2014/08/01

Jurgen Melzer withdraws from Australian Open

melzer

(January 4, 2014) World No. 27 Jurgen Melzer announced on his twitter account that his is withdrawing from the Australian Open due to a left shoulder injury.

The Austrian had surgery on a torn tendon back in October and is still recovering.

The Australian Open begins on January 13.

Murray Advances Easily, Seed Killers From Wednesday Fall on Friday

AndyMurrayDS2010

(June 28, 2013) No. 2 seed and 2012 London Olympic champion Andy Murray continued his straight sets streak by defeating Tommy Robredo 6-2, 6-4, 7-5 to reach the fourth round under a closed roof at Wimbledon on Friday.

Meanwhile, two days ago several former No. 1 players fell, and most of the conquerors could not back up their dramatic upsets.

Murray is aiming to become the first man from Great Britain to win Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936. He spoke about the pressure on him with so many top seeds out including  Roger Federer who was in his half of the draw.

“I think there’s a lot more pressure on me now with them being out,” Murray said.  “I mean, I don’t read the papers and stuff.  But there are papers in the locker room, so you see some of the headlines and stuff.  It’s not that helpful,” Murray said smiling.

“But, yeah, you need to be professional enough to not let that stuff bother you and just concentrate on each match.  I think I did a good job of that today.  I played well, my best match of the tournament so far. “

As for those players who contributed to all of the upsets on Wimbledon’s Wild Wednesday:

No. 116 Sergiy Stakhovsky who took out seven-time champion Roger Federer lost to No. 37 Jurgen Melzer 6-2, 2-6, 7-5, 6-3.

“If someone would ask me, Would you rather beat Roger and lose in next round, I would always take it, obviously, “ Stakhovsky said.

“I’m just a little disappointed that I got so blinded by the game I produced with Roger that I kept going with the same game I played against Jurgen, which was just not right.  If I would be just a bit more smarter on that court, I could have been a winner today, I think.”

“I would say I could possibly be not prepared only mentally, because everybody expects or you expect yourself to play better after you beat Roger.  And the only thing you don’t want to happen is to lose next round.  It’s actually what happened, because you’re trying to avoid it, it always come to you.”

Michelle Larcher de Brito who took out Maria Sharapova, was taken down by No. 104 Karin Knapp.

“It was a fantastic win, obviously,” Larcher de Brito said. “It gave me an incredible amount of confidence and it proved to myself that, yeah, I can be there.”

Reigning Junior champion Eugenie Bouchard who dismissed Ana Ivanovic on Wednesday, was shown the door by 19th seed Carla Suarez Navarro 7-5, 6-2.

“Well, for sure it went differently than I hoped,” said the young Canadian.  “She definitely played really well, I thought.  She was very consistent.  She was being aggressive ‑ more aggressive than me ‑ so she was controlling the points.  I think I could have ‑ should have ‑ done more to try to control the points.  Instead she did.”

Bouchard spoke about the difficulty coming off the high from her victory Ivanovic. “I think that was in the back of my mind, yeah.  It’s a totally different situation:  Not on Centre Court, not against a big, big player.

But I knew that ahead of time.  I tried to prepare like it was just another match, which it was.  It was still on a nice court.

“But, yeah, I just think I didn’t play as well as I know I can.”

Dustin Brown who stunned Lleyton Hewitt, los to Adrin Mannarino 6‑4, 6‑2, 7‑5.

“I go out there and try to play my tennis as best as possible,” Brown said.

“Today didn’t work out as well as I would have liked it to.  I played Adrian a month ago.  It was a little similar match.  A little faster.  Both of us held serves.  Especially on the outside it’s really difficult to return a serve.  Most of the time you’re guessing, which also gives him no pressure on the deuce side, because even if he loses a point there, I find it very difficult to return the serve especially on the ad side.

“So he’s playing free.  He came up with a lot of good returns right in front of my feet.  Couldn’t pick them up.”

“Of course, I’m sad that I lost,” Brown said “On the other side, it’s been a great week also.  I shouldn’t forget that.  When I came here, I was in the quallies, I thought, I lost two rounds in qualifying in Nottingham, what am I expecting to do here?  If someone would have told me from the beginning, Sign here, you get the third‑round prize money and points and you are going to win five matches, I would have taken the deal.”

