Australian Open Diary – Day Two, Jan 18, 2005
It’s almost impossible to be able look at the Arena and the outside courts all lit up from your hotel room and resist the temptation. So I decided to surrender (surprise, surprise!!) and venture out to the venue. The local boy Lleyton Hewitt, one of the strong contenders, was up against the finalist from a few years ago, Frenchman Arnaud Clement at the Rod Laver Arena in the last match of the night. Clement hasn’t really done much since that final appearance, although to be fair, he hasn’t fallen as badly as another surprise Australian Open finalist, Rainer Schuttler, who was ranked sixth in the world not long ago. Clement didn’t do much wrong, but then that wasn’t nearly good enough against Hewitt, who was absolutely relentless. Being my first ATP tour action in flesh and blood, it was quite an education to watch these guys trade groundstrokes of great power and accuracy. In the end, Hewitt just had too much firepower for the Frenchman and won easily in three. PS: Schuttler was mauled by Agassi. No surprise there.