February 8, 2016

Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer Set Up Semifinal Clash at the Australian Open

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic

(January 26, 2016) Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer will clash in the semifinals of the Australian Open as both men advanced with straight set victories on Tuesday.

The No. 3 seed Federer moved into his 12th Australian Open semifinal beating Tomas Berdych 7-6(4), 6-2, 6-4. No. 1 seed and defending champion Novak Djokovic bested No. 7 seed Kei Nishikori 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 in the night session in Rod Laver Arena.

“I think I played well overall,” said the 17-time major champion. “You know, wished maybe I didn’t get a break here or there. At the same time Tomas was pushing for it, he was looking for it, so clearly it can happen.

“He’s got a lot of power. He knows how to do it. So I was happy that on both occasions, first and third, I was able to react quickly. The second set, when I did have the break, I was able to roll with it.

“Yeah, I think the first set was tough. It was the one that took the longest, had the most importance of all the sets, in my opinion. It was definitely key to the rest of the match because I think it maybe might’ve taken some energy out of Tomas. Who knows? If not physical, also mental. It’s always tough to lose the first set in best of five in a breaker in my opinion.”

The match was the 80th win at the Australian Open for Federer. He became the oldest player at 34, since Colin Dibley at 35 to reach the semifinals at Melbourne.

Djokovic is hoping to win the tournament for a record sixth time – only Rod Laver has accomplished that feat.

For the 28-year-old Djokovic this will be his 29th Grand Slam semifinal and sixth in Melbourne. The Serbian has gone on to win the tournament the each of the five previous times he’s reached the final four.

228 Federer smiles-001

Federer was asked about what it would mean to him to win one more major in the “Djokovic” era: “I mean, a lot, yeah. It’s part of the reason why I guess I’m still playing. I feel like I’m competitive at the top. I can beat all the guys on tour. It’s nice now that in the last three slams that I’ve been as consistent as I have been.

“I’m playing good tennis, fun tennis for me anyway. I really enjoy being able to come to the net more like back in the day. So I’m very pleased.

“It would mean a lot to me, no doubt about it.”

“Roger is playing really terrific tennis in last two years,” Djokovic said as he’ll play the Swiss for the 45th time in his career on Thursday. “We played two Grand Slam finals last year. I know very well how good he plays, especially in the later stages of a major event.

“He always makes you play your best. My best is what is going to be necessary to win against him. Hopefully I’ll be able to deliver.”

 

“It’s obvious that he’s a very complete player. He’s trying lately to come to the net more, kind of shorten up the rallies. I mean, he definitely has the game for that. He’s got a great variation from the backhand side with the slice, short slice. He’s got great defense, amazing offense. He’s very complete. He puts constant pressure on the opponent. You have to be aware at all times. You got to be tough. You got to be concentrated.”

Djokovic and Federer are tied in their head-to-head record at 22-22.

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Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams, Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova Advance to Third Round of Australian Open

(January 20, 2016) Both Day and Night sessions in Rod Laver Arena produced no drama for the top seeds as Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams, Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova had easy straight set victories on Wednesday at the Australian Open.

No. 5 seed and 2008 champion Sharapova lead off the day session with an easy win 6-2, 6-1 over Aliaksandra Sasnovich. Rain delayed the start of matches on the outer courts.

 

Six-time champion Serena Williams followed with a 6-1, 6-2 dismantling of 90th ranked Hsieh Su-wei. The victory set an all-time record for Williams – her 79th main draw match at the Australian Open. She 70-9 at the first major of the year where she first played in 1998.

 

The world No. 1 dominated her opponent with 26 winners, closing the match in just one hour. One of her winners was a shot around the post, a first for her she admitted to media. “It’s cool,” she said. “You know, it’s always cool to do something fresh and new. I don’t know if I have done that. I could be wrong, but I definitely don’t remember ever hitting a shot like around the net. So it was good.”

Williams was pleased with her consistency on court: “I don’t think I made that many errors today. Something I was hopefully trying to get back into. And I moved much better today, I think, so slowly but surely feeling a little bit better.”

 

Williams will be taking on Russian Daria Kasatkina in the third round. The Russian defeater her sister Venus in the Auckland tournament earlier this month.

“I don’t think it’s gonna be easy,” Serena said of the match-up. “Any time someone is beating Venus they are more than likely playing really good.

“So I definitely will be ready for that. I obviously will ask Venus what she thought of the match, and I’m sure Patrick will know everything about her match and stuff. He’s really good at studying.

“I’ll be ready for that.”

Roger Federer hit 25 aces in his 6-3, 7-5, 6-1 win over Alexandr Dolgopolov to advance to the third round.

“I thought today I did serve very well,” Federer said. Maybe just matched up well with maybe Dolgopolov maybe wasn’t seeing it as well. But also conditions are fast during the daytime, so that helps to be able to serve through opponents.”

This was his 299th match victory at a major tournament a record setting 65th straight major. This is Federer’s 17th straight Australian Open.

“It’s been going very well for me, and I hope to keep it up as long as I choose to play tennis. You know, I mean, it’s the least I expect to be in the third round of a slam, obviously, so I’m pumped up, playing well, feeling good.”

Federer will play 27th seed Grigor Dimitrov next. Last year Federer lost in the third round of the Australian Open.

“I think it’s a tough draw, to be honest,” Federer said of his next opponent. “He’s got the game to be really dangerous.

“He’s fit enough for a five-setter, so, yeah, I mean, gotta definitely bring my best game to the court.”

Evening session began with fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska, who beat Eugenie Bouchard 6-4, 6-2. Bouchard, a semifinalist in Melbourne in 2014, had been off the tour after the U.S. Open after falling in the dressing room and sustaining a concussion. Bouchard has filed a lawsuit against the United States Tennis Association.

“I was prepared for that match 100%,” Radwanska said. “I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. She had good start of the year, as well, playing couple good matches. I knew I would have to play good tennis today.

“She start very well. She was hitting the ball very good. I think I was just more consistent today. That’s why I could really come back in that first set especially. I was really serving good. I was focusing on that. That helped, as well.”

Novak Djokovic ending the night session in Rod Laver Arena with a 6-1, 6-1, 7-6(3) victory over Frenchman wild card Quentin Halys.

“I think I played a good match,” Djokovic said. “Third set was a close set. Was a battle. Credit to him for fighting, for serving well.”

Djokovic in his post-match news conference denied a report in an Italian newspaper that he tanked a match in the 2007 Bercy event.

 

Djokovic answered:“My response is that there’s always going to be, especially these days when there is a lot of speculations, this is now the main story in tennis, in sports world, there’s going to be a lot of allegations, so…

“I have nothing more to say. I said everything I needed to say two days ago. You know, until somebody comes out with the real proof and evidence, it’s only a speculation for me.”

Defending champion Djokovic is a going for a sixth Australian Open title.

In the upset of the day, sixth seed Petra Kvitova lost to Russian-born Australian Daria Gavrilova 6-4, 6-4. Svetlana Kuznetsova, the 23rd seed lost to Kateryna Bondarenko 6-1, 7-5.

In a 4-6, 7-6(6), 9-7 loss to Monica Puig, Kristyna Pliskova hit a record 31 aces in the match.

Seeded winners in the women’s draw included No. 10 seed Carla Suárez Navarro, No. 12 seed Belinda Bencic, No. 13 seed Roberta Vinci and No. 28 seed Kristina Mladenovic.

