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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.