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Jan 25, 2015

Sweet revenge for Murray as old guard hold firm

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Dressed in black and oozing menace, Andy Murray extracted sweet revenge by felling Wimbledon nemesis Grigor Dimitrov in a late-night thriller as the old guard stood firm to march into the Australian Open quarter-finals on Sunday.

Former champions Rafa Nadal and Maria Sharapova sailed into the last eight but will share the limelight with Murray’s next opponent Nick Kyrgios, a local gatecrasher who roared to a famous five-set victory over Roger Federer-slayer Andreas Seppi.

Jan 25, 2015

Tomic tees off at ‘ridiculous’ Australian Open scheduling

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Bernard Tomic bowed out of the Australian Open fourth round on Sunday with a stinging rebuke of the scheduling following his straight sets defeat by Tomas Berdych.

Tomic played his last match on the second show court at Margaret Court Arena, while Rafa Nadal defeated South African Kevin Anderson at Rod Laver Arena’s centre court.

Jan 25, 2015

Today is a day to be happy, says encouraged Nadal

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Rafa Nadal savoured the best win of his campaign at Melbourne Park in felling South African Kevin Anderson 7-5 6-1 6-4 to storm into the Australian Open quarter-finals on Sunday but was reticent to talk up his chances of a 15th grand slam title.

On the comeback trail after illness and injury, the Spanish third seed wrote off his chances in the lead-up but now finds himself in the last eight with energy to spare after needing little more than two hours to despatch the 6ft-8in (2.03 metre) Anderson on a cloudy day at Rod Laver Arena.

Jan 25, 2015

Nadal, Sharapova charge into quarters as top brass shine

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Former champions Rafa Nadal and Maria Sharapova charged into the quarter-finals of the Australian Open on Sunday, as the guardians of the tennis establishment crushed the grand slam dreams of upstart challengers.

Nadal withstood an early serving barrage from South African beanpole Kevin Anderson in a 7-5 6-1 6-4 masterclass at Rod Laver Arena to continue his brilliant comeback from a 2014 season ravaged by injury and illness.

Jan 24, 2015

High ranking sits uncomfortably on Nishikori’s shoulders

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – A break-out 2014 season and a career-high ranking of five has added extra weight to Kei Nishikori’s shoulders, with the U.S. Open finalist already bearing the burden of huge expectations in his home country Japan.

Nishikori became the first man from an Asian country to reach a grand slam final at Flushing Meadows and though the 25-year-old wears the distinction with pride, he also feels the pressure to take the extra step.

Jan 24, 2015

This is me, says grunting, cursing Azarenka

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Two-time grand slam champion Victoria Azarenka will no longer bite her tongue or try to fit into any media-trained “image” as she makes her way on the tennis tour, the Belarusian said at the Australian Open on Saturday.

Azarenka advanced to the fourth round at Melbourne Park with a 6-4 6-4 win over Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, a brilliant return to grand slam tennis after her 2014 season was all but wiped out by injury.

Jan 24, 2015

Lopez apologises to injured ball-boy for low blow

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Spaniard Feliciano Lopez showed a compassionate streak in addition to a dangerous serve by apologising to the ball-boy he struck in the groin at the Australian Open.

Lopez, seeded 12th at Melbourne Park, unleashed a 196 kmph serve which hit local teenager Sam Day during his second round match with Adrian Mannarino on Thursday.

Jan 23, 2015

Magic match-point helps Seppi trick stunned Federer

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Andreas Seppi’s stunning upset of Roger Federer at the Australian Open on Friday was a three-hour affair but the shot that ended the Swiss’s 11-year run to the semi-finals at Melbourne Park will be replayed for years to come.

Serving at 6-5 on his first match point of a nerve-jangling fourth set tiebreaker, the 46th-ranked Italian had to scramble hard across court as Federer rushed to the net with a forehand approach shot that burned down the line.

Jan 23, 2015

Normal service returns for sharp Sharapova

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Maria Sharapova proved her second round scare against Alexandra Panova was no more than a blip as she destroyed Zarina Diyas 6-1 6-1 to charge into the Australian Open fourth round on Friday.

The statuesque second seed was forced to save match points against fellow Russian Panova on Wednesday but roared back into form against the hapless Kazakh, who was completely out-gunned in the baseline duels.

Jan 23, 2015

Murray and Dimitrov book grand slam re-match

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Andy Murray has set up a mouth-watering clash with Grigor Dimitrov and a chance to avenge his defeat at Wimbledon after hammering Portugal’s Joao Sousa 6-1 6-1 7-5 to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open on Friday.

The Briton had his Wimbledon title defence ended by Dimitrov in the quarter-finals last year and will face the rising Bulgarian after he prevailed in a five-set dog-fight against Marcos Baghdatis.

    • About Ian

      "Based in home-town of Melbourne covering sports in Australia and New Zealand and a member of the Asia Sports desk. Previously covered general news and politics in Beijing with a special focus on the Beijing 2008 Olympics."
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