Friday’s weather: Sunny and warm, high of 90.
• Venus withdraws. The last remaining American in the women’s draw retired just seven points into Friday’s third-round meeting with Andrea Petkovic under the Rod Laver Arena lights. Williams appeared to aggravate the muscle tear sustained in her second-round match. It marked her first withdrawal from a Grand Slam match due to injury in her 17-year pro career.
• Henin suffers upset. Henin, who had reached the Australian Open final in three of her past four appearances, had beaten Svetlana Kuznetsova in 16 of their 18 career meetings. No matter. With her straight-sets loss Friday afternoon, the Belgian suffered her earliest exit at a Grand Slam since 2005 Wimbledon.
• Top men’s seeds march on. No. 2 Roger Federer, No. 3 Novak Djokovic, No. 6 Tomas Berdych, No. 8 Andy Roddick and No. 9 Fernando Verdasco each advanced to the Round of 16. Roddick boomed 32 aces in a come-from-behind victory over Robin Haase of the Netherlands.
• Wozniacki wins — then slays. Top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki made quick work of Dominika Cibulkova and gave a press conference for the ages shortly after. Other women’s winners included No. 6 Francesca Schiavone, No. 8 Victoria Azarenka and No. 9 Li Na.
Rafael Nadal for Armani (ladies, form an orderly queue) … From Late Night with Jimmy Fallon: At the Bar with Roger Federer … In Andy Murray’s column for The Australian, he says meeting a teenage Rafael Nadal was a necessary wake-up call … Ben Koo of Awful Announcing on why Thursday’s Clijsters-Woodbridge exchange shows what American sports media coverage has lost … England cricketer Graeme Swann called Venus’ Wonderland dress “the worst outfit ever seen on a tennis court.”
Photo of the Day
A general view of Margaret Court Arena on Friday afternoon (from SI.com’s Best Shots from Day 5 at the Australian Open).
4 … Number of Grand Slam tournaments in the Open Era where no American woman advanced to the Round of 16 after Venus Williams was eliminated on Friday.
57 … Career victories for Roger Federer at the Australian Open after Friday’s win over Xavier Xavier Malisse, eclipsing the tournament record held by Stefan Edberg.
36 … Number of unforced errors committed by Federer against Malisse, a possible warning sign that’s not apparent from the scoreline.
Venus Williams retires after just seven points against Andrea Petkovic.
What’s Happening Today
We’ll be down to 16 players apiece on the men’s and women’s sides after the third round wraps up Saturday. Tennis Channel’s live coverage begins at 7 p.m. ET, with ESPN2 taking over from 9 p.m. through 7:30 a.m. (Clip and save the complete TV schedule.)
John Isner is third on Margaret Court Arena against 15th-seeded Marin Cilic, a match that should begin around midnight on the East Coast.
The night session will be a hometown affair featuring last two Australians in either draw. First, No. 5 Sam Stosur faces No. 25 Petra Kvitova (3 a.m. ET), with 18-year-old Bernard Tomic going for the upset of top-seeded Rafael Nadal in the nightcap.
Other top men’s seeds in action include No. 4 Robin Soderling and No. 5 Andy Murray, with No. 2 Vera Zvonareva, No. 3 Kim Clijsters on the women’s side.
The complete order of play for Day 6 can be found here.
They Said It
“Sometimes the media is too good-looking here, so I can’t really focus on what I’m supposed to say.”
–Caroline Wozniacki, deadpanning during her tour-de-force press conference following Friday’s third-round win over Dominika Cibulkova