FauxPolitik

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

The Results: No doubt alienating our vast political readership with a focus on tennis, it's worth making a couple of obsevations about the first round. For one thing, Agassi went through Corretja like a freight train. Corretja may not be seeded in the Open, but he's no pushover, even if this season has been a bust for him. He's beaten Agassi on hard courts, so this is a real boost for Andre. If he plays like this for two weeks, he'll be holding the trophy at the end. The only other high seed to face significant first-round heat was Roddick, who dispatched Henman in straight sets. Like Agassi, Roddick had lost to this opponent recently, though given Roddicks amazing run this summer, that looks like a fluke in retrospect. With both Americans looking good against tough players in the first round, they have the big mo' and would make a great final together.

The surprises thus far are on the women's side, with Maleeva and Bovina both losing to unseeded players, though both (Shinobu Asagoe, who went to the final in Birmingham in July, and Ludmila Cervanova, who has seen some quarters and semis this year) are far from nobodies.

Second round unconventional wisdom: Watch Todd Martin against Martin Verkerk to see if Todd has one more shot at glory. The Croation Sensation Ivo Karlovic blew past clay specialist Felix Mantilla. It's worth seeing if he can take veteran Hicham Arazi, who beat Kafelnikov and put up a respectable performance against Federer in the quarters in Dubai.

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