Saturday, 21 January 2012

Murray wins, Kukushkin shocks Monfils in Australia

Andy Murray produced a terrific performance to defeat the lively Michael Llodra, 6-4 6-2 6-0.  It was a very entertaining match with Llodra giving it his all with his delightful net skills.  Murray served very well once more and was excellent on the key points as he saved all five break points he faced in the first set.  There were a host of memorable points many of which took place at the end of the second set... enjoy the best of them below ;-)

Murray will play Mikhail Kukushkin in the 4th round, who defeated Gael Monfils, 6-2 7-5 5-7 1-6 6-4 in a truly crazy match.  It is hard to summarise this match because there were so many things that happened.  Monfils was hampered from the start with a back injury and fell two sets behind.  However Kukushkin lost his head completely at the end of the third set and in the fourth set.  He also took a medical timeout, which appeared to be an act of gamesmanship because the only thing that appeared wrong with him was his brain! In the final set, Kukushkin seemed to take a dislike to the calls of "allez" from Monfils when he hit errors and seemed to think that this was something that the referee could enforce.  However credit to the Russian, he hit some spanking winners in the last few games and Monfils wilted at the end and produced a disastrous double fault on match point.  There was also a crazy moment near the end when an inflatable tennis ball ended up on the court during a rally!

The bouncing balls on the Margaret Court Arena

Lleyton Hewitt produced a typically plucky performance to fight off Milos Raonic, 4-6 6-3 7-6 6-3.  I really thought Raonic would win this one, but he didn't have what it takes to fend off Hewitt and the support of the Rod Laver crowd.  Hewitt will now play Novak Djokovic, who has looked in devastating form so far; he allowed Nicolas Mahut just two games in a total annihilation, 6-0 6-1 6-1.  Jo-Wilfried Tsonga had no problems beating Frederico Gil in a straightforward 6-2 6-2 6-2 victory.  He will now play Kei Nishikori who fought extremely hard to beat the dangerous, Julien Benneteau in 4 sets.

Lleyton Hewitt

The final fourth round match from the top half will be between Richard Gasquet and David Ferrer.  Gasquet was in sensational form as he destroyed Janko Tipsarevic, 6-3 6-3 6-1.  I thought this would be a very close match, but Gasquet lay down his credentials, hitting 33 winners to just 8 unforced errors.  David Ferrer is sneaking his way through the draw without making any headlines and just as he likes it.  He beat Juan Ignacio Chela, 7-5 6-2 6-1 and will have to be at his best to take out the in-form Gasquet on Monday.

Janko Tipsarevic

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