According to the International Tennis Federation this fortnight at Wimbledon had the worst performance by the men’s and women’s top 10 seeds. A total of only 10 of the top seeds – 6 men and 4 women had reached the third round of The Championships.

It is the joint-worst performance by Top 10 seeds at any Grand Slam event in the Open Era. The previous fewest women’s Top 10 seeds to reach the third round at a major was 5 seeds at 2001 Roland Garros. The previous fewest women’s Top 10 seeds to reach the third round at Wimbledon was 6 seeds in 1996 and 2000.

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Djokovic Advances, Nadal Cruises, Murray, Berdych and Del Potro Upset in Monte-Carlo

 

Rafael Nadal photo by William Lucas/Inovafoto

Rafael Nadal photo by William Lucas/Inovafoto

(April 18, 2013) Eight-time defending  Monte-Carlo Masters champion Rafael Nadal extended his winning streak at the tournament to 44 matches, while No. 1 Novak Djoovic had to rally from a set down for a second straight day to move into the quarterfinals. No. 2 seed Andy Murray was not so fortunate falling to No. 13  Stanislas Wawrinka 6-1, 6-2.

Novak Djokovic still nursing a twisted right ankle rallied past Juan Monaco 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 on Thursday.

“It was very difficult for me today,” Djokovic said to media. “Another tough match. I am trying to take things day by day. I didn’t know what to expect today and I’m really glad that I won.”

“It’s another big test obviously, again a two-hour match,” the No. 1 continued. “Obviously I’m not physically out there feeling my best. Somehow feels that I always miss that half a step. But I’m trying. I’m fighting. After I lost the first set today, I tried to find that inner strength. I found it again. So that’s a positive thing. Every day brings a new challenge and we’ll see what happens tomorrow.”

Djokovic will face Jarkko Nieminen in the quarterfinals. Nieminen stunned No. 5 seed Juan Martin Del Potro 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(4).

The left-hander Finn is into his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 quarterfinal since 2006 Paris.

It was another easy win For Nadal on Thursday as the 8-time Monte-Carlo champion stopped Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-2, 6-4. Nadal will take on Grigor Dimitrov in the quarterfinals.

“He’s playing well,” Nadal said of Bulgaria’s Dimitrov. “He’s able to play very well, very aggressive, very good technique. He’s (a) complete player.”

For No. 2 seed Andy Murray, it’s a match he’ll want to forget. In less than an hour the Brit fell to Stanislas Warwinka 6-1, 6-2.

“Just looked at the stats … 24 unforced errors is far too many,“ said a disappointed Murray. “That’s a set’s worth. That’s where half the points went. “I hope that’s not going to be the case over the next five, six weeks. I’ve had tough losses on the clay before and I’ve come back well from them. Hopefully today will be the same.”

“He’s an amazing player. He’s always tough to beat,” said Wawrinka to media. “Therefore, to beat Andy that easy was a big surprise, for sure. I’m playing really good, really strong, really confident with my game. I know what he’s looking for in his game. He’s playing slow, he’s playing from the baseline, he’s not putting so much pressure. For me on clay, it’s perfect.”

The loss means that Murray will fall to No. 3 in the rankings next week, surpassed by Roger Federer.

Italy’s Fabio Fognini recorded the biggest upset of his career as he knocked out fourth seed Tomas Berdych 6-4, 6-2. It’s his second career win over a top ten player.

RESULTS – THURSDAY, 18 APRIL, 2013

Singles – Third Round
[1] N Djokovic (SRB) d [14] J Monaco (ARG) 46 62 62
[13] S Wawrinka (SUI) d [2] A Murray (GBR) 61 62
[3] R Nadal (ESP) d [16] P Kohlschreiber (GER) 62 64
F Fognini (ITA) d [4] T Berdych (CZE) 64 62
J Nieminen (FIN) d [5] [WC] J del Potro (ARG) 64 46 76(4)
[6] J Tsonga (FRA) d J Melzer (AUT) 63 60
[7] R Gasquet (FRA) d [9] M Cilic (CRO) 75 64
G Dimitrov (BUL) d F Mayer (GER) 62 64

Doubles – Quarter-finals
M Raonic (CAN) / B Tomic (AUS) d [3] R Lindstedt (SWE) / D Nestor (CAN) 76(7) 63

