Recap Day One – 2012 Australian Open

I love the Australian Open…always have. Then, when I got a chance to work with “The Voice of the Australian Open,” Craig Willis, at the 2004 Athens Summer Games – I became an even bigger fan. Quite honestly, I’ve never met an Aussie I didn’t like…or could drink under the table.
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How ’bout American Christina McHale? She took-out the #24-seed Lucie Safarova in straight sets. But we need to take the good news with the bad, American Irina Falconi was taken out (7-5) in the second set by Italian Alberta Brianti. Bethanie Mattek-Sands, after several off-season tat’s and a great showing in Perth, took the first set from Agnieszka Radwanska but lost the match in three.

Let’s talk Monday’s upsets, aside from Christina’s win. First off, seeing as I mentioned Greece…a nice hand for Eleni Daniilidou who pulled-off an straight-sets win over veteran Kimiko Date-Krumm of Japan. Kazakhstan’s Galina Voskoboeva (say that 5-times fast) defeated the 28-seed Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium in straight sets. And the incredibly talented Flavia Pannetta, the 19th seed in Melbourne, was defeated by Russian Nina Bratchikova!

Big names, easy wins and advancing: Caroline Wozniacki, Kim Clijsters, Victoria Azarenka, Na Li, Francesca Schiavone, Jelena Jankovic, and Daniela Hantuchova.

Big names in first round action today (tonight starting at 6:30p on ESPN2 for us): Petra Kvitova, Sam Stosur, Maria Sharapova, Vera Zvonareva

Big names in first round action tonight (bright and early Tuesday for us): Serena Williams vs. Tamira Paszek and Channelle Scheepers (for the Springfield Lasers fans) vs. Svetlana Kuznetsova as the last match on Margaret Court Arena!
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Big ups to Aussie Bernard Tomic for taking down the 22-seed Fernando Verdasco in a 4+ hour, 5-set match in the heat of the day. That was insane…please tuck your gargantuan cojones in the overhead bin, thank you.

How about Doland Young’s 5-setter over Peter Gojowczyk (and-several-other-consonants)? Donald dropped sets three and four, but manned-up when it counted winning the 5th set (6-2).

Bummer about Jarko Nieminen – after playing so well leading up to Melbourne, he had to retire from his match with David Nalbandian…who only had to play 16-games in the first round. He should be fresh for his next opponent.

Nikolay Davydenko probably shouldn’t have “Gone Rafa” on Federer, talking grueling schedule before his frist round match…he eventually lost in 5-sets to Flavio Cipolla of Italy. Whoops!

Rik De Voest (Lasers fans): He was beaten in 5-sets by Yen-Hsun Lu of Chinese Taipei. Crap.

Big names, easy wins and advancing: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Juan Martin del Potro, Tomas Berdych, Alexandr Dolgopolov, Stan Wawrinka, Feliciano Lopez, plus Americans Mardy Fish and John Isner.

Big names in first round action today (tonight starting at 6:30p on ESPN2 for us): Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray vs. Ryan Harrison (3rd match on Hisense) followed by Andy Roddick vs. Robin Haase. David Ferrer plays early on Margaret Court Arena, where Gael Monfils will play the 3rd match of Day-Two.

Big names in first round action tonight (bright and early Tuesday for us): Lleyton Hewitt on Rod Laver…with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga’s’ opening match starting at the same time on Margaret Court Arena.
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  • There haven’t been too many “Rainbow Warriors” on scene to shout smack at Margaret Court…so, uh, book your flights if you’re that passionate about a retired tennis player’s stance on gay marriage.
  • Alex Bogomolov did, in fact, repay the USTA for several years of financial support. Since declaring Russian citizenship so he could play for the Russian Davis Cup Team, the USTA’s been seeking $75,000 in restitution. So he paid. Here’s a quote from Alex: “All of it was pretty much savings we had for our son – the only money we had put aside for our family. Everything else was tied up in tennis, even now.” Time to make your way into the top-10 and beyond, Alex – show your kid you can do anything you set your mind to. Ballsy move to cut a $75,000 check going into the New Year, after Christmas. Many will be cheering you on…Alex, by the way, plays his first round match on Court-13 early vs. Daniel Gimeno-Traver of Spain.

You know what…I could go on – But Day-Two is about to start Down Under. Hopefully this was a nice Day-One primer to get you ready for Prime Time coverage of ‘Round-One Continued’ on ESPN2.