Saturday, January 22, 2011

Australian Open Report: Days 5 & 6

Already a few people are through their fourth round matches and into the quarterfinals, but let's back it up a few and talk about the third round matches that transpired the past day or two.

The top men continued their strong showings in the third round. While not bringing their A-game top ranked Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer moved through in straight sets. Novak Djokovic only had to play a set until his compatriot retired with injury while Nicolas Almagro Fernando Verdasco, David Ferrer, Tomas Berdych, Andy Murray, and Robin Soderling all won in straight sets, the latter reaching his best results at this tournament. Tommy Robredo and Andy Roddick (the last American in the men and women's draw) won in four sets.

10th seed Mikhail Youzhny lost to newcomer Milos Raonic while 13th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga lost in five sets, after being up 2 sets to 1, to Alexandr Dolgopolov. 12th seed Gael Monfils was beaten in straights by 19th seed Stan Wawrinka. Finally, 11th seed Jurgen Melzer and 15th seed Marin Cilic won over lower seeded players Marcos Baghdatis and John Isner. Isner-Cilic went five sets almost reminiscent of the epic Isner-Mahut match at last year's Wimbledon. Thankfully, it ended 9-7 in the fifth set.

The top three seeds--Caroline Wozniacki, Vera Zvonareva, and Kim Clijsters--are all safely through with straight set wins. The fourth seed Venus Williams had to withdraw for the first time in Grand Slam play as she was still recovering from the injuries she sustained the previous match. Top players including Francesca Schiavone, Victoria Azarenka, Na Li, Agnieska Radwanska, and Maria Sharapova won as well.

One of the biggest upset of the third round was probably last year's finalist and 11th seed Justine Henin going out to 23rd seed Svetlana Kuznetsova. Another upset was 5th seed Samantha Stosur beaten in straights under the lights of Rod Laver by 25th seed Petra Kvitova. 10th seed Shahar Peer and 13th seed Nadia Petrova also lost to 22nd seed Flavia Pennetta and Ekaterina Makarova (who beat Ana Ivanovic in the first round) respectively.

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