Djokovic Opens Australian Open Title Defense; Aussie Hopes Hewitt, Stosur Also In Action
by Staff | January 13th, 2013, 10:03 am
  • 34 Comments

Novak Djokovic begins his quest to become the first player in the Open Era to win three straight Australian Opens Monday in Melbourne. The top-ranked Serb challenges French veteran Paul-Henri Mathieu in a first round day match.

Djokovic, who only played the Hopman Cup exo, is the heavy favorite to win a sixth Grand Slam title following his impressive run at the end of 2012 and his history in Australia.

“From my personal experience, I like playing here because it’s after probably five, six, seven weeks of break with no official tournament,” Djokovic said Saturday. “So you get time to recover, regroup, recharge your batteries mentally, physically, try to get ready for the new season with four, five weeks of good practice. You come here fresh. You’re motivated and inspired to play some good tennis.”

Mathieu has never beaten a No. 1 ranked player in his career.

Former finalist and Aussie Hall of Famer Lleyton Hewitt will play in the evening’s marquee match against Djokovic’s countryman Janko Tipsarevic. Hewitt has won three of four meetings with Janko, but this time Tipsarevic comes in as a Top 10 player having just won Chennai.

“I haven’t played him for a few years now,” said Hewitt who’ll be playing his 17th Australian Open. “But he’s improved a bit in the last couple years obviously to get in the top 10. It’s going to be a tough match obviously over five sets. I feel like all I can control is my preparation and doing all the right things. I’ve done absolutely everything in my power. I look forward to the challenge tomorrow.”

The 31-year-old just won the Kooyong Exo beating Juan Martin Del Potro in the final.

Elsewhere, Tomas Berdych tackles American Michael Russell, Fernando Verdasco faces upstart David Goffin and David Ferrer opens against Olivier Rochus.

2008 champion Maria Sharapova and Aussie hope Sam Stosur headline the women’s schedule, but both are off their game. Stosur hasn’t won a match this year and lost to her opponent last fall, while Sharapova comes in with a questionable collarbone.

Former Grand Slam winners and Australian finalists Venus Williams and Ana Ivanovic are also in action along with Dominika Cibulkova and Agniezska Radwanska who each play Australian wildcards.

Radwanska has started the season in blistering fashion, winning all nine matches without losing a set.

On Tuesday, Roger Federer, Andy Murray, Bernard Tomic, Victoria Azarenka and Serena Williams will be on court in the conclusion of the first round.

Rod Laver Arena 11:00 AM Start Time
Olga Puchkova (RUS) v. Maria Sharapova (RUS)[2]
Kai-Chen Chang (TPE) v. Samantha Stosur (AUS)[9]
Novak Djokovic (SRB)[1] v. Paul-Henri Mathieu (FRA)

Rod Laver Arena 7:00 PM Start Time
Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) v. Janko Tipsarevic (SRB)[8]
Ana Ivanovic (SRB)[13] v. Melinda Czink (HUN)

Hisense Arena 11:00 AM Start Time
Venus Williams (USA)[25] v. Galina Voskoboeva (KAZ)
David Goffin (BEL) v. Fernando Verdasco (ESP)[22]
Dominika Cibulkova (SVK)[15] v. Ashleigh Barty (AUS)
Not Before:5:00 PM
David Ferrer (ESP)[4] v. Olivier Rochus (BEL)


Also Check Out:
Henin Streak Ends at French Open; Stosur to Face Serena Williams
Stosur, Cibulkova Set Up Thrilling(?) French Open Semis
Stosur Wins at WTA Charleston; Schiavone in Barcelona
No Li Way as Clijsters Wins First Australian Open Title
Stosur, Errani into French Semis; Sharapova, Kvitova Up Wednesday

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34 Comments for Djokovic Opens Australian Open Title Defense; Aussie Hopes Hewitt, Stosur Also In Action

Esrelle Says:

Let the games begin!!!


alison Says:

Glad to here that Noles father is much better now.


Humble Rafa Says:

14 days to Egg Lover’s Coronation.

7 days to end of the world for the Arrogant One’s follwers.

The Arrogant One is on the verge of a Quarter-Grandlam achievement. He only needs to lose in the QF to make that dream come true.


alison Says:

WOW Congrats to Leyton Hewitt who seems to be on a roll ATM,winning the Kooyong classic,really taking it to Delpo with a fantastic performance,3 wins this week over top 15 ranked players really hope he can take this form going into the AO,and pull off some shocks,Tipsy should be rather wary of this 1st round match,a potential banans skin if ever there was one.


Wog boy Says:

jane,

I didn’t know you have to stay in hospital for months just because of an ordinary cold;) even the cold is not as it use to be.

Happy New Year to you too since you are Honorary Member of our Society.


