The Reuters global sports blog
By Greg Rusedski
The big Australian hope for the woman’s title Sam Stosur, the U.S. Open champion, went out in the first round which wasn’t a huge surprise. She said in all her press conferences before the event about how she wasn’t dealing with the pressure and home expectations. In my experience, even if a player is feeling that way they shouldn’t bring it up at a press conference as it could potentially give the opponent an extra belief. Sam will learn from this and hopefully get stronger for it.
On the men’s side, Australia’s big hope Bernard Tomic played well and is the real deal. He loves playing with the Australian pressure and expectation. Unfortunately for Tomic in the fourth round he came up against the great Roger Federer. It was another entertaining match from Tomic but Federer was just too good. Tomic is an exciting player to watch because of the variety in his game. He can hit any shot and mixes the pace of the ball all the time. He is a great thinker on the court and is a natural born winner. At only 19 years of age he should be in the top 10 very soon if he keeps working.
Federer has been sublime all week and there are no more worries about the back problem he suffered in Doha. His quarter-final match against Juan Martin Del Potro will be a repeat of the 2009 U.S. Open. It has all the makings for a classic match.
Former world number 1 Lleyton Hewitt, now world number 181, turned back the clock in the first week by making the second week at the Australian Open. His fighting spirit is as strong as ever, but after five surgeries in four years it will be nearly impossible for him to get back to the top. He should enjoy this magical moment at home. He set up a fourth round meeting with Novak Djokovic on Monday. Unfortunately for Hewitt, Djokovic had too much game and won reasonably comfortably. Djokovic has played great in the first week and is still my pick to win the title.
An irresistible story from Melbourne, where Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton was stopped by the police for “over-exuberant” driving on the road.
Hamilton was fastest in practice for the Australian Grand Prix on Friday and apparently struggled to make the adjustment to his road car. Here’s the story from Ian Ransom in Melbourne and Alan Baldwin in London:
Brawn GP’s one-two win on their debut in the Australian Grand Prix may turn out to be the feelgood moment of the Formula One year (although maybe not for those locked in the great Melbourne diffuser debate).
Race winner Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello were the happiest drivers in the paddock by a very long way on Sunday night and even team owner Ross Brawn seemed momentarily overcome.
This week’s Australian Grand Prix diffuser controversy was more of a confuser for the casual spectator, even if it was a classic of its kind.
Never mind the talk of air flow and aerodynamic interpretations. The bottom line is that it may be weeks before we know for certain who won Sunday’s Formula One season-opener.