Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 21st 2014 Contents MELBOURNE---Two-time
defending champion Victoria
Azarenka saw another of her
main adversaries crash out of
the Australian Open yesterday,
while top-ranked Rafael Nadal
and Wimbledon champion
Andy Murray faced tougher-
than-expected matches to
advance to the quarterfinals at
Maria Sharapova joined Serena
Williams as fourth-round casu-
alties, leaving Azarenka a poten-
tially easier run to the women s
final. Sharapova was beaten by
No 20 Dominika Cibulkova in
the match on Rod Laver Arena
immediately before Azarenka
defeated Sloane Stephens, the
last remaining American in the
Nadal won three tough sets
against Kei Nishikori, while Mur-
ray wasted four match points in
the third set---including two in
the tiebreaker---before dominat-
ing the fourth set against lucky
loser Stephane Robert of France.
Four-time Australian Open
champion Roger Federer was
never threatened in beating 2008
finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3,
7-5, 6-4 in a late match. He will
play Murray in the quarterfinals
complaining of a hip ailment,
lost 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 after struggling
with her serve and making 45
unforced errors. She joins
Williams on the sidelines after
the top-ranked American lost
in three sets Sunday to Ana
Ivanovic, ending 25-match win-
Sharapova had spent the latter
months of last year on the side-
lines with a right shoulder injury,
so she wasn t expecting much
"I have to look at the positives
and see where I have come from
in four or five months," Shara-
pova said. "I haven t played a
lot of tennis."
Azarenka had a 6-3, 6-2 win
over No 13-seeded Stephens, the
player who beat Williams in the
quarterfinals here last year and
then lost to Azarenka in the
semifinals under controversial
circumstances. Azarenka took a
medical time out when Stephens
started to gain momentum in
that match, then came back to
advance to the final and subse-
quently win her second Aus-
tralian Open trophy.
She wasn t getting carried
away Monday with the apparent
ease of the draw with Williams
and Sharapova gone.
"The players who beat those
players deserve all the credit
because they ve been better, so
they are dangerous and they are
competitive," Azarenka said.
Azarenka, who is on an 18-
match winning streak at Mel-
bourne Park, will next play No
5 Agnieszka Radwanska, who
beat Spain s Garbine Muguruza
6-1, 6-3 in the final fourth-
round match last night.
Nadal beat Nishikori 7-6 (3),
7-5, 7-6 (3), though he was bro-
ken twice in the third set---get-
ting a time violation from chair
umpire Evanthia Asderaki in one
of the games.
"Normally I have a good self-
control on court, and it s true
that the moment was a very crit-
ical one," Nadal said of the time
The 13-time major winner
also tripped in the first set and
tumbled to the court, then had
to go to the locker room to
Nadal next plays Grigor Dim-
itrov, who reached the quarter-
finals of a Grand Slam for the
first time with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-2,
6-4 win over Roberto Bautista
Three-time Australian Open
finalist Murray ended the run
of Robert, wasting match points
in the third set and smashing
his racket after the tiebreaker
before advancing 6-1, 6-2, 7-6
"He s a fun player to watch,
but not a fun player to play,"
Murray said of Robert s assort-
ment of drop shots and deft
The racket smashing was pure
"Losing that set was frustrat-
ing because it obviously means
you re out there another 30, 40
minutes at least, when I would
preferably had been in the locker
room," Murray said. "My racket
bit the dust. Unfortunate for it."
Murray said he s expecting a
tough match against Federer,
regardless of the Swiss player s
recent drop in the rankings that
has seen him seeded sixth here.
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MELBOURNE---A look at the eighth day
of the Australian Open tennis
Weather: Mostly sunny, high of 23
Celsius (75 Fahrenheit).
Attendance: Day session: 32,092; Night:
16,399; TOTAL: 48,491.
Seeded Winners: Men: No 1 Rafael
Nadal, No 4 Andy Murray, No 6 Roger
Federer, No 22 Grigor Dimitrov; Women:
No 2 Victoria Azarenka, No 5 Agnieszka
Radwanska, No 11 Simona Halep, No 20
Seeded Losers: Men: No 10 Jo-Wilfried
Tsonga, No 16 Kei Nishikori; Women: No 3
Maria Sharapova, No 8 Jelena Jankovic,
No 13 Sloane Stephens. Men's Doubles:
No 1 Bob and Mike Bryan.
Stat of the Day: 18---number of
consecutive matches won by Victoria
Azarenka at Melbourne Park as she
remains on course for a third consecutive
Playing today: Quarterfinals: No 2
Novak Djokovic vs No 8 Stanislas
Wawrinka, No 3 David Ferrer vs No 7
Tomas Berdych; No 4 Li Na vs No 28
Flavia Pennetta, No 14 Ana Ivanovic vs No
30 Eugenie Bouchard.
Forecast Today: Early showers, high of
Australian Open at a glance
MELBOURNE---For the record, Sloane Stephens
was not cheering in celebration when Serena
Williams lost. She was making fun of Ana Ivanovic's
The 20-year-old American was captured on cam-
era, watching Williams' surprise upset loss in the
fourth round of the Australian Open over the week-
end. With a big smile, Stephens raised both arms as if
to high-five the person next to her.
Or so it seemed to many as the video made the
rounds of social media.
On Monday, the matter was raised at Sloane's
post-match news conference after she lost her
fourth-round match to No 2 Victoria Azarenka 6-3, 6-
"We were just having some fun," said Stephens,
denying that she was cheering over Williams' loss.
"At the end of the match, Ivanovic's coaches pretty
much gave each other head butts and kisses," said
Stephens. "I thought that was the funniest thing ever
because I have never seen a more excited head butt-
kiss at the end of a match."
She was watching the Sunday match in the play-
ers' lounge, seated next to her hitting partner, An-
"Andrew and I were like, 'Oh my God.' We were
going to do the same thing. We were so excited," she
said. "We had a lot of time on our hands obviously."
Effusive and chatty, Stephens has tried to dispel
talk about a rumored frosty relationship with the No
1-ranked Williams, since beating her in the quarterfi-
nals last year in Melbourne.
Stephens' loss yesterday marked the departure of
the last American man or woman from this year's
singles draw. She is seen as one of the rising
women's players who could fill a void in American
women's tennis once Williams, now 32, retires.
TIME VIOLATION: Rafael Nadal is not known as a
quick server. He has a pre-serving routine that in-
volves tugging at his shorts, touching his nose, his
ears. He bounces the ball several times.
He admits that sometimes it takes too much time.
The allotted time limit between points is 20 seconds
at Grand Slam tournaments, and 25 seconds on the
But the No. 1-ranked player was shocked and an-
gered to get a time violation at a crucial point
in his fourth-round match against Japan's Kei
It was 4-4, deuce in the third set and after the vio-
lation from chair umpire Evanthia Asderaki, Nadal lost
his serve to give Nishikori the break and allow him to
serve for the set.
Nadal regained composure and came back to win
the match in three tough sets, 7-6 (3), 7-5, 7-6 (3),
earning a spot in the quarterfinals.
After the match, Nadal was diplomatic about the
"Sometimes I am too slow, and I accept that,"
Nadal said. "The negative thing in my opinion is not
the warning. The negative thing is the moment, 4-all,
deuce. You can choose another moment to do it, not
that one." (AP)
when Williams lost
Nadal, Murray win
Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates after his win over Kei Nishikori
of Japan during their fourth round match at the Australian Open
tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, yesterday. Nadal
won 7-6 (3), 7-5, 7-6 (3). AP PHOTO
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