Doubles – Second Round
[4] A Qureshi (PAK) / J Rojer (NED) d C Fleming (GBR) / J Marray (GBR) 64 61
[5] M Mirnyi (BLR) / H Tecau (ROU) d I Dodig (CRO) / R Stepanek (CZE) 62 62
J Melzer (AUT) / L Paes (IND) d [6] M Bhupathi (IND) / R Bopanna (IND) 62 63
J Benneteau (FRA) / N Zimonjic (SRB) d [7] A Peya (AUT) / B Soares (BRA) 76(7) 64

SCHEDULE – FRIDAY, 19 APRIL, 2013

COURT CENTRAL start 10:30 am
[6] J Tsonga (FRA) vs [13] S Wawrinka (SUI)
G Dimitrov (BUL) vs [3] R Nadal (ESP)
F Fognini (ITA) vs [7] R Gasquet (FRA)
[1] N Djokovic (SRB) vs J Nieminen (FIN)

COURT DES PRINCES start 10:30 am
[5] M Mirnyi (BLR) / H Tecau (ROU) vs D Marrero (ESP) / F Verdasco (ESP)
J Benneteau (FRA) / N Zimonjic (SRB) vs [4] A Qureshi (PAK) / J Rojer (NED)
[1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) vs J Melzer (AUT) / L Paes (IND)

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Ferrer Outlasts Melzer to Reach Miami Semifinals

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By Amy Fetherolf

(March 27, 2013) MIAMI — Despite dropping the first set in an error-filled match, World No. 5 David Ferrer advanced to the quarterfinals of the Sony Open, beating Jurgen Melzer, 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 in an hour and 55 minutes.

Ferrer started strongly, breaking Melzer for 2-0. However, Melzer then rattled off five straight games, breaking Ferrer three times. He ventured frequently to the net, forcing Ferrer to come up with something special to win a point.

Though Ferrer was able to earn one of the breaks back, and to pressure Melzer again as he attempted to serve out the set, Melzer saved two break points and won the first set, 6-4.

Melzer saved early break points in the second set, but Ferrer broke him for 3-1. Melzer clawed his way back into the set, breaking Ferrer back for 2-3, but despite holding a game point to even things up, Ferrer broke again for 4-2. From that point on, Melzer won just one more game in the entire match.

Melzer struggled on serve, hitting 11 double faults and getting his first serve in just 52% of the time.

“I’m disappointed. I had my chances. I think if I would’ve had a normal serving day, I could easily be standing here as the winner of the match,” Melzer said. “I had enough breaks to win two matches. It’s kind of disappointing because I felt I played really well from the back [of the court].”

“The first set was very good, and then it felt like in the middle of the second set if I hold serve to 3-all, I have a really good shot, but unfortunately my serve let me down completely the whole match basically. It’s tough to play a guy like Ferrer when you have to play out every ball, then it’s going to be difficult.”

“I was a little bit nervous in the first set and part of the second, but I tried to fight every point, to be focused, and I had a good feeling in the final of the second set and of course in the third one,” Ferrer said.

Ferrer hit 21 winners and 33 unforced errors to Melzer’s 22 winners and 54 unforced errors.

Ferrer will face Tommy Haas in the semifinals.

Photos from the match:

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Amy Fetherolf‏ is covering the Sony Open as media for Tennis Panorama News (@TennisNewsTPN). She is a co-founder of The Changeover. Follow her on Twitter at @AmyFetherolf.

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Cilic Makes It Three Zagreb Crowns

Marin Cilic

Marin Cilic

(February 10, 2013) Top seed Croatian Marin Cilic needed only 67 minutes to dispose of Austria’s Jurgen Melzer 6-3, 6-1 to claim his third Zagreb indoors title on Sunday.

Cilic dominated from the start to finish in claiming his ninth career ATP World Tour title.

“Most of my game was working extremely well. My returns were really good and I had a read on almost all of his serves. I took my chances and defended well. Overall, I played a great match from beginning to the end,” Cilic said.

“This final is probably the best match I played in this season,” said Cilic who is now 9-2 on the year.

“This was an almost brilliant match on my part. It was tough to break Melzer in the first set, but after I did it the path to victory was open.”

“He was the better player today,” Melzer said. “I needed it to be close at 4-all, 5-all in the first set to give me confidence. That didn’t happen and he ran away with it. I felt like I was hitting the ball really well at the beginning, but he hit the ball even better. What made the difference in the first few games is that he had free points on serve, whereas I had to work for them: hit a winner or play well so he missed. He deserved the victory.”

