Australian Open

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Posted by bender 03/06/2009 @ 16:07

Tags : australian open, tennis, sports

News headlines
Jelena Dokic stumbles to rank outsider - guardian.co.uk
In January she reached the quarter-finals of the Australian Open. She is now the world No72. In an interview this month with an Australian magazine, Dokic said her father, Damir, had physically abused her earlier in her career....
Nadal accepts London calling - Metro
Nadal - the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon champion - will be joined at the November event by the world's seven other leading players. The Spaniard, who won this year's first grand slam in Australia and also took the prestigious Masters...
Sharapova makes winning return in Warsaw - CNN International
The 22-year-old had to sit out last year's Wimbledon and US Open and also failed to recover in time for the 2009 Australian Open. She has had to shelve comeback attempts but did appear in one losing game in the doubles tournament at Indian Wells in...
Dent Given Wild Card Into Pilot Pen - Hartford Courant
Dent played in this year's Australian Open in January and reached the fourth round at the Miami-based Sony Ericsson Open in March, losing 6-3, 6-2 to Roger Federer. "It's really amazing," Dent said. "When I had the surgery, I did not do it for tennis...
Australian Open loses another sponsor - report - Reuters India
SYDNEY (Reuters) - The Australian Open has lost a second major sponsor due to the global financial crisis, local media reported on Tuesday. The Age newspaper reported that beauty products company Garnier had decided not to extend its sponsorship of the...
The English are coming to Clare for Australian Open - Clare Northern Argus
The resurgence of the Australian Open on the international squash calendar has continued with news this week that three top class Englishmen have entered the tournament, to be held in the South Australian wine growing town of Clare from July 14-19....
Scott struggles to regain his touch - FOXSports.com
Scott was supposed to be the Australian to end his country's drought in major championships, which had dated to Steve Elkington winning the 1995 PGA Championship at Riviera. However, that honor went to Geoff Ogilvy, who captured the 2006 US Open at...
Scott wants kick-start - SkySports
He battled recurring tonsillitis before ending the year with a knee injury that sidelined him from the Australian Open, and so far this season his form has been lacking. "It hasn't been as good or as consistent as it was," Scott said....
Apple to Open Fifth Australian Apple Store - PC World
Hot on the heels of the Robina Apple Store in sunny Queensland, Australia, which opened on May 9, Apple is set to open another retail store in Australia before the end of the month, this time in Victoria's Westfield Doncaster shopping center....
Nadal Fans: Please stop the excuses - Bleacher Report
As for the fact that the altitude makes it play like a hard court, may I remind you that Rafa won the Australian Open and he won Indian Wells. Rafa has won more hard court finals this year than anyone. So what that it played like a clay/hard court...

2009 Australian Open

The 2009 Australian Open was a tennis tournament played on outdoor hard courts. It was the 97th edition of the Australian Open, and the first Grand Slam event of the year. It took place at the Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Australia, from January 19 through February 1, 2009.

Second seeded Serena Williams regained the women's singles title and recorded her fourth Australian Open title and tenth Grand Slam title overall after defeating third seed Dinara Safina (6–0, 6–3). Serena, partnering her sister Venus, also won the women's doubles tournament.

Rafael Nadal (1) defeated Roger Federer (2) (7–5, 3–6, 7–6 (3), 3–6, 6–2) to win the men's singles title. This is Nadal's first hard court grand slam, having previously only won on clay at Roland Garros (4) and Grass at Wimbledon (1). He also becomes the first Spaniard to ever win the Australian Open. This tournament featured 20 five-set men's singles matches, the most since 1988. In men's doubles, another sibling pair took the title as Bob and Mike Bryan defeated Mahesh Bhupathi and Mark Knowles.

