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Todd’s Tennis Takes is Back…Aussie Open Begins

After a long hiatus post US Open, TTT is back along with Grand Slam tennis as the 2011 season opens with the slam down under, the Australian Open. I am working on the event at the DirecTV Studios in Los Angeles, helping out with the 6 channel production that covers action on 5 different courts simultaneously – it’s a blast, but the days are long, and I wasn’t able to do a preview.

So far, we have Sam Querry going down to Lukasz Kubot in 5 sets (another disappointing slam for him, getting to be routine now), and Davydenko losing in 4 sets to Florian Mayer. Mardy Fish was down 2-0 in sets to Hanescu before taking the next 3 sets, and Gael Monfils was staring at the abyss – down to sets and 2-5, just 1 game away from elimination, when he stormed back, took the next 5 games to take the 3rd set, and then steamrolled the next two sets over rising youngster Thiemo de Bakker to secure his spot in round 2.

Speaking of rising youngsters, 19 year old Bulgarian hotshot Gregor Dimitrov, who rocketed over 180 spots in the rankings last year to lie just outside the top 100, dominated another young riser Andrey Goloubev 6-1, 6-4, 6-2. Goloubev himself, a 23 yr old Russian, rose from #133 to #38 since the beginning of 2010. Dimitrov also qualified here, and so has now won 4 straight matches going into a tough 2nd round battle with Stanislas Wawrinka. Remember, you heard about Dimitrov first from Todd’s Tennis Takes in the summer of 2009 when he got a wildcard into Wimbledon after winning the juniors there in 2008. Look for him to crack the top 60 this year.

There are two 2nd round matches I can’t wait to see, assuming they take place – Baghdatis vs. Del Potro (finally he’s back), and Gulbis vs. Dolgopolov. The Gulbis/Dolgop match should be very entertaining, two talented young shotmakers battling it out for a spot in the 3rd round. Look for a steady stream of short TTT posts during the tourney, as part of my job during the event is on the computer anyway doing research for the announcers and producers.

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