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On The Ball
On The Ball

Episode · 11 months ago

2021 Australian Open Review - Episode 106

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

On today's episode of the podcast, I discuss who are the biggest winners and losers coming out of the 2021 Australian Open, what were the best matches in the grand slam and what is up next in the world of tennis?

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Cheers. He settle. Hello andwelcome back to the on the ball podcast. This is episode a hundred and sixof the show and today we are back here to round up the AustralianOpen. The summer of Australian tennis was pretty different this year, has tobe said. Obviously, with Covid, most of the tournaments were played inMelbourne. There is one being played in Adelaide Adelaide right now, but nonein Brisbane, none in Sydney, none in Perth. All the pre tournamentaction was in Melbourne. And then, obviously this strain open, as italways is, was a Melbourne Park. It was a pretty successful tournament.No real covid scares. Obviously everyone had a pretty thorough quarantine so it wasn'tthat likely that it was going to happen. Sadly, there was a five daylockdown in Melbourne mid tournament, so there wasn't crowds every day, whichdefinitely hurt the watchability. I don't know if that's a word of the tournament. I think I can point out Jock Vich v. That wasd some mateswho said that was a pretty highest quality match of tennis, but I wasin that engaged in it. Wasn't that into it and I think the crowdnot being there was a big thing. Both players didn't have as necessarily asmuch like energy in passion, not that they didn't care about the match,but as in like you know, they weren't as many like come ons orshows of emotion and I think that was a big thing. But obviously wedid what we could to get through. The Australian Open, I think wasran pretty well by everyone at tennis Australia Pretty High Standard tennis as well.You'd have thought maybe some of the players would have been a bit rusty,but I didn't think there was too much rust associated with any of the matches. So today I'm just going to be discussing the winners and losers of thetournament. So who came out of it well who struggled in it? I'mdoing my votes once again this year, so it's not necessarily if you winyou get all the votes, but it's sort of something like that. SoI'm going to run through my votes for the tournament. Then I'm also goingto discuss my favorite matches of the competition and then I'm going to be lookingat some of the other tournaments that have taken place so far this season.Then I'm going to preview some of the tournaments coming up and also that thisweek there's a few matches on right now as I record, Sam stows thathe's playing, and a few other people. I'm going to try and not sayum as much this podcast because I say it a lot, but I'lltry my best. I just said it again. Are starting with my bestmatches of the tournament and I'll start on the women's side. Honorable Mention goesto Al Ya Tom willanovitch versus Simona help in the second round. It wasa night it was either the end of the day session or the start ofthe night session, and Tommy outovitch had match points against hall it, whichwould have been a huge upset. The number two seed crashing out in thesecond round would have been crazy. HOWIP did manage to come back. Ithink Tommy Yanovitch was five to up in the third if I'm not mistaken,and she did choke a little bit, but fair play to hello. Thatwas a pretty impressive match. I didn't catch too much of it because Iwas actually at the tennis for the first four days and this was during thatperiod. So I didn't see this too much but from what I heard itwas a very impressive match. Tommy out of Itch, played out of askin. Almost came out with huge scalp. I'm trying not to say our butyeah, that was a good match. Then number three, I'm going togive it to a bit of a strange one, but I know oneof my mates was there and he was saying it wasn't the highest quality match, but I think it was the third...