Other seeded winners on the men’s side included No. 6 Tomas Berdych, No. 7 Kei Nishikori, Marin Cilic, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, No. 14 Gilles Simon, No. 15 David Goffin, No. 19 Dominic Thiem and No. 24 Roberto Bautista Agut.

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2016 Australian Open Singles Draws Made

 

(January 14, 2015) Friday morning in Melbourne defending Australian Open champions Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams took part in the 2016 Australian Open draw ceremony, the first major tournament of the year.

On the men’s side of the draw, top seed Novak Djokovic, seeking his sixth “down under” major will open against youngster world No. 51 Hyeon Chung. Down the line in the draw, the 10-time major champion has the potential to meet 7th seed Kei Nishikori in the quarterfinals and No. 3 Roger Federer in the semifinals. On the other side of the men’s draw, the projected quarterfinal match-ups could be last year’s finalist, No. 2 Andy Murray against No. 8 David Ferrer and No. 3 Stan Wawrinka versus No. 5 Rafael Nadal.

Murray will begin his quest for a Melbourne title against German youngster Alexander Zverev. Other first round matches for the top seeds: Federer against No. 117th-ranked Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili, No. 4 Stan Wawrinka versus veteran Dmitry Tursunov and Nadal will take on countryman Fernando Verdasco.

Find the complete men’s singles draw here.

 

In the ladies draw, No. 1 Serena Williams faces No. 35 Camila Giorgi to begin her quest for a 7th Australian Open crown. No. 2 seed Simona Halep will open against a qualifier. Maria Sharapova, who is the No. 5 seed, could meet Serena Williams in the quarterfinals. Williams could play friend and former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki in the round of 16.

Eighth seed Venus Williams could play Halep in the final eight.

Other first round pairings include Sharapova versus No. 58 Nao Hibino. Third seed Garbine Muguruza will meet No. 86 Annett Kontaveit, No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska takes on American Christina McHale.

Find the complete women’s singles draw here.

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2016 Australian Open Seeds Announced

Rod Laver Arena

(January 13, 2016) Tennis Australia has announced the seeds for the 2016 Australian Open. The seeds are as follows:

 

Men’s seeds Women’s seeds
1.   Novak Djokovic (SRB) 1.   Serena Williams (USA)
2.   Andy Murray (GBR) 2.   Simona Halep (ROU)
3.   Roger Federer (SUI) 3.   Garbine Muguruza (ESP)
4.   Stan Wawrinka (SUI) 4.   Agnieszka Radwanska (POL)
5.   Rafael Nadal (ESP) 5.   Maria Sharapova (RUS)
6.   Tomas Berdych (CZE) 6.   Petra Kvitova
7.   Kei Nishikori (JPN) 7.   Angelique Kerber (GER)
8.   David Ferrer (ESP) 8.   Venus Williams (USA)
9.   Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) 9.   Karolina Pliskova (CZE)
10. John Isner (USA) 10. Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP)
11. Kevin Anderson (RSA) 11. Timea Bacsinszky (SUI)
12. Marin Cilic (CRO) 12. Belinda Bencic (SUI)
13. Milos Raonic (CAN) 13. Roberta Vinci (ITA)
14. Gilles Simon (FRA) 14. Victoria Azarenka (BLR)
15. David Goffin (BEL) 15. Madison Keys (USA)
16. Bernard Tomic (AUS) 16. Caroline Wozniacki (DEN)
17. Benoit Paire (FRA) 17. Sara Errani (ITA)
18. Feliciano Lopez (ESP) 18. Elina Svitolina (UKR)
19. Dominic Thiem (AUT) 19. Jelena Jankovic (SRB)
20. Fabio Fognini (ITA) 20. Ana Ivanovic (SRB)
21. Viktor Troicki (SRB) 21. Ekaterina Makarova (RUS)
22. Ivo Karlovic (CRO) 22. Andrea Petkovic (GER)
23. Gael Monfils (FRA) 23. Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS)
24. Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) 24. Sloane Stephens (USA)
25. Jack Sock (USA) 25. Samantha Stosur (AUS)
26. Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (ESP) 26. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS)
27. Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) 27. Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SVK)
28. Andreas Seppi (ITA) 28. Kristina Mladenovic (FRA)
29. Nick Kyrgios (AUS) 29. Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU)
30. Jeremy Chardy (FRA) 30. Sabine Lisicki (GER)
31. Steve Johnson (USA) 31. Lesia Tsurenko (UKR)
32. Joao Sousa (POR) 32. Caroline Garcia (FRA)

 

The official draw for Australian Open 2016 will take place at Melbourne Park on Friday 16 January at 10.15am. Australian Open defending champions Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic will attend.

 

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Tennis Channel’s Live 2016 Australian Open Schedule

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Tennis Channel‘s Live 2016 Australian Open Match Schedule
(Men’s/Women’s Singles Unless Otherwise Specified)
 
Date                                        Time (ET)                  Event                                     
Monday, Jan. 18                     7 p.m.-9 p.m.                   First-Round Action
Tuesday, Jan. 19                     7 p.m.-9 p.m.                   Second-Round Action
Wednesday, Jan. 20                7 p.m.-9 p.m.                    Second-Round Action
Thursday, Jan. 21                    7 p.m.-11 p.m.                 Third-Round Action
Friday, Jan. 22                       7 p.m.-9 p.m.                   Third-Round Action
Saturday, Jan. 23                    7 p.m.-9 p.m.                   Round-of-16 Action
Sunday, Jan. 24                       7 p.m.-9 p.m.                    Round-of-16 Action
Monday, Jan. 25                     7 p.m.-9 p.m.                    Quarterfinals
Tuesday, Jan. 26                    7 p.m.-9 p.m.                  Quarterfinals
Wednesday, Jan. 27                7 p.m.-9:30 p.m.               TBA
Thursday, Jan. 28                   11 p.m.-3:30 a.m.              Mixed-Doubles Semifinal and
                                                                                          Women’s Doubles Final
Sunday, Jan. 31                       12 a.m.-2a.m.                   Mixed-Doubles Final
This year, Australian Open encore match coverage on Tennis Channel will include same-day replays of the men’s and women’s singles third-round, semifinals and finals as well as the men’s and women’s doubles finals, as follows (ET):
Saturday, Jan. 23 – 7 a.m.-9 a.m.: men’s and women’s third round singles
Sunday, Jan. 24 – 7 a.m.-9 a.m.: men’s and women’s round-of-16 singles
Thursday, Jan. 28 – 6 a.m.-2 p.m.: men’s and women’s semifinals;
                                6 p.m.-10 p.m.: men and women’s semifinals
Friday, Jan. 29 – 6 a.m.-2 p.m.: men’s and women’s semifinals;
                           6 p.m.- 3 a.m.: men’s semifinal and women’s doubles final
Saturday, Jan. 30 – 5:30 a.m.-8 a.m.: men’s doubles final;
                               11 a.m.-8 p.m.: men’s doubles final and men’s semifinal
                               8 p.m.-12 a.m.: women’s final and men’s doubles final
Sunday, Jan. 31 – 6:30 a.m.-9 a.m.: women’s final;
                              2 p.m.-8 p.m.: women’s final and men’s semifinals
     8 p.m.-12 a.m.: men’s final
Tennis Channel’s Australian Open Today Schedule (all times ET)
Tennis Channels’ Australian Open Today includes encore match coverage, highlights, interviews and a general review of the activity that took place during the tournament while most of America was sleeping the night before. The show will run daily from Monday, Jan. 18, through Wednesday, Jan. 27 – 10 days in all – before the network replaces it with encore semifinal and final coverage as the tournament winds down.
On the opening Monday of the tournament, Australian Open Today will air from 7 a.m.-12:30 p.m., and be immediately followed by an encore replay from 12:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. The following four days, Tuesday, Jan. 19, through Friday, Jan. 22, the show will broadcast from 7 a.m.-3 p.m. On Saturday, Jan. 23, it will be on Tennis Channel from 12 p.m.-6 p.m.
 
