Despite serving for the match in the second set, Shahar Pe’er failed to advance
past the third round of the Australian Open for the fourth straight year on
The 23-year-old Israeli, ranked number 12 in the world and
seeded 10th in Melbourne, served for a place in the last 16 in the 12th game of
the second set against Flavia Pennetta (25), only to drop her serve and the
subsequent tiebreak before falling in a tight decider, losing 3-6, 7-6 (3), 6-4
after two hours and 25 minutes.
Pe’er got off to a flying start, and
after wrapping up the first set in impressive fashion, opened a 4-2 lead in the
second set, taking four games on the trot. However, the Israeli couldn’t hold on
to her advantage, with the Italian winning the next three games.
broke once more in the 11th game to take a 6-5 lead, but couldn’t close out the
match on her serve and Pennetta controlled the breaker to tie the
After splitting the first six games of the third set, Pennetta won
eight consecutive points to open a twogame lead she would quickly convert into a
victory, ending Pe’er’s dreams of Grand Slam success Down Under.
will look for consolation in the doubles tournament after advancing to the third
round with Shuai Peng on Friday, defeating Kimiko Date-Krumm and Shuai Zhang
1-6, 6-3, 6-2.
The Israeli-Chinese duo, seeded 14th, faced No. 2 seeds
Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik in the last 16 early Sunday
Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich were knocked out in the second round of
the men’s doubles event on Friday, losing 7-6 (7), 6-7 (3), 6-2 to Australians
Carsten Bell and Chris Guccione.
Ram is still involved in the mixed
doubles tournament, progressing to the second round with Meghann Shaughnessy on
Saturday, beating Vania King and Marcelo Melo 6-1, 7-5.
Nadal overcame the much-hyped potential star of Australian tennis in his quest
for a fourth consecutive major title.
The top-ranked Nadal secured a 6-
2, 7-5, 6-3 win over 18-year-old wildcard Bernard Tomic at the Australian Open
on Saturday. Nadal advanced to a fourth-round match against Marin
French Open finalist Sam Stosur lost 7-6 (5), 6-3 to No. 25 Petra
Kvitova, ending Australia’s hopes in the women’s draw.
In other results,
No. 4 Robin Soderling advanced along with Marin Cilic, who beat American John
Isner 4-6, 6-2, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (2), 9-7 in 4 hours, 33 minutes.
It was the
first five-set match Isner had played since his epic encounter against Nicolas
Mahut at Wimbledon, which finished 70-68 for the longest tennis match in
Isner’s departure left Andy Roddick as the only American in the
men’s or women’s draws.
US Open champion Kim Clijsters defeated Alize
Cornet 7-6 (3), 6-3 of France to move a step closer to claiming her second Grand
Slam in a row.
Also Saturday, Andy Murray cruised past Guillermo
Garcia-Lopez 6-1, 6-1, 6-2.
Second-seeded Vera Zvonareva is aiming for a
third consecutive Grand Slam final, advancing with a 6-3, 7-6 (9) win over Lucie
Zvonareva, who lost the US Open final to Clijsters, served for
the match twice against Safarova but was extended to the tiebreaker. Safarova
led 4-2 and 5-3 in the tiebreaker before Zvonareva finally clinched it on her
fourth match point.
Zvonareva has a chance to move into the No. 1 ranking
if she wins the title. Her next priority is getting past a fourth-round match
against Iveta Benesova, who beat No. 16 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-3, 1-6,
No. 12 Agnieszka Radwanska defeated Simona Halep 6-1, 6-2 and will
play China’s Peng, who had a 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 win over Japan’s Ayumi
Peng, who saved seven break points in the seventh game of the
deciding set, reached the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first
Two former finalists also went out.
Marcos Baghdatis, the
2006 runnerup, retired from his third-round match because of a finger injury
when he was trailing No. 11 Jurgen Melzer 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-1,
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the 2008 finalist, lost 3-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, 6-1
to Alexandr Dolgopolov.
Milos Raonic, a 20-year-old Canadian qualifier
with the fastest serve in the first two rounds of the tournament at 143 mph,
beat No. 10 Mikhail Youzhny 6-4, 7-5, 4-6, 6-4.
He’ll play No. 7 David
Ferrer, a 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 winner over Richard Berankis.
A strange incident
occurred on Friday when Maria Sharapova noticed a dead spot on the court while
warming- up for her third-round match against Julia Goerges. She informed the
umpire, the warm-up was halted, tournament officials rushed in and the driller
Tournament referee Wayne McEwan said moisture from recent rain
had gathered under the court’s Plexicushion layer but had evaporated as
temperatures rose in recent days and caused a pocket of vapor that lifted part
of the surface.