...round of the fight. The Fridaythe first week, Sueway Shay, of Chinese type, a versus Sarah Rani. Shaw obviously went on to make the quarterfinals, if I'm not mistaken,and played soccer. Rani well obviously lost if she got to the quarterfinals,but this was a six four twohundred and sixty seventy five epic at the JohnKane Arena. Probably it's the kind of match if it was on an outsidecourt I would go watch it. If it's on an arena, probably notgoing to be picking it to watch on TV, but it was a bigbattle between these two experienced campaigners. Rani's kind of gone to the wayside inthe last few seasons, but she had a pretty impressive tournament after coming throughas a qualifier. And then Sueve a Sha. She's always been pretty goodin Australia and she's always been one to upset a big opponent and she provedherself this tournament with some big scalps, beating like vondrous over Rani, andshe did go down to the eventual champion as well. So that's my numberthree. Pretty good match. Came down to the final set seven five.Number two I'm going to give it to arena SABLANCA and Serena Williams. Thefourth round in the women's probably where the highest quality matches took place, inmy opinion. There were some good quarterfinals, but I think the fourth round therewas some blockbusters and this was definitely one of the big ones. Itwas on that the same on the same day as Murgurusa versus Sarka. IsProbably one of the Best Rod Labor arena schedules I've ever seen, especially inthe fourth round. Can't remember who else was on during that day. Ithink it was team Dimitrov, which didn't end up being as good as itlooked on paper, and not sure who else was on that day, butthere were some great matches. But yeah, Savilanca really pushed Serena Williams. Itwas an interesting clash of styles. Very similar players, big serves,strong forehands, just power players. Really. They used to belittling their opponents byjust over AP pairing them. But then I've got to be able todo it to each other as they are so strong themselves. And this matchreally had ebbs and flows. Certain Times look like Sablanca was going to overrunSerena and then other types that look like Serena was just going to be toogood on the day, which is what ended up happening. Just overpowered herin the third set to bring it home for but SABLANCA had a barnstorming secondset where she won six to so it was a very back and forth match, but some impressive power hitting on display and yeah, just a really highquality match between two people with interesting styles. So that was one of my favoritematches. But then my favorite match in the women's drawer was murder USand versus a Saka on the same day. As I mentioned earlier, Saka faced, as everyone's been talking about, face to match points, managed toget through it and obviously went on to win the championship. But Murga Rusa, she's just so dangerous the moment. With her low ranking relative to howgood she is. She's nice to really improve that if for her own would, but as a viewer's providing some pretty interesting matchups early on in tournaments.She's obviously good enough to be making semi finals and finals a pretty much everyslam, but the fact that she's so low ranked me and she does haveto come up against higher ranked opponents pretty early. And it was unfortunate thatboth murderers and Osaka had to play each other in the fourth round as oneof them had to be eliminated so early, as I do believe they could haveboth met in the final if the drawers made another way. But yeah, really impressive match up. Both played really well. Asycher just clutched upwhen it mattered and just stormed home, as she kind of made a bitof a feature of a game she tended. She tends to win the last orlast two games of the match in ridiculous speed and she just knows whento put the foot on the accelerator and she really clutched up here, andshe quoted that, because she was down match points. Now she feels likeshe had nothing to lose for the rest of the tournament than that could havegone a long way to her winning.

On the men's side, my honorablemention is going to go to see pass and cocknark has, similar to theTom Weano itch and hellip. I didn't seem much of it because I wasthere, but this look like an incredible match. When I saw the scheduleI was like, Cocknarkas can't beat him, but he might be able to,you know, push it to a tie break or something, get thecrowd involved. But the fact that he took him to five sets pretty incrediblefrom COCKNARK has. He's had a lot of injury issues. Very high qualitytennis player. I think Atti's best. He could be a top fifty player, but sits a pass almost got knocked out very early. I think thisis only second round and as the number five, see I think even numberfive, or was he number six? Yeah, no, he was numberfive and things fair of his number six. You can't be going out in thesecond round and he didn't eat. Clutched up at the end and whenI had a very impressive tournament. So this was a bit of a slidingdoors moment for sister pass. If he goes out in the can around toCock Arca is, he's coming out as one of the biggest losers of thecompetition, but now he's coming out as one of the biggest winners. Sothat's myble mention. They're in third. I'm going to have sharp of olveversus sinner in the first round, similar to Merga Ruse are. This isjust a ridiculous standard of match for such early round in the tournament. Ithink this will be one of sinners last matches, one of the last tournamentsever not being seated. There's probably excluding like five hundred. You get somepretty good five hundreds where if you're not the top fifteen you're not seated.But I think he's there ranked thirty two or something, so that means he'sgoing to be seated for Grand Slams and unless he's playing it some stacked tofifty or something like that, he's going to be seated there. And thenyou will probably be seated in masters moving forward, so we won't have toworry too much about him coming up against quality players like this in the firstround any longer. But poor chap of all of you couldn't get a worsefirst round, right? I don't think. Then ane center right now. Hepushed in the whole way five sets. It was really entertaining match for especiallyfor the first round. There's not there's usually quite a few five setthrills in the first round, but they're not usually of the highest standard.It's usually in the third, fourth quarterfinals where the standard really begins to lift. But from the outset these two are playing such high quality tennis and it'sjust the same. That shame that Yannick Cinder had to crash out on nightone, but yeah, really entertaining match between two young guns and two startsof the future. Number two I've got cuios versus Umbert. This is thisis a high quality match, but this is probably more because of the atmospherethe event. It was second round matchup Curios, another guy like we keepmentioning Murderys a Sina's a lot better than he's ranking suggests. He's was unseatedat this Australian Open. Serious, seriously dangerous play too came up against ifyou are seated like it was fo in bear. It went to five sets, six four and the fifth to Curios. He saved match points in the fourth, I believe. Yeah, because he won the second set, soyou couldn't have saved them in the third. Umbert played pretty well, to behonest, and I think he might have announced himself a little bit tothe Australian public. But cuiros, which is too good on the night andthe crowd was absolutely pumping. I love the Curios doesn't play at Rod Laborarena. I personally am not a fan of Rod Labor arena, especially inthe first week, so I'm glad that curios gives especially John Kane arena.Mar At courts still pretty good because there's some big names that play there andyou get some good matches like Chapavl of sinner, but John Kane arena orhigh Censorna, or whatever you want to call the third arena often doesn't havetoo much going for it. normably it's packaged with the ground passes, soif you go to the outside court you can watch high sense arena or JohnKane arena, but this year, due to covid they zoned it off soit was his own sort of section. So they're really lucky the CURIOS OPSto play it. John Kane arena because it kind of gave that zone itsown I don't know how to explain, but he was just basically the headlineact for that zone every day or every...

