Top Seeds Federer, Serena, Murray, Del Potro Dominate At Australian Open; Sharapova v. Venus Friday
by Staff | January 17th, 2013, 8:40 am
  • 80 Comments

The top names in tennis continued to dominate the first week of the Australian Open. Former Grand Slam winners Roger Federer, Juan Martin Del Potro, Andy Murray, Serena Williams and defending champion Victoria Azarenka all enjoyed easy wins in the hot, sticky, triple-digit heat in Melbourne on Thursday.

Serena shook off any concerns over her ailing right ankle by trashing Spanish 19-year-old Garbine Muguruza 6-2, 6-0. The 5-time champ has now won her last 18 matches and 37 of her last 38.

“I didn’t feel anything today,” Serena said of her ankle. “Obviously when you go out to play you’re heavy on adrenaline and you’re really pumped up. Usually I feel injuries after the match, but so far, so good. I felt pretty, much better than I ever dreamed of expecting to feel.”

Serena then teamed with sister Venus to win an opening round doubles match. The sisters have 13 career Slam doubles titles including for in Australia.

World No. 1 Azarenka got the day started trouncing Greek vet Eleni Daniilidou 6-1, 6-0.

The last match of the day on Rod Laver featured Bernard Tomic edging German Daniel Brands 6-7, 7-5, 7-6, 7-6 in the heat of the afternoon. The 20-year-old Australian has not lost serve this week and he hasn’t lost a match in 10 this year, exhibitions included.

“I didn’t think he could serve like this,” said Tomic who hit a career-high 26 aces. “I think he served over 20 aces the whole match. Serving amazing. I couldn’t read it at all. I was happy I broke him in that second set at 5 All. Anything would have happened in that tiebreak. Being down two sets to Love is not a good thing in Grand Slams.”

Next for the young star is a super Saturday showdown against Roger Federer. And Tomic, who’s the last Australian left in singles, says he’ll be ready this time after losing badly to the Swiss last year.

“I feel so confident,” Tomic said of his chances. “This is the perfect time to play him (Federer). I think I’ve got a good attitude to win. I’ve beaten a lot of good players over the last past two weeks, especially Novak. I think I can do it if he wins his match. I’m ready. I mean, I’m not going to say I don’t have the belief. I do have the belief now. It’s possible. I showed that in Perth, that you can beat these players. Now I’m going to try to beat him.”

Meanwhile, Federer easily took care of the pesky Nikolay Davydenko 6-3, 6-4, 6-4. The 4-time Australian Open champion is looking forward to the Tomic test.

“It’s nice he’s been able to turn it around after a tough end of the year last year,” Federer said. “It seems he’s playing well. Obviously a difficult matchup in terms of early in the tournament. But I’ve got to be ready, so I’m looking forward to the match.

“Hopefully we’re going to live up to the expectations and live up to the match. Hopefully it’s not going to be a bad match. I don’t want that to happen.”

Like Tomic, Federer also hasn’t dropped serve and despite this being his first event in two months he’s looked quite sharp early on.

Also, Juan Martin Del Potro has been looking scary good. The former US Open champ hasn’t dropped serve yet in the event after pummeling two patsies. He’s seeded to meet Andy Murray in the quarterfinals. The Scot easily dispatched Joao Sousa.

Other winners included American 19-year-old Sloane Stephens who has now reached the third round at all four Slams. Former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki ousted future hope Donna Vekic. Former finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga eased past Go Soeda in three sets and he was later joined by his countrymen Gael Monfils, Jeremy Chardy and Gilles Simon as winners. Big-serving Milos Raonic also advanced over Nadal-killer Lukas Rosol.

In the late match which just ended, Brit Laura Robson closed out former Wimbledon champion and No. 8 seed Petra Kvitova 2-6, 6-3, 11-9. Robson, who benefited from 17 Kvitova double faults, was a fourth rounder at the US Open. Kvitova was a semifinalist a year ago while Robson will play fellow 19-year-old Stephens on Saturday.

In cooler conditions tomorrow, the third round begins with the marquee match at night between longtime rivals Maria Sharapova and Venus Williams. Sharapova has won four of seven meetings including a 3-1 record over the 32-year-old on the hardcourts.

“Obviously I’m not really expecting anything too different,” Venus said about the match. “Whatever day that is, you have to win. It’s not about for me I have to play perfect every match. I don’t have that mentality.”

