Monday, January 25, 2010

Aussie Open Day 8: Serena, Federer Dominate, Tsonga, Davy and Azarenka Advance in Epics

Victoria Azarenka, the 7th seed at this year's Australian Open, mounted a fierce comeback in the early morning hours on Monday to oust Vera Zvonareva 4-6, 6-4, 6-0. The Belarusian won the last 10 games of the match to hand Zvonareva her 2nd straight heartbreaking Grand Slam loss, as the Russian blew 6 match points in her match with Flavia Pennetta at the US Open. Azarenka will fight for a chance to reach the semis against Serena Williams, who blew Sam Stosur off the court. The American has lost just 15 games in 4 matches in Melbourne, but has a history of being outplayed by Azarenka.

Many thought Lleyton Hewitt would present a challenge for the world number 1, Roger Federer, but the Swiss proved the doubters wrong, as he played his most impressive match thus far in easily beating the Aussie 6-2, 6-3, 6-4. Nikolay Davydenko, though, did not have such an easy time with 9th seed Fernando Verdasco. Davy won the 1st 2 sets with ease, but was taken to a 5th by the Spaniard, who needed a while to find his game. Davydenko won the match 6-2, 7-5, 4-6, 6-7 (5), 6-3 and will take on Federer, who he has a 2-12 career record against.
Li Na shocked Caroline Wozniacki in their 4th round encounter, taking out the 4th seeded Dane easily, 6-4, 6-3. Wozniacki hit just 3 winners compared to 22 errors while the Chinese's difference was far less drastic, 21 to 33.

Na will play Venus Williams, who struggled much more in her match, as she was stretched to 3 sets by 17th seeded Francesca Schiavone. The Italian won the first set 6-3, but Venus eventually proved far to powerful, winning the next 2 sets 6-2 and 6-1.

The electrifying Jo-Wilfried Tsonga lit up Melbourne Park with his 5 set win over number 26 Nicholas Almagro. In the 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 6-7 (6), 9-7 victory, Tsonga hit 77 winners to just 44 errors, while Almagros inability to convert break points hurt the Spaniard.
Tsonga will get a chance to avenge his 2008 Melbourne final loss to Novak Djokovic when he plays the Serb in the quarterfinals. Djokovic had an easy time with unseeded Lukasz Kubot, winning the match 6-1, 6-2, 7-5.

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