Pakistan’s challenge ends as ragged Aisam packs up


Pakistan’s challenge in the Australian Open ended this Wednesday evening when Aisam Qureshi and his partner Andrea Hlavackova were beaten 6-1, 7-5 in the quarter finals of the mixed doubles event.
It was a ragged performance, considering the occasion and the opportunity to take advantage of a draw that had opened up for them with the elimination of the top seeds in their quarterfinal.
Aisam began proceedings and immediately dropped his serve due to some unforced errors and some inspired play by Vinci. Hlavackova was broken in the third game on the deciding point and again in the seventh game to give the set to the Italians by 6-1.
Aisam and Hlavackova broke in the first game of the second set, but when serving at 4-3, Hlavackova was again broken to tie the set at 4-4. Aisam will seldom have missed the backhand volley that he netted at 5-6 deciding point, to give the match to the Italians. It was a sitter right on his racquet on top of the net. That would have given them the game and taken the set into a tie breaker.
So, yet another chance has gone abegging for Aisam to win a major title.
The top four players duly made their way into the semi finals of the men’s singles. Asia’top player Kei Nishikori ran into a player who plays similar to him, only is bigger and stronger. Apart from a few flashes of brilliance from him, it was smooth sailing for Andy Murray and his date with Novak Djokovic in the semis. Djokovic was far too good for th hard working but overmatched David Ferrer of Spain.Djokovic, Nadal, Federer and Murray are consistently better than the rest of the top twenty and only rarely lose to the others. Dell Potro, Berdych and Tsonga are tthe ones who look to have the game, but Del Potro was taken apart by Federer at his best and Berdych came up just short after having a point for a two sets to love lead against Nadal. Federer is in rare form and would be fancying his chances against nemesis Nadal while Djokovic should be too good for Murray. Murray has an attitude problem and his shoulders drop every time he loses a point. New coach Ivan Lendl will have to work overtime to correct that.