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Jan 30, 2015

Down but not out, Djokovic just glad to make final

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – A solemn Novak Djokovic will look for positives from his previous clashes at Melbourne Park after playing arguably his worst match of the tournament in edging a mentally “dead” Stan Wawrinka in five sets on Friday.

The top-seeded Serb blew hot and cold in the 7-6(1) 3-6 6-4 4-6 6-0 semi-final victory, squandering a winning position in the fourth set and being fortunate that the defending champion was also out-of-sorts on a cool and breezy night at Rod Laver Arena.

Jan 30, 2015

Djokovic edges Wawrinka to book final with Murray

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Top seed Novak Djokovic ended Stan Wawrinka’s title defence on Friday with another five-set clash to book a third final showdown with Andy Murray at the Australian Open.

Though not quite the level of their thrilling marathons at the last two tournaments, the grinding 7-6(1) 3-6 6-4 4-6 6-0 win under the lights of Rod Laver Arena was riven by tension until the final one-sided set.

Jan 30, 2015

Preview – Williams bids to continue tyranny of Sharapova

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – One of the few players with the game to trouble Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova’s decade-long losing streak to the American great is one of the more curious anomalies in women’s tennis.

Sharapova was a 17-year-old sensation when she last beat Williams at the title-decider of her debut at the season-ending Tour Finals in 2004.

Jan 29, 2015

‘Bad mood’ Berdych rues another missed chance

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Tomas Berdych blamed “one bad set” for his defeat by Andy Murray at the Australian Open on Thursday when his dreams of a maiden grand slam title were again crushed at the semi-final stage.

The Czech seventh seed played some brilliant tennis to edge Murray in a marathon first set but was on the back foot thereafter to lose 6-7 (6) 6-0 6-3 7-5 on a chilly night at Rod Laver Arena.

Jan 29, 2015

Hewitt flags retirement after next Australian Open

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Two-time grand slam champion Lleyton Hewitt has flagged his retirement after a record 20th campaign at his home Australian Open next year.

Hewitt, who has battled a number of injuries in recent years and will be 34 next month, was knocked out of the second round of this year’s campaign at Melbourne Park.

Jan 29, 2015

Fairytale ends for Keys but grand slam hunger grows

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Making the semi-finals of the Australian Open gave Madison Keys belief she could contend with the best players in the women’s game, but also made the hard-hitting 19-year-old more determined to take an extra step at the grand slams.

Keys’ fairytale run at Melbourne Park ended with a fighting 7-6(5) 6-2 loss to top seed Serena Williams at Rod Laver Arena, a performance that underlined her claim as a future standard-bearer for American tennis.

Jan 29, 2015

Serena fends off Keys to book blockbuster Sharapova final

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Serena Williams brushed aside the latest member of ‘generation next’ trying to steal her crown by beating teenager Madison Keys 7-6(5) 6-2 on Thursday, setting up a blockbuster Australian Open final against Maria Sharapova.

Top seed Williams, who at 33 is 14 years Keys’ senior, faces Sharapova on Saturday after the Russian trounced compatriot Ekaterina Makarova 6-3 6-2 in the earlier semi-final.

Jan 28, 2015

Djokovic says ready for another epic with Wawrinka

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – After booking a much-anticipated semi-final with his Australian Open title usurper Stan Wawrinka on Wednesday, Novak Djokovic wasted little time reminding the Swiss of the heavy burden of being defending champion.

Djokovic’s three-year reign at Melbourne Park was ended by the Swiss last January in an epic five-set quarter-final, which followed a year after fending off Wawrinka in another nerve-jangling marathon in the fourth round.

Jan 28, 2015

Sisterly advice to help Serena prepare for Keys

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Serena Williams will turn to her sister for advice for her all-American semi-final against Madison Keys, the teenager with designs on the throne of U.S. women’s tennis.

An injury-hampered Keys defeated Venus Williams in three sets on Wednesday to continue her fairytale run at Melbourne Park and now faces the ultimate test against top seed Serena.

Jan 28, 2015

Keys injury time-out cost me momentum, says beaten Venus

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Venus Williams blamed an injury time-out by opponent Madison Keys for robbing her of rhythm and momentum during their Australian Open quarter-final on Wednesday.

The seven-times grand slam champion was leading 4-1 in the second set when play was halted for about eight minutes to allow 19-year-old Keys to have treatment on her left thigh.

    • 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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