Monday 25 January 2010

I Stand Corrected … Possibly

At Melbourne Park, three professional tennis players who were recently in Hong Kong are on the cusp of heading in to the second week of the Australian Open. American Venus Williams (seeded sixth), Dane Caroline Wozniacki (seeded fourth), and Chinese Zheng Jie (unseeded).

When Russian Maria Sharapova (seeded 14) lost in the first round last Monday, questions were immediately raised about the usefulness of exhibition matches (like Hong Kong’s annual tennis spectaculars held in Victoria Park) for professionals preparing for Grand Slam tournaments like the Australian Open. It appears a thorough analysis of the statistics is needed, which is why HKSARblog admits to being wrong (and irrational) in being too quick to condemn Sharapova and other active tour players who came to Hong Kong before heading down to the Australian Open. Despite this, the call remains for transparency in appearance fees, especially for those “old classics” Stefan Edberg, Michael Chang and Yevgeny Kafelnikov.

Latest: Zheng Jie has become the first Chinese player to reach the final eight at Melbourne Park with a 7-6 (8-6) 6-4 victory over Ukrainian Alona Bondarenko.

Also, Justine Henin battles through to Australian Open quarter-finals:

[Justine Henin, playing in the Australian Open for the first time since 2008 after coming out of retirement, shows she still has her game … plus a powerful male-like right arm! Pic from BBC Sport.]

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