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Author Topic: Andy at the Australian Open  (Read 6098 times)
Aileen
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Re: Andy at the Australian Open « Reply #195 on: January 10, 2014, 11:29 PM »
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I'm pretty sure it's just 2, which is why media get so infuriated with US Open (well one of the reasons)- it being the only one to drag it over 3.
Thanks Westie.  I thought it was 2 days in Oz but wasn't sure.
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Connor
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Re: Andy at the Australian Open « Reply #196 on: January 10, 2014, 11:33 PM »
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Sadly yes, Proddy.  I could get BT Infinity but can't afford it, and as I have a good package with them I don't want to move to another company.  Sky is totally out of the question anyway because of its high cost.

Hope Andy's playing on Monday.  The heat will be bad enough but not as bad as Tuesday is set to be.

Either you or Proddy - refresh my memory though.  Is R1 of the AO played over two days or three?  Or am I getting confused with the USO?

2 days.
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Aileen
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Re: Andy at the Australian Open « Reply #197 on: January 10, 2014, 11:34 PM »
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Thanks Gangsta.
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Connor
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Re: Andy at the Australian Open « Reply #198 on: January 10, 2014, 11:35 PM »
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I hope Serena, Venus and Andy play on Monday. But I will be satisfied with Pospisil and Scone on Monday too.
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Aileen
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Re: Andy at the Australian Open « Reply #199 on: January 11, 2014, 12:05 AM »
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Scone?  Presumably that's one of your other faves, Sloane?
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Connor
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Re: Andy at the Australian Open « Reply #200 on: January 11, 2014, 12:11 AM »
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Scone?  Presumably that's one of your other faves, Sloane?

Indeed, its a nickname.
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blueberryhill
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Re: Andy at the Australian Open « Reply #201 on: January 11, 2014, 07:37 AM »
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http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2014/jan/10/andy-murray-australian-open-heat-crowds

Latest (?) interview.
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Caz
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Re: Andy at the Australian Open « Reply #202 on: January 11, 2014, 11:08 AM »
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I'm so glad he opted to play! Win or lose...he had nothing to gain by opting out! Thanks BBH!
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Re: Andy at the Australian Open « Reply #203 on: January 11, 2014, 02:22 PM »
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Everytime I think of the Australian Open I get this weird funny feeling in my stomach. I'm glad Andy's back and I also get the idea of him playing down expectations of his return from a back surgery but I know I'll still be totally gutted for at least a week if he loses, more so if he loses before the QF.

Wishing for a miracle  pray
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Aileen
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Re: Andy at the Australian Open « Reply #204 on: January 11, 2014, 09:38 PM »
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I'm so glad he opted to play! Win or lose...he had nothing to gain by opting out! Thanks BBH!
Same here Caz, although I'm prepared to believe Lendl might have had a hand in persuading him provided his rehab was going well.  I know Andy likes to be his own man, but he will at least listen to Ivan.

I have no great expectations either, especially with that killer heat which looks set to last for the entire first week at least.  Even without it though I realise it could take Andy a while to get fully back to top form.  I think I've said it before but it's a pity the AO comes at the start of the season, otherwise even one more minor tournament before it might have made a big difference, and I think he would have fared better than he did in Doha.  That couldn't have been much fun if the chilly weather there was making his back stiff.
[ Last edit by Aileen January 11, 2014, 09:43 PM ] IP Logged
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Re: Andy at the Australian Open « Reply #205 on: January 12, 2014, 12:50 AM »
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There's been some debate over how fast the courts are playing [I think Andy said he thought they were the usual speed]
But in the Sunday Times Pat Cash has this to say:

