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And Then There Were Four...Serena, Blake, Tsonga, Monfils

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Don't blink...the very small number of five Black tennis professionals is all that began the Australian Open 128 player draw. And with the fatal swing of a racquet, we're down one. Venus Williams had a rough second round and could not get the job done.

Oh well, moving on with those who did get the job done:

First up, American Serena Williams. Serena had to put up a good fight against what seemed to primarily be herself. Nonetheless, she's through to the third round after defeating Argentine Gisela Dulko 6-3, 7-5.

"It was a very tough second set, she started playing unbelievable, hitting winners left and right," Williams said. "She had a couple of opportunities but I always felt I wasn't going to lose.

"I feel I could play a lot better."

Another American, James Blake, accomplished his task of making it through to round three with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 win over French qualifier Sebastien de Chaunac. de Chaunac may have defeated his own purpose after having a heated discussion with a fan who appeared to be heckling him.

Blake, who will play Russian Igor Andreev, said he had not been aware of the problem until Keothavong addressed the crowd.

"I didn't even notice him till he said it," Blake told reporters. "We were going to wait for security but he said he didn't mind as long as I didn't mind when I was down that end.

"He was doing something that got under his skin.

"That can be very frustrating when it's just one person and you hear it constantly, especially when they're talking during a point.

"I just hope it was not intentional. People are entitled to have a few Heinekens but if they have one too many they may just forget how loud their voice can be."

In a much less eventful match against Austrian Stefan Koubek, Frenchman Gael Monfils played a very controlled match that puts him into round three. Monfils defeated Koubek 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.

And finally, the Frenchman who seems to be generating all kinds of excitement on the courts and in the stands, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga placed himself into the third round with a well fought win over Croatian Ivan Ljubicic. Tsonga defeated Ljubicic 6-7 (4), 7-6 (8), 7-6 (7), 6-2

Posted by Shelia

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