm getting used to the conditions here and the way the ball flies - much more than it did in the past few weeks... I'm trying a few things here and there (and) taking a few chances."

"There was a bit of rust in the beginning and I missed a few forehands (but) I thought it was a good match overall."

Djokovic:

"It's a very hard thing to do. Probably the most difficult decision in tennis, switching the racket when things are going good and with the way I finished the season... Head and Wilson are the two biggest companies in the sport, and they have some differences. They try to make the racket as best as possible, you know, to my wishes."

"They did a good job. They're really trying. So even though the racket is the same practically, it takes time mentally to be able to get used to something new."

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