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Australian Open 2014 Day 5: Li battles while others cruise

Li Na at Australian Open 2014
by Alexandra Willis at Melbourne Park
Friday 17 January 2014

Wimbledon.com's highlights from the fifth day of play at the 2014 Australian Open at Melbourne

Big win
Li Na. The world No.3 and two-time finalist rebounded from match point down, winning nine of 11 points to level her match against Lucie Safarova and go on to win 1-6, 7-6(2), 6-3 and secure her spot in the fourth round. Li admitted to struggling both with the heat and with her opponent, and said that Safarova's miss on match point had saved her.

"I think the five centimeters save my tournament.  If she hit in, I think, Whole team on the way to the airport," Li said smiling.  

"It was tough conditions, tough opponent. I was sometimes thinking too much. So I was like, Okay, just focus here to see what happen."

Li's next opponent will be Ekaterina Makarova, a fourth-rounder here in Melbourne four times in a row.

Also, Casey Dellacqua, the Australian wild card, reached her second Australian Open fourth round with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Zheng Jie.

Heat watch
It was still hot. Reaching 43 degrees centigrade in the early afternoon, it was a case of grin, bear it and get through it for the players, with the assurances that cooler temperatures were on the way. At around 7pm the cool change came as promised, and the heavens even opened at one point, causing the roofs on Rod Laver and Hisense to close. Temperatures are expected to remain cool through the weekend.

Comeback kids
At one stage it was all going right for Ana Ivanovic. She had broken Sam Stosur back and had pushed her into a tie-break. But then the rain came, the pair returned, and Stosur snaffled the set. Undaunted, Ivanovic ran and ripped her forehand, firing over 30 winners off that flank to down Stosur in three. She gets a fourth round with Serena Williams in return.

Kevin Anderson set up an astonishing fifth meeting in a row against Tomas Berdych after coming back from two sets to love down against Edouard Roger-Vasselin. Anderson trailed 3-5 in the fifth set and 0-4 in the fourth, but found what he needed to win 3-6, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(5), 7-5.

Genie Bouchard. The Canadian has made the fourth round of a major for the first time in her career, coming through a rather soft third round against Lauren Davis 6-2, 6-2. Still, fulfilling her potential.

Straight sets for these folk... Serena Williams, Angelique Kerber, Flavia Pennetta, Ekaterina Makarova, Genie Bouchard, David Ferrer, Tomas Berdych, Fabio Fognini and Novak Djokovic.

Sweet 15
David Ferrer has made the fourth round of a Grand Slam 15 times in a row. Meanwhile Ekaterina Makarova reached the last 16 here in Melbourne for the fourth year in a row.

The upsets
Goodbye Jerzy Janowicz. The Wimbledon semi-finalist and 20th seed. was downed in three by Florian Mayer, 7-5, 6-2, 6-2.

Later on in the evening, Tommy Robredo, the 17th seed, followed up his giant-killing of Roger Federer at the US Open by taking down 9th seed Richard Gasquet in four sets, 2-6, 7-5, 6-4, 7-6(6). Gasquet came tantalisingly close to forcing a fifth set, only for Robredo to turn the tables on him.

Keep track of...
Alison Riske. The east coaster has quite a fondness for grass courts, making the third round at Wimbledon last year, but showed she can mix with the best on hard courts too, doing the same here. She couldn't bring about an upset of Angelique Kerber, going down 3-6, 4-6, but she will break the WTA's top 50.

Quick wins for, Chan & Huber (13), Kops-Jones and Spears (8), Peschke and Srebotnik (4), Dodig and Melo (4), Paes & Stepanek (5), Makarova & Vesnina (3), Marrero & Verdasco (3), Kubot & Lindstedt (14), Goerges & Zahlavova Strycova (14), Mladenovic & Pennetta (12), Llodra & Mahut (13), Hantuchova & Raymond (15).

Top seeds Errani and Vinci were pushed to three by Kanepi and Voracova, and wild card pair Bhambri and Venus knocked out 10th seeds Rojer and Tecau. Wimbledon champs and third seeds Hseih & Peng were knocked out by Shahar Peer & Silvia Soler-Espinosa, and King & Voskoboeva (10) were also dumped. Kudryavtseva & Rodionova (9) were knocked out, as were Davis Cup duo Granollers & Lopez (6), by Max Mirnyi & Mikhail Youzhny.

Marathon matches

Kevin Anderson d. Edouard Roger-Vasselin 3-6, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(5), 7-5 in 3hrs 54mins

Stats of the day
Friday at Melbourne Park was the first time in recorded history (106 years), that temperatures in Melbourne have surpassed 100 degrees F four days in a row.

Per ESPN SportScience, balls can bounce 12% higher in this heat, and tennis players can lose .92 gallons of sweat an hour in this heat.

Tweet of the day
"Walked into the "recovery room" and found half of Team France, and the one and only Lendl, leave it to Llodra to cannonball into the ice tub"

Photo of the day

Jerzy Janowicz cooling off

Quote of the day
"Yeah, they are very sad.  Especially, you know, when you tell to the fashion brand that they have to make white, they are like, Oh, okay, what can we do?"
Tomas Berdych on explaining Wimbledon's all-white rule to H&M.

Video of the day
Some wizardry from Fabio Fognini. 


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

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