Djokovic, Serena Beat the Heat Friday; Saturday Aussie Preview
by Staff | January 17th, 2014, 8:43 am

It was breezy-easy for the Top 10 men on Friday at the Australian Open, where temperatures remained high, but the on-court time for the top contenders remained low after straight-set wins.

Moving into the fourth round in straights were No. 2 Novak Djokovic, No. 3 David Ferrer, No. 7 Tomas Berdych, and No. 8 Stan Wawrinka.

“It was a miracle when I won the second set,” said the grinding Ferrer, who got off the court with a 6-2, 7-6(5), 6-2 win over No. 29-ranked Frenchman Jeremy Chardy. “I was so many set balls down. These conditions are tough for me. I am a fitness player — I need to run for every point and so it’s not easy to play tennis in these conditions. But I am a fighter.”

Berdych ended the run of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Damir Dzumhur 6-4, 6-2, 6-2, and Wawrinka received a walkover against the injured Vasek Pospisil of Canada.

“I think I went through couple of challenges through those three matches,” said Berdych of his journey thus far in Melbourne. “But I played three guys, two of them I haven’t seen before. The one I’ve seen but never played before. Today was, I would say, really the hottest conditions that I ever experienced on court, especially in the first two sets, one and a half sets.”

In the final night match, Djokovic defeated Denis Istomin 6-3, 6-3, 7-5 ending after 8 a.m. ET.

Other seeded winners were No. 15 Fabio Fognini rolling American Sam Querrey in straights, No. 17 Tommy Robredo ousting No. 9 Richard Gasquet from a set down, and No. 19 Kevin Anderson coming from two sets down to defeat Edouard Roger-Vasselin 7-5 in the third.

“The match changed so much just in the last 15 minutes,” said Anderson who broke back late in the fifth set. “Sitting down there at 5-4, going out to return serve, knowing sort of it’s your one last shot. Just tried to play a solid game and somehow managed to get a break. Had to fight again. But then sitting at 6-5, I’ve got a little bit of momentum. Made a really good return on the last thing. Seeing the ball go long definitely produced quite a bit of emotion at the end.”

German Florian Mayer was the only unseeded player to take down a seed on Friday, upending No. 20 Jerzy Janowicz 7-5, 6-2, 6-2.

“Most important was I didn’t practice for two months,” said Janowicz, who detailed a broken bone in his foot he has been dealing with. “I just came to Sydney without absolutely any practice, and I didn’t have opportunity for to prepare myself for long matches. Still, I’m anyway happy I was able to go to this third round. My second-round match was also over three hours. I’m anyway really happy, because I didn’t expect I’m going to be third round without practicing.”

On the women’s side Friday, Casey Dellacqua never pictured herself as the last Australian women standing during the fortnight, but that was the reality after the No. 120-ranked 11-year tour veteran beat China’s Jie Zheng to advance into the fourth round, while No. 17-ranked Aussie Sam Stosur exited the event at the hands of No. 14 Ana Ivanovic 6-7(8), 6-4, 6-2.

“I’ve been training in this heat and I was happy to be out here in Rod Laver [Arena] again,” said Dellacqua, who tied her career-best Aussie Open result from 2008 when she reached the fourth round with wins over Patty Schnyder and Amelie Mauresmo. “It feels pretty good, I didn’t know if I’d ever be back in the fourth round of the Australian Open or any Grand Slam.”

She will next meet No. 30 Eugenie Bouchard, who eased past American Lauren Davis 6-2, 6-2.

Stosur had praise for the free-swinging Ivanovic after her defeat.

“Ana came out swinging,” Stosur said. “I thought she returned great tonight. I think as that third set went on, she kind of, I don’t know what she was feeling obviously, but I thought she was kind of up there. I felt like I had to hit very good serves and really hit my spots to make it that I was going to be on top of the point. Then the last couple of games where she broke me she played unbelievable.”

World No. 1 Serena led the top 10-seeded winners on Friday, putting down a stern challenge from Slovak veteran and No. 31 seed Daniela Hantuchova 6-3, 6-3.

