Quick morning update, before I head in to Melbourne Park. How quick? Point-form quick.
1. Stanislas Wawrinka characteristically alternated might with ineptitude in eventually seeing off Marcos Baghdatis last night, capping a truly spectacular day on Margaret Court Arena Stadium. Baghdatis combined might with unhinged intensity in smashing four of his racquets in a midmatch tantrum. He went on the take the set, but folded in the fourth, presumably having run out of equipment to safely destroy. If nothing else, it proved that even in extremis Baghdatis retains a clearer head than Goran Ivanisevic, who was once defaulted after smashing all of his racquets.
2. Umpire Kader Nouni boasts a cult following, largely owing to his laid-back manner, and the spectacular depth and resonance of his voice. It’s like having Barry White call matches, only with a French accent, which is the only accent historically proven to make mortal insults sexy. However, like the Kakapo parrot’s mating cry – a throbbing boom – Kader’s voice carries well, but in the heat of combat (or mating) it can be difficult to ascertain where it originates from. It could be Isaac Hayes in the crowd. This explains the delay while both Isner and Nalbandian tried to work out what was happening yesterday afternoon.
The real issue is that only umpires with whiny, nasal voices should be allowed to officiate at the Grand Slam level. The players should add this to their growing list of complaints.