• Tomic and Dolgopolov square off, Del Potro in action

    1/19/12 8:00 PM | Cheryl Murray
    Tomic and Dolgopolov square off, Del Potro in action Bernard Tomic and Alexandr Dolgopolov will face off in the battle of the young guns. Juan Martin Del Potro will also take the court on Friday.

    Bernard Tomic vs. Alexandr Dolgopolov (13)

    Two of the tour’s promising young players will meet on the big stage of Rod Laver arena on Friday night. Bernard Tomic will have the full support of the crowd and the confidence of having taken out a seed already in Melbourne (Fernando Verdasco).

    Dolgopolov has the edge in ranking (Tomic is ranked 38th in the world) and he owns a 3-0 head-to-head advantage over the Aussie, with their last match coming a few months ago at the Shanghai Masters. But on the downside for the Ukrainian, he has played two five-set matches in Melbourne, and Tomic is only too willing to play slow points.

    Prediction – Tomic to get his first win over Dolgopolov in 4 sets.

    Juan Martin Del Potro (11) vs. Yen-Hsun Lu

    The resurgent Juan Martin Del Potro will take on Taiwan’s Yen-Hsun Lu for a spot in the fourth round. The Argentine looked a little shaky in his opening match against Adrian Mannarino, but he was solid in the second round vs. Blaz Kavcic.

    Yen-Hsun Lu is ranked 79th in the world; his start to the 2012 season prior to the Australian Open wasn’t particularly promising. He won a single match in Chennai before going out to world No. 235 Yuichi Sugita.

    Prediction – Del Potro for the win in straight sets.

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Del potro is looking dangerous this year

tennis2011 , 1/19/12 8:35 PM

Delpo is moving better.

mani4Tennis , 1/19/12 8:58 PM

Shame that Dolgopolov isn't at his healthiest for this match against Tomic ... sure to be a rivalry in years to come.

smr , 1/19/12 9:17 PM

I'm liking this Dolgo/Tomic match up. Both guys are slicing each other to death, with tennis rackets instead of swords, of course! Very interesting match with all the varieties, Dolgo's weakness is he tends to go for too much; Tomic's problem is his movement, he can't get to the drop shots and practically gives up the point.

I hope these two will develop a rivalry as interesting as Fedal's going forward. Oh, so Dolgo breaks serve for a 5-4 lead. I hope Dolgo can keep up his consistency throughout this match. Deuce are you watching this match?

luckystar , 1/20/12 9:50 AM

Just about to, lucky :)

deuce , 1/20/12 10:23 AM

Lucky - Which of the 2 you think will give a better fight to Fed? Who will Fed find it tougher to deal with?

sanju , 1/20/12 10:24 AM

sanju - Dolgo at his best, IMO. He simply has more weapons than Tomic. Also he's so much quicker than Tomic. In fact Dolgo moves a bit like Fed, he skips around rather than runs around. The problem with Dolgo is he's not consistent.

I don't see any problem for Fed against these two guys. Really, only the other three guys, ie Nole, Rafa and Murray, can beat Fed regularly. The other three big hitting guys - Tsonga, Berdych and Delpo- can beat Fed occasionally. This new batch of youngsters can't harm the top four guys.

Whoa, Dolgo plays such a poor tie break, can't even win a single point!

luckystar , 1/20/12 10:49 AM

One set each! I see what you mean lucky, what fun! Fabulous match, best I've seen so far. Tomic reminds me so much of And.....but even at this tender age, he has a much better match temperament. Really don't know who will win.
sanju, my money would be on Atomic, purely because of his astonishing match approach.

deuce , 1/20/12 10:50 AM

Oops, Atomic, off the boil, down 3-0. Changed mind, Dolgo much better chance against Fed..:)

deuce , 1/20/12 11:01 AM

Back on serve. BTW Dolgo's outfit is horrible. Too much orange already :( Where is rfzr, our resident fashion guru?

deuce , 1/20/12 11:10 AM

deuce, make up your mind! I'll stick with Dolgo and I think Dolgo will win this match.