“I feel good to have gotten through that one because it was tough conditions out there, but I was happy to win,” said Serena after getting out of the heat. “Today actually wasn’t as hot. I think it was more hot yesterday. So it wasn’t as bad today. Honestly, on the one end I felt it was like a cool breeze coming over, so that was a good sign.”

Serena skipped the immediate post-match interviews after coming off the court, with initial reports of her feeling dizziness, but the world No. 1 denied the claim and would not elaborate when finally coming out of the locker room.

“Oh, no,” she said. “I had some pressing things I needed to take care of.”

Serena will next meet Ivanovic.

“I think she is doing really well,” Serena said of the Serb. “She’s on a little winning streak herself.”

Other Top 10-seeded winners were No. 4 Li Na coming from a set down to defeat No. 26 Lucie Safarova 1-6, 7-6(2), 6-3, and No. 9 Angie Kerber topping unseeded American Alison Riske 6-3, 6-4.

“I lose the first set, is pretty easy, fast,” said Na, who found herself trailing 1-6 after hitting more unforced errors than points won in the first set. “I was thinking about, OK, if you continue like this, go home. Otherwise, I mean, is no other choice. So I have to change something on the court very quickly because the opponent didn’t give you much time you can cover there. Like I say before, only I can do is play ball back to the court, run whole court to see if I can get a chance.”

Na will next face No. 22 Ekaterina Makarova who defeated Romanian Monica Niculescu 6-4, 6-4.

Also into the fourth round Friday was No. 28 Flavia Pennetta who handled German Mona Barthel 6-1, 7-5.

Matches to look for Saturday in Melbourne include (3) Maria Sharapova vs. (25) Alize Cornet, (6) Roger Federer vs. Teymuraz Gabashvili, (1) Rafael Nadal vs. (25) Gael “Force” Monfils, (5) Aggie Radwanska vs. (29) Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, (4) Andy Murray vs. (26) Feliciano Lopez, an all-French in (10) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs. (18) Gilles Simon, (11) Milos “The Missile” Raonic vs. (22) Grigor Dimitrov, and car-crash American Donald Young vs. (16) Kei Nishikori.

Serena Williams has won her last 25 matches, her second-longest win streak of her career… Novak Djokovic’s win streak is up to 27 overall and 24 at the Australian Open…. The record heatwave is finally over. After four days of 100F plus, temperatures this evening at the Australian Open plunged in hours from a high of 109F into the low 70s. Let’s see the US Open do that!… Until this week Fabio Fognini had one career match win at the Australian Open…. Sam Stosur has made the US Open quarterfinals three times including a title run, but has never reached the last eight at the Australian Open… Is the Australian Open the first tennis event to ever have a heat delay and a rain delay on the same day?…. Donald Young is the last American man left in the field…. In her presser today Serena Williams was asked if she was dizzy before the match. According to ESPN Venus took the fall for the doubles withdrawal because Serena was not 100%… Andy Murray is on a 23-point winning streak… Stephane Robert and Martin Klizan will play in an attempt to become the first lucky loser through to the round of 16 at Melbourne Park. It is the first time 2 lucky losers are playing each other in the 3rd round at a Grand Slam since 1973 Wimbledon…. Kevin Anderson had never come from two sets down until this week. Now he’s done it twice… Tomas Berdych has beaten Anderson all nine times they’ve played since the start of 2012 including in Melbourne the last two years… Gilles Simon was on crutches last weekend. After 2 5-set wins he’ll be back on court tomorrow against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Simon has won 8 of his last 9 against fellow Frenchmen.

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51 Comments for Djokovic, Serena Beat the Heat Friday; Saturday Aussie Preview

van orten Says:

so nadal only playing night session and djoker too. i expect the possible fourth round match tsonga vs fed being the night match on laver on monday. everthing else would be pretty unfair. it already is a bit since temp will go down next week

coke man G Says:

“Donald young is the last american man left in the field.”

This is sad.

Tootie Says:

Novak, don’t let the crowds bother you. Once you let Jesus in your heart, you will not have a problem with this. You will know you are very loved. I still say someone else (a girl) is the One the Lord has chosen for you.

RZ Says:

Usually, I think that walkovers hurt players in slams since they are more rusty than their opponents. But with this brutal heat, it will probably help Stan in his next match to not have had that fatigue.

the DA Says:

A few popcorn matches today. It really is the more exciting side of the draw.

