Australian Open 2012 Results: 5 Things Learned from Men's Draw on Jan. 17
For the men playing on day two at the 2012 Australian Open, it was business as usual.
Led by Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, the top ranked players went on about their tennis business and passed on to the second round. As a matter of fact, only one of the 16 seeds that played did not advanced to the next round.
It was only the second day of the tournament, and the second half of the players in the men's draw will soon take the courts for the first time.
But there are already some things we can take away from the results this day.
In with the Old
The saying goes out with the new, in with old. Or is it the other way around?
In this case it seems that way, as a couple of old foes went back to their old tricks and setup a clash that will renew an old rivalry one more time.
Roddick overpowered Dutchman Robin Haase to a straight sets victory. Hewitt, on the other hand, had to dig deep into his reserves to survive a four-hour fight over Germany's Cedrik-Marcel Stebe.
At least for one day, it looked we went back in time, and both former world No. 1 players were back to their to their days of glory.
And now they will play in the second round for a possible third round match against new No. 1, Novak Djokovic.
Even for one day it was great to see the former champs win, and it will be better to see them battle it out once more.
At least it looks like, whoever moves on, is ready to make the Djoker work for his third round match.
Raonic Time Rolls on
Canadian Milos Raonic announced to the world that he is a contender, with an impressive steam-rolling of his first round opponent, Italy's Filippo Volandri.
He needed just 91 minutes to get the job done.
Raonic who won the Aircel Chennai Open before losing badly to Mardy Fish in his first match at the AAMI Classic, looked sharp and ready for anyone.
He displayed the confidence that took him to his recent title at Chennai, and is ready for his second round match against Germany's Philipp Peztschner.
Peztschner was an even more easier winner on his opening match.
It might have been an over-matched opponent, and it might look the same for the second round. But those are the wins that you should get easy and build confidence.
Raonic's future looks good, and so does his game. It looks like the time is right for Raonic.
Tsonga Is Reloaded
In The Matrix Reloaded, Neo returns better than ever to fight fire with fire, and power with power against the agents and the system.
And yesterday, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga looked re-energized after looking bleak at the AAMI Classic just last week.
Tsonga had to exchange firepower with Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin for four sets, en route to a win 6-4, 3-6, 6-2, 7-5.
Already a crowd favorite, Tsonga was able to rally the crowd and get back to his acrobatics and able to dominate when he needed to.
Tsonga—a finalist in 2008—once out of artillery at the AAMI Classic, seems to have reloaded, and is ready to make another run to the finals.
The Lendl Effect
When Andy Murray named 51-year-old Ivan Lendl his new coach at the beginning of the year, it caught everyone's attention.
Some are skeptic about what effect can Lendl have on Murray, while others expect him to add the experience that had been lacking Murray's corner so far.
After all, Lendl has eight majors in his trophy case, and if there's something he can help Murray with, it's his approach to the matches.
Murray has lost thee grand slam finals, and in none of them he looked like a serious contender to win it during the matches.
It has been just over two weeks, and Murray has started the year undefeated, In his opening round against American promise Ryan Harrison, he looked nervous and anxious while losing the opening set.
But he was able to settle down, outlast and outsmart the young and fiery Harrison, taking the next three sets.
It's too early have a read on Lendl's effect on Murray. But if the way Murray has started the year, is a sign of things to come, then the effect is already a positive one.
I guess we'll find out in the semifinals.
Message Sent Loud and Clear
If anyone is still doubting Novak Djokovic's focus and mindset, ask Italy's Paolo Lorenzi for a reference.
It looked like hitting practice for Djokovic during his 6-2 6-0 6-0 victory over the Italian journeyman in just 92 minutes.
Djokovic used the match to practice all sorts of fancy shots: between the legs, backhand overheads, dropshots, you name them.
If this was a boxing match, the referee would have stepped down from his chair and stop the contest.
In softball, it would have been called after the middle of the second set.
It looked like the Patriots were playing the Broncos again.
If Djokovic's purpose was to send all doubters and detractors a message as to whether he is done and with no chance at defending his title, mission accomplished.
Djokovic just put them on notice that all the roads to an Australian Open championship go through him.
Is his title, and the rest are just part of the quest, until he loses it.
Message heard, loud and clear.