No doubt Tomic has a good tennis brain and plays a bit like Murray, but I can't see him matching Murray even when he becomes a more experienced player in future, because he simply can't move as well as the top guys. His way of winning matches takes a lot of effort, mental efforts, IMO.

luckystar , 1/20/12 11:15 AM

lucky, I agree he doesn't move as well as Andy, coming forwards anyway. Dunno, he's only 19 and has so much room for improvement. Who wins this set, will win match, I think.

deuce , 1/20/12 11:29 AM

deuce, this match resembles the Rafa/Murray matchup, where both try to outwit each other. They're playing some kind of chess game and both are unable to win points easily. It's unlike the Fed/Rafa or Fed/Murray matches where both Rafa and Murray have to play counterpunching tennis.

luckystar , 1/20/12 11:30 AM

atomic takes third set! How did he do that, looked down and out at one stage.
Yes, lucky, like chess. The best kind of tennis match :)
Just going to check Delpot match . Presume he's murdering Lu.

deuce , 1/20/12 11:50 AM

Dolgo's serve really went off big time in this set, 44% first serve. He's really poor in tie breaks! Maybe he can hang in there and wins the fourth set. There's no tie break in the fifth set so maybe he still stands a chance.

luckystar , 1/20/12 11:50 AM

Yes, lucky Dolgo is very poor in tie breaks, Tomic much better. Atomic is far too casual on some of the big points though. Needs to learn how to put boot on throat and keep it there, rather than trying clever, useless shots that don't come off!

deuce , 1/20/12 12:01 PM

These dropshots make it seem like cat and mouse play. Exciting match! Hope Dolgo has enough energy to pull out the fourth set somehow. And he breaks!

Ssunn , 1/20/12 12:05 PM

This is a lot different to Nadal/ Murray imo, where you get a lot of crosscourt shotmaking and topspin as opposed to this wonderful display of flat/underspin tennis. Its definitely a lot more fun to watch; albeit a lot less consistent, and is played at a fast pace.

samprallica , 1/20/12 12:05 PM

But similar as in cat and mouse, move counter move, not actual shots.

deuce , 1/20/12 12:11 PM

Yes, cat and mouse, but I find it hard to put them side by side because of how the match is actually being played.

samprallica , 1/20/12 12:14 PM

Atomic has missed loads of chances on short balls. Is very reluctant to come forward.

deuce , 1/20/12 12:17 PM

No, Rafa and Murray are much more aggressive than this two guys. If possible, these two guys would slice and slice forever. They do not have big forehands to end the shots a bit earlier so they rely on outsmarting the other guy. They do have good serves though, it's just that Dolgo's serve is off for most part of this match.

Also Murray can finally match Rafa in terms of speed after Murray improves his fitness, and that's why their matches seem to last forever because they're so quick to get to every ball. This Tomic can't do that and that's why I feel Dolgo has an advantage there.

So Dolgo wins the fourth set and no tie break in the fifth, good for Dolgo!

luckystar , 1/20/12 12:22 PM

Just wanted to get a few people's thoughts on the difficulty of the draw for the top players. Now that a few rounds have been played, who do you think has been slated to play the more tougher matches? Just wondering, because looking so far I would have thought Fed's pathway is one of the most difficult (if you take out the walkover), given that he's had to play Karlovic, a possible Tomic/Dolgopolov next round, Del Potro in the quarters and Nadal in the semis? Does anyone think the next few rounds for the other top 4 players are as difficult?

jrbro4 , 1/20/12 12:26 PM

I don't feel that this match is fast paced, as there're many long rallies. It's just that they're quicker to serve and they can serve well to win cheap points. Rafa can't normally do that and Murray is too inconsistent with his serves too.

luckystar , 1/20/12 12:31 PM

jrbro4, I wouldn't call Tomic or Dolgo difficult for any of the top 4 and I don't think Roger will have any problems with Delpo.

To me, Tomic and Dolgo are maling each other look good, put them up against higher ranked players and they won't look half as good.

nadline , 1/20/12 12:43 PM

No, not fast paced lucky. Tomic a bit like Rafa in so far as the longer the rally the more likely he is to win the point. Andy's game is not naturally aggressive though, he's learning that and Tomic can too.

deuce , 1/20/12 12:44 PM


Thanks for that, though maybe you're being a bit harsh in your assessment of them? Tomic has given some of the other top 4 trouble in the past (eg. Nadal - Aus Open 2011 and Djokovic - Wimbledon 2011), and I thought Delpo played unbelievable in the Davis Cup final against Spain late last year. Your thoughts?

jrbro4 , 1/20/12 12:47 PM

Murray's draw is certainly the most difficult in my opinion, unless Monfils and Tsonga lose early. Also if he gets to the semifinal, chances are he'll be meeting Nole there. Nobody wants to meet Nole in any tournament these days!

