Saturday, February 9, 2013

Aussie Open Recap, Super Bowl

  • Roserunner, who set a PR in 1:26:21 at the Kaiser Permanente half marathon!  

Super Bowl:
Ugh.  That is the phrase most 49ers fans used at the end of the Super Bowl.  Turns out I was close to predicting how many points the 49ers would score (predicted 27, they got 31), but I didn't expect the Ravens to destroy us with 34 points of their own.  49ers pass coverage was awful.  Though this sentence on my last post proved prophetic: "Main way I think Ravens will score is either a screen pass or run to Rice, bomb to Jones/Smith or a special teams TD by Jones."  Jones's name was present twice, and he ended up scoring a TD on a long bomb, and a TD on the longest play in NFL history via a kickoff return lol.  He is just so fast.  And how did he not get the MVP?  He was robbed!  He set a Super Bowl record for all purpose yards with 290!
  • Ravens deserved the win, they outplayed the 49ers
  • refs were fine - the calls seemed to be fair on both sides - that was not pass interference on the last play of the game
  • Ravens converted 9/16 3rd down conversions, compared to only 2/9 for the 49ers - if you want to know why the Ravens won look at this stat alone.  That 2/9 stat for the 49ers is eerily similar to last years NFC title game loss to the NYG when they were 1/13 on 3rd down conversions
  • 49ers had 2 turnovers, compared to only 1 for the Ravens
  • 49ers had 5 penalties, compared to only 2 for the Ravens
  • Ravens defense was simply more physical than the 49ers, and the 49ers missed lots of tackles on defense
  • SF offense did run over the Ravens on the ground with 182 yards, bummer that SF didn't call more running plays (or QB sneak play) on the last 4 downs of the game
I was thrilled that the 49ers even made the Super Bowl though.  And in 2013 I think they are the #1 or #2 team out there - they return substantially all of their team again.  (I ran my 3 miles of shame on the treadmill on Wednesday)

this picture perfectly sums up Chris Culliver's week both on and off the field - out of line and out of position

Aussie Open 2013:
Since I've already posted a lot of pics of Melbourne besides tennis pics, I decided to do just 1 post about tennis.  And it's like 100 pics lol.  So if you don't like tennis, you can stop now.  If you do, carry on =).  

We had tickets for Rod Laver Arena for the 1st 4 days and nights of the start of the tourney - turns out our best seats were for the first day session on Monday - 6th row!

Maria!  Always fun to see her - now the 3rd time I've seen her play (Stanford 20112012 Olympics)

she gets a lot of air on her serves!  Maria double bageled her opponent 6-0, 6-0 lol

next match was Stosur of Australia - these guys were at pretty much every Australia match - they call themselves the Fanatics - fun chants!  Stosur advanced 7-6, 6-3

Novak was up next!

Novak made it look easy 6-2, 6-4, 7-5

gorgeous view on outdoor court number 6 for Rogowska vs Dolonic - Dolonic advanced in a well fought match 5-7, 7-5, 8-6

The Aussie Fantatics were back for Hewitt-Tipsarevic!

Rod Laver was gorgeous at night - not an open seat anywhere for the Hewitt match

Tipsarevic advanced in a close one 7-6, 7-5, 6-3

Ana Ivanovic was next!  She advanced easily 6-2, 6-1

next day first match Andy Murray was on court! he was my pick to win the tourney before it started (ended up getting 2nd)

Andy prevailed in easy fashion 6-3, 6-1, 6-3

next up was Azarenka!

Azarenka advanced easily 6-1, 6-4

of course Redfoo of LMFAO was on hand - he was mobbed by fans!

next up was the genius and greatest tennis player of all time - Roger Federer.  Privilege to watch him play tennis!

Roger That - lol

Look at how easy he makes the serving motion look - it's so fluid.  his serve isn't massive - but he is consistently around 120 to 130 mph - and it's always on target.  Poetry in motion.

