Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal have passed their first real test with success: the Scot destroyed Jurgen Melzer 6-3 6-1 6-1 and Nadal won 6-2 6-4 6-3 over 2010 semifinalist Marin Cilic in just over two and a half hours. Next for them: Dolgopolov and Ferrer.
Despite his loss, Melzer will enter the top 10 for the first time in his career when the new rankings list comes out next Monday.
Ferrer ended Raonic‘s incredible run in 4 sets. Not since Goran Ivanisevic in 1989 had a qualifier made it to the quarterfinals of the Australian Open.

Upset of the day: Alexander Dolgopolov defeats Robin Soderling 1-6 6-3 6-1 4-6 6-2
I must say I didn’t see that coming. Soderling was for me one of the favorite for the title. Winner in Brisbane, he had not lost a single set since the beginning of the year. He lost to Dolgopolov in 5 sets.

Aussie of the day: Rennae Stubbs
The outspoken doubles specialist played her last Grand Slam match today. Stubbs won 60 doubles titles including four women’s Grand Slam titles (with Lisa Raymond and Cara Black) and two mixed doubles Grand Slam titles (with Jared Palmer and Todd Woodbridge).
She will again be part of the Australian Fed Cup team which faces Italy in the first round on 5 February.

Matches to follow on day 9:
[30] Andrea Petkovic (GER) v [9] Na Li (CHN)
[19] Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI) v [2] Roger Federer (SUI)
[1] Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) v [6] Francesca Schiavone (ITA)
[6] Tomas Berdych (CZE) v [3] Novak Djokovic (SRB)

Novak Djokovic and Tomas Berdych secured their spot in the last 8 with straight sets wins over Nicolas Almagro and Fernando Verdasco. It was a bad day for the Spaniards as another countryman, Tommy Robredo, lost to Roger Federer in 4 sets.
The surprise came from Stanislas Wawrinka who defeated Andy Roddick. It seems the US player will remain forever in the “one Slam winner” category .

Upset of the day: Andrea Petkovic defeats Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova is just a pale copy of the dominant player she once was. She was dismantled 2-6 3-6 by 30th seed Andrea Petkovic. She joins former No.1s Venus Williams, Ana Ivanovic, Justine Henin, Dinara Safina and Jelena Jankovic as players who have been sent out of the tournament in the first week.

Match of the day: Francesca Schiavone defeats Svetlana Kuznetsova
Today’s marathon features Francesca Schiavone and Svetlana Kuznetsova, who set a record for the longest women’s Grand Slam match in the Open era… 4 hours 44 minutes. The 30-game third set alone lasted exactly three hours.

Quote of the day: Svetlana Kuznetsova

“At some stage I was like, what’s the score? Who’s serving? I was like, what’s going on anyway here?
“I had no clue sometimes. It was so hard to count. I was like, who is up? She? Me?”

Stat of the day: 27
With his win over Tommy Robredo, Roger Federer equalled Jimmy Connors‘ record of consecutive major quarter-final appearances.

Matches to follow on day 8:
4] Robin Soderling (SWE) v Alexandr Dolgopolov (UKR)
[11] Jurgen Melzer (AUT) v [5] Andy Murray (GBR)
[1] Rafael Nadal (ESP) v [15] Marin Cilic (CRO)
Ekaterina Makaraova (RUS) v [3] Kim Clijsters (BEL)
[25] Petra Kvitova (CZE) v [22] Flavia Pennetta (ITA)
Iveta Benesova (CZE) v [2] Vera Zvonareva (RUS)
Milos Raonic (CAN) v [7] David Ferrer (ESP)

Check out Nike new video series, McEnroe’s Insights, where John McEnroe look at some of Nike’s players: Roger Federer, John Isner, Bernard Tomic:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWm4Qr1vfps[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ScySFsQI-os[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIqBO3q33Qs[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gU0uhvD2Csg[/youtube]

Surprising upsets today at the Australian Open: Sam Stosur was outplayed by 25th-seeded Petra Kvitova, whereas Nadia Petrova, Mikhail Youzhny and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga were all defeated by unseeded players (respectively Elena Makarova, Milos Raonic and Alexandr Dolgopolov).
I must say I had never heard of Raonic before: aged 20, Milos was born in Montenegro, was raised in Canada and just recently began training in Barcelona under coach and former player Galo Blanco.
Robin Soderling, Andy Murray and David Ferrer bounced through their matches and qualified for the fourth round.

On the women’s side, Kim Clijsters and Vera Zvonareva had to battle hard to overcome Lucie Safarova and AlizĂ©e Cornet.

Stat of the day: 0
There’s no Aussie player left anymore in the singles draw. Stosur and Tomic both lost today.

Aussie of the day: Bernard Tomic
Seven years ago a 17-year-old Nadal lost in straight sets to Lleyton Hewitt in the third round of Australian Open 2004. Today, Nadal overcame Tomic, Australia’s biggest hope, in straight sets. We can just hope for the Aussie he will have the same kind of career as Rafa…

Match of the day: Marin Cilic defeats John Isner
It seems like every new day brings a new a big five set thriller at this year’s Australian Open. Today’s marathon featured John Isner and Marin Cilic.The Croatian, a semifinalist here last year, prevailed 4-6 6-2 6-7 7-6 9-7 in 4hrs and 33 minutes.

Matches to follow on day 7:
Na Li(CHN)[9] vs. Victoria Azarenka(BLR)[8]
Andy Roddick(USA)[8] vs. Stanislas Wawrinka(SUI)[19]
Nicolas Almagro(ESP)[14] vs. Novak Djokovic(SRB)[3]
Svetlana Kuznetsova(RUS)[23] vs. Francesca Schiavone(ITA)[6]
Tomas Berdych(CZE)[6] vs. Fernando Verdasco(ESP)[9]

IMG_5778

Caroline Wozniacki, Francesca Schiavone, Victoria Azarenka and Na Li roll into fourth round with straight sets wins. Maria Sharapova had to fight 3 close sets to win over Julia Goerges.
Venus was forced to retire from her her third round encounter against Andrea Petkovic after just six minutes.
The only semi surprise today was Kuznetsova‘s win over Henin.

All the favorites who were playing today (Federer, Djokovic, Berdych, Roddick, Verdasco) are also through to the fourth round in the men’s draw.

Stat of the day: 57
Today four-time champion Roger Federer overtook Stefan Edberg, as the player who has won the most Australian Open matches (57).
Well, Stefan still holds the record for the number of matches won by playing SERVE AND VOLLEY. Remember what it is Federer?

Match of the day: Svetlana Kuznetsova defeats Justine Henin
For me Kuznetsova has always been some kind of a female Marat Safin: an extremely talented underachiever. She was 2-16 before her third round match against Henin, but this time she dominated with her powerful groundstrokes and overcame her nerves to knock the 7-time Grand Slam champion out of the tournament in a 6-4, 7-6 (8) victory.

Matches to follow on day 6:
Samantha Stosur(AUS)[5] vs. Petra Kvitova(CZE)[25]
Rafael Nadal(ESP)[1] vs. Bernard Tomic(AUS)
Flavia Pennetta(ITA)[22] vs. Shahar Peer(ISR)[10]
John Isner(USA)[20] vs. Marin Cilic(CRO)[15]