During the second week of the Australian Open, Australian Open Today runs from 1p.m.-6p.m. Sunday, Jan. 24 and 6:30 a.m.-3 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 25. The next two days, Tuesday, Jan. 26 and Wednesday, Jan. 27, the show will broadcast from 6 a.m.-3 p.m.
Digital Coverage
Returning for the 2016 Australian Open, Tennis Channel’s digital subscription service, Tennis Channel Plus will offer expanded tournament coverage live from Melbourne, with approximately 90 hours of live digital coverage. Fans will be able to catch even more action from Down Under than the network is able to provide on its air. Available on the Tennis Channel Everywhere app to all Apple and Android users, regardless of whether or not they subscribe to Tennis Channel, the service will offer daylong coverage of a single court during the first eight days of the tournament. It will also supplement the network’s televised Australian Open coverage this year with daily highlights, interviews and other segments from Australian Open Today.
Outside Tennis Channel Plus, most viewers who get Tennis Channel are able to take the Australian Open on-the-go with them live on their mobile devices through the Tennis Channel Everywhere app at no additional cost. Simple subscription authentication with select distribution partners enables the app’s TV Everywhere function, and allows fans to tune into the network’s round-the-clock coverage from Melbourne throughout the workday back in the United States.
Tennis Channel’s website, www.tennischannel.com, will continue to offer its usual Down Under slate of Australian Open Today segments,video highlights, interviews, real-time scoring, an interactive draw and the network’s Racquet Bracket tournament prediction game. Visitors can enter the channel’s 2017 Australian Open sweepstakes, or browse special Australian Open columns.
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ESPN 2016 Australian Open Broadcast Schedule

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AUSTRALIAN OPEN 2016

(For these charts, all times are Eastern, and each day “begins” at 6 a.m. ET.

Therefore, the listing Sat., Jan. 23, at 3 a.m. ET is actually very late on Saturday night.)

 

Date Time (ET) Event Network  
Sun, Jan 17 –

Fri Jan 29

7 p.m. All Courts (up to 16), all day (English)

Multiple Courts

(Spanish)

WatchESPN LIVE
Sat, Jan 30 12 MID Men’s Doubles Championship

Men’s Singles Championship

WatchESPN LIVE
   
Sun, Jan 17 7 p.m. – 7 a.m. Early round play ESPN2 LIVE
Mon, Jan 18 9 p.m. – 7 a.m. ESPN2 LIVE
Tue, Jan 19 3 – 6 p.m. ESPN2 Same-day
  9 p.m. – 7 a.m. ESPN2 LIVE
Wed, Jan 20 3 – 6 p.m. ESPN2 Same-day
  9 p.m. – 7 a.m. ESPN2 LIVE
Thu, Jan 21 3 – 6 p.m. ESPN2 Same-day
  11 p.m. – 7 a.m. ESPN2 LIVE
Fri, Jan 22 3 – 6 p.m. ESPN2 Same-day
  9 p.m. – 7 a.m. ESPN2 LIVE
Sat, Jan 23 9 a.m. – Noon ESPN2 Same-day
  9 p.m. – 2 a.m. Round of 16 ESPN2 LIVE
  3 – 7 a.m. ESPN2 LIVE
Sun, Jan 24 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. ESPN2 Same-day
  9 p.m. – 2 a.m. ESPN2 LIVE
  3 – 6:30 a.m. ESPN2 LIVE
Mon, Jan 25 3 – 6 p.m. ESPN2 Same-day
  9 p.m. – 2 a.m. Quarterfinals ESPN2 LIVE
  3 – 6 a.m. ESPN2 LIVE
Tue, Jan 26 3 – 6 p.m. ESPN2 Same-day
9 p.m. – 2 a.m. ESPN2 LIVE
  3:30 – 6 a.m. ESPN2 LIVE
Wed, Jan 27 3 – 6 p.m. ESPN2 Same-day
  9:30 p.m. – 2 a.m. Women’s Semifinals ESPN2 LIVE
  3:30 – 6 a.m. Men’s Semifinal #1 ESPN

ESPN Deportes

LIVE
Thu, Jan 28 2 – 6 p.m. Men’s Semifinal #1 ESPN2 Encore
  3:30 – 6 a.m. Men’s Semifinal #2 ESPN

ESPN Deportes

LIVE
Fri, Jan 29 2 – 6 p.m. Men’s Semifinal #2 ESPN2 Encore
  3 – 5:30 a.m. Women’s Championship ESPN

ESPN Deportes

LIVE
Sat, Jan 30 9 – 11 a.m. Women’s Championship ESPN2 Encore
  3 – 6:30 a.m. Men’s Championship ESPN

ESPN Deportes

LIVE
Sun, Jan 31 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Men’s Championship ESPN2 Encore

 

DIGITAL MEDIA, AT HOME AND ABROAD; INTERNATIONAL TV; ESPN DEPORTES; ESPN CLASSIC  

ESPN.com will once again feature Courtcast, a cutting-edge application presented by IBM, featuring official IBM tournament and real-time statistics, Hawk-Eye technology, a rolling Twitter feed and interactive poll questions. Digital Serve video, Baseline Buzz and daily Aussie Open reports and analysis from contributors Jim Caple, Matt Wilansky, Peter Bodo and Greg Garber will add to the depth of coverage.  Preview stories:

 

  • A four-part look into tennis’ future. Is this the last year of this golden era? The aging stars are resolute in their quest to bring home gold in Rio, but after that, how much will we see the likes of Federer, Serena, Venus, the Bryans et al?
  • Johnette Howard looks at Roger Federer’s legacy.  Although considered by many to be the all-time greatest champion , of late is more frequently the game’s foremost bridesmaid. .
  • What will the landscape on the tour look like in three years?
  • Draw analysis and predictions from both tours.

 

ESPN Social Platforms

@ESPNTennis, ESPN’s official tennis Twitter account, and ESPN Tennis’ official Facebook page will be posting additional, exclusive content including interviews, profiles and more behind-the-scenes looks of the Australian Open.

 

ESPN Interactive TV, seen on DIRECTV and WatchESPN, will present a six-screen mosaic, featuring the ESPN/Tennis Channel linear feed and five TV courts, during the first seven days of the tournament.  Allen Bestwick will serve as the studio host and is joined by announcers Chanda Rubin, Jeff Tarango, Leif Shiras, Elise Burgin, Doug Adler, Nick Lester, Christen Bartelt, Steve Weissman, Mark Donaldson and Brian Webber.

