Aussie Bernard Tomic’s run continued on Friday at the Australian Open, where the teen was the only player on the day to upset a seed as an unseeded player, out-slicing and dicing No. 13 Alexandr Dolgopolov of the Ukraine 4-6, 7-6(0), 7-6(6), 2-6, 6-3.
“The shots that are coming back the way that you give to players, they’re coming back to you the same, it’s very difficult,” Tomic said of Dolgopolov.
Tomic will next face No. 3 seed Roger Federer, who defeated “Dr.” Ivo Karlovic 7-6(6), 7-5, 6-3.
“I’m happy to play him again,” Tomic said of Federer. “I had the experience in Davis Cup, which is good for me. Not sort of the one-off one. I know sort of a way to sort of play him in a way, but Roger can play unbelievable. He’s my favorite player, so it’s always good to play him.”
Also into the fourth round with straight-set wins Friday were (2) Rafael Nadal, (7) Tomas Berdych, (10) Nicolas Almagro, and (11) Juan Martin Del Potro.
“I’m feeling really well today,” said the former US Open champ del Potro, quietly moving through the draw. “I played I think the best match of the year. Only four matches in this year, but I was really confidence with my forehand every part of the match. I served much better than the last two matches, and my game is still improving. So it’s a good signal for the next round.”
Another two players going the distance were No. 18 Feliciano “F-Lo” Lopez and John Isner. Isner won the fourth set to force a fifth, but the Spaniard was the fresher, claiming the match 6-1 in the final set.
“It just got away from me,” Isner said of the fifth set. “I just wasn’t as sharp as I needed to be. Wasn’t as mentally sharp as I needed to be at the beginning of that fifth set. It just kind of spiraled out of control there, and it just — I couldn’t climb out of the hole I dug.”
Unseeded German Philipp Kohlschreiber also advanced, beating Mardy Fish’s conqueror Alejandro Falla in straight sets.
No surprises on the women’s side Friday as seven of the eight matches were decided in straight sets with no seeded upsets.
World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki strolled past No. 31 seed Monica Niculescu 6-2, 6-2, and was joined in the winner’s circle by fellow Top 10 seeds (3) Victoria Azarenka, (5) Li Na (who benefited when (26) Anabel Medina Garrigues retired in the first set with a right ankle sprain), and (8) Agnieszka Radwanska.
Other winners were (11) Kim Clijsters topping (20) Daniela Hantuchova 6-3, 6-2, (13) Jelena Jankovic rolling American Christina McHale with a bagel in the second, (22) Julia Goerges and unseeded Czech Iveta Benesova.
Matches lined-up Saturday to watch for in Melbourne include (2) Petra Kvitova vs. (27) Maria Kirilenko, (1) Novak Djokovic vs. Nicolas Mahut, (23) Milos “Big Babyface” Raonic vs. former No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt, (4) Andy Murray vs. Michael Llodra, and (9) Janko Tipsarevic vs. (17) Richard Gasquet.
TENNIS-X NEWS, NOTES, QUOTES AND BARBS
Marcos Baghdatis was fined $800 for smashing four racquets? He should have been given $800 for getting tennis on SportsCenter…The Ukraine’s Sergiy Stakhovskiy said the ATP players had more than enough votes to strike during the Australian Open over what they consider is too little money going to the players, but said in the end they thought it would be unfair to the tournament organizers…Caroline Wozniacki on hitting nine aces in her second-round win: “Felt a little bit like John Isner out there.”…Andy Roddick was planning on playing mixed in Melbourne with Serena Williams in preparation for the 2012 Olympics tennis, but now the two are likely out due to his injury…ESPN’s Ravi Ubha on Mardy Fish’s early loss in Melbourne: “Further, Fish didn’t cover himself in glory with his on-court conduct, again. Indeed, it seems nowadays that whenever Fish loses at a Grand Slam, or anywhere, he’s ticked off, and not only with himself. And here we thought those days had passed. There was that run-in during his defeat to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at the U.S. Open — “I don’t speak French, you dumbass” — and Fish clashed with flashy, so-called “Baby Fed” Grigor Dimitrov at the Hopman Cup in Perth this month. They had to be separated by a referee. On Wednesday as the heat persisted in Melbourne, Fish was more concerned with Falla receiving multiple rubdowns for a cramp in the third set than trying to pick up his game.”
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