Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 25th 2016 Contents A48
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Monday, January 25, 2016
FOR SALE P
SERIOUS INQUIRIES ONLY
MELBOURNE---Novak Djokovic was looking every-
where for answers, even in the crowd.
The top player in tennis, who won 27 of a possible
28 matches in Grand Slam matches in 2015, had the
number 100 in the unforced errors column after his
6-3, 6-7 (1), 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 win over Gilles Simon at
the Australian Open.
The win secured his spot in the quarterfinals for
the 27th consecutive major, equaling Jimmy Connors
at No. 2 in that streak and trailing only Roger Federer s
record of 36. Yet Djokovic still thought it was a for-
gettable day. He was dissecting the match in an on-
court interview yesterday when a burst of laughter
from the crowd caught his attention.
"Sorry, everybody is laughing. I just want to hear,
what did you say?" Djokovic said, looking into the
stands. The answer came back loud and clear: "No
more drop shots."
"OK, thanks buddy," Djokovic deadpanned. "I hate
to say, but you are absolutely right."
A handful of ill-advised and poorly executed back-
hand drop shots by Djokovic made up the most glaring
of his unforced errors.
"I don t think I ve had any number close to 100,"
he said. "In terms of the level that I ve played, it s the
match to forget for me."
He hit 62 winners, and won 100 of the 176 rallies
of four shots or fewer, but only 48 of the 101 featuring
nine shots or more.
"Sometimes you have a brain freeze, if I can call
it that," Djokovic said, explaining how he wasn t in
rhythm and was trying to finish off points quickly.
"Again, I won it, so it s pretty good. When you re
playing that bad and still manage to win---hopefully
it s going to get better next one."
Simon entered the match with a 1-9 win-loss record
against Djokovic, but thought he d worked out a way
to beat the Serbian star by consistently and desperately
keeping the rallies alive.
"I know a lot of players wanted me to win this
match," the 31-year-old Frenchman said. "A lot of
players will feel better with Novak out of the draw."
Federer watched Djokovic s match, before going out
to beat No 15 David Goffin 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 in a match
that finished after midnight, and the error toll didn t
bring him any joy.
"He makes you miss. He makes you go for the lines
and he runs down a lot of balls. A lot of points end
in errors," Federer said of Simon. "This was five sets.
So, of course, there s going to be a lot of unforced
errors piling up. The question is if you have 50, 100,
at the end of the day it doesn t matter as long as you
Djokovic did just that, improving his record to 36
wins in his last 37 matches at Melbourne Park, and
will next play No 7 Kei Nishikori, who beat No 9 Jo-
Wilfried Tsonga 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 with a more conven-
tional style of game.
Federer, a four-time champion in Australia, secured
a quarterfinal against No 6 Tomas Berdych, a 4-6, 6-
4, 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 winner over Roberto Bautista Agut.
Djokovic s struggles increased the drama after a rel-
atively routine start to Day 7, when six-
time champion Serena Williams and
Maria Sharapova confirmed their quar-
terfinal date with straight-set wins,
ensuring a rematch between last year s
finalists. No 4 Agnieszka Radwanksa
rallied from 5-2 down in the third set
to win 6-7 (6), 6-1, 7-5 against Anna-
Lena Friedsam, who finished the last
two games hobbling and in tears, and
also conceded a point penalty on her
last serve, after taking a medical timeout
for what appeared to be cramps. Rad-
wanska next plays No 10 Carla Suarez
Navarro, who had a 0-6, 6-3, 6-2 win
over Russian-born Australian Daria
Williams, a 21-time major winner,
had a 55-minute, 6-2, 6-1 win over
Margarita Gasparyan to set up a big
match against Sharapova, a player she
has beaten in 18 of their 20 matches.
Fifth-seeded Sharapova had a career-
high 21 aces and hit 58 winners in her
7-5, 7-5 win over Belinda Bencic.
Williams won 26 matches in a row
at the majors last season, capturing the
Australian, French and Wimbledon titles
and reaching the semifinals at the US
Open before a stunning loss to Roberta
Vinci ended her run for the season slam.
Sharapova won consecutive matches
against Williams in 2004, but has lost
all 17 meetings since. It s a statistic she
tries to block from her mind.
"I got myself into the quarterfinal of
a Grand Slam," the 2008 Australian
Open champion said. "There s no reason
I shouldn t be looking to improve and
to getting my game in a better position
than any other previous round. It s only
going to be tougher, especially against
Djokovic survives five-setter
to reach quarterfinals SEEDED MEN'S WINNERS
No 1 Novak Djokovic
No 3 Roger Federer
No 6 Tomas Berdych
No 7 Kei Nishikori
SEEDED MEN'S LOSERS
No 9 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
No 14 Gilles Simon
No 15 David Goffin
No 24 Roberto Bautista Agut.
SEEDED WOMEN'S WINNERS
No 1 Serena Williams
No 4 Agnieszka Radwanska
No 5 Maria Sharapova
No 10 Carla Suarez Navarro.
SEEDED WOMEN'S LOSERS
No 12 Belinda Bencic.
STAT OF THE DAY: 100 --- number of unforced errors in
Djokovic's 5-set win over Simon.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: "Not even close, no. But, again,
there is a first time for everything" --- Djokovic when
asked whether he had ever had 100 unforced errors in a
ON COURT MONDAY
Conclusion of 4th round: No. 2 Andy Murray vs. No. 16
No 4 Stan Wawrinka vs. No. 13 Milos Raonic
No 8 David Ferrer vs. No. 10 John Isner
No 23 Gael Monfils vs. Andrey Kuznetsov
No 7 Angelique Kerber vs. Annika Beck
No 14 Victoria Azarenka vs. Barbora Strycovo
No 15 Madison Keys vs. Zhang Shuai
No 21 Ekaterina Makarova vs. Johanna Konta.
AUSTRALIAN OPEN GLANCE
Novak Djokovic of Serbia hits a
backhand return to Gilles Simon of
France during their fourth round match
at the Australian Open tennis
championships in Melbourne,
Australia, yesterday AP PHOTO
Links Archive January 24th 2015 January 26th 2016 Navigation Previous Page Next Page