Category: Qualifying


Australian Open Qualifying Is Complete!

And I missed the whole damn thing due to socialising. So I shall just update you quickly with who won and where they have been placed. And I shall continue to track the qualifiers until they all lose. Let’s see if someone can make it past the second round!

Blaz Kavcic (1) d. Greg Jones, 64 64. No life-and-death three-set epic for the Aussie this time, shown the door pretty quickly by the no. 1 seed. Blaz has a very winnable match against Kevin Anderson in the first round, with their only previous meeting a tight three-setter on clay in 2009. Watch this space ->

Milos Raonic (26) d. Andrej Martin, 46 76(0) 62. Brilliant work from the young Canadian. He’s earned a first round meeting with the experienced and unpredictable Bjorn Phau, a very tough ask – but I think Milos can do it.

Donald Young (15) d. Izak Van Der Merwe, 63 61. Donald Young is a pretty experienced qualifier, but I’ve never been convinced of his talents. On the other hand, he is playing Marin Cilic, so you may well see him in the second round, given Marin’s current form.

Marco Crugnola d. Nicolas Massu, 61 63. Surprised that the Chilean was taking down so easily, but all credit to Crugnola. He’s got the sixth seed Tomas Berdych.

Jan Hernych d. Josselin Ouanna (27), 76(6) 61. A disappointing result for the Frenchman, but hopefully Denis Istomin will be avenging him in the first round. On the other hand, Hernych has won their only meeting so far (Cincinnati 2009), so maybe not.

Flavio Cipolla d. Rogerio Dutra Da Silva (29), 46 75 63. I’m not going to lie, I was looking forward to typing ‘Rogerio Dutra Da Silva’ at least a couple more times, but Flavs here is an old hand at this qualifying game. He’s also quite an old hand at first round losses, but this time has a nice draw against wildcard Benoit Paire. Will it be goodbye Mr Chips?

Stephane Robert (12) d. Bobby Reynolds, 64 61. Nice to see Reynolds really capitalising on knocking out my favourite Pole. He’ll play fourteenth seed Nicolas Almagro in the first round.

Frank Dancevic d. Alex Bogomolov Jr., 64 75. The Canadian gets perennial flake Richard Gasquet in the first round. Potential upset?

Grigor Dimitrov (3) d. Thomas Schoorel, 67(5) 63 61. An excellent win for Grigor against the talented man from the Nether regions. He’ll face Andrey Golubev in the first round. Golubev has won their only meeting so far, but that was three years ago on clay. Grisha can do it!

Sania Mirza (24) d. Stephanie Dubois, 63 62. Perhaps I’ve done a disserve to the erratic Indian, as I really wasn’t sure she’d get this far. She’s likely to be far more tested against Justine Henin in the first round – but Henin is just returning from an extended injury lay-off and is most probably rusty, so perhaps a chance for Sania if she can get that famed forehand firing quickly enough.

Jamie Hampton (14) d. Corinna Dentoni, 64 62. It pains me to say it, but the enigmatic American has a very winnable match against Great Britain’s Elena Baltacha . . .

Anne Kremer d. Anastasia Pivovarova (7), 76(3) 63. And so the only prediction I was confident of bites the dust. Well done to Luxembourg’s finest, though. I’ll confirm who she’s going to play once the Australian Open website does …

Arantxa Rus (18) d. Kurumi Nara (10), 64 61. Another player I underestimated. We’ll see what she can do against Bethanie Mattek-Sands, a strong player who’s looking confident at the moment.  

Coco Vandeweghe (1) d. Sesil Karatantcheva, 64 62. Nice to see Coco living up to her no. 1 seeding and achieving the first part of her 2011 goals.

Anne Keothavong (2) d. Irina-Carmelia Begu, 63 64. Keo sails through in style and will meet fellow qualifier Arina Rodionova later tonight. I’m optimistic.

Lesya Tsurenko d. Mariya Korrytseva, 75 64. Another unexpected name; I hope to get to see the young Ukrainian soon so I can find out what she’s doing right.

Kathrin Woerle d. Madalina Gojnea, 63 64. Woerle’s sterling efforts are rewarded by a first-round meeting with Victoria Azarenka, the eighth seed. Considering that Vika beat her back in 2005 when she must have been barely more than a foetus, I don’t see a lot of hope for Woerle.

Vesna Manasieva d. Yung-Jan Chan (3), 60 62. Another dominant performance by Manasieva, who has a lucky draw against Spain’s Laura Pous-Tio. I’d expect to see Vesna in the second round.