In the women's singles, last year's finalist and 5th seeded Ana Ivanovic began her campaign with a hard earned straight sets victory, while compatriot and top seed Jelena Jankovic was an easy winner over Yvonne Meusburger. Other players following the Serbian duo into the second round include 3rd seed Dinara Safina, 7th seed Vera Zvonareva, Caroline Wozniacki, Alize Cornet, Nadia Petrova, Marion Bartoli, Anna Chakvetadze, Alisa Kleybanova and Ai Sugiyama. 25th seeded Estonian Kaia Kanepi halted the progress of former world number four Kimiko Date Krumm, playing in the main draw of a Grand Slam for the first time in 13 years, in three tight sets, while last year's semifinalist Daniela Hantuchova defeated local hope Casey Dellacqua in straight sets. Another former world number four, unseeded Australian Jelena Dokic also moved into the second round for the first time in ten years with a hard-fought victory over Tamira Paszek. Meanwhile 23rd seed Agnes Szavay's poor form in Grand Slams continued as she crashed out to Galina Voskoboeva, 24th seed Sybille Bammer lost to Lucie Safarova while Sara Errani defeated 27th seed Maria Kirilenko.

With temperatures soaring in Melbourne, Andy Murray had life made easy in his first round match when opponent Andrei Pavel was forced to concede with a back injury early in the second set, having lost the first. Other top-ten seeds such as last year's finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Gilles Simon and James Blake also progressed comfortably, along with Gael Monfils, Fernando Verdasco, Richard Gasquet, Jurgen Melzer, Ivo Karlovic and Radek Stepanek, while Igor Andreev and Nicolas Almagro both won through in five sets. In a five-set thriller that lasted three hours and seven minutes, former finalist and 13th seed Fernando Gonzalez overcame home-crowd favorite Lleyton Hewitt. Later on, top-seed Rafael Nadal posted a 6–0, 6–2, 6–2 win against Christophe Rochus that tied with Andy Roddick's first-round score, establishing himself and Roddick as the most dominant male performers of the first round. Two more seeds fell in the first round, with Russian 29th seed Dmitry Tursunov losing to Flavio Cipolla, while another former finalist, 30th seed Rainer Schuettler was defeated by Israel's Dudi Sela.

In the women's draw, Polish 9th seed Agnieszka Radwanska became the first top ten seed on either side to lose, as she was upset in three sets by Kateryna Bondarenko. 4th seed Elena Dementieva, on a ten-match winning streak this season, pulled through in three tough sets while the Williams sisters, 6th seeded Venus and second seed Serena, comfortably won their first-round matches, as did former women's champion Amelie Mauresmo, along with Svetlana Kuznetsova, Anabel Medina Garrigues, Patty Schnyder, Flavia Pennetta, Alona Bondarenko and Zheng Jie, while teenagers Victoria Azarenka and Dominika Cibulkova recorded crushing victories over their respective opponents. 30th seeded Canadian Aleksandra Wozniak suffered defeat at the hands of Sabine Lisicki, while Francesca Schiavone lost to Peng Shuai and Tamarine Tanasugarn was defeated by Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez.

Day three saw the second round matches getting underway in Melbourne Park. Defending champion and 3rd seed Novak Djokovic progressed with a straight sets victory over Jeremy Chardy, while second seed Roger Federer breezed past 118th-ranked Russian Evgeny Korolev 6–2, 6–3, 6–1 at Rod Laver Arena, which sets up a third-round match with Marat Safin, who recovered from a slow start to beat Guillermo Garcia Lopez 7–5, 6–2, 6–2. Andy Roddick also needed four sets to get past Xavier Malisse, while Juan Martin del Potro eased into the third round, along with Marin Cilic, David Ferrer, Stanislas Wawrinka, Mardy Fish, Tomas Berdych and Tommy Robredo. In the biggest upset in the men's tournament up to this point, unseeded Yen-Hsun Lu defeated 10th-seeded David Nalbandian in five sets. 16th-seeded Robin Soderling was also upset by unseeded former finalist Marcos Baghdatis in four, while lucky loser Amer Delic prevailed in five sets against 28th seed Paul-Henri Mathieu and French veteran Fabrice Santoro came from behind to defeat Philipp Kohlschreiber. In the feature night match at Rod Laver Arena, sixteen-year-old Bernard Tomic took the first set against Gilles Muller but eventually lost 3–6, 6–1, 6–4, 6–2 to the more experienced Luxembourgian.

