• Roddick, Monfils in action on Day 1 in Melboune

    1/16/11 9:18 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Roddick, Monfils in action on Day 1 in Melboune Andy Roddick and Gael Monfils will kick off their Australian Open campaigns on Monday. They are set for meetings with Jan Hajek and Thiemo De Bakker, respectively.

    (8) Andy Roddick vs. Jan Hajek

    Roddick will begin his 2011 Australian Open on Monday, looking for a third straight trip to at least the quarterfinals. Roddick reached the semis in 2009 and made it to the quarters last season before falling to Marin Cilic. The eighth-ranked American has been to the semifinals four times Down Under, but he is still seeking his first berth in the title match. Roddick is coming a strong performance two weeks ago in Brisbane, where he lost to Robin Soderling in the final.

    Up first for the No. 8 seed is Hajek, whom Roddick has never faced. This is the second consecutive Grand Slam in which Hajek will open with a highly-ranked American; he fell to Mary Fish in five sets at last summer's U.S. Open. The 96th-ranked Czech has not yet played a match in 2011. One or two sets could be competitive, but Roddick should roll into the next round.

    Thiemo De Bakker vs. (12) Gael Monfils

    De Bakker and Monfils will be squaring off for the fourth time in their careers when they do battle in the Australian Open first round on Monday. Monfils leads the head-to-head series 2-1, having defeated De Bakker twice last year. The 12th-ranked Frenchman prevailed in straight sets on the indoor hard courts of Rotterdam and at the Canada Masters. De Bakker's win came in upset fashion two seasons ago in a Davis Cup showdown in Holland.

    Monfils wrapped up his 2010 campaign in fine form, highlighted by a second straight trip to the Paris Masters final. However, he has not played an ATP tournament this season in part due to injury. Monfils reached the Kooyong final over the weekend before losing to Lleyton Hewitt. De Bakker has not started well, dropping his first-round matches in both Brisbane and Auckland. The 47th-ranked Dutchman can be dangerous, but Monfils in four sets is the pick.

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I think de Bakker will get the upset here.

numero , 1/16/11 5:11 PM

quite possibly

RickyDimon , 1/16/11 5:46 PM

The way it is progressing, seems like the Dutch will go forward. Whatever is happening to Le Monf?!

danica , 1/17/11 3:13 AM

I picked De Bakker in Racket Bracket....but looks like Le Monf is staging a comeback.

cherylmurray , 1/17/11 3:43 AM

If Monfils wins today, this will be the choke of the year.

bolbol , 1/17/11 4:29 AM

no WAY he loses this now. I checked and I *didn't* pick De Bakker. I must have switched it. Still, that was an EPIC choke. Yikes.

cherylmurray , 1/17/11 4:35 AM

Well done Monfils, though it may be a choke from DeBakker, well Monfils plays well enough to capitalize. I hope Monfils can go far, at least he can be a better challenger than Roddick against Fed. I don't think Stan has any chance against Fed either.

luckystar , 1/17/11 6:47 AM

OMG, that was painful to watch. Serving for the match and making THOSE mistakes!!! Can't believe it, can't believe it. I hope DeBakker recovers from this soon. He obviously can play great tennis.

danica , 1/17/11 9:58 AM

De Bakker will learn, he's still very inexperienced where slam is concerned. Anyway Monfils is definitely a better and more experienced player than De Bakker. De Bakker may have to learn to pace himself nicely in a best of five sets match. I feel he may have tried too hard to beat Monfils in the first three sets and after he choked, he doesn't have the stamina to keep up with Monfils anymore. Of course Monfils may have raised his level too after he survived the third set.

luckystar , 1/17/11 11:20 AM

I heard that de bakker got injured at 4-1 in set 3. That's why he was trying to finish off the points too quickly and that's why he didn't make any attempts on the monfils serve in the second half of set 3

2flow , 1/17/11 11:49 AM

That is correct he got injured. Even so, there was still epic choking when he served for the match : missed a sitter 2 feet from the net then double-faulted to give away the break. A loss like this can cause a hangover for a long time or could turn you into a Gasquet or Mathieu.

Monfils said after the match, "I know Thiemo a little bit sometime he crack in the head." Bro, that's cold as ice.

numero , 1/17/11 2:15 PM

Both of their interviews after the match are pretty informative as to what actually happened.

smr , 1/17/11 6:20 PM

here is the link: 201101171295243961941.html

smr , 1/17/11 6:22 PM

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