Irina Falconi d. Zarina Diyas, 76(6) 63. A really excellent result for Falconi.

Petra Martic (19) d. Nuria Llagostera Vives (9), 62 62. I knew Petra would win this one, and we all know how I love to be right. Unfortunately I’m not sure who she’ll be playing. Fingers crossed for a nice draw.

Arina Rodionova d. Zuzana Kucova (4), 63 46 63. Rodionova completes an excellent week by knocking out the fourth seed. Unfortunately she’s up against Great Britain’s Anne Keothavong. This is a clash to watch (except you can’t).

I’ll be back tomorrow to let you know who survived the night …

AO Day Four Results – Women

Do I really have to do this? Yes, Licky lost. Yes, Heather Watson lost. Yes, I am very much like this.

But … let’s look to the future and preview tonight’s final round of matches anyway.

Coco Vandeweghe (1) v Sesil Karatantcheva – one of the most interesting clashes. Top seed Vanderweghe has sailed through so far, while Karatantcheva toiled against Japan’s Misaka Doi in the second round and was only helped through by an unexpected retirement. They’re never played, and amazingly – given the disparity in experience between them – are only two years apart in age. I originally tipped Karatantcheva to qualify, but reading her post-match statements, I’m going to give it to the less temperamental Vandeweghe. 

Anne Keothavong (2) v Irina-Camelia Begu – or “c’mon Keo!” v “who?”. Keo has been excellent so far, not least in her defeat of Ioana Raluca Olaru in the last round, and you could say she has a stroke of luck in facing the unsung Begu – who is in the final round by virtue of defeating Birnerova after Birnevora upset Tatjana Malek. On the other hand, the fact that I know nothing about Begu makes me pretty nervous. She’s twenty, she’s Romanian, and … that’s it. Hopefully Keo can keep it that way.

Yung-Jan Chan (3) v Vesna Manasieva – On the face of it, you would have to go with Chan, who has sailed through so far and is higher-ranked. But on the other hand, it was Manasieva who beat Sabine Lisicki, and that’s not nothing. She’s more match tough and it might just show.

Zuzana Kucova (4) v Arina Rodionova – The younger-and-still-Russian sister of Anastasia Rodionova has looked impressive so far, not least in a 61 61 victory over Mandy Minella. But Kucova’s also breezed through and judging by her results, is playing some of the best tennis of her career. Give it to the Slovak.

Stephanie Dubois v Sania Mirza (24) – Obviously a match that will draw a lot of attention. Mirza, who reached a career high of 27 way back when, is the remnants of a class player, no doubt about that – but she let a good lead slip over Vitalia Diatchenko in the second round and made things much more difficult for herself. Dubois on the other hand coolly demolished the no. 5 seed, Anastasia Yakimova, in the first round and then had an easy second against native Sophie Letcher. They’ve played once before – Vancouver 2009 – and that meeting went to Dubois. I wouldn’t be surprised if this goes the same way.

Zarina Diyas v Irina Falconi – There is almost nothing to choose between these girls. Both had an excellent win over a top seed in the first round, Diyas beating Olivia Sanchez 64 61 and Falconi demolishing Masa Zec Peskiric 60 61. Falconi was much more inconsistent in her second round win over Oksana Kalashnikova – but then she had a more classy oppponent. On pure talent, I’d tap Diyas.

Anastasia Pivovarova (7) v Anne Kremer – Go on, admit it; if you were going to pick one Luxembourgian to be in the final round, it would have been Mandy Minella. In fact, you probably didn’t even know there was another one. Me neither. But here she is, having beaten twenty-third seed Nina Bratchkova in the first round and Eleni Danilidou in the second. Still, you have to say her run ends here. Pivovarova is one of the nicest players in the whole draw and she’s in good form.

Corinna Dentoni v Jamie Hampton (14) – This would be the match I was most looking forward to, if I wasn’t going out to have a social life. I have no idea who’ll win. It was Dentoni who accounted for Duque Marino, the most experienced player and highest seed in this section of the draw, but she toiled against Turkey’s Cayla Buyukakcay in the second round, finally prevailing 9-7 in the third. Hampton on the other hand took three sets against Cohen-Aloro, but then accelerated through her next match, a straight sets defeat of the big-serving German Anna-Lena Groenefeld. I have no idea who’ll win, but I’m gutted I’m going to miss it.

Nuria Llagostera Vives (9) v Petra Martic (19) – Another blockbuster match. The pint-sized Llagostera Vives has eleven years and fourteen ranking places on the young Croatian, but Martic has had much the tougher route through qualifying and handled it with aplomb, especially in disposing of compatriot Alja Tomjanovic in the last round. Martic to qualify and win her first-round main draw match.