In the women's draw, it was a perfect day for the seeds, with the exception of 17th-seeded Anna Chakvetadze, who lost a sensational 3-set encounter to Jelena Dokic, the latter continuing with her comeback and set up a third round clash with Danish teenager, 11th seed Caroline Wozniacki after some questionable decisions by George Plaister-Skerrett. Top seed Jelena Jankovic encountered resistance against Kirsten Flipkens but eventually won 6–4, 7–5, while Ana Ivanovic had an easier time against qualifier Alberta Brianti. Third seed Dinara Safina also needed to come back from one set down to beat Ekaterina Makarova, while Vera Zvonareva crushed Edina Gallovits 6–0, 6–0, and Nadia Petrova defeat Sania Mirza in straight sets. Also through to the third round are Alize Cornet, Daniela Hantuchova, Marion Bartoli, Ai Sugiyama, Kaia Kanepi and Alisa Kleybanova.

The doubles matches also began, with most of the seeds in action passing their first tests, including Bob and Mike Bryan, Jeff Coetzee/Wesley Moodie, Mariusz Fyrstenberg/Marcin Matkowski, Bruno Soares/Kevin Ullyett, Max Mirnyi/Andy Ram, Travis Parrott/Filip Polasek, Frantisek Cermak/Michal Mertinak and Christopher Kas/Rogier Wassen, as well as Yan Zi/Zheng Jie, Samantha Stosur/Rennae Stubbs, Maria Kirilenko/Flavia Pennetta, Casey Dellacqua/Francesca Schiavone, Hsieh Su-wei/Peng Shuai and Tatiana Poutchek/Anastasia Rodionova in the women's side. In the three sister pairings in action, 10th seeds Venus and Serena Williams swept aside Svetlana Kuznetsova and Nadia Petrova, unseeded Agnieszka and Urszula Radwanska defeat Jill Craybas and Tamarine Tanasugarn, but 4th seeds and defending champions Alona and Kateryna Bondarenko became the highest seeds to fall in the women doubles competition so far, losing in straight sets to Gisela Dulko/Roberta Vinci.

Day four saw the conclusion of all second round matches in the singles competition. In the men's draw, top seed Rafael Nadal continued on his quest for a first Australian open crown without too much trouble from Roko Karanusic, winning through in straight sets 6–2, 6–3, 6–2. Likewise, an in-form 4th seed Andy Murray eased into the 3rd round by defeating Marcel Granollers 6–4, 6–2, 6–2. Other top ten seeds that moved on included 5th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and 6th seed Gilles Simon, both dropping a first set tiebreak but went on to win the next three sets, and 9th seed James Blake, who cruised past Sebastien De Chaunac. Gael Monfils, Fernando Gonzalez, Fernando Verdasco, Richard Gasquet, Nicolas Almagro, Radek Stepanek, Jurgen Melzer and Igor Andreev all won through, while Ivo Karlovic was the only seed to fall in the men's draw, losing to compatriot Mario Ancic after surrendering a two sets to one lead.

