rebound ace, oh great equalizer, we hardly knew ye


[Erwin: JNP has already weighed in on the Aussie Open draw, so now it’s Chris’ turn…]

I’m just gonna come out and say it: I wish they hadn’t switched the court surface for the Australian Open. I personally loved watching the players try to deal with the bounces. And since they played on it so seldomly, you really couldn’t call anyone a “Rebound Ace Specialist”.

Which is why the first Grand Slam of the year always gave you that weird, uncommon men’s semifinalist (and, often, finalist). Who would’ve expected the great runs of Fernando Gonzalez (2007), Marcos Baghdatis (2006), Rainer Schuttler (2003), and Arnaud Clement (2001)? Thomas Johansson taking the title in 2002?

If we look at the rest of their grand slam records, Gonzo and Clement haven’t gotten past the quarters in any other slam, and Schuettler has hit the wall at the round of 16. Sadly, Clement and Schuettler are unseeded at this year’s draw and face each other in the first round.

That being said… my next post is a look at the men’s draw for this year.

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