SAN DIEGO, January 21, 2013 – Roger Federer, Andy Murray, and Serena Williams filled out the remaining slots in the quarterfinals of the 2013 Australian Open with relative ease on Monday in Melbourne, but there were a few surprises from other players.
Williams and Australian Open defending champion Victoria Azarenka won on Monday, both defeating Russian players. Williams beat Maria Kirilenko 6-2, 6-0, and Azarenka defeated Elena Vesnina 6-1, 6-1.
There will be a second American in the women’s singles quarterfinals. Sloane Stephens hung in to beat a tough Bojana Jovanovski from Serbia in a comeback, 6-1, 3-6, 7-5. Stephen had to dig deep when it counted to win the final game and set, The comeback win qualified the 19-year-old for her first ever quarterfinal at a major tournament against her role model, Williams.
Williams has predicted that Stephens will one day be the top women’s player. After the match, Stephens said Williams told her she doesn’t grunt enough, and that she needed to make more noise. It seems Stephens prefers to make a racket with her racket. She plays her best when she is aggressive, and she’ll need to be very aggressive to knock out the seemingly unstoppable Serena.
In an upset for the women, Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova made it into the quarterfinals. The unranked player defeated tenth ranked Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark, 6-2, 2-6, 7-5.
No surprises at all on the men’s side. Number two seed Roger Federer and U.S. Open champion Andy Murray both won in straight sets. Federer beat Canadian Milos Raonic, 6-4, 7-6 (4), 6-2. Murray breezed by Gilles Simon 6-3, 6-1, 6-3.
Federer will now play Jo-Wilifried Tsonga of France, who beat countryman Richard Gasquet 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2. Murray drew French player Jeremy Chardy, who came in unseeded and has enjoyed a great tournament.
The quarterfinals begin tonight (or for Americans, Tuesday morning) with Novak Djokovic’s match against Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic being the hot ticket. Djokovic won a five set, five hour late night marathon in his Round of 16 game. How much gas does he have left in the tank? Play begins at 7 p.m. EST, with the night session at 3:30 a.m. EST Tuesday, so set those DVRs. The tournament airs in the United States live on ESPN2 and ESPN3.
In the Rod Laver Arena at 7 p.m. EST Monday:
Li Na (6), China, vs. Agnieszka Radwanska (4), Poland
David Ferrer (4), Spain, vs. Nicolas Almagro (10), Spain
Not before 11:30 p.m. EST Monday:
Maria Sharapova (2), Russia, vs. Ekaterina Makarova (19), Russia
Night Session at 3:30 a.m. EST Tuesday:
Novak Djokovic (1), Serbia, vs. Tomas Berdych (5), Czech Republic
Jarmila Gajdosova and Matthew Ebden, Australia, vs. Elena Vesnina, Russia, and Leander Paes (2), India
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She writes on professional cycling and covers the Sweet Science for Communities, along with other news in the sports world. Read Ringside Seat in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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