Cilic also won in Zagreb in 2009 and 2010.

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Around The Grounds at the BNP Paribas Open “ Weekend Round Up“ Part 1

By Jennifer Knapp

After a very busy Friday, I knew that today (Saturday) would be all of that and more as more of the seeded players took to the courts to play their first matches.  First up was Ana Ivanovic who made quick work of Joanna Larsson 6-1, 6-2.  I made it a point to sit in on her news conference as I had yet to seen her in person and was very impressed with her poise and demeanor as she answered a series of questions ranging from her current excellent form to her Olympic aspirations and her thoughts on the mandatory tournament schedule.

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Next up was a stroll around the practice courts as you’re pretty much always guaranteed to see many of your favorites at any point throughout the day.  Indian Wells is known for the great fan access to the practice courts and this particular trip did not disappoint.  I came across Jurgen Melzer, Marcos Bagdhatis, Victoria Azarenka, Gael Monfils and Feliciano López spread out across the many courts.  Not bad for a 15 minute walk!

 

Juan Monaco

My ultimate destination was the Juan Monaco/Nicholas Mahut match on Court 6, the smallest of the show courts. For the first 20 minutes or so that I was there, Mahut missed at least a half dozen drop shots. It was as if his racquet magnetically directed the balls into the net.  You could hear everyone in the crowd wince as he missed each one. Also,  Monaco was sliding all over the court as if it was made of clay.  There were a few crowd winces for him as well!  Monaco had multiple chances to win the match in two sets but needed a third to close it out.  He advances to play his Twitter buddy, John Isner on Monday.

 

Stpanek and Paes

Next up on the agenda was the David Ferrer/Albert Ramos versus Leander Paes/Radek Stepanek match on Court 4.  There’s nothing like watching doubles action up close and sitting in the front row gives you amazing perspective.  You also need to pay close attention though as it’s quite likely that you’ll end up getting hit by a ball at some point. I say this because it’s happened to me more than once. The stands were full and the cheering was equally split for the two teams.  Ramos was fresh off his big win over Richard Gasquet but he and Ferrer were no match for the stronger, more seasoned team as Stepanek/Paes won 6-3, 6-3.

 

Sitting in the direct sun for over an hour had taken its toll so I opted to take a shade break before heading to another match.  With so many great matches to choose from I ended up going to Stadium 3 for Kei Nishikori/Santiago Giraldo. Another near capacity crowd was thoroughly entertained although it wasn’t without (minor) incident thanks to a malfunctioning electronic scoreboard with bad timing.  The board went out just as Giraldo challenged a call and once he realized that the play could not be reviewed, he protested the by sitting down in his chair and refusing to play.   Entertaining for the crowd but unsettling for Nishikori who eventually lost the match.

Caroline wozniacki

I headed back to the media room in time for a series of news conferences Mardy Fish, Caroline Wozniacki, Ryan Harrison and Maria Sharapova. I really enjoy hearing from the players directly and having the opportunity to do so live is an absolute thrill for me.  Fish was first, followed by Wozniacki, who unceremoniously busted into the news conference and (humorously) turned in into more of a comedy routine.  The talk quickly turned to golf and ended when a reporter asked Wozniacki how she thought Fish would do on the PGA Tour. Her response was “no comment which was followed by lots of laughter.  Wozniacki proceeded to answer multiple questions about golf intermixed with tennis but the classic question came at the very end, when she was asked if she had “ever met Tiger Woods and had interactions with him  Her reply?  (pause), I was going to say something. (another pause) No, no, I have never met Tiger.” Enough said.

Ryan Harrison

The next news conference was with Ryan Harrison who had just upset 25th seed Viktor Troicki.  I am always amazed how poised and mature he is in general conversation and impressed by the fact that he made it a point during the offseason to work on controlling his energy into a positive mindset.  He spoke about his first Davis Cup experience and the positive influence of team captain, Jim Courier.  Next up for him was supposed to be Andy Murray but will now be Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.

 

Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova came to press following her win over Gisela Dulko. Questions for her included her thoughts about the mandatory 15 tournaments per year and her time at the Bollettieri Academy. She was incredibly complimentary of Nick Bollettieri and considers him one of the “best businessmen I have ever met in my life but yet he’s very professional in everything he does.” Surprisingly, there were no questions about basketball.

