Friday, January 30, 2015

Aussie Open Day 12: Djokovic outlasts Wawrinka

Novak Djokovic, shown at Indian Wells in 2012, will play
for his fifth Australian Open title. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Men's semifinals -- Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka played five sets in the Australian Open for the third straight year, but this match was anticlimactic.
   Djokovic, the top seed seeking his fifth Australian Open title, dethroned Wawrinka, seeded fourth, 7-6 (1), 3-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-0 in 3 hours, 31 minutes in a ragged contest today at Melbourne Park.
   Djokovic improved to 17-3 lifetime against Wawrinka. Djokovic prevailed 12-10 in the fifth set in 5 hours, 2 minutes in the fourth round of the 2013 Australian Open, and Wawrinka triumphed 9-7 in the fifth in 4 hours in last year's quarterfinals to snap a 14-match losing streak to the Serb.
   Djokovic will face sixth-seeded Andy Murray on Sunday. ESPN will televise the match at 12:30 a.m. California time.
   Notable -- Leander Paes, 41, of India hit a behind-the-back volley as he and International Tennis Hall of Famer Martina Hingis, 34, of Switzerland reached the mixed doubles final. The seventh seeds, who beat unseeded Su-Wei Hsieh of Taiwan and Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay 7-5, 6-4, will face third seeds and defending champions Kristina Mladenovic of France and Daniel Nestor, 42, of Canada. 
   Stars and stripes -- Bethanie Mattek-Sands apparently feels at home in Australia. The 29-year-old American won her second Grand Slam title, both in the Australian Open.
   Mattek-Sands and Czech Lucie Safarova, playing in their first tournament together, beat 14th-seeded Yung-Jan Chan of Taiwan and Jie Zheng of China 6-4, 7-6 (5) for the women's doubles crown.
   Mattek-Sands, known for her knee socks and general flamboyance, underwent hip surgery last April and missed six months. She also won the 2012 Australian Open mixed doubles title with Horia Tecau of Romania.
   Northern California connection -- Marketa Vondrousova, the girls doubles champion with fellow Czech Miriam Kolodziejova, also won the doubles title in last month's Orange Bowl with CiCi Bellis of Atherton. They defeated Kolodziejova and Tereza Mihalikova of Slovakia in the final. Mihalikova, unseeded in girls singles in the Australian Open, will meet 14th-seeded Katie Swan of Great Britain for the championship.
   Fast facts -- Djokovic and Wawrinka combined for 118 errors and 69 winners. Both players had at least 22 more errors than winners. Djokovic had 14 errors and no winners in the fourth set.
   Djokovic lost track of the score and didn't realize he had won the third set.
   Quote -- Djokovic: "I'm going to need to step it up and play better to win the title."

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