Sprints and marathons



Originally published on 21/01/17 00:00

23oC degrees and sunny

Surprising himself

David Goffin was first man from the bottom of the draw to book his place in the last 16 when he beat Ivo Karlovic 6-3 6-2 6-4. “I was ready to fight until midnight if I had to," he said with a smile. "Yeah, I'm a little bit surprised with the score. But I knew that I had all the weapons in my racket to beat Ivo, but not in straight sets.”

Keep on Running
No.16 seed Barbora Strycova, who today beat Caroline Garcia 6-2 7-5, hasn’t dropped a set yet and the super-fit Czech, who plays singles and doubles says that she loves running: “This is actually my dream, after I finish, I want to run a marathon," she said. "So I will prepare for that.  I don't know when it's going to be, but it's my dream. Strange dream, but it is.”

Stash the cash
American qualifier Jennifer Brady, who two days ago saved five match points against Britain’s Heather Watson, today beat No.14 seed Elina Vesnina. According to this exchange in her post-match press conference, it doesn’t sound as though the 21-year-old is going to be splashing the cash yet.

Q. You pretty much doubled your career prize money in these past two weeks.
JENNIFER BRADY: Cool, thanks. Thanks for sharing. I didn't know that.
Q. Curious how that feels.
JENNIFER BRADY: I'm not sure yet. I probably won't know how it feels until I get the cheque or see the wire transfer.
Q. Do you have plans for it?
JENNIFER BRADY: No. Straight to savings (smiling).


Medical Thiem-out

Despite having treatment during the match on his right shoulder, Dominic Thiem became the first Austrian to reach last 16 since 2011 when he defeated Benoit Paire 6-1 4-6 6-4 6-4 on Margaret Court Arena. “I'm hitting the ball quite hard, so it's normal that there are some parts of the body hurting. It's no serious issue," he insisted.


Serena’s hidden talent
There were no surprises on court as six-time champion Serena Williams eased past fellow American Nicole Gibbs 6-1 6-3, but the 22-time Grand Slam champion did share an unlikely childhood hobby.  “I used to ice-skate when I was younger," she revealed.


Out of sight but not out of mind
Strycova, says she is in touch with Petra Kvitova and, like many, looks forward to her to return to the Tour. “She will be very strong, because she's a very strong person. And she will fight it back. She's well, and she will try to work hard, and she's a great person. So she will be all right. She will be strong coming back here. I look forward to see her again”.


Age gap
Mirjana Lucic-Baroni’s opponent today Maria Sakkari was only 16 months old when the Croat first stepped on court for her professional tennis debut. The 34-year-old, whose last match win at the Australian Open came back in 1998, meets qualifier Jennifer Brady in the fourth round following her 3-6 6-2 6-3 victory on Court 3.


Sydney who?

There was an amusing moment in Jo Konta’s press conference when American broadcaster, Mary Carillo, asked for clarification on Jo/Johanna’s name.  “I've been confused since I've been in Australia about the pronunciation of your first name. Is it Sydney Born?” 



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