Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Men's No. 3 seed Novak Djokovic overcomes shaky start to advance at Australian Open

MELBOURNE, Australia — Back on the court where he won his only Grand Slam title, Novak Djokovic overcame an early struggle against a journeyman player before advancing to the third round of the Australian Open early today.

The No. 3-ranked Djokovic had nine double-faults and 52 unforced errors in his 3-6, 6-1, 6-1, 6-3 win over Marco Chiudinelli, the Swiss player who was playing in his first Australian Open.

"This court is most special because I won my only Grand Slam here," Djokovic, 22, said of Rod Laver Arena, where he beat Roger Federer in the semifinals en route to the 2008 title. "It has the nicest possible memories."

Sixth-seeded Nikolay Davydenko, who rarely gets onto the center court at this stage of a slam, had a 6-3, 6-3, 6-0 win over qualifier Illya Marchenko in the low-key manner which has typified an 11-match winning streak.

Meanwhile, former women's No. 1 Ana Ivanovic has the high profile, but no recent form to go with it. The 22-year-old extended her run of poor results in a 6-7 (6-8), 7-5, 6-4 second-round loss to Gisela Dulko.

Henin momentum: Only seven matches into her comeback, Justine Henin held off fifth-ranked Elena Dementieva 7-5, 7-6 (8-6), winning the last three points of the tiebreaker to clinch a second-round win late Wednesday. She ended it on her second match point — 24 minutes after she missed her first chance.

Henin, who retired in May 2008 while she was ranked No. 1, knows she's capable of reproducing the form that won seven titles.

"I lived so much emotion on the court this evening. It was magical," she said. "I was afraid I wouldn't be able to do it, but it was the kind of situation I needed to refind my confidence."

Blake fades: Late in his grueling match Wednesday, Tampa's James Blake, 30, thought he was still capable of beating 21-year-old U.S. Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro. He had been ahead two sets to one, but the match eventually went to five sets. And Blake has won only four times in 17 Grand Slam singles matches that went five sets.

Del Potro broke Blake's serve three times in the fifth set to win 6-4, 6-7 (3-7), 5-7, 6-3, 10-8 in 4 hours, 17 minutes.

"It's tough to rank them," Blake said of those five-set losses at majors. "But right now it hurts pretty bad."

Blake was left to ice his knees and mull his future. "I just missed a couple of balls at the wrong times, and he made a couple at the right times," he said. "Nothing discouraged me until that last ball that I missed."

Del Potro had a chance to serve for the match at 6-5 in the fifth set after breaking Blake. But Blake broke back. Del Potro again broke Blake for a 9-8 lead and another chance to serve it out. He closed with a big serve to Blake's backhand on his first match point.

Fast facts

Key results

Men: Rafael Nadal (2) d. Lukas Lacko 6-2, 6-2, 6-2; Novak Djokovic (3) d. Marco Chiudinelli 3-6, 6-1, 6-1, 6-3; Juan Martin del Potro (4) d. James Blake 6-4, 6-7 (3-7), 5-7, 6-3, 10-8; Andy Murray (5) d. Marc Gicquel 6-1, 6-4, 6-3; Nikolay Davydenko (6) d. Illya Marchenko 6-3, 6-3, 6-0

Women: Dinara Safina (2) d. Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 6-3, 6-4; Justine Henin d. Elena Dementieva (5) 7-5, 7-6 (8-6); Gisela Dulko d. Ana Ivanovic 6-7 (6-8), 7-5, 6-4

Today's TV: 7 p.m. Tennis; 11 p.m. ESPN2

Men's No. 3 seed Novak Djokovic overcomes shaky start to advance at Australian Open 01/20/10 [Last modified: Thursday, January 21, 2010 12:08am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Alex Faedo, Florida advance to face LSU in College World Series finals

    College

    OMAHA, Neb. — Alex Faedo pitched three-hit ball for 71/3 innings in a second straight strong performance against TCU, and Florida moved to the College World Series finals with a 3-0 win Saturday night.

    Florida’s Austin Langworthy scores on a single by Mike Rivera in the second inning during a 3-0 victory over TCU.
  2. Jones: Bucs need success to get national respect

    Bucs

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his Two Cents on the world of sports.

    No respect

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  3. Rays journal: Jumbo Diaz falters after getting within a strike of ending rally

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday's game got away starting with a leadoff walk in the seventh inning by Rays LHP Jose Alvarado, who was brought in exclusively to face Baltimore's lefty-swinging Seth Smith.

    Rays reliever Jumbo Diaz wipes his face as he walks off the mound after the Orioles score four during the seventh inning to give them a 7-3 lead. Diaz was one strike away from working out of the jam before he allowed a two-run double and a two-run homer on back-to-back pitches.
  4. Rookie Jake Faria dissatisfied with performance in Rays' loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The rookie pitcher walked to his locker Saturday after tossing the fourth quality start in as many tries to begin his career. He held the potent Orioles bats to three runs and for six innings gave his team a chance to win.

    Orioles third baseman Manny Machado tags out the Rays’ Mallex Smith at third after a rundown in the first inning.
  5. Roger Mooney's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    It was refreshing to see RHP Jacob Faria take the blame after the loss even though he gave the Rays a chance to win. Too often young pitchers are encouraged by what they did and not necessarily the outcome, but Faria, making just his fourth big-league start, came to the Trop to win, didn't, and pointed the finger …