Unseeded Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro scored the biggest upset to date in women's singles, defeating one of the pre-tournament favourites, 6th seeded Venus Williams 2–6, 6–3, 7–5, after coming back from 5–2 down and saving one match point while serving at 5–4 down in the third set. Venus' younger sister, second seeded Serena Williams had to work hard to dispatch Argentina's Gisela Dulko, saving six set points while Dulko served for the second set at 5–3 in a game that featured 12 deuces, then fought through six more deuces to lead 6–5 and eventually won 6–3, 7–5. 4th seed Elena Dementieva extended her winning streak in the new season to 12 matches with a win over Iveta Benesova, and Svetlana Kuznetsova, Amelie Mauresmo, Victoria Azarenka, Dominika Cibulkova, Zheng Jie, Flavia Pennetta, Anabel Medina Garrigues and Alona Bondarenko all moved on to the third round, while Swiss 14th seed Patty Schnyder fell to Virginie Razzano. Unseeded local hope Samantha Stosur also won.

Majority of the first round matches in the doubles competition also ended. Top seeds Daniel Nestor/Nenad Zimonjic led a charge of seeded pairs to the second round, including Mahesh Bhupathi/Mark Knowles, Leander Paes/Lukas Dlouhy, Marcelo Melo/Andre Sa and Martin Damm/Robert Lindstedt, while in the women's competition co-world number ones Cara Black and Liezel Huber eased into the second round, along with seeds Anabel Medina Garrigues/Virginia Ruano Pascual, Kveta Peschke/Lisa Raymond, Daniela Hantuchova/Ai Sugiyama, Victoria Azarenka/Vera Zvonareva, Nuria Llagostera Vives/Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez and Sorana Cirstea/Monica Niculescu, meaning no seeds fall in the women's doubles that day.

Day five of the tournament saw the commencement of third round matches in the singles event, where seed started playing against each other. In men's singles, defending champion Novak Djokovic was made to work hard against his Bosnian-born American opponent, lucky loser Amer Delic, but eventually saw off his opponent in four tough sets. 8th seeded Juan Martin del Potro was heavily tested by unseeded Gilles Muller as well, but prevailed in four sets as well, while 7th seed Andy Roddick continued on a collision course with Djokovic with an easier passage against Fabrice Santoro, winning in straight sets and firing 22 aces along his way to just four by the Frenchman. Marin Cilic continued his fine form by defeating last year's quarterfinalist, 11th seed David Ferrer, while Tommy Robredo ended the journey of Lu Yen-Hsun with an easy victory, and Tomas Berdych created a minor upset by defeating 15th seed Stanislas Wawrinka in four. Later at night, Roger Federer clashed with Marat Safin in a repeat of the 2004 finals and 2005 semifinals in an exciting matchup in Rod Laver Arena. The second seed was on form and sent out a strong signal to his rivals with a convincing 6–3, 6–2, 7–6(5) victory. 2006 finalist Marcos Baghdatis also sent 23rd seed Mardy Fish packing with a straight sets victory and set up a fourth round clash with Djokovic.

In the women's draw, following Venus William's exit the day before, Ana Ivanovic replaced her as the highest seed to fall so far, losing 5–7, 7–6(5), 2–6 to 29th seed Alisa Kleybanova. Ivanovic, finalist last year broke Kleybanova in 10th game of the second set when the latter was serving for the match, and brought the match to the decider by winning a tiebreak, but ultimately conceded the match to her younger Russian opponent as Kleybanova ran away with a 6–2 victory in the third. Earlier in the night session, Jelena Dokic continued her fairytale comeback to Grand Slam tennis by upsetting 11th seeded Danish teenager Caroline Wozniacki, despite losing the first set she bounced back strongly to take the next two 6–1, 6–2, and will meet Kleybanova next. Elsewhere, earlier in the day, it was business as usual for the top 16 seeds. Top seed Jelena Jankovic was once again tested but overcame the heat and Ai Sugiyama in straight sets, and will face Marion Bartoli next, the Frenchwoman coming back from one set down to beat Lucie Safarova. Dinara Safina also displayed her form and cruise past Kaia Kanepi with the loss of just four games, playing 15th seed Alize Cornet next, after Cornet recovered from one set down to knock out last year's semifinalist Daniela Hantuchova. 10th seed Nadia Petrova was the first to advance after winning one set against Galina Voskoboeva, after which the latter retired with an injury, and set up a last 16 clash with Vera Zvonareva, who eased past Sara Errani.

