Greetings from Melbourne. From ridiculous heat to unrelenting rain we have seen some kooky weather but it's a not so gentle reminder of the value in having not one, but two, stadium courts that feature retractable roofs here at the Aussie Open. The tournament marches on unencumbered by the weather that would be backing matches up by the handful in the other 3 majors. Wimbledon will be the next Major to feature a retractable roof and that will be ready in a few years. Surely the others will be forced to follow suit.
I commentated on the Roddick-Ancic match today which Roddick took in 5 sets. Andy and Mario both played well and it came down to Roddick being able to pressure Mario's serve by holding his so easily. I also called the Federer-Djokovic match, er, clinic. Rog is in fine form and Slam #10 seems to be a week away. Novak talked it up before the match but couldn't deliver on the court. Rog crushed him.
To borrow from Steven Colbert a "Tip of the Hat" goes to Mardy Fish for reaching his 1st Slam quarterfinal after missing last year's Open with a low ranking due to two surgeries on his wrist. He is playing well and in great spirits as he looks ahead to his match versus Roddick on Tuesday. A great start to 07 for Mardy...and a "Wag of the Finger" to me for forgetting my last question while I was interviewing Andy Roddick after his match on center court on live national TV in Australia (I interview the winners of the matches I commentate on for Channel 7 down here immediately after the matches and can get some pretty funny questions in since they're in a good mood and typically know me pretty well). Andy gets a "Kick Save and a Beauty" for saving me by taking the mic and making fun of my snazzy pant/shirt combo and amount of product in my hair. He is a funny kid and a natural with the quip.
Good co-mingling of media/players here at the Open as several of the players eat in the relative quiet of the media restaurant which has the same food as the players resto but less people. The more the players and journos interact the better as we're all in this together in some ways. Players need media to tell their stories and help the game grow while the journos need access for better stories to do their jobs. It's tenuous at times but this interaction can help melt the freeze that exists sometimes (I certainly have had my fair share of frostiness with the media in my time) as well as the general distrust amongst the two camps.