The Big Yin & The Little Ukrainian.
Posted by gauloises1 on January 24, 2011
And in ‘matches few saw coming’, Andy Murray will face Alexandr Dolgopolov in the quarter-finals after the latter upset Robin Soderling in five sets.
This may have been the first year that Soderling made it past the second round in Melbourne, but it was still a fantastic match from Dolgopolov, who after a slow start never really looked like losing. More than anything, it was his sheer lightning speed around the court that did for Soderling, who looked slow and lumbering against Dolgopolov’s brilliant retrieving. He defended everything and consistently put Soderling in uncomfortable positions, drawing the error or stinging the Swede with his backhand down the line.
Soderling was visibly frustrated on the court, and wasn’t playing his best, although in this kind of match it’s hard to tell how much comes from the irritatingly brilliant defense down the other end of the court and how much it just wasn’t his day. My theory, for what it’s worth, is that he misses Magnus. Would he have lost if he had that calming, handsome presence benevolently smiling and occasionally nodding at him from his box?
R.I.P. true love.
Not to take anything away from Dolgopolov. The lost Bondarenko brother’s blend of patient aggression and ability to hit winners on the run is very reminiscent of Andy Murray, in fact, so it could be an interesting match in the quarters. Nobody counterpunches better than Murray, though, so I’m betting that Dolgopolov’s shining run of wins against big hitters will come to an end in the next round. Well … I’m hoping. Murray was totally dominant in a 63 61 61 victory over Jurgen Melzer, although I think the support of a certain Billy Connolly may have had something to do with it.
Who could lose with this in their box?!
I just wanted to use these photos.