Keys to the Match Puts American in 4th Rd. at Aussie Open; Djokovic Dominant
by Staff | January 24th, 2015, 9:29 am
  • 53 Comments

For American tennis fans waiting on Madison Keys, the wait could be over.


At 19 years old with athletic attributes that include an all-court game, big serve and ferocious forehand, it has been a wait for both fans and Keys, who has seemed to struggle with bringing everything together at the same time to win big matches and go deep in tournaments.

Now with the confidence of former No. 1 Lindsay Davenport by her side as a coach, the unseeded Keys on Saturday downed No. 4 seed and two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova 6-4 7-5 in the third round at the Australian Open.

“I think my hands are still shaking,” said Keys, who moved into the fourth round at a Slam for the first time. “I’m really happy that I served that game out so well.”

The teen is taking her share of top left-handed scalps on tour, last year at Eastbourne beating Angelique Kerber in the championship on grass, another surface tailored to her big game.

In the fourth round Madison Keys will face Madison Brengle in an all-American all-unseeded meeting, with Brengle on Saturday downing fellow American Coco Vandeweghe 6-3, 6-2.

Another American, the highest profile of all, almost made her exit Saturday as world No. 1 Serena Williams was forced to come back from a set down to defeat No. 26 seed Elina Svitolina of the Ukraine 4-6, 6-2, 6-0.

“My next match I’m just going to have a longer warm-up, more intense warm-up,” Serena said of her slow start. “But as long as I was able to come through today, I can always have an opportunity for tomorrow.”

Serena next faces No. 24 Garbine Muguruza Blanco of Spain, who on Saturday was a 6-3, 4-6, 6-0 winner over Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland.

For the first time in approximately four years Serena is joined in the fourth round of a major by sister Venus. On Saturday the No. 18 seed turned back a challenge by young Italian riser Camila Giorgi 4-6, 7-6(3), 6-1. The elder Williams sister found herself down a set and a break, and Giorgi served for the match in the second.

“My whole focus was, ‘Okay, let me try to hold serve’ instead of, ‘Oh, shoot, this is almost over,’” Venus said. “I felt like in the first set I had some chances on the 5-4 return game. In the second set I just felt like if I play one or two points better then I’m in there.”

Venus will next square off against No. 6 Agnieszka Radwanska, who defeated No. 30 seed Varvara Lepchenko 6-0, 7-5.

Former No. 1 and unseeded Victoria Azarenka topped the hard-hitting No. 25 seed Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 6-4, 6-4, setting up a meeting with No. 11 Dominika Cibulkova, who defeated No. 19 Alize Cornet 7-5, 6-2.

“I do feel I played better than I was playing two years ago,” Azarenka said. “I think the women’s tennis level went up, so I don’t like to compare the past. I just want to look forward to the future. I think my game evolved. I’m just heading towards better than looking how I used to play.”

On the men’s side, world No. 1 Novak Djokovic moved into the fourth round in straight-set fashion on Saturday, downing an opponent, Fernando “Hot Sauce” Verdasco, who has seen his share of success in Melbourne, 7-6(8), 6-3, 6-4.

“It was turning point probably winning the [first set] tiebreaker as close as it was,” Djokovic said. “Credit to him for playing well, serving very well, especially down the ‘T.’ It’s hard when somebody serves 215 down the ‘T,’ on the line, you can’t do much about it. He was a former Top 10 player. Somebody that loves playing on the big stage, a powerful game. I’m glad to go through in straight sets.”

The Serb will next meet 13-year tour veteran Gilles Muller, who he has never faced. Muller in an upset Saturday saw off No. 19-seeded American John Isner 7-6(4), 7-6(6), 6-4.

Defending champ and No. 4 seed Stanislas Wawrinka topped unseeded Jarkko Nieminen of Finland 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 to set up a fourth-round encounter with Spaniard Guillermo “G-Lo” Garcia-Lopez, who stopped Canadian Vasek Pospisil 6-2, 6-4, 6-4.

“For sure I’m not the focus on the tournament because there’s Novak, Rafa coming back from injury, was Roger also just lost, there’s Kyrgios, Tomic still playing,” Wawrinka said. “For sure I’m not the focus. For me doesn’t matter. I’m feeling good. I’m feeling great. I’m happy the way I’m playing. To get to the second week again, it’s great.”

