Yes, you are too sexy for that shirt. . .photo by REUTERS/Mick Tsikas via Daylife
Well, we have the latest crop of weekend winners, (almost) the last before the Australian Open starts on Monday. Winning a warm up the weekend before a major is tricky – it gives a player loads of confidence but can be a drain mentally and physically. Will these new winners be losers in just a few days’ time? (Gosh, I just made myself depressed. . .)
In Kooky Kooyong, Fernando Verdasco beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-5, 6-3 in the final. Last year’s winner, Roger Federer, went on to the AO finals – and we all know how that turned out. Andre Agassi was the last player to win both events in one season – in 2003.
John Isner won the first ATP title of his career in Auckland this weekend, beating veteran Arnaud Clement 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (7/2). In the Open Era, no Auckland champ has ever won the Australian Open in the same year. But heck, congrats on that maiden title, Johnny Boy!
Gasquet and Baghdatis are in the Sydney finals – we’re still awaiting a winner as of post time. Pete Sampras was the last player to win Sydney and the Australian Open back-to-back in 1994. (Still, great to see these two players in a final again.)
On the ladies’ side, we already know Elena Dementieva beat Serena Williams 6-3, 6-2. In 2004, Justine Henin won in Sydney and in Melbourne. You can hope, Elena!
Alona Bondarenko beat Shahar Peer 6-2, 6-4 in the final of the Moorilla Hobart International. Started in 1994, this WTA tournament is relatively young as far as Australian tennis tournaments go – ladies first competed in the Sydney tournament back in 1890! So it’s no surprise that a Hobart champ has never won the Australian Open, in any year. But 2000 Hobart titlist, Kim Clijsters, is going to give it a shot.