by Alain Chivilò
Second week of the 2024 Australian Open.
Very intense rounds, great tennis battles and important surprises especially in women.
The duo predicted Swiatek-Rybakina for a semi-final literally jumped at R64 and R32 in two difficult matches, to be feared, to be respected but to be won in a final balance.
In 2.46 h, perhaps the most dramatic match of the tournament, Anna Blinkova 6/4, 4/6, 7/6 (20) vs Elena Rybakina. On the court, no one wanted to win, or rather, no one wanted to lose, with match points acquired and then not achieved. At the end, Blinkova’s character is rewarded.
In 2.20 h, Linda Noskova 3/6, 6/3, 6/4 vs Iga Swiatek. In a balanced match, the Polish seen in Cancun did not maintain the pressure and pace that were embarrassing for their opponents. Noskova played on equal terms until the end, walking on.
The new Russian players, already present in the circuit, attracted attention and were extremely combative and in charge (Blinkova, Andreeva, Kalinskaya, Timofeeva, Zakharova and Avanesyan), but also the Ukrainians (Svitolina, Yastremska and Kostyuk) were no exception. Continuing, valid levels of play have been rediscovered by Azarenka, while Sabalenka is acquiring the role of tennis star, continuing her prediction of favorite in the final. Interesting tournament also for Anisimova after a long period of time.
A note to the possible Italian surprise of AO, fighting in a few hours for the quarterfinals: Jasmine Paolini. A frightening wickedness that was well managed and measured on the court and in the match (she dragged Errani in the doubles up to R16), very fit and very present, but above all and very important: she won the fundamental points in the crucial moments of the match. If she continues like this, throughout the season, she will enter the WTA top ten without any trouble.
In the men’s tournament – the favourite, the predestined, the unbeatable, the man with glacial and boxing tennis – the only Italian for his opponents to beat on the court: Jannik Sinner continues without losing a set to advance in a tremendous and ruthless offensive. Opponents almost cornered and almost embarrassed.
Around the next Italian cover man, increasingly requested by fashion, car industries, television, mobile and web providers, radio and future other sectors equally strong players such as Novak Djokovic, Andrey Rublev, Hubert Hurkacz, Taylor Fritz, Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev and Carlos Alcaraz without forgetting some outsiders. Valid tournament for Mannarino and de Minaur after the lost Davis Cup final.
If Tennis today has become above all maintaining one’s serve solidly, trying to break, but above all – current trend – at the right moment unleash hell and win without any reply in the face of all of us: welcome to the season tennis 2024 and the AO 2024.
Looking at the next matches, as per the photo gallery, in the lower part of the scoreboard Marta Kostyuk vs Coco Gauff, both focused on the game and along the match, Barbora Krejcikova vs Aryna Sabalenka, the return of the very combative Czech and the woman who conceded only 11 games.
Novak Djokovic always in huge condition vs Taylor Fritz who returns to being American, Jannik Sinner the indomitable vs Andrey Rublev always close to the result.
In the final lineup at the Quarter Finals, few hours to go, fire and flames among the women in all interesting matches between being fought until the last point and suddenly becoming easier than expected. Same rating for men.
©AC, NDSL, AM, Alain Chivilo