 

ESPN Deportes will present extensive, live coverage of the tournament across multiple platforms. ESPN Deportes+, the Spanish-language broadband channel available via ESPNDeportes.com and WatchESPN, will present wall-to-wall coverage, streaming more than 100 live hours of all rounds, the quarterfinals and the women’s semifinals. The men’s semis and both Championships will be televised live on ESPN Deportes. Online, ESPNDeportes.com will also provide up-to-the-minute news and information including highlights, recaps, chats, and the daily web series “ESPiaNdo el Australian Open”.

 

ESPN Classic is airing memorable Australian Open matches much of the week.  Highlights:

  • 2003 Women’s Final, Venus Williams vs. Serena Williams, Tues., Jan. 12, 1 p.m.
  • 2005 Men’s Semifinal, Roger Federer vs. Matt Safin, Tues., Jan. 12, 3 p.m.
  • 2009 Men’s Final, Rafael Nadal vs. Roger Federer, Tues., Jan. 12, 8 p.m. (also Thur., Jan. 14 at MID/9 p.m. PT)
  • 1995 Men’s Championship, Andre Agassi vs. Pete Sampras, Wed., Jan. 13, 5 p.m.
  • 2015 Women’s Final, Serena Williams vs. Maria Sharapova, Fri., Jan. 15, 3 p.m.

 

ESPN International will televise over 110 hours of live HD coverage to tennis fans via its networks in Latin America and the Caribbean.  Showcasing the biggest names in tennis, broadcasts will air in three languages, including Spanish in Mexico, Central America & South America; Portuguese in Brazil; and English in the Caribbean.  ESPN+ Brazil will air over 80 hours of live complementary coverage throughout the early rounds, while ESPN+ in South America will air over 20 hours of additional Spanish coverage. In addition, ESPN will also televise two one-hour recaps and a two-hour “Best Match of the Day” daily.   In Canada, TSN (English) and RDS (French) will again provide ESPN coverage on television and digital services, while in India, the newly launched SONY ESPN platform will carry ESPN coverage.

 

ESPNtenis.com will have the following content:  A daily webisode called “ESPiaNdo el Australian Open”; an “applet” featuring real-time, point-by-point scoring of all matches; live scores, results and brackets; columns, chats and blogs by TV commentators and other writers; polls; the “Ask ESPN” feature, prompting users to send their comments/questions via the website; video clips with highlights of daily action and analysis; TV scheduling information, and photo galleries.

 

ESPN Play (Watch ESPN  in Brazil), ESPN’s broadband service in Latin America and the Caribbean will provide wall-to-wall coverage of the year’s first Grand Slam, streaming over 1,300 hours of live tennis coverage from every available televised court, including the men’s & women’s quarterfinals, semifinals and finals. Live streaming action will be available throughout Latin America and the Caribbean in English, Spanish and Portuguese language.

 

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Australian Open Direct Entry Cut-off Lists Released

 Rod Laver Arena

(December 11, 2015) The world’s top 99 men and 99 of the top 100 women will descend on Melbourne Park in January for Australian Open 2016 which begins on January 18, 2016 and runs through January 31.

 

World No.1s Serena Williams (USA) and Novak Djokovic (SRB) will lead the all-star player field, with retiring world No.8 Flavia Pennetta (ITA) the only name missing from the women’s top 100 and current world No.100 Dudi Sela (ISR) just missing the men’s direct entry cut-off.

 

Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley said fans could expect two weeks of world class tennis when the event gets under way on Monday 18 January.

 

“The field for Australian Open 2016 is looking stronger than ever and with little more than a month until the tournament begins, our preparations are in full swing,” Tiley said.

 

“We’re looking forward to former world No.2 Tommy Haas (GER) returning to the tournament after being sidelined by a shoulder injury for most of 2014 and the first half of this year.”

 

Also returning from injury on protected rankings are Julien Benneteau (FRA), Janko Tipsarevic (SRB), Brian Baker (USA) and Dmitry Tursunov (RUS) in the men’s draw, and Petra Cetkovska (CZE), Galina Voskoboeva (KAZ), Vania King (USA), Alisa Kleybanova (RUS) and Victoria Duval (USA) in the women’s draw.

 

Australia’s Casey Dellacqua has officially withdrawn from the Australian Open due to post-concussion syndrome following an on-court fall this year.

 

“Casey is such an integral member of our tennis family and a fan favourite, especially when playing here at home. We wish her the very best for a speedy recovery and look forward to seeing her back on court soon,” Tiley said.

 

There will be 16 male qualifiers and 12 female qualifiers added to each draw along with eight wildcards.

 

Main draw women’s wildcards will be awarded as follows: Tammi Patterson (Australian Pro Tour), Han Xinyun (CHN, Asia-Pacific Wildcard Play-off), Samantha Crawford (USA, US Open reciprocal), Australian Open 2016 Play-off winner, 18/u Australian Championships winner, Roland Garros reciprocal and two discretionary wildcards TBC.

 

Main draw men’s wildcards will be awarded as follows: Lleyton Hewitt (discretionary), Yoshihito Nishioka (JPN, Asia-Pacific Wildcard Play-off), Noah Rubin (USA, US Open reciprocal), Roland Garros reciprocal, Australian Open 2016 Play-off winner and three discretionary wildcards TBC.

 

