As I type these words, it is half an hour since, having slept through much of the night, waking up one early hour to watch a little bit of Djokovic-Dodig, then waking up again to see Roger Federer had taken the first set from Gilles Simon and going back to sleep with the full expectation the match would be wrapping up when I got up again, I have spent another hour sweating it out, feeding my anxiety on Twitter, flashing back to last April and the Caps having that those three games and not being able to close it out(and very briefly diverting myself with the image of Roger playing Jaroslav Halak in full goalie regalia), and trying to decide if Andy Murray really had a chance to beat Rafa in the semis and if I could hope to see him win this one, then finally watching as Roger took five match points to close it out, finally snapping at him to earn ten bucks more for Queensland flood relief(which thankfully, he was obliging enough to do).  I’m calming down now.  That’s the Australian Open for you.

I started this season making a single demand of the tennis gods, which I stand by still: I don’t care what else happens; I want Mandy to win his slam.  So far, therefore, I have not been mortally offended, though had Roger lost today, I would have felt myself very sorely tested, and I did not enjoy the first night of play very much.  On the other hand:

I was wondering before Rally for Relief if it could possibly live up to the spontaneity of Hit for Haiti last year, though hopefully it could raise the money.  Fortunately they decided to up the ante, with more mixed play, tennis-football-turned-baseball, Andy R and Nole both taking on new jobs, and of course, Roger and Rafa finally playing on the same side of the net-and promptly getting their asses kicked by girl power!  Or maybe just Kim Clisters power; that woman is definitely going to win this slam.  Thanks also to the organization for showing it un-geoblocked on their website, with a low-quality stream my computer could (mostly) handle, so I could watch it live.

I was turning against Lleyton Hewitt after that stunt he pulled charging for his kid’s name, but I admire him for the glorious fight he lost to David Nalbandian.  We knew when the draw came out that ought to be *the* match of the first round, and both men delivered.  Even more amazing considering their hips!  ESPN comments that Hewitt may not be back to Melbourne makes me feel sad.

Ana Ivanovic may have lost her first match, but I think between the Hopman Cup, the Rally for Relief, and the fight she put up in that third set she’s won a lot more fans this month.  Including me!  Even if she does like to fist pump.

Just heard via Twitter Nicholas Mahut’s run is over.  But the second round’s a pretty good achievement for a grass-specializing journeyman who was so egregiously snubbed after being half of such a historical story.

And so, in conclusion, why the heck does ESPN2’s coverage tonight not start until 11?!


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