Early Wobblers…

Jan 19, 2011

As ever with a Grand Slam event, there are few big players that experience what I like to call ‘early wobblers’. Not all-out failures, just a little hiccup at the beginning of what could be an exemplary display, or something that could be the first signs of a crushing defeat later on.

Round two is usually the best place to find the early wobblers, when the top players can often meet their first big challenge of the tournament. The big early wobbler for round two was Roger Federer.

Yes, Roger Federer had ‘a little hiccup’ in Round Two.

To give Federer his due, he was facing Gilles Simon, a tough player to play wherever and whenever you may meet him. The Frenchman made Federer fight for his third round place, and pushed him to five sets before Roger eventually closed out the game. Simon is a problem for Roger Federer, and had lost the last two previous matches against him. Simon rattled Roger’s game, but it was not enough to break the second seed, and Federer eventually came away with a win by sheer nerve and skill 6-2 6-3 4-6 6-3.

Novak Djokovic also advanced to the third round, but he had a little wobbler of his own. His match was a battle against Ivan Dodig of Croatia, who forced the Serb into a subdued state of play that could have been the end of the game completely. But Djokovic found a way to pick his game – and his attitude – back up again, and finished the last sets with a blistering scoreline of 6-0 6-2. He will play Viktor Troicki (yes, the fellow Serb he danced to Shakira with in a karaoke booth. No, I won’t ever stop going on about that video) in the third round.

On the women’s side of things, Venus Williams had a bit of a ‘wobbler’ in her second round match after coming very close to an injury scare. If losing the first set wasn’t enough of an indicator of an injury, then her pained screech certainly was. She returned from medical treatment with a heavily bandaged right thigh. But this is Venus Williams, and she would need to have lost her right leg before she became less of a threat on the court. She eventually managed to get her mind back to the game, and beat her opponent Sanda Zahlavova 6-7 (6-8) 6-0 6-4.

Wobblers aside, there were some other great matches in the remaining first round and the first of the second round matches. One piece of interesting news is that Juan Martin del Potro is still in the tournament despite a strong opponent (Dudi Sela) in the first round. He beat the Israeli 7-6 6-4 6-4. After coming into the Australian Open off the back of a year out of play it was a surprise (although a nice one, of course) to hear. There’s another Grand Slam in the man yet, that much I am happy to predict.

-          SophieG

Written by: SophieG

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