Serena, Djokovic Take the Heat, Dodig Doesn’t at Aussie Open; X-Notes
by Staff | January 15th, 2014, 8:59 am

Another day, another dollar (or actually $75,000 third-round prize money) for world No. 1 Serena Williams, who punched Serbian Vesna Dolonc’s clock 6-1, 6-2 on Wednesday to move into the third round at the 2014 Australian Oven…err, we mean Open.
“I was happy just to get that win under my belt and have a chance to go at the next round,” Serena said regarding the heat and a relatively quick match against the 24-year-old world No. 104 Dolonc. “I have been training for a long, long time in the heat in Florida as well as playing — I have been coming to Melbourne for years and years. So you just have to be ready for those hot conditions and just try to get through it.”

Also through it were No. 4 Li Na overcoming a late surge from Swiss teen qualifier Belinda Bencic 6-0, 7-6(5), and No. 9 Angelique Kerber defeating Russian Alla Kudryavtseva 6-4, 6-2.

“She played exactly like Martina Hingis, I feel,” Na said of the Swiss Bencic. “It’s very tough to play a decent player I never see before, because I cannot get any information. When comes to the court, it’s like, Okay, is similar like first round. It’s like, Okay. Yeah, I think today she give me very tough time end of the second set…Of course she win the juniors, so she has experience, used to play the big court.”

Seeds struggling into the third round Wednesday were No. 26 Lucie Safarova edging fellow Czech Lucie Hradecka 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-0, and No. 31 Daniela Hantuchova winning a marathon over Czech Karolina Pliskova 6-3, 3-6, 12-10.

Other seeds safely sojourning into third-round play were No. 14 Ana Ivanovic, No. 17 Samantha Stosur rolling last week’s title winner Tsvetana Pironkova 6-2, 6-0; No. 28 Flavia Pennetta, and No. 30 Eugenie Bouchard.

Stosur will next meet the former No. 1 Ivanovic.

“Last two tournaments last year we played, she won one, I won one,” Stosur said. “Couple three setters in there. It’s going to be a tough one.”

Aussie Casey Dellacqua thrilled the locals with a 6-3, 6-0 win over No. 18 seed Kirsten Flipkens, and Romanian Monica Niculescu was also an upset winner after upending No. 15 Sabine Lisicki 2-6, 6-2, 6-2.

“Since I knew I was playing Kirsten, I had practiced a lot of slice with my coach,” said Dellacqua, who will next meet Jie Zheng. “That’s all we did for a couple days. So I was very, very well prepared.”

Unseeded Americans were a mixed bag on the day as Lauren Davis outlasted Julia “Gorgeous” Goerges in three sets and Alison Riske dropped only two games against Yanina Wickmayer, but Madison Keys was bundled out in three sets by Zheng, and Irina Falconi lost in straights to No. 22 seed Ekaterina Makarova.

“I’d obviously love to be talking about winning the match, but it’s going to happen,” Keys said afterwards. “I’m learning how to deal with losses and learning from them.”

On the men’s side, they say if you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen. Or complain that you’re going to die, and retire from your match in Melbourne, then get out of the kitchen.

That’s what happened on Wednesday to Croatia’s Ivan Dodig, who joined the ever-growing list of retirements or withdrawals at this year’s Australian Open by throwing in the towel at 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 4-1 against Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Damir Dzumhur due to the heat. He was the 10th withdrawal or retirement after a Grand Slam record-tying nine players pulled in the first round.

“I was thinking I could maybe even die here,” said Dodig about temperature that went above 104F for the second straight day. “It’s not acceptable to play in these conditions.”

The No. 32-seeded Dodig was one of four seeded upsets on the day, joining No. 14 Mikhail Youzhny who was ousted by German Florian Mayer in five sets, No. 23 Ernests Gulbis who was straight-setted by American Sam Querrey, and No. 30 Dmitry Tursunov who fell in four sets to Uzbek Denis Istomin.

“That was one of my best serving days ever,” said Querrey, who will next meet No. 15 seed Fabio Fognini, another winner Wednesday. “But I felt like I returned really well. [Gulbis] has a huge serve and I felt like I did a good job of making him play on his service games, even the games he was winning.”