No. 5 seed Kei Nishikori and No. 9 David Ferrer also lined-up a fourth round meeting with wins on Saturday. Nishikori routed unseeded American Steve Johnson after dropping the first set 6-7(7), 6-1, 6-2, 6-3, making for no American men in the fourth round, while Ferrer out-grinded No. 18 seed Gilles Simon 6-2, 7-5, 5-7, 7-6(4).

“He was playing really solid actually. Great forehand, hitting really aggressive,” Nishikori said of losing the first set to Johnson. “I think I was started little bit shaky, little bit tight. But after second set I tried to change my mind, tried to hit through every ball. Return was getting much better…After playing first set, I started feeling little bit, not relaxed, but no pressure. I start thinking to just go for everything.”

No. 8 seed Milos Raonic handled unseeded German Benjamin Becker 6-4, 6-3, 6-3, and will next meet No. 12 seed Feliciano “F-Lo” Lopez who used his all-court game to unhinge Poland’s Jerzy Janowicz 7-6(6), 6-4, 7-6(3).

“Milos is one of the greatest players in the game right now,” F-Lo said. “I think is going to be very close. He’s probably the great server right now in the game. Is going to be a tight match. Those matches were two, three points that will come by the end. I think it’s going to be difficult to return his serve. Is good that I beat him last time, but doesn’t mean anything because he beat me a couple times before.”

Sunday’s match-ups of note include (2) Maria Sharapova vs. (21) Shuai Peng, (3) Rafael Nadal vs. (14) Kevin Anderson, (6) Andy Murray vs. (10) Grigor Dimitrov, and (7) Tomas Berdych vs. Aussie hope Bernard Tomic.

TENNIS-X NEWS, NOTES, QUOTES AND BARBS
Rafael Nadal
feels like he is losing ground to Novak Djokovic when he is sleeping: “Seriously, I don’t like to sleep a lot. I feel that when I am sleeping that I am losing time.”…Feliciano Lopez on the ball boy he drilled in the nuts: “Yesterday we met. I just wanted to apologize and to make him happy for a while. I gave him a t-shirt and a wristband from the match. Yeah, was very funny because he became very famous with his mates at school. Everybody was watching the video on YouTube. Thousands of viewers, I’ve heard. He was happy in a way, but he was also very fortunate when he was hit that he was okay after five, six minutes. He went out to sit down a little bit. I told him to go out. He wanted to continue to work. I told him, ‘No, better that you sit down for a while and then you come back.’ I told him, Don’t worry, it’s going to be okay. This happen to me already a few times.”…A question to Venus Williams from a member of the media on Saturday after her match in Melbourne: “You are able to recover some balls that Serena cannot. But she’s playing more aggressive and she likes to drive the situation. Do you agree with that? Or just my perception and maybe I’m drunk?”…Venus Williams after her third-round win in Melbourne: “I like to win titles. I like to win titles, whether it’s a smaller event or a big event. That’s what I play for. So, yes, great, it’s great to be in the second week. But is fourth round my goal when I come to these tournaments? No.”…Victoria Azarenka on how she has changed after her turbulent 2014 away from the game with injuries and broken relationships: “I think I’m able to speak my thoughts more freely, which before I think I was holding back and really was trying to fit into some kind of image that a lot of people, a lot of players do. I think it’s a matter of maturity. I just want to be free to speak what I think. And I didn’t do that before. You don’t want to be a person nobody likes. But just to be honest and to be respected to other players. Not that I wasn’t friendly [to other players], but it’s nice to get to know girls. I miss so much Kim Clijsters because she was the one everybody loved, everybody wanted to talk to. It’s a two-way street. You got to make an effort. Other players will or not. I want to be the one who is making an effort and trying to have those relationships, get to know some more players.”…Madison Brengle: “My mom is just obsessed with the [tournament] towels. ‘Did you get another towel?’ Mom, I won. She’s like, ‘But the towels.’ I got her one from Brisbane. I didn’t get one from Hobart. I just think she really likes the Slam towels. I’m trying to get as many towels as I can, so I have to try to keep winning.”…John Isner won only one point on return of serve in his first set against Gilles Muller on Saturday…From tennis writer Alix Ramsay: “[Alize Cornet's] grasp of English is excellent. In fact it is a little too perfect — not only has she has learned all her verbs and declensions, she has learned all the rude stuff, too; she is very good at the rude stuff when things are going wrong. And, oh, my, did they go wrong against Dominika Cibulkova. Six set points, she had. And six set points she blew before blowing a gasket and letting rip at her coach Biljana Veselinovic. This being a family website, we could not possibly reveal exactly what she said but, rest assured, it was colourful, it was anatomical and it defied belief. Veselinovic is new to all this — she only signed up with Cornet in August after the Frenchwoman’s previous coach, George Goven, handed in his notice last March after one verbal volley too many.”


