Match of the day: Gilles Simon defeats Daniel Brands 6-7 6-4 3-6 6-3 16-14
Simon saves 7 match points and wins after 4 hours and 32 minutes of play.
Australian player of the day: Lleyton Hewitt
The recent Brisbane champion rallied from two sets down but lost in 5 sets and 4 hours and 18 minutes to 24th seed Andreas Seppi. The Australian Open is not over for Hewitt yet, as he’ll play doubles with Pat Rafter.
Stat of the day: 6
6 players retired today: Bernard Tomic, Robin Haase, Julian Reister, John Isner, Radek Stepanek and Polona Hercog who retired after only one game! That makes 9 retirements in the first round with the retirements of Andrey Golubev, Tommy Haas and Alex Bogomolov and yesterday. I guess it must be some kind of record.
Pic of the day: Svetlana Kuznetsova
wearing her Qiaodan dress. Fashion hit or miss?
Video of the day: Thanasi Kokkinakis victory lap
Matches to follow on Day 3:
Hewitt/Rafter – Butorac/Klaasen
Nikolay Davydenko – Richard Gasquet (8)
Sam Querrey – Ernests Gulbis (23)
Roger Federer enjoyed his first hit of 2014 on the Rod Laver arena:
Hewitt will move back into the top 50 in the ATP rankings.
Hewitt, finalist at the Australian Open in 2005, said: “If I play like I did this week I have a chance of doing damage to some serious players. It gives me a lot more confidence going out there believing in how well I’m hitting the ball at the moment and that I can match up with the best guys.”
Q: How the idea of an association with Stefan Edberg was born?
After my split with Paul Annacone (in October), I finished the season with Severin (Lüthi), then he and I, we discussed. We asked ourselves if we needed someone else in the team. Who? Why? How many weeks a year? I only had a few names in mind , and Stefan was one of them.
I really did not think he would be available, because he’s been off the circuit for 15 years. But he is one of my childhood hero so I said: Why not try to contact him. He needed a lot of time to make his decision, he really was not sure of himself! (Laughs.) But he was very flattered and he finally agreed .
He came to Dubai and spent a week all three (with Severin), so that he get an idea of my daily life, because all the top players have their own arrangement. I wanted him to meet my family, my team, so that he feels the most comfortable possible. After that, I asked him again whether he wanted to work with me and he agreed.
Q: How will you organize?
Severin keeps travelling with me most of the time, and Stefan has agreed to accompany me at least ten weeks a year, slightly less than what my former coaches used to do. I’m really glad he could find time for it. I am very excited, and he also, even if he had never imagined to coach someone.
Q: What will he bring to you?
A: I’m sure he can bring a new perspective to my game. I see him more as a source of inspiration, a legend of the game who joined my team, than a full time coach. We’ll talk a lot. In fact, neither he nor I really know how it will happen. But we’re both excited to be back together in Melbourne (next week).
There is no real expectation, we just want to spend quality time together. I have always have former players by my side: Lundgren, Higueras, Roche, Annacone, Luthi. But I’ve never had someone as successful as Edberg. His generation is the one that impressed me most as a junior, so the priority was to find someone of his generation to help me.
Q: So, we guess you followed with interest the announcement of the collaboration between Novak Djokovic and Boris Becker…
A: Yes, I never thought Boris would embark into this, he would coach. But it’s great for them and great for tennis. I am pleased to see former legends try to help the next generation.
Q: To work with Edberg means that you will play a more attacking tennis?
A: You think if will resign if I don’t play serve and volley (laughs)?
It will be interesting to see if he thinks it is still possible to do many serves and volleys on today’s slower courts, or if there are other ways for me to go to the net. In any case, all Edberg will tell me will mean a lot to me.
Q: Let’s talk about your offseason. What about your back problems?
A: I have done more than what I expected, and it’s really encouraging. This year I haven’t played any exhibition, which allowed me to train extremely hard, and for a longer period of time.
For the first time for more than a year, I’ve been able to train three or four weeks in a row without any problems.
In 2013, every time I had small problems, pains, including back, and it cost me confidence.
For a few months now I can move again without problems and I can give myself fully, especially mentally. I completely recharged my batteries.
Q: Many people speculate on your chances of capturing another Grand Slam title? Where do you have your best chance?