Top 10 seeds in action had a relatively easy time as No. 2 Novak Djokovic rolled Argentine Leonardo Mayer 6-0, 6-4, 6-4; No. 3 David Ferrer topped Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 7-6(2), 5-7, 6-0, 6-3; No. 7 Tomas Berdych eased past Frenchman Kenny De Schepper 6-4, 6-1, 6-3; No. 8 Stanislas Wawrinka defeated Colombia’s Alejandro Falla 6-3, 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-4; and No. 9 Richard Gasquet subdued Russian veteran Nikolay Davydenko 7-6(3), 6-4, 6-4.

“The conditions were not easy for both my opponent and myself,” said Djokovic after defeating Mayer and setting up a meeting with Istomin. “I started the match really, really good. I was set and a break up only after, you know, 40, 45 minutes. You don’t want to spend too much time in the heat. You want to try to win as quick as possible.”

Other seeded players advancing into the third round were No. 17 Tommy Robredo, No. 19 Kevin Anderson, No. 20 Jerzy Janowicz, No. 28 Vasek Pospisil, and No. 29 Jeremy Chardy.

Round 2 action continues on Thursday in Melbourne, with highlights including (3) Maria Sharapova vs. Italian Karin “Take a” Knapp, (1) Rafael Nadal vs. Aussie comer Thanasi Kokkinakis, set your phaser on “spray” for Jack Sock vs. (25) Gael “Force” Monfils, Marin Cilic vs. (18) Gilles Simon, and the Lleyton-killer (24) Andreas Seppi vs. American “The” Donald Young. Also in action will be Roger Federer, Andy Murray, and Victoria Azarenka.


Serena Williams has won her last 24 matches in a row. Novak Djokovic has won his last 26 matches in a row. Maybe they should play each other?….Novak Djokovic is on a 23-match win streak at the Australian Open…Is 17-year-old Thanasi Kokkinakis the next Australian star? Watch him against Rafael Nadal andthen decide. Kokkinakis is trying to become the first Australian man to beat a world No. 1 at Tour-level since Mark Philippoussis defeated Andre Agassi in the round of 16 at 2003 Wimbledon…The last teenager to defeat a world No. 1 at a Grand Slam event was Rafael Nadal when he defeated Roger Federer at 2005 Roland Garros aged 19 years and 2 days…Leonardo Mayer is 0-14 against Top 10 players…After two days of 100+ temperatures the Australian Open never did enforce their extreme heat rule. Will they do it on Thursday when the mercury is again expected to reach record levels?…Bernard Tomic said it was unfair that the crowd booed him after retiring a set into his match against Rafael Nadal. Hey Bernard, at least you could have taken the mic and apologized directly to the crowd!…Roger Federer hasn’t played on Hisense Arena since 2004…Battery and stalking charges have been dropped against 37-year-old Jennifer Capriati in Florida after she completed 30 hours of community service and four hours of anger management counseling, the state attorney’s office in Palm Beach County said. The incident was from Valentine’s Day last year when Capriati’s ex-boyfriend said she started punching him, and he had to lock himself in the men’s locker room to get away from him. End of relationship, or did they go out to a romantic dinner afterwards?…Stefan Edberg said only Roger Federer could have convinced him to come out of retirement to coach the Swiss: “I think Roger is such a special person both on and off the court, a person that I really respect and because it was him, at least I gave it a thought. I talked with my family because I live a pretty comfortable life now and this is a change. But it’s such a great opportunity to be around Roger and I can have a good input in keeping him in this game as long as we can, because he’s so great for tennis.”…Sounds like fainting Canadian Frank Dancevic needs to stop his bitching about the Aussie heat and get in shape…China’s Peng Shuai puked on court Tuesday during her match due to the heat, and a ball boy collapsed…Why is it the players who lose complain the most about the heat? Coincidence? Instead of barking why not step up your training? Move to Dubai. Stop eating gluten or just plain get another job. Stan Wawrinka when asked by the media if he was going to go skydiving if he won the Australian Open: “I’m not going to win the tournament, so we’re not there yet. I can skydiving without winning the tournament.” — I can have skydiving?…Pat Rafter on Goran Ivanisevic’s assessment of his doubles game with Lleyton Hewitt: “He said it was f***ing bad, not just bad, it was really bad. I said, Yeah. He said, ‘You served okay,’ so I don’t know how he talks. He’s Croatian. It was just fun. Goran and I have been hanging out. We played a fair few tournaments with each other in Europe. We got to spend a fair amount of time with each other. He takes the piss out of me and he thinks it’s funny.”