Roger made it look easy - 6-2, 6-4, 6-1

outside the courts - people lounging watching the big screen for tennis - very laid back atmosphere at Aussie Open

Aussie Fanatics back for more tennis - Matosevic of Australia was playing, unfortunately he lost to Cilic of Croatia

I was super excited to see Monfils play - the crowd was doing the wave at Margaret Court Arena!

check out this guy carrying 5 beers lol

Monfils!  I love his sliding style of tennis and his overhead smashes

a gorgeous setting at Margaret Court Arena - seeing the player I wanted to see most all tourney, and a gorgeous background

This is my favorite photo I took all tourney - the setting sun made a gorgeous sky

Monfils ended up winning outstanding match, the crowd was going crazy, this was one of my favorite matches of the tourney.  6-7, 7-6, 6-3, 6-3.  Epic times!

these guys were also at the Andy Murray match - they would have a chant at every new set lol (their shirts spelled out GAEL) for Monfils

a gorgeous day out walking to Rod Laver Arena.  Only maybe a 30 min walk from downtown Melbourne to the stadium - a great setup.  You could also take a tram there too.

Yarra River with Melbourne in the background

found Wozniacki practicing - where is Rory?  lol

also found Li Na practicing - no one knew she would end up making the final - her new coaching change has turned out wonderful for her

first match was Ragwanska - she won easily 6-1, 6-3

decided to go outside to court 6 for the Querrey-Baker match since both are from the USA.  Awesome setting outside for it

Baker won the first set - but then all of a sudden he cut hard on the court, and he was down, clutching his right knee.

he had trouble walking over to the bench to sit down - Sam Querrey (on left) offered his support

the doctors did some tests on the knee, he was in a ton of pain when they twisted it a certain way - ouch

it was awful to watch - and needles to say he was really upset at having to withdraw from the match

they had to wheel him off the court in a wheelchair - I offered my applause as he went by. Turns out he had a torn meniscus, and had surgery and will be out 6-8 weeks.  Hope he's back on the court soon

This is one of my favorite pics - almost looks fake!  This is from the first row of the stands of court 3

Saw another US person - this time Madison Keys

this match seemed like my pics turned out the best of any

Keys played some great tennis and won 6-2, 6-1

next was Aussie favorite Stosur back inside Laver

The Aussie Fanatics were back!  Unfortunately Stosur played poorly in the 3rd set and ended up losing 6-4, 1-6, 7-5. Felt like a funeral in the stadium at the end lol

after the match I hustled over to court 19 to try to see Cirstea, but her match had just ended.  But I saw her get mobbed by the fans!  lol  I saw Cirstea play at Stanford tennis tourney 2012 vs Serena

happened upon Laura Robson practicing - who I hoped to see in action the next day!

happened upon Laura Robson practicing - who I hoped to see in action the next day!

walking back to Laver from the practice courts

Venus was the first night match

Cornet of France was the most rude player I've ever seen - she was glaring at the ballboys, the crowd, the umpire, even smashed her racket!  lol!

Luckily Cornet got smashed by Venus 6-3, 6-3 lol

Laver had some empty seats, but not too many - it is awesome at night since the temperature cools down some

2nd night match was Harrison of the USA vs Novak - bright yellow sneaks for Harrison!

Harrison has one the biggest serves - and a big reason is due to his legs - check out how much compression there is in his legs.  He was averaging 130-135 or so - huge.  Unfortunately Harrison's groundstrokes aren't as consistent as his serve, and Novak won easily 6-1, 6-2, 6-3

This was forecasted to the hottest day of the tourney - somewhere around 105 or so.  So we tried to prepare accordingly - it was tough since it was literally hot everywhere you went it seemed like

I actually bought a separate ticket this day to Hisense Arena - since I wanted to see those matches more so than the matches that were going on in Laver Arena.  Though when I got into Hisense - the roof was closed, and it felt like a sauna in there.  Especially since I was so high up, there was zero air circulation

Kirilenko was the first match up - I could only handle the heat until 5-4 in the 1st set before I went over to Rod Laver to try to find some cooler air.  My seats were better at Laver, so I figured that the air would be better there

Turns out Serena was on at Laver - this was the 6th time I've seen her play now (2011 Stanford twice, 2012 Stanford, 2012 Olympics twice, and now this time) - crazy!  And check out those sneaks!  Serena won 6-2, 6-0.  Serena was my pick to win the tourney (she lost in the quarterfinals to Stephens)

next up was Tomic of Australia, so the Aussie fantatics were out in force again!

