Wednesday’s weather: Cloudy and cool with sunny breaks. High of 74 degrees.
• Venus Williams digs deep. After raising eyebrows with her latest fashion statement — the Associated Press called it a “revealing peek-a-boo lattice-style top with a multicolored satiny short skirt” — Williams made an even bigger impression with her gutsy performance against Sandra Zahlavova. The 30-year-old American suffered a muscle injury on the final point of the first-set tiebreak and appeared in agony during a 10-minute medical timeout between sets. Naturally, she won the next set at love before coasting to the 6-7(6), 6-0, 6-4 victory.
• More disappointment for the Americans. After three days, Venus is the lone Yank remaining in the women’s draw. Just four American men remain after virus-stricken Mardy Fish’s come-from-ahead loss to Tommy Robredo.
• The upsets that didn’t happen. Second-seeded Roger Federer held a two-sets-to-none lead over Gilles Simon, but was pushed to the limit in a 6-2, 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-3 victory. Earlier, No. 9 seed Fernando Verdasco rallied from two sets down to beat chronic giant-killer Janko Tipseravic, who was unable to capitalize on three match points in the fourth.
• Top seeds march on. Many doubt Caroline Wozniacki’s claim to the top ranking, but she’s played like a No. 1 so far. With her 6-1, 6-0 victory over American Vania King, Wozniacki has dropped just eight games through two rounds. Other women’s winners included No. 6 Francesca Schiavone, No. 8 Victoria Azarenka, No. 9 Li Na, No. 11 Justine Henin and No. 14 Maria Sharapova, with No. 3 Novak Djokovic, No. 6 Tomas Berdych and No. 12 Gael Monfils among the men to advance.
Guardian writer Kevin Mitchell on the sad decline of Dinara Safina … The Telegraph calls Venus the Lady Gaga of tennis and looks back at the Williams’ sisters most memorable outfits … In his post-match press conference, Andy Roddick said he’s prepared to go the distance in Melbourne … Billie Jean King opines for the Huffington Post … 2K Sports has unveiled a new tennis video game … From the Worst Kept Secret department: The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports Andre Agassi will be inducted to the International Tennis Hall of Fame on July 9.
Photo of the Day
Li Na signs autographs for fans after beating Evgeniya Rodina (from SI.com’s Best Shots from Day 3 at the Australian Open).
166-0 … Career record of Roger Federer when leading by two sets at a major after Wednesday’s second-round victory over Gilles Simon.
3 … Number of active ATP Tour players with a winning record against Federer: Rafael Nadal (14-8), Andy Murray (8-6) and Simon (2-1).
19 … Consecutive points lost by Janko Tipseravic during the third set of his five-set loss to Fernando Verdasco.
257 … Number of consecutive matches completed by Venus Williams at Grand Slam events without a retirement.
Staring down match point against Tipseravic, Verdasco delivered the shot of the day.
What’s Happening Today
Tennis Channel’s live coverage begins at 7 p.m. ET, with ESPN2 picking it up from 11 p.m. through 8 a.m. (Clip and save the complete TV schedule.)
Top-seeded Rafael Nadal will face American Ryan Sweeting around 9 p.m. ET. No. 20 John Isner is the last match on Court 3 against Radek Stepanek (around 3 a.m. ET), while Juan Martin del Potro faces No. 21 Marcos Baghdatis in the day’s marquee men’s match (around 5 a.m. ET).
Other top men’s seeds in action include No. 1 Rafael Nadal, No. 4 Robin Soderling and No. 5 Andy Murray, with No. 2 Vera Zvonareva, No. 3 Kim Clijsters, No. 5 Sam Stosur, No. 7 Jelena Jankovic in action on the women’s side.
The complete order of play for Day 4 can be found here.
They Said It
“The outfit is inspired by Alice in Wonderland. It’s kind of about a surprise, because when Alice goes down the rabbit hole, she finds all these things that are so surprising. This outfit is about having a surprise in tennis a dress, and showing some skin and then just having a print. Prints don’t happen that often in tennis. So it’s called the Wonderland dress.”
–Venus Williams, on her much-talked-about outfit after Wednesday’s victory