Australian Open – Day 1 (1R)

Mardy Fish [17] was working really hard last year to improve his physical fitness, and the work pays dividends – among his last eight singles wins, five came after 5-set matches! Today he prevailed against a tricky Victor Hanescu [50] 2-6, 4-6, 6-3, 7-5, 6-3, improving his 5-set record to 8-7 (2-7 before the US Open ’10).
Less luck had Fish’s compatriot, Sam Querrey [18] who was surprisingly ousted in five sets by Lukasz Kubot [72] 7-5, 2-6, 6-3, 1-6, 6-8. The American led 6:5* (30-0) in the 5th set as Kubot played a couple risky shots from the baseline and finished the rally with an overhead. He took the momentum after that, supported by bunch of Polish fans who were yelling “Walcz Łukasz! Walcz!” (Fight Lukas! Fight!). After the win, Kubot performed his own dance… the same thing did Gael Monfils [12] but with lesser expression, after winning a match point against Thiemo de Bakker [47]. The Dutchman after saving a triple set point in the 1st set, had the match in his own hands but couldn’t convert a 5:2* lead in the 3rd set and lost 7-6(5), 6-2, 5-7, 2-6, 1-6, limping at the end… “When I get back at 5-all, I had a strong belief like, ‘Oh, I could make him play like more and even go to the fifth. In the fifth, we never know,’” says Monfils – the 5-set specialist.
Also from on verge of straight sets defeat was Philipp Kohlschreiber [35]. In a prestigious duel with Tobias Kamke [65] (“the newcomer of 2010”, has aspirations to surpass “Kohli” as No. 1 in Germany), Kohlschreiber was two points away from loss in the 3rd set tie-break but won 1-6, 4-6, 7-6(6), 6-4, 6-4 after almost 4-hour battle on Court No. 13. They met in the first round also during last year’s US Open and Kohlschreiber won easier then, in comfortable four sets.
Beside Querrey, among seeded victims is Nikolay Davydenko [25], last year in the Top 5 during the Australian Open with wins over Nadal and Federer under his belt, now after being beaten by Florian Mayer [36] in four sets, will drop outside Top 30 at the beginning of February.

Longest match:
4 hours, 24 minutes: Frederico Gil d. Pablo Cuevas 6-4, 6-7(7), 4-6, 6-3, 9-7
Most aces:
48 – Ivo Karlovic, lost in five sets to Ivan Dodig (just the second case in history that a player served 48 aces, previously did it Marc Rosset, ten years ago in Neuchatel – Davis Cup)
5-set barometer:
9-5 Philipp Kohlschreiber
8-7 Mardy Fish
8-5 Victor Hanescu
8-2 Gael Monfils
6-1 Albert Montanes
6-4 Lukasz Kubot
3-13 Ivo Karlovic
3-1 Frederico Gil
2-3 Pablo Cuevas
2-0 Ivan Dodig
1-1 Tobias Kamke
1-2 Thiemo de Bakker
1-4 Sam Querrey
0-1 Dustin Brown
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