Roddick Retires, Kvitova Escapes Thursday at Australian Open
by Staff | January 19th, 2012, 9:25 am
  • 97 Comments

The battle of men’s former No. 1s on Thursday at the Australian Open hit anti-climax when No. 15 seed Andy Roddick retired trailing unseeded Lleyton Hewitt 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, re-aggravating a hamstring injury from the previous month.


“Yeah, hamstring tendon,” Roddick told the media afterwards. “So I could probably jog in place or jog fine, but it’s extension, getting anywhere above 60%, 70% extension is not really happening right now…I could probably hit standing still, you know, small steps and stuff. But it’s a matter of pushing anything really explosive.”

Roddick said Hewitt was getting the better of him in their baseline battles as it was.

“One, I was hitting the ball as well as I could from a compromised position and still felt like I was just hanging on,” Roddick said. “I don’t know that it would have been smart to do that for two more sets. And if somehow you pull a rabbit out of the hat, I don’t think you play in two days.”

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic led the Top 10 seeds all advancing on Thursday, defeating Colombia’s Santiago Giraldo 6-3, 6-2, 6-1.

“A win is a win, however it comes to you,” Djokovic said. “I try to not underestimate any opponents in early rounds. This is a Grand Slam, one of the four most prestigious tournaments in our sport, and everybody has a lot of motivation to perform their best, especially on the center court, on the big stage…Santiago came out early hitting the ball quite flat. But I knew that sooner or later he’s going to drop the rhythm and I just have to hang in there. I’ve gone a good job.”

Other Top 10 winners were (4) Andy Murray, (5) David Ferrer winning in five over American Ryan Sweeting, (6) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and (9) Janko Tipsarevic coming from a set down against Aussie James Duckworth.

Orchestrating upsets Thursday were Julien Benneteau over French countryman (12) Gilles Simon in five, Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin toppling (19) Viktor Troicki in five, Portugal’s Federico Gil defeating (26) Marcel Granollers in four, and French serve-and-volley machine Michael Llodra downing (32) Alex Bogomolov Jr. in five.

No. 24 Kei Nishikori pulled the great escape of the day, coming from two sets down to defeat heartbroken Aussie Matthew Ebden 3-6, 1-6, 6-4, 6-1, 6-1.

On the women’s side No. 2 seed Petra Kvitova looked to be in trouble, down a break early in the third set against Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro before reigning-in her game for a 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 win.

“I was hectic, you know,” Kvitova said regarding her rash of unforced errors during the match. “It’s my game that I’m playing winners. The mistakes is my game, it’s part of my game. So I know that I will have some mistakes. But today was too many. It’s very tough to get back because she moved very well and she got, I mean, everything. Then I just try to get more shots and be in the rallies with her and playing smarter. It was the key.”

Other Top 10 seeds into the third round were (4) Maria Sharapova allowing American qualifier Jamie Hampton only one game, (7) Vera Zvonareva straight-setting Czech Lucie Hradecka, and (9) Marion Bartoli easily handling Jelena Dokic in straights.

Comeback player and No. 12 Serena Williams led the lower seeds, blitzing Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 6-0, 6-4.

“She just started playing better and doing different things,” Williams said of the second set, adding there was no injury from her fall on the court during the match when she was wrong-footed. “It’s fine. Totally fine.”

Upset-makers on the day were American Vania King coming from a set down to defeat (15) Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Hungary’s Greta Arn toppling (17) Dominika Cibulkova 10-8 in the fifth, China’s Zheng Jie straight-setting (23) Roberta Vinci, Russian Ekaterina Makarova beating (25) Kaia Kanepi in straights, and Italian Sara Errani over (29) Nadia Petrova in straights.

Friday viewing highlights in Melbourne include (3) Roger Federer vs. “Dr.” Ivo Karlovic, (13) Alexandr Dolgopolov vs. Aussie sensation Bernard Tomic, (3) Victoria Azarenka vs. Hobart winner Mona Barthel, (1) Caroline Wozniacki vs. (31) Monica Niculescu, (16) John Isner vs. (18) Feliciano “F-Lo” Lopez, (11) Kim Clijsters vs. (20) Daniela Hantuchova, and American Christina McHale vs. (13) Jelena Jankovic.


Also Check Out:
Gisela Dulko Retires From Tennis
Roddick Faces Chardy in Tokyo; Wozniacki Bids for No. 1 in Beijing
Serena Beats Ass, Bows to Queen at Wimbledon, Complains
Kvitova to Attempt Wimbledon Repeat Against Bouchard
Serena v Lefty, Crying Game v Slicy in Wimbledon Women’s Semis

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97 Comments for Roddick Retires, Kvitova Escapes Thursday at Australian Open

Chris Says:

I’m very disappointed to see the same old faces all day every day….where are the young guns? It’s sad to see that there isn’t much development.

