Australian Open diary: Thursday 20 January
Originally published on: 20/01/11 06:55
Tomic bids goodbye to one Spanish lefty, now for the next one…
Bernard Tomic, who’s hasn’t totally endeared himself to Australians in the past, had his green and gold following well and truly back on side in Hisense Arena today. Wearing Sam Stosur-style sunnies, the 18-year-old aced, harried and sliced up Feliciano Lopez for a 7-6 7-6 6-4 triumph to reach the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time in his short career. His reward? A mouthwatering meeting with another Spanish lefty; world No.1 Rafael Nadal.
“I can’t believe I’m playing him. It’s a dream come true,” said Stuttgart-born Tomic who, make no mistake, will go in to the Saturday evening tie looking for a win. “I’ve got nothing to lose,” he said. “I’m hitting the ball great, my confidence is up there. I’m playing good and I’m serving good.
“I don’t think he’ll like my game,” added the youngster when asked of his chances, “but who knows.“
Talking of ‘he’, Nadal coasted through to his meeting with Tomic with a simple 6-2 6-1 6-1 victory over Ryan Sweeting. And the Spaniard isn’t taking his round three opponent lightly. “He’s very young – he has good potential to be in the top positions in the future. I have to play well if I want to win.”
Sky’s the limit
They’ve never really been on the short side these tennis players, but they definitely seem to be getting bigger. At 6ft5, Milos Raonic was the latest skyscraper standing out against the Melbourne sun on Thursday. The Serbian-born Canadian used every inch of his lofty frame to take out 30-year-old – and No.22 seed – Michael Llodra 7-6 6-3 7-6, striking 21 aces and 49 winners to see off the Frenchman in the first match on show court 3. And since you asked, here’s a thrilling fact about the world No.152 – his Dad used to take him to practice in his youth at either 6:30am or 9pm, because court fees were a lot cheaper at that time. Ouch.
What the Todd?
Kim Clijsters coasted through her second round match with Carla Suarez Navarro but it was her post-match interview that attracted the most attention. The Belgian “got Woodbridge back” in their live on court interview after she had been told of a text Woodbridge had sent to Rennae Stubbs in which the doubles legend had said he thought she was pregnant! In short, Clijsters embarrassed Woodbridge in front of the masses, laughter all round.
Vera Zvonareva recovered to beat Bojana Jovanovski in three sets, while Maria Kirilenko and Victoria Azarenka dream teamed their way to a 6-1 6-0 victory in the womens doubles – a small consolation for Kirilenko, who was defeated by Iveta Benesova in her earlier singles match and so took her fury out on Romina Oprandi and Jasmin Woehr instead.
John Isner got over the loss of the first set (but not before crushing his racket into the acrylic surface) to defeat Radek Stepanek, while 2008 finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Marin Cilic and David Ferrer all moved through in three. Thomaz Bellucci wasn’t so lucky, bowing out in round two in Melbourne for the second consecutive year.