...second day. So he got thatplace pumping and then that kind of gets the atmosphere of that court going forother matches as well. So it's very cool that Cuiros does that and yeah, it's just a really interesting thing to watch. I do think, whenI watch those matches, of curious. I do think that tennis can suffersometimes from being a bit too polite and I think a little bit more ofthat could be a good thing for tennis and I think it could involve alot more of the younger audience. You see it in soccer and even incertain matches in cricket, like the Barmby Army. Everyone loves a bit ofa rowdy crowd. It always adds to the on field actions. I thinkI like I went to the President's cup. Normally when you watch golf on TVit's very tame, but at the President's Cup in Australia is very loose. A lot of drunk blokes, a lot of screaming, a lot ofyelling, a lot of banter and that really improved the the watchability of itat the ground and on TV. So I think tennis, that's something theycould work on a little bit. Be a little bit looser in terms ofthe crowd. I know you can't have blokes like screaming at the top oftheir long lungs mid serve, but I think they should be a little bitlooser and just let a little bit more routing this go, because it makesit a lot more entertaining spectacle, and Kurios brings that to the sport,which is cool. Number one sits past versus adall. For me, thisis probably the best tennis. Tennis match I've seen since, or probably backin the prime of the big four, when you used to be guaranteed likea five setter and the semi finals between any combination of Mari, Djokovic,Nadal and federal even stand at times they were really good matches. They wouldalways go deep into the fifth, but this was just such high quality tennis. I'll be honest. I completely rode off. It's a pass from theget go and I'm glad he proved me wrong. To be honest, Ithought it was destined for an adult drop of itch final yet again. Iwas going to be so mad at that it because I, unlike a lotof tennis fans, I'm not a big fan of the same blokes winning everytime. So it's about to play at such a high level and there isa lot of long rallies, which is my preference. I'm not the biggestfan of some of the men's matches we get at the moment where there's alot of, you know, five shot or less rallies because of the bigserving be yeah, there was a lot of good rallies in this, whichis what Raugher brings to a tennis match, and it's a passage. Happened tobetter room in the big moments. Anyone. Seven, five and thefifth, which I think was probably the biggest win of his career at thispoint. I don't know if that's factual or not, but I'm going toclaim it. Beating rough at, not on his favorite surface, but beatinghim. He did beat him on clay, so maybe that's the best one ofhis career. But beating Nadal at a grand slam in a quarterfinal,allowing him to advance to a semi final, I think that's a pretty big winfor sits a pass and I think he set himself up for a reallybig year this year. Going to be looking to put pressure on the likesof Medvedev and team in trying to push into that number three spot. Soyeah, that's, for me, my favorite match of the tournament. NowI'm going to move on to my votes for the Australian Open. All right, my votes for the Australian Open. So just to explain my votes,I've last year I developed I find it really interesting, just the concept ofvotes, if you don't know what I'm talking about. So in they don'thave it such an America or England, I don't think, for anything.But in the NRL, the rugby league and the AFL, the Australian rulescompetitions, they have awards where every match they award the best player, thesecond best player in the third best player. The best player gets three votes,second best gets to the best gets one, and I have a bigfascination of that kind of award. So I've started doing it for other sportsand I've did it during the NFL season. I did it last year on myown in AFL and NRL and I'm going to done a little bit forcricket and I'm also doing it for tennis.