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60 Comments for Serena, Djokovic Take the Heat, Dodig Doesn’t at Aussie Open; X-Notes

Fumus Says:

set your phaser on “spray” for Jack Sock vs. (25) Gael “Force” Monfils


I think you mean Spock? Bad pun attempt.

Ben Pronin Says:

I have no idea what Rafter said.

Gordon Says:

I don’t know who “staff” is, but while you are taking shots at Dancevic, why not deride the parents of the ball boys and girls who have been complaining about the conditions after their kids are passing out in number?

Do you have an opinion on this? Do you believe any temperature is playable in regardless of the heat? Or is the extent of your intellect labelling it the Australuan OVen and then picking on a Canadian?

9 withdrawals from the singles draws due to extreme heat is nothing to be flippant about. Your comment reminds me of the “be a man and shake it off” comments that used to get barked at football and hockey players who had been concussed.

SG1 Says:


I completely agree with you. Generally speaking, I’m not particularly sympathetic to the whining of millionaires. However, this heat is serious stuff. Watching a ball boy literally pass out should be a good indication that the conditions are dangerous and obviously not just for the players. Where’s the common sense? When court temperatures approach 110 F, it’s time to get off the tennis court or close the roof. I’m not interested in seeing anyone get sick or worse, die at a tennis match.

hawkeye Says:

Most of the players complaining are far from millionaires.

Dancevic and Dodig are career journeymen like 90% of the professional tour with significant expenses to cover.

Sean Randall Says:

Gordon, really “9 withdrawals from the singles draws due to extreme heat”???

Can you list them?

And how many kids have passed out? How many officials? Fans?

I understand you gripe here Gordon and while I agree that it’s rotten for fans/ballkids/officials to endure the heat – really rotten – do we as a society just stop working outside when it gets over 100+ now? Do we pass that “rule”. Is that where we are headed?

If one kid – who may or may not have drank enough fluids – passes out do we stop the whole event?

the DA Says:

@BenPronin – “I have no idea what Rafter said.”

Which part?

@Sean Randall

You don’t need to stop the whole event – two courts have roofs. When temps reach 104ºon court treat it the same way as a rain delay (except the difference is that organizers are in control of when to stop/start). An insufficiently hydrated ball boy is one thing but professional athlete passing out from heat stroke is another. Heat stroke can be fatal so Dancevic took a huge risk playing on afterwards. The AO was fortunate this time but why risk it?

Bad Knee Rules Says:

While these young, fit players are risking their lives in Melbourne park by hitting a small yellow ball, not so young or fit brickies, roofers and labourers are having it easy just a few metres away on a building site under the same sun. They don’t have a choice – they have to feed their family and pay their mortgage. Those players, journeymen, do have a choice. They can quit playing and find a job, though they will find soon the life of a journeyman was better. Or they can just not come to Melbourne. Nadal proved that you don’t have to play AO, or even Wimbledon, to be #1.

Before you post anything you should know there is EHP in place at AO:
The Extreme Heat Policy is a rule pertaining to the Australian Open (tennis). It was introduced in 1998 after consultation with a number of tennis players. The policy reads:

The Australian Open Extreme Heat Policy (EHP) will be applied at the Referee’s discretion and may be altered at any time.

At the Referee’s discretion, when the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature only (WBGT) is equal to or above the pre-determined threshold, the Referee may suspend the commencement of any further matches on outside courts.

Any matches currently in progress will continue until the end of the current set. At the completion of the set, play will be suspended.

Where play in any match commences outdoors (or with a roof open) and the WBGT temperature is equal to or exceeds the pre-determined threshold, the match will continue until the completion of the set. At the end of the set a decision may be made by the Referee to close the roof for the remainder of the match and the following matches, when the EHP is still in effect.

