NEW

Australian Open | Nadal and Medvedev line up for Aussie final.

The Australian Open, the first grand slam of the season, is down to the last two, the man who from the start, has been the title favourite, and the only man who has previously won the event who in turn, if successful, could rewrite the tennis history books.

Australian Open | Can Barty fulfil her promise?

Coming into the Australian Open, Ash Barty was always the favourite for the title, but pulling it off involves winning 7 matches on the trot over the fortnight against some of the world’s best and, on Saturday, she has to get past the second woman left standing at...

Australian Open | TA cleans up its act

Tennis Australia is working on brushing up its environmental image by announcing this week that it has teamed up with a game-changing Australian enviro-tech startup to reduce plastic bottle waste at the Australian Open, and ending its controversial partnership with...

Australian Open | Hewett beaten in final

Alfie Hewett’s bid to complete this year’s Australian Open as men’s singles and men’s doubles champion ended in a gallant three-set loss on Thursday as world No.1 Shingo Kunieda of Japan regained the title after a 7-5 3-6 6-2 win

Tokyo | Nishikori undergoes hip surgery

Kei Nishikori underwent arthroscopic left hip surgery on Tuesday, which will keep him off the men’s tour for about six months.

Australian Open | Brilliant Barty to meet Collins in AO final

If Ash Barty feared Madison Keys so close to reaching her goal, there was no sign of it at the Australian Open on Thursday evening, when the World No 1 powered past the American, 6-1 6-3, to arrive at her pre-ordained place in the final, the first Aussie to do so...

Australian Open | Medvedev and Tsitsipas will face each other in the semis

The expected semi-final clash between Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas is now on with the pair scheduled to meet on Friday after a day’s break having both negotiated their respective ways past tough quarter-final opponents.

Australian Open | Hewett and Reid make wheelchair history

Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid secured their latest chapter in the tennis history books on Wednesday at the Australian Open when they won their third successive Australian Open men’s wheelchair doubles title, extending their tally of consecutive Grand Slam titles...

Australian Open | Swiatek and Collins outlast giant-killers to meet in semi-final

Iga Swiatek took 3 hours to figure out how to beat the resilient Kaia Kanepi at the Australian Open on Wednesday, while Danielle Collins figured out tricky Alizé Cornet rather more quickly, and the two will now meet in their first semi-final at Melbourne Park on...

Australian Open | Nadal and Berrettini battle into the AO semis

The first semi-final at this year’s Australian Open will feature Rafa Nadal and Matteo Berrettini, the sixth and seventh seed in Melbourne respectively, after both players survived five set quarter-final matches having led their opponents by two-sets to love.
Tennis News, Tennis Results, Live Tennis Scores & Interviews

Nadal and Djokovic take to the stage

The main attraction on Day two of the Australian Open was how Rafa Nadal would cope on his return to Melbourne following his lengthy lay-off with a wrist injury, and Novak DjokovicŠ—Ès second clash with Fernando Verdasco, the Spaniard who failed to convert five match points in their match in Doha.

Just happy to see the court like this and the people supporting me

First up was Nadal, the world No9 who won the Aussie Open in 2009 and who was ousted by his compatriot Verdasco in the opening round at Melbourne last year, reached the second round after two hours with a comfortable 6-3 6-4 6-4 victory over GermanyŠ—Ès Florian Mayer.

However, he was quick to point out that opening rounds are never easy though he was happy at the way he played the key points in the match.

"I didn’t play against an easy opponent, the way he plays is not a conventional game," he said. "He changed the rhythm of the point, changing with a slice, then he hit a winner, then he play a little bit slower ball – it’s not easy to read his game."

He added: Š—“So (I) just am happy the way I played. I think I played solid match, no? It was great to be back on the big stadium. I feel the support of the people, love the people. That is something that is very special for me. Just happy to see the court like this and the people supporting me. So just can say thanks.

Š—“I am happy the way I am playing. I had good weeks of practice. Never easy the first round. Is always little bit more nerves at the beginning.Š—


A relieved Djokovic

Image © Getty Images

Djokovic was also pleased to get through what was expected to be a tough opener for the World No2. He came out with an aggressive game from the opening moments and while Verdasco recovered somewhat to contest the second set, he was dispatched 6-1 7-6(4 6-2.

"I think from one perspective it was good that I got to have the very tough first-round match, because it made me prepare better and kind of approach this match and the tournament with the right intensity right from the blocks, right from the first point," the six-time Aussie champion said.

"He’s a quality player, a former top 10. He beat Nadal in first round last year here. He’s a big match, big-time player."

He revealed that the match in Doha was in his mind, adding: Š—“It was about 10 days ago, the match that we played. So, of course, you still have traces of, I guess, that match, emotions and everything that has happened.

Š—“I use it in a way to just analyze and to get myself prepared for whatŠ—Ès coming up, to just be able to do things better than IŠ—Ève done that day in Doha. Even though I won the match, I thought I hadnŠ—Èt played as well as I did tonight.Š—


Karlovic hit a record 75 aces

Image © Getty Images

Both matches were in some way, overshadowed by Ivo KarlovicŠ—Ès victory over the Argentine World No68, Horacio Zeballos which lasted five hours and 15-minutes!

The Croation delivered a record 75 aces which culminated in a 157-minute fifth set to score a remarkable 6-7(5) 3-6 7-5 6-2 22-20 victory in what is now the longest match in games in the tie-break era at the Aussie Open.

"It was real difficult match," the world No. 21 said while admitting he was hoping to better the 11hour and 5-mintes of the John Isner and Nicolas Mahut marathon at Wimbledon in 2010.

"It was also difficult mentally because I was down 2-0, I had to also fight against him and against my own head. So it was definitely really difficult."


Williams in training before the match

Image © Getty Images

Meanwhile in the womenŠ—Ès draw, Serena Williams cruised past Belinda Bencic 6-4 6-3.

Š—“I think it was pretty good,Š— Williams said after the match. Š—“I mean, sheŠ—Ès a really good player. So I think I was able to start out well.

Š—“I feel like sheŠ—Ès definitely been having a lot more power. Obviously, she beat me in Canada the last time we played, but I really donŠ—Èt remember much about that match. I do remember Š—” I just felt like she was doing really well.Š—

Bencic was not disappointed. "I knew that I played good, but obviously, it’s not enough against Serena," the Swiss star said. "It’s not enough to play just, like, not bad, so you really have to bring the best."

The 22-time major champion is now 65-1 in the first rounds of majors and will face Lucie Safarova in round two, Safarova having saved nine match points in her 3-6 7-6(7) 6-1 win over BelgiumŠ—Ès Yanina Wickmayer .

"Yes, I heard it was nine," Safarova said later. "But I was like, I’m just going to go for it and if she closes the match, well okay, but I’m just going to play my game. It’s exciting."

Also through are Karolina Pliskova, Agnieska Radwanska, Dominka Cibulkova and Caroline Wozniacki.



Previous

Next

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.