 

Guillermo Garcia-Lopez

Following the media conferences I headed down to the photo pit to watch Andy Murray and Guillermo Garcia Lopez.  What was expected to be a pretty routine match for Murray was anything but.  Garcia Lopez was playing lights out and Murray simply was not.  The majority of the crowd was stunned but continued to show their support for Murray throughout the match.  Murray had multiple break chances but simply couldn’t convert when necessary and Garcia Lopez won in two.  Indian Wells hasn’t been too kind to Murray as he lost to Donald Young in his first match in 2011.

Andy Murray

Murray came to press within minutes of losing the match and made no excuses.  He did say that he had a hard time trying to hit though the court, missed a lot of returns and squandered many chances.  He also said compared to last year, he was hitting the ball much better in practice and that he felt better mentally as well so he needs to turn it around for Miami.  The upside? He didn’t have any points to defend!

Jennifer Knapp is covering the BNP Paribas Open as media for Tennis Panorama News. Follow her updates on twitter @TennisNewsTPN. Follow her personal twitter @Jusbjen.

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Tennis News Net Notes for December 13, 2011

In the News:

The International Tennis Federation named its 2011 World Champions:

Singles -Novak Djokovic and Petra Kvitova

Doubles – Bob and Mike Bryan, Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik 

Juniors - Jiri Vesely,  Irina Khromacheva 

Wheelchair – Esther Vergeer, Maikel Scheffers

 

The Bryan Brothers (©Ben Solomon, Tennis Australia)

Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan have set a new record as of  December 12, 2011, for the most weeks atop the individual doubles rankings. The twins are now tied with 271 weeks each, passing John McEnroe who had the record with 270.

 

“To achieve this record and surpass McEnroe, who we’ve always looked up to, is awesome,” Mike Bryan told ATPWorldTour.com. “This ranks up with our record of most team titles. It shows we were consistent throughout our whole career and we didn’t want to relinquish the top spot.”

Bob Bryan noted: “It is number two, right below getting married, and will soon be number three, after my wife gives birth to our daughter in January.”

 

Marin Cilic

Two-time winner Marin Cilic of Croatia has been pulled out of the 2012 Chennai Open, due to a patella tendon injury.

“Having started the previous five seasons at the Chennai Open, the city is a home away from home for me. Only an injury could have kept me away from the Chennai Open,” said Cilic.

“Thankfully, I am recovering well from the patella tendon injury and I’ll surely be back next year. I wish all the participants the best for the tournament. I’ll be following it closely.” The Soweto Open, the last major tournament in South Africa has been canceled due to the main sponsor the City of Johannesburg withdrawing citing financial constraints.

 

The Sunday Star-Times reported that the New Zealand Fed Cup team has been banned from playing in 2012 by the ITF because of a last-minute withdrawal by Tennis New Zealand last February when top players Marina Erakovic and Sacha Jones were unavailable due to injury. Tennis New Zealand didn’t want to pay the $50,000 fee to send an inexperienced team.

 

Tennis New Zealand’s CEO Steve Johns told the newspaper. “We have been stood down for a year. That is the penalty for pulling out at the late stage we did this year,” Johns said. “We could have received a reasonably hefty fine for doing that, or been stood down. So we won’t be competing in 2012 and will come back into the program in 2013.”

 

The New Zealand Herald reports that the New Zealand Olympic Committee are  set to deny New Zealand No. 1 Marina Erakovic a spot in the Olympics. Her world ranking of 61 is high enough to qualify her for a spot, but the country has a policy of not allowing athletes to complete if they are not in the top 16 of their sport.

 

Australian media reports that Wimbledon quarterfinalist 19-year-old Australian Bernard Tomic is under investigation by police for complaints of dangerous driving. Police sources stated that his distinctive bright orange BMW M3 was reported for “hooning offenses.”

Tomic has denied the hooning accusations, claiming that he is the victim of a vendetta by a Gold Coast police officer.

Tomic has a restricted “P-plate” license due to his age, but has an exemption to drive his BMW M3 sports car to and from training and other activities directly related to his tennis.

Casey Dellacqua and James Duckworth have been given wildcards for the main draw of the Australian Open. Dellacqua has also received wildcards for the Brisbane International and Moorilla Hobart International.

“After missing most of 2010 with a foot injury I have spent this year building on my confidence and match practice. I now finally feel like I am playing some good tennis and with six Pro Tour event wins under my belt I have the confidence I needed going into the summer,” Dellacqua said.