My favorite, Andrea Petkovic, couldn’t even play due to injury…I love her dance moves ;)

I read an interesting article regarding her injury:

http://fit-to-hit.org/2012/01/andrea-petkovic-works-with-incompetent-coa

what do you think?

Cheers!


tennisfan Says:

Djokovic really played very well today. He has become the most agile player on the tour and he is now trying to add finesse to his game by trying to hit the delicate drop shot.He has really evolved into a complete player.
Even What’s interesting is to see how he has gradually reached his goals since 2007!(Evolution of Novak Djokovic- Australian Open (2007-2012)! http://bit.ly/xO8U7D )


Thangs Says:

Nole’s match was a joke..one or 2 hit points all the time..Sure, stars are aligned on favouring him..cakewalk draw..


Gordo Says:

Well Thangs, what would you say would make it les of a cakewalk? He can’t meet Rafa, Fed or Muzza before the semis, and he will have to meet 2 of them in all probability.

Just because “Staff” didn’t mention Milos Raonic – odd, because he is next up for the athlete featured in this article, but I guess since there was only room for 11 of the 16 mens’ matches, leave him out – it does not mean that he does not exist.

Who is there to stop Djokovic, Murray, Federer and Nadal from reaching next weekend’s semis?

I am thinking no one, but if anyone is a dark horse, capable of pulling off the upset, Raonic is the guy I would pick in the #1′s quarter. Last year in the 4th round Ferrer took him out in 4 sets. A year’s more seasoning has Milos ready to climb into the top 10 by year’s end, imo.

I am drooling at the thought of Djokovic vs Raonic. Of course I look like an idiot should Hewitt come up with another old man miracle, but I can’t see it, even with the home crowd advantage.

In the other quarters I would keep an eye out for Tsonga (if Murray is going to be upset), Del Potro (if Fed is going to fail to make the semis) and Isner (if Nadal is to be stopped before getting to the semis.

All going according to plan. People love to gripe that the #1 has a “lucky draw” through to the semis. They said it about Federer and Nadal; they used to write it about Sampras. But you know what? The world #1 doesn’t usually get beat by anyone outside of the top 4, so where’s the surprise at the draw here?


rogerafa Says:

Another Djokovic win appears inevitable. He will probably meet Nadal in the final again. This surface is so slow and the bounce is so high that it suits these two players perfectly. Raonic could end up getting embarrassed. The only real question mark about Djokovic is his ability to play a long match in extreme heat. With most of the big matches becoming an evening affair, the heat at the Oz open becomes even less of a factor during the second week. Combine solid play with decent weather and scheduling and it is tough to look beyond Djokovic.


Wog boy Says:

Tennisfan, thanks.
It was nice to read, nice to watch and nice to listen. I think it was educational, too. Particulary for young people.


rogerafa Says:

@ Gordo

I agree with you regarding the “lucky” draw. How many players have a realistic chance of beating Djokovic especially if it is not very hot? He will likely beat any player across the net the way he is playing.


laslo Says:

Roddick retired?
Did he have SARS or Bird Flu? :-)


Thangs Says:

@Gordo, I agree Nole is unstoppable at this moment. but, his draw until QF is very weak compared to other top 3. Fed/Del Potro, Nadal/Berdych(Isner), Murray/Tsonga are tough combo than Nole/Ferrer. Also, Tomic, Harrison,Monfils, Hass kind of earlier meet-ups were not there for Nole..

He would overcome any tough draw as he is at peak of his career…Just saying his draw is weaker on paper.


S Green Says:

Is Lacko the most yummy-looking kid playing tennis in the last couple of years? I think so.


tennisfansince76 Says:

@tennisfan Djokovic has added the dropshot? really? that is revisonist history. The Djoker was a drop shotter from the get go. the only thing he could really add to his game is more of a transition game ala Fed which he still doesn’t really doall that much


S Green Says:

In 14 minutes, barely 2nd game is over. The yummiest kid breaks the Spaniard. I am liking it.


El Flaco Says:

Lots of brutal rallies in these 1st 3 games. Lacko better shorten the points or he is going to be out of gas after 1 set.


