Tennis: Murray, Federer, Kerber advance; Cilic, Kyrgios ousted

Sports Wednesday 18/January/2017 21:08 PM
By: Times News Service
Tennis: Murray, Federer, Kerber advance; Cilic, Kyrgios ousted

Melbourne: Andy Murray looked every bit the world number one as he gave Russian teenager Andrey Rublev a lesson in Grand Slam tennis to reach the third round of the Australian Open with a 6-3, 6-0, 6-2 win on Wednesday.
Only a nasty tumble in the third set on Rod Laver Arena stalled his march to victory and the top-seeded Briton said the right ankle he rolled on was "a bit sore" at the end of the contest.
"I don't know how bad it is," said the 29-year-old. "Just normally if it's something like severe, a serious ankle injury, you can't put weight on your foot.
"It just a little bit stiff just now. It's okay. I don't think I've done too much damage. See in the morning how it feels when I wake up. But hopefully it will be all right."
Five-times a losing finalist at Melbourne Park, Murray had laboured through his opening round victory over Illya Marchenko in the full heat of the opening day of the tournament.
Wednesday's performance in the evening of a much cooler day was of a far higher calibre.
The Wimbledon and Olympic champion was in clinical form, smashing 29 winners and ensuring that the 19-year-old Rublev was unable to get a single break point on his serve.
Next up for Murray in the third round on Friday is American Sam Querrey.

Cilic stunned
Britain's Dan Evans came from a set down to upset seventh seed and former U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-3 in the second round.
The gutsy world number 51, who reached his first ATP Tour final in Sydney last week, prevailed in a shade under three hours on Court Three to set up a contest with Australia's Bernard Tomic.
Ranked in the 700s only a couple of years ago, Evans was grinning from ear-to-ear after securing the biggest win of his career on his third match point.
The 26-year-old, wearing mismatched kit after his clothing sponsorship deal expired, then let out a huge roar as he came off court.
"It was a relief obviously," he said. "Obviously getting across the line against him. In the (best of) five sets... is a big thing for me to sort of last. It was great to win. Just great to win."
Cilic, who won his sole Grand Slam crown at Flushing Meadows in 2014, mixed 55 winners with 69 unforced errors and was able to convert just three of 19 break points during the match.

Kyrgios ousted
Australia number one Nick Kyrgios blew a two-set lead and failed to convert a fifth-set match point before slumping out of his home Grand Slam with a 1-6, 6-7(1), 6-4, 6-2, 10-8 defeat at the hands of Andreas Seppi.
The Italian, who blew a similar lead to Kyrgios on the same court in the fourth round two years ago, saved the match point with a sizzling forehand down the line and his 16th ace sealed the upset of the 14th seed after a three-hour thriller.
"Maybe it was meant to be?" said Seppi. "I couldn't find my rhythm at the start, but I kept fighting and I played very well in the important moments in the end."
Kyrgios, returning to tennis at the Australian Open after a ban — for not trying at the Shanghai Masters — ended his 2016 season, could only rue a big chance blown.
"It's obviously disappointing. But it was ultimately a pretty fun match. He's a great guy and he deserved it, so... I'm not going to beat myself up about it," said Kyrgios.

Zverev beat Isner
Tennis players have come to dread being caught up in the phenomenon known as the 'Isner trance' — as Germany's Mischa Zverev discovered.
Ever since John Isner emerged victorious from 'the endless match' at Wimbledon in 2010 — when he beat Nicolas Mahut in a three-day, 183-game epic lasting over 11 hours — the American has left a string of opponents feeling dazed and confused.
On day three in Melbourne, Zverev was sucked into a whirlwind for over four hours, lost his bearings and lost track of the score against the tall American.
He somehow survived the ordeal to reach the third round with a 6-7(4), 6-7(4), 6-4, 7-6(7), 9-7 triumph over Isner.

Ugly Bouchard
It was not always pretty, but Eugenie Bouchard took another step on the path she hopes will take her back to the top of the game with a 7-6(5), 6-2 victory over Peng Shuai to reach the third round.
The Canadian crowd favourite had a minor wobble midway through the first set before securing a convincing victory over her Chinese opponent, clearing the way for a contest against Pauline Parmentier or Coco Vandeweghe.
"In the first set I was pretty nervous and I felt like my legs were wood. I wasn't moving well, I was reaching for the ball," the 22-year-old told reporters.
"But it happens to all players and at least I was able to win ugly in the first set and then raise my level in the second. The most important thing is to battle even when it's not going great for you, and that's what I did."

Federer wobbles
Roger Federer dug himself out of a late slump to fend off American qualifier Noah Rubin 7-5, 6-3, 7-6(3) and draw vital confidence for a tough third round clash against 10th seed Tomas Berdych.
The 17-times grand slam champion, still finding his feet after a six-month break, had to save two set points and rally from 5-2 down in the third before closing out a galvanising win on a breezy afternoon at Rod Laver Arena.
Rubin, a 20-year-old baseline hustler with a big serve and powerful forehand, played above his 200th ranking and Federer doffed his cap to the Long Island native.
But the Swiss master said he would need to play better against big-hitting Berdych, despite winning their last five meetings, including a comfortable quarter-final victory at Melbourne Park last year.
Nishikori through
Kei Nishikori swept into the third round of "The Grand Slam of the Asia-Pacific", then lamented the fact the world's most populous continent was still struggling to produce more players capable of ending their grand slam men's singles drought.
The fifth seeded Japanese took just over two hours to beat France's Jeremy Chardy 6-3, 6-4 ,6-3 on Hisense Arena to advance to an Australian Open third round clash against Slovakia's Lukas Lacko.
The 27-year-old, however, felt unless others followed his example and got out of Asia to train at a younger age then it would struggle to produce grand slam champions.
Nishikori used those experiences to become the second Asian man after Thailand's Paradorn Srichaphan to make the top-10 and appears to be Asia's best chance of clinching their first men's Grand Slam title, having already lost the 2014 U.S. Open final to Croatia's Marin Cilic.
Nishikori will have to wait until Thursday to see if any of the others join him, with Nishioka facing Spain's 13th seed Roberto Bautista Agut.
South Korea's Chung Hyeon also has a major challenge getting past 15th seeded Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, while Uzbek Denis Istomin has the unenviable task of facing six-times champion Novak Djokovic.

Kerber wins
Angelique Kerber celebrated her 29th birthday with a shaky 6-2, 6-7(3), 6-2 win over Carina Witthoeft but the world number one will have much to ponder in her title defence once the candles are blown out.
The top seed opened nervously in a three-set grind with unseeded Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko on Monday and again suffered a meltdown when well on top of 89th-ranked Witthoeft at a breezy Rod Laver Arena.

Easy for Venus
Seven-times grand slam champion Venus Williams advanced to the third round with a 6-3 6-2 win over Stefanie Voegele but conceded she was still troubled by an elbow injury that forced her to pull out of the women's doubles.
The 13th-seeded American, who had been scheduled to team up with sister Serena, was close to tears as she talked about the injury that also saw her skip her only warm-up tournament in Auckland two weeks ago.
Her win over Swiss 26-year-old Voegele, ranked 112th in the world, was achieved in one hour and 23 minutes and set up a third round meeting with Duan Yingying.