Sharapova, however, has been a perfect 24-0 in two matches this week and has never been in better form. But she knows her streak will end.

“There are certainly no secrets coming into that matchup,” Sharapova said. “We’ve played against each other many times. You know, despite the fact that she might not be seeded high or didn’t play for a little bit, she’s still a very experienced player and a tremendous athlete. Going out there, there won’t be too many secrets. I hope for it to be a great match.”

Novak Djokovic, David Ferrer, Agnieszka Radwanska and blossoming teen Madison Keys are also in action Friday. Plus a Serb war when Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic clash.

FRIDAY SCHEDULE

Rod Laver Arena 11:00 AM Start Time
Angelique Kerber (GER)[5] v. Madison Keys (USA)
Na Li (CHN)[6] v. Sorana Cirstea (ROU)[27]
Novak Djokovic (SRB)[1] v. Radek Stepanek (CZE)[31]

Rod Laver Arena 7:00 PM Start Time
Venus Williams (USA)[25] v. Maria Sharapova (RUS)[2]
David Ferrer (ESP)[4] v. Marcos Baghdatis (CYP)[28]

Hisense Arena 11:00 AM Start Time
Heather Watson (GBR) v. Agnieszka Radwanska (POL)[4]
Ana Ivanovic (SRB)[13] v. Jelena Jankovic (SRB)[22]
Kevin Anderson (RSA) v. Fernando Verdasco (ESP)[22]
Hisense Arena 7:00 PM Start Time
Jurgen Melzer (AUT)[26] v. Tomas Berdych (CZE)[5]


Also Check Out:
WTA Cincinnati Preview: All Eyes on Serena Williams; Venus and Clijsters Out
Tennis-X Preview: Wimbledon Women’s Delicious Draw
Federer Thinks he Can Still “Dominate”
Serena Williams Leads Insanely Tough Field at WTA Madrid
2013 Australian Open Seeds: Defending Champs Djokovic, Azarenka On Top

Don't miss any tennis action, stay connected with Tennis-X

Get Tennis-X news FREE in your inbox every day

80 Comments for Top Seeds Federer, Serena, Murray, Del Potro Dominate At Australian Open; Sharapova v. Venus Friday

gannu Says:

fck my life man….i have been so swamped with work that i havent seen a single match of my GOD…somehow i have been following scores through BBery….finally will get to see my god play tomic… feddy bear fans – can you tell me how he is playing…good ok can improve? good enough to go ahead and challenge murray and djoker…??


Sandra Says:

@Gannu He has played alright. He has been a bit inconsistent from the baseline, but the most important thing to me is that he’s serving well. Most of the time when he’s serving well the other things will come along also.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Looks like Roger came with a plan to play attacking tennis. If he can keep his service level up, then it would be an interesting strategy for him. Let’s see if he can continue with this approach.


gannu Says:

thanks sandra


Kimberly Says:

Happy for the third round, at least no more one sided blowouts almost every match. Not sure what I think about Kvitova/Robson quality but at least it provided excitement.


RZ Says:

Kimberly, pretty much everything I read about the Kvitova/Robson match said it was ugly. Some are already saying it’s the worst match of the year.


Kimberly Says:

I watched from mid-second to the end of the second and then the middle of the third and it wasn’t pretty but I didn’t want to make a conclusion based on limited viewing. From what I read not good, but certainly can’t compete with the worst match ever, Sharapova’s loss to Melanie Oudin at the US Open where she double faulted an entire set away.


Kimmi Says:

didn’t see it but i imagine kvitova not keeping the ball on court. I wonder if she can get back her wimbledon title form or is it downhill from here


jane Says:

I didn’t see his match but I was just checking the stats: Delpo hit 50 winners and 22 aces in 3 sets versus B.Becker – I mean, whoa!


Humble Rafa Says:

.i have been so swamped with work that i havent seen a single match of my GOD

Your GOD won’t be happy. Better quit your job and be a sincere follower.


Kimmi Says:

i find ana ivanovic very skinny. she must have lost a lot of weight recently, i wonder why she lost so much.


Kimberly Says:

I think she is too skinny. I heard she was on djokovic diet but I think she need about 5-10 lbs of muscle for more optimal sports performance. Azarenka is perfect. She looks like a model though, elegant and beautiful.


