The Australian Open

Angelique Kerber Into First AO Semifinal

By DownTheTee | January 27, 2016

Angelique Kerber gets a bum rap: she pushes the ball … Her serve is weak. But no matter the chiding the German gets, she did what was considered near impossible today in the quarterfinals of The Australian Open. She defeated Victoria Azarenka, 6-3 7-5, for the first time in eight meetings sending the odds-on favorite packing. …

Federer, Yet Again

By DownTheTee | January 24, 2016

Why write about Roger Federer? Hasn’t enough been said? Shouldn’t he just retire? He’s closing in on 35! What about all those other players who would give up a shoe deal for a couple hundred ‘likes’ on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or Vine from some good publicity? At least then, they’d come somewhat even…

Fairytale Run Continues for Zhang Shuai

By DownTheTee | January 23, 2016

Zhang Shuai believes she can win the whole thing. And, yet, before Monday she had never won a main draw match at a Grand Slam in fourteen attempts. As a result, she contemplated retirement at age 27 last fall.  With her career flipped on its miraculous axis, though, the qualifier and 133-ranked Chinese woman has blown…

Breakthrough Performances at Australian Open

By DownTheTee | January 22, 2016

It’s crunch time in Melbourne. That time over the fortnight when refined predictions take on a serious note. But before we turn the Happy Slam into a homework assignment, let’s take a look at several new faces that’ve shone brightly during the opening rounds. Top Half, Women’s SinglesMargarita Gasparyan — The 21-year-old Russian was one of…

Lleyton ‘Rusty’ Hewitt Bids Farewell

By DownTheTee | January 20, 2016

Between the roars was dead silence. Respect for Rusty apparent. Yet the tennis legend known for his spirit, his fight, his grueling and grinding style of baseline play could not muster enough to extend the inevitable. So, in his 20th consecutive appearance at the Australian Open, the curtain came down on Lleyton Hewitt’s remarkable career.    As…

Round One Done & Dusted in Melbourne

By DownTheTee | January 19, 2016

JPlayers love Melbourne and the Australian Open. Officials treat them well. Fans are tennis savvy and ardent supporters of a game dear to their hearts. So when three of the top-ten seeds lose in their opening round, a puff of sadness hangs over the grounds. Such was the case Tuesday.  Rafael Nadal (No. 5) lost confidence…

Tough Opener at Australian Open

By DownTheTee | January 18, 2016

With temperatures soaring in Melbourne and nervous expectations distracting players from what should have been a normal day at the office, results revealed a harsh reality: the first round of the first slam can be tough. But no one said it was going to be easy.  Gone from women’s top half of the draw were perennial…

Predictions’ Madness

By DownTheTee | January 16, 2016

Let’s admit it. All 264 players in the starting gate of the Australian Open have bang-em-up forehands, backhands, serves and over-head smashes. You don’t get a berth in a pre-eminent tennis tournament unless you have mastered those basics in spades.  Pile on top of them all sorts of bonus characteristics that ready these elite athletes and you have…

Djokovic Wins Australian Open & Best Actor Award

By DownTheTee | February 1, 2015

By Jane Voigt Novak Djokovic won it in a big way. His fifth Australian Open title, and his 8th Major overall. But it wasn’t without scars.  Serving up a Sunday-evening bagel to Andy Murray in the fourth set, the match completely mirrored their 2013 final.  Today’s score, of course, does not tell the whole story: 76(5) 67(4)…

Serena Wins Australian Open A Record 6th & 19th Overall

By DownTheTee | January 31, 2015

By Jane Voigt Serena Williams has again staked her claim in tennis history, by winning The Australian Open a record 6th time. The crown upped her overall major singles titles to 19, and puts her one ahead of Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert. Steffi Graf tops the list with 22.  Women’s tennis, tennis and all sport may never…