So far, I like the odd days Down Under better than the even ones (and no, it’s not just because of Roger.)
Caroline Wozniacki made swift work of Dominika Cibulkova. But her most bravado performance of the day came in the post-match press conference, where the “pusher” showed some aggressive play straight out of the gates:
“Yesterday I got the question by the media, they said that my press conferences were kind of boring. Yeah, that I always gave the same answers. You know, I find it quite, funny because I always get the same questions. So I’m just going to start. I know what you’re going to ask me already. So I’m just going to start with the answer.“
From there she launched into a monologue, talking about the match, and later, about her recent racquet change and how she deserves to be ranked No. 1. Then she invited the press to ask “more interesting” questions.
And the media choked! Global warming? Really? Well, not really. I think the funny thing is, Wozza gave pretty boring answers to the “different” questions, too. But what she lacks in quick quips and dry wit, she makes up for in sunny spunk.
Q. When are you going to get married and how many kids are you going to have?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: First I have to find a guy.
Q. What do you expect in a guy?
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: What do I expect? Honesty. Understanding what I’m doing. Maybe a sports person himself.
Q. You’re not going to find it in here.
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: You know, sometimes the media is too good looking here, so I can’t really focus on what I’m supposed to say (laughter).
I’m not sure if Caro, who claims to know all the players very well, was inspired by Gilles Simon’s hijinks. Can someone tell me what’s going on here?
Quick, someone get that man into a Wes Anderson flick.
Speaking of press room wits, Andy Roddick made it through in four sets vs. Robin Haase.
Q. Is it strange being interviewed by the Davis Cup captain? (Jim Courier in on-court interviews)
ANDY RODDICK: We haven’t worked together yet, so it’s no different than normal. More so than that, we’ve been friends for a long time.
Q. Is it something you can see yourself doing in 10 or whatever years’ time?
ANDY RODDICK: Coming up with witty responses after a match? I think that’s outside of my comfort zone.
Even the Hisense court was getting saucy (around the .39 second mark):
Svetlana Kuznetsova beat Justine Henin for the first time in a major today, barely holding onto the straight sets victory: 6-4, 7-6 (8). To bad for Henin, who is apparently still nursing that elbow injury. I just want to point out how lean and mean the Sveta machine is looking.
Roger Federer had a seemingly easy match vs. Xavier Malisse today, winning 6-3, 6-3, 6-1. But I watched from the last half of the second set, and honestly found it pretty bizarre. Roger was playing drop shot after drop shot, shrugging, shanking, yet somehow winning easily. It kind of reminded me of a juniors match, so I wasn’t surprised when Rog mentioned know the X-Man from their teen years.
Or was he thinking about being on the cusp of beating Stefan Edberg’s all-time record of 56 Australian Open match wins? (Check!) Or pondering the awesome fact that he’s riding his own best-ever streak of 45 straight Major tournamets played.
Or maybe Roger was just hoping that Armani got the message:
The media got personal with Roger, no invitation needed:
Q. What do you invest all your prize money in, you sponsorship money in? Properties? Shares?
ROGER FEDERER: What do you expect what a Swiss guy would say? (Laughter.)
Q. A Swiss bank account.
ROGER FEDERER: We put it in the banks, yes, that’s what we do. And we sit on top of it. Then we’ll see later on what we do with it. Yeah, I’m not going to tell you, no. (Smiling.) Sorry.
Q. Are you never embarrassed for all that much money that you make? Of course all players, all champions make it. Sometimes you see also some poverty. You’re helping with charities, your foundation. But still, you’ve got so much. Sometimes you say, How that is possible?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, sure. I never expected myself to earn so much money. This is where I always thank the older generation for all their hard work where prize money wasn’t so high yet. But they were doing it basically for the love of the game because that’s what it was.
Okay, there was no maybe media and no, you know, professional tour at the beginning. But they were doing some incredible things for the game to promote it all around the world. This is what I’ll never forget. I like the history of the game, and this is why also I respect all the legends so much.
The platform we have today is incredible. I didn’t start playing tennis to make a living out of it. It was just more living a dream, trying, because you knew, okay, you could make a bit of money. Maybe that could help you travel, and then you go from there.
I hope that in 20 years, 50 years it’s going to be even more incredible, the game of tennis, which it already is. Yeah, I know how lucky I have become. That’s why for me it’s absolutely normal to give back with my foundation, and wherever I can help. I try to do my best.
It’s not for image sake or because I have a bad conscious or anything. It’s got to come from your heart, and that’s what it is with me anyway.
Julia Goerges vs. Maria Sharapova is the ESPN3 replay special of the day. Watch that final set and try to stop yourself from saying “WOWZAS!” Maria fans will be thrilled to see her get through that one with a smile on her face.
I hate being all rah! rah! but I’m happy to say there have been some wonderfully high quality and/or surprisingly competive ladies matches this week, Mirza vs. Henin, Ivanovic vs. Makarova, Zvonareva vs Jovanovski, Venus vs. Zahlavova and now Sharapova vs. Goerges all pop easily to mind. And I’m thinking the second week will be even better.
Djokovic vs. Troicki was a dud, with Viktor retiring. But then I saw these photos, and figured Nole made up for it with some on court entertainment? Anyone want to clue me in, here?
Uh, there will be NO pulling out with a dancing injury!
Hey, lady, Nadia Petrova called, and she wants her dress back!
It’s kind of freaky that Murray, Rafa and Nole have all been handed retirements this week, no? I’d say that Le Sod and Roger should be so lucky, but retirements kind of freak me out.
Wishing I could stay up for Monfils vs. Wawrinka. . .