Australian Open Blog: The Middle Rounds

In case you don’t like waking up at 7 a.m. to watch tennis, we have you covered. If you do, you can catch all of the Australian Open coverage on ESPN2 or ESPN3, but for everyone else, here’s what you missed.

The Winners:

In most epic match of the tournament, Novak Djokovic survived, barely avoiding an upset at the hands of Stanislas Wawrinka, 1-6, 7-5, 6-4, 7-6 (7), 12-10. Despite the scare, smart money says Djokovic is still a strong bet to advance in the weaker top portion of the bracket.

In the third round, Roger Federer and Jo-Willfried Tsonga both won in straight sets, setting up a potential quarterfinal matchup. In the fourth round, Federer takes on Canadian Milos Raonic, who needs his rocket first serve to be on target if he has any chance of pulling the upset. Tsonga takes on fellow Frenchman Richard Gasquet in a match that could be destined for five sets. Tsonga has the advantage, winning four out of seven previous matchups with Gasquet.

The Losers:

Juan Martin Del Potro looked as though he’d be the guy who could sneak into the semi-finals. He looked strong in the second round winning in straight sets but he struggled early in the third round, dropping the first to sets to unseeded Jeremy Chardy of France. He rallied in a third set tiebreak and cruised to win the fourth set before eventually bowing out of the tournament, falling 6-3 in the final set. Del Potro’s exit is easily the biggest upset on the men’s side.

Upset Watch:

Sloan Stephens is building off of her breakout season in 2012. If the 19-year-old American old can get past unseeded Serbian Bojana Jovanoski, she’ll get a chance to reach the semi-finals for the first time in her career. Who will be standing in Stephens’ way? Her idol and possible new rival: Serena Williams.

Eye on the Americans:

Sam Querrey was the only American to reach the third round on the men’s side. He went down in straight sets to Stanislas Wawrinka but not without a fight, 7-6 (8), 7-5, 6-4.

Jamie Hampton put the pressure on top seed Victoria Azarenka, pushing the match to a third set before ultimately letting the match slip away, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4. The 23-year-old is one of a handful of young American woman to watch in 2013, along with a promising core of Stephens, Madison Keys, and Coco Vandeweghe.

Dress Code:

Roger Federer has been sporting some Nike pink apparel. His fashion statement isn’t as loud as the backhands that gave Aussie Bernard Tomic a headache all night (See below).

Shot of the Day:

Federer shows Tomic just how far away the young Aussie is from being elite.

One thought on “Australian Open Blog: The Middle Rounds

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