Karlovic for Fed is considered a difficult draw? Fed beats him 9 out of 10 times, and he has just beaten him today. Dolgo and Tomic? No where near Fed's level, more so now when they have to tire each other out over five sets. Delpo is a bit more difficult an opponent for Fed, still Delpo has only beaten Fed twice and in 2009, Delpo's best year. Unless Delpo can play like his 2009 and Fed started shanking badly, I think Fed will be in the semifinal.

Rafa? Lopez, Almagro and Berdych can give him some problems but Rafa is too experienced in slams that I feel he'll reach the semi.

Nole? No draw is a difficult draw for Nole!!

luckystar , 1/20/12 12:47 PM

fabulous rally at 30-15. Every shot in the book :)

deuce , 1/20/12 12:53 PM

Fabulous entertaining match. The best I've seen since I don't know when :) Hope Fed's in a shanking mood and Atomic gets at least one set. Just heard he has taken a set off Fed in Davis Cup!
nadline, really NO pleasing you.

deuce , 1/20/12 1:03 PM

Congrats to Tomic for the win. Poor Dolgo, he's like Rafa, plagued with injuries. Take nothing away from Tomic, he outsmart Dolgo, I can sense that Dolgo gets impatient at the end and starts going for broke.

A nice match, maybe this rivalry can develop further in future?

luckystar , 1/20/12 1:08 PM


It is true that Tomic has taken a set off Fed before, but there were also some extenuating circumstances that should be taken into account when analysing that match. Fed had just come off losing that 5-set classic US Open semi-final last year, and basically the same day he had to pack his bags and leave for Sydney, Australia where the tie was held. So not only was he probably tired both physically and emotionally after the loss to Nole, but he was probably quite jetlagged as well given that the Davis Cup tie started only a day or so after he arrived. Additionally, the tie was a played on a grass courts which were quite uneven in bounce, from what I can remember. Given all that, I don't think losing one set is too bad an effort.

jrbro4 , 1/20/12 1:12 PM

Yes deuce, Tomic has taken a set off both Fed and Nole, but not against Rafa and Murray. Rafa and Murray are the kind of players who have the patience to rally and slice with Tomic the whole day!

Oh, come to think of it, I'm proud of Rafa, he has not lost a set against any of Tomic, Dolgo and Raonic. He lost a set to Dimitrov at Rotterdam in 2009, but that was after his exploits at the AO that year and after about ten hours of hard work during the semi and the final at the AO.

luckystar , 1/20/12 1:17 PM

Actually there's some truth about Dolgo and Tomic making each other look good, as they don't seem able to end points early and have to put in so much efforts to win a point. If it's Fed vs either of these two, I'm sure the points will be shorter. Anyone of the top four will be able to end the points quicker, I feel. However, these two guys play an entertaining match, ha, good for exho!

luckystar , 1/20/12 1:59 PM

I don't think Andy's played Raonic, has he? Seem to think Dolgo gave Andy a nasty time somewhere, last AO?

deuce , 1/20/12 2:01 PM

Have to say I expected dolly to win that one. maybe the time has come for tomic's rapid rise through therankings to begin.

tomic's had one too many long ones now to pose a threat to roger though - by the looks of things, roger should be starting to worry about delpo.

alex , 1/20/12 2:27 PM

I think so deuce. Rafa has not played against Harrison but Rafa is too good for Harrison and it will be a straight set win for Rafa. Murray started slow against Harrison IMO so he lost a set.

deuce, I really feel that Rafa, Nole and Murray's batch are really very outstanding, they were already in the top ten during their teens or early twenies and I don't foresee any of Raonic's batch to be in the top ten anytime soon. Rafa's batch was able to threaten Fed's batch of players even when Fed'a batch was still in their prime, ie at age 24-26. Rafa was no.2 at 19, Nole at no.3 at age 20 and Murray at no.4 at age 21. I don't see any of Raonic, Dolgo, Tomic in the top ten anytime soon.

luckystar , 1/20/12 2:31 PM

Yes Tomic did well against Rafa at the AO last year, but I think Rafa was reacting to the hype that surrounded their match and was a bit tight, but once he got rid of the shackles Tomic couldn't keep up with him. It's always dangerous when top players play an unknown for the first time, because whilst their opponent would have had the opportunity to study DVDs of the top players the top players may never have even seen them play.

