MELBOURNE, Australia – While you were sleeping, here’s what you missed on Day 3 of the Australian Open.
Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic cruise: Nothing to see here, move along. Williams crushed Serbia’s Vesna Dolonc 6-1, 6-2, and Djokovic looked incredibly sharp in a 6-0, 6-4, 6-4 victory against Leonardo Mayer. On a very hot day with temperatures peaking at 108 degrees again, both players get on and off the court as quickly as possible.
American Sam Querrey knocks out racket-smashing Ernests Gulbis: Querrey said his easy 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 win over No. 23 Gulbis was the best match he’s played in the last 12 months. Next up for Querrey is No. 15 Fabio Fognini. Great chance here for Querrey to make the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time since the U.S. Open in 2010. As for the frustrated Gulbis, he’s still never advanced past the second round in Melbourne.
Seeds keep dropping from Li Na’s quarter: Li advanced with a 6-0, 7-6 (5) win over 16-year-old Belinda Bencic, who impressed everyone this week with her polished game. The 2013 finalist will play No. 26 Lucie Safarova in the third round. While Li progressed with ease, one big name in her section, No. 15 Sabine Lisicki lost. Monica Niculescu used her unorthodox slicing-and-dicing game to defeat Lisicki 2-6, 6-2, 6-2. Last year’s Wimbledon finalist blamed the heat for her loss. “Got beaten by the heat today,” Lisicki tweeted. “Very unfortunate but that’s life. Thx so so much for your support out there!! And just to be clear, I’m not taking anything away from my opponent! She cooped [sic] better with it then [sic] me. As simple as that…” She later deleted the tweets.
Patrick Rafter’s comeback is short-lived: Rafter, 41, and fellow Aussie Lleyton Hewitt lost their first-round doubles match to Eric Butorac and Raven Klaasen 6-4, 7-5, but the crowd packed into Hisense Arena to watch and any tennis player near a TV tuned in for a look at the two-time major champion.
Photo of the day
Upset of the day
No. 120 Casey Dellacqua of Australia knocked out No. 18 Kirsten Flipkens (and by knocked out, I really do mean she KO’d her). Dellacqua won 6-3, 6-0 to advance to the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time since her memorable run here in 2010. She’ll play former semifinalist Zheng Jie, who beat Madison Keys 7-6 (5), 1-6, 7-5.
Serenade of the day
Eugenie Bouchard ousted Virginie Razzano 6-2, 7-6 (10) and then was serenaded with O Canada.
Breakthrough of the day
Damir Dzumhur, a qualifier ranked No. 188 and the first man to represent Bosnia in the main draw of a Grand Slam, is into the third round after No. 32 Ivan Dodig retired with severe cramping at 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 4-1.
Jerzy Janowicz fought through his foot injury to beat Pablo Andujar 4-6, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (5), 6-3, in front of a small pack of very rowdy Polish fans. His celebration was awesome.
Worst double fault of the day
Locked in the longest women’s match of the tournament, Karolina Pliskova finally relented, double-faulting on match point to give Daniela Hantuchova a 6-3, 3-6, 12-10 win after three hours and 13 minutes. Hantuchova’s reward? A date with Serena Williams in the third round.
Quote of the day
“I just thought because she was French they do the kissy thing. I thought she maybe kind of wanted to. I was hesitating. I just kind of went for it.”
– Bouchard on her awkward, lingering handshake and kiss at the net with Razzano.
Tweets of the day
— Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) January 15, 2014
Skunky & Rusty…. just like old times! pic.twitter.com/XbtXFeb2vY
— Darren Cahill (@darren_cahill) January 15, 2014
Hewitt and rafter pulling in the crowds! Doubles proving to be a big asset for the tour in aus with fed in brisbane now this..
— Andy Murray (@andy_murray) January 15, 2014
There’s no contrast in tennis greater than the one between how good at tennis Niculescu is and how bad at tennis she looks.
— Jeff Sackmann (@tennisabstract) January 15, 2014
@SI_BTBaseline I like press’s chances of moving onto the next round.
— Steve (@SteveInBrooklyn) January 15, 2014
Rolex signed Bencic two weeks ago, one of 11 sponsors. Which other player had 11 sponsors aged 16?
— Alexandra Willis (@alex_willis) January 15, 2014
Love it when nice girls do well. Great job @Riske4rewards
— Anne Keothavong (@annekeothavong) January 15, 2014
Thrilled to be back out there today with @colin_fleming and get the Win, loved it!
— Ross Hutchins (@RoscoHutchins) January 15, 2014