I hope everyone enjoyed Day 1 of the Australian Open.   There were some great matches yesterday (Julia Georges why do you insist on giving people heart attacks) and some not so great matches (Sharapova’s blow out of Olga Puchkova).

Of the women’s matches that I saw yesterday, Venus’ was the most entertaining.  Watching Venus when she is playing well, one only hopes that she can maintain this level of play for as long as she can.  Her net game was awesome to watch and her serve was really working well.  Galina was understandably frustrated, but when Venus is playing this well, there is not much that others can do.

My internet at home is as frustrating as anything I have ever encountered.  The AO website is great for livestreaming but I wish I had internet that allowed me to watch matches without all the buffering.  Oh well.

ESPN2 continues to provide the same narrative on women’s tennis.  One can only hope that at some point in time this narrative will change.

It was disheartening to hear Brad Gilbert espouse on the age old grunting debate.  Someone needs to tell him that that ship has sailed. Give it a rest.  No one cares, except you Brad.   Speaking of … I watched bits and pieces of the Tipsy/Hewitt match as well as Ramos/Baghdatis and could any other players be more offensive to watch or indeed listen to other than Tipy and Ramos (and yes I have heard Granollers).

One of our new features on Overhead Spin is our Suicide Pool Picks and Results thread.  Yesterday, Spin picked her Day 1 winners from the women’s side.  Below are the results.  Spin had a 70% success rate.  Later today Spin will post her Day 2 picks on the women’s side.  Here’s hoping for a 100% success rate

Na Li
Sesil Karentacheva
NA LI – coming off a very good Sydney even though she lost to eventual champ Radwanska
6-1, 6-3
Kristyna Pliskova
Sacha Jones
PLISKOVA – never seen either woman play, but Pliskova is higher ranked for what it is worth
6-3, 6-2
Coco Vandeweghe
Sorana Cirstea
CIRSTEA – more variety but she retired in her last match so exercise caution
4-6, 2-6
Julia Georges
Vera Dushevina
GEORGES – because if you can’t beat Dushevina, you really need to take stock
5-7, 6-2, 6-4
Romina Oprandi
Tsvetana Pironkova
Tough one but I am picking Oprandi on form and guile
4-6, 7-5, 6-2
Yuxuan Zhang
Jie Zheng
JHENG – on form player
1-6, 6-3, 4-6
Ana Ivanovic
Melinda Czink
Tough one – but I am going with Ivanovic
6-2, 6-1
Yung-Jan Chan
Daniela Hantuchova
This should be a long drawn out affair and CHAN may pull it out as she plays well in Australia but Daniela also plays well here.  Pick em
6-1, 1-6, 6-1
Maria Koehler
Karin Knapp
This one is tough as I have never seen either player.  Going with KNAPP as name more familiar to me
3-6, 6-3, 6-3
Johanna Larsson
Jelena Jankovic
This should be a long drawn out battle and I am going with JANKOVIC to try and get a good start on her season
2-6, 2-6,
Mona Barthel
Ksenia Pervak
This one is also going to be a long drawn out affair. Pervak is a fighter & Barthel has had good results this season.  I am going with PERVAK on mental game alone.
5-7, 6-2, 4-6
Heather Watson
Alexandra Cadantu
WATSON – but this one will be a tough battle
2-6, 6-3, 6-2
Irina-Camelia Begu
Arantxa Rus
BEGU – Rus does not play well on hard courts
4-6, 2-6
Bojana Bobusic
Agnieszka Radwanska
RADWANSKA – on form
5-7, 0-6
Angelique Kerber
Elina Svitolina
KERBER – if she can’t pass the first round?
6-2, 6-4
Lucie Hradecka
Kiki Bertens
This is also a toss up. Bertens is coming off a very good Auckland but HRADECKA by experience for me
6-2, 7-6(10-8)
Casey Dellaqua
Madison Keys
The Australian crowd will be rooting hard for Casey but I think KEYS takes this one in straights
4-6, 6-7(0)
Stefanie Voegele
Tamira Paszek
PASZEK – despite having a poor start to the season, I expect her to win this
6-4, 4-6, 5-7
Ekaterina Makorova
Michelle Larcher de Brito
I had no idea de Brito was still playing tennis.  MAKOROVA in straights
6-2, 7-5
Camila Giorgi
Stefanie Foretz Gacon
GIORGI – the young Italian made a name for herself when she took out Schiavone at the USO.  Look for great things in 2013 from her
2-6, 3-6
Vesna Dolonc
Olivia Rogowska
As in the Dellaqua/Keys match, the Australian crowd will be rooting for the Aussie.  ROGOWSKA
5-7, 7-5, 8-6
Anabel Medina Garrigues
Marion Bartoli
GARRIGUES – she is coming off a great victory at Hopman Cup and while it is still an exhibition her net play was awesome.  Bartoli seems to be in a slump and is ripe for an upset
2-6, 4-6
Dominika Cibulkova
Ashleigh Barty
CIBULKOVA – after that shellacking in Sydney, I expect Domi to bounce back and bounce the 16 year old in straights.
It was not in straights but Domi won 3-6, 6-0, 6-1
Mandy Minella
Valeria Savinykh
Pick em – I say MINELLA even though she is returning to the Tour from injury
6-7(4), 1-6
Kirsten Flipkens
Nina Bratchikova
FLIPKENS – with the retirement of Henin and Clijsters, Flipkens is hoping to keep Belgian hopes alive.  Should come through in straights
6-4, 6-3
Chanelle Scheepers
Klara Zakopalova
Another pick em – this time I think SCHEEPERS will triumph
1-6, 2-6
Venus Williams
Galina Voskoboeva
Sentimental favourite of this write and tennis fans in general, I pick WILLIAMS for this one.  Galina has an interesting game and I am sure Serena gave Venus pointers on how to play her.
6-1, 6-0
Alize Cornet
Marina Erakovic
If ERAKOVIC can keep her serve working she should be able to get through CORNET who does not do well on hard courts.
7-5, 6-7(3), 10-8
Petra Martic
Misaki Doi
MARTIC – I have not seen Martic since she was ousted in the first round of the USO by Stosur.  Here’s hoping she comes to play.  MARTIC in 3
3-6, 4-6
Olga Puchikova
Maria Sharapova
SHARPAOVA – nothing more to be said really. 
0-6, 0-6
Kai Chen-Chang
Samantha Stosur
For some reason I did not have this match on my Day 1 picks.  STOSUR won
6-7(3), 3-6
Pauline Parmentier
Olga Govortsova
This was also not on the schedule of play
6-2,3-6, 2-6

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