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WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 18, 2009 29
On the Bag
With European Tour caddie Iain McGregor
happy to get
Kang’s crazy if he doesn’t come
and join in the Race to Dubai
e’re in Perth, Australia now on this crazy European
Tour of ours and I’ll tell you something, we’re pretty
tired. Phileas Fogg may have got round the world in
80 days, but I bet he didn’t have to stop off and take part in
golf tournaments - especially on courses like the caddie-
killer at Saujana, in Malaysia last week.
You guys probably didn’t notice it on TV, but it really is a
hilly, up and down course and with the heat and humidity
World No.3 overcomes midday sun and
it was brutal. There are spots on the course boxed off by
bushes and trees where very little air gets in, so if you’re are
there for a while waiting for the group ahead to play on you
unusual opponent to make next round
are in trouble.
It was a great win for Anthony Kang though. I’ve been out
on the course with him a few times and I’ve honestly never
been that impressed with him, but to hold on in those
conditions; fair play to him.
It’s going to be interesting to see what he decides to do
now - by winning the Malaysian Open the opportunities
open to him now are fantastic.
He came out after his win and said that he wasn’t sure if
he’d be joining the Race to Dubai because he doesn’t play
well in cold and windy conditions that we get in Europe.
But I think he’d be stupid not to join the Race now.
I’ve said this before, but I feel playing in Europe is a great
grounding for playing anywhere else in the world because
we play so many different courses in so many different
conditions. Sun, rain, wind, snow, sleet, fog, frost,
WORLD No.3 Jelena
was the heat, however. Earlier to improve when the whatever, we get it in Europe.
Jankovic declared herself in the week, Jankovic had opponents get tougher and I So if he’s not a good wind-player the only way you are
satisfied after surviving the CHRIS pinpointed her serve as need to get that shot working going to become good is by playing in those conditions.
midday sun and an
something she was looking to in my favour.” Then of course there’s the incentive of the new Race to
‘unusual’ challenge served improve if she wanted to While Jankovic was struggling Dubai. Some players would give a heck of a lot to be in that
up by Monica Niculescu. lighten the load in the sun. with the heat, world No.5 Vera position, yet here he is, in that spot already, fair enough
Jankovic got her tournament Niculescu may not have the But although it helped her Zvonareva clearly had no he’s earned it and can do what he wants, yet he’s saying he
up and running first up on class and touch of the close out the game in straight problem as she swept aside may not take it up. That would be silly. Hopefully he will
centre court, and broke her Frenchman, she serves up an sets, she admits it is still Russian compatriot Vera join up full-time now.
opponent in the opening unorthodox game. something she will have to Dushevina 6-0, 6-3. Someone who will be a great asset to the European Tour
game before doing so again Jankovic said: “Yes, she is an work harder on. Zvonareva arrived in town and the Race is Anthony Kim. I said last week I was unsure
in the ninth to seal the first set. unusual player, very different “I’ve only had one day to fresh from her eighth how he would perform because he’s not used to the
Although things went with to many of them on the Tour. adjust after Paris, where I tournament win in Pattaya at conditions in Asia but I was left very impressed with the
serve early in the second, the “She plays two handed both played indoor and it was still the weekend, where she beat kid. He shot six-over in the first round but hit straight
Serb was always in control. sides, comes up with those cold, so it was good to get India’s Sania Mirza in the back with a 65 and finished on seven-under par. That’s
And Jankovic duly broke slices and drop shots so you the job done and get out of final. The Thailand talent and confidence for you - and it’s great for the
again in game six and eight to have to be alert and ready to here in two sets,” she said. tournament clearly had its European Tour.
seal a 6-3, 6-2 victory. expect any kind of shot. “It was difficult with my serve, benefits as Zvonareva said:
The 23-year-old was happy to “I’d only played her once because the sun was very “Coming from Pattaya which WATCH OUT FOR A SHARK ATTACK
see off a tricky player she before in the French Open so strong, sometimes I would was very hot, I’m used to Kim’s here in Perth this week for the Johnnie Walker
likened to Fabrice Santoro in I knew what to expect and toss the ball and could not these conditions now and I Classic and the field is a really strong one. We’ve also got
the men’s game. what to play but you never see it,” the No.3 seed added. like it when it’s hot. Camilo Villegas, Greg Norman, Colin Montgomerie, Paul
Tennis fans will know that the know with those kind of shots “I didn’t serve my best but “But Pattaya was last week, Casey and Ian Poulter to name but a few who will be going
2002 Dubai winner is a real what she is going to play.” just enough to hold my serve. now I’m in Dubai and it is a for glory in Australia.
box of tricks, and although A bigger problem for Jankovic It was enough but I would like brand new week.” But the Johnnie Walker has never had a problem
attracting the players because they’re not shy on paying
‘appearance money’. Kim, Villegas, Monty and Casey won’t
SORRY SAFINA STUNNED BY RAZZANO UPSET
be here for nothing. And the ‘Shark’ Norman certainly
won’t be here for nothing!
But I tell you what, he could be one to watch this week on
the Vines after what he did at The Open last year.
WORLD NO.2 Dinara Safina when it’s not your day. You Meanwhile, India’s Sania Mark Brown is the defending champion this week and is a
claimed her shock Dubai cannot put any pressure on Mirza paid the price for her player who has fallen right of the radar since his victory in
exit to Virginie Razzano was yourself, it’s just a bad day. good form, crashing 7-5, 6-2 India last year. I actually had a chat with Brownie earlier
even harder to take than her This was worse than the to Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi. this week and he’s going through a rough time with his
Australian Open final defeat. Melbourne final.” Mirza, beaten by Vera game. But I really rate
The Russian was sent Razzano revealed Zvonareva in the Pattaya him and he’ll be back
packing thanks to a surprise afterwards that she went final in Thailand at the in the winners’ circle
6-4, 6-2 loss. It was Safina’s after Safina’s serve from the weekend, was back on court soon I’m sure.
first return to the court since outset. The Frenchwoman yesterday afternoon
her humiliating date with also admitted some following a thrilling win over
Serena Williams in big-game experience helped Ekaterina Makarova late on
Melbourne and she said: “I her handle the pressure. Monday night. And she said:
didn’t play my best, I didn’t “I think I controlled the “I’ve had a tough schedule, I
give myself the chance to match as I have the didn’t get to sleep until after
play and she played one of experience,” she said. “I 1am but I’ve no excuses.
her best matches. have played the likes of “She played a smart match
“I’ve been practising great, Martina Hingis, Justine and moved the ball around,
feeling good. You know Henin and Venus Williams.” she knew I was struggling.” UNHAPPY: Dinara Safina
>> French tenth seed Alize Cornet thrashed Germany’s Julia Schruff 6-1, 6-2 to set up a clash with Venus Williams
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