© Ella Ling

Novak Djokovic

Notes from Melbourne - day 10


Our highlights reel of all the action from the tenth day of the 2012 Australian Open

Big win
Novak Djokovic d. David Ferrer 6-4, 7-6(4), 6-1

There were those, yours truly included, who thought that David Ferrer might present a bit of a challenge for the defending champion. But the only thing that really challenged him was his own body, his left leg causing him trouble as he took nearly three hours to see off the ever-energetic Ferrer.

The win, a relief to Djokovic as much as anything, pits him against Andy Murray in Friday’s semi-final, a repeat of the 2011 final.

5 in a row
That’s Grand Slam semi-finals for Andy Murray, after the Scot came through 6-3, 6-3, 6-1 against the entertaining yet ultimately untroubling Kei Nishikori. Murray’s execution on serve was not quite what it could be, but the rest of his game ticked along, the Scot conserving energy for the latter stages of this Slam. Murray’s third semi-final in a row in Melbourne, and his fifth at a Slam on the trot, the Scot’s next task will be his toughest on Friday night. Hold onto your hats.

Not as easy as you’d think
Petra Kvitova’s 6-4, 6-4 win over Sara Errani to reach the semi-finals. The diminutive Italian, whose grunt is a carbon copy of Francesca Schiavone’s, puts the ‘s’ in scrapper, burrowing around the baseline trying to take the oomph out of Kvitova’s rhythm. It worked. The Czech kerploded in the second set, falling behind 1-4, before fighting back to win through in straight sets.

Far easier…
Was Maria Sharapova’s straight sets defeat of Ekaterina Makarova. Serena’s slayer couldn’t repeat her line-cleaning performance of two days ago, succumbing 6-2, 6-3 in an hour and 27 minutes. So we’ll have a repeat of last year’ Wimbledon final. On form, one would fancy Sharapova. But you never know. As one journalist put it, “it will be a scream.”

Streaking along
The wheelchairs have come to Melbourne town for their first Grand Slam, among them the extraordinary Esther Vergeer. She won her 442nd match in a row today.

Quote of the day
Martina Hingis, on being told her style was similar to Caroline Wozniacki’s…
“Similar?!!! I didn’t step back! I tried not to let them push me.”

And, yet again, Maria Sharapova..
“Isn’t she back in Poland already?”
The Russian’s response to Agnieszka Radwanska’s criticism of her grunting

And another…Ivan Lendl
“You shouldn’t have told me, I may lose some sleep about it.”
The great Czech discussing his 16-0 career record over Brad Gilbert. Deadpanningly brilliant.

Word of the day
Those women who like to emit noise when they play, per Richard Hinds of the Melbourne Age. (Although I’m sure I read it somewhere else too…)

Junior watch
Another win for Josh Ward-Hibbert, into the quarter-finals of the boys’ singles without dropping a set. It’s the youngster’s first junior Grand Slam outside of Wimbledon, so quite some feat. He was joined by Kyle Edmund, member of the Davis Cup winning team, in the quarters.

Top of the billing
Umpire James Keothavong, called into action to supervise Novak Djokovic and David Ferrer. He’s Annie K’s older brother.

Stat of the day
The length of the rally Andy Murray won to break the Kei Nishikori serve at the first time of asking.

Come back tomorrow for…
Day session: Kim Clijsters v Victoria Azarenka
Petra Kvitova v Maria Sharapova

Night session: Roger Federer v Rafael Nadal

Blockbuster is precisely the word.