The week of January 11 brought us two warm-up tournaments for the Australia Open, Auckland and Sydney. Both are tournaments with much tradition. Auckland is disputed with continuity since the mid-50s. Sydney, whose first edition dates back to 1885 as New South Wales Championship, is the sixth most ancient tournament of which are still playing today and it was, for many years, one of the main events on the Australian calendar. Most ancient tournaments still playing
In Auckland, David Ferrer, who aspired to his fifth title, he saw broken his streaks of 16-1 in the tournament by Jack Sock, in the semi-finals. David was very below with his performance in returning service, getting only a 30% of points. With that percentage or worse Ferrer has won only 7 of 85 matches, just an 8%. Ferrer Advanced Stats
For Sock not only the match meant the pass to the final, also was his second victory against top-10, ending a streak of 9 consecutive defeats against opponents of this category. An injection of confidence to face the Australia Open. Sock career match record
Auckland has been a great boost for Roberto Bautista Agut, in addition to rise the title, the third of his career, he has obtained prestigious victories before John Isner and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. By the way, against the French he also broke a streak, even more negative in comparison with Sock, in face of the top-10. 17 consecutive defeats had the Castellonense since winning, almost two years ago, to Tomas Berdych in Indian Wells. Bautista top-10 playing activity
The tournament was a festival of aces. It is not surprising considering the presence in the draw of gunners such Karlovic, Querrey, Anderson or Isner. The last one obtained 48 “aces” in the tournament, so he was the leader in this classification. Also he leads the historical ranking of the tournament with 272 aces, an impressive average of 17 per match. Auckland aces stats
In his match with Sam Querrey, Isner won 31 aces. It is the sixth time that he gets at least this figure in a three sets match, winning five of them. His record, always talking about three sets matches, is 36, last year against Feliciano Lopez in Queen’s. 65 “aces” got between both at that time, the little angels. Isner Advanced Stats
Victor Troicki was not the favourite in Sydney, but he managed to end up winning the tournament and defend the title he has won last year. Certainly not without suffering, he had to overcome a set down in three consecutive matches, against Nicolas Mahut, Teymuraz Gabashvili and Grigor Dimitrov, respectively. This season, by the moment, nobody has recovered as many matches as him. 2016 Results Stats
In the final with the Bulgarian, which he had never won previously, he had also to overcome a match point and defend up to 11 break balls of the 15 he faced. This is the eleventh time that the Serbian faces at least 15 balls of the break in a three sets match. And his second victory in these circumstances; the first one was in Hamburg 2009, against one of his victims this week, Gabashvili, who disposed of 17 opportunities to break the service of his rival. Troicki Advanced Stats
Dimitrov is the other side of the coin. He had never before lost a match of three sets having at least 15 break points; six victories had succeeded the Bulgarian with these numbers, until this final with Troicki. Dimitrov Advanced Stats
The Bulgarian continues without winning a title since Queen’s 2014. Even last year he was not able to access to any final. It is costing him a little makes the expectations that he always has awakened by his undeniable talent. Fortunately for him, tennis always offers another opportunity. The next week, in Australia, he could be a confrontation with the player that always he has been compared, Roger Federer. A great opportunity for him to recover widely from this defeat.
Because, in fact, the Australian Open is already here. In thetennisbase we have made the analysis of the draw which is exciting. All against Djokovic could be the motto of the tournament. Because the Serbian reaches to this appointment with such tag of favourite that the odds as winner of the title are not even running 2 to 1. The Herald Sun reported recently that a bettor has played $130,000 for the final victory of the Serbian to an odds of 1.65. Mats Wilander, we don’t know if using Ouija board or crystal ball, he claims that if Novak wins Australia, he will also wins the other three Slam. This is the way the matters stand with the current number one in the world. AO Draw Analysis
The truth is that Djokovic could tie Roy Emerson with six titles in the tournament this year. The Australian dominated from 1961 to 1967 with six titles and one final. That if, with the best players in the world absent, since they were playing in the professional circuit. Australian Open Records
The Serbian has the opportunity to match Nadal (Roland Garros) and Federer (Wimbledon) as historical dominating of a Grand Slam. We’ll see what happens. Next week we will be back with the data of the first week in Melbourne.
Gabriel Garcia / thetennisbase.com