My thoughts on the early rounds of the Australian Open.
I think too much attention was given to Laura Robson’s win at the Australian
Open over Petra Kvitova. The match against Kvitova was generally a poor quality
one. There were so many double-faults and unforced errors by both players that
nobody should get carried away by Robson’s performance. She did well to stick in and
hold on for the win but the Kvitova she beat is a shadow of the player who won
Wimbledon eighteen months ago. It will give Robson confidence that she beat a
player who was in the TopTen even if she wasn’t playing like a top player. Robson
isn’t playing as well now as she did at the US Open where she beat top players in
decent form. It came as no surprise to me that she lost to Sloane Stephens in the next
round in Melbourne. In fact Heather Watson was playing as well as Robson. She was
unlucky to come up against a player in Radwanska who is both very consistent, and in
Meanwhile Andy Murray marches on. He is not only playing well but also getting the
breaks in the way the draw has opened up. He was very lucky in the players he faced
in the first three rounds. It’s not often you face someone in round three who is outside
the top 100. Then in round 4 he met a player who had been in a marathon match in
the third round who was tired. In the quater-finals he was due to face Del Potro, who
can be a very dangerous opponent, but Del Potro had been knocked-out. This isn’t to
say that Murray wouldn’t have got through. The way he is playing he would have won
anyway , but he has been lucky as well. If the draw works out he will be playing
Federer in the semi. Neither player has been troubled so far and it could be a great
match. I think the winner of that match will win the tournament.
Djokovic is looking vulnerable again, but we have been here before with him. Last
year after his epic semi against Murray it seemed that he was struggling to move in
the early stages of the final against Nadal. Five hours later he had won the title, so you
never know with him.
The women’s draw looks like being a showdown between Serena Williams and Maria
Sharapova. Both are blasting their way through in devastating fashion. Li Na is
playing as well as she has for ages. However, my money is on another Williams-
Sharapova final with Serena to win.