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53 Comments for Keys to the Match Puts American in 4th Rd. at Aussie Open; Djokovic Dominant

Emilia Says:

Novak deserves his 5th AO grand slam for his stamina.


jane Says:

Brad Gilbert ‏@bgtennisnation 20m20 minutes ago
5 guys are through to rd of 16 without dropping a set @DjokerNole @milosraonic @stanwawrinka @tomasberdych @andy_murray impressive 1st week


Giles Says:

No doubt they will start dropping sets at this stage of the tourney!


Dan Martin Says:

I have my picks up for today’s matches at http://tennisabides.com Raonic’s return numbers are pretty solid. That bodes well for him in general and in Melbourne.


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Novak deserves his 5th AO grand slam for his stamina.

Absolute nonsense. What extra stamina he had shown compared to others?


Humble Rafa Says:

I am happy to struggle through..I am line fine wine, I get better with time.


jane Says:

i wish andy/dimi wasn’t so late. i’d like to watch it. based on what i have seen, though, i can’t see andy losing this one. grigor was unsteady in his match with baggy, whereas andy has looked sharp in all his matches. i think he’ll come through.


jane Says:

berdych is off to a good start.

don’t give anderson much of a chance; i don’t think his return game is up to snuff is it?


jane Says:

berdych certainly doing well tonight versus tomic. 14 aces and 41 winners in 2 and a half sets.


Michael Says:

Kevin looked the better player for most part of the first set but the turning point came at 5 all, 0-40 when Rafa managed to save about six break points and then went on a roll with Anderson looking totally lost on court and was just withering away with Rafa’s onslaught who looked a totally different player with brutal aggression. Now it looks like if anybody is going to stop Rafa’s jaggernaught in this tournament it can only be Novak and what an helluva of a final that would be if it materializes? Waiting indeed for quite sometime.


Patson Says:

@Michael

I actually think that if Murray plays Nadal in the semi-final, Murray *can* beat Nadal as he did in AO 2010, and that too convincingly. If they do meet in the semis, I’ll call it 50-50.


Okiegal Says:

I think Stan is looking good too. Not much talk about him, however.


Michael Says:

Patson,

Andy has to cross a major hurdle in the form of Dmitrov and that I think will be a crucial match which would also give an insight as to the kind of form, Andy is in at the moment. So far in this tournament, he has not been tested. Of course, if he does meet Rafa that would be a cracker of a match, but the edge would still be with Rafa. For me, Rafa is already in the semi finals as his opponent is Berdych and it is difficult to even imagine that he would stop him.


Michael Says:

Okiegal, Isn’t that shocking ? He is the defending Champion and yet is not hogging the attention he deserves. A Wawarinka Vs Novak clash at the semis would be very interesting and will keep Novak at the edge conscious of the result of last year which he would do every thing not to repeat itself. On the flip side that would add that much more pressure.


Margot Says:

Watching Halep. She’s such a gr8 player, really like her. Her ROS is outstanding, she takes the ball so early.
Go Simona, go Aggie go Maddy!
Half watching Seppi v Kyrgios, Nic’s serving is not as good as Seppi’s at mo. Will need to improve if he’s to win cos Seppi is on quite a roll.


Margot Says:

First set to Halep but Wickmeyer is starting to play really well. Apparently Halep has never beaten her, but last match was 3 years ago. Excellent match btw
Meanwhile Seppi goes 2 up.


gonzalowski Says:

Patson,
“Murray *can* beat Nadal as he did in AO 2010, and that too convincingly.”

you guys remember Nadal was injured that day, didn’t he?