Kimmi Says:

she still got the power though…that FH when she unleashes…

I am watching her play JJ at the moment.


steve-o Says:

Ivanovic is what they said of Roddick–a serve and a forehand. That was unjust to Roddick, who became a much craftier and varied player in his later career, but it applies perfectly to Ivanovic. Although I’m not sure about her serve, she’s had the yips for bit, I think.

She has limited mobility, and once people realized they could beat her by getting her off balance, her star fell.

Kvitova increasingly looks like she’ll end up a one-Slam wonder. True, Robson has earned a reputation as a giant-killer, but really, Kvitova lost the match because of nerves. Pity because I like her, she’s like the Del Potro of the women’s game, but lacks his never-say-die mentality.


Gannu Says:

HR…thanks for the lovely suggestion..will think abt it ;-) You are by far the best in this tennis forum…love you ;-) hahahaha


Humble Rafa Says:

Turned off the Aussie Open for now.

Chief Doper Lance Armstrong on TV. Admitting to everything, including kidnapping rabbits and squirrels. He apparently also stole dope from other dopers.


jane Says:

Azarenka would be too big to model professionally methinks; models are so tiny nowadays – more like Ivanovic in fact. Did she really go gluten free? I have seen anything on that in the press. I noticed how thin she was at the USO last fall.


jane Says:

So Lance confessed in the Church of Oprah; she’s got a knack for that.


the DA Says:

@jane – yes I saw parts of it (in-between the Ana/Jelena match). I’m not buying the repentant act at all. I bet his defenders feel foolish now. All in all, a very sad and depressing day for those who believe in the athletic ideal.

Back to tennis.


Humble Rafa Says:

Tennis needs to get better photographs of players to put besides their name. Players look like convicted felons waiting to jail.

Mr. Vaidsivoa looks like he was arrested for drug trafficking :(


Alok Says:

I saw a replay of kvitova’s match tonight, and IMO, the heat seemed to bother Kvitova more than robson. It most probably is due to her large frame, which makes it more difficult to move in such high temperatures.petra was sweating and seemed very lethargic.

I very much like azarenka’s dimples and her deportment, but sad to say, she’s just a stright up/down female with no curves whatsoever. I’m a guy who likes a little meat on women as they look more rounded and attractive to me, e.g., kate winslett,Salma Hayek, Aishwarya Rai as opposed to the very skinny ones, who look like a bag of bones or anorexic as most models appear. However, most of the very tall women on the tour are like pancakes on top and there’s no division between waist and hips, which is my reason for saying they are like a straight line up/down. dunno how to express it more fluently.

Ivanovic looks like she’s on a starvation diet.

@Polo, I agree that with Nadal in the mix the discussions would be more hot and inciteful.


Humble Rafa Says:

I’m a guy who likes a little meat on women as they look more rounded and attractive to me.

Serena Williams comes to mind. Lots of meat.


nadalista Says:

Feel sorry for all those delusional people who believed Lance’s lies even after the evidence was laid bare……….

Wonder what they have to say now that he has confessed……….still the fault of the cheese eating surrender monkeys?


Humble Rafa Says:

still the fault of the cheese eating surrender monkeys?

There is no need to bring the Arrogant One’s fans into this discussion :)


Wog boy Says:

jane,

He will have s chance to play with his idol,that is great:)

BTW, are you watching Nole, I am out working and following result and looks like tight match. It is the hottest day on record in Sydney today, 46 or 115 degrees, unbearable.


Michael Says:

Right now, it appears that Novak has the edge to become the Champion once again. He is displaying some terrific form in his early matches. Roger and Andy too are playing some of their best Tennis but it is too early to judge. That being said, I pick Novak to win this one.


Alok Says:

Serena’s better than being a bag of bones..She’s an athletic big framed woman, and muscled, but she’s not fat. There’s a big difference in being fat and being big boned and athletic.


jane Says:

Wog boy, yep I am watching – I can see his day matches so the only one I missed was the Harrison one, though I saw a lot of highlights. Today, Nole’s serving hasn’t been as good, but Steps is serving exceedingly well; I can’t get over how well he places the ball. He’s also attacking, attacking, attacking any chance he gets.


Wog boy Says:

Hopefully Nole can tame him.


jane Says:

Do you remember when Nole and Steps played that amazing 5 set marathon at the USO in 2007 Wog boy, when nearly every set went to a tiebreak? It was quite the nail-biter!


