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Australian Open Day 2 recap: Hot weather, retirements plague first round

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Bernard Tomic retired from his highly-anticipated match against Rafael Nadal after losing the first set. (WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)

Much to the dismay of Australian fans, Bernard Tomic retired from his match against Rafael Nadal after losing the first set. (William West/AFP/Getty Images)

MELBOURNE, Australia – While you were sleeping, here’s what you missed on Day 2 of the Australian Open.

What happened?

Bernard Tomic gets booed after retiring against Rafael Nadal: The highly anticipated first-round match ended when Australia’s Tomic, clearly bothered by an upper-leg injury, threw in the towel after losing the first set 6-4. Fans, who already had to wait more an hour and a half for the night session to start after a protracted day session pushed past 7 p.m., let Tomic know they were unhappy, raining down boos as he shook Nadal’s hand.

All told, eight men retired from first-round matches over the last two days.

A safe day for seeds: No. 13 John Isner retired with an ankle injury, No. 21 Philipp Kohlschreiber withdrew with a hamstring injury and No. 19 Svetlana Kuznetsova lost to Elina Svitolina. Otherwise, everyone got through.

Lleyton Hewitt loses five-set thriller: He was the underdog on paper, but given his recent title at the Brisbane International, many expected the 32-year-old Aussie to beat No. 24 Andreas Seppi. Hewitt fell behind two sets, but he battled back to force a fifth set and earned one match point that Seppi saved with a perfectly placed ace out wide. After all that hard work, Hewitt lost 7-6 (4), 6-3, 5-7, 5-7, 7-5 in 4 hours and 18 minutes.

Players suffer as temperatures hit 108 degrees: The heat came and it was, undoubtedly, hot. Temperatures peaked at 108 degrees at 5:45 p.m., right as Hewitt and Andy Murray were playing their matches. Roger Federer said everyone needed to just accept it was hot and deal with it. Everyone tried. Some failed.

China’s Peng Shuai threw up on a change of ends and eventually finished her match, but not without some serious cramping in her legs. (She lost to Kurumi Nara in three sets.) Canada’s Frank Dancevic had a scary moment when he collapsed on court during his loss to Benoit Paire. Yaroslava Shvedova called trainers between sets and was covered in ice towels during a 7-6 (1), 6-3 loss to Sloane Stephens. The heat, which derailed Melbourne’s tramlines, never triggered a roof closure or stoppage of play. They grow them tough down here in Australia.

Gilles Simon plays an epic match just three days after being on crutches: Bad luck struck the Frenchman on Friday, when he rolled his ankle so badly during an exhibition match that two men had to carry him off the court. On Saturday, he was spotted hobbling around Melbourne Park on crutches, and the French press was reporting that he had withdrawn from the tournament. Yet there he was on court Tuesday, playing a four-hour, 32-minute marathon against Germany’s Daniel Brands. Simon came back from two sets to one down and saved seven match points to win 6-7 (4), 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 16-14 on a non-televised outer court. It was an effort for the ages and no one other than the smattering of fans (and Gael Monfils, who sneaked into the first row to cheer for Simon) got to see it.

Andy Murray looks sharp: Playing on Hisense Arena during the hottest part of the day, Murray looked incredibly sharp in his 6-1, 6-1, 6-3 win over Go Soeda. His draw also got a little softer after Isner and Kohlschreiber withdrew. The only seeded player who can stop him from making the quarterfinals is No. 26 Feliciano Lopez.

Watch Kei Nishikori blast this forehand winner

Photo of the day

Gilles-Simon-1

Gilles Simon: On crutches one day, and winning an epic marathon match just a few days later. (Aaron Favila/AP)

Must-see video

Bethanie Mattek-Sands shows some nice touch on this winner against Maria Sharapova, who went on to win 6-3, 6-4.

Quote of the day

“It’s hazardous to be out there, it’s dangerous. It’s been an hour and a half after my match and I still can’t pee.”
Frank Dancevic, after passing out on court during his loss to Benoit Paire.

Tweets of the day









  • Published On Jan 14, 2014
  • 3 comments
    Vinny Cordoba
    Vinny Cordoba

    Isner just can't catch a break physically. He wins Auckland but hurts his ankle in the process, and has to sit out another AO. I really thought he could make a nice run and add a lot of points he didn't get last year. Just tough luck all around.

    bryanstillman
    bryanstillman

    Why wouldn't they close the roof? Seems really silly.

    usable.thought
    usable.thought

    I wonder at that tweet from Rothenberg. If he's not going to pursue it in a story (Greg Bishop seems to have filed the Tomic story in an omnibus piece for the Times), why bring it up in a tweet? Is he expressing doubt that Tomic was really hurt? Twitter is a loaded gun with the safety off in anybody's hands - and that seems to include journalists. Have a heart, Ben.