Highlights of round 2 Australian Open (Days 3&4)
Rafael Nadal overcame illness to avoid a shock defeat in the 2nd round of the Australian Open, winning American Tim Smyczek in a dramatic 5 set thriller Wednesday on the Rod Laver Arena. Nadal, who has never lost to a qualifier in a grand slam, looked on course to suffer that fate at the hands of Smyczek. The 28-year-old Nadal sought treatment from the tournament doctor early in the 3rd set and looked physically drained as he failed to serve out the set at 5-4. Given the suffering, the Spaniard still pushed through to claim victory 6-2 3-6 6-7(2) 6-3 7-5. “I don’t know what was going on,” Nadal said in a courtside interview. “I started to have cramps in different places. I was not in the perfect shape.” Visibly struggling to stay afloat, Rafael Nadal has shown again the substance great fighters are made of.
World No.1 Novak Djokovic enjoyed a stress-free victory over Andrey Kuznetsov 6-0 6-1 6-4
Roger Federer struggled for a set with Simone Bolelli’s serve and with a sore finger. Then he bounced back and spins off victory in four sets.
Title holder Wawrinka won in straight sets albeit a tough game against 194th ranked Romanian Marius Copil 7-6(4) 7-6(4) 6-3
Andy Murray wins in straight sets.
Spanish No.9 seed David Ferrer has continued on his familiar march at Melbourne Park, recovering after dropping the opening set to oust Sergiy Stakhovsky of the Ukraine 5-7 6-3 6-4 6-2
Fernando Verdasco advances to round three with a win over Japan’s Go Soeda 6-3 6-2 7-6(3). He plays Djokovic in the next round. Verdasco and Djokovic have met 10 times, with Djokovic holding a 6-4 advantage.
Kei Nishikori had to sweat out victory against Ivan Dodig in four gruelling sets, winning 4-6 7-5 6-2 7-6.
Frenchman Adrian Mannarino was forced to retire although having a 2 set lead against No.12 seed Feliciano Lopez. He retired in with what was believed to be heat exhaustion
After sailing to a two sets lead against German Benjamin Becker, Australian darling L. Hewitt lost the game in a 5 set draw out 6-2 6-1 3-6 4-6 2-6
Gael Monfils lost to Jerzy Janowicz in five sets 6-4 1-6 6-7(3) 6-3 6-3
Sharapova survives a huge scare on round 2 in a dramatic encounter against compatriot No 150 ranked Alexandra Panova. She won the match 6-1 4-6 7-5 after saving 2 match points. “I’m just happy to get through. I was not playing my best tennis. Twice I was one point away from being through in this tournament. But sometimes when you are not playing your best, it’s just good enough to get through and that’s what I did today” a relieved Sharapova said after the match.
Former world No.1 and currently ranked 44 (after an injury addled season) Azarenka oust good friend and former No.1 Wozniacki (8) in two set 6-4 6-2. Despite the scoreline, the match was a high-quality affair, with Azarenka striking 31 winners and 28 unforced errors to Wozniacki’s 18 winners and 20 unforced errors.
World No. 1 Serena Williams recovered from a slow start to reach the third round of the AO beating world former Nr. 2 Vera Zvonareva in straight sets 7-5 6-0
No.4 seed and 2 time Wimbledon champ Petra Kvitova is into round three, beating Mona Barthel of Germany, 6-2 6-4.
No.6 seed Agnieszka Radwanska advances to the third round with a decisive win over Sweden’s Johanna Larsson in just 44 minutes 6-0 6-1. She faces American Varvara Lepchenko next.
No.19 seed Alize Cornet advances to the third round, beating Czech qualifier Denisa Allertova 6-4 6-7(2) 6-2. She faces AO 2014 runner-up Dominika Cibulkova in the next round.
Seven time major holder, Venus Williams is certainly gaining back her groove and enjoying it. She had an easy victory (6-2 6-3) over fellow American Lauren Davis to move into round 3 of the AO. Venus who has never won an Australian open, is thriving in the midst of a carreer upswing at age 34. She will now face Italy’s Camila Giorgi, who beat Tereza Smitkova from the Czech Republic in straight sets.
Australian No.1 Stosur lost to rising American coco Vandeweghe in straight sets 6-4 6-4 and her compatriot Casey Dellacqua lost to Madison Keys in 3 sets 2-6 6-1 6-1
Also advanced are: Bouchard, Julia Goerges, Errani, Halep, Gasquet, Berdych, Baghdatis, Raonic, Nishikori, Cibulkova, Isne, Mugurruza, Simon, Zahlavova, Nieminen, Garcia-Lopez,
Out: Phiilip Kohlschreiber, Jeremy Chardy, Karlovic, Goffin, Rosol, Leornardo Mayer