This yet so grand slams. Theway it works that the whole voting systems very confusing. I'm not goingto explain it to you now, but basically it's mainly objective. I've gota bit of a statistic, Statistical Algorithm, but it's also a little bit subjective. So for the strand open the Max votes you can get is ninetysix and then it goes down six votes. Every time sixteen people pick up votes. It goes like ninety ninety eighty four, blah, blah blah.So obviously right now the overall leader boards pretty irrelevant because there's only been afew competitions. So it's basically just the Australian Open votes. Is What theleader board is. But in terms of the votes for the men, it'spretty obvious who picked up full votes. In my opinion it's as Laan carrotsev, the Russian qualify who went on a dream run to the SEMMY's wascompetitive against Novak in the semi's obviously lost out to him, which is nono shame in doing at Rod Laver Arena. I have to be honest, II'm not going to sit here and say I predicted this, but Iwas doing votes last year on the Challenger tour and every week this guy wouldpick up votes in every single tournament he played and it didn't really make methink all this guy's going to go on and run next year on the ATPtour. But I was kind of just interested in who this bloke was.So I kind of knew who he was but I didn't know too much abouthim. But it's kind of been pointing to him breaking onto the ATP tourhis success on the Challenger tour, but it not anything as extreme as this. The extent of his success to this strain open was unbelievable. I thinkhe's up to rank forty two as of Monday. He went on a dreamrun. So he qualified for the tournament and he was matched up against JohnLucamager in the first round. The Italian clay court specialist beat him in threesets comfortably. And then this was the match the really pricked my ears up. I really, I really like Eagle Grass. Some of last year hebeat Kaspar Rut at this show and open. I believe when on a few goodruns in tournaments in two s. He beat Ben Whit Pere Round One, and then he meets up against carrats have. I don't know if there'sinjury issues here, but carrats have beat him six love, one, sixlove. So that's where me and my mate Pilach, who is on thepodcast regularly, started to look out. Then he was matched up again Schwartzmanin the third round, who he beat six three, six, threehundred andsixty three, and all of a sudden you're thinking this is serious. LikeI started, like no offense like this is very rude. Bum starna thingis just worke. Doping. is their stuff going on here? He thenbeats Felix in five, which I thought was incredible. In the quarter final, he then turned around and beat Dimitrov, who, I have to admit,if you didn't get injured mid match, I don't think carrots have would havebeaten him. But still wins, a win, and then he lostto Jokovic in the semis, but absolutely incredible result for as laying carrots ev. In terms of whether he can keep this up, I don't think hecan. I think he will just turn into a consistent ATP to a player. I think he'll settle around, you know, ranks two and seventy.In my personal opinion, maybe even lower. But I don't think he's going toturn into a top twenty player. But he could prove me wrong.He was pretty impressive this year. I just think it would be too weirdif he just all of a sudden went from a solid, you know,rank a hundred and ten, hundred and twenty ranked player doing well and challengeto us, to all of a sudden being a top twenty player of aone offseason. But that they could be done. Who knows. So it'spretty incredible. But that aside, whatever happens in the future, it's anincredible tournament because it's set up his life really he's he's come away with sevenhundred thousand dollars, if not more in Australian dollars. He's probably well.He's guaranteed access acceptance into pretty much every master's and grandsime event this year.As he is now ranked forty two or forty three, he'll probably be seatedin a few S. he'll get entrance...

...into all five hundreds and two s. So this year he's going to make a lot of money and he's probablygoing to win a lot of matches and he's just going to have a greatyear. I hope he can earn some points around the world so he doesn'tplummet from like forty two two hundred next January when he has to defend he'salso points, but I'm maxed. I'm excited to see where he goes fromhere. I think he has to qualify next week, if I'm not mistaken, for one of the tournaments, but I'll talk about that at the end, probably so he gets the full votes for me and he's subsequently leading thevotes so far for my tennis voting system. Next up in the Australian Open votes, Novak Djokovic got the ninety votes, obviously winning the Grand Slam. Itry and make my algorithm so it doesn't just favor the highly ranked guys, because I know otherwise it would just basically be the same as the ATPranking system. But it's pretty hard to argue he had a pretty awesome tournament. Yes, he dropped a few sets, which is unlike him. To blockside Tafo Fritz round. It's fare of but it's fair to say Idon't think he was playing a hundred percent. They came out and said that musclethat was annoying him was officially torn, which is pretty incredible. I reckonhe was playing at eighty percent, up best healthwise, and he wasstill able to produce incredible tennis. Against Carrot Sev, he played two setsand hit only one unforced are I believe, so he was playing really, reallygood. I'll be honest, I'm kind of I don't understand tennis fans. People were coming out and saying MED fordev could beat Djokovic, but it'slike Djokovic at the OS open more jock bitch anywhere, to be honest,and like Rapha on clay. I just don't know why people keep thinking thenext Gen and good enough to beat them. They're just not. Like I wasjust not falling into the trap this year of thinking Djokovic was not goingto win the whole thing. He was obviously going to win the whole thingunless he withdrew due to injury. And he now closes the gap on RogerFed right and RAFF and Nadull. He's too grand slams behind, but,as it's well documented, he is got a lot longer left in his careerthan those guys and in my opinion, I'd be very shocked if he didn'tend as the Grand Slam title holder at the end of his career. Ijust think with Rapha and Roger now declining in ability, no offense draft youstill number two, but I just can't see him winning too many more grandslams on surfaces outside of clay. And then Roger, I'm not sure ifhe has the body anymore to play seven matches or six matches whatever is inthe Grand Slam of really high quality tennis and beating top ten blokes get matchafter match, but this Roger Fedriss. I'm sure he'll shock me there.And I just can't see what stopping Djokovitch from winning two grand slams a yearat least for the next four or five years, which would see him goup to, you know, two thousand seven hundred and twenty eight, whichwould be an incredible feat. But I honestly think he's that good. Heextended his lead in major title, made major titles as well. That's includingmasters, so I think he will end the career as the goat. I'dhave to say, though, I think they should all be appreciated everyone's tooquick to get into the goat discussion, but pretty incredible then one generation we'vegot three of arguably the best tennis plays of all time. So he pickedup the ninety votes for me. Eighty four. I gave it to McKenzieMcDonald. He had an incredible tournament. He's obviously suffered a lot of injurysince she burst onto the scene at the Australian Open, I believe it was. I can't remember who he'd be, but he upset a few seeds,maybe beat a demon travel or something like that. Rings the Bell. Hewas a bit of a crowd favorite instantly and he's suffered injuries. I thinkhe's gone down as low as fifty in the rankings. He's now back upto one hundred and thirty after an impressive Australian Open where he made the fourthround and lost to Medvedev. He's run.

