Madhitter in Melbourne; Baumer on couch

Hello Baumer,

Do the Aussies like Tomic? I think they are cautiously optimistic about him. Maybe it’s because Hewitt is on the way out; maybe because they were just hoping he would win; maybe because he blew a 4-0 second set lead against Nadal. I thought Nadal dictated when he wanted to and chased everything down, even with talk about the lingering effects from the flu slowing him down. He certainly was sweating like he had the flu – I can’t imagine Nike would have been happy with the performance of that shirt he was wearing. I have to admit, I was bored watching Nadal’s match against Cilic Monday night. Remember when Chris and Martina were playing and everyone said they should just start the slams in the quarterfinals? Well, I’m starting to think the same for the men’s tour these days.

You’re right; I do love both Kuznetsova and Schiavone. To me, they both seem like a couple of adults wandering around a child’s world. It reminds me of how I used to feel about Amelie Mauresmo. There was a funny exchange with Kuznetsova at the end of her press conference about how much money she had. She was trying to explain that while she did win a ton of cash, she has a lot on her payroll, too.

She said, “You just have to realize when everybody comes to me and says, ‘Oh, you have 17 million. I’m like, ‘Where are they? I don’t see any.’ It’s not like I have under my couch 17 million.”

Immediately afterward, Sharapova dropped in and when asked if she was still satisfied playing tennis, said, “You know, I could do many other things in my life. I have enough money…” and then Schiavone came in and said, “I really wish one day to come here (Melbourne) to practice and maybe to have a house and spend some time.”

Since you’re sitting on the couch, I’d recommend trying either Sharapova’s or Schiavone’s. There might be some cash hiding out underneath them.

I only saw a few minutes of Sharapova’s loss to Petkovic. Petkovic must be on the top of Ellen DeGeneres’ list of possible guests on her show (I’m thinking for her dancing). Still, watching ten minutes was really a good chunk of time for such a brief encounter. It’s interesting both night match losers (Sharapova and Roddick) didn’t even manage to win a set. This brings us to the question: Is it an upset anymore if Sharapova and Roddick lose before the second week?

I also agree about Roger’s form being on par through the first week. I’m sure he’s not happy to play Djokovic in the semis. I think that match could be even bigger for Roger than a final round encounter with Nadal. If Fed loses to Nole in the semis twice in a row; well, that’s what we call a problem, right?

I have to admit, I picked Soderling to make it to the final. I watched him in Brisbane and here in Melbourne and he just looked incredibly fit and efficient. He hadn’t even dropped a set in Australia this year until losing the second against Dolgopolov – and then he just seemed to lose his steam. Maybe patchy tennis is better than the steamrolling kind. Sometimes these steamroller type players hit a road block and just collapse.

What about Murray? Is it time to start wondering if this is his year? He looked very sharp against Melzer today. So did Kvitova whose game is really fantastic. I know you’re not so impressed with a victory over Pennetta but following up her victory over Stosur the other night is worth something. We’ll see what happens with her in the quarters against Zvonareva who seems ready to make it three finals in a row in the slams. Imagine that.

On a side note, I’m wondering why dryers outside of the United States never work properly? This morning I spent two hours trying to dry a medium sized load of wash; it didn’t happen. Same thing in Europe. They call appliances in Australia, “white goods.” I’m changing that to “wet goods.” I hope I don’t smell like mildew.

Take care,
Madhitter

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