All-out attackers can court success at last
"Sense prevails at the Australian Open. Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray might not be happy but the court surfaces at Melbourne Park this year will be quicker than they have been for many years. Attacking play will be rewarded, which I hope will revive something that’s almost died in the modern game — variety.
Tennis should not be a sport solely for back-court players. By nature, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray are baseline counterpunchers, an approach that has helped them win 11 of the past 12 Grand Slams. A big factor in their success has been the conditions, which generally have become slower because of the type of surfaces and the balls used.
Ask yourself what court speed would produce the best-balanced all-court play throughout the tournament. The answer is simple: medium fast. Not lightning quick, because we don’t want to revert to those serve-dominated days of ace, unreturnable serve, ace. That would be no good for entertainment value. Neither, though, would baseline battles of four hours-plus between low-ranked players, nearly all of whom stay back and grind out the points. Racket and string technology have pushed tactics in that direction.
I don’t want to say I told you so, but I will. Two years ago I went to see Steve Wood, who was Tennis Australia’s chief executive, and Craig Tiley, the Australian Open tournament director. I told them they were being ridiculous. The courts were getting rougher and slower and within 10 or so shots the balls were severely fluffed up. They became 10% bigger and slower through the air.
The entertainment value was suffering because good shots and attacking tactics went unrewarded. And I knew the Aussie tennis public wanted at least some ventures towards the net. Wood and Tiley looked at me as if I were a Martian, but I must have struck some kind of nerve because this year the surface speed has been raised and the balls do not fluff up as much. The ploy of moving forward and looking for the volley could at long last be a winning tactic again.
Weather forecasts suggest the first four days of the tournament will be played in temperatures of between 34C and 41C. So the Plexicushion surface could be molten, which would suit Nadal, the top seed, who likes nothing better than a blazing sun on his back as he watches his shots jump up from the heavy top-spin.
But if the ball comes through faster, can he consistently impart that top-spin? Like every player, he will have to adjust and even change tactics. Doesn’t that make tennis interesting?
In 2000, the last time speeds were increased, the tournament director Paul McNamee copped a lot of flak from the leading European players. Some of them privately threatened a boycott because of the extreme court speed of rubberised Rebound Ace surface. Things were never quite that fast again and in 2008 Rebound Ace was replaced by the blue-coloured acrylic Plexicushion surface. The speed of surface decreased — until this year.
So who can I see flourishing? I hope Juan Martin del Potro has another Grand Slam title in him, though his decision to keep two of his old rackets in the bag because he cannot get on with the new model is a worrying sign. Bernard Tomic is another who prefers a faster ball. His best results have been at Wimbledon and he hits the ball flat, like fellow Aussie Lleyton Hewitt. Tomic may come through with the sort of big wins he’s capable of achieving. In the first round he plays Nadal. Could this be the first big upset of 2014?
I would be surprised if Djokovic doesn’t make the final. He has won the title three years in a row, he came out on top in 2008 and he is supremely confident as soon as he walks out on Rod Laver Arena. Sure, he’d probably like things a bit slower but his new coach, Boris Becker, revelled on quick courts so that little bit of expertise in the camp could be crucial. Roger Federer’s employment of Stefan Edberg, who will surely work on his flailing net play, could be a stroke of genius and perfect timing.
As for Murray, I really can’t see him doing much so soon after his back surgery. Nadal proved me wrong last year but I have always held the view that for however long a player is sidelined — and in Murray’s case it was about three months — the same amount of time is needed to get everything back together.
So I’m sure that Murray will be fine in time for, say, the big Miami tournament that comes around in March, and should be firing on all cylinders when he has to defend his Wimbledon title. But can he reach a fourth Australian Open final in the space of five years? No, not this time."

Wishing Andy the best of luck.

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Aileen
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Re: Andy at the Australian Open « Reply #206 on: January 12, 2014, 01:28 AM »
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Interesting article.  I agree that something needs to be done to make tennis more interesting.  Today's continual baseline slog-outs bore me stupid, which is one reason the clay-court season is my least favourite.  Andy is good at the net so I wish he would come up to it more often.

Nice of Rafter to wish Andy luck though, although, like him, I would be surprised if Andy got as far as the final, a fact he's well aware of himself.
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Aileen
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Re: Andy at the Australian Open « Reply #207 on: January 12, 2014, 03:29 AM »
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Interesting that, unlike Rafter, the writer of this article thinks Andy can win the tournament.

DON'T WRITE MURRAY OFF  [Sporting Life, 11 Jan]

Our man at the Australian Open, Tim Clement, previews the tournament and says Andy Murray should not be written off.

The 2014 season begins in earnest at Melbourne Park with the game's top trio expected to consolidate their command of the game.

Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray each head into the event with strong cases to be made for lifting the trophy, while it would be a significant upset for any other player to prevail.

Djokovic is Sky Bet's odds-on favourite having won the event four times, including the last three instalments, Nadal holds the number one spot and the most recent major title and Murray is Wimbledon champion and serial finalist here.

The trio cleaned up not only all three Grand Slams in 2013 but also all nine Masters events - making it very difficult to look elsewhere Down Under.

Question marks do, however, surround Murray as he returns from back surgery and heads into the event with just two competitive and three exhibition matches under his belt.

Juan Martin del Potro and Roger Federer might catch the eye of some at double-figure odds but were very inconsistent last year, while David Ferrer, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Stanislas Wawrinka and Tomas Berdych offered little to suggest it could be their event.

The court
A variation of hardcourt called Plexicushion has been use at Melbourne Park and the Australian warm-up events since 2008, offering a more predictable a lower bounce than the old Rebound Ace. There have been contrasting reviews of how the courts are playing, with Nadal suggesting they are quicker than before, while Murray insists they are exactly the same as last year.

The weather
Having personally made the difficult adaption from British winter to Australian summer, I can confirm it is somewhat warm. Indeed, Australia has just endured its hottest year on record and the heat shows no sign of easing up for the fortnight of action at Melbourne Park. Although night play makes the conditions significantly more bearable for those favourably scheduled, temperatures are forecast to reach close to 40C in the first week. That means matches could be halted with the tournament's heat policy coming into play.

The draw
Djokovic was the clear benefactor from the draw, with Sky Bet reacting by cutting his odds from 6/5 to 5/6. With exception to Nadal's dominance of the French Open, it is very rare to see a player go off odds-on for a Grand Slam but his route to the final looks as straight-forward as they come. Murray was handed Federer in his quarter while Del Potro is placed in with Nadal, leaving David Ferrer and Tomas Berdych as the highest-ranked players in the reigning champion's path.

The contenders (and Sky Bet odds)

Novak Djokovic (5/6)
...........

Rafael Nadal (3/1) ...........

Andy Murray (9/1)
Murray will be looking to follow in the footsteps of Nadal by reaching new highs after addressing a long-term injury problem. The Scot missed the end of 2013 due to back surgery and will be hoping to rediscover his top form quickly after indifferent preparations. However, with an abundance of experience and confidence of achieving his ultimate goal at Wimbledon last summer, neither fitness nor form should be a major concern. Despite having ridden his back of monkeys at Flushing Meadows and SW19, there is certainly a sense of unfinished business at a place where he has thrice ended as the losing finalist.

Juan Martin del Potro (11/1) ...........

Roger Federer (12/1) ...........

Best of the rest ...........

Predictions
Everything seems to point towards Djokovic lifting the trophy again and it takes a convoluted mindset to justify opposing him. However, that's exactly what I'm going to do in backing Murray to triumph here. The Scot has fresh motivation following his lay-off and is armoured with what should now be an unwavering self-belief. Nadal was the man of 2013 but, having sat in on his press conference on Saturday, you get the sense that he does not feel entirely comfortable at Melbourne Park, having complained about the court speed and his hard luck with injuries. At 9/1 Murray looks overpriced and following his recent achievements he now commands the confidence and experience of getting over the finish line.

Best bet:

Andy Murray to win the Australian Open - 9/1

Andy Murray to beat Novak Djokovic in the final - 12/1


Full article - http://www.sportinglife.com/tennis/news/article/553/9110655/dont-write-murray-off
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benniebone
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Re: Andy at the Australian Open « Reply #208 on: January 12, 2014, 12:05 PM »
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Have just had a quick look at the schedule for Monday Can't find Murray so he must be playing on Tuesday For impoverished folk like me with no Sky I have noted that BBC
Radio 4 extra are doing live commentaries from 7am
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Fiverings
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Re: Andy at the Australian Open « Reply #209 on: January 12, 2014, 12:27 PM »
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Have just had a quick look at the schedule for Monday Can't find Murray so he must be playing on Tuesday For impoverished folk like me with no Sky I have noted that BBC
Radio 4 extra are doing live commentaries from 7am
 5pm ( Melbourne time) on Hisense I believe
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