Kurumi Nara (10) v Arantxa Rus (18) – Why are all these matches so good? Both girls have looked very good so far, with Nara’s only wobble in disposing of a surprisingly tough challenge from New Zealand’s Marina Erakovic in the second round. I have quite the soft spot for Nara, and Rus has often been disappointing, so I’m going to give it to the mentally steadier Japanese.

Madalina Gojnea v Kathrin Woerle – A surprising match to see in the final round, but you can’t say they haven’t earned it. Both disposed of a seed in the first round, with Gojnea beating Xinyun Han of China and Woerle defeating Petra Cetkovska, then maintained that form against a talented junior. Based on nothing more than Woerle’s greater experience, I think the German will take it.

Mariya Koryttseva v Lesya Tsurenko – Koryttseva beat twelfth seed Anna Tatashvili to be here, while Tsurenko beat up on adorable Brit Heather Watson. Go Koryttseva.

Ladies and gentlemen … not that there are any of you … we have qualifiers!

Congratulations to the following who have won places in the main draw to lose to top seeds in the first round:

Vincent Millot, backing up his defeat of John Millman with a straightforward 63 62 defeat of Canada’s Peter Polansky

Gilles Muller of Luxembourg, aka spoiler extraordinaire, with a 62 63 victory over Jaroslav Pospisil

– The unseeded German Simon Stadler, who hasn’t had to face a single seed in his path through the draw. Sometimes, there really is such a thing as a lucky draw

Dennis Gremelmayr, also of Germany; the ninth seed defeated compatriot Simon Greul 75 75 to progress into the main draw.

Ryan Sweeting, the sixth seed, put out fellow American Alex Kuznetsov

Nicolas Mahut, everyone’s favourite drag queen, 63 in the third over Frederik Nielsen

Grega Zemjla of Slovakia, a three-sets victor over Thailand’s Daniel Udomchoke

Well done to one and all. But there’s no denying the truly interesting / ridiculous results came in the second round matches. I present for your Emmy consideration one Greg Jones, who took over three hours and let a second-set match point slip before finally defeating Serbia’s Ilija Bozoljac 7-6(5) 6-7(7) 10-8. Jones will face Blaz Kavcic, the no. 1 seed, in the final round – a match that’s sure to end well for the Aussie.

Not pictured: sarcasm.

On the other hand, Kavcic inexplicably traded bagels yesterday with Rik De Vroest, so maybe ol’ Greg has a chance after all. He was, however, slightly overshadowed by Bobby Reynolds, a man I don’t like, who beat Jerzy Janowicz 13-11 in the third. Damn him.

Despite the sterling efforts of Jones and Reynolds, however, today’s Isnut award has to go to Josselin Ouanna of France. The twenty-seventh seed, up against Paul Capdeville of Chile – a man whose only real claim to fame is having once infuriated the even-tempered Mario Ancic to the point of shoving him after a Davis Cup tie – toiled in the hot sun before finally putting away the Chilean, 15-13 in the third. Take a bow, Joss.

He put on quite a show. Very entertaining.

And in results that went against seeding … Frank ‘rhythm is a’ Dancevic knocked out twenty-third seed Evgeny Korolev, the talented Dutch man Thomas Schoorel accounted for nineteenth seed Stefan Koubeck in a marathon, and second seed Simone Bolleli, having looked worryingly competent in his first round match, succumbed to fellow Italian Marco Crugnola 75 62.

You can see full results here, but the final round looks like this:

Blaz Kavcic (1) v Greg Jones
Marco Crugnola v Nicolas Massu
Grigor Dimitrov (3) v Thomas Schoorel
Flavio Cipolla v Rogerio Dutra Da Silva (29)
Alex Bogomolov Jr v Frank Dancevic
Stephane Robert (12) v Bobby Reynolds
Jan Hernych v Josselin Ouanna (27)
Donald Young (15) v Izak Van Der Merwe
Andrej Martin v Milos Raonic (26)

Some really juicy match-ups there. Enjoy … 

Australian Open Qualifying Day Four

Show Court 3

12:00 PM Start    Men’s Qualifying Singles – 2nd Round
  Greg Jones(AUS) vs.   Ilija Bozoljac(SRB)[25]
Women’s Qualifying Singles – 2nd Round
  Isabella Holland(AUS) vs.   Arantxa Rus(NED)[18]
Not Before:3:00 PM 
  Men’s Qualifying Singles – 3rd Round
  Peter Polansky(CAN) vs.   Vincent Millot(FRA)[31]
Men’s Qualifying Singles – 3rd Round
  Danai Udomchoke(THA) vs.   Grega Zemlja(SLO)[21]
  