The one that has a lot riding on it is the new generational Ranoic vs Dimitrov. Lots to prove by both guys. The Nadal/Monfils match should be good. I bet skipping Auckland will prove to be a great move with hindsight for Gael.

Lastly, I’d normally relish a clash between Deliciano and Andy but something tells me this is going to be a tough one. I smell a possible upset here. I truly hope not but I wasn’t encouraged by the performance vs Millot. Hopefully it was just distraction from his bro getting heat stroke and nothing more.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Two great up-and-comer matches now, with Raonic v Dmitrov and Young v Nishikori

Tennis Vagabond Says:

The upshot being we’ll have a couple new generation in the round of 16.

the DA Says:

Young has been ‘up and coming’ for so long now I’m not sure it counts any longer ;) I personally hope Dimitrov makes his move now and achieves a breakthrough. I want Monfils to give Rafa a real test. It’ll make him sharper for the later rounds.

gonzalowski Says:

A Fed-Dimitrov SF would be historic, if babyFed won :)
If Rafa reaches SF or higher (as it’s expected) he would assure n.1 till… Madrid M1000 al least?

courbon Says:

@ gonzalowski :Mathematically is possible but I think is quite to be expected that Rafa will be number 1 all the way to the US Open. Virtually no points to defend at Wimbledon, definetly getting lots of clay points ( even if Novak win some clay tournaments).Unless he suddenly loses the plot and Novak wins all, then maybe before…but that will not happened.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

DA, all the young guns are disappointing, this is all we’ve got though.

Courbon, agreed. Rafa is in charge and snapping towels for a good term at minimum.

courbon Says:

@ Tennis Vagabond: I like Dimitrov a lot, but I’m not sure in this era of power tennis, can you be a big champion with one handed backhand? Maybe Fed was the last…or I’m very wrong?

Humble Rafa Says:

Young will be up and coming until he changes his name to Old.

Atleast Sock is stinky.

Bad Knee Rules Says:

so nadal only playing night session and djoker too.
Wrong, check again.

Steve27 Says:

bad luck to Kevin Anderson, his nemesis, Berdych, will defeat him again

Steve27 Says:

What a beauty is Alize Cornet!.
Too bad she does not have the power to defeat players like Sharapova .
By the way, Eugenie Bouchard is progressing and if a she wins in the fourth round, would face Serena Williams. Come on Genie!

Purcell Says:

Fed v Gab: Fed looking a bit 2013. Gab strong, Fed listless. Interesting first serve of match! One for youtube as comms remarked.

the DA Says:

Yes! Dimitrov gets first blood and wins the first set. Stephane Robert just beat Klizan in straight sets. It’s a shocker. Great chance for Feli or Andy to make the QFs.

kjb Says:

I had a dream last night the Gilles Simon and Deliciano won tonight. Imagine.

Ben Pronin Says:

Anyone seeing this tiebreaker between Raonic and Dimitrov? If this is what the future of tennis looks like, I would say we’re in for quite a treat.

Ben Pronin Says:

Man that was huge. Too bad it was so early in the tournament. Both guys need to do better at the majors. Hopefully by this time next year, they’ll only be able to meet in the quarters or deeper.

Okiegal Says:

Grigor won! Wow what serving from Raonic! Great match.

courbon Says:

@ Ban pronin: Very good indeed.I’m glad Dimitrov won, I really like his play…you are right-you watch this match and you see future beyond BIG 4.

the DA Says:

That was great. So glad Dimi won. Hopefully this will be a catalyst.

the DA Says:

Unfortunately he’s probably going to meet the slayer of single-handed BHs.

courbon Says:

@ DA: Well, he has to find a way to beat big guys if he wants to be champion.

skeezer Says:

“Raonic and Dimitrov?”
Yes, awesome future of the game. So much more interesting than slow pong Tennis. Very cool and entertaining match.
Fed wins!
Allez Fed and onward. Keep winning in 3 please,

the DA Says:

@courbon – Of course he does. Hopefully Rasheed has put him on the right path.

Michael Says:

Monfils Vs Rafa should be a cracker of a match. But, the question is whether Monfils has got the requisite stamina to endure for the entire course of the match ? In these hot conditions and five long sets, Rafa should be the heavy favourite. Yet, if Monfils wins the first set, then the match would become interesting.