In men's doubles action, the upset of the day was created by unseeded Lukasz Kubot and Oliver Marach, when they knocked out the top seeds Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic in straight sets, in a day of upsets for the men's doubles which saw a total of five seeds being knocked out of the competition, including defending champion Andy Ram, partnering Max Mirnyi this year, crashing out to Spanish Davis Cup winning pair of Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco. Seeds moved on in the women's doubles, with the exception of Tatiana Poutchek and Anastasia Rodionova, who lost to Anna-Lena Grönefeld and Patty Schnyder. Mixed doubles competition also began, but none of the seeds in action made it to the second round, with Alona Bondarenko/Andre Sa losing a match tie-break to Alize Cornet/Marcelo Melo, Kveta Peschke/Pavel Vizner losing to last year's finalists Sania Mirza/Mahesh Bhupathi, and Kateryna Bondarenko/Jordan Kerr defeated by Jarmila Gajdosova/Samuel Groth.

The top seeds in the upper half of the men's draw did not have much trouble in progressing into the last 16. Rafael Nadal made it to the next round with a solid 6–4, 6–2, 6–2 victory over former World No. 2 Tommy Haas, producing over 50 winners and just eight unforced errors. 13th seed Fernando Gonzalez is up next for the Spaniard, after the latter came back from the dead against 24th seeded Frenchman Richard Gasquet in a 249-minute thriller, in which both players exhibit barrages of winners, and a gripping third set tiebreak in which both had opportunities to take the set, or the match for Gasquet, and eventually it was Gonzalez who prevailed 12–10 in the decider. Andy Murray comfortably won his match against Jurgen Melzer as well, 7–5, 6–0, 6–3, and set up a tie with 14th seed Fernando Verdasco. The Spaniard was clearly on form as he completed a 6–4, 6–0, 6–0 thrashing of Radek Stepanek, the same player who beat him in the Brisbane International final just two weeks ago. Gilles Simon and Gael Monfils set up an all-French fourth round encounter after powering past their opponents, unseeded Croat Mario Ancic and 17th seed Nicolas Almagro. In contrast, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga need to overcome a third set lapse before defeating Dudi Sela in four and will play James Blake in the last 16, who dropped one set against Igor Andreev as well.

Serena Williams was the first among the women seeds to progress to the last 16 in Day Six, firing 10 aces on her way to a 6–1, 6–4 win over Chinese Peng Shuai. Belarusian teenager Victoria Azarenka awaits her in the next round, the 13th seed sending the only other former champion in the draw, 20th seed Amelie Mauresmo packing in a closely fought contest. Elena Dementieva continued on her excellent form this season, this time edging local hope Samantha Stosur in two tight sets, 7–6(6), 6–4, to set up a tie with another teenage star, 18th seed Dominika Cibulkova, who defeat Virginie Razzano in straight sets to progress to the last 16 of a Grand Slam for the first time. Svetlana Kuznetsova is also through to the next round, overcoming 68 unforced errors from her racket to beat Alona Bondarenko. Alona's sister Kateryna also lost, crushed 6–2, 6–2 by Wimbledon semifinalist Zheng Jie, who will now play Kuznetsova. Elsewhere, Anabel Medina Garrigues posted a minor upset by powering past 12th seed Flavia Pennetta, and will now play unseeded Carla Suarez Navarro, Venus Williams' victor who cruised past compatriot Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez.

Seeds continue to tumble in the second round of the men's doubles, including 5th seeds Wesley Moodie and Jeff Coetzee, who lost to local wildcards Joseph Sirianni and Andrew Coelho, Frantisek Cermak/Michal Mertinak losing to another local pairing in Paul Hanley/Jordan Kerr, and Martin Damm/Robert Lindstedt, who were upsetted by Mardy Fish/John Isner, while former champions Bob and Mike Bryan are safely through. Women's top seeds Cara Black and Liezel Huber went through to the next round as well, along with Victoria Azarenka/Vera Zvonareva, Daniela Hantuchova/Ai Sugiyama, Kveta Peschke/Lisa Raymond while Sorana Cirstea/Monica Niculescu fell to Nathalie Dechy/Mara Santangelo.