A: If I play my best tennis, probably Wimbledon, then the US Open, the Australian Open and Roland Garros.
Q: We’ve seen you with a new racquet at the practice here
A: Yes, this racquet is different from the one I’ve tried last summer (in Hamburg and Gstaad).
Wilson worked over details that I notify them. They sent me the first batch of racquets after the US Open, and a second one after the Masters.
I chose a frame and I trained with it for two and a half weeks in Dubai. I feel very comfortable, more comfortable than with the racquet of last summer. This one is more like an extension of the one I used previously, with a futuristic look. I can not wait to see how it will happen in matches.
Q: Has the weight of the racquet changed?
A: In fact I don’t even know! Only my stringers and Wilson know that. I’m not controlling every detail.
Preview, recap and analysis:
Novak Djokovic first practice session
Roger Federer first practice session
Day 1 recap
Day 2 recap
Day 3 recap
Day 4 recap
Day 5 recap
Day 6 recap
Day 7 recap
Women’s semifinals highlights
Li Na and Dominika Cibulkova roads to the 2014 Australian Open final
Rafael Nadal and Stanislas Wawrinka roads to the 2014 Australian Open final
Li Na defeats Dominika Cibulkova, wins first Australian Open title
A trip down memory lane:
Australian Open trivia
The tragedy of Daphne Akhurst
The Norman Brookes Challenge Cup
1960 Australian Open: Neale Feaser, a costly volley
1960: first Grand Slam title for Rod Laver
1960-63 Australian Open: Jan Lehane four time runner-up
1974 Australian Open: Jimmy Connors first Grand Slam title
1981: First Australian Open title for Martina Navratilova
1987-1988 Swedes spoil the party
January 11, 1988: first day of play at Flinders Park
1994: First Australian Open title for Pete Sampras
1996 Australian Open: Mark Philippoussis defeats Pete Sampras in the 3rd round
1997 Australian Open: Pete Sampras defeats Carlos Moya
2001 Australian Open: Pat’s last chance
2001 Australian Open final: Andre Agassi defeats Arnaud Clément
2003 Australian Open: last Grand Slam title for Agassi
2005 Australian Open: Heartbreak for Lleyton Hewitt
2009 Australian Open: Rafael Nadal defeats Roger Federer
Fashion and gear:
Andy Murray adidas outfit
Ana Ivanovic adidas dress
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga adidas outfit
Caroline Wozniacki dress by Stella McCartney
Rafael Nadal signature shoes: the Nike Lunar Ballistec
Roger Federer signature shoes: the Nike Zoom Vapor 9.5
Novak Djokovic Uniqlo outfit
Venus Williams dress by EleVen
Rafael Nadal Nike outfit
Roger Federer Nike outfit
Serena Williams Nike dress
Maria Sharapova Nike dress
Victoria Azarenka Nike outfit
Li Na Nike outfit
Juan Martin del Potro Nike outfit
Lleyton Hewitt C’mon outfit
Kei Nishikori Uniqlo outfit
Eugenie Bouchard Nike outfit
Flavia Pennetta outfit by Stella McCartney
Who will be the 2014 Australian Open champion?
- Rafael Nadal (33%, 92 Votes)
- Novak Djokovic (28%, 80 Votes)
- Roger Federer (27%, 76 Votes)
- Juan Martin Del Potro (4%, 11 Votes)
- Andy Murray (4%, 10 Votes)
- Stanislas Wawrinka (2%, 5 Votes)
- Tomas Berdych (1%, 3 Votes)
- Other (1%, 3 Votes)
- Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (1%, 2 Votes)
- Richard Gasquet (0%, 1 Votes)
- David Ferrer (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 283
Australian Open 2014 champion?
- Serena Williams (49%, 70 Votes)
- Victoria Azarenka (15%, 21 Votes)
- Maria Sharapova (12%, 17 Votes)
- Na Li (9%, 13 Votes)
- Other (5%, 7 Votes)
- Caroline Wozniacki (4%, 6 Votes)
- Jelena Jankovic (3%, 4 Votes)
- Agniezska Radwanska (2%, 3 Votes)
- Angelique Kerber (1%, 2 Votes)
- Petra Kvitova (1%, 1 Votes)
- Sara Errani (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 144