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Australian Open missives - Day 4

Laura Robson
by Alexandra Willis at Melbourne Park
Thursday 17 January 2013

Highlights from the fourth day of Australian Open 2013 at Melbourne Park...

Watch out world
Laura Robson
 has you in her sights. Four months after defeating two Grand Slam champions back-to-back in Kim Clijsters and Li Na at the US Open last September, the British teen added a third scalp on a big stage to her collection, surviving an enthralling late-night finish against Petra Kvitova, a gutsy, ugly 2-6, 6-3, 11-9 triumph in exactly three hours. It was not the highest quality tennis, the players producing a combined unforced error count of 92, but it became all the more intriguing with every ace, every double fault, every hold and every break. With temperatures on Rod Laver Arena remaining unseasonably warm despite the late hour, the momentum shifted between the two left-handers continually, but it was Robson who made the most of her moment, serving out to love to achieve a famous victory. She next meets Sloane Stephens in the third round on Saturday, a repeat of their match-up in Hobart last week, an encounter the American won in two tight sets. It's anyone's guess what will happen this time.  

The world watched with baited breath as Serena Williams returned to competitive play at the Australian Open. Just how bad had Tuesday’s ankle roll turned out to be? Not bad enough to impede her against Garbine Muguruza, it turned out. Serena romped through 6-2, 6-0, and banged down a 128mph serve, on match point too, to boot. She won her first round doubles, too. 

Home hope
Watching Australians react to their sporting heroes is very much like watching Britons in the same capacity. There is an air of resignation, the expectation that it is simply not going to work out. That was the way most Australians greeted Bernard Tomic’s arrival on Rod Laver Arena, even more so when he dropped the first set against German qualifier Daniel Brands. But the 20-year-old Aussie came through in four to reach the third round, and, in the process, became the last Australian standing. Roger Federer is next. 

Ageless wonder
Kimiko Date-Krumm
, the oldest female ever to win a main draw match at the Australian Open, kept her run going, beating Shahar Peer 6-2, 7-5 in the afternoon swelter to reach the third round. Her reaction said it all. For some perspective, she made her Grand Slam debut at the 1989 French Open. 

Double trouble
Serving at 7-6 in the fifth set against Yen-Hsun Lu, you would think that Gael Monfils would want to play it safe. Instead, match point after match point, he went for the big time on his second serve, and double-faulted. Four times. Four match points, four double faults. On the sixth match point, he found a first serve. Incredible, in a good and a bad way. 

Fashion focus
Bernard Tomic’s cap, with which he tried to bring some gangsta rap to Rod Laver Arena. The consensus was that it did not work. At all.

Roger Federer's lilac top, grey shorts and splashes of pink were also viewed as marmite. 

Cruising through
Alongside those already mentioned, there were straight sets wins for Roger Federer, Victoria Azarenka, Maria Kirilenko, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Elena Vesnina, Ayumi Morita, Jamie Hampton, Roberta Vinci, Philipp Kohlscreiber, Milos Raonic, Andy Murray, Caroline Wozniacki, Yanina Wickmayer, Marin Cilic, Lesia Tsurenko, Juan Martin Del Potro and Sloane Stephens. 

Doubles match to have watched
Marcos Baghdatis and Grigor Dimitrov’s win over Matt Ebden and Ryan Harrison. A fun one.

The upsets
Increasingly dark horse Svetlana Kuznetsova sent home 26th seed Su-Wei Hsieh 6-2, 6-1, Elena Vesnina knocked out 21st seed Varvara Lepchenko,while in the men’s, it’s cheery to see the talented Ricardas Berankis return to form, the qualifier from Lithuania ousting 25th seed Florian Mayer in straight sets. He meets Andy Murray next.

Bojana Jovanovski ended 19th seed Lucie Safarova's party early, 

Marathon match
Blaz Kavcic d. James Duckworth, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-7(3), 10-8 in four hours and 52 minutes. Poor Duckworth, an Australian wild card, was so done in that cramp reduced his legs to jelly by the end. But it was Kavcic who was the one on a drip in the corridor. 

Alongside Monfils's marathon, Andreas Seppi meanwhile took four hours and seven minutes to beat Denis Istomin, 7-6(4), 5-7, 6-7(3), 7-6(3), 6-2.

They said it

“It was a very good move by me.”
Bernard Tomic on the breakthrough point in his four-set win over Daniel Brands.

Coming up on Friday

Rod Laver Arena
Angelique Kerber [5] v Madison Keys
FB Li Na [6] v Sorana Cirstea [27]
FB Novak Djokovic [1] v Radek Stepanek [31]

7pm Venus Williams [25] v Maria Sharapova [2]
FB David Ferrer [4] v Marcos Baghdatis [28]

Hisense Arena
Heather Watson v Agnieszka Radwanska [4]
FB Ana Ivanovic [13] v Jelena Jankovic [22]
FB Kevin Anderson v Fernando Verdasco

7pm Jurgen Melzer [26] v Tomas Berdych [5]

Margaret Court Arena
Ekaterina Makarova [19] v Marion Bartoli [11]
NB 1pm Julien Benneteau [32] v Janko Tipsarevic [8]
FB Sam Querrey [20] v Stanislas Wawrinka [15]

Other notables

3rd on Show Court 2 Bob & Mike Bryan [1] v Flavio Cipolla & Andreas Seppi
4th on Show Court 2 Kei Nishikori [16] v Evgeny Donskoy
1st on Show Court 3 Julia Goerges [18] v Zheng Jie
3rd on Show Court 3 Nicolas Almagro [10] v Jerzy Janowicz [24]
4th on Show Court 3 Valeria Savinykh v Kirsten Flipkens


For all the reports and results from Melbourne Park, visit the Official Australian Open website

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