Kimmi Says:

maybe azarenka is ready to win a slam. she has been playing well. very consistent. lets see what she can do


Kimmi Says:

rafa cruising now.


skeezerweezer Says:

^as he should be. The guy for most of his career hovers around #100 ranking and never has won a title to speak of. There should be nothing here for Rafa other than more practice time.


skeezerweezer Says:

Yes some say Nole has a easy draw. He is # 1, and worked very hard to get it last year. Look, Rafa fans were’t complaining in 2010 when Rafa continually got cakewalk draws, and Fed fans the same when he was on top.
#1 has its earned privileges. That is why they seed.


Kimmi Says:

drama to finish azarenka match. she finished all challenges. couldnt challenge very close call when serving for the match. the way she was acting, the crowd booed her at the end of the match.


Humble Rafa Says:

I would like to meet the genius who thought putting me on at 11 am was in the best interest of the tournament.

Idiots!


skeezerweezer Says:

Rafa looking good, but Lack doesn’t know how to attack Rafa. Just waits on the return, etc. He is…welll….LACKING ;)

On Rafa’s side, this kinda match is helping him with his groove and allowing time for him to practice to be aggressive. Seen this before, and if Rafa starts believing he can play aggressive, it will bode him well. Ahhh the game..so mental. Need to keep improving the BH side though, still at times to shallow and not enough pace. HIt the damn thing with the resolve you have on your FH Rafa!!


Kimmi Says:

easy straights sets for rafa. moving along nicely, ready to meet the bigger fishes.


Kimmi Says:

now roger and dr ivo. how many tie breaks i wonder?


skeezerweezer Says:

Kimmi,

Yeah Dr Ivo has proven to give ANYBODY trouble. Let’s hope the Fedster gets 3 good breaks, that is all he will need. BUt knowing Ivo they will all be TB’s lol


marrisv Says:

Go Rafa. – FLo or Isman awaits in the fourth.


Kimmi Says:

wow! dr ivo wont be easy, federer gets to 15-30..dr ivo comes up wit 3 aces in a row. ouch!


Kimmi Says:

Looks like a tie breaker..I’m hoping not though.


skeezerweezer Says:

Yeah with Dr. Ivo you have to roll with it. He will get his aces and very hard to break. Main thing for Fed ….hold serve.


Kimmi Says:

there is the tie break! now what!!


skeezerweezer Says:

Dr. Ivo has gotten Fed to 13 TB’s in his career…so you know this was a com in….


steve-o Says:

Federer staves off a set point on Karlovic’s serve (by lobbing him!) and he has won the first set tiebreak!


Daniel Says:

What was that? First he lobbed a 6’6″ guy from 3′ from the net on set point down. Than he return a 130 MPH serve on the backhand inside out winner!!!!
Wow!!
If Federer and Nadal play their semis with the form they are in, we will have another classic.


skeezerweezer Says:

Very ballsy of Fed, both guys drawn to the net, less than a few feet away from each other with the Giant of a man Ivo facing him directly….and Fed throws uo a attempted lob over Ivo, and it works, with the score at the time, set point for Ivo. Well done maestro.


Kimmi Says:

Great stuff. its very nerve racking to watch fed playing ivo. happy he won the tie break. big PHEW!


van orten Says:

One super return in the breaker Was enough but man these karlovic encounters are tense!!!!


Skeezerweezer Says:

On another note, commentators were talking about line calling again. So hey, giving a player a chance to look at his box for a signal to question the call is cheating, flat out.


Kimmi Says:

big scream from fed. saves break point. important saves.


van orten Says:

Now get already tired ivo…….


El Flaco Says:

Kimmi,

Fed saved a break point? It doesn’t show in the box score on the AO web site


Kimmi Says:

he did. when serving at 1-1. he made couple of errors and ivo got some good shots. he hit big second setve at the tee while ivo was getting ready run around his BH


Kimmi Says:

oh lord, looks like another tie breaker.


Kimmi Says:

danger for fed here..30-30


Kimmi Says:

WOW! incredible moment to break. go fed!


van orten Says:

World class returning by Fed.!!!!


steve-o Says:

Federer breaks Karlovic for the second set!


Skeezerweezer Says:

Great tune up for Fed against a huge server if he gets through. My all time greatest shot that Fed has? The BH flick. He completely invented a new shot, and no one else has it.

Too bad Isner not doing well so far. If F-lo gets through, Rafa will chomp on him, a puuurfect macthup for the Beast.


Kimmi Says:

federer get a better look at ivo serve now. or is it my eyes deceiving me?


Kimmi Says:

fed would like that ball back..aaaargh!