Court 4

12:00 PM Start    Men’s Qualifying Singles – 2nd Round
  Paul Capdeville(CHI) vs.   Josselin Ouanna(FRA)[27]
Women’s Qualifying Singles – 2nd Round
  Noppawan Lertcheewakarn(THA) vs.   Kathrin Woerle(GER)
Women’s Qualifying Singles – 2nd Round
  Arina Rodionova(RUS) vs.   Mandy Minella(LUX)[16]
  
Court 5

12:00 PM Start    Men’s Qualifying Singles – 2nd Round
  Izak Van Der Merwe(RSA) vs.   Jean-Rene Lisnard(MON)
Women’s Qualifying Singles – 2nd Round
  Kurumi Nara(JPN)[10] vs.   Marina Erakovic(NZL)
Not Before:3:00 PM 
  Men’s Qualifying Singles – 3rd Round
  Gilles Muller(LUX)[11] vs.   Jaroslav Pospisil(CZE)[20]
  
Court 6

12:00 PM Start    Men’s Qualifying Singles – 2nd Round
  Nicolas Massu(CHI) vs.   Konstantin Kravchuk(RUS)[22]
Women’s Qualifying Singles – 2nd Round
  Eleni Daniilidou(GRE) vs.   Anne Kremer(LUX)
Women’s Qualifying Singles – 2nd Round
  Stephanie Dubois(CAN) vs.   Sophie Letcher(AUS)
Men’s Qualifying Singles – 3rd Round
  Frederik Nielsen(DEN) vs.   Nicolas Mahut(FRA)[18]
  
Court 7

12:00 PM Start    Men’s Qualifying Singles – 2nd Round
  Donald Young(USA)[15] vs.   Alberto Brizzi(ITA)
Women’s Qualifying Singles – 2nd Round
  Yung-Jan Chan(TPE)[3] vs.   Erika Sema(JPN)
Women’s Qualifying Singles – 2nd Round
  Sesil Karatantcheva(KAZ) vs.   Misaki Doi(JPN)[13]
Men’s Qualifying Singles – 3rd Round
  Ryan Sweeting(USA)[6] vs.   Alex Kuznetsov(USA)
  
Court 8

12:00 PM Start    Men’s Qualifying Singles – 2nd Round
  Blaz Kavcic(SLO)[1] vs.   Rik De Voest(RSA)
Women’s Qualifying Singles – 2nd Round
  Vesna Manasieva(RUS) vs.   Sabine Lisicki(GER)
Women’s Qualifying Singles – 2nd Round
  Heather Watson(GBR) vs.   Lesya Tsurenko(UKR)
Men’s Qualifying Singles – 3rd Round
  Denis Gremelmayr(GER)[9] vs.   Simon Greul(GER)[17]

Court 10

12:00 PM Start    Men’s Qualifying Singles – 2nd Round
  Simone Bolelli(ITA)[2] vs.   Marco Crugnola(ITA)
Women’s Qualifying Singles – 2nd Round
  Anastasia Pivovarova(RUS)[7] vs.   Lauren Albanese(USA)
Women’s Qualifying Singles – 2nd Round
  Oksana Kalashnikova(GEO) vs.   Irina Falconi(USA)
  
Court 11

12:00 PM Start    Men’s Qualifying Singles – 2nd Round
  Flavio Cipolla(ITA) vs.   Matthias Bachinger(GER)
Women’s Qualifying Singles – 2nd Round
  Nuria Llagostera Vives(ESP)[9] vs.   Julia Glushko(ISR)
Women’s Qualifying Singles – 2nd Round
  Coco Vandeweghe(USA)[1] vs.   Olga Savchuk(UKR)
  
Court 12

12:00 PM Start    Men’s Qualifying Singles – 2nd Round
  Stephane Robert(FRA)[12] vs.   Antonio Veic(CRO)
Women’s Qualifying Singles – 2nd Round
  Anna-Lena Groenefeld(GER) vs.   Jamie Hampton(USA)[14]
Not Before:3:00 PM 
  Men’s Qualifying Singles – 3rd Round
  Simon Stadler(GER) vs.   Arnau Brugues-Davi(ESP)
  
Court 13

12:00 PM Start    Men’s Qualifying Singles – 2nd Round
  Kevin Kim(USA) vs.   Andrej Martin(SVK)
Women’s Qualifying Singles – 2nd Round
  Ajla Tomljanovic(CRO) vs.   Petra Martic(CRO)[19]
Women’s Qualifying Singles – 2nd Round
  Zuzana Kucova(SVK)[4] vs.   Yuliya Beygelzimer(UKR)
  