He beat Chechnado and for coach andfor and then he beat Harrison straight sets and then went down to Medvedevonstrate sets. But pretty impressive tournament from him, who for someone who gainedentrance via protected ranking, and that will probably set him up for the restof the year's into Challenger right now, where he's beaten the number ones.He'd Cushikin in the first round. I think he could go on a bitof a run in that Challenger and then hopefully crack the top hundred and rankingsand then, similar to Crets if, he'll be set up for the restof the year in terms of draw entrance. So for him he got the thirdamount of votes. Fourth, I had to give it to Medvedev.He I can't lie. He did disappoint me with his final performance. It'sa bit frustrating that these next Gen guys keep cock teasing us, basically ofhow good they are and then whenever they come up against the big three.I know it's a completely different task coming out against those guys, and especiallyin a grand slam final, but it is a little bit disappointing this theyare still losing in straight sets to these guys. But he had a prettyimpressive tournament. Got Up to like a twenty match winning streak or something likethat, so that was pretty incredible. And the way you just brought dispatchedoff sits a pass in the semis. That was a pretty good effort.And rubeleven the quarters as well. And then finally rounding up my top five, I'm not going to go through the whole list of votes but Um,I gave my fifth most amount of votes for Dimitrov. He had a veryimpressive tournament. He's always been one to kind of crash out early in thesebig tournaments and I've always it's always frustrated me really. I've always thought hewas ranked too high for his ability. But he beat Chiliz and straight sets, Bolton straight sets, which I thought were both very impressive wins, andthen he beat Crano Bull Star six love, one love, and then he wentout retired. And then he beat team and straight sets, who,it has to be said, team did not look a hundred percent, butstill for Dimotrov to Polish team offs in straight sets, that's impressive. Andthen he lost a carrots have, as I mentioned, but mainly due toan injury. So he picked up the fifth votes me and yes. Sothat leaves the overall standings. Carrot serves on ninety six, mevedev's on ninetyafter picking up a few votes at the ATP Cup, and Jock, whichis also tied on ninety. So I'm going to keep you updated on thosevotes throughout the rest of the season as well. I'm hopefully going to benot sure where the future of this podcast lies with me getting back into uninext week, but we'll see how it goes. So I'll be hopefully doinga tennis one every month. But I'll see the women's votes first up.Ninety six votes had. Carolina Macoba came in as seed twenty five. PerRun. had a few impressive victories actually. She beat Ostapenko and straight sets,never easy. She then beat Mona bartel in straight sets in the secondround. She then dispatched of caroline a pliscobone straight sets in the third round, which is in a very, very impressive victory. She then beat atleast Merton's and straight sets in the fourth round. That's arguably a more impressivevictory than Pluska Vulp, and then she beat Barty in three sets, whichI've had absolutely and you know, faith in. I thought body was goingto cruise to her. And then she bout out to Jennifer Brady in threesets in the semi finals. However, that was an incredible run. I'veactually not sure where she's coming out ranked in the updated rankings, but shemust be in the top twenty now. Very impressive. I think it washer first semi finals appearance out of Grand Slam, and yet she's someone who'scome into the scene a bit later. She is twenty three, twenty four, hundred and twenty five, somewhere in that range. She's not like onethousand nine hundred and twenty, like some of these girls do come up intothe top thirty at such a young age. But she looks really important, impressive. Looks like she could push for a top ten spot in this thisyear or next year and if she keeps that kind of tennis up, I'mit's going to be hard to see her not and to that top ten.So she is number night. She got the most votes for me. Thenin second I had Jessica Bogula. She had an absolute dream run. Shebeat victory as a ranker who, if...

