Today's TWA post is brought to you by the number 95, as in the on-court temperature that sucked the game right out of Novak Djokovic. He eked out a tiebreaker win against Andy Roddick, but couldn't hang for much longer after that. Post-match, Djokovic complained about having a couple of late matches, then an early one, which threw off his preparation for this match. Normally, the schedule goes like this: Ladies first. And it just figures that men would have an issue with that. Geez. Seriously, though, he raises a good point. Why not balance out late matches among all players? Never mind, really, how the players feel about it, but if messed-up scheduling leads to lopsided late-round matches, then spectators don't get the best matchups, either. And isn't it really all about us?
The weather sure has turned out to be the third man in Australia. I wonder, though, are players not as fit as they should be, or is it just too darned hot in January out there?
And, AND! Did anyone catch the women's doubles match between Cara Black and Liezel Huber and Daniela Hantuchova and Ai Sugiyama? What a match! Who doesn't love Ai Sugiyama? Or at least saying Ai Sugiyama?
On tap for today:
Carla Suarez Navarro v. Elena Dementieva: I'm just not ready to jump on the Dementieva bandwagon. Everyone's all, "She's won 14 straight matches. She's a threat." She sure seems to be on a roll, true enough, but so does Suarez Navarro. She's followed up her win over Venus Williams with a trip to the quarters, so who knows? Plus, I'm still waiting for Dementieva's serve to fail her yet again. At some point, she's going to encounter someone who can attack it. So ... I'm going with Dementieva in straights.
Svetlana Kuznetsova v. Serena Williams: Serena. Straights. Let's move on.
Fernando Verdasco v. Jo-Jo Tsonga: Curious matchup, and exactly what I expected in this part of the draw. Uh-huh. It's hard to pick against Tsonga, and I won't do it here, although if the excessive heat continues, it would probably hurt him more than Verdasco. Otherwise, it's hard to beat the kitchen sink when it comes at you with every shot. I think Tsonga's going to cruise.
Rafa Nadal v. Gilles Simon: Nadal. Simon is crafty and patient, but Nadal has the best form of anyone left. He's smacking winners around like the ball stole something from him. Maybe Simon grabs a set. Maybe.