Saturday, January 23, 2010

Australian Open: Third Round Report

The third round is the first time seeded players can meet one another. For the men, things more or less went according to plan with 9 of the top 10 men still alive. Things are heating up though especially with two retirements including Marcos Baghdatis who down 0-6, 2-4 to Lleyton Hewitt before he called it quits and one walkover by 20th seed Mikhail Youzhny putting unseeded Lukasz Kulbot into the fourth round for the first time. The only other upset other than Youzhny came at the hands of John Isner who used his ferocious serve to knock off 12th seed Gael Monfils.

It was a bit more dramatic for the women with a couple of major upsets happening this round. The biggest and most shocking was probably US Open champion Kim Clijsters going down to lower-seeded Nadia Petrova 0-6, 1-6 posting her worst defeat in years.

Clijsters had company though as Jelena Jankovic (8), Agnieska Radwanska (10), and Marion Bartoli (11) all fell to lower ranked players with Bartoli the only one who seemed to put up any sort of fight. The Justine Henin Don't-Call-It-A-Comeback Train is still rolling as she fought to defeat 27th seed Alisa Kleybanova after being down a set and a break.

The second week and thus the fourth round begins tonight. This is where the top players are set to meet one another. I'll post second week previews for both the men and the women later today.

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