If David Ferrer was a car, I think he'd be a Toyota Corolla. Not flashy, reliable and goes forever, that's Ferrer. And on Friday, the men's third seed continued to go about his business with no fuss and even less attention, chalking up a straight-sets 6-2 7-6(5) 6-2 win over 29th seed Jeremy Chardy.
Joining Ferrer in the fourth round are Li Na and Kevin Anderson who pulled off their own versions of the Great Escape, but Jerzy Janowicz wasn't quite so lucky.
The 2011 and 2013 finalist here, Li came back from match point down to break 26th-seeded Czech Lucie Safarova's heart 1-6 7-6(2) 6-3. Meanwhile, Anderson recovered from a two-set deficit to upstage the slippery Edouard Roger-Vasselin 3-6 4-6 6-3 7-6(5) 7-5.
But it was the self-confessed under-prepared Janowicz, the 20th seed here, who was one of the big names to exit, falling to Florian Mayer 7-5 6-2 6-2.
“Most important was I didn't practice for two months,” revealed Janowicz. “I just came to Sydney without absolutely any practice and I didn't have opportunity for to prepare myself for long matches. Still, I'm anyway happy I was able to go to this third round.”
Ninth-seeded German Angelique Kerber has snuck through to the fourth round with little fanfare. Her 6-3 6-4 win over American Alison Riske sets up a clash with 28th seed Flavia Pennetta.
Seventh seed Tomas Berdych is another who you can add to the flying-under-the-radar list; he notched up his third-straight three-set win on Friday, this time over spirited qualifier Damir Dzumhur.
Just like Roger Federer did earlier this week, Serena Williams has set a new high watermark for Australian Open wins. Williams notched up her 61st win, taking over from Lindsay Davenport (60) with a 6-3 6-3 victory over 31st seed Daniela Hantuchova.
Next up for Serena it will be 14th seed Ana Ivanovic, who doused local favourite Sam Stosur’s hopes in three sets, 6-7(8) 6-4 6-2.
What did you say?
“I think the five centimetres save my tournament. If she hit in, I think, whole team on the way to the airport.”
- Li Na reflects on Lucie Safarova’s missed match point.
It’ll be a long drive home for …
The man with three names had opponent Kevin Anderson on toast in the fourth-set tiebreak leading 4-0. But Anderson came back, won the tiebreak and forced the match to a deciding set, which he won 7-5. Roger-Vasselin was hoping to make it into the fourth round of a major for the first time; instead he’s wondering what went wrong.