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Australian Open missives - Day 7

Novak Djokovic
by Alexandra Willis at Melbourne Park
Sunday 20 January 2013

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

Another Melbourne marathon
ESPN summed it up perfectly. 'We expected ordinary. We got extraordinary.' Thus was the way what seemed to be a relatively routine fourth round encounter between the top seed and defending champion Novak Djokovic and Stanislas Wawrinka, the Swiss No.2, and one of tennis's perennial have-a-good-day talents. He chose Sunday in Melbourne to have a very good day, or night, taking Djokovic, and everyone else, completely by surprise as he powered into a set and significant second set lead. Who said that the the Big Four are unbeatable. 

But Wawrinka could not pull off the Rosol. Djokovic fought back, won the second set. He won the third. But not the fourth. And then there was a fifth set the like of which makes the no tie-break rule all the more worthwhile. 

The Swiss had broken to start it, but gave it back almost immediately. How telling that would prove to be. He had a break point a few games later. And from then on, that was it. The two protagonists holding serve so easily it was as if they were Serena Williams. But serving second was always going to hurt Wawrinka, and so it was that at 11-10 to Djokovic, the Serb made his move. The first match point was saved with a one-handed backhand so sublime it had the twitterverse in raptures. The second match point was a match in itself. Toe to toe they went, until Djokovic found a backhand passing shot which zipped past Wawrinka's flailing racket. It was over. Djokovic the winner 1-6, 7-5, 6-4, 6-7(5), 12-10 in five hours and two minutes. Take a bow, Australian Open. 

By contrast...
It took Maria Sharapova a combined total of four hours and nine minutes to reach the quarter-finals, her latest conquest a 6-1, 6-0 beating of Kirsten Flipkens. Sharapova has dropped just five games in total, too. 

The upset
A year after sending home Serena Williams to reach the quarter-finals in Melbourne, Ekaterina Makarova repeated the feat, knocking out fifth seed Angelique Kerber in two sets. ‘I’m getting used to it now,’ Makaraova said.

Cruising through
There were no upsets or time wasted by David Ferrer or Li Na, both of whom made it to the last eight with wins over Kei Nishikori and Julia Goerges respectively. For Li, it’s her first appearance in a Grand Slam quarter-final since the French Open 2011, which she went on to win.

Angieszka Radwanksa, too, played a perfect match to beat Ana Ivanovic in two. Nicolas Almagro, meanwhile, was handed an easy pass when everything caught up with Janko Tipsarevic and the Serb was forced to retire.

And Tomas Berdych also avoided the danger posed by Kevin Anderson, winning in three sets.

Pretty ridiculous
The way that Benoit Paire and Thomaz Bellucci won their match against Aisam ul-Haq Qureshi and Jean-Julien Rojer, the sixth seeds. With a net cord.

In the doubles…
The Bryan brothers survived an upset, the Williams sisters cruised through. Everything else is still gathering speed.

They said it
‘Steamy’
Maria Sharapova on what new flavour of Sugarpova would sum up the first week in Melbourne

Coming up on Monday

Rod Laver Arena
11am 
Caroline Wozniacki [10] v Svetlana Kuznetsova 
FB Victoria Azarenka [1] v Elena Vesnina
FB Jo-Wilfried Tsonga [7] v Richard Gasquet [9]

7pm Serena Williams [3] v Maria Kirilenko [14]
FB Milos Raonic [13] v Roger Federer [2]

Hisense Arena
NB 12.30pm 
Jeremy Chardy v Andreas Seppi [21]
FB Bojana Jovanovski v Sloane Stephens [29]
NB 5pm Andy Murray [3] v Gilles Simon [14]

 

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


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