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"Aussie Open 2008 Recap "

Wow. What an Australian Open. Did anyone and I mean ANYONE, besides me of course, pick Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to advance to the men's final. Of course Im kidding, everyone knows how bad I have been at predictng the outcome of Slam tournaments. Tsonga just continued the trend of the last three years where a suprise men's finalist makes a run. The biggest news was Roger Federer not being on the other side of the net for the final. Eventua champion Novak Djokovic had said that Federer did not seem as dominant as he had in recent years and then went out and proved it in the semis with a straight set victory. Let's blame it on the fact that Federer came in with no match play before the Open due to illness. Or the fact that Djokovic was throwing in first serves at almost 70%, take your pick.

It was a forgettable tournament for the Heroes of the Huddled Masses. Ivan Ljubicic went out in the first round to a qualifier. Max Mirnyi was not even in the main singles draw and lost in the first round of doubles with new partner Jamie Murray. The flag bearers for the Masses, the Bryan Brothers were going for their traight Australian open crown but were beaten in the quarters by the new pairing of Mark Knowles and Mahesh Bhupathi. It's good to see Knowles do well after being dumped last year by long time partner Daneil Nestor.

The match of the tournament on the men's side had to be the third round matchup between Andy Roddick and Phillip Kohlscheiber. Roddick had a career high in aces and had a plus to minus ratio of winners to errors of almost sixty (if I'm remembering correctly). Unfortunately for him Kohlscheiber seemed to hit a winner every time he got his racket on the ball and ended up with some sick total of a hundred and some winners to only thirty some errors. Amazing.

Serena Williams was coming into the tournament in shape, on form and seemingly ready to defend her title. She was finally out of Justine Henin's quarter and on the opposite side of the draw from sister Venus. For whatever reason she came in totally flat for her quarterfinal against Jelana Jankovic. It was rather funny to have Pam Shriver rush to the player's box to talk to Mom Oracine and Serena's trainer to see about some supposed "quad injury" of Serena's only to be told that they had no prior knowledge of an injury. Had to come up with some excuse for her to be losing I suppose. Anyway, Jankovic beat her in straight sets only to be demolished by Maria Sharapova in the semis. Sharapova played one of the better matches of her life in beating Henin in the quarters. Daniela Hantuchova should have beaten Ana Ivanovic in the semis but choked away a 6-0, 2-0 lead and then blamed it on Ivanovic squeaking her shoes as Hantuchova was in her service motion. I'm going to have to remember that one for my next match. I'm just not jumping on the Ivanovic band wagon. Does she have to give that obnoxious fist pump after every point she wins?

Final congratulations go to the Men's and Women's Doubles Champions. On the women's side the Bondarenko sisters came through unseeded to win. And for the men, Jonathen Erlich and Andy Ram finally won that elusive first Slam.

As always, good luck in your matches.

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  Tennis Factoid
Actually, it's more just good common sense. If you're wearing a new pair of tennis shoes for your weekend match and you step in a fresh pile of Rich Rodriquez clean the shoes off before going on court.

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Good luck in your matches. Always remember, the opinions expressed are solely my own and should not reflect upon my wife, children, or favorite wrestling organization.

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