 

“I’m really happy with where I am at. I’m hitting the ball well, serving great and doing all the things I should be doing. I feel good and I am looking forward to some tough competition in January.”

 

“It is an amazing opportunity to be able to play the Australian Open, Brisbane and Hobart without having to worry about qualifying and it is really going to set me up for the year ahead.

 

“It’s nice to know my summer is set and hopefully I will get a few more wins and gain even more confidence coming into the Australian Open.”

 

The Sydney International has announced that 9 of the top 10 women will be in the draw. They include No 1 Caroline Wozniacki, Petra Kvitova, Li Na, and Samantha Stosur.  Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic will also participate in the tournament. Juan Martin Del Potro, Marcus Baghdatis and Lleyton Hewitt will be in the men’s draw.

 

Mardy Fish and Milos Raonic have been added to the field of eight-man AAMI Classic in Kooyong from January 11-14. The rest of the playing roster – Andy Roddick, Gael Monfils, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Bernard Tomic, Jurgen Melzer, and Tomas Berdych.

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Sony Ericsson Open – The Excitement Starts Here and Now

By Craig Hickman

Tours, draw ceremonies, and qualifying matches filled up most of the day at the 2011 Sony Ericsson Open.

At 10:00 am, I toured the 34-acre site guided by tournament director Adam Barrett and Media and Public Relations Director Sam Henderson. Tracking down minor facilities issues (“Why is the Head Tent Closed?”) while walking a small group of media around the exquisitely designed and built set of facilities, it was clear that the Sony Ericsson Open has its eye on a bigger future. Adding another television court, hardwiring expanded workrooms for faster connectivity, and including a high-end VIP restaurant which will feature four celebrity chefs over the next week, the event will remain the premiere event outside of the Grand Slams.

At approximately 11:45, the women’s draw was unveiled. Samantha Stosur chose the chips with the 32 seeded players whose names were taped on a giant draw board threatening to blow off the easel. “Right now, it’s all just a bunch of names,” she said of her place in the 128-line draw. The No. 4 seed and Roland Garros finalist will face the winner of Zheng Jie and Xperia Hot Shot Sorana Cirstea in the second round.

 

The men’s draw followed with Jurgen Melzer doing the choosing. “The first thing I look at is where is Juan Martín del Potro in the draw,” said the No. 10 seed. “He’s in Robin Soderling‘s section so that’s going to be a nice little section. I think everybody says you play one match at a time, but we’re human so sometimes we do look ahead. If you’re confident you don’t care who you play, but if you’re not, you want to know what’s coming.” What’s coming for Melzer is his doubles partner Philipp Petzschner of Germany or Florent Serra of France.

Next, I jumped around and the grounds and darted in and out of several qualifying matches.


American wildcard and birthday girl Sloane Stephens had to rally from a set down to advance to the second round of qualifying. She beat the No. 4 seed Evgeniya Rodina of Russia 3-6, 6-4, 6-3. For a place in the main draw she’ll face Aussie Sophie Ferguson who upset No. 13 Alberta Brianti of Italy 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.


The No. 4 seed in the men’s qualifying draw fared no better. Milwaukee native Tim Smyczek picked about Israel’s Dudi Sela 6-1, 6-4. “I didn’t know what I was doing,” he said after the match. Had me fooled. Though only 5′ 9″, the 23-year-old hits a big serve, has no weakness on either wing, and plays the net with aplomb. Perhaps his best asset on the court is his positive attitude. He played every point as though it were the last and never let an error cost more than one point. Smyczek will have a tough match against Olivier Rochus of Belgium who beat Flavio Cipola of Italy 6-3, 6-2.

 

American Ryan Sweeting also advanced in straight sets. Even though he yelled out to his box that his backhand was the worst it’s ever been, you wouldn’t have known it. Not the way he dismantled Juan Sebastian Cabal 7-6(4), 6-2. The Colombian became so frustrated he double faulted twice to lose the match. Sweeting will play Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic for a spot in the main draw.

