Player: Vesna Manasieva
Current Ranking: 146
Notable Conquest: Marion Bartoli (15th seed, France)
Today's Result: loss to Anastasija Sevastova (Latvia) in straight sets
Photo via Hamburger Abendblatt
Manasieva got tuned today but she had a great tournament. She went through qualifying to reach her first Australian Open main draw, then took out Bartoli in the second round. The ongoing parade of talented Russian women tennis players continues.
Catching Up with Old Friends
Richard Gasquet (Curtain Call, US Open Day 8) - Gasquet fell to Tomas Berdych (6th, Czech Republic) in straight sets. Nonetheless, his third round finish is an improvement on last year's first round exit. His ranking points will increase accordingly.
Berdych is, in many ways, a fitting opponent to end Gasquet's tournament. The two are less than a year apart in age and their careers have striking similarities. Both are extremely talented and much was expected of both early in their professional tenures. Alas, both fall squarely in the head-case category and have not exactly lived up to potential. (I would argue, too, that even from a layman's perspective, Berdych's footwork is highly suspect.) Berdych's strong run to the Wimbledon final last year gives him a higher ranking for the moment. Neither man appears to be a threat to win a major, particularly with the Age of Roger and Rafa still going strong. Berdych has never been to the quarters of a hard court major. His fourth round opponent is Fernando Verdasco (9th, Spain), a former semifinalist in Melbourne.