Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 16th 2014 Contents A51
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Melbourne---After surviving cancer,
British tennis player Ross Hutchins
returned to the Australian Open to win
his first-round doubles match.
Almost one year ago, Hutchins was
diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma, a
cancer of the white blood cells, and
underwent several months of
Hutchins and his doubles partner
Colin Fleming reunited earlier this year
to play season-opening tournaments
in Brisbane and Auckland, losing both
in the first round.
Yesterday, the pair advanced to the
second round in Melbourne after
defeating Marinko Matosevic and
Michal Przysiezny 4-6, 6-4, 6-0.
"It's an amazing feeling to be back,
and especially to get our first win,"
Hutchins said. "I think we did well to
dig out a win today. It was actually
brilliant to be honest, and I'm loving
the feeling right now."
MELBOURNE---Serena Williams wore a fitted
pink blazer into her second-round match at
the Australian Open, giving the impression
she wasn t feeling the heat.
And after her 6-1, 6-2 win over Vesna Dolonc
yesterday, the second consecutive scorching
day at the season s first major, Williams said
she could remember hotter matches.
By improving her career mark to 60-8 at
Melbourne Park, she equaled Margaret Court s
record 60 match wins at the Australian Open
in the Open era.
On day three at Melbourne Park, the centre
court at Rod Laver Arena was---at least accord-
ing to the two fans holding up a sign---"Serena s
The heat topped 40 Celsius (104F) during
the 63-minute match, and peaked at just under
42 C (108 F) later during Novak Djokovic s 6-
0, 6-4, 6-4 win over Leonardo Mayer. Sec-
ond-seeded Djokovic, aiming to be the first
man in the Open era to win four consecutive
Australian Open titles, didn t face a break point.
Williams fended off the only break point
she faced with an ace, one of her ten in the
match. She hit 24 winners, sticking to the ideal
strategy of keeping the points short on a hot
day and extended her winning streak to 24
She said didn t even go outside Tuesday
because conditions "were a little bit extreme,"
adding that the prospect of the scorching tem-
peratures had even interrupted her sleep.
"I kept waking up in the middle of the night
last night just paranoid. I just wanted to stay
hydrated," she said. "The last thing I want to
do is to cramp in this weather. It can happen
Williams next meets No. 31-seeded Daniela
Hantuchova, who was on court for 3 hours,
13 minutes in her 6-3, 3-6, 12-10 win over
Temperatures topped 42 Celsius (108F) on
Tuesday, and there were a total of nine retire-
ments in the first round, equaling a Grand
Slam record. It wasn t quite as stifling Wednes-
day, but the forecast is for the heat wave to
continue until Friday.
Li Na, the 2011 French Open champion and
a two-time finalist at Melbourne Park, had a
6-0, 7-6 (5) win over 16-year-old Belinda Ben-
cic and will next play No. 26 Lucie Safarova
in the third round.
No. 9 Angelique Kerber advanced and will
next meet American Alison Riske, who trounced
Yanina Wickmayer 6-1, 6-1. Australian wild-
card entry Casey Dellacqua upset No. 18 Kirsten
Flipkens 6-3, 6-0.
No. 17 Sam Stosur is through to the third
round of her home Grand Slam for the first
time in three years after a 6-2, 6-0 win over
Tsvetana Pironkova. No. 30 Eugenie Bouchard
of Canada beat Virginie Razzano 6-2, 7-6 (10)
and Zheng Jie defeated American Madison
Keys 7-6 (5), 1-6, 7-5.
Stosur will face former French Open cham-
pion Ana Ivanovic in the third round after the
Serbian player beat Annika Beck of Germany
6-1, 6-2. The Stosur-Ivanovic winner could
face Williams in the round of 16.
The tournament s heat rule went into effect
in the first match on Margaret Court Arena,
giving No. 15-seeded Sabine Lisicki and Monica
Niculescu a 10-minute break after the second
set. Niculescu won 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 and will next
play No. 22 Ekaterina Makarova, who followed
up her win over Venus Williams with a 6-2,
7-5 victory over American Irina Falconi.
Djokovic had a brief scare while serving at
3-0 in the first set when he turned over on
his left ankle, tumbling to the court.
"It was just I slipped a little bit," Djokovic
said. "It was an instant discomfort, but it was
No. 3 David Ferrer beat Adrian Mannarino
of France 7-6 (2), 5-7, 6-0, 6-3 to advance
along with No. 7 Tomas Berdych and No. 9
Richard Gasquet, No. 17 Tommy Robredo, No.
20 Jerzy Janowicz and No. 29 Jeremy Chardy.
In late-finishing matches, eighth-seeded
Stanislas Wawrinka beat Alejandro Falla of
Colombia 6-3, 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-4, No. 15 Fabio
Fognini beat Jarkko Nieminen 7-5, 6-4, 3-6,
6-2 and No. 28 Vasek Pospisil of Canada over-
came a back injury with the help of painkillers
during the match to beat Australia s Matt
Ebden 3-6, 7-6 (6), 7-6 (9), 6-1.
Florian Mayer beat No. 14 Mikhail Youzhny,
Uzbekistan s Denis Istomin defeated No. 30
Dmitry Tursunov and Bosnian qualifier Damir
Dzumhur advanced when No. 32-seeded Ivan
Dodig retired with cramps while leading in the
Sam Querrey fired 19 aces, saying he had
"one of the best service days of my life" in a
6-2, 6-3, 6-4 upset win over No. 23 Ernests
beat the heat
Serena Williams of the United States reacts after losing a point to Vesna Dolonc of Serbia during
their second round match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia,
yesterday. AP PHOTO
MELBOURNE---The stars of yester-
day keep popping up at the Aus-
tralian Open. Most of the familiar
faces are old players back in action
as new coaches.
Not 41-year-old Pat Rafter.
After a decade of retirement, the
Australian two-time Grand Slam win-
ner dusted off his tennis skills to try
his luck at doubles alongside his close
friend Lleyton Hewitt.
It turned out the comeback lasted
for one night only---or 73 minutes to
"I probably should have practiced
a bit more," Rafter said after the
straight-sets loss to American Eric
Butorac and Raven Klaasen of South
Africa, 6-4, 7-5. "I don t think it will
happen again, but it was good fun
while it lasted."
Rafter has remained in tennis as
Australia s Davis Cup captain, but
said most of his coaching involves
hitting the ball to players and not
"I just don t return. I knew that
was going to be the worst part of my
game, and it was," said Rafter, winner
of the US Open in 1997 and 1998.
"I served better than I thought I
would. I volleyed OK," Rafter said. "I
just wish I d returned a bit better."
There were a few fly balls and embar-
rassing errors but Rafter also served
five aces and hit a stinging backhand
winner on a service return early in
the first set, drawing roars from an
adoring crowd. He picked up several
points at net, showing glimmers of
his old serve and volley game.
Hewitt, also a two-time Grand
Slam winner, summed up Rafter s
performance after the match.
The pairing of the Australian icons
drew the largest crowd in recent
memory to a first-round doubles
match at Melbourne Park.
Part of the fun was hearing Rafter
share some of the commentary
offered by his tennis peers.
"Lendl is a menace. He s an
absolute pest of a guy. He was giving
it to me," Rafter said during an on-
court interview at Hisense Arena, the
venue s second show court.
Hutchins returns after cancer recovery
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