After Marinko Matosevic took exception to this column's reference to his nickname ''Mad Dog'' at the Sydney International last week, Foot Fault decided to venture out to showcourt two to watch him in action. What started as a light-hearted joke has now turned ugly after Matosevic imploded during his first-round match against Kei Nishikori of Japan. Not only did he take aim at coach Mark Woodforde in the press conference for the lack of verbal support during the match, he also complained to the chair umpire about the use of the ''Mad Dog'' nickname from the crowd. In the fifth set the chair umpire finally asked fans to ''please use players' names if you want to support them''. There is also a website (www.marinkomatosevic.com.au) that references the nickname. ''Marinko Matosevic is one of Australia's leading pro tennis players,'' the profile of Matosevic on the website says. ''A tenacious, determined player, earning him the nickname, 'Mad Dog Matosevic', Marinko has etched his name firmly on both the Australian and world tennis playing stage.'' Foot Fault later found out it is not his official website. It's time Matosevic accepted the nickname and got on with playing tennis.
Those seats scorched by the blistering Melbourne sun became impossible to sit on by the time midday rolled around. Temperatures tipped 43 degrees on day two of the Australian Open, but was still well short of the hottest day recorded at Melbourne Park when it hit 45.5 degrees in 2009. Even the great Roger Federer was bemused by the umpire's decision to wear his blazer at the coin toss, to which the umpire replied, ''Just for the coin toss we have to wear it''.
Support for Tomic
After Federer's straight sets victory over Australian James Duckworth, the former world No.1 revealed he was disappointed Bernard Tomic wasn't able to continue his Australian Open form last year into the rest of last season. ''He really went for his shots,'' Federer said of Tomic last year. ''I thought it will be interesting to see if he can keep it up. He went back to chipping and just making the shots, and he had not a great season after that, which was disappointing.''
Hats off to Dancevic
The heat was too much for Canadian Frank Dancevic, who fainted in the second set of his match against Frenchman Benoit Paire. Dancevic (pictured, below) received medical attention and later returned wearing a hat. Note to Dancevic: when the forecast is for 43 degrees, start the match wearing a hat.
Ball people felled
The players and spectators weren't the only ones feeling the heat. A ballboy collapsed during Milos Raonic's match against Daniel Gimeno-Traver. A ballgirl was also escorted from the court during the same match after she was struck by a serve.
Penrith backs Federer
Penrith residents will be hoping Federer can return to the top of his game and win another title this year. Federer is representing the region as part of an Australian Open Blitz initiative. Each player is representing a different town. The town represented by the winner of the grand slam will be awarded a party to celebrate.
Fan tunes up for Wozza
In the final stages of Caroline Wozniacki's first-round victory against, one confident fan serenaded the crowd inside Hisense Arena with his rendition of Neil Diamond's Sweet Caroline. If only Red Foo could have heard him from Rod Laver Arena.