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TTT – Aussie Open Update #7

So it looks pretty clear now that at 29 yrs old, David Nalbandian cannot recover from near 5 hr marathons like he used to. Youngster Richard Berankis crushed Nalbo today 6-1, 6-0, 2-0, as the veteran retired from the match. The most anticipated 1st round matchup exceeded all expectations, but in the process crushed the winner.

There were a few other mild surprises today, but nothing as stark as Nalbo’s loss. Tomic upset F Lopez early in the day, straight sets, but is that really an upset? We don’t know how high Tomic’s ceiling is, as he’s only 18, but it looks to be awfully high at this point.  Too bad he runs into the Nadal buzzsaw next round, but at least he can measure his game against the best, an invaluable experience for a fast rising teenager. Llodra lost to yet another promising youth, Milos Raonic, ranked #152 and having just turned 20 in late December.  Raonic now gets Youzhny next round – funny how Youzhny is getting these nice slam draws recently, having just come off his very surprising semi appearnce at the US Open last September.  

Dolgop won, setting up a rematch with Tsonga after losing in their only other meeting 2nd round at Wimby – Tsonga 10-8 in the 5th.

3rd Rounders of Interest:

  1.  Isner-Cilic – big test for the American…Cilic semis here last year, but little notable results since.
  2. Tsonga-Dolgopolov – Can Dolgop avenge Wimby? He’s a superior ball-striker in general, and amazing athlete…strikes me as a right-handed Marcelo Rios.
  3. Nishikori-Verdasco – we already know that Verdasco is vulnerable after being down match point to Tipsy in the 2nd round, and the 21 yr old Japanese speedster is on the rise.
  4. Robredo-Stakhovsy – The consummate pro Robredo, getting older but still winning his share, vs. the rising 25 yr old, improving his ranking each of the last 3 years, now 43rd and above Tommy’s #52..

As I type this Bags/Del Potro is just starting…too late for me to enjoy after working on set another 11 hour day. Will give a recap in the morning.

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