Wog boy Says:

No, I missed that one. Don’t tell me they are going to do it again, please.


jane Says:

No, I don’t think so. But I am impressed with Steps’ serving and volleying. Some very entertaining points – even Nole is smiling.


courbon Says:

@Wog Boy: Our man is doing well…(he started rusty, but is Ok now)2 sets up, one to go…


courbon Says:

Tipsa is in a big trouble….


Wog boy Says:

That is what happens when somebody wins DC, confidence boost. Jim Courier was talking the other night about that and how much that means to him and players, though he surprised me with the statment (if I heard him properly) that last year olympic gold worth more than GS to him and that he thought that Andy Murray was or should be the player of 2012. I will leave possibility that I didn’t understood him properly and couldn’t rewind to check.


Wog boy Says:

courbon,

Thanks, Benneteau was playing well in Sydney too.


Humble Rafa Says:

Tipsy fans on this blog, all 3 of you, my advance condolences to you.


Wog boy Says:

HR,

Who is third one?


courbon Says:

Well, you get use to it…Tipsa is unpredictable.By the way, how are the knees?I hope you fell better.


skeezer Says:

C’mon gang,

If anyone thinks Step has/had a chance against Nole it was a fools interest.


Wog boy Says:

“C’mon gang,”

I like it:)


skeezer Says:

Can see hints of how Fed can beat Nole though here…hehe

Ok, back to my hole.


courbon Says:

Hi Skeezer, no I did not think that.I think Wog Boy is quite weary…You see, even I get like that sometimes.We, Nole fans, used to get unpredictable Nole on the court at any given time, that even know (when is rolling for last two years ), we still have a doubt…different for Fed and Nadal fans.


skeezer Says:

Am feeling alot of Serbian love here. Why is that? ;)

Btw, looks like a full house for the worlds #1, nice. :)


Wog boy Says:

skeezer,

C’mon, tell us.


skeezer Says:

Courban
U must have faith and believe. Nole didn’t get to #1 by accident , he earned it!


jane Says:

Wog boy I hadn’t thought of DC.

skeezer, similar to Fed/Davy odds, though; Fed is 17-2 over Davy. Nole is 7-1 over Steps.


courbon Says:

Great name for a song-”Feeling lots of Serbian Love”.
Fed beating Nole?Quite possible-but difficult, don’t you think so?Unfortunatelly, I have to go to work now ( working in the field on -3C ,will not be fun ),I leave you girls chatting…


courbon Says:

@Thank you Skeezer.
Speak to you guys and girls ( Hi, Jane ) later.


skeezer Says:

^yes but I beg to defer with Davy’s recent form. Was in very dangerous form coming into AO this year.

——–

wogboy,

Nope, however, a hint. Step tries to play like Fed, but he isn’t even baby Fed (Grigor or Gasquet).

What’s scary about Novak, is he can play slow, fast, depending on the tempo required to win. And is never in a hurry to get his teeth into the match. He realizes the length of the match and plays sccordingly. Thus the come from behind awesome results he has.

Glad to see u all watching Tennis!


jane Says:

Hi courbon – see you again!


skeezer Says:

Steps is playing as well as I have senn him play in a long time. But he is still down 2 sets, even if he squeaks out this one.

—–

Wogboy

Fed strategy ? Mars attacks!! Mars attacks!! Lol


skeezer Says:

G’day n g’night Nole fans, enjoy!


jane Says:

Bye skeeze. Yep he’s playing well, but mainly the serve has been impressive. He’s given a great effort too.


Wog boy Says:

skeezer,

I am not watching, somebody has to work, though at the moment I am hiding from the heat in the Shopping mall and talking to other posters.
Have a good night.

courbon,

Better -3 than +46, trust me.


jane Says:

Good match – Wog boy, see if you can catch highlights later. :) Cute interview too.


Wog boy Says:

jane,

Looking at the stats it was pretty tidy match?


mat4 Says:

Novak is definitely not the same in the heat. But Step played some amazing tennis, and remind us, from time to time, that Novak is vulnerable to a combination of slice and flat shots.


mat4 Says:

WB:

Novak seemed untouchable on his serve. He serves closer to the lines, and he changes the direction of the serve while jumping, making it harder to read.


mat4 Says:

But in the heat, he needed a bit more racquet speed to play his FH well. He made some unusual errors on BP on that side.


mat4 Says:

And finally, no, it wasn’t a tidy match… especially at the end of the third set, when Novak lost his concentration for a few games.


mat4 Says:

@Skeez:

Watched some long highlights from the the Fed-Davy match. Your boy seems in lethal form.


