Australian Open 2014: Day Five round-up

It’s been a long hard week, the Detroit motorshow making a busy period at work even busier, coupled with a rather debilitating bout of flu which has still yet to properly clear and all during the most draining of majors to keep up with with coverage my end starting at midnight every night.

Mustn’t grumble though, the action I have been able to catch has been up to the usual standard, and all in all this has been a fine tournament – admittedly one with its fair share of controversy off the court – but the exciting thing is – unlike previous years, the draws are producing some mouth waterers as we enter the second week.

Day 5 saw the first set of round 3 matches concluded and on the whole the favourites shone brightest with Li Na coming through against the always tricky Safarova in three – when I joined the match the former finalist was in deep trouble, down 6-1 and not playing well. Joining the dogged Chinese into the second week will be the evergreen Flavia Pennetta who swept aside Mona Barthel and Angelique Kerber who halted Alison Riske. The two meet next.

Australian hopes were halved as Sam Stosur (who can still be proud of a decent tournament) came unstuck against Ana Ivanovic in the headline night match, again in three. Casey Dellacqua meanwhile marches on defeating fellow unseeded Zheng. Canadian superstarlet Eugenie Bouchard who has seemingly been an up and comer for ever may break Aussie hearts next up however.

Finally we must mention Serena who looked far from comfortable against Hantuchova but served her way out of trouble time and time again. As I watched the crisp and polished Eurosport coverage sans commentary (refreshing change), I marvelled both at Daniela’s decent shotmaking only to be undone time and time again by Williams’ monster serve and composure.

Stirring stuff from the American and again, on the surface at least a post match interview full of respect for an opponent who given their head to heads, hardly commands much.

Tomas Berdych continues to progress with minimal fuss but should find Kevin Anderson a tougher test, that is if the South African has recovered enough from another punishing five setter.
A heartwarming run for Florian Mayer continues also, the German dispatching Jerzy Janowicz will now face a certain David Ferrer who above all else except maybe Novak, excels in these conditions.

Tommy Robredo continues to turn back time as he too progressed to Round 4 by way of Le Croc Gasquet who never looked comfortable, will the rested Wawrinka prove a hurdle too far for the Spanish veteran?

Lastly, after another simple win, this time over the impressive Dennis Istomin, second seed Novak Djokovic will ready himself for Fabio Fognini who has many an upset within him. The unpredictable Italian will gain more confidence after beating Querrey.

Day 5 Seeds to fall
Jerzy Janowicz
Richard Gasquet
Daniela Hantuchova
Samantha Stosur
Lucie Safarova
Ekaterina Makarova

Day 5 – Al’s Hero of the day – Li Na
Anderson, coming back from two sets down is oh so close to grabbing this but Li Na just clinches this one as she was looking down and out.


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