Friday, January 20, 2012

Australian Open Day 5: Bratchikova

Curtain Call

Player: Nina Bratchikova
Age: 26
Nation: Russia
Current Ranking: 136
Notable Conquest: Flavia Pennetta (19th seed, Italy)
Today's Result: loss to Iveta Benesova (Czech Republic) in straight sets

Photo via Indian Express

At 26, Bratchikova qualified to reach her first-ever Slam main draw. She even managed to take out a seed in the first round. The ESPN commentators (I believe Taylor Dent was the color man) were, I think, suitably impressed. In the past, I've often felt that commentators are dismissive of journeyman players but for Bratchikova, they made a big deal out of the fact that this was by far the best result of her career. That is as it should be.

Catching Up with Old Friends

Romina Oprandi (Curtain Call, US Open Day 3) - All of the former Curtain Calls I'm catching up with today took down a seeded player before they left town. Oprandi beat countrywoman Francesca Schiavone (10th) in the second round. However, she lost in the third to Julia Georges (22nd, Germany). By reaching the third round, she has attained her career-best Slam result.

Christina McHale (Curtain Call, US Open Day 5) - McHale beat the 24th seeded Lucie Safarova (Czech Republic) in the first round en route to a third round finish, her best in Melbourne. She lost to Jelena Jankovic (13th, Serbia) in straight sets. She teamed with Angelique Kerber (Germany) in doubles. They lost to the top seeds in the first round: Kveta Peschke (Croatia)/Katarina Srebotnik (Slovenia).

Alejandro Falla (Curtain Call, US Open Day 4) - Falla won the biggest scalp of the three, besting Mardy Fish (8th, USA) in the second round. The Colombian left lost in the third round to Philipp Kohlschreiber (Germany) in straight sets. He teamed with countryman Santiago Giraldo in doubles. They lost in the first round to the Brazillian team, Ricardo Mello/Joao Souza.

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