I'm not mistaken, was my pickto actually win the Australian Open, which I'm not sure if I mentioned asoccer or. I can't remember, but I definitely mentioned as a rancor,as a smokey. She dispatched of her and first set some day one.Then she disposed of stows. I was there for that match. That wasimpressive victory. She then smashed Kei Kim loodenovitch two and one, and thenshe beats itelina in three sets, which is never easy, and and shetook Brady two three sets, much like a Matchova did, and she pickedup the ninety votes to me, the daughter of the Buffalo Bills Owners.I thought that was pretty incredible when they read out that in commentary. That'snot your everyday situation, but I'm very impressive. If she's like she lookslike one of these players who's going to be a little bit hit and missat time. She's a bit of a smasher of the ball, but ifshe can be hot more often than not, she's going to be a dangerous playerreally, especially if she's going to be unseated in these big tournaments.You wouldn't want to come up against her too often. Third most votes,I've given it to Naomi Asaka. She was damn match points against Burger us. A bit apart from that, there was hardly a bullip on the radar. The way she cruised over Serena Williams in the semi finals, for me, was the most impressive victory of the tournament. She's just on another levelreally. She's not the number one ranked tennis player right now, but sheclearly is the best women's tennis player to me. She reminds me of abit like Serena back in like two thousand and eight, two thousand and nine, two thousand and ten, where no one could really compete with her.Into many levels. She does have some similarities to Serena, but I dothink at time she has a bit more finesse than Serena does, and Iknow we don't need to compare them. They're both amazing talents in their ownrights. Well, Serena's more than a talent, she's the goat, butASAKA is a huge talent for Grand Slams at the age of twenty three,I believe, and she looks like she's going to be dominant force for manyyears to come. Excited to see how she goes on the clay and thegrass. She's never really had success on either of those surfaces. We didn'tsee her on either of those surfaces last year as Wimbledon wasn't hell and shedidn't go to rolling Garross. But on hard court there's no one really afterher level right now. I think her on clay would. It will bevery interesting because I think the slow court will bring her power down, asit does for a lot of players, and that means people like body andHallop probably more likely. They'd be able to contend with her there. Butfor me, on hard courts Asaka, don't think many people can challenge her. Yes, Hallop and body on their day are very good, but Ijust think a cycle will outpower them. If she's playing at seventy percent,let alone a hundred percent, like she was for most of this tournament,I can't even think who could stop us. Ok, I think Sabole Anka.I think if she keeps progressing the way she is, I think she'sone that could challenge a syker on hard courts in the next few years.She has the power game to do it. And then even someone like a swiretech or still on tech, however you want to pronounce it. Shehas the power game to do it. Just needs to work on the ink, the consistency, and people like Mrga rouser and as a ranker can alldo but people likes videlina cannon could luck to them really, because I thinkour Syk is just going to be too st wrong for them ninety nine timesout of a hundred. So she got the third most amount of votes forme. Fourth most was Serena Williams. Yes, that match against the Sarkaand the semmy's was a bit of a there's a bit of a it wasa bit underwhelming, I'm not going to lie, but her destruction of Simonehelp in the quarters and then the way she fought over sabole anchor in thefourth round was seriously impressive. She didn't really have too many easy matches Serena, and she looked a lot better than she has in recent years. Inmy opinion. She looked back to the level where she could win a grandslam this year. I can't lie,...