A roof will only be closed because of extreme heat if a decision has been made by the Referee to suspend the completion or commencement of matches on the outdoor courts.

Supplement for women’s singles and junior singles only; to allow a 10-minute break between the second and third sets when a WBGT reading of 28 has been recorded prior to the calling of the match by Tournament Control. Readings are continually made throughout the day.

The 10-minute break will not apply between the second and third sets, if play had previously been suspended after the first set due to the EHP.

skeezer Says:

Well said, good research.
I would only have a concern for the Ball boys and girls if indeed they are passing out. But I have not seen any links to that yet if that is true or not. Anyways, these are young kids, who usually are volunteering. There not a professional athlete, where there is some expectation there as for as enduring the elements. And yes fitness, diet, and proper preparation matters.

volley Says:


brickies and roofers are just like athlete? who knew? what a trite comparison.


skeezer Says:

Thanks. Hey you been to SBNation. Every been here… ?
A regular hangout for me during Football season…hehe.

Bad Knee Rules Says:

brickies and roofers are just like athlete? who knew? what a trite comparison.
What is your point?

Polo Says:

Too many whiners about the heat. Why don’t we just wait until somebody dies out there on the court?

volley Says:


no i can’t say i have.


my point is the comparison is trite, as is your argument.

in the meantime the front page of today’s herald sun –

the ‘heart attack fears’ headline is obviously hyperbolic and athletes should take it with a pitch of salt. it only concerns mere mortals.

Bad Knee Rules Says:

my point is the comparison is trite, as is your argument.
No it is not. Give us your counter argument but not before you spend 8 hours mounting the roof or laying the bricks in Melbourne sun.

volley Says:

“No it is not”

yes it is. are you seriously comparing manual labor with anaerobic exercise? apples and oranges.

Bad Knee Rules Says:

apples and oranges.
No they are not. I would say mangoes, more appropriate.

Okiegal Says:

Well, the brickies and the roofers aren’t running around at break neck speed after a stationary brick or shingle, now are they?? That little comparison just won’t fly. Rather silly imo. True, brick laying and roofing are very hot jobs……but can’t be in the same sentence as tennis players playing in the wretched heat of Melbourne. You need to come up with something better than that! We had a young football player in Oklahoma drop dead on the field of a heat stroke. High heat indexes are not to be taken lightly. A player who has done all the right things prior to play can still harm their body. I hope everyone will be safe and the powers that be use good judgment.

James Says:

Kei Nishikori defeats Dusan Lajovic 6-1, 6-1, 7-6(3). Kei was ruthless on young Dusan’s second serve, so much that after a set and half, Dusan’s second serve winning point was just 9%!

Ben Pronin Says:

Wow, I’m sorry, but has Sharapova’s shrieking gotten worse? I mean it’s like a terrible shrill. She’s in the midst of a high quality battle but it is just unbelievably annoying to listen to this. I know this is old news and all but man this is insane.

the DA Says:

All matches on outside courts to be suspended after completion of current sets. Play will continue on RLA and Hisense after the roofs close. Very sensible.

Gordon Says:

Sean (Mr. Defensive),

The temperature is not hotter than two days ago but look what has been introduced.

Yes Sean, when lives are at risk you stop play. Plain and simple.

Bad Knee Rules Says:

You need to come up with something better than that!
No I don’t, I post my opinion. If you don’t like it then scroll past it or read it properly.

I said AO has the EHP in place and they implement it when they deem it necessary and not when player thinks it’s necessary, even if his name is Andy (volley). I was proven right, as they are closing the roof now. I just hope they’ll do the same thing tomorrow.

Bad Knee Rules Says:

It is not only about temperature:

“In Melbourne, the local organising team governed by the International Tennis Federation, will have a Wet Bulb Globe Temperature based protocol in place. This seeks to measure the heat stress in direct sunlight taking into account; temperature, humidity, wind speed, sun angle and cloud cover (solar radiation).”

Kimberly Says:

Ben—why don’t you try slamming the ball in 107 degrees after three hours. I bet you won’t be quiet either. Sharapova grunting will be magnified I these conditions. The one I won’t forget is Vavara lepchenko, fighting to hold serve at 6-4 0-6 0-5 credit to her.

