Australian Open: Djokovic, Federer, Serena Through To Semis

Australian OpenWorld number one, Novak Djokovic, is through to the last four of the Australian Open after dismissing Kei Nishikori in straight sets.

The 28-year-old swept past his Japanese opponent 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 in 2 hours 7 minutes to reach his 29th grand slam semi-final and sixth at Melbourne Park.

Up next for Djokovic as he guns for a 6th title is 17-time grand slam champion, Roger Federer.

The duo will meet for the 45th time on Thursday with their ATP head2head series balanced at 22 wins apiece.

World number three, Roger Federer advanced to his 12th Australian Open semi-final with an efficient 7-6 6-2 6-4 victory over sixth seed Tomas Berdych.

Federer was pressed hard in the opening set, taking it in a tie-break after swapping service breaks with Berdych, before the Swiss won the important points in the second set to take control of the match.

The Czech broke early in the third set before 17-times grand slam winner Federer broke back in the third game to seal it in two hours, 16 minutes.

Serena and Radwanska Through To Semis

In the women’s event, reigning champion, Serena Williams, advanced to the last four.

Williams edged out fifth seed Maria Sharapova for the 18th match in a row with a 6-4 6-1 victory.

Williams has reached the last four at Melbourne Park on six previous occasions and gone on to win the title every time.

Agnieszka Radwanska, will face Williams in the semis, after beating Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro 6-1 6-3.

Australian Open: Federer, Djokovic Through To 4th Round

Australian OpenRoger Federer has recorded his 300th grand slam match win to safely advance to the 4th round at the Australian Open.

The 17-time major winner and third seed won 6-4 3-6 6-1 6-4 in two hours and 40 minutes under the closed roof on Rod Laver Arena against Grigor Dimitrov, and will face Belgium’s 15th seed David Goffin in the next round.

Federer becomes the first man to win 300 grand slam matches.

World number 1, Novak Djokovic is also through to the 4th round of the Australian Open after battling past Italy’s Andres Seppi 6-1 7-5 7-6.

Djokovic, who is gunning for his 6th title was however made to work hard for his victory after his Italian opponent found his feet in the second and third sets.

Also making it into the second week at Melbourne Park is Tomas Berdych who overcame a third set scare to beat Nick Kyrgios 6-3, 6-4, 1-6, 6-4.

In other games, Roberto Bautista Agut beat Marin Cilic  6-4, 7-6, 7-5, while  Japan’s Kei Nishikori beat Guillermo Garcia Lopez 7-5, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Serena, Sharapova Also Through

Defending champion, Serena Williams, also had an easy entrance to the fourth round of the Australian Open.

The world number one recorded a 6-1 6-1 demolition of Russian teenager Daria Kasatkina on Friday.

Playing a record 80th main draw match at Melbourne Park against an 18-year-old on her first trip down under, Williams was merciless under the lights of Rod Laver Arena, blasting 24 winners and winning all 10 points coming into the net.

Williams, bidding for seventh title at Melbourne Park and a 22nd grand slam trophy, faces another unseeded Russian in Margarita Gasparyan in the next round.

Former champion, Maria Sharapova, recovered from losing a second-set tiebreak to put away unseeded American Lauren Davis 6-1 6-7 6-love and set up an intriguing fourth round match with rising Swiss talent Belinda Bencic.

The win was 28-year-old Sharapova’s 600th on tour.

Australian Open: Serena, Djokovic Win In Melbourne

Djokovic-serena- ITfDefending champion, Serena Williams, has dispelled doubts about her fitness and form after a four-month break from the game with a tense 6-4 7-5 win over feisty Italian Camila Giorgi to reach the second round of the Australian Open.

Williams closed out the match with a customary barrage of booming first serves.

In the men’s draw, world number one and defending champion, Novak Djokovic, advanced to the second round with a dominant 6-3 6-2 6-4 victory over Chung Hyeon.

The 28-year-old Serb looked untroubled by the Melbourne heat in the 115-minute contest, charging around Rod Laver Arena and rattling off 40 winners.

Serena Fit To Defend Australian Open Title

Serena World number 1, Serena Williams says she is fit for the Australian Open despite recent injury worries.

Serena failed to complete any matches at the recent Hopman Cup due to left knee inflammation, leading to reports that she is not in good physical condition for the first grand slam of the year, but the 34-year-old insists she is ready to defend her title.

“No, I’m at 120, 130 per cent right now,” Williams said.

“This week and the weeks leading up have been a lot of work. I actually wanted to have an easy day today but in my mind ’easy’ is just two hours of really intense working out.”

She added: “It’s actually really fine. I don’t have any inflammation anymore. It’s just that I needed some time to get over that little hump.”

Serena, who is gunning for her 7th title at Melbourne Park, could face Maria Sharapova in the quarter-finals in an earlier-than-scheduled sequel to the pair’s title clash last year

“I always seem to have a tough draw, so it’s fine. Doesn’t matter who I play. At some point you have to play everyone,” Williams said. “That’s how it always works out. So that’s what it is.”

Serena Williams To Start 2016 Season At Hopman Cup

serenaWorld number 1, Serena Williams, will launch her 2016 season at the Hopman Cup in Australia.

Serena reached the final of the mixed team event in 2014 with American compatriot, John Isnerto, kicking off a superb season where she won the Australian, French Open and Wimbledon, to take her Grand Slam singles haul to 21.

Williams has not played since her shocking semifinal defeat to Italian Roberto Vinci at the US Open in September which ended her bid for a rare calendar Grand Slam.

She pulled out of two events in China earlier in October, as well as the WTA finals in Singapore, citing the need to rest after a year spent carrying injuries.

Williams will be joined in the January 3-9 Hopman Cup field by Briton, Andy Murray and controversial Australian, Nick Kyrgios.

Novak Djokovic Reacts To China Open Win

djokovicWorld number one, Novak Djokovic, admits the China Open has been the most successful tournament in his career.

Djokovic has never been beaten in Beijing, winning 29 matches in a row, and six titles in total.

The world number one kept that unbeaten run on Sunday, thrashing Rafael Nadal 6-2 6-2 in 90 minutes, to keep the unbeaten run.

The 28-year-old now has 56 career titles, eight of them in 2015, including the Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open Grand Slam crowns.

Djokovic has beaten Nadal in seven of their last eight meetings, dating back to the 2013 China Open, and is on the verge of leveling their head-to-head record.

Djokovic Maintains Australian Open Supremacy With 5th Title

DjokovicNovak Djokovic beat Andy Murray 7-6(5) 6-7(4) 6-3 6-0 on Sunday to win a record fifth Australian Open title in the professional era and consign the Scot to further grand slam pain.

The opening two sets saw a very competitive duel but after taking a 2-0 lead in the third set, Murray crumbled under the Serb’s pressure to lose 12 of the last 13 games as Djokovic closed out an emphatic win at the Rod Laver Arena.

Top seed Djokovic sealed the victory on the second match-point, rushing to the net with a searing approach shot that Murray could only dump into the net.

The steely-eyed Serb roared in triumph and went to his player’s box to share the win with his team before tearing off his shirt and throwing it into the crowd.

“Tough luck tonight. You are a great competitor,” Djokovic, clasping the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup, said to Murray at the trophy ceremony.

“You fight a lot, and I want to congratulate your team and wish you all the best in the rest of the season. I will also congratulate you and Kim on your engagement, and I wish you a wonderful wedding.”

The loss continued Murray’s heartbreak, where he has now lost four major finals, including three to his friend and fellow 27-year-old Djokovic.

“I would like congratulate Novak on his fifth Australian Open,” Murray said. “Fantastic, and incredible record, and thoroughly deserved.

“I will try to come back next year, and hopefully have a slightly different outcome in the final.”

Australian Open Supremacy

Djokovic has now won four out of the last five trophies at Melbourne Park, after winning a hat-trick from 2011-13 and his first grand slam title in Australia in 2008.

The only man to win more Australian titles than Djokovic is Roy Emerson, who won six in the 1960s when the grand slams were restricted to amateur players and the Australian Open was played on grass at different cities all over the country.

In 2011, Djokovic won his second Australian Open, first Wimbledon and first U.S. Open titles. He won the Australian Open again in 2012 and 2013 then a second Wimbledon in 2014.

Sunday’s win gave him his eighth career grand slam singles title, lifting him alongside Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl, Andre Agassi and Fred Perry.

Only seven players have won more, headed by Roger Federer with 17 and Rafael Nadal on 14, who is tied with Pete Sampras.

Australian Open: Serena Williams Beats Sharapova To Win 19th Grand Slam

Serena WilliamsSerena Williams won her sixth Australian Open and 19th career Grand Slam with victory over bitter rival Maria Sharapova on Saturday.

The American world number one earned a hard-fought 6-3, 7-6 (7/5) on the way to making history as one the greatest tennis players of all time.

She is now second only to Steffi Graf on the all-time Open-era Grand Slam winners’ list, having overtaken 18-time major champions, Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert.

“Standing here with 19 championships is something I never thought would happen, I went on the courts with just a ball and a racquet and hope and that’s all I had,” said Williams.

“I’m just so excited to have this title,” she added, revealing that she had been “throwing up” during a rain delay in the first set.

The American has been battling a cold all tournament and was coughing during the match.

Sharapova could have overtaken Williams if she had beaten the American on Saturday but she believes she remains on the path to closing the gap.

“Yes, I haven’t won against her many times, but if I’m getting to the stage of competing against someone like Serena, I’m doing something well,” said Sharapova, who has a 16-match losing streak record against the American.

At 33 and now the oldest woman to win the Melbourne title, Serena Williams still wants to win at Roland Garros.

Djokovic Knocks Out Wawrinka To Reach Fifth Australian Open Final

Djokovic of Serbia hugs Wawrinka of Switzerland after winning their men's singles semi-final match at the Australian Open 2015 tennis tournament in MelbourneNovak Djokovic has reached his fourth Australian Open  final in the past five years with a five-set victory over Stan Wawrinka, the man who dumped him out of Melbourne Park in 2014.

Wawrinka had downed Djokovic 9-7 in the fifth set when the pair met in the quarter-finals in Melbourne en route to breaking the stranglehold of tennis’ Big Four in 2014 but the Serb prevailed Friday 7-6 (1) 3-6 6-4 4-6 6-0 this time.

During a courtside interview, Djokovic said, “As it was the case in the last two years we played five sets and I was ready for the battle.

“We pushed each other to the limit. Stan is a quality player. He made my life very complicated on the court.”

Wawrinka, however, could not explain his feelings after the match.

“Describe the match? Strange. Not the best, for sure,” said Wawrinka, who fell to 1-17 against top-ranked players.

The world number one faces old friend, Andy Murray, on Sunday, with the Briton looking to win his first Melbourne Park title in his fourth final.

“Andy and I go back to when we were 12 years old, that’s when we first played each other,” Djokovic said.

“We’ve known each other a long time, it’s nice to play another grand slam final against him.”

Djokovic is unbeaten in finals at Melbourne Park, claiming his first Grand Slam title there in 2008 and winning three straight years from 2011 before his run was ended in the 2014 quarter-finals by Wawrinka.

Djokovic has equaled the record shared by Roger Federer and Stefan Edberg for most Australian finals in the Open era. He has won all four of his previous finals, including two against Murray.

Roger Federer Beaten Out Of Australian Open By Andreas Seppi

150123061822-federer-tease-super-169Italian Andreas Seppi sent shockwaves through the Australian Open on Friday as he toppled four-times champion Roger Federer in one of the greatest Melbourne Park upsets in recent memory.

The 33-year-old Swiss second seed went down 6-4 7-6 (7-5) 4-6 7-6 (7-5) to Seppi, who is ranked 46 in the world.

Seppi, 30, had never beaten the 17-time Grand Slam champion in 10 previous meetings and his win ends a 23-match losing streak against top 10 opponents.

“I just tried to enjoy to play center court again,” the unshaven Italian said in a courtside interview after ending Federer’s 13-year run to the last 16 at Melbourne Park.

“I just tried to do my best and I think it was one of the best matches (of my career).

“It was great to play in front of a full stadium.”

Having lived dangerously in the second round with a four-set win over another Italian in Simone Bolelli, 33-year-old Federer was off-color from the start, shanking wild forehands well outside the lines and failing to convert a raft of break-points on a glorious, sunny day.

“I guess I won the wrong points out there today,” a gloomy Federer told reporters.

“The end wasn’t pretty… I just somehow couldn’t play my best tennis today and it was partially because Andreas played very well today.

“Maybe the rhythm was missing but I feel like that very often (before matches).”

However, there had been signs in his previous match against another Italian, Simone Bolelli, that the Swiss was not at his best as he dropped the opening set.

Seppi, who is nicknamed Andy, speaks Italian, English and German.

The Italian turned pro in 2002 and reached a career-high ranking of 18th in 2013

Seppi has won three ATP Tour titles – Moscow (2012), Belgrade (2012) and Eastbourne (2011)

Serena Wins Record Seventh Miami Title

Serena WilliamsWorld number one, Serena Williams, cruised to 7-5 6-1 victory over Li Na to win the Sony Open and secure a seventh Miami title.

In a battle between the world’s two top players, the 32-year old continued her domination over the second ranked Li, needing two hours on centre court to run her record to 11-1 against the Australian Open champion.

With this victory, the American retained the crown she won last year and also her second title of the season.

“It was really important victory, especially against Li Na,” said Williams. “She started so well and if it hadn’t have been for the fans I don’t think I could have pulled through.

“At 5-2 down in the first set, I felt I had nothing to lose. I started to relax and, when I relax, I play my best tennis.”

China’s Li, the world number two, has not beaten Williams in six years and has lost 11 out of 12 matches overall.

This win in Miami is also her 59th career WTA triumph and extended her winning streak against top-10 ranked opponents to 15 matches.

Tennis: Tsonga Appoints New Coaches

French tennis star Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has appointed the duo of Thierry Ascione and Nicolas Escude as his new coaches.

Tsonga has appointed former world number 17 Escude and former top 100 player Ascione, in an attempt to emulate the recent success of compatriot, Richard Gasquet who has risen to French number 1 after including 2 men in his coaching set-up.

“We have begun this project at my suggestion and I am really pleased to begin a new phase of my career with them both,” Tsonga said in Bercy, where he is taking part in the Paris Masters.

“I’ve been looking for the ideal situation for some time, and I feel best with them.”

Ascione has developed a strong coaching reputation due to his work with Kristina Mladenovic and Nicholas Mahut, while Escude has a long-standing rapport with the 28-year-old former world number 5 being his former Davis Cup team-mate.

Ascione will not be able to accompany Tsonga to all his events because of other commitments, which is where Escude steps in.

Having reached but lost the 2008 Australian Open final, Escude is targeting a maiden Grand Slam title for Tsonga, but says success will be measured by Tsonga’s world ranking.

“Of course we will go for all 4 (Slams), but the important thing for us is to see a rapid movement up the rankings,” Escude said.

“If, after 1 year, he is still at the same place, we will not have succeeded in our mission.”

World number 10, Tsonga parted ways with former coach, Roger Rasheed at the end of August and has since then been without a coach.