After the defeat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the main draw of the Australian Open left the other Russians. It’s time to take stock – which of our players jumped higher than his head, who was pleased and who was unpleasantly surprised.
THE MOST PLEASANT SURPRISE
In the main draw of the Australian Open has started 16 of Russians is the third result among all countries. More only the United States (34) and Australia (18). However, only 12 of our players qualified for the tournament directly – rated. Maria Sharapova (145-th racket of the world at the beginning of the championship) has provided a wild card, Anna Kalinskaya and Lyudmila Samsonov made it through the qualification and Evgeny Donskoy became the “lucky loser” – he lost in the final round of the qualifying competition of the Egyptian Mohamed Safwat, but got the place after the failure of another player.
The barrier of the first round were only seven Russians. In the second round he eliminated two more. And to the quarter-finals got one Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. And, in General, it is the only pleasant surprise for the Russian fans. Because all the rest have played either at their level or below. And to exceed the forecasts could only Nastya. Although we cannot say that its output is in the top 8 from the category of sensations. Pavlyuchenkova was here last year and again in 2017. However, when you only have 30th seeded in the third round you go to the second racket of the world (Karolina Pliskova), and the fourth for champion Melbourne-2017 and the ex-leader of the ranking Angelique Kerber, not easy to expect that it will be in the quarterfinals. She has coped. Did the celebrity rivals. And, in General, had chances to win Gerbino the Wind. Her defeat by the Spaniard left a slight disappointment, but still recognize – she performed great. Has brought us a lot of pleasant emotions. And very successfully so early in the season.
DECENT AND ON THE LEVEL
The main hope of the Russian fans has been associated with the men’s tournament. If more precisely – with our three players in the top 20. One of which is on the eve of the Australian Open did a great job at ATP Cup and gave a powerful “fighting” with Novak Djokovic, and then returned to the fourth position (Daniil Medvedev). The second – has won two tournaments in a row and climbed to the 16th place (Andrei Rublev). And the third was not so long ago in the top 10, also had a good Cup ATP and hinted at a return to the form in which the fall of 2018 won the masters in Paris, defeating in the final the same Djokovic (Karen Khachanov). Actually, in our dreams we saw them all in the quarterfinals. Where, in particular, Andrew and Daniel were supposed to get together with each other.
It did not happen.
First out Khachanov – already in the third round, not dealing with Nick Kirasa. Two days later, stumbled Rublev and Medvedev. First lost to Alexander Zverev, the second is Stan Wawrinka. It’s a shame? Yes. Failure? Not at all!
First, all rivals of Russians do not belong to the category of simple. It is the elite! Kirios knows how to enable “God mode” in which it will not cope nobody. Just the mode he turned the match with Hazanovym (plus think about the support of the crowd, because the Aussie was sick the whole arena named rod Laver). Zverev – the ex-champion of the Final, the winner of three “Masters” and just the seventh racket of the world. Wawrinka, the former number three of the ranking, and the champion three of the “Hats”, full of ambition and motivation to return to the elite after a knee problem. This is not a conventional Tennis Sandgren from the end top 100, almost beat Federer (having missed seven match points). These guys are the real stars. With solid experience and a fantastic talent. And most importantly (and this is the second) – specifically in fights with the Russians, all of them showed my best tennis. And Kirios, Zverev and Wawrinka.
When is Karen fought like a lion, playing lag 0:2 at parties, played at matchbola in two sets and nearly won a fifth in the key tie-break. Did not have much luck. And, of course, power – to 4-hour logging with Nick Khachanov 4.5 hours “butted” with Michael Imera. What claims to our guy? He did what he could. Just happens that the opponent carries a little harder.
Rublev just tired. Perhaps in another situation he gave Zverev a tough battle (and Alexander, for a moment, has the best “Grand slam” in his career, already having made it to the semi-finals!). But a run of 11 wins in a row since the beginning of the season, stretched for three weeks, of course, took a lot of effort. Anyway, Andrew played very well. The fourth round is a great result!
Medvedev also fell victim to the courage Wawrinka. Who had the best match after his surgery (which he admitted), and in the fourth or fifth sets got everything! Daniel himself looked at – maybe not fantastic, but a relevant tennis player top 5. Just Stan and knowingly took their “Hats”, playing with Nadal and Djokovic. On a good day he can do everything! Now he has these days a little bit. Zverev vs Wawrinka was only enough for the first set then he’s got physically. It’s a shame that this did not happen earlier – in the meeting with Daniel. Here the Russians against the Swiss gave 300 percent! But Medvedev there is nothing to reproach. It happens. And such a defeat is not a tragedy and not a sentence.
And among girls, in addition to Pavlyuchenkova, pleased Ekaterina Alexandrova. No, above the head jumped in the third round almost without the fight gave the two parties Petra Kvitova. But confirmed that it is in good shape (season athlete and Chelyabinsk started with winning the tournament in Shenzhen – the first career WTA-level). And blame myself for the performance in Melbourne is she just not in it.
THE MAIN DISAPPOINTMENT
Almost all the rest of the Russians played as well as they could. Someone was not lucky with the draw as Darya Kasatkina, immediately fell to Madison Keys (11-th racket of the world) or, especially, Anastasia Potapova, where in the first round caught Serena Williams. Someone was not ready to fight with more experienced and famous opponents (don went to Fernando VerdasonSamsonow – eks-the champion “Rolan Garros” Elena Ostapenko). Svetlana Kuznetsova was pleased with victory over finalist “RG”-2019 Maggie Vondrousova, but the forces for a meeting with Camilla and Georgie she wasn’t enough. Dyachenko hooked set from Daniel Collins (last year’s semi-finalist Australian Open), but Vitali to develop success could not. In General, more or less, everything is made to measure the forces.
The only exception is Maria Sharapova. This is from her we definitely expected more!
Of course, out of habit. It is difficult to reconcile with the idea that five-time winner of the “Hats” and the ex-first racket of the planet is not able to pass even a circle. A shoulder injury, pause in a few months, the lack of match practice – all this is understandable. Objective factors that make it very clear to defeat Masha from Donna Vekic (20-th racket of the world) could not be a sensation. But still – why was she driving in Melbourne? Okay, at the US Open Sharapova was unlucky to be on Williams, who, first, just Williams, a second – then reached the final. But here Vekic were no surprises – quietly lost in the third round. That is, not super-rival in phenomenal shape. And, despite the rankings, Maria is quite capable. She showed Sharapova – she just can’t fight at this level. Yet or already – complex issue. The fact that she later withdrew from the tournament in St. Petersburg – don’t laugh! – because of a shoulder injury (the official version), only adds to the confusion… If her health is not enough even for two games (that’s the number of official matches played Maria since the beginning of the season), she can count at all? Then why play a “Big helmets”? For what?
We have no answer.