Margot Says:

And Simona takes it! Goooo Simona.
And Nic bites back!
Andy on now. Just behind the checking sofa….;)
Gooooooo Andy!


Giles Says:

@gonzalowski. Yes Rafa was injured in AO 2010. Some people have short memory


Patson Says:

@gonzalo

That injury didn’t show up until set 3. Nadal lost both set 1 and set 2. I remember watching that match and Nadal’s movement wasn’t hampered at all in the first two sets.


Giles Says:

@Patson. Do you know better than Nadal?


skeezer Says:

Patson is correct. And Murray was out playing Rafa those 2 sets also.


Okiegal Says:

Who is gonna play Nick…..Andy or Grigor? This match is very physical atm! C’mon Andy…..

@Margot…..get out from behind the sofa, I really believe Andy can win this…..I just hope he believes he can. Good match!!


Michael Says:

And Nick is through in a marathon match with thrills and chills. Has Australia discovered a Champion material after Hewitt ?


Michael Says:

Andy is engaged in a see-saw battle with Dmitrov in a match punctuated with fire works from both end and some great retrieving. While second serve is proving to be Andy’s nemesis, Dmitrov is constrained by his inability to hit back hand down the shots. But still the contest is even and difficult to pick a winner. But in my opinion, Andy should scrape through.


Giles Says:

Anyone can beat an injured player. Rafa was injured in AO 2010 against Murray.


Patson Says:

@Giles

1) Nadal was injury-free before the match. See the press conferences of AO 2010 prior to that match ; there is no mention of him carrying an injury.

2) That injury doesn’t show up until set 3. See footage.

So I don’t really think I need to ask Nadal when it is all out there.


Patson Says:

For heaven’s sake , drop the injury argument. Was he injured against Tsonga in AO 08 ? Or against Ferrer in US open 2007 ? Or Murray in US open 2008 ?

There’s nothing wrong in admitting that on that particular day, your man wasn’t good enough.


Daniel Says:

Michael,

Indeed Murray hasn’t being tested, but it is today. Dimitrov already a break up in fourth set but Murrya can have a string kf returns and change anytime, but he is not driving the ball as he should. Other rounds he had way more power. This set seems he is playing to wait Dimitorv miss.

Parson,

Don’t try to argue with Giles. He will not adimit Nadal lost two sets fair and square in 2010 as he injured thirds set it is easy for him to say: Nadal os injured inn2010 and dismiss the loss. Classic Rafafan MO. Other tennis fans knows better.


Giles Says:

“That injury doesnt show up until set 3″ which means you Patson are admitting that Rafa did have an injury. I don’t care when the injury showed up, the fact is that there was an injury. Even you have said so!!


Giles Says:

Daniel. I will not admit to something that is untrue.
Patson. No, Rafa wasn’t injured on the 3 occasions you mention, not to my knowledge anyway.


Daniel Says:

Murray saved set point to stay alive this set. Dimi to serve for the set.


Michael Says:

Daniel,

Things are not looking good for Andy at the moment with Dmitrov firing all cylinders in the fourth set and is virtually dictating play from the back of the court with his power packed game. If it goes to the fifth set as it should, it is any body’s game. Will Andy conquer his demons and squeak out a win ?


Daniel Says:

Ok Giles so can you admit that Rafa was not injured in set 1 and 2, this is just what we are saying and this is true?! If you do that we are all okay in here.
What you can’t do is say Rafa wa sinjured that match as if he eas injured from the get go. He lost 2 sets fair and square and even for him not injured would be hard tomein 3 straight seta over Murray on HC that day. We will never know for sure, as Nadal sure can revert a 0-2 score in a Slam


Michael Says:

And there is a strange twist in tale, Andy gas broken and is now even.


Daniel Says:

Murray just broke Dimi, will serve to level set. Dimi stay has a shot tk pressure Murray and break. Let’s see if Murray holds


Daniel Says:

Murray holds. Great match!


Daniel Says:

Murray break Dimi to love and Dimi break the racquet in 2 at his first attempt, not even Safin could do that LOL.
Murray to serve for the match.


