Australian Open Diary: Friday January 21
Originally published on: 21/01/11 05:40
Caro livens up her press conference
Caroline Wozniacki kicked off the day with a press conference with a twist after beating Dominika Cibulkova 6-4 6-3. Informed that some quarters of the press found her pressers a tad dull, the world No.1 hit back by delivering a monologue of answers to the “same old questions” she always gets asked. ‘Whether she deserves to be world No.1’ is one that riles her the most, apparently, so she duly said – without being asked this time – “I don’t feel any pressure to be No.1, I just really enjoy myself (being there).”
The Dane then invited the room to grill her about more interesting things and the hacks seized their opportunity, throwing everything from the situation at Liverpool Football Club to how to solve Global warming at the world No.1. She did pretty well too. “I’m hoping they’ll start winning more matches,” she replied of her favourite football team, and as for Global Warming: “I’m flying quite a bit, so that doesn’t help,” she joked.
But it turns out that Caro is quite the environmentalist, since she added: “Make cars that don’t use so much gas. Make them electric. Use buses, trains, instead of taking the car. When you take a shower don’t stay there for half an hour,” and perhaps with half a mind on her fellow players, a smiling Wozniacki added: “even the girls.”
Henin bows out
A finalist last year in Melbourne on her Grand Slam comeback, Justine Henin had been expected to go deep in to the tournament again this year – if not win her eighth Grand Slam and her first since the 2007 US Open. But 23 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova ignored the script, dumping the Belgian out in straight sets after converting her fourth match point to see out a 6-4 7-6(8) triumph.
Henin, who had beaten Kuznetsova in 16 of their 18 previous matches said: “I knew it could be a tough match, and it has been for me… Too many mistakes today, not enough winners.”
Djokovic strolls through Troicki test
Their last Grand Slam encounter at the US Open had gone to five sets and their third round Melbourne meeting was supposed to be another thriller, but Djokovic secured a simple passage to round four after his Davis Cup teammate was forced to retire after the first set. After losing the opener 6-2, Troicki, lamenting an injury to a stomach muscle, called it quits, admitting that he had struggled with the injury even in his second round match against Nicolas Mahut.
“I was really struggling. It was hurting me a lot,” he said. “That’s why I pulled out of the doubles yesterday. I was thinking it might get better for today, but it didn’t.
“I didn’t want to risk anything, the season’s just started. I mean I had to be a hundred percent if I wanted to beat Novak. So I think I took a smart decision and retired from the match.”
Roddick turns the tide
Andy Roddick had to come through a second set tiebreak to take out Dutchman Robin Haase 2-6 7-6 6-2 6-2. “The biggest thing was that breaker,” admitted the American, “he wins that, you know, I think that was the match.” As it was, Roddick rolled on. The American next faces the winner of Gael Monfils vs Stanlisas Wawrinka in round four.
Victoria Azarenka moved through in straights sets with victory over Chanelle Scheepers, while Gisela Dulko and Flavia Pennetta continued their winning partnership – dropping just four games to book a third round spot in the doubles. In the men’s draw, Ivan Ljubicic – who was the oldest player in the third round at 31 years,10 months – departs after losing 6-4 7-6(8) 6-3 to Nicolas Almagro.