I’m here at ESPN in Bristol, CT, commentating the Australian Open. So far, favorites are getting through with no major upsets. Best match in the men’s draw has been David Nalbandian against Leyton Hewitt.
Nalbandian fighting off the hostile crowd and cramping eventually wins 9-7 in the fifth set. As for the ladies, in the first time in history a former #1, Dinara Safina, lost 6-0, 6-0. The loss came at the capable racquet of Kim Clijsters. It was a match that was touted as epic but definitely fell flat. Looking ahead, on the men’s side, defending champion Roger Federer who looked unbeatable in his first round, had a very interesting match up 2nd round against Gilles Simon. Simon has had some injuries and has beaten Federer in the past, and certainly gave Rog all he could handle out there, forcing five sets. This was the highest quality tennis we have seen over the first few days, and Federer now looks poised to make a run at the title after the early test. The women’s draw is more wide open. I don’t see Caroline Wozniacki playing too well. Serena William is still out with a foot injury (hmmmmmmm…..). I suppose the sentimental favorite would be Samantha Stosur. However, after the first round play, Clijsters looks to be the strongest. Let’s see what happens down under.