Dlogo was his own worst enemy today because he got so excited when he tried to end a point that it invariably went wrong. I thought the better player was Dolgo today and Tomic won because Dolgo made too many UEs.

You are right that on paper Murray seems to the toughest draw, I avoided commenting on this because I don't want to jinx Rafa's chances by saying he's got nothing to worry about.

Yes Delpo took a set of Rafa to 1 in the DC. To be honest, I think Rafa was suffering a little bit of nerves playing Delpo because Delpo had beaten him 3 times in a row and it was the DC final in Spain, so he was not relaxed and was making too many mistakes, once Rafa won the 2nd set he calmed down a bit and could have avoided a tie-break in the 4th set if he'd won the points in the right order.

I honestly don't think Roger would be worrying about playing Delpo or Tomic. Delpo beat him at the USO, yes, but I think I'll put it at 70/30 to Roger whenever they meet.

nadline , 1/20/12 2:36 PM

I was more impressed with Harrison when he played against Roger at I/W last year, he didn't play that well against Murray, I think Murray was playing the Harrison hype and was a little bit nervous, just like i said Rafa was against Tomic last year.

nadline , 1/20/12 2:42 PM

I actually would like to see a Harrison/ Tomic match, as Harrison is an aggressive player and plays differently from Tomic/Dolgo. Playing against Tomic takes alot of patience, I'm not sure Harrison has that patience. Tomic is not so good when moving towards the net so maybe Harrison can try luring him forward.

I don't understand how come Dolgo can serve so badly today, 44% first serve, no wonder he has to work so hard against Tomic today. Dolgo is far too inconsistent to really make any push into the top ten, Raonic may be too injury prone, the rest of the youngsters are not ready, in my opinion.

luckystar , 1/20/12 3:12 PM

Dolgo was rushing between points, in fact the commentators were praining the two of them for being so quick and not towelling off all the time. Dolgo's serve is very hit or miss and there is no variety to it. It's always the same, and most of the time he serves wide, from what I can remember. I think he is a rough diamond that needs to be chisled into shape.

Definitely non of the young crop today come anywhere near Rafa, Nole and Muzz at the same age.

nadline , 1/20/12 3:30 PM

lucky and nadline, do agree Rafa, Nole, Andy, absolutely outstanding in getting way up into top 10 so young. Also same 4 have dominated top 4 for 4 years, haven't they? This in turn must have made it a lot harder for younger players to push their way up.
Think Dolgo might make top 10 this year, Raonic, Tomic, Harrison top 20 and top 10 year after? So hard to predict. Feel it'll depend on how injury free some of the older players like Fish/Verdasco/ etc remain, and how quickly Soderling/Wawrinka etc slip down the greasy pole.
No, not having a dig at Fed, after all he's immortal....;)

deuce , 1/20/12 4:16 PM

"No, not having a dig at Fed, after all he's immortal....;)"

Indeed he his. lol

bleck , 1/20/12 4:48 PM

Not immortal but he is maintaining himself very well and that's bothering some other top players.

Now that's not a dig at some other top players .... :)

mani4Tennis , 1/20/12 5:40 PM

Not his maintaining very well that bothers other top players, but rather his not willing to speak up for others that's bothering them!

luckystar , 1/20/12 6:09 PM


I agree with your comment @ 1/20/12 3:30 pm. I had the same impression of Dolgo. He does rush himself and that's not always a good thing. I also noticed in the two sets that I did get to watch live, that he was not getting his first serve in enough. I have seen this before from him. I don't know what that's all about. It might be a good idea to take more time and work on getting it in, because second serves won't get it done.

Dolgo doesn't want anyone to change him and that's his big problem. I totally agree with your statement that he is a rough diamond that needs to be chiseled.

Well said!

Nativenewyorker , 1/20/12 10:22 PM

Not immortal but he is maintaining himself very well and that's bothering some other top players.
Now that's not a dig at some other top players .... :)
mani4Tennis , 1/20/12 5:40 PM

Actually, you can see all over the internet how worried Fedfans are that Rafa's knee is OK and he is playing sublime tennis. The likely thought of them meeting in the SF scares them.

nadline , 1/21/12 8:29 AM

Current ATP-rankings

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