© Ella Ling

Andy Murray

Notes from Melbourne - day two


Our highlights reel of all the action on court from the second day of the 2012 Australian Open

Match of the day
Andy Murray vs Ryan Harrison.
It was billed as Mr Grumpy v Mr Crankypants, an intriguing affair between one of the game’s most exciting contestants and one of the game’s most exciting prospects. Harrison, who has a duck-footed walk resemblant of Andre Agassi, simply did not miss in the opening set, proving just why he is regarded so highly.

But the most remarkable thing was Murray, a veneer of calm around him as he didn’t bluster and fluster over dropping the opening set 6-4, instead coming back to take the second with one break, the third with one break, and the fourth with two.

With glimpses of his best rather than extended periods, it was testament to Murray’s physical fitness and perhaps the new influence of Ivan Lendl surrounding his demeanour. Watch out for Harrison though. Some style.

You cannot be serious
It looked like it was going to be a vintage performance from Lleyton Hewitt. The veteran Aussie, creaking hips, sore big toe and all, produced some trademark retrieval skills on Rod Laver Arena, going 7-5, 6-4 up against German Cedrik-Marcel Stebe. But, with that aura of painful inevitability, Stebe came back, Hewitt dipped, and we found ourselves on course for late-night five-set thriller. The least amused, except perhaps Hewitt himself, was Serena Williams, tapping her foot in the locker room as she waited for the two men to get on with it.

But quite against the run of play, as Stebe went off the boil, Hewitt came back from 1-5 in the fifth set, an extraordinary display of guts, to clinch the win 7-5, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 and set up a meeting with Andy Roddick. Bogglesome.

The upset
Hopes were so high for Sam Stosur, Australia’s first female Grand Slam champion since Evonne Goolagong. But the home crowd hoodoo put her on the wrong side of the result in Melbourne yet again, as she fell 6-7(2), 3-6 to Sorana Cirstea. Credit to the young Romanian, who played the match of her life. But still. Thoughts with Sam. It must be horrible.

Don’t wait around for…
Petra Kvitova. The Wimbledon champion and world number two took just 61 minutes to see off Vera Dushevina with a deuce and bagel score (6-2, 6-0). One might have thought that her nemesis ‘the windy’, as she calls it, would bother her, but it quite clearly didn’t.

The same could be said of Novak Djokovic, who took just an hour and a half to see off Paolo Lorenzi, 6-2, 6-0, 6-0, even finding time for a tweener.

Not worth the fuss
The much anticipated re-match between Maria Sharapova and Gisela Dulko. The Argentine was a shock winner in the battle of the pin-ups at Wimbledon two years ago, but Sharapova didn’t even given her a chance for a repeat performance, destroying Dulko 6-0, 6-1 in 58 minutes. Scary.

Stopwatch on…
Andrey Golubev v Mikhail Youzhny
The Kazakh, who came through qualifying, pulled off a gutteral five-set win over the Russian, eventually triumphing 7-5, 6-7(4), 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 in four hours and 53 minutes. Oof, is the word.

One to watch
Milos Raonic. The rare steak-eating Canadian was ranked 152 in the world this time last year. Today, he’s the world No.25.

Shot of the day
Alexandra Dulgheru’s over the shoulder smash. Class.

Nice to see…
A win for Nicolas Mahut, who was so downbeaten at losing the record-breaking Wimbledon epic to John Isner two years ago. The Frenchman knocked out 29th seed Radek Stepanek 7-5, 7-5, 6-3.

Talk of the press room
Other than Mats Wilander and his tumble, there was a lot of chuntering amongst various hacks about the prevalence of twitter. Is it a modern menace to journalists? Discuss.

Tweet of the day
‘In the UK, Ryan Harrison is trending. Andy Murray isn’t. What is wrong with you people.’
Someone named @scoobschris getting on the Murray-wagon.

Quote of the day
I hate bugs more than you can imagine. I hate bugs. Like, they kept jumping on me. I just, Yuck! So I’m going to request not to play at night anymore because I hate bugs!
Serena Williams is not a fan of bugs. In case you wondered.

Feeling queasy
After Anne Keothavong’s food poisioning on Monday, Sabine Lisicki was the latest player to receive a visit from the tournament doctor, but prevailed in three sets over Stefanie Voegele. Xavier Malisse also became the day’s first retirement.

Jelena Dokic and Anna Chakvetadze turned up for their match in the same kit. It happens a lot, but still. Awkward.

Nickname of the day
‘Dra-Mattek Sands’. Brilliant.

Easy does it…
David Ferrer, Jelena Dokic, Santiago Giraldo, Jamie Hampton, Kei Nishikori, Shahar Peer, Dominika Cibulkova, Aleksandra Wozniak, Lucie Hradecka, Greta Arn, Carla Suarez Navarro, Alex Bogomolov Jr, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Vania King, Milos Raonic, Philipp Petzschner, Sloane Stephens, Juan Ignacio Chela, Ryan Sweeting, Kaia Kanepi, Roberta Vinci, Sara Errani, Gael Monfils, Marion Bartoli, Michaella Krajicek, Thomaz Bellucci, Angelique Kerber, Ana Ivanovic, Andy Roddick, Marcel Granollers, Julien Benneteau, Zheng Jie, Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, Mikhail Kukushkin, Ricardo Mello, Serena Williams, all made it through in straight sets.

That’s a lot of names.

Player I’ve never heard of…
Alexandra Cadantu, of Romania. She had the dubious honour of losing the quickest match of the day, 0-6, 1-6 to Roberta Vinci in just 42 minutes.

Come back tomorrow for…
Olivia Rogowska v Li Na, first on Rod Laver

Tommy Haas v Rafael Nadal, third on Rod Laver

Sam Querrey v Bernard Tomic, first night match on Rod Laver

John Isner v David Nalbandian, third on Margaret Court

Stanislas Wawrinka v Marcos Baghdatis, night match on Margaret Court

Ash Barty/Laura Robson v Dominika Cibulkova/Jill Craybas, second on Court 13