Wog boy Says:

alison,
Was it good game, did we play well, I know we lost 1:2 :(
Brando is probably full of happines now, Grrrrr!


alison Says:

Wogboy you wont have to wait too long to see Nole in action his match is the 3rd on the shedual,i wont see it as the AO starts at midnight tonight BST,and i have to get up early for work in the morning,ill just be able to check out the result before i leave in the morning,anyway i hope you enjoy the match,and i wish your favorite good luck for the AO, hope you dont think i was taking a pop at Nole this week,as that was not my intention,sorry if it came across that way.


Wog boy Says:

alison,

For God’s sake stop apologising, there is nothing to apologise for. Your post are fair and square, have a drink before you go to bed, it wasn’t one the best days for YNWA fans:(


alison Says:

Wogboy ok sorry lol,its in my nature to apologize im afraid,if i have a drink though i will never get up in the morning,i cant run around after 27 old people unless im on the ball,anyway you had a bad day,but tomorrow is another day,and you have Nole and the open to look forward to,last time honestly but sorry about YNWA,it want a particulaly good day for Liverpool FC either;(.


alison Says:

Wogboy my bad YNWA is Liverpool FC,made a balls of that post,yeah Brandos a Man UTD fan,that Sir Alex Ferguson is one man i do not like by the way he operates,he seems to have that win by hook or by crook method of playing football these days,he seems to forget its not only about winning but also about the way you play the game.


alison Says:

Wogboy they should have had a point,UTD held on unconvincingly by the skin of their teeth,Ferdinand had Suarez man marked.


Wog boy Says:

alison,

That Nemanja Vidic that scored second goal is doing to me, now in England, same what he was doing to me while he played in Belgrade for Red Star, better known as “Gypsies” against my Partizan Belgrade, better known as “Grave Diggers” and we cannot stand each other, much the same as Liverpool and Man UTD fans. And Nole is fan of “Gypsies”, wrong pick Nole!
Of-topic, sorry.


Kimmi Says:

Let’s the game begin!!


Wog boy Says:

Maria and Venus were ruthless. Venus picked up where she left off in Perth, impressive tennis.


Humble Rafa Says:

The pregnant doper was supposed to be a big star upon her return. She just lost to the Chinese Queen.


jane Says:

Enjoying Wog Boy? Looks hot methinks.


Wog boy Says:

Here we go again, I have pay TV (FOX Sports) and Channel 7 and guess what, they both telecast Youzhny/ Ebden, neither of them is showing defending shampion and #1 Novak Djokovic. I know Ebden is Australian but it would be enough to show him on one channel not on two? :(


jane Says:

You could try sport lemon?


Wog boy Says:

jane,

Thanks, but it doesn’t work where I am. Thry did show us Verdasko/Goffin instead:) anyway how did he play?


jane Says:

^ oh too bad. From what I saw, he looked good, but it wasn’t near his highest level; for example, his first serve could’ve been better. Overall, though, it was a good first round performance in straight sets. Mathieu served better as the match went on too.


Wog boy Says:

jane,

Thanks, I just saw last point and he looked pretty pumped up after that last point. His outfit is little bit greenish:) I am not used seeing him in those colours.


jane Says:

Just watched his interview with Wilander who asked him about his added variety and effort to shorten points; Nole said “it depends on who you are playing against”.

True about the colours; he usually sticks to red, blue, black or white. But I like the colours; nice change!


courbon Says:

@Wog Boy:Grobaru!!!!!!!!


Wog boy Says:

courbon,

Don’t tel me you are “Komsinica Ciganka”


jane Says:

^ Good summary of Nole’s match here; I agree with the article and comments following that Mathieu proved a worthy first round opponent and played well. I also think Harrison is not an easy opponent and am interested to see how that match goes. Hope Nole can serve just a wee bit better on first serve:

http://www.tennis.com/pro-game/2013/01/australian-open-djokovic-d-mathieu/45983/#.UPO5GZjHaQI


Wog boy Says:

jane,

Thanks, looks good for the first round.


Wog boy Says:

Bravo Tipsy, excellent match. Hewitt threw kitchen sink at Tipsy but to no avail.
To play first round against Hewitt at the Rod Laver Arena I thought Tipsy was a goner, but he proved a worthy top 10.


jamie Says:

Sally Kirkman thinks Federer or Del Potro will win.


alison Says:

^Well put it this way,By the law of averages at least one astologer,or tennis pundit will be right with his or her predictions.^


courbon Says:

@Wog Boy-No, just provoking…I have not much followed football back home…I did in UK for last 20 years and I’ll tell you-you support wrong team!(Liverpool isn’t it?)


Wog boy Says:

courbon,

Yes, Liverpool FC and alison will not be happy with your statment.


alison Says:

Wogboy nah Courbon has never said anything that would offend me,youself Courbon,Mat4,Harry and the classy and wise lady that is Jane are the best Nole fans on this forum,i would put Duro in there too but hes not around these days,as regards the LVC they are my fav prem league club,but i have two other fav teams too,i could never warm to Man UTD as i dont lie SAF because of the way he operates,that hook or by crook method of winning.


alison Says:

^dont like not dont lie^.

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