Kimmi Says:

sloppy errors in that game for fed. c’mon


van orten Says:

Kimmi he is through..can go to bed now


steve-o Says:

Federer breaks with another amazing return, then survives a break point on his own serve to hold, 4-1.


Kimmi Says:

yeah, more relaxed van orten…but i will wait till its over.


Atom Says:

Dangerous guy … Karlovic


van orten Says:

Wow isner after playing five setters seems always out of gas the next match…


van orten Says:

Fed with a two handed backhand lob!??


Skeezerweezer Says:

^ yeah whoever wins this has to face the freshness of Rafa. lmao. Too bad for Isner. Feel if he is fresh, he can give Rafa a good match, unlike Mr Good lookin F-lo


Skeezerweezer Says:

Felt this Ivo match was a quality work out for Fed and further help his run here. No puppy dog opponet here. Go Fed!


Daniel Says:

13 Unforced errors out of 211 points played. That is a Fed of old stat!


steve-o Says:

Federer is finally through. Very tough match, Karlovic was playing really well and Federer had to raise his game to win.


Kimmi Says:

congrats to fed. glad he got out unscratched..tough one dr ivo.


Atom Says:

Very glad FED got through !!!


Kimmi Says:

what a come back by isner..f-lo must be furious.


Cbeast Says:

Just watched Fed match and Swiss German interview. Fed said he favours dolpo…….anyways just nuggets. I will maybe do proper translations since I’m Swiss and a lot of Fed fans will maybe like it ( since the info is completely different from the English interviews) so please let me know if you want me to do it for the ossy open….


Michael Says:

I think Federer has improved his level somewhat in this tournament. Although he was a tad lucky to win the first set, but his performance overall in the match against Karlovic gives room for optimism to his fans who are waiting for his 17th major. Federer is not going to find it easy especially when he has to beat Nadal and Novak back-to-back. That is a tough ask. But nothing is impossible for the Maestro and he can still do it at his age only that he needs to discover his best form which has eluded him so far. Might be, a repeat of his 2010 performance here will guarantee his 17th major victory.


Drake Says:

@Cbeast Did he say why he favored him?


andrea Says:

wish i could jet myself to oz for the tomic/dolgopolov match…feels like a 5 set classic waiting to happen.


blah Says:

dolgopolov’s game is quite entertaining


blah Says:

though it seems neither of them look like they know how to hit a non-slice backhand, gotta fix that to challenge for a slam in today’s game.


Wog boy Says:

Slice….slice…..slice…..slice….slice…..slice…zzzzzzz


racquet Says:

Very entertaining match between Tomic/Dolgo right now. I’d rather watch a slice-fest than a serve-fest any day of the week.


Wog boy Says:

Raquet:

“De gustibus non est disputandum”

No bad feelings, you stick to Tomic/Dolgo’s but I had to switch to Delpo’s match, far more action and good old John McEnroe though Jim Courier is exellent too.

Btw, where did you get that I like serv- fest, I like action and there is none at Tomic/ Dolgo’s, my humble opinion.


Wog boy Says:

I have to correct myself, Jim is better, those three ( John, Pat and Wally) are talking to match during points.


racquet Says:

I wasn’t implying that you liked serve-fests at all. Just that I prefer variety to serve-heavy matches, e.g. Karlovic/Raonic/Isner etc.


Wog boy Says:

Misunderstood !

I will rather watch cricket than serv-fest, sorry English people.


atin Says:

such a great match is going on guys… tomic and dogopolove using every inch of court,so much variety,,,,, best match i have seen in recent times…it is a lot better then those hard hitting matches which nadal and nole contested in 2011 in m opinion because of so much variety …


racquet Says:

They’re using every shot in the book…and a few new ones.


blah Says:

lol, crappy backhands does not make a better match.


BT Says:

Tomic on the brink of victory! Can he do it?


van orten Says:

Come on Fed will eat both for breakfast


Wog boy Says:

Well, maybe it was mismatch, but , imo Delpo is getting better amd better as the tournament progressing and more important, more confident.


S Green Says:

Good morning, early birds (Margot, Jane, Sar, Duro, wherever you guys are) !!!
atin, great match, indeed.
I like Dolgo, too, but it is Tomic’s time to shine and he is dazzling. He’s such a smooth operator. Hope to see him in the second week.


blah Says:

fed is salivating at running around to crush these backhand slices.


S Green Says:

Wog Boy, it is great to see DelPo slowly but steadily coming back. Hopefully he picks on right time.
Congrats to Tomic and Dolgo for a thrilling match.


