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Australian Open missives - Day 8

Serena Williams
by Alexandra Willis at Melbourne Park
Monday 21 January 2013

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

Serena Williams was
. The US Open champion dropped two games in her 6-2, 6-0 destruction of Maria Kirilenko to advance to her 35th Grand Slam singles quarter-final. She missed just five first serves during the match, and lost only eight points on her serve during the entire proceedings. "She has one of the best serves on the tour," said a bewildered Kirilenko. Next up is Serena's mentee, Sloane Stephens, who successfully reversed a momentum shift to beat the screeching Bojana Jovanovski 6-1, 3-6, 7-5 and reach her first Grand Slam quarter-final. Stephens is just 19 to Serena's 31. Tune in for that one. 

Roger Federer produced just 12 unforced errors, dropped five points on his first serve, and did not face a single break point durins his 6-4, 7-6(4), 6-2 schooling of Milos Raonic. The world No.2 advances to his 35th consecutive Grand Slam singles quarter-final, a record that will surely never be touched. His entire match was also a mere nine minutes longer than Novak Djokovic and Stanislas Wawrinka's fifth set. 

Next for Federer is Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who survived a four-set tussle against fellow Frenchman Richard Gasquet. Could Tsonga repeat the events of Wimbledon 2011? Based on Federer's form, it's unlikely. 

The upset
In ranking terms, if not in form. Svetlana Kuznetsova's three set win over Caroline Wozniacki was impressive to say the least, mostly because she survived her habitual self-implosion. The two-time Grand Slam champion advanced to her first Grand Slam quarter-final since Roland Garros 2011, winning 6-2, 2-6, 7-5 in two and a half hours.

Crusing through
Victoria Azarenka, who dropped two games in her 57-minute dismissal of Elena Vesnina. She may find Svetlana Kuznetsova a little tougher.  

The sight of Gilles Simon attempting to run during his three-set loss to Andy Murray. Simon put on a brave face but was well below his best, giving Murray little more than target practice at an empty court. The No.3 seed advanced 6-3, 6-1, 6-3, and will next play Jeremy Chardy, another Frenchman, who came through in four sets against 21st seed Andreas Seppi. The last time they met, in Cincinnati, Chardy ousted Murray, so the US Open champion is not counting any chickens.  

The doubles and juniors draws are hotting up. More to come.  

They said it

"I try to save all my money because I don’t want to be like old and broke"
Sloane Stephens

Coming up on Tuesday

Rod Laver Arena
Singles quarter-finals
Li Na [6] v Agnieszka Radwanska [4]
FB David Ferrer [4] v Nicolas Almagro [10]
FB Ekaterina Makarova [19] v Maria Sharapova [2]

7pm Novak Djokovic [1] v Tomas Berdych [5]

Mixed doubles second round
FB Jarmila Gajdosova / Matthew Ebden [WC] v Elena Vesnina  / Leander Paes [2]

Margaret Court Arena
Men's doubles quarter-finals
NB 12.30pm
Thomaz Bellucci  / Benoit Paire v Marcel Granollers / Marc Lopez [3]

Women's doubles quarter-finals
FB Sara Errani / Roberta Vinci [1] v Serena Williams / Venus Williams [12]
NB Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova / Lucie Safarova v Ash Barty / Casey Dellacqua [WC]

Show Court 2
Mixed doubles second round
11am Zi Yan / Santiago Gonzalez v Yaroslava Shvedova / Denis Istomin

Women's doubles quarter-finals
FB Nuria Llagostera Vives / Zheng Jie [7] v Varvara Lepchenko / Saisai Zheng

Men's doubles quarter-finals
FB David Marrero / Fernando Verdasco [11] v Robin Haase / Igor Sijsling

Mixed doubles second round
FB Nadia Petrova / Mahesh Bhupathi [5] v Katarina Srebotnik / Nenad Zimonjic
FB Nuria Llagostera Vives / David Marrero v Liezel Huber / Max Mirnyi [4]


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

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