Michael Says:

Dmitrov’s play suddenly collapsed and now Andy is serving for the match.


gonzalowski Says:

Patson and Daniel,
I do remember that Rafa ended the2010 match injured.
Unless it was a fake, what I don’t believe.
But you guys ‘KNOW’ it was a false injury and some Rafa’s invention.
You fedtards…


Daniel Says:

That was an excelent win by Andy, his heart pump showed it.
Now he gets Kirgios (he is one of the best ayer agaisnt giant servers), but that may be another thriller an dpossible semis with Nadal.

Berdych is playing great and hasn’t drop a set. But we all saw that before, he is dominating and playing great until he plays Nadal. He may a set as he is an improved version of Andersin. But if he wants to have a Slam he better take notice of Wawa and Cilic and deliver. He always had the game not the mind.

Seems all set for a classic Nadal x Murray semis.


Daniel Says:

gonzalowski,

We are nt saying Nadal was faking or anything I saw the match and you could see in THIRD set he got injured and almost retired. He finished that set just tomgive credit to Murray as he was also defening champioon. But he was NOT injured in set 1 and 2, where he was outplayed by Andy. This is what we are saying.

Giles statement: Nadal was injured that match doesn’t hild true and is unfair to Andy. Some paterns with most Nadal fans. Seema people have short and selective memories.


Margot Says:

Dunno about other Andy fans but I’m wrecked!
Come on Andy!


gonzalowski Says:

Daniel,
Ok, but IMO we don’t really know (me at least) Nadal’s situation in set 1 and 2, and maybe we can’t put that match as a concrete example of Murray’s domination over Nadal, just saying.
Congrats to Andy today, anyway.


Wog Boy Says:

Congrats to Andy and his fans, he has shown a lot of heart and fought from 2:5 to 7:5, great effort and very composed Andy. If he keeps himself together he should be able to make SF.


Margot Says:

Andy has made quarters of 16 grand slams in a row now :)
Thanks Wog Boy/Daniel et al :) A good match for you lucky neutrals, I guess!


Wog Boy Says:

@gonzalowski,

I was there in 2010, in RLA, Rafa was well and truly outplayed by Andy and was not injured in the first two sets. Andy was on fire and Rafa would have lost that match injury or no injury. It was strange electric atmosphere in RLA, I don’t remember seeing Andy so fired up, even when he won GS titles.


gonzalowski Says:

Wog boy,
ok then, it must be so.
A question, were you at 2014 final too? because some part of the crowd’s behaviour towards Nadal was very unfair IMO


Wog Boy Says:

@Gonzalowski,
No I wasn’t there last year, the only year I couldn’t go to Melbourne, I saw it on TV, same as you.


Daniel Says:

Last two times they played on HC, 2008 and 2010 (set 1 and set 2) Andy won and only lost 1 set. He is much better player now (so is Rafa, his backhand is much improved) but those were peak Nadal years where he won multiple Slams. If they are to meet this time it may be a close contest (the exho match may give Andy extra confidence needed), as he is the few players can go toe to toe with Nadal.
Also Murray second serve seems way better this tourney, dificulting opponents to attack it.
Think Kirgios may win a set but usually Murray handle those big serves fine and always force them to hit an extra ball. But it may be a clash.
I think they will also play night match again and for the looks of it andy mat play all remaining matces at night: quarters, semis with Nadal and potential final (end of the day).


Michael Says:

A great win for Andy and he is through to another quarters at the Australian Open and this time it is against Nick. I do not think Andy will be greatly bothered about the fanatical crowd support Nick will enjoy and his experience is likely to take him through to another semi final.

Against Dmitrov, Andy was playing some exceptional Tennis at the right moment but his second serve was a real dampener with lack of pace that will put to shame even the women circuit. Can he beat players of quality like Novak and Rafa with such poor second serve ? I really doubt. Unless he improves that second serve drastically, it is going to be a tall order for Andy.


jane Says:

just woke up and checked scores. congrats to andy and fans!


jane Says:

wow nick came back from 2 sets down! 8-6 in the 5th. that will be tough for him to bounce back from but congrats to him for what looks like a battle well fought. i wish these weren’t on in the middle of the night. : / going to look for highlights or replays.

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