Men’s main draw

ATP

RANK

FIRST NAME LAST NAME NATION
1 NOVAK DJOKOVIC SRB
2 ANDY MURRAY GBR
3 ROGER FEDERER SUI
4 STAN WAWRINKA SUI
5 RAFAEL NADAL ESP
6 TOMAS BERDYCH CZE
7 DAVID FERRER ESP
8 KEI NISHIKORI JPN
9 RICHARD GASQUET FRA
10 JO-WILFRIED TSONGA FRA
11 JOHN ISNER USA
12 KEVIN ANDERSON RSA
13 MARIN CILIC CRO
14 MILOS RAONIC CAN
15 GILLES SIMON FRA
16 DAVID GOFFIN BEL
17 FELICIANO LOPEZ ESP
18 BERNARD TOMIC AUS
19 BENOIT PAIRE FRA
20 DOMINIC THIEM AUT
21 FABIO FOGNINI ITA
22 VIKTOR TROICKI SRB
23 IVO KARLOVIC CRO
24 GAEL MONFILS FRA
25 ROBERTO BAUTISTA AGUT ESP
25 PR TOMMY HAAS GER
26 JACK SOCK USA
27 GUILLERMO GARCIA-LOPEZ ESP
28 GRIGOR DIMITROV BUL
29 ANDREAS SEPPI ITA
30 NICK KYRGIOS AUS
31 JEREMY CHARDY FRA
32 STEVE JOHNSON USA
33 JOAO SOUSA POR
34 PHILIPP KOHLSCHREIBER GER
35 LEONARDO MAYER ARG
36 ALEXANDR DOLGOPOLOV UKR
37 THOMAZ BELLUCCI BRA
38 GILLES MULLER LUX
39 VASEK POSPISIL CAN
39 PR JULIEN BENNETEAU FRA
39 PR JANKO TIPSAREVIC SRB
40 PABLO CUEVAS URU
41 JIRI VESELY CZE
42 TOMMY ROBREDO ESP
43 MARTIN KLIZAN SVK
44 BORNA CORIC CRO
45 ALJAZ BEDENE GBR
46 MARCOS BAGHDATIS CYP
47 ADRIAN MANNARINO FRA
48 DONALD YOUNG USA
49 FERNANDO VERDASCO ESP
50 TEYMURAZ GABASHVILI RUS
51 HYEON CHUNG KOR
52 FEDERICO DELBONIS ARG
53 JUAN MONACO ARG
54 ALBERT RAMOS-VINOLAS ESP
55 LUKAS ROSOL CZE
56 VICTOR ESTRELLA BURGOS DOM
56 PR BRIAN BAKER USA
57 JERZY JANOWICZ POL
58 SIMONE BOLELLI ITA
59 SAM QUERREY USA
60 SAM GROTH AUS
61 DENIS ISTOMIN UZB
62 SERGIY STAKHOVSKY UKR
63 ANDREAS HAIDER-MAURER AUT
64 PABLO ANDUJAR ESP
65 MIKHAIL KUKUSHKIN KAZ
66 ROBIN HAASE NED
67 PABLO CARRENO BUSTA ESP
68 PAOLO LORENZI ITA
69 DENIS KUDLA USA
70 SANTIAGO GIRALDO COL
71 NICOLAS MAHUT FRA
72 INIGO CERVANTES ESP
73 NICOLAS ALMAGRO ESP
74 GUIDO PELLA ARG
75 DANIEL MUÑOZ DE LA NAVA ESP
76 DUSAN LAJOVIC SRB
77 YEN-HSUN LU TPE
78 LUCAS POUILLE FRA
79 ANDREY KUZNETSOV RUS
80 THANASI KOKKINAKIS AUS
81 ERNESTS GULBIS LAT
82 DAMIR DZUMHUR BIH
83 ALEXANDER ZVEREV GER
84 MARCEL GRANOLLERS ESP
85 RICARDAS BERANKIS LTU
86 STEVE DARCIS BEL
87 IVAN DODIG CRO
88 DIEGO SCHWARTZMAN ARG
89 RAJEEV RAM USA
89 PR DMITRY TURSUNOV RUS
90 MARCO CECCHINATO ITA
91 EVGENY DONSKOY RUS
92 JOHN MILLMAN AUS
93 YUKI BHAMBRI IND
94 ILLYA MARCHENKO UKR
95 PAUL-HENRI MATHIEU FRA
96 TARO DANIEL JPN
97 BENJAMIN BECKER GER
98 DANIEL GIMENO-TRAVER ESP
99 THIEMO DE BAKKER NED

 

Women’s main draw

WTA

RANK

FIRST NAME LAST NAME NATION
1 SERENA WILLIAMS USA
2 SIMONA HALEP ROU
3 GARBIÑE MUGURUZA ESP
4 MARIA SHARAPOVA RUS
5 AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA POL
6 PETRA KVITOVA CZE
7 VENUS WILLIAMS USA
9 LUCIE SAFAROVA CZE
10 ANGELIQUE KERBER GER
11 KAROLINA PLISKOVA CZE
12 TIMEA BACSINSZKY SUI
13 CARLA SUÁREZ NAVARRO ESP
14 BELINDA BENCIC SUI
15 ROBERTA VINCI ITA
16 ANA IVANOVIC SRB
17 CAROLINE WOZNIACKI DEN
18 MADISON KEYS USA
19 ELINA SVITOLINA UKR
20 SARA ERRANI ITA
21 JELENA JANKOVIC SRB
22 VICTORIA AZARENKA BLR
23 EKATERINA MAKAROVA RUS
24 ANDREA PETKOVIC GER
25 SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA RUS
26 ANNA KAROLINA SCHMIEDLOVA SVK
27 SAMANTHA STOSUR AUS
28 ANASTASIA PAVLYUCHENKOVA RUS
29 KRISTINA MLADENOVIC FRA
30 SLOANE STEPHENS USA
31 IRINA-CAMELIA BEGU ROU
32 SABINE LISICKI GER
33 LESIA TSURENKO UKR
34 CAROLINE GARCIA FRA
35 CAMILA GIORGI ITA
36 DARIA GAVRILOVA AUS
37 COCO VANDEWEGHE USA
38 DOMINIKA CIBULKOVA SVK
39 MONICA NICULESCU ROU
40 MADISON BRENGLE USA
41 YANINA WICKMAYER BEL
42 BARBORA STRYCOVA CZE
43 ALIZÉ CORNET FRA
44 ALISON VAN UYTVANCK BEL
45 MONA BARTHEL GER
46 TELIANA PEREIRA BRA
47 VARVARA LEPCHENKO USA
48 JOHANNA KONTA GBR
49 EUGENIE BOUCHARD CAN
50 JULIA GOERGES GER
51 KARIN KNAPP ITA
52 ZARINA DIYAS KAZ
53 LUCIE HRADECKA CZE
54 MISAKI DOI JPN
55 HEATHER WATSON GBR
56 JOHANNA LARSSON SWE
56 SR PETRA CETKOVSKA CZE
57 DANKA KOVINIC MNE
58 ANNIKA BECK GER
59 TSVETANA PIRONKOVA BUL
60 BETHANIE MATTEK-SANDS USA
61 MARGARITA GASPARYAN RUS
62 DENISA ALLERTOVA CZE
63 CHRISTINA MCHALE USA
64 CARINA WITTHOEFT GER
64 SR GALINA VOSKOBOEVA KAZ
65 AJLA TOMLJANOVIC AUS
66 NAO HIBINO JPN
67 YAROSLAVA SHVEDOVA KAZ
68 MIRJANA LUCIC-BARONI CRO
69 ALEXANDRA DULGHERU ROU
70 TIMEA BABOS HUN
71 TATJANA MARIA GER
72 OLGA GOVORTSOVA BLR
73 SAISAI ZHENG CHN
73 SR VANIA KING USA
74 POLONA HERCOG SLO
75 DARIA KASATKINA RUS
76 IRINA FALCONI USA
77 YULIA PUTINTSEVA KAZ
78 MARIANA DUQUE-MARIÑO COL
79 BOJANA JOVANOVSKI SRB
80 MAGDALENA RYBARIKOVA SVK
81 KURUMI NARA JPN
82 ANA KONJUH CRO
83 DANIELA HANTUCHOVA SVK
84 JELENA OSTAPENKO LAT
85 KIRSTEN FLIPKENS BEL
86 LARA ARRUABARRENA ESP
87 EVGENIYA RODINA RUS
87 SR ALISA KLEYBANOVA RUS
88 LAUREN DAVIS USA
89 KATERYNA BONDARENKO UKR
90 MAGDA LINETTE POL
91 ANETT KONTAVEIT EST
92 MONICA PUIG PUR
92 SR VICTORIA DUVAL USA
93 SU-WEI HSIEH TPE
94 URSZULA RADWANSKA POL
95 ANNA-LENA FRIEDSAM GER
96 ALEKSANDRA KRUNIC SRB
97 ANDREEA MITU ROU
98 ALISON RISKE USA
99 LAURA SIEGEMUND GER
100 KLARA KOUKALOVA CZE
101 LOURDES DOMÍNGUEZ LINO ESP
102 ANNA TATISHVILI USA
103 KATERINA SINIAKOVA CZE
104 DONNA VEKIC CRO
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Australian Open 2015 – The final word from Tennis Australia

AustralianOpenLogo

Australian Open 2015 – The final word from Tennis Australia

 

(February 1, 2015) For two weeks the world’s top tennis players have excited and delighted fans at Melbourne Park.

