This is a new feature here at In The Tramlines, Aces and Double Faults. We plan to take a look at the game, the players, and give our take as to what we like and don't like.
The Australian Open qualifying has begun, and the main draw play is only a few days away! That's something to cheer about.
Double Fault: John Isner
Within the past few hours the Australian Open twitter account announced that John Isner has withdrawn from the Australian Open with a bone bruise on his knee. I don't doubt the severity of the injury, and his doctor reportedly advised him not to play. That happens in tennis, but what I will question is his involvement in the tournament in Sydney. He lost to Ryan Harrison in the second round in straight sets after withdrawing from the Hopman Cup the week prior. My question is this: Why play Sydney after withdrawing from the Hopman Cup? He's not a youngster, he theoretically doesn't need the playing time. It seems like a bad decision in hindsight, but hopefully he'll get better soon. Sam Querrey becomes the only American to be seeded.
Ace: Richard Gasquet and Grigor Dimitrov
Two prodigies, one former, one sort of bust. Gasquet, with his tremendous backhand, was supposed to be the next Federer. We all know how that turned out. Gasquet was never able to live up to that hype, and that has been well covered. He's an Ace in this article for his win in Doha. Dimitrov is being called Baby Fed, and while his game is similar, I don't think he'll ever win a major title. However, he did have a great start to his year, making the final in Brisbane and losing to Andy Murray, which there is no shame in. Let's hope both improve their games this year.
Ace: Madison Keys
The young American is making waves, qualifying for Sydney, making the quarterfinals, and pushing Li Na to the limit. Expect big things from this hard hitting American.
Double Fault: Sam Stosur
The Australian has had zero success in Australia for the past few years, and it seems she just cannot escape the pressure. That's a shame, because the surface should help her. There doesn't seem to be any hope for Stosur in Australia
Double Fault: Petra Kvitova
Is it the heat? The pressure? A long run of poor play? Whatever it is, Kvitova has not been playing up to her normal levels. She needs to get it in order soon before she loses all the progress she's made in the past few years.
Double Fault: The heat
106 degrees Farenheit might seem good to us Americans living in the northeast, but holy crap that is way too hot. Hopefully no players succomb to the heat. That temperature is just brutal to play in.
Ace: The Australian Open
Oh by the way, the first major of the year gets started in four days! We're all very excited about it, and we'll get a full preview up soon.