Coming off the biggest win of his career with an upset of Andy Murray at the BNP Paribas Open, Donald Young was back to the business of qualifying for another major event. Against the wily veteran in Arnaud Clement, Young was out of sorts out the gate, dropping the first 10 points of the match with a listless performance and cantankerous disposition. But the young American who has seemed burdened by big expectations shook off a lopsided first set and turned the match around. “I didn’t play my game in the first set. I started to keep more balls in play and kept fighting,” said Young. He took pace off his shots, forcing Clement to create his own pace, and that change in tactics forced the Frenchman to make more errors. “If I keep playing my game, the way I played in the last two sets, I can get through.” He’ll have to fight past Frank Dancevic of Canada who can produce good tennis on North American hardcourts.

 

Americans Lauren Davis, Irina Falconi, Jamie Hampton, Christina McHale, Robert Kendrick, Michael Russell also advanced.

Tomorrow, matches from the women’s main draw begin on the Grandstand, Court 1 and Court 2. Find the full schedule here.

Craig Hickman is founder and editor of Craig Hickman’s Tennis Blog. Follow him on twitter @CraigHickman.  Find his Sony Ericsson Open tweets on @GVTennisNews.

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Kourtin’ Karen’s Scoreboard for the Australian Open – Day 8

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Beatdown of the Day

Murray masters Melzer. Andy Murray destroyed Jurgen Melzer 6-3, 6-1, 6-1 to advance to the quarterfinals where he’ll face newcomer Alexandr Dolgopolov.

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No Wozniacki Media Pranks Today


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The Clock has Struck Midnight for Raonic

David Ferrer ended the Cinderella story of 20 year-old  Canadian qualifier Milos Raonic with a tight  4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 win. Ferrer will meet fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals.

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Routine Win of the Day

Rafael Nadal (©Ben Solomon/Tennis Australia)

Rafael Nadal took it to 2010 Australian Open semifinalist Marin Cilic 6-2, 6-4, 6-. Nadal prevented Cilic from ever getting into the match.

News Conference of the day:

Q. Do you find it distracting when everybody is calling out, I love you, Rafa?

RAFAEL NADAL: No, I feel fantastic (laughter).

Q. Are you able to block it out?

RAFAEL NADAL: No, I heard everything. But is nice (smiling).

Q. What about when the girls whistle at you and take pictures of you when you’re changing your shirt?

RAFAEL NADAL: That’s a very good feeling (smiling).

Q. Could you tell us more about this Armani campaign? Was it a good experience? What do you think of the pictures?

RAFAEL NADAL: Was a long experience, but very good experience, no? Is always nice to know different worlds. The fashion world is something that I didn’t know before.

Yeah, was a good session of photos, long one. But hopefully the result are satisfactory, so… I worked very hard, seriously (laughter). So, yeah, was nice. A different experience and I enjoyed.

Q. Do you find you sexy on the picture?

RAFAEL NADAL: I’m not the right person to say. I always watch myself so so. But what do you think? Do you like it?

Q. Yeah, I do.

RAFAEL NADAL: I happy if I like it (smiling).

Q. You say it was long. How long were you one next to the other?

RAFAEL NADAL: Was different shootings. We talked enough about that in the past.

40-30

What Surgery Aga?

Agnieszka Radwanska (William West/AFP/Getty Images)

Agnieska Radwanska looked to be out of the Australian Open back in late 2010 when she had surgery on the foot for a stress fracture. She decided to play Malbourne and now she’s on her way tot he quarterfinals. Radwanska saved two match popint before  disposing of Shuai Peng 7-5, 3-6, 7-5.

Deuce

Hey Makarova

Kim Clijsters (Getty Images)

Kim Clijsters was not stellar but took care of business with a 7-6(3), 6-2 victory over Ekaterina Makarova.

Advantage

Zvonareva Kvitova

Vera Zvonareva (Getty Images)

(2) Vera Zvonareva (RUS) d. Iveta Benesova (CZE) 6-4, 6-1

Petra Kvitova (Getty Images)

(25) Petra Kvitova (CZE) d. (22) Flavia Pennetta (ITA) 3-6, 6-3, 6-3

Game, Set, Match and Upset of the Day

Alexandr Dolgopolov (Getty Images)

It was a Dolgo Day Afternoon for No. 4 in the world Robin Soderling. Alexandr Dolgopolov defeated No. 4 seed Robin Soderling 1-6, 6-3, 6-1, 4-6, 6-2. Soderling appeared to have lost control of his serve and groundstrokes in the middle sets while his opponent’s movement and forehand took over. Next up for the Ukrainian in the quarterfinals – Andy Murray.

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