Our highlights reel of all the action from the sixth day of the 2012 Australian Open
Match of the day
Andy Murray v Michael Llodra
It may not have been a five-set storm in a teacup, but it had lobs, drop shots, dinks, dives, a ball in the back, a dead bug impression, and, a lot of very impressive tennis. Murray tore the entertaining Frenchman apart 6-4, 6-2, 6-0 to make it through to the fourth round. 48 winners, 11 unforced errors. The man in orange is in good nick.
Lleyton Hewitt. The man just keeps on going. Few thought he’d have the legs to cope with young pup Milos Raonic over five sets, and that proved to be the case as the Canadian took the first set and went up in the second. But Hewitt, through sheer force of will and pumped by the Rod Laver night crowd, took the second, and the third, and, would you believe it, the fourth. He joins Bernard Tomic in the fourth round, and will play Novak Djokovic next. Incredible.
Have you ever seen a three-set men’s match take less than an hour? Novak Djokovic was certainly gunning for that target, taking just 14 minutes more to see off Nicolas Mahut 6-0, 6-1, 6-1. We’re not sure he knew it was Mahut’s birthday.
Where to start?
Lleyton Hewitt d. Milos Raonic 4-6, 6-3, 7-6, 6-3
Zheng Jie d. Marion Bartoli 6-3, 6-3
The pocket rocket Chinese player, a semi-finalist here in 2010, trounced the ninth seed without hardly noticing. Credit to Jay Z, on a tear after winning in Auckland, but the bigger question is, where on earth was Marion?
Richard Gasquet d. Janko Tipsarevic 6-3, 6-3, 6-1
The flamboyant Frenchman is such an unknown quantity that you never know if he’s going to be on it or not. He was spectacularly ‘on’, so much so that Tipsy, exhausted perhaps by all his video-blogging, had simply nothing to offer. He may be the No.9 seed, but Tipsarevic is yet to compete at the big boys table in the slams, and this sort of result is the reason why.
Ekaterina Makarova d. Vera Zvonareva 7-6, 6-1
Yuck. That’s all I have to say. And that Vera cried. And then went to the media restaurant for lunch. Again.
Win of his life
Mikhail Kukushkin. The softly-spoken Kazakh, who won a five set-fifth rubber against the Czech Republic in March last year, took full advantage of a very beleaguered Gael Monfils, struggling with a back injury, to advance to his first ever grand slam round of 16. Monfils didn’t roll over though, coming from two sets to love down to force a fifth, and almost, but not quite, surviving.
Dirt off your shoulder
Maria Sharapova left little time for Angelique Kerber to do anything at all, dusting past her 6-1, 6-2, while David Ferrer saw off Juan Ignacio Chela in three.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga came racing out of the clappers, bundling Frederico Gil 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 in an hour and 31 minutes, while Anan Ivanovic took a 16 minutes less in her 6-3, 6-4 win over Vania King.
And of course, Serena Williams, who rather put Greta Arn in her place with a double-stick on Rod Laver.
Sabine Lisicki promised, and delivered, big things in 2011. 2012 could be the same. The German with the boom boom serve came back from 2-6 v Kuznetsova to win through 6-4, 6-2 in just under two hours. Sharapova’s next. Wimbledon re-match. Bring it.
End of the road for..
Maria Kirilenko, who was forced to retire against Petra Kvitova after 38 minutes, trailing 0-6, 0-1, and Sam Stosur slayer Sorana Cirstea, dumped 6-7, 6-0, 6-2 by Sara Errani.
Stat of the day
The last time a Japanese man made the last 16 at the Australian Open. Kei Nishikori came from a set down to grit the win 4-6, 7-6, 7-6, 6-3 over Julien Benneteau. This is the man who, when encountered by an Australian journalist in a corridor the other day, simply shrugged and said “I’m lost.” Bless.
Tweet of the day
“Smurfs, acupuncture, acting, and kinesiology. Just another day in a Serena presser.”
Beyond the Baseline summarises Serena’s latest output
Quote of the day
“I’m not getting naked for anybody. Except my girlfriend.”
Novak Djokovic, ladies and gentlemen.
“I’m going to go out and get hammered, drunk.”
Andy Murray deadpans in response to his Saturday night-time plans. He is, of course, teetotal.
Keep tabs on…
The imminent arrival of Bob Bryan’s baby. The little ‘un is due 28th Jan, the day of the doubles final. ’Hopefully I won’t have to have a Skype baby,’ he told the US press.
Debate of the day
How to pronounce Novak Djokovic’s last name.
Americans say ‘Joke’-ovic. Jim Courier is saying ‘Jaw-kovic,’ the Brits say ‘Jock’-ovitch (although some say ‘Dok’-ovic, which is definitely not right), and the Serbs say ‘Chock’-ovitch.
Novak, put us out of our misery, please.
Maria Sharapova is reading George Orwell’s 1984. She hopes she’ll finish it before the world ends. (haha). “It was either that of the running book by Haruki Murakami. I was like, I don’t think so. I was like worst thing about running is reading a book about running.”
Shot of the day
Gael Monfils did a dance move at the net during his loss to Mikhail Kukushkin, which he made, but then missed the passing shot afterwards. To be fair, it was flair. Just won him plaudits rather than the point.
Did you know?
Liezel Huber wears a plastic mouth guard after taking a ball in the face last year.
Come back tomorrow for
Feliciano Lopez v Rafael Nadal, second on Rod Laver Arena
Kim Clijsters v Lia Na, third on Rod Laver Arena
Bernard Tomic v Roger Federer, first night match on Rod Laver Arena
Caroline Wozniacki v Jelena Jankovic, second night match on Rod Laver Arena
Bob and Mike Bryan v Colin Fleming and Ross Hutchins, first on Hisense Arena
And the juniors, lots of them, who start today. Liam Broady, Joshua Ward-Hibbert, Luke Bambridge, Kyle Edmund are all in action for GB…and Bernard Tomic’s sister, Sara.
And finally… the best name I’ve ever seen, Wishaya Trongcharoenchaikul.
Seriously. Can you imagine a commentator wrapping their mouth around that one? He’s a boy from Thailand, by the way.