Mats Merkel: From the Australian Open 2013, Day 2

Day 2 – 15/01/2013

Hello all,

Another day here in Melbourne.

Yesterday a lot of the Aussies played. They usually get show courts for broadcasting reasons and because a lot of fans are showing up for their matches. Upcoming Australian John Millman lost to Tatsuma Ito in a five setter. Matthew Ebden, who recently started working with the tennis legend Peter McNamara, lost to Mikhail Youzhny in five sets as well. Hewitt lost to the No. 8 seed Tipsarevic in a great match on Rod Laver Arena.
Ashley Barty (16 years young) lost to Cibulkova in three sets – Barty will be one to watch over the next years! Some tough losses, but that’s tennis!

The Australian story continues today with young Australian hope Bernard Tomic playing during the night session at 7 p.m. versus Leonardo Mayer.

This morning at 8 a.m. the roof in Rod Laver Arena was still closed.

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Andy Murray was warming up there at 9 a.m., getting ready to play first match on versus Robin Haase at 11 a.m.

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He beat Haase in straight sets 6-3, 6-1, 6-3.

As you might know, Andy has a very funny entourage. They always have bets going on or pull jokes on each other.

This time physical trainer Jez Green called out Ivan Lendl for a challenge on who would be able to climb more feet on a step master. The loser would have to interrupt Andy’s pre tournament press conference and read a short piece that the other had created.
See the result below:

Someone even created a drawing of Andy as Crocodile Dundee that certainly is worth a laugh.

Today Jo Tsonga, whom I worked with a lot during the last 24 months, has his first round match as well facing fellow countryman Michael Llodra on Hisense Arena. Jo started working with the Australian tennis coach Roger Rasheed in the off season last year. Looking forward to seeing him play here.

Other top seeds Serena Williams and Roger Federer play their first round matches today as well.

The women’s and men’s draws here both have last year’s winner as a background.

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A lot is being done for the spectators to provide them with as much Information as possible. One big part of this is the so called “Oval.” Spectators who couldn’t or didn’t get tickets for center court come there to watch match play on Rod Laver Arena.

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Kids can get their faces painted with all kind of designs, and they can play tennis as well.

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Tennis Australia has started a great initiative called “Hot Shots” – check it out online.

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Enjoy Day 2 of the Australian Open! And check out the order of play for Day 3:

http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/schedule/schedule8.html

For more from Down Under follow me on twitter – @matsmerkel and also have a look at @tenniswarehouse – I send updates there as well

Until tomorrow

Take care, mate (as the Aussies say)

Mats Merkel

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