Day 5: Roddick Ousted, Rafa Sails Through

aus.jpgSpaniard Rafael Nadal eased into the Australian Open defeating Gilles Simon of France 7-5 6-2 6-3 in straight sets. The Spaniard continued his stay in the Grand Slam with a victory in straight sets. He is in amazing form and a favorite for the title this year.

Meanwhile, Andy Roddick’s hopes of winning the Grand Slam were slammed by German, Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany who defeated the American after a thrilling series of some superb tennis. Till the last minute, it was uncertain as to who would win until Roddick held his serve to save four match points at 5-4. But the twenty ninth seeded Kohlschreiber produced two stunning returns to take control in the fourteenth game before closing out for a 6-4 3-6 7-6 (10-8) 6-7 (3-7) 8-6 win. Roddick, who unsuccessfully tried his luck at the Grand Slam, is the second top seed after Carlos Moya (who was upsetted by Stephan Koubek in round one itself) to bid farewell to the tournament.

No.14 seed Mikhail Youzhny has moved through to the fourth round at the Australian Open 2008 by defeating big-serving Croatian Ivo Karlovic in straight sets 6-2 6-4 6-2.

Defending Champion Serena Williams continued her run in the Australian Open, defeating twenty sixth seeded Victoria Azarenka 6-3 6-4. The two sets were almost identical as Williams hit 14 winners and committed 12 unforced errors in the first set and then backed up with 15 and 13 respectively in the second. Serena will now meet World No. 12 Vaidisova whom she has defeated in all the last three matches played between them. Serena, who is back after estrangement with her boyfriend and some injuries, has had a great start in the Grand Slam and is in great form.

Sharapova promptly marched into the Australian Open after ousting fellow Russian Elena Vesnina 6-3, 6-0 to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open.

Justine Henin also sailed through to the fourth round after defeating Italian Francesca Schiavone 7-5 6-4 in straight sets. It was an unexpectedly hard match for Henin especially in the first set but the Belgian quickly gained her momentum to finish off the sets in straight sets.

Tomorrow will be a very exciting day for India’s Sania Mirza as she takes up on eighth seeded Venus Williams in the Rod Laver Arena. It is going to be a big day for Mirza and will be crucial in shaping her tennis career. This will be followed by another sensational match between Lleyton Hewitt and Marcos Baghdatis. Roger Federer will take on Serbian Janko Tipsarevic which is expected to be an easy match for the Swiss.

In men’s doubles Leadnder Paes of India and Paul Hanley of Australia will meet Rohan Bopanna and Rajeev Ram of U.S.A in the second round.

The First Grand Slam of the Year, a grand beginning to the Year with some majestic tennis. Watch Out.

Surbhi Bhatia