Friday, January 23, 2015

Australian Open Day 5: Italian stuns Federer

Second-seeded Roger Federer lost to Andreas Seppi of Italy
in four sets in the third round. 2014 photo by Paul Bauman
   Upset and match of the day -- Roger Federer had reached the semifinals or better in the Australian Open for 11 straight years and was 10-0 against Andreas Seppi. Both streaks ended on Thursday night (PST in the United States).  Seppi, a 30-year-old Italian, shocked the second-seeded Federer, who has won a record 17 Grand Slam singles titles, 6-4, 7-6 (5), 4-6, 7-6 (5) in the third round in Melbourne.
   Federer, 33, led 4-1 in the second-set tiebreaker and had a mini-break in the fourth-set breaker against the 46th-ranked Seppi.
   Notable -- Third-seeded Rafael Nadal was back to his old self after struggling to beat qualifier Tim Smyczek in the second round. Nadal routed Dudi Sela -- a 5-foot-9 (1.75-meter), 144-pound (65-kilogram) Israeli -- 6-1, 6-0, 7-5.
   Men's seeded winners -- No. 3 Nadal, No. 6 Andy Murray, No. 7 Tomas Berdych, No. 10 Grigor Dimitrov, No. 14 Kevin Anderson.
   Men's seeded losers -- No. 2 Roger Federer, No. 24 Richard Gasquet. 
   Women's seeded winners -- No. 2 Maria Sharapova, No. 3 Simona Halep, No. 7 Eugenie Bouchard, No. 10 Ekaterina Makarova, No. 21 Shuai Peng. 
   Women's seeded losers -- No. 14 Sara Errani, No. 31 Zarina Diyas.  
   Stars and stripes -- The bad news is Bethanie Mattek-Sands, the last American in the bottom half of the women's draw, lost to third-seeded Simona Halep 6-4, 7-5 in the third round. The good news is six U.S. women will play their third-round matches today.
   American left-handers Austin Krajicek and Donald Young fell to Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay and David Marrero Spain 6-2, 6-2 in the second round. Krajicek and Young had surprised Spaniards Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez, the third seeds and runners-up in last year's French Open and U.S. Open.
   Northern California connection -- Fifth-seeded Raquel Kops-Jones, a San Jose resident and former Cal star, and Abigail Spears edged Vitalia Diatchenko of Russia and Monica Niculescu of Romania 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (5) in the second round. Kops-Jones and Spears reached the semifinals last year. 
   Fast fact -- Berdych needed eight match points to close out his 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 victory over Viktor Troicki.
   Quote -- Federer: "Just a bad day. It had to do with Andreas' game and with my game as well. You put those things together, all of a sudden you're playing a match you don't want to play."

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