rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Sports » Aus Open PHOTOS: Federer, Nadal cruise, Azarenka struggles

Aus Open PHOTOS: Federer, Nadal cruise, Azarenka struggles

Last updated on: January 14, 2014 17:23 IST

Federer downs Duckworth to move into Round 2

     Next

Next

Roger Federer kicked off his record 57th successive Grand Slam appearance with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 win over local wildcard James Duckworth to reach the second round of the Australian Open on Tuesday.

The 32-year-old Swiss played cool under a blazing sun at Rod Laver Arena, eschewing a cap for his usual headband, and waited patiently for the 133rd-ranked Duckworth to fall on his sword with his high-risk chip and charge game.

With his new coach Stefan Edberg watching calmly from the stands behind a pair of shades, a restrained Federer broke his 21-year-old opponent once in each of the first two sets before marching through the third to wrap up the match in less than two hours.

 

Bidding for an 18th Grand Slam title, and a fifth at Melbourne Park, sixth seed Federer next faces the winner of Czech Radek Stepanek and Slovakian Blaz Kavcic.


Image: Roger Federer of Switzerland plays a backhand in his first round match against James Duckworth of Australia at the Australian Open at Melbourne Park on Tuesday
Photographs: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

     Next

Azarenka staggers into 2nd round

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Victoria Azarenka's quest for her third successive Australian Open title took a little while to get going before she finally overcame a feisty Johanna Larsson 7-6, 6-2 in their first round match at Melbourne Park on Tuesday.

The 24-year-old Belarusian looked out of sorts in the first set as the Swede ran her all around the court and scrambled effectively to put massive pressure on the world number two.

Larsson had two opportunities to serve out the first set when leading 5-4 then 6-5 only for Azarenka to break back both times, which saw the Swede's resolve melt away as the two-times champion won the tie-break 7-2.

Azarenka, who is bidding to become the first woman to win three successive Melbourne Park titles since Martina Hingis (1997-99), broke in the third game of the second set to take control and pushed on to seal the match.

She will face Taiwan's Hsieh Su-wei or Czech Barbora Zahlavova-Strycova in the second round.

Image: Victoria Azarenka of Belarus plays a forehand in her first round match against Johanna Larsson of Sweden at the Australian Open at Melbourne Park on Tuesday

 


Image: Victoria Azarenka of Belarus plays a forehand in her first round match against Johanna Larsson of Sweden at the Australian Open at Melbourne Park on Tuesday
Photographs: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Prev     Next

Murray roars into Round 2

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Andy Murray marked his return to Grand Slam tennis with a dominant 6-1, 6-1, 6-3 win over Japan's Go Soeda to reach the second round of the Australian Open on Tuesday.

The Briton headed into the clash having played just two competitive matches since back surgery in September and said it would take him time to hit top form.

But fourth seed Murray had little trouble getting back into the groove against the unseeded Japanese, roaring to victory in 87 minutes in stifling heat at the Hisense Arena despite the lack of match practice.

Murray will next play the winner of France's Vincent Millot or another qualifier in American Wayne Odesnik.


Image: Andy Murray of Great Britain celebrates winning a point in his first round match against Go Soeda of Japan on Tuesday
Photographs: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Prev     Next

Del Potro wins in 'worst conditions' at Melbourne Park

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

World No 5 Juan Martin del Potro advanced to the second round of the Australian Open with a 6-7, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 win over American qualifier Rhyne Williams in stifling heat on Tuesday.

The towering Argentine, who won the 2009 U.S. Open, is a dark horse to win his second Grand Slam title having enjoyed encouraging form in the leadup to Melbourne with victory in the Sydney International warmup event.

The 22-year-old Williams, ranked 130 in the world, had other ideas as he matched Del Potro's firepower in a tense first set and closed it out when the fifth seed stumbled in an error-strewn tiebreak.

Del Potro steadied in the second set and cruised to victory in just over three hours to set up a clash with Spain's 62nd ranked Roberto Bautista Agut.


Image: Juan Martn Del Potro of Argentina plays a backhand in his first round match against Rhyne Williams of the United States on Tuesday
Photographs: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Prev     Next

'Hopefully the weather will be better on Thursday'

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

"I tried to focus for the match in the worst conditions to play," Del Potro said in a courtside interview. "Really, really hot but the crowd kept me going.

"Hopefully the weather will be better on Thursday."

Del Potro is unlikely to get his wish, however, with the temperatures forecast to exceed 40 degrees Celsius (108 Fahrenheit) for the next three days until a cool change on the weekend. 


Image: Juan Martn Del Potro of Argentina feels the heat in his first round match against Rhyne Williams of the United States on Tuesday
Photographs: Michael Dodge/Getty Images
Tags: Del Potro

Prev     Next

Nishikori overcomes Matosevic in five-setter

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Asian No 1 Kei Nishikori endured a gruelling five-set marathon in the Melbourne heat before taking his place in the second round of the Australian Open with a 6-3, 5-7, 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 win over Marinko Matosevic on Tuesday.

The 16th seeded Japanese got the better of his Australian opponent after three hours, 40 minutes in the full glare of the sun on court two, sealing the victory when an exhausted Matosevic slapped a backhand into the net.

"Nish! Nish! Nish!" chanted the large Japanese contingent in the crowd, who had more than held their own against the vocal locals, particularly as the tiring players slugged it out in a deuce-heavy final set.

Nishikori, watched by new coach and former French Open champion Michael Chang, next meets Serbian Dusan Lajovic as he bids to match, or even better, his run to the quarter-finals at the "Grand Slam of the Asia-Pacific" in 2012.


Image: Kei Nishikori of Japan plays a forehand in his first round match against Marinko Matosevic of Australia at the Australian Open at Melbourne Park on Tuesday
Photographs: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

Prev     Next

Nadal advances after Tomic retires

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Australia's Bernard Tomic was jeered by the crowd at his home Grand Slam when he retired injured after losing the opening set of his first round match 6-4 against world number one Rafael Nadal.

Tomic, who has been criticised in the past for "tanking" - or deliberately not playing to his full ability during matches - had appeared uncomfortable from the outset at Rod Laver Arena, and took a medical time-out at the change of ends when leading 2-1.

The 21-year-old later ripped a bandage off his high left thigh at the urging off his camp and played out the set appearing restricted and grimacing after points.

With the set lost, Tomic returned to his chair and shook his head at medical staff, saying: "I can't do it."

After walking over to tell the 13-times Grand Slam champion he would no longer go on, sections of the crowd booed the 57th-ranked Australian, who was kicked off the nation's Davis Cup team in 2012 for attitude problems but later reinstated.


Image: Bernard Tomic (right) leaves the court as Rafael Nadal claps
Photographs: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Prev     Next

Nadal faces 17-year-old Australian wildcard in Round 2

Prev     More
Prev

More

Top seed Nadal, who will play 17-year-old Australian wildcard Thanasi Kokkinakis in the second round, sympathised with Tomic, whose coach and father John has been banned from the tournament after being convicted of assaulting his son's former hitting partner Thomas Drouet.

"I just want to say for Bernard, I hope he really gets better very soon," Nadal, who retired hurt during the 2010 tournament when trailing Briton Andy Murray, said.

"It's very tough to go out in a tournament like this at home," he told reporters. "I feel really sorry for Bernard. I was in that situation (before)

"There's no reason you have to continue (if injured)."


Image: Rafael Nadal
Photographs: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Prev     More
Source:
© Copyright 2014 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.