 

Now, as top seeds Serena Williams (USA) and Novak Djokovic (SRB) celebrate their Grand Slam victories, we look back at Australian Open 2015.

 

On-court action

  • World No.1 and tournament top seed Serena Williams (USA) won her sixth Australian Open crown and 19th Grand Slam title with victory over [2] Maria Sharapova (RUS) 6-3 7-6(5). Williams was presented the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup by tennis legend Martina Navratilova (USA) on the 30th anniversary of her 1985 title win

 

  • World No.1 [1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) celebrated his fifth Australian Open title and eighth Grand Slam victory with a four-set win over [6] Andy Murray (GBR) 7-6(5), 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-0. Djokovic received the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup from Australian tennis icon Roy Emerson (Qld) on the 50th anniversary of his 1965 championship victory

 

  • Simone Bolelli (ITA) and Fabio Fognini (ITA) claimed the men’s doubles title, defeating French pair Pierre Hugues-Herbert and Nicolas Mahut 6-4 6-4

 

  • Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) and Lucie Safarova (CZE) took out the women’s doubles, posting a 6-4 7-6(5) win over [14] Yung-Jan Chan (TPE) and Jie Zheng (CHN)

 

  • 7 seeds Martina Hingis (SUI) and Leander Paes (IND) took out the mixed doubles crown ahead of defending champions [3] Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) and Daniel Nestor (CAN) 6-4 6-3

 

  • Unseeded Tereza Mihalikova (SVK) defeated [14] Katie Swan (GBR) 6-1 6-4 to win the girls’ singles title

 

  • Russian top seed Roman Safiullin won the boys’ singles championship, defeating [7] Seong-chan Hong (KOR) 7-5 7-6(2)

 

  • Fifteen Grand Slam champions contested the main singles draw: [1] Novak Djokovic (SRB), [2] Roger Federer (SUI), [3] Rafael Nadal (ESP), [4] Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI), [6] Andy Murray (GBR), Lleyton Hewitt (AUS), [1] Serena Williams (USA), [2] Maria Sharapova (RUS), [4] Petra Kvitova (CZE), [5] Ana Ivanovic (SRB), [18] Venus Williams (USA), [20] Samantha Stosur (AUS), Victoria Azarenka (BLR), Francesca Schiavone (ITA) and Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS)

 

  • Forty-nine nations were represented among the 256 players competing in main draw singles. There were 41 countries represented in the men’s singles, including 12 players from Spain, and 34 in the women’s singles draw, including 16 players from the USA. The USA was the most represented nation overall, with 21 players in action

 

  • A total of 704 players competed across all events, including juniors, wheelies and legends

 

  • Marius Copil (ROU) sent down the fastest serve of the tournament at 242km/h, while Milos Raonic (CAN) served the most aces of any player in the men’s draw with 114 to his name

 

  • Serena Williams (USA) posted the fastest serve in the women’s draw at 204km/h and served the most aces of any female player with 88 in total

 

  • Seventeen Australians took part in the main draw singles, with 11 players advancing to the second round, three to the third round, two to the fourth round and one to the quarterfinals

 

  • Aussie Nick Kyrgios (ACT) won his way into the quarters with wins over Federico Delbonis (ARG), Ivo Karlovic (CRO), Malek Jaziri (TUN) and Andreas Seppi (ITA) before falling to [6] Andy Murray (GBR)

 

  • Aussie juniors Jake Delaney (NSW) and Marc Polmans (Vic) overcame [8] Hubert Hurkacz (POL) and Alex Molcan (SVK) 0-6 6-2 [10-8] to take out their maiden Grand Slam boys’ doubles crown

 

  • Seventeen former top 10 players – including three former world No.1s: Mats Wilander (SWE), Martina Navratilova (USA) and Lindsay Davenport (USA) – contested the Big Mac Legends event

 

  • Dylan Alcott (Vic) took out the quad wheelchair singles title, becoming the first Australian to win the competition. Shingo Kunieda (JPN) and Jiske Griffioen (NED) took out the men’s and women’s wheelchair singles titles respectively. Top seeds Shingo Kunieda (JPN) and Stephane Houdet (FRA) won the men’s wheelchair doubles, while [1] Yui Kamiji (JPN) and Jordanne Whiley (GBR) claimed the women’s wheelchair doubles. David Wagner (USA) teamed with Andrew Lapthorne (GBR) to win the quad wheelchair doubles.

 

Attendance

  • A record 703,899 fans flocked to Australian Open 2015, smashing the previous record of 686,006 set in 2012

 

  • Ten sessions attracted a record crowd, including a first Monday day/night record of 71,151 The previous first Monday day/night record of 63,595 fans was set in 2014

 

  • Heineken Saturday on the middle weekend of the tournament was the busiest of the 2015 event, with 81,031 fans on site at Melbourne Park

 

  • More than 1800 tennis fans sailed to Melbourne Park on P&O Cruises’ second annual Australian Open cruise

 

  • Famous faces from across the sporting world to attend the event included: Adam Scott, Steve Smith, Steve Waugh, Lydia Lassila, Layne Beachley, Cameron Smith, Jimmy Bartel, Gary Ablett Jnr, Liz Cambage, Billy Slater, Ian Thorpe, Adam Goodes, David Hale, Liesel Jones and Sharelle McMahon

 

  • Other famous faces in the crowd included: Eric Bana, Toni Collette, Geoffrey Rush, Magda Szubanski, Kate Ritchie, Ryan Corr, Josh Thomas, Carla Zampatti and Livinia Nixon, musicians Kenny Rogers, Niall Horan, Kate Ceberano and Natalie Bassingthwaite, celebrity chefs Heston Blumenthal and Matt Preston, Australian of the Year Rosie Batty along with finalist Deborra-Lee Furness

 

  • Fans on Grand Slam Oval were entertained by headline music acts Sneaky Sound System, Sheppard, Megan Washington, The Potbelleez, Daryl Braithwaite and more

 

Media

  • More than 650 journalists, photographers and videographers from 283 media outlets provided detailed coverage of the Australian Open, including 296 international media from 44 different countries. There were 78 Asian media representatives on site, including 37 from Japan and 25 from China.

 

Tournament operations

  • The Wilson stringers hut restrung 4763 racquets, using more than 57km of string

 

  • 71 racquets were rapidly restrung for players during matches

 

  • [1] Serena Williams (USA) had the most racquets restrung of all players in the main draw, sending 86 racquets to the stringers

 

  • Matches were officiated by 360 chair umpires, linespersons and Hawkeye reviewers from 34 Approximately 68 umpires and 228 linespeople per day officiated matches in the early rounds of the tournament

 

  • There were 380 ballkids including 327 from Victoria, 25 from interstate, 20 from Korea, six from China and two from Singapore

 

  • Players and celebrities including world No.3 Rafael Nadal (ESP), two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka (BLR), four-time men’s singles champion Jim Courier (USA) and tennis legends Chris Evert (USA) and Goran Ivanisevic (CRO) participated in video interviews for Kia Open Drive. Videos can be viewed on the official Australian Open YouTube channel

 

  • 8412 staff, contractors and volunteers employed by Tennis Australia, Melbourne Olympic Parks Trust (MOPT) and catering suppliers Delaware North worked behind the scenes to deliver Australian Open 2015.