Rod Laver was packed for the Tomic match

his opponent was Brands of Germany - he had a big serve too.  Just like Harrison, check out the knee bend he gets into his serve - a lot of power was generated by him

Tomic ended up winning in 4 sets over Brands

I decided to head back over to Hisense to brave the heat because I wanted to see Caroline play!  The temp wasn't as bad as earlier - still hot but not as awful as earlier.

her opponent was Donna Vekic - who I had never heard of before

Hisense more filled up now than earlier

I was more impressed with Vekic than Caroline - Vekic had a ton of power, though unfortunately she made a lot of unforced errors.  If she can cut down her errors, I think she will be a great player in the future

they were almost twins lol

Caroline ended up winning 6-1, 6-4

next match on Hisense was my favorite player - Monfils!  This time against Lu.  Monfils had a big serve and ended up prevailing in a crazy match in 5 sets

I walked back over to Laver for the night matches, and the sun was just scalding - I swear the sun feels hotter in Australia than it does in North America.  Turns out there is a hole in the ozone layer in Australia, so skin cancer is way more common there than in North America.

court looked awesome right before the Federer match

Federer up again!

Roger that

like I said earlier - Roger's serving motion just looks so fluid and easy.  May be another reason why it seems like he's never really had a serious injury in his tennis career as far as I can remember

Roger watching his own commercial on the big screen haha

Mario and Luigi on hand haha

this guy sat right behind us, and they had the funniest chant yet of the tourney "Where's your Fed at!  Where's you Fed t!  Where's your Fed at!"  lol

last match on Laver was the main player I wanted to see - Laura Robson!  She was up against Petra Kvitova (below)  My prediction was that Robson would win 7-5 in the 3rd set - I thought Kvitova wasn't playing very well recently (Kvitova was the 5 seed)

gorgeous setting at Rod Laver for the final night match

The match was pretty even on both sides - Robson had a few less errors than Kvitova

Kvitova's serve let her down - she had 18 double faults, and could never seem to find a rhythm, she was also getting emotional about it late in the 3rd set

Robson ended up prevailing in one of the best matches of the tourney!  2-6, 6-3, 11-9!  The crowd was going wild the whole time, what a way to close out the last match of the tourney for me - with basically the best match I saw all tourney.  Epic times.

It was the biggest win of Robson's career - and she was thrilled in the post match interview

It was amazing times at the Aussie Open!  I hope I can go back again sometime, they run an amazing tourney there.  My hope is to go to the US Open in August 2013, and possibly the French Open in May 2014.  Likely I won't make it to Wimbledon - since I already saw tennis there while at the Olympics, and for Wimbledon you can't just buy a 4 day pass - you need to apply for a lottery and they only give you tickets for 1 day.  

Have you been to any of the grand slam tennis events before?  


  1. I tried - I even cut the power to the dome to help your guys rebound. Sorry, I did what I could! ;-)

  2. My super bowl was.....watching Harry Potter with my boys ...I know I know...

    OK those pictures are amazing!
    you are so lucky!

    I have never been to a grand slam...BUT
    I went to the Canadian Open and saw the finale one year
    Oh yeah!
    It was fantastic.
    This was several years ago...when Agassi was engaged to Brooke Shields.. she was just a few seats away from me. I had bought a ticket at the last minute from a scalper outside the Olympic Stadium in Montreal.

  3. Glad to see you let tennis have priority over the Superbowl :) Just a bit jealous you got to go see the Australian Open. What a fun time!
    Tennis is a fantastic sport, and those players are incredible athletes -as skilled and practiced as they come. Singles is such a mental game!!
    Hope to get to Australia some time. I will be sure to wear sunscreen!!

  4. One of your top 5 posts ever ... awesome, awesome pics (I really like tennis), plus, I'll be honest - any post with Maria Sharapova goes right to the front of the line as far as favorites. Sorry about the Niners - you know how I feel, no need to rehash.

  5. man you got some really great pics!!

    haven't mailed the bottle yet. will shoot you an email when i do. i'm slack at going over to the PO so it might be a few days :) but i'm working on it!

  6. Those photos are fantastic. You really take some amazing photos! I looove the ones of the court at sunset- beautiful!

    Forthe world cup, I think Rio would be a better base.(Hard to say 100% without going there) But I know its more tourist friendly. SP wouldnt be impossible, but just be extra aware for crime and such (well everywhere in Brasil)- and start brushing up on some Portuguese :) But its a 45 minute flight between Rio and SP, and from what I hear if you take a really late or really early flight the cost wont be crazy- L told me normal flights would run $500 round trip which I found insane. I think a lot could improve between now and then, but the airport situation is not ideal and god only knows how the infrastructure is in Rio/SP/Curitiba right now. At least they already have large soccer stadiums! :)