I'm mixed with Serena. I'm notthe biggest fan of her, just because I grew up with her winning everysingle Grand Slam, but the same time I want her to finish with themost Grand Slam. So part of me hope she gets it done this yearand just retires, but another part of me thinks I wanted to and whenshe's still playing at a high level. I don't want to career to dwindlein search of this Grand Slam record. And then number five is sue aShay, who made the quarter finals, as we mentioned in the favorite matchessegment. So that's basically the top five overall as well. Once again,I'm going to keep you posted on this in the in the months to come. So excited to see how that ends up, especially the women's airs semany upsets, so my voting system could be quite wacky. So we've lookedat the good things about the tournament. Who did well. Now I'm goingto I don't want to be too negative on this podcast. I like beingpositive. I think sports should be something that's mainly positive, but I dowant to highlight some of the people who came out of this as the biggestlosers. Looking at the women's side, for me the biggest loser was SophiaKennon, her first Grand Slam title Defense Attempt in her career after winning theAustralian Open in two thousand and twenty. I have to say it was underwhelming. I wasn't expecting her to win it, but the fact that she lost inthe second round. She was pushed by Madison Inglis in the first roundand then she got slapped by Kaya knep. I actually pretty sure I pinpointed thismatch as one to watch for an upset, because she was either playingsevist over or Kenneppy, who were both dangerous players on their day. Butyeah, she lost pretty convincently. And then, even worse, she enteredthe Philip Island trophy, which was the WTA two hundred and fifty tournament beingheld in this second week. It's slam for players that got knocked out,and she lost to a while Australian Wild Car Olivia Giddecki, who was rankedseven hundred. She wasn't ranked at the time, I don't believe, andnow she's ranked like seven hundred and twenty. So yeah, it was a prettybad fortnight for Sophie, Canon One to forget. And Yeah, look, it's not helped cause in people saying that last year was just a fluke. I think she's a good player. I don't think she's the fourth bestplayer in the world. I think she's one of these players, likes withElina, who's probably going to have a high ranking for a lot of hercareer but might not necessarily be as like. She's probably not going to be afavorite going into men the grand slams. In my opinion, yeah, she'sjust a very inconsistent player and she's going to find it hard to Ithink she's going to find it hard to win another grand slim. If I'mhonest, she's only very young, but I just don't know if she hasthe consistency and a game to put up seven good performances. So for meshe was one of the biggest losers in the women's draw. Other losers.This is probably harsh, but Bianca Andreescu. She this was her first Grand Slamsince she won the US Open. I was in two thousand and nineteenvery excited to see how she went. She's up at she was the eightseed coming into it and she'd only played a handful of tournaments. She wassuch an impressive talent when she debuted on the tour in two thousand and nineteen, and I think she played a bit in two thousand and eighteen. Ican't remember, but first round she got pushed by Bizarre Mahala Bizzanescu of Romanyand lucky loser. She got pushed in three sets. Then she got smackedby Shay in the second round, which was a pretty big disappointment. Shethen did also enter the Philip Island trophy and had a pretty good year.Tournament made the semis not as worried about her in terms of is she's goingto be good in the long run. I still think she's an incredible talentand will win many tournaments to come, but just a bit disappointing given theamount of hype she had coming into this tournament, how excited everyone was tosee how she went and the way she bowed out. Her drawer opened uppretty nicely because Kursed a a beat Kmitava in the second round, which meantshe was really the only big seed for remaining, and yet she just failedto live up to expectation. Really anyone...

...else worth doning just running through thenames now body was a bit of a disappointment. She lost in the quarterfinals, but it was more the way she lost. She was up,she won the first said like six too, and she was up a break,I think, in the second, and then just got tranced upon.She doesn't look like she has what it takes to win a hard court GrandSlam at the moment. Victory as a rank was a little bit disappointing.It has to be said, losing in the first round of a slam neverwhat you want from a high seat a highly touted player, but that happenssometimes, so we'll let her off then. Looking at the men's dominic team wasa bit of a disappointment, as to be said, coming off anincredible two thousand and twenty where he lifted his maide in Grand Slam trophy.But he beat curious and five sets, which I thought was a pretty impressivevictory, but then the way he couldn't back it up and beat demotrop thatwas pretty disappointing. I thought SVERREV was disappointing. This is a strange callbecause I know everyone loves Verev and it's hard to beat Djokovic on his day, but I don't think Jankovic played that well against him, but he stilllooked a long way from beating him and I just don't think he's at thelevel of sits a past Medvedev team. I honestly even rate like Rube LevinChapovalov above him in terms of being able to beat those guys in five sets. I know ruble of hasn't really shown in the past and I know it'svery of has been them a lot in three sets. But yeah, it'sjust something. I'm just not the biggest fan of him. I think he'sa little bit overrated. Who else had a bit of a disappointing my gameon face shock and tournament. Really I do think he has reached his peakin terms of ranking. I think will start to see him fall a littlebit this year. He lost a meal Rusivoi in the first round. Iwas there for that. He just didn't really look like he wanted to bethere in the fifth set, if I'm honest. Dennis Chapavalov. That wasa little bit disappointing the way he bowed out in the third round so easilyto Felix. I thought his draw was really soft and I thought he hada chance of making a semi final run, but that wasn't to be. Thathappened to be the quarter that's carrots ev went on to win. Yeah, no one else that I really want to mention. There was quite afew upsets early in the rounds, but a lot of the lower seeds.That's pretty common. So they're just some of the guys I wanted to mentionthat didn't have the greatest time of it in Melbourne Park looking elsewhere in thetennis world. That's enough for my eyes open review. Now I'm going tojust have a look at some of the other tournaments that have been going onboth the last week and looking forward this week and next week. On themen's side of the ATP. Two of there were no ATP tour events,but there was a challenge a tour event in Italy. It was a challenge. A hundred, I think, hundred points, I think, was upfor grabs for the winner. There are a few good players here. Quinsue soon woo, if I'm saying that, Quansu Wou. Sorry if I'm notsaying that right. He beat Lorenzo Messeidi, the Young Gun Italian,in straight sets. Me Said, he's been in pretty good form recently,so I'm excited to see how he tracks this year. Think he'll definitely endthe year in the top seventy sixty odd and he's going to be one towatch in for the future. He beat Ernest Gold was, Lucas Latchco andAndrea Seppi on his road to the final and Quan soon soon Wu. Quanbeat the likes of Donskoy Yannick Madden and a lot of other good players.So that was pretty impressive from Quan after a disappointing loss to cock narcas inthe first round of the Australian Open. Then on the women's side we hadthe Phillip Island Trophy, which saw Direca Cassak Kina almost playing back to herbest in the last few weeks. She...

