AUSTRALIAN OPEN DAY 3 REVIEW AND DAY 4 PREVIEW

by Karen 

In my first review of Day 1 activities I mentioned that Maria Sharapova, even though she got through her first round match against Petra Martic in straight sets, her game looked rough and she looked very uncomfortable out on the court.  That shakiness and lack of comfort made her second round match even more dramatic than it would have been seeing as she was going up against someone ranked 150 in the world and who had qualified for this tournament.
Alexandra Panova of Russia got beaten to a pulp in the first set, settled herself and took the second set and had a 4-1 lead and 2 game points to go up 5-1 and then she remembered where she was and who she was playing.  It is either that or Maria Sharapova, ever the competitor, decided that she would not go out in the second round, come what may.  Either way, it was a brilliant match, fought by 2 competitors on Rod Laver Arena and the fans, both those in Rod Laver Arena and those at home really got their money’s worth.  Sven Groneveld has kept his job for one more day.
Separate and apart from the drama of the Sharapova match, Day 3 went off with barely a hitch.  Many of the players who pulled upsets on Day 1 continued their good run of form (proving it was no fluke) and have made their way to the third round of the Australian Open.  Some of them for the first times in their singles career (Lucie Hdrackea).
The Spin’s Day 3 picks are looking much better in the clear light of day.
Carina Witthoeft
Christina McHale
Day 4 sees the top half of the women’s draw take to the courts once again.   Matches on tap for today are
Court
Player A
Player B
Rod Laver Arena
Johanna Larsson (SWE)
Agnieszka Radwanksa (POL)
Serena Williams (USA)
Vera Zvonareva (RUS)
Samantha Stosur (AUS)
Coco Vandeweghe (USA)
Margaret Court Arena
Lauren Davis (USA)
Venus Williams (USA)
Madison Keys (USA)
Casey Dellacqua (AUS)
Victoria Azarenka (BLR)
Caroline Wozniacki (DEN)
Hisense Arena
Dominika Cibulkova (SVK)
Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL)
Petra Kvitova (CZE)
Mona Barthel (GER)
Show Court 2
Varvara Lepchenko (USA)
Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS)
Show Court 3
Denisa  Allertova (CZE)
Alize Cornet (FRA)
Court 6
Garbine Muguruza (ESP)
Daniela Hantuchova (SVK)
Camila Giorgi (ITA)
Tereza Smitkova (CZE)
Barbora Zahlavova-Strycova (CZE)
Kai-Chen Chang (TPE)
Court 7
Nicole Gibbs (USA)
Elina Svitolina (UKR)
Court 8
Irina Falconi (USA)
Madison Brengle (USA)
Court 19
Anna Tatishvilli (USA)
Timea Bacsinszky (SUI)
This and That
Court Scheduling
We just can’t seem to get away from schedule gate.  No matter how hard we try.
When the Schedule of Play was issued last night, there were many on social media who decried the fact that the Azarenka/Wozniacki match had been scheduled on Margaret Court Arena.  There were very strong feelings from journalists and tennis fans alike who felt that a match between two former No. 1s, one of whom is a former 2 time champion here, and the other who has made the semis of this event, deserved a match on the main show court.  I would feel strongly about this if but for the fact that a 5 time champion in singles and 3 time champion in doubles of this event and the current reigning World No. 1 was relegated to the Margaret Court Arena in her opening round match and there was nary a peep from these same fans who are so concerned about putting women’s tennis on a main show court.  Cry me a river. 
While I am eagerly anticipating a match between Azarenka and Wozniacki, I don’t really care one way or the other where it gets played, as long as it is a good match played with lots of heart. I am hoping that both ladies will bring it to see who goes through in the next round.
Television Coverage and the Most Important Tweets of the Day
I can’t express enough how happy I was with this series of tweets from Caroline Wozniacki and Channel 7 last night. 
For years I have been saying that the women of the WTA need to use their power to get the media to focus more on women’s tennis.  What happened last night is just a hint of what can happen when players take to social media to have issues dealt with.  I am sure that if Serena or Maria or any of the other big names in tennis tweet directly to the local media of wherever they are playing, the switch from a men’s match to a highlight reel worthy women’s match will be made.  Kudos to Ms. Wozniacki and to Channel 7 for doing this.  In case you were wondering, the match that was being played was between Maria Sharapova and Alexandra Panova. 

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