Wog boy Says:

jane, mat4,

Thanks, I just checked with my doughter and she recorded the match (though it is not free, she charges me for everything she does and when she is suppose to keep secrets too) and I will watch it with “meze” and “Absolut” vodka, I run out of plum brandy, to many Xmas days and NYEs;)


jane Says:

Wog boy, more winners than errors, yes. For about half of set one, Nole was having a tough time getting first serves in, but his serving got better and better. He pulled out some clutch serves at the right times too. He played a good match overall, I’d say. He was tested in that it was a very different style. But they both seemed to enjoy themselves which made it entertaining to watch imo.


jane Says:

Not sure what mat4 would call it. Not poetry, not really grammar either. But maybe some solid prose.


mat4 Says:

… A Place in the Sun?

… Evil under the sun?


mat4 Says:

or, to quote Men at Work, from Down Under: Business as Usual?


lazlo Says:

Good job
Now we just need Novak and Roger to get to the final.


jane Says:

mat4 :) I don’t think it was Evil by any stretch!


mat4 Says:

jane:

Lack of inspiration…

But that aside… Nole still hasn’t fully mastered that racquet (Step seems to have the same, or a similar one). Obviously, if he wants to keep the FH in the court, he had to hit “softly”, or with a lot of spin and racquet head speed. But when he does it the right way, he can attack lower balls. It would be very interesting if we could compare the average speed of his FH last year and in this tournament.

Wilander spoke about the variety Novak introduced in his game, and I agree, and I feel he is still improving.

What’s your take about this? What did you notice?


mat4 Says:

BTW, there are a lot of errors in the stats on the AO site.


jane Says:

Yeah mat4, I think he’s evolving; I liked how much he came to net versus Harrison and he’s using the slice more often for sure.

What kinds of errors in the stats?


mat4 Says:

The directional serve stats are utterly wrong (check the way Novak serve in the advantage court). And the rally stats seem quite strange too.


Wog boy Says:

Humble Rafa,

Thanks for your condolences regarding Tipsy but it wasn’t needed;)


alison Says:

Sharapovas giving Venus a beatdown,Venus sadly a shadow of the player she once was,i was hoping for a cracking match and a great contest,this is a very dissapointing match,Maria looks very good totally outplaying her opponent.


alison Says:

Have to say love the fans that cheer on the carismatic and bubbly Marcos Bagdatis,even though hes suffering a David Ferrer beatdown,Marcos is not playing badly but Ferrer is giving him nothing,Marcos looks much leaner these days,much more toned,and the look is good shame this was not more of a contest really.


alison Says:

Love David Ferrer,that was a very solid performance,great tennis,if only he had a big weapon to trouble the top guys,would be fantastic to see him win a GS,alas some things are not meant to be(sigh).


alison Says:

Next up for Daveed Kie Nishikori,love Kie too,hope for a great match,ill be happy either way with the outcome of that one,i dont think David actually gets enough credit for been as talented as he is,people tend to see him as a one dimensional bassline grinder,when actually he showed alot of variety in this match.


alison Says:

David is another tennis enigma IMO,after all these years been in the top ten,OK granted not of the same quality ,or as talented as Roger,but amazing to be still playing this well and at the top of his game at the age of 30.

Top story: Andujar, Cuevas, Isner, Svitlona Win ATP/WTA Titles
  • Recent Comments
Rankings
ATP - Jul 28 WTA - Jul 28
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Rafael Nadal2 Na Li
3 Roger Federer3 Simona Halep
4 Stan Wawrinka4 Petra Kvitova
5 Tomas Berdych5 Agnieszka Radwanska
6 David Ferrer6 Maria Sharapova
7 Milos Raonic7 Eugenie Bouchard
8 Juan Martin Del Potro8 Angelique Kerber
9 Grigor Dimitrov9 Jelena Jankovic
10 Andy Murray10 Victoria Azarenka
More: Tennis T-Shirts | Tennis Shop | Live Tennis Scores | Headlines

Copyright © 2003-2014 Tennis-X.com. All rights reserved.
This website is an independently operated source of news and information and is not affiliated with any professional organizations.