Margot Says:

Got up at the crack of dawn, well b4 dawn here in UK, but worth it to see Andy demolish Lopez.
Let’s Go Andy! Right into the second week!

Margot Says:

@the DA
Just read your comment above. Now stop that Eeyore, d’yer hear?

Roger Fan Says:

Roger always hits the right shots. Mirka is pregnant once again.

the DA Says:

@Margot – Hah…we swapped roles. I had concerns and he did take ages to get going. Once I saw how he handled the TB I relaxed a bit. He did much better than I expected. There were some glorious shots/rallies. Poor Feli, this was his one big chance to get the upset. I’d be quite happy with a QF showing to be honest.

Now watch Andy struggle against Robert :0 #antijinx

Margot Says:

@the DA
Am verrrryyy happy Andy has got to the 2nd week.
Well Robert is a)good b) nothing to lose c)an unknown for Andy, so not expecting a smooth ride, but hey where would we be without the Murray Roller Coaster?
Let’s Go!

the DA Says:

“Murray Roller Coaster?” – indeed. I still prefer the post 2012 rollercoasters to the ones from 2011 and before ;)

First there were stories about Andy and Feli hanging out in the ice bath and talking haircuts Now he and Dimi are hanging out:

Roger Rasheed tweeted it with the caption: “When u get to 2nd week u must bath with Slam winner 2 get the feeling”

Steve27 Says:

Allez Tsonga!

the DA Says:

Simon is going to wear Tsonga down or force him to go for too much and miss. He’s like the energizer bunny (what ankle injury?). Funny how he’s a bad match up for some big hitters.

van orten Says:

they showed the boring murray match instead of the dim vs rao one.

so now rafa next for dimi ?they will play during the day in quick conditions maybe so he ‘ll have a shot I guess at least to be entertaining

mat4 Says:

Tsonga had a very good H2H on hard against Simon, and it was also obvious that Gilles wasn’t at his best, so the result of their match was expected.

mat4 Says:

I felt that this tournament will be a good one for Dimitrov, and for once, I was right.

I don’t know what he can do in the next round — not much I presume — but it is time to see where he really stands against the big boys on a big scene.

Meanwhile, Gael plays a disappointing match. He’s tense and has no plan whatsoever. His first serve doesn’t work, he misses easy shots, and he has no clue what to do against Rafa.

mat4 Says:

Enough tennis. This is not a match, but a butchery. Monfils, a potential all time great, is made looking like a mere journeyman.

Margot Says:

Lol, when DOES Monfils ever have a plan?
2nd set UEs Rafa 2, Monfils 32. The end

the DA Says:

He’s fighting back..maybe too late but it’s good to see when he’s in full flight. I missed all the drama with Rafa rolling his ankle. He seems okay now but twitter exploded when he fell on it.

the DA Says:

Those last 2 games demonstrate the gulf between these two in terms of mentality. Nadal saved his 2 BPs flawlessly, when Gael defends his first BP he over hits into the stands. I have to say Rafa is looking a little ominous with every match.

rafaeli Says:

What a Master Class from the King of Tennis!

Sean did you see that?

Okiegal Says:

Monfils is apparently a lazy player….too lazy too train hard so he can go the distance. His legs were gone the first set!! He needs to get serious…..for he is talented.

Great match, Rafa, VAMOS!!

mat4 Says:


You’re right, indeed.

madmax Says:

Purcell Says:
Fed v Gab: Fed looking a bit 2013. Gab strong, Fed listless. Interesting first serve of match! One for youtube as comms remarked.

January 17th, 2014 at 9:55 pm


you posted this here, not sure why, but Fed played a great match. What match were you watching?

A Tango Lad Says:

Well played match by Grigor but way too many unforced errors from Raonic for me to say this future looks so bright. Groundies and net play still not consistent from him.

Still worried for Roger as he hasn’t faced players of any substance as of yet. Tsonga should show us where Roger’s level really is.

Hopp Roger!

mat4 Says:

^^^ Who cares?

Top story: After Stunning French Open Loss, Novak Djokovic Cleared His Mind