BT Says:

Congrats to Tomic on a great match and a great win!


van orten Says:

Maybe next year second week for tomic but on sunday he will stand no Chance playing like that…look what murray did to him in brisbane


van orten Says:

But good he won today…great talent


BT Says:

@van orten

I think he played how he needed to against a tricky and awkward opponent. I agree that he is very likely not going to get by Federer but he has taken a set from him before and I’m sure he will adjust his game to suit so we will see. It is a PB for him at the Aussie Open to reach the round of 16 and he’s got to be happy with that.


Wog boy Says:

S Green, i just like the man, Delpo !
Btw, Rafa looks sharp to me, too..,,very sharp. He is up to something :-)


atin Says:

@blan
those backhands were beautiful to watch and this is the real classic tennis which we are missing from so many years..those two guys has done something incredible today,they brought the whole tennis package for us to enjoy,so we should appreciate these two players and their shot making instead of saying crappy backhands


Michael Says:

Federer has got a fight on his hand with Bernard Tomic and Del Potro on his way to the semis. Nadal too will find the going tough against Lopez although he has beaten him many times before. Lopez has now matured as a player and is hard to beat. However, Berdych is Nadal’s bunny. Murray might have it easy against Llodra but will have a tough ask with Monfils and Tsonga whereas Novak should advance without trouble with only Mahut on the way and might face Hewitt and Ferrer.


El Flaco Says:

Slow conditions at the AO. Almagro is in the Rnd of 16 again.


alison hodge Says:

i can see djokovic going all the way ,winning the final,without even dropping a set,yes he really does look that good, i hope to see him at least tested,hopefully by murray in the semis.


dar Says:

this is a cool answer from fed about that set point at net.

all this going through your head in a few seconds with a 6’10″ guy right across the net

tennis is great!

Q. How important do you think your acrobatics on that set point in the first set might have been? It was an amazing get really in the circumstances.

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, it was a tough breaker for me, just the way it all turned out to be, and him then having the chance to serve it out at 6‑5 definitely made it difficult.

Thank God, you know, he gave me a second serve and gave me a slight chance. Might have had a little bit of a lucky volley, but quick reflexes at the net so that can happen.

Then running up there, I didn’t know what to do anymore. Probably left and right, going to go too slow and he’s going to slam it home. Let me try the lob, even though that’s not what you’re supposed to do against him. I got sort of the angle right and was able maybe to surprise him, we’re that close to each other, so it’s hard to kind of react quick maybe up. I don’t know. It kind of worked, and then I had a great return after that. I was almost home. So it was a good turn of events for me then.


Daniel Says:

The other 2 times Djoko beat Fed in AZ was on night matches. If they play the final will be on afternoon, under the sun, will see.

The worst part for Fed is having to play Nadal in the semis at night. They ill surely be the premiere match on Friday night.

With this slow conditions, Fed will have to play his utter best to have a chance.


van orten Says:

The good thing is if Fed gets through i wont be able to see a thing…iam gonna be at work..i m done watching fedal gs matches anyways;-)


Kimberly Says:

last time I checked Novak may have to play Raonic. Now I don’t really think Milos has much of a chance but I can promise you Djokovic is not looking forward to that match, nor would any player, I don’t care who. Isner, Karlovic and Raonic are the three players no one wants to play, no matter how good they are.


rogerafa Says:

@ Daniel

The final, as well as both the semi finals, will start at 7:30 in the evening. This clearly puts Roger at a disadvantage against whoever he plays from the top-three. He will probably like the night session against Del Potro though. I don’t see Roger getting past Rafa in any case.


rogerafa Says:

@ atin

I agree with your sentiment. It was a great match. In fact this and the Tomic-Querrey match were two of the very best of the oz open this year. It was quite lovely to see such great tennis in both these matches. All these players didn’t waste any time between points and just moved on with their games. Such a refreshing change from guys like Rafa or Djokovic who seem to spend more time bouncing the balls than actually playing the points.

Top story: ATP London Race (20 Oct 14): Murray Moves Ahead; Federer Looks To Close No. 1 Gap In Basel
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Rankings
ATP - Oct 20 WTA - Oct 20
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Roger Federer2 Maria Sharapova
3 Rafael Nadal3 Simona Halep
4 Stan Wawrinka4 Petra Kvitova
5 David Ferrer5 Na Li
6 Tomas Berdych6 Agnieszka Radwanska
7 Kei Nishikori7 Eugenie Bouchard
8 Marin Cilic8 Ana Ivanovic
9 Milos Raonic9 Caroline Wozniacki
10 Andy Murray10 Angelique Kerber
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