...had a pretty good Australian Open summer. She beat the likes of Katie Bolt, Grakva, what's her first name for, Vira Gro Cava and a STAGEA, Pabli a Checkova, petromatic, DanielCollins and Mary was Kova. So that's a very impressive wind. Prettystiff to only gop two hundred and fifty points for that many victories at thatmonth, at that level, but still that'll do. One is for aconfidence and moving forward into the European season she'll be extremely keen to keep onwinning. Actually, I don't know why I said the Europeans season. It'snot really the European season. Is that there's like do hire and there's IndianWells of Miami, but you know what I mean. Other key names inthis bianca on dress, you made the semis then went out to pus coverwas cove had a pretty good tournament as well. Daniel Collins as well whenon a pretty good run. So yeah, that's all I've got to mention fromthere. However, this week we've got some good tournaments coming up aswell, just starting on the challenger to our. I think Mackenzie McDonald's probablymy pick to win this. He just beat Kakushkin five seventy five and that'sreally opened up his drawer. It's not really anyone who I think is goodenough to challenge him in this tournament. I think he should go on andwin it, but you never know. On the challenger Tour Weird things happen. On the women's side there's the Adelaide International. There's some huge names inthis. I think this might be a five hundred actually, so interested tosee who comes out on top. He you've got the likes of contact benchitch, Corey Goth at least Mert Schron Tech Body. This is a kind oftournament body wins she likes. She's very consistent tournaments like this in sort ofmaking quarterfinals at the big tournaments but not necessarily kicking on. But I thinkshe should back herself against the likes of Sean Tech Mertons our content benchich.There's not really any of the big power hitters that scare her away, soI think she would fancy Oh chances hear she does have Danielle Collins in thesecond round, though, which is a bit of a danger match for Barty. Then on the men's ATP tour, there is a whole host of tournamentsthis week. Looking at the open stood to France, I've got Roberto Battista, a good leading the line, David Goffin as well, and those twoare not invincible at all. So excited to see who comes out on tophere. I think the annextent is a bit of a smoky here. He'sthe fifth seeded player, but I think out of the field he is probablythe most informed player, even though you did only lose in the first roundat the els open. Anymari, notably, is making a wild card appearance.He's playing Garassimov in the first round. Then on the South American swing,we have Diego Schwartzman leading the line at the Cordo but open. Prettyhard to make a prediction for this one because there's usually just some random claycourt specialists to wins it someone like a Londerro or a saboth field, sowe'll see how that goes. Then the Singapore Open. The number one seatersAsian Mannerino. So definitely the weakest out of the three tournaments. But excitedto see who comes out on top on this one. There's not that manybig names. Someone like a Marin chill it Sharek and could win this one. Yeah, it's really out for grabs for anyone here. John Melman couldbe dangerous as well. So interested to see who gets up there. Andthere's a few good tournaments coming up in the following weeks as well. Ithink we've got Dohar coming up soon. The likes of team Federa, RueblevChapavalav will all be there, so excited for that one. And there's alsoDubai the following week and Marseille that week. During Dubai as well, where MEVIDEVS it's about spariten. You will all be so some huge tournaments comingup. And then in April we've obviously got Indian Wells and Miami. Bothshould be on. Actually, no Indian Wells has postponed. I'm so confused. But Miami's happening, I'm pretty sure. So actually, don't even take thatfor granted. Who knows what's going...

...on anymore. But a lot tolook forward to in the tennis world. Hopefully more tennis content to come yourway. I've really enjoyed covering the Australian Open. Also, thanks for everyonewho got around the instagram polls. Roger Feder has voted the most popular men'stennis player and Ashbardy was voted the most popular women's tennis player. But yeah, that was a bit of fun. Will look to try and do moreof stuff like that in the future just to get a bit more involvement engagementgoing around the page. So yet really appreciate that and stay tuned for morecontent. AFL and N RL is almost here, so we'll be having probablyweekly episodes of both those sports. But Yeah, really enjoy my sport ofthe moment a lot of cycling, a lot of soccer, so stay tuned. Lot of cricket and they'll be more content coming as always, and thanksfor listening if you've got this far, and enjoy the rest of you yourweek. Cheers,.

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