Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Australian Open Day 2: Burned by Schuettler

Curtain Call

Player: Zuzana Kucova
Nation: Slovakia
Age: 27
Current ranking: 138
Tour page: http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/player/zuzana-kucova_2257889_4438
Today's result: loss to Gisela Dulko (Argentina) in 3 sets, 7-5 in the third

Another qualifier playing in her first Australian Open, Kucova is a player on the rise. At 27, she's well past the age when most players give up the game and yet she has improved her year-end ranking each of the past two years. She took Dulko the distance today. She made it to the French Open first round last year so she will have some points to defend going forward.

Men's and women's doubles begin on Day 3!

I do so love the Mix Channel on DirecTV. I can enjoy the illusion of being at the tournament and choosing which matches to watch. I've only been to see a Slam live once: one night session of the 2001 US Open. My wife had scored us tickets from someone at work - she really does love me. It was fun to go but if I had to do it again, I'd do it differently. We just went dutifully to our seats at Arthur Ashe. It was only the third round, I think, so there were plenty of smaller courts in action and we didn't stop by any of them. What can I say? I was not yet the tennis junky I would eventually become. I didn't know any better!

A couple of years ago, we went to the Masters tournament in Montreal for the last day of qualifying - free admission. We had, at least for me, a more satisfying experience. We hung out in our nose-bleed show court seats for a little while but the real fun was on the grounds. Loads of stars on the practice courts plus seats much closer to the action for the qualifying matches. As a result, I have first-hand knowledge of what it's like to have an Ernests Gulbis serve coming right at my head. Very impressive! If we were to go to a tennis tournament again, I'm not sure I'd spend any time on the show courts at all.

My daughter enjoyed it, too. She got a magnet, a frisbee and a popsicle AND got her face painted - definitely a good day.

In the meantime, DirecTV serves me pretty well.

All Part of My Fantasy

So, Sam Querrey crashed and burned against Schuettler so I'm out of the men's suicide pool. I lost a semi-finalist on the men's side as well: Jeremy Chardy (32nd, France). He was my long shot so I can't be too broken up about it.

I'm still alive in the women's suicide pool, though I'm still awaiting the Shahar Peer match, moved back to Day 3 because of the rain on Day 1.

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