Thursday January 17, 2013
Djokovic sizzles to join Ferrer in third round
World number one Novak Djokovic turned on the fireworks to power into the third round along with top seeds David Ferrer and Tomas Berdych at the Australian Open yesterday.
The Serbian three-time winner produced his best form of the tournament in dishing out a comprehensive 6-1, 6-2, 6-3 win over young American Ryan Harrison in one hour and 31 minutes on Rod Laver Arena.
Djokovic raced through the opening set in just 20 minutes and captured six service breaks, without a break point against him in the match along with 37 winners and just 16 unforced errors.
The top seed will now take on Czech journeyman and 31st seed Radek Stepanek in the round of 32.
While Djokovic was in a class of his own, Ferrer was stretched to four sets and five match points, while Berdych went through in straight sets.
Spanish fourth seed Ferrer was extended by 125th-ranked American Tim Smyczek before clinching a 6-0, 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 win in two hours and 38 minutes on Margaret Court Arena.
But Czech fifth seed Berdych had no such concerns, sweeping to a straight-sets win over Frenchman Guillaume Rufin.
Ferrer, looking to take advantage of compatriot Rafael Nadalís enforced absence to go deep into the second week of the tournament, will play 2006 finalist Marcos Baghdatis next up.
Baghdatis needed four sets before putting away Japanís Tatsuma Ito to reach the last 32.
Elsewhere on day three, Serbian eighth seed Janko Tipsarevic followed up his opening round win over Lleyton Hewitt with a five-set victory over Lukas Lacko, and Japanís Kei Nishikori powered on with a straight-sets win over Argentinaís Carlos Berlocq.
Ferrer looked to be heading for a regulation straight-sets victory but the tenacious Smyczek broke him twice to take the third set and keep Ferrer longer out on the court.
Smyczek chased down everything and Ferrer needed five match points before finally prevailing.
It was Ferrerís ninth win in 10 matches this year after reaching the semi-finals at Doha and successfully defending his title at Auckland last week.
Ferrer beat Nadal in the quarter-finals in Melbourne two years ago before going down to Andy Murray in the semi-finals, his best performance at the Australian Open.
Berdych, coming off the Czech Republicís Davis Cup victory over Spain in Prague last November, was too strong for the 92nd-ranked Rufin, winning 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 in exactly two hours, and will next play Austriaís Jurgen Melzer.
Melzer, the 26th seed, toiled for three hours and 49 minutes before overcoming Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut 6-7 (4-7), 6-3, 6-7 (3-7), 6-3, 6-2.
But Berdych was in little bother, breaking Rufinís service six times and hitting 30 winners to 19.
Nishikori has enjoyed strong form in Australia, reaching the Brisbane semis before retiring hurt and making the Australian Open quarter-finals last year, the best ever Grand Slam performance by a Japanese man.
ďI feel so comfortable playing here, you know, playing last year with a lot of support. You know, itís one of the best Grand Slams for me to play,Ē he said.
ďItís the Asian Grand Slam, and like you see today, I had a lot of support, and that makes me play better. Yeah, I love it.Ē
Luckless American Brian Baker collapsed clutching his knee early in the second set and retired injured against compatriot Sam Querrey.
Baker, the world number 57, bravely returned to tennis in 2011 following a series of operations. ó AFP
Australian Open Results (Second round)
Nicolas Almagro (Spa) bt Daniel Gimeno-Traver (Spa) 6-4, 6-1, 6-2; Kei Nishikori (Jpn) bt Carlos Berlocq (Arg) 7-6 (7-4), 6-4, 6-1; Sam Querrey (US) bt Brian Baker (US) 6-7 (2-7), 1-1 ret; Jurgen Melzer (Aut) bt Roberto Bautista Agut (Spa) 6-7 (4-7), 6-3, 6-7 (3-7), 6-3, 6-2; Stanislas Wawrinka (Swi) bt Tobias Kamke (Ger) 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) ret; Jerzy Janowicz (Pol) bt Somdev Devvarman (Ind) 6-7 (10-12), 3-6, 6-1, 6-0, 7-5; Tomas Berdych (Cze) bt Guillaume Rufin (Fra) 6-2, 6-2, 6-4; David Ferrer (Spa) bt Tim Smyczek (US) 6-0, 7-5, 4-6, 6-3;
Marcos Baghdatis (Cyp) bt Tatsuma Ito (Jpn) 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2; Evgeny Donskoy (Rus) bt Mikhail Youzhny (Rus) 3-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2, 3-6, 6-3; Julien Benneteau (Fra) bt Edouard Roger-Vasselin (Fra) 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-5); Radek Stepanek (Cze) bt Feliciano Lopez (Spa) 6-2, 6-2, 6-4; Kevin Anderson (Rsa) bt Andrey Kuznetsov (Rus) 6-1, 7-5, 6-4; Fernando Verdasco (Spa) bt Xavier Malisse (Bel) 6-1, 6-3, 6-2; Novak Djokovic (Srb) bt Ryan Harrison (US) 6-1, 6-2, 6-3; Janko Tipsarevic (Srb) bt Lukas Lacko (Svk) 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 7-5.
Agnieszka Radwanska (Pol) bt Irina-Camelia Begu (Rom) 6-3, 6-3; Angelique Kerber (Ger) bt Lucie Hradecka (Cze) 6-3, 6-1; Kirsten Flipkens (Bel) bt Klara Zakopalova (Cze) 6-1, 6-0; Julia Goerges (Ger) bt Romina Oprandi (Swi) 6-3, 6-2; Valeria Savinykh (Rus) bt Dominika Cibulkova (Svk) 7-6 (8-6), 6-4; Li Na (Chn) bt Olga Govortsova (Blr) 6-2, 7-5; Ekaterina Makarova (Rus) bt Stephanie Foretz Gacon (Fra) 6-3, 6-3;
Madison Keys (US) bt Tamira Paszek (Aut) 6-2, 6-1; Zheng Jie (Chn) bt Samantha Stosur (Aus) 6-4, 1-6, 7-5; Sorana Cirstea (Rom) bt Kristyna Pliskova (Cze) 1-6, 6-3, 6-2; Maria Sharapova (Rus) bt Misaki Doi (Jpn) 6-0, 6-0; Ana Ivanovic (Srb) bt Chan Yung-Jan (Tpe) 7-5, 1-6, 6-4; Heather Watson (Bri) bt Ksenia Pervak (Kaz) 4-6, 7-6 (9-7), 6-2; Jelena Jankovic (Srb) bt Maria Joao Koehler (Por) 2-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2; Marion Bartoli (Fra) bt Vesna Dolonc (Srb) 7-5, 6-0; Venus Williams (US) bt Alize Cornet (Fra) 6-3, 6-3.