Sean Randall Says:

Gordon, “when lives are at risk you stop play” and what magic temperature or number does that happen at?

Okiegal Says:

@Bad Knee Rules

I wish I had scrolled past it…….the post wasn’t the least bit informative.

Okiegal Says:


Yes, I think she has gotten louder, but she is gutting it out, might be why. Her scream seems to last through the other person’s strike of the ball. I am very surprised she is getting away with that.
Vika and Maria let it all out……but do they make beautiful music together?………NOT!! LOL

Okiegal Says:


If a player is seeing Snoopy……check the temperature to see what it reads……that would be the time to stop!!! Lol

gonzalowski Says:

Rafa and Kokkinari are going to play his whole match under the roof – extreme heat policy. Against another rivals it would be dangerous for him, wouldn’t it?
It’s starting very late, btw.

the DA Says:

This Kokkinakis has game. Once he reins in the UFEs and refines his point construction he will be a force to be reckoned with. I think Tomic has some serious competition.

Giles Says:

Kokhi is the USO junior champion is he not?

Margot Says:

Jamie Murray diagnosed with heat stroke after his match. Needed 2 hours treatment. Growing up in Scotland probably a disadvantage in extreme heat!
Meanwhile a storm holds up play at AO. Presumably weather breaking.

Giles Says:

^^^ No, no, no. It’s a “mental thing”!!

Margot Says:

Gosh what a wuss that Jamie is! Robert The Bruce is turning in his grave….;)

Giles Says:

Popsicle retires with back injury so Wawa gets a w/o

the DA Says:

Well, Andy wasn’t as sharp as the other day but he gets it done in 3. Went walkabout and was down 1-5 in the 3rd set before he fought back to win 23 straight points and the match. He gets Deliciano next and will need to be much sharper.

Tuned into the Paire match and need to revise what I posted earlier about Kokkinakis: Nick Kyrgios is the real deal! The only thing I’m not too fond of is the showboating. But watch out, the Aussies are coming.

skeezer Says:

Tennis on Facebook;
Fed won his 70th Grand Slam match on Thursday, most in Tournament history.

Congrats Fed!
King of the Game.

the DA Says:

Oof! Delpo is in deep doo doo. Bautista Agut has broken him in the 5th and will serve for the match.

the DA Says:

And Delpo goes out. Very disappointing for him. But credit to Bautista Agut, he played lights out tennis. He hit 36 winners to Delpo’s 16. Rafa’s draw just got a little lighter. Fed’s too, Verdasco was knocked out by Gabashvili.

the DA Says:

Scratch that. It wasn’t 36 but 72 winners!

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Why draw-analyses are useless. A week ago Rafa’s path was declared tortuous. Then his first round opponent retires with injury, his second round opponent was ranked almost 600 in the world, and now his potential quarterfinal challenge in Del Potro is eliminated.

The most danger Rafa will face is non-top-tenner, still-getting-form-back Gael Monfils before his semifinals.

So Rafa could well be as fresh as Nole should they meet there.

Ben Pronin Says:

All of the sudden Nadal’s road to the final looks very clear!

Real shame for Del Potro. He just can’t get it together at the hard court slams.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Very disappointing news about the Popsicle. If anyone saw him finish his last match, they saw a man celebrating like he’d just won his first Slam. We’ll see him in the second week soon.

the DA Says:

It was the same with Chardy last year. He came out redlining every shot and Delpo was stunned into defensiveness. His future opponents should take note.

the DA Says:

Benoit Paire isn’t winning me over with the flexing of his biceps at an opponent who’s cramping. tsk.

Polo Says:

Was that Adam Levine who just beat that kid from Australia?

Okiegal Says:

I’ve said once and I’ll say it again…….The game of tennis is a very fickle sport……all predictions pretty much out the window. Delpo out. Who’d thunk it??

Wonder who Judy will pull for…..her son or Deliciano?? LOL

WaWa got a walk over…..He will be fresh as a daisy. Things are looking a lot different than I first thought. The biggest surprise so far is Delpo. I think the heat is a huge factor for the bigger guys… takes its toll on them. I like the gentle giant……too bad for him.