 

Community tennis

  • Almost 14,500 fans attended the third annual Kids Tennis Day presented by Nickelodeon on Saturday 17 January, highlighted by the Rod Laver Arena Spectacular featuring Roger Federer (SUI), Ana Ivanovic (SRB), Victoria Azarenka (BLR), Eugenie Bouchard (CAN) and Australian rising stars Nick Kyrgios (ACT) and Thanasi Kokkinakis (SA)

 

  • More than 1000 tennis fans played ANZ Tennis Hot Shots on Rod Laver Arena, Hisense Arena, show courts and multiple outside courts ahead of the day sessions during the tournament

 

  • More than 12,000 visitors played ANZ Tennis Hot Shots on Court 4 and on the mini courts in Garden Square including Australia’s Bernard Tomic (Qld) and Australian test cricket captain Steve Smith

 

  • More than 30,000 people visited ANZ Fan Zone

 

  • Cardio Tennis showcases featured on Margaret Court Arena in front of thousands of fans for the first time prior to night matches during the tournament

 

  • Eight-year-old Anna Bishop, an ANZ Tennis Hot Shot of the Year nominee, had a hit of tennis on Rod Laver Arena with Novak Djokovic (SRB) and was part of the women’s singles trophy presentation

 

  • In the weeks leading up to Australian Open 2015, the brand new tennis format FAST4 was launched in Australia, first in Sydney with Roger Federer (SUI) and Lleyton Hewitt (SA) participating in One Night with Federer and Hewitt, then in Melbourne with Rafa’s Summer Set. Rafael Nadal (ESP) played FAST4 against Omar Jasika (Vic), Mark Philippoussis (Vic) and Fernando Verdasco (ESP) on Margaret Court Arena. John McEnroe and Patrick Rafter went head to head at the Apia International Sydney, while the Australian Open Big Mac Legends tournament also featured the FAST4 format

 

  • More than 7000 kids and parents enjoyed a Disney experience over the last three days of the tournament. Hisense Arena was transformed into a magical family experience, featuring the much loved Disney and Disney-Pixar worlds of Never Land (Disney Fairies and Jake the Never Land Pirate), Arendelle (Frozen), Radiator Springs (Cars), Andy’s Room (Toy Story) and San Fransokyo (Big Hero 6)

 

  • The AO Tennis Blitz matched up tennis-loving towns around Australia with all 256 main draw singles players. Women’s champion Serena Williams (USA) was supported throughout her Australian Open 2015 campaign by Casino, NSW. Men’s champion Novak Djokovic (SRB) was supported by Kendall, NSW. Towns ‘won’ a player by completing tennis challenges in the lead-up to the event

 

  • Australian tennis great Neale Fraser was honoured at the annual Legends Lunch. Fraser was joined at the celebratory event by fellow legends of the sport Rod Laver, Roy Emerson, Ken Rosewall, John Newcombe, Evonne Goolagong-Cawley, Martina Navratilova and many more.

 

Digital and social media

  • Before the men’s final there were more than 5 million unique visitors to ausopen.com throughout the tournament period

 

  • The most popular female players of the event were Madison Keys (212,748 player profile views), Eugenie Bouchard (198,381), Serena Williams (195,585), Maria Sharapova (176,404) and Ekaterina Makarova (129,614). The most popular male players were Nick Kyrgios (208,863), Novak Djokovic (180,102), Rafael Nadal (159,638), Roger Federer (153,255) and Andy Murray (128,000)

 

 

  • On Twitter, @australianopen grew to 711,319 followers. The most retweeted #ausopen post was @jnarls’ video link: “We’re ready for you – Australian Open 2015″

 

  • The official Australian Open App was downloaded 1,199,509 times across iPhone, iPad and Android devices.

 

*Digital and social media figures as at 5pm, Sunday 1 February 2015

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Novak Djokovic Wins 5th Australian Open Crown for 8th Major Title

Djokovic

(February 1, 2015) Novak Djokovic won his fifth Australian Open on Sunday with a 7-6(5), 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-0 victory over Andy Murray in 3 hours and 39 minutes. The world No. 1 now has 8 major titles tying him for eighth on the all-time list with Andre Agassi, Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl, Ken Rosewall and Fred Perry.

The Serb has won four out of the last five Australian Opens. He now joins Roy Emerson as the only men to win five Melbourne titles and the first to do it in the Open Era.

Djokovic closed out the match winning the last nine games.

Great Britain’s Murray has now lost four Australian Open finals, three to Djokovic (2011, 2013, 2015) and one to Roger Federer (2010).

“I’m so grateful to be standing here as a champion for the fifth time, and to be in the elite group of players… Roy Emerson, Rod Laver and all the legends of our sport,” Djokovic during the trophy presentation.

“I had amazing support again here,” said the four-time runner-up Murray. “It’s been my most consistent Grand Slam of my career. I haven’t been quite able to win, but the support I’ve received here has been amazing. I’ll try and come back next year and hopefully have a slightly different outcome in the final.”

“Novak has won five times here now. There’s no disgrace obviously in losing to him. So, yeah, a lot of positives for me to take from it.”

The first two sets took two hours and 32 minutes, saw break leads vanish for both men. Djokovic broke Murray in the fourth game of the first set, but Murray returned the break to get even. Djokovic broke serve in the eighth game and served for the set, but the Scot put the set back on even terms.

The set eventually went to a tiebreaker, with Murray taking a 2-1 mini-break lead. Djokovic won 5 out of the next 6 points to swing the tiebreaker in his favor.

The second set saw Djokovic save a set point in the 10th game. Murray dominated the second set tiebreaker.

The match was interrupted in the second set during the seventh game when someone protesting Australia’s refugee policies ran on the court and was removed by security.

The pendulum of momentum made its final swing towards Djokovic, when he broke Murray’s serve at love in the eighth game of the third set. Murray showed his displeasure by throwing his racquet and yelling into a towel.

“There were a lot of turning points in the match. As I think everybody predicted, it was going to be a big battle,” Djokovic said. “Of course, Grand Slam finals for both of us, regardless of the record that I have here, and him playing also three times the final not winning a title, regardless of that, we both knew that, you know, we have equal chances to win it. Very similar match to the Australian Open final in 2013 when we played over two hours the first two sets. Tonight two and a half hours the first two sets. Very physical. Very exhausting. We both of course went through some tough moments physically. You could see that I had a crisis end of the second, beginning of the third. Just felt very exhausted and I needed some time to regroup and recharge and get back on track. That’s what I’ve done. I started hitting ball and trying to be a little bit more aggressive coming to the net, shortening the points. I got a very important break of serve at 2-Love for him in the third that got me back in the match mentally, as well. It was a cat-and-mouse fight. It always is. We always try to outplay the opponents with the groundstrokes, with the long rallies, a lot of variety in the games: spin, flat, slice, dropshots. I think both went out with the full repertoire of the shots we have. I hope everybody that watched it enjoyed the finals. From my side it was definitely very exhausting. Just glad that I believed it all the way through. Saved some breakpoints at 3-All in the third set and managed to make that break and win the third. After that I felt huge relief. I felt I could swing through the ball. I felt the momentum was on my side and I wanted to use that. At this level very few points can turn things around on the court as we could see tonight.”

