Down Under: Just a brief ditty on the opening of the 2007 tennis season. Couple of surprises and some things not-so-surprising.
First off, Serena is winning -- not always convincingly, and certainly not without some degree of awkwardness, but she's winning. By all accounts, she's not in tip-top shape, but with all the rust, injuries and distraction over the past 2 years, it's good to see her challenging, and against a cruising Sharapova (who mind you, was thiiis close to losing in the first round), she will need every ounce of effort.
Roddick can't beat Roger. It wasn't even close. Unless Connors can lace-up, I don't think he's ever going to get Andy to "man up" against Roger in the Slams. It's just not pretty and it's unfortunate that we're not going to see a true rivalry in mens' tennis for some time.
Hingis is back. She hung tough against Clijsters, taking her to three sets (Clijsters had 62 (!) unforced errors), and reaffirms that grace can prevail, at least often enough, against power.
Nadal is his usual mixed bag off European soil. Still can't figure out the shorts concept.
I fear Blake just won't turn the corner. He is starting to remind me of a Henman -- a guy who is a gamer, tough, and undeniably talented, but seems to lack the extra gear to win a Slam. Now mind you, I'm not faulting the guy for not beating up on Federer, but just make a few finals at least to show you have the mental fortitude.
Finals predictions: Serena guts one out (pun intended). Federer in 4.