Day 12 and 13
This entry is a combined entry of the past 2 days of watching the future of tennis. As Mats had mentioned about the locker room yesterday, I am not quietly sitting down and reflecting on the past month. We have now been in Australia for 2 months and if you have never been I can suggest coming to this wonderful country. The people are very friendly and the Australian Open is the best tournament in the world. You would not want to miss this if you are a big fan of tennis.
Yesterday we watched the semi finals of Tiago Fernandes and Laura Robson. It is interesting to see their developments and they both won their matches and made it into the final. Tiago beat Giani Mina from France and he was almost down and out being down a set and 2-5 in the tie-break but when Tiago hit an on the run forehand passing shot you could see the momentum change. Mina is going to be a player of the future to watch as well and maybe that matchup should have been the final.
Laura made it a little easier into the final and beating Kristyna Pliskova 3 and 1. It was very windy today and you could see that there was little rhythm so when I sent a text to Laura to congratulate her on her win she told me she was going to go for a hit with Martijn Bok, her coach, on a indoor court to get some rhythm.
Since the semi final of the men’s did not take place until the evening at 7:30 p.m. we had a chance to go into the gym again. I must say that I have missed the workouts and I am trying to get in shape so I can start hitting some balls again. Yesterday Mats and Martijn had a hit on the indoor courts. Since it is so quiet now, it almost seems like a different tournament. Now we get all the freedom to move around the facility and have a chance to relax a bit. Some of the fans were watching the tennis but also prepping for their main man in making their fan signs.
After getting back to the hotel Mats and I changed quickly to walk over to Federation Square to watch the match between Federer and Tsonga. And again Federer was just too good and made Tsonga look bad. After the match Federer gave an interview and he was so relaxed and confident that I have to say that it is going to be a tough match for Murray. Ever since I met and worked with Federer in 1997, this will be the first time that I will be cheering for one of Roger’s opponents instead of Him. Andy is a new member of the adidas team and it would be great to see him break the British Grand Slam drought of the past 74 years.
Today we got a chance to sleep in, after the past 3 weeks we did not get a chance to do so and this time we took advantage of our time off. Yes believe it or not we are now not working for adidas and we are now on our own bill. You would think that maybe we would go home as soon as our responsibilities were over. Instead we stay around because both Mats and I enjoy and love the sport we work in and it would be a shame if we would not be here and see the finals of the 2 juniors that we have been following for the past years.
Tiago started today at 1 p.m. and he won his first slam of his young career. He turned 17 yesterday and had a very good win on his birthday but today he outperformed the finalist from Australia. I believe Tiago is making great progress and he is getting stronger every time I see him. In his speech he thanked everybody from his coach and the tournament sponsors and officials. He took the time to even thank Mats and I when he stood on center court holding his trophy of the 2010 Australian Open championships.
Laura was not at the winning end today as she faced a very strong opponent in the twin sister of the girl she beat in the semi-final. Karonlina Pliskova is defiantly a girl to watch for the future of the women’s game. She has a big serve and for being as tall as she is maybe 6’2”, she was retrieving extremely well. Laura lost the first set in 22 mins and this was much too fast for a final. Because of the weapons and the powerful game of her opponent, it took Laura far too long to adjust and she could not find her rhythm. She was not able to get back into the match until the middle of the 2nd set when she broke back to get back on serve. So when it came to the tie-break it was Laura who was leading and had changed a bit of the momentum of the match as she was leading 4-1. However, she lost the next 5 points in a row and this a little too much of course, but she did get to 6 all. In the end she hit a double fault and handed the win to Karolina who was very lucky to get away with this win.
Mats and I thought we would walk over to get our stamps made, a nice souvenir of this year’s Australian Open and as I am writing today’s entry Mats is back on court and having another work out with Martijn.
I am looking forward to the match of Serena and Justine and I am sure many of you will wonder about the state of tennis in the women’s game. However, I want to give the credit to Justine instead because she stopped as the number 1 player in the world and she has come back as strong or maybe even stronger than before. So may the best one win today and enjoy a great match between 2 great champions.
Tomorrow we hope to get a chance to go to the match of Andy versus Roger and if we do we will make a full match report on that match. All the best for now and look forward to another day off at the tennis.
Mats and Sven