Court 14

12:00 PM Start    Men’s Qualifying Singles – 2nd Round
  Jan Hernych(CZE) vs.   Yuichi Sugita(JPN)
Women’s Qualifying Singles – 2nd Round
  Corinna Dentoni(ITA) vs.   Cagla Buyukakcay(TUR)
Women’s Qualifying Singles – 2nd Round
  Anne Keothavong(GBR)[2] vs.   Ioana Raluca Olaru(ROU)
  
Court 15

12:00 PM Start    Men’s Qualifying Singles – 2nd Round
  Bobby Reynolds(USA) vs.   Jerzy Janowicz(POL)[30]
Women’s Qualifying Singles – 2nd Round
  Madalina Gojnea(ROU) vs.   Sloane Stephens(USA)
Women’s Qualifying Singles – 2nd Round
  Anna Tatishvili(GEO)[12] vs.   Mariya Koryttseva(UKR)
  
Court 18

10:00 AM Start    Men’s Qualifying Singles – 2nd Round
  Grigor Dimitrov(BUL)[3] vs.   Reda El Amrani(MAR)
Men’s Qualifying Singles – 2nd Round
  Nikola Mektic(CRO) vs.   Milos Raonic(CAN)[26]
Women’s Qualifying Singles – 2nd Round
  Vitalia Diatchenko(RUS) vs.   Sania Mirza(IND)[24]
  
Court 19

10:00 AM Start    Men’s Qualifying Singles – 2nd Round
  Thomas Schoorel(NED) vs.   Stefan Koubek(AUT)[19]
Men’s Qualifying Singles – 2nd Round
  Frank Dancevic(CAN) vs.   Evgeny Korolev(KAZ)[23]
Women’s Qualifying Singles – 2nd Round
  Irina-Camelia Begu(ROU) vs.   Eva Birnerova(CZE)
  
Court 21

10:00 AM Start    Men’s Qualifying Singles – 2nd Round
  Dusan Lojda(CZE) vs.   Rogerio Dutra Da Silva(BRA)[29]
Men’s Qualifying Singles – 2nd Round
  Alex Bogomolov Jr.(USA) vs.   Thiago Alves(BRA)
Women’s Qualifying Singles – 2nd Round
  Zarina Diyas(KAZ) vs.   Anna Floris(ITA)

The ladies also crammed a lot of matches into yesterday’s rain-free window, managing to complete the entire first round with plenty of interesting results along the way.

On a mixed day for the home nation, one bright spot was the performance of world no. 339 Sophie Letcher, an 18 year-old Australian last seen losing to Alicia Molik in the wildcard play-off. Letcher recovered from a dodgy second set and produced some inspired tennis at the death to clinch the match against veteran Severine Beltrame, 8-6 in the third.

She’ll be joined in the second round by compatriot Isabella Holland, 19, who defeated fellow Aussie Monique Adamczak (see what I meant by a mixed day?). Less encouraging were the losses of Ashling Sumner, overmatched against Anastasia Pivovarova; Monika Wejnert, who went down in straight sets to Sesil Karantcheva; and Viktoria Rajicic, who did well to take a set off Russia’s Vitalia Diatchenko before succumbing 6-1 in the third.

Elsewhere, several seeds bit the dust. The veteran Duque Marino, seeded eighth, fell to Corinna Dentoni of Italy. I feel like I’ve been hearing Dentoni’s name more and more recently, and she may be one to keep an eye on.

Fifth seed Anastasia Yakimova was surprised by Canada’s Stephanie Dubois 6-4 6-2, twenty-first seed Petra Cetkovska lost to Germany’s Kathrin Woerle, and France’s Olivia Sanchez, the sixth seed, lost to Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan, a talented player who has struggled for consistency.

The most interesting results of the day, however, came from players I’ve tipped to do well (as did some of the surprise losses, but we won’t dwell on that). Sabine Lisicki knocked out Michaella Kraijcek in a big-serving duel, beating the Dutch 76(2) 63, and Sania Mirza progressed to the second round over Kuryanovich of Belarus. It was also a good day for the British, although Katie O’Brien lost out to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga’s ex Mandy Minella in a match that … well, I’ll let her tell you.

However, Anne Keothavong beat Darya Kustova in straights and Heather Watson had another smashing win, this time over Kristina Mladenovic of France.

And now for the second round …

Full results here.

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