Gordon Says:


I wish you were as condescending to some of the other posters in here.

My point is that there is no ‘magic’ temperature. If there was we wouldn’t be threading in here.

But there is something wrong with placing people in peril in my opinion. And “suck it up, it’s the same for both players” doesn’t cut it.

The organizers finally stopped play even though yesterday was not as hot temperature-wise as Tuesday. That in itself is telling.

hawkeye Says:

Her coach must’ve forgotten to tell her to suck it up. Sean missed his calling!

“Lepchenko, who grew up in the dry heat of Tashkent, Uzbekistan, before moving to the United States, said she had never experienced anything like what happened to her on Thursday.

“It just happened to me for the first time in my life that I was playing under these conditions, and it got on the worse side of me,” she said. “At first, I didn’t understand what was going on, but then my legs, my arms, started to get heavier, and I started — I couldn’t focus, one point, and start feeling dizzy and dizzier. I tried everything, and unfortunately I just couldn’t continue playing at 100 percent.”

Okiegal Says:

I guess the organizers had a thought to cross their mind…….What if someone happened to die of a heat stroke on court. That thought would make me stand up and take notice……obviously they did too. Tournament protocol handled differently in yesterday’s matches….good for them in using good judgment for a change.

the DA Says:

@Gordon – “My point is that there is no ‘magic’ temperature”

Truth! The AO staff won’t disclose it to trainers or players so nobody knows the official temperature limit. B Mattek-Sands has tweeted that she and her coach have asked for the official temperature and received no response from officials.

That makes it arbitrary or at rather discretionary, which means it’s not an entrenched policy. Yesterday 2 more players suffered effects of heat stroke -Lepechenko and J. Murray.

Anyway, they seemed to have come to their senses and acted wisely yesterday (except Sharapova’s match).

Ben Pronin Says:

BG and Pat McEnroe were up in arms over the rules when it comes to suspending play. They both said it’s bs that players have to wait until the end of a set, even if it’s 1-0. And both made the point that when it rains at other events, play stops regardless of what the score is, so there’s no reason the same can’t be applied for heat. Which I agree with. If you stand still in the rain you won’t get hurt. The same can’t be said about this heat.

And, I think it was Pam Shriver, then interviewed Craig Tiley and asked why that is and he just yammered about not wanting to stop players’ momentum and whatnot. Momentum > health seems to be the theme of the rules at the Ausrtalian Open.

Ben Pronin Says:

Also, the PMac pointed out how hard it must be for the fans. At least the players get to go inside and be pampered when they’re not playing. The fans basically have to suffer or not show up at all. Which in turn hurts the entire tournament.

Bad Knee Rules Says:

What about Florida boy who threatened to boycott the match unless the roof remaind open:

“Officials considered closing the roof for the final in 1993 due to a temperature of 104 degrees (F) (40 °C),[2] but Jim Courier threatened to boycott the match unless the roof remained open.”

Ben Pronin Says:

BDR, what’s that from? How does a player boycott a match? Wouldn’t he just retire/forfeit?

Kimberly Says:

I think the heat is a personal thing. I can tell you I play all the time in the summer here in Miami in 100 plus temps and I love it, in fact I feel it raises my game but girls I know who run marathons (which I couldn’t do) can’t last. I also do Bikram yoga and hot barre classes though.

Ben Pronin Says:

It’s one thing to criticize a professional athlete for not being ready for these kind of conditions, but is the heavy set guy who just came to watch some tennis and drink beer and eat hot dogs expected to withstand the heat, too?

Bad Knee Rules Says:


It is well documented, Jim was talking about that himself. He was in the locker room when they informed him that they are going to close the roof, he told them ” that’s fine but you are not going to have me playing final.” He was ready to forfeit the match, on the other side was Swedish boy Edberg and it looked like they were doing favor to Edberg.

Can you imagine Nadal/Novak final and they decide to close the roof,? You would have riots here on Tennis-x.

It is not black and white as some would like to think. That is why they have to have the EHP in place. You can’t please everybody.

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