“Obviously had opportunities in the first three sets,” Murray said. “Then the fourth set, I mean, obviously I need to watch it back to see if I played badly. I mean, he was just ripping everything. Returns he was hitting on the baseline, this far from the line all the time. Once he got up a break, he just loosened up and was just going for his shots. I couldn’t recover. So the fourth set wasn’t as frustrating to me. The third set was frustrating because I got a bit distracted when he, like, fell on the ground after a couple of shots. It appeared that he was cramping, and then I let that distract me a little bit. That’s what I’m most disappointed about, not so much the fourth set because I think, especially at the end of it, he was just going for everything, and it was going in. But the third set was more frustrating for me.”

Djokovic appeared to have an issue with his leg in the third set, which looked as though it distracted Murray.

“I have no idea what the issue was,” Murray commented. “He obviously looked like he was in quite a bad way at the beginning of the third set and came back unbelievable at the end of that set. Then obviously the way he was hitting the ball in the fourth and moving was impressive. So, yeah, I don’t know exactly what the issue was for him.

“If it was cramp, how he recovered from it, that’s a tough thing to recover from and play as well as he did at the end. So, yeah, I’m frustrated at myself for letting that bother me at the beginning of the third set, because I was playing well, I had good momentum, and then just dropped off for like 10 minutes and it got away from me. So that’s the most frustrating thing because I thought I obviously had opportunities in the first set. I couldn’t quite get them. I managed to sneak the second. Then obviously was that break up in the third”

 

“I think it has deeper meaning, more intrinsic value now to my life because I’m a father and a husband,” the Serb said of the win. “It’s the first Grand Slam title I won as a father and a husband. Just feel very, very proud of it.

“I try to stay on the right path and committed to this sport in every possible way that I have had in the last couple of years and try to use this prime time of my career really where I’m playing and feeling the best at 27. This is why I play the sport, you know, to win big titles and to put myself in a position to, you know, play also for the people around me. I know how much sacrifice they put in in my own career, and I try to thank them and not take anything for granted. As my life progresses, there are circumstances, situations, events that define these beautiful moments. Getting married and becoming a father in the last six months was definitely something that gave me a new energy, something that I never felt before. And right now everything has been going in such a positive direction in my life. I’m so grateful for that. So I try to live these moments with, you know, all my heart.”

Murray’s ranking will move up to No. 4 in the world when the rankings are released on Monday.

 

 

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Serena Williams Wins 6th Australian Open for 19th Grand Slam Title

 

(January 31, 2015) Serena Williams moved up on the all-time list of Grand Slam title holders beating Maria Sharapova 6-3, 7-6 (5) to win her sixth Australian Open title on Saturday night. It’s the 33-year-old’s 19th major, tying her with Helen Wills Moody for third on the all-time list, just behind Steffi Graf (22) and Margaret Court (24). The American passes both Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert with 18 each.

“I would love to get to 22,” Williams said. “I mean, 19 was very difficult to get to. Took me 33 years to get here, so… I would love to get there. But I have to get to 20 first, and then I have to get to 21. There’s so many wonderful young players coming up, so it will be a very big task. My next goal was just to get to 19. That was my goal. So I didn’t think it would happen this fast, to be honest, but it feels really good.”

Battling a cold during the tournament, No. 1 Williams remains unbeaten in six finals. She is the oldest Australian Open champion of the Open Era.

“Standing here with 19 majors is something I never thought would happen,” Williams said during the trophy ceremony. “I went on the court with a ball, a racket and a hope”

“I have to congratulate Maria. She really pushed me tonight. She played a great match… not only for you guys but for tennis”

“I haven’t beaten her in a really long time but I love playing her because you want to play the best,” world No. 2 Sharapova said. “And she’s the best.”

It was the 16th straight win for Williams over Sharapova to raise her record to 17- 2 over the Russian.

The match began with the roof open on Rod Laver Arena, but the rain came and the roof close in the first set causing a 13-minute delay.

Williams promptly hit an ace upon resumption of play, winning six straight points which included a break of serve.

Williams was dominant in her serving, hitting 18 aces during the 1 hour and 51 minute match. Fifteen of the aces came in the second set.

Williams celebrated prematurely on her third match point, thinking she had hit an ace, when it was a let.. She promptly regrouped.

“I thought after the let, Man, I am not meant to win this tournament,” Willliams said. “I had a couple of match points. I mean, she played great on those match points. She totally went for broke. I was like, C’mon. First of all, why I hear the let. Then I was like, Okay, do I go T? Do I go wide? What am I going to do? Then I just tossed and served as hard as I could.”

 

“I haven’t won against her many times, but if I’m getting to the stage of competing against someone like Serena, I’m doing something well.,” Sharapova said in her post-match interview with the media. “I’m setting up a chance to try to beat her and it hasn’t happened. I’m not just going to go home without giving it another chance. That’s just not who I am and not who I was raised to be. I’m a competitor. If I’m getting to the finals of Grand Slams and setting myself up to play a match against Serena, I mean, I know it sounds — maybe you’re telling me I’m wrong — but I’m happy to be in that position. I love the competition. I love playing against the best, and at the moment she is.”

“Over the last 10 years her and I have been out of the game. Sometimes she was injured for a period of time; I was out for a year. So, yeah, between all of that, between and around it, we’ve been able to play a lot of great matches against other players. I’m proud to be part of an era where she’s in.”

“I’m happy with the way I’ve handled a few of the matches here, how I’ve come back strong, how I’ve set myself up to try to win another major. It’s not easy to get to the final of a Grand Slam. It takes a lot of work. It’s over the course of two weeks. That’s a good achievement. It’s a good start to the year. The year is very young at this point.”

“It feels really good to be sitting here as the champion,” Williams said in her post-match interview. “I definitely didn’t think I would be here in the beginning of the week or the beginning of the two weeks, but it feels pretty excellent.”

“The match definitely got tough in the second set. Maria started playing a lot better. She started being a little more aggressive. I think I got a little more passive. Was just trying to get the ball back in play. But I also started serving better in the second set because I knew if I wasn’t having my groundstrokes where I wanted them to be, I knew I could serve it out. So, yeah, it definitely got really interesting. I had a lot of moments. I had some easy shots that I missed in the second set on her serve, and then she came up with a big serve when she was down a breakpoint, which was great. But I definitely can look back and say, Oh, I could have done a few things better just for the future”

“I’ve been through so much the past week,” the champion continued. “I really, really didn’t expect to win. I didn’t expect to be here this long. I was walking down the hall yesterday and I was thinking, Wow, I’m still in the tournament. It’s been a long time since I’ve been to the final here or the semifinal. It’s been a long time coming. I was just really, really elated to have an opportunity to walk out on the final match.”

Williams’ six Australian titles came in 2003, ’05, ’07, ’09 ’10 and ’15. She defeated Sharapova in ‘07 and ‘15. Sharapova won the title in 2008.

Serena Williams is halfway to another “Serena Slam” having won the 2014 US Open and now the Australian Open. The next major and second leg of the calendar Grand Slam will be the French Open in May.

“When I think about Paris, I don’t think about 20,” Williams said. “I just think about winning there. It’s the one slam I don’t have more than two titles on. I only have two there. Sorry. That and Wimbledon I’ve been struggling. Yeah, so I think, okay, now that I got this under my belt. I’m a little more comfortable with my ranking now. Now I can really move. Like I did so bad last year at Roland Garros, and Wimbledon as well. So those are the two I really have my eye on, because I would like to do better at those. And I know I can do better. I’m not going into it not as number 20, but I want to win Roland Garros.”

 

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