The seeds also went 1–1 in the first round of mixed doubles competition, with second seeds Yan Zi/Mark Knowles defeating Nadia Petrova/Max Mirnyi while third seeds Lisa Raymond/Marcin Matkowski losing to Iveta Benesova/Lukas Dlouhy.

4th round matches begin with 8th seed Juan Martin del Potro advancing into his first Australian Open quarterfinals after recovering from a one set deficit to beat 19th seeded Marin Cilic. Both players were tipped to be highly successful in the future, but it was del Potro who stood firm with less error count as he prevailed 5–7, 6–4, 6–4, 6–2 and will play three-time champion, world no. 2 Roger Federer. Federer himself survived the challenge from 20th seeded Tomas Berdych, who have not beaten him since their first encounter in the 2004 Athens Olympics Games. Berdych looked sharper of the two, showing little nerves as he went two sets up, but Federer came out firing from the third set onwards, and eventually came through safely, winning 4–6, 6–7(4), 6–4, 6–4, 6–2. 7th seed Andy Roddick also moved on to the quarterfinals with a comprehensive 7–5, 6–1, 6–3 victory over Tommy Robredo, and will play defending champion Novak Djokovic for a place in his 4th Australian Open semifinals. Djokovic looked impressive early on against former finalist Marcos Baghdatis, racing to a 6–1 first set victory, but the Cypriot gave him a much harder time, though giving up a one-break lead in the second set to lose a tiebreak and winning another third set tiebreak. However, the defending champion was too hot to handle and eventually by 2.30 am, Djokovic has sealed a 6–1, 7–6(1), 6–7(5), 6–2 victory in over three hours.

In the women's draw, top seeded Jelena Jankovic's quest for a maiden Grand Slam title came to a premature end in one of the shocks of the day, as 16th seed Marion Bartoli displayed her best tennis in two sets to dump the Serbian 6–1, 6–4, meaning Jankovic's world number one crown could be in danger. 7th seeded Vera Zvonareva also made it to her first Australian Open semifinals, after coming through in two tough sets against compatriot and 10th seeded Nadia Petrova, 7–5, 6–4. 3rd seed Dinara Safina almost followed Jankovic's path out of the tournament, as she survived two match points against Alize Cornet, who was serving for the match while 2–6, 6–2, 5–4 up, but eventually lost the decider 7–5. Safina's opponent in the quarterfinals would be a resurgent Jelena Dokic, who, in the first match of the night session in Rod Laver Arena, defeated 29th seed Alisa Kleybanova in a three-hour match, 7–5, 5–7, 8–6 , despite needing a medical time out towards the end of the decider. The Australian hang tough to break Kleybanova to love in the final game, sealing a famous win.

Doubles play continue with 2nd seeds Bob and Mike Bryan progressing to a quarterfinal clash against compatriots Mardy Fish and John Isner, who sent 7th seeds Bruno Soares/Kevin Ullyett out of the tournament. 6th seeded Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski and unseeded Feliciano Lopez/Fernando Verdasco also advanced to the quarterfinals. The top women seeds were not as lucky as four of the top eight pairs were sent crashing out, with Anabel Medina Garrigues/Virginia Ruano Pascual suffering a heavy defeat at the hands of 16th seeds Peng Shuai/Hsieh Su-wei, 3rd seeds Kveta Peschke/Lisa Raymond losing to Nathalie Dechy/Mara Santangelo, 5th seeds Rennae Stubbs/Samantha Stosur defeated by Venus and Serena Williams while 6th seeