Serena injured, Federer coasts at Australian Open



Talek Harris | AFP

Published — Tuesday 15 January 2013

Last update 15 January 2013 8:13 pm

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

MELBOURNE: Serena Williams’ bid for a historic Grand Slam hit an injury hurdle at the Australian Open on Tuesday, while Roger Federer and Andy Murray coasted and a landmark for Chinese tennis proved short-lived.
Federer and Murray opened their accounts with superlative wins on a sun-drenched Rod Laver Arena, as they joined Novak Djokovic in the second round and stayed on course to meet in the semi-finals.
As the tennis world reeled from news that ATP chief Brad Drewett was stepping down after being diagnosed with motor neurone disease, Wu Di became the first Chinese man to play a Grand Slam match, losing in four sets.
And there was drama when Williams, gunning for the first sweep of all four major titles in the same year since 1988, was on court for only 19 minutes against Edina Gallovits-Hall before going over heavily on her right ankle.
However, after medical treatment and despite hobbling around the court, the 15-time Grand Slam-winner astonishingly won 6-0, 6-0 in just 54 minutes as she belted every winner in sight to keep her running to a minimum.
The 31-year-old said she felt pain and swelling and may need an X-ray, but pledged to soldier on in her quest for a sixth title at the year’s first Grand Slam.
“Oh, I’ll be out there. I mean, unless something fatal happens to me, there’s no way I’m not going to be competing,” she said. “I’m alive. My heart’s beating. I’ll be fine.”
She added: “Obviously there’s pain. Obviously there’s swelling.”
Any lasting injury to the hot favorite could throw the women’s draw wide open and may benefit defending champion Victoria Azarenka, who is scheduled to meet Williams in the semi-finals.
The world number one from Belarus beat Romania’s Monica Niculescu, but had to come from 3-0 down in the second set before winning 6-1, 6-4.
Caroline Wozniacki, last year’s top seed and now ranked at 10, also had to dig deep before reeling off six third-set games in a row to beat Germany’s Sabine Lisicki.
Former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova also won but Italy’s seventh seed Sara Errani, who contested last year’s French Open final, became the biggest casualty so far when she crashed out to Carla Suarez Navarro.
Elsewhere, Japanese number one Kimiko Date-Krumm, aged 42, became the oldest female to win a main draw match at the Australian Open, upsetting 12th seed Nadia Pedrova 6-2, 6-0.
In the men’s draw, Murray, in his first Grand Slam match since becoming a major-winner, showed his class in a 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 dismantling of Dutchman Robin Haase.
The Scot said he hoped the experience of September’s US Open win would help him later in the tournament.
“I think when I would see the benefits of that is if I get myself deep into a Slam this year and you’re playing against the top players. That’s when I think you’ll draw on that experience and use it in the right way,” he said.
Federer, who is drawn to face Murray in the semi-finals, also showed little mercy in his 6-2, 6-4, 6-1 win over Frenchman Benoit Paire.
It was a typically sumptuous performance from the popular Swiss, who is bidding to become the first man since Roy Emerson in the 1960s to win five Australian Open titles.
Federer paid emotional tribute to Australia’s Drewett, a former player who took over as ATP chief last year, as the sudden revelation of his serious illness prompted a wave of sympathy.
“It’s a very sad situation for all of us. I saw him yesterday and he told me the news. Obviously very emotional,” Federer said.
“He was so influential.”
Out on Court 8, China’s Wu made history just by turning up, but despite fighting back from a set down the world number 186 could not stave off defeat to Croatia’s Ivan Dodig, who won 7-5, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.
“I’m really happy, but I lost,” smiled Wu, when asked if he was pleased with how he played.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: In a fresh boost for relations between Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh, the Kingdom has decided to sign a memorandum of understanding on Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) with Dhaka. The Kingdom endorsed a proposal in this regard at a meeting be...
The Indonesian mission is hopeful detained Indonesian pilgrims will be free “very soon.” The mission is trying to persuade Saudi authorities of their nationals’ innocence.Eleven Indonesian pilgrims, who arrived in the holy city of Makkah to perform U...
JEDDAH: Police at King Khaled International Airport in Riyadh arrested a Saudi hacker after a government organization in Al-Leith in Makkah complained that he had hacked its website, according to an online newspaper.Col. Atti Al-Qurashi, spokesman fo...
JEDDAH: The special criminal court has sentenced a former military official to nine years in jail for joining Daesh and traveling to Syria to fight.A fine of SR5,000 was also slapped on him and he was barred from traveling abroad for nine years after...
JEDDAH: Saudi-Indian ties have reached a new high with the arrival of an Indian Air Force (IAF) flying contingent at the King Fahd Air Base in Taif.The mission, comprising more than 100 high-ranking IAF officers and airmen onboard Sukhoi MKI fighter...
RIYADH: A tripartite agreement among the National Handicraft Program, Prisons Department and the Technical and Vocational Training Corp. (TVTC) was recently signed in the presence of Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of the Saudi Commission for Tou...
JEDDAH: British authorities have opened investigations into the plane crash that led to the death of three members of the Binladin family.Investigations depend on the black box which registers the entire plane’s data, including speed, position of mob...
JAZAN: In a tragic accident, a speeding fuel truck caused four deaths and injuries to many people when it collided head on with five cars on the northern entrance of Abu Areesh area of Jazan, according to a website.The truck deviated from its path an...
JEDDAH: Municipal and Rural Affairs Minister Abdul Lateef Al-Asheikh has directed all the municipal authorities to closely scrutinize the election candidates’ credentials to thwart violation of rules.This is to ensure that the candidates meet all the...
Mohammed Mokammel Hossain, labor consul, Bangladesh Consulate, Jeddah * Which particular aspect of Saudi Arabia you like the most? Two Holy Mosques in Makkah and Madinah.* Can you tell us your favorite and oft-repeated Arabic word? Insha’Allah. * W...
RIYADH: Expatriates feel Saudi Arabia is a safer place than their home countries despite the fact that the Kingdom is leading a war against the Yemeni rebels and other terror organizations and a couple of suicide attacks in the recent past. Mahmoud T...
RIYADH: The maximum medical policy or contract for visitors is SR100,000, which covers expenses on emergency treatment, maternity charges, traffic accident injuries, dialysis and medical treatment in or outside the Kingdom. Making the above announce...
JEDDAH: The city and its surrounding areas sweltered on Monday, with the maximum temperature rising to 44 degree Celsius and relative humidity being recorded at 85 percent. The weather department has forecast a similar situation in Jeddah on Tuesday....
JEDDAH: A National Academy for Energy in Dammam and a private technical technical college, both exclusively for women, will be opened in the Easter Province.The General Organization of Technical and Vocational Training is in the process of implementi...
AL-AHSA: Masjid Joatha or Joatha Mosque is a center of attraction in Al-Ahsa with many visitors and tourists thronging the place of worship, which was believed to have been built in the seventh year of Hijri (629 AD).The mosque has been restored as p...

Stay Connected

Facebook