Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Casey flies the Aussie flag

She made the fourth round here last year and that combined with other good results sees Casey Dellacqua earning a ranking of 29 and seeding of the same number.  Her first round opponent was the veteran Yvonne Meusberger from Austria, not expected to pose too much grief for the left handed West Australian who had gathered a large personal following over her years on the tour.

A win for Casey would mean a third women from Australia through to the second round on the back of Gajdosova and Stosur, and the 3-0 start with a break of Meusberger in the second game coincided with that plan.  The serve was solid and dictated many of the rallies with which the two became involved, and Meusberger often found herself out of position and easy prey to a finishing shot either down the line or cross court, depending on Casey's humour.

Meusberger decided to enter the match in the third game and pushed Dellacqua in most aspects, the exchanges of a fairly high standard generally.  Casey handed back her advantage in the seventh game with some injudicious choices in response to some better placement from the Austrian.  The service break formed the catalyst for three more of the same to follow, the final of the quartet enough to end the first set 6-4 Casey's way.  

While her service was being broken during this period, the other components of the Australian's game remained firm and her belief in herself never wavered, as evidenced by her onslaught at the start of set two which belied the apparent evenness of the first set battle.  Casey raced to a 3-0 lead (repeat of set one) with her backhand firing and Yvonne serving two double faults on the way to a complete service breakdown.

Nothing changed - except for Casey introducing some forehand winners to accompany her lethal backhands, and Yvonne was powerless to prevent the 6-4 6-0 result, punctuated with a backhand winner to seal the deal.

An impressive showing from Dellacqua after a steady start, and with her seeding and good hometown record, she should expect to see at least third round action, likely against another left hander Petra Kvitova and that would be an entertaining affair.

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