Federer looked pretty solid fighting-off his opponent, #233 Kamke, and a little cold. He’ll have a better test vs. Dimitrov who survived a three-setter vs. Troiki. More interesting is the Cilic v Thiem match to determine Federer’s SF opponent (granted, if Dimitrov doesn’t shock Brisbane). Thiem has game and this would be terrific progress if he can up-end Cilic. Tomic v Nishikori in the other half seems also awfully good. Can the 24 year-old make a move here? To shake-up this ATP mediocrity we need the truth to emerge on the potential of these Cilic/Nishikori types. Guys like Thiem and Tomic should understand this opportunity.
Granted, not sure how invested Murray is in his Hopman Cup tennis, but Kyrgios beat him in straights there and the Scot now needs to save face against a young but talented Alexander Zverev, also 19. Murray should advance, but damage done. Look around at the youth at least showing-up here in very early 2016.
Nadal struggled again, needing three sets to beat a young Russian, Kuznetsov. What will be more surprising: that Nadal gets upset in one of these early matches or that he pushes Djokovic in the final? I am not buying stock in Nadal like a lot of folks. I do realize that he is probably more vulnerable in these best of three matches; but, still, his tennis is not that same quality that ate top 10 players for years. This Marchenko is having a nice little tournament, beating Chardy in straights to set-up his showdown with the Spaniard 🙂
Djokovic looked human, needing 7-5 to win a set 😉 Berdych next should make the Serb breath a little harder, drink some stronger tea, perhaps. Nice draw, Nadal.
Wawrinka seems to be purring right along in India. If he raises the trophy there, despite the lack of tourney depth, doesn’t that still work nicely for his AO confidence? He needs to find whatever Stanimal needs because we have seen some pretty oddball tennis from him recently; granted the exhibition last week was just an exhibition, but still.
Let me reiterate my appreciation for the hiring of Ljubičić. Nothing new to add really since Roger has played only one match. But I think the “closer” mentality, the means-to-an-end tennis I think we get from this pairing, along with Ljubičić’s knowledge of the game and the current players Roger will face, will work, sometimes brilliantly. We’ll see. Roger’s farewell tour is still en route, but he hired a lieutenant with whom he may be able to grab a little more loot as he leaves the proverbial building.