Sweet Surrender, Fish Falla’d, And Associated Alliteration
Poor Ryan Sweeting.
How many times have we seen lesser players crack under the mental pressure of pushing a top name to the limit? Ryan Sweeting had unexpectedly gone up two sets to one, on Ferrer. Incredible hitting to the corners, Sweeting was ripping Ferrer’s short playing, moving forward and dictating play. Impressive stuff from the American who had never made it past the second round in a slam.
Ferrer wasn’t much interested in being pushed around in the fourth, however. A little bit deeper was all he needed to keep Sweeting from getting on top of the ball and made rushing the net more difficult to set up, and more dangerous to attempt. Heading into the fifth, the match would only go one way.
Serving at 4-4, things were tense for Sweeting. A fantastic backhand down the line winner from Ferrer followed by an excellent return that caught Sweeting by surprise and suddenly he was down triple break point. A double fault and a horrendous return game and the match was over in the blink of an eye.
For Ferrer it’s an escape that puts him in his proper place; one of the greatest in the game today. While many lower ranked players often collapse under the mental pressure of facing a big name, Ferrer takes this and forces you to physically collapse. The level of his game in the fifth set was but a sliver away from his form in the first set and he dominated on serve to keep the pressure on Sweeting. After winning the fourth set, the outcome of the match was never in doubt and rightfully so. The man is a machine.
- Tough start to the year for Fish who was visibly frustrate at the Hopman Cup in Perth weeks ago and didn’t fair much better versus Falla. Bad timing, slopppy footwork and all around low confidence, this is the biggest upset for the men so far. The American hard court swing should give him the boost he needs to jump start his year.
- A tough injury to Andy Roddick leaves him out for a few weeks. The real pain is that it knocked him out versus his long time rival Hewitt and denied the chance for a rematch of what was a fantastic 2011 Memphis final versus Raonic.
- Speaking of which, you have to like the Canadian right now. When he’s serving well, he’s darn near impossible to return and break. If he wins that, Djokovic is next. That would be a fantastic match to gauge exactly where both players are right now heading forward.
- Lastly: This has been an incredibly slow first four days as far as the women go. That’s fantastic news. A lack of upsets means that the upcoming match-ups, starting as early as today, will be fantastic and continue to be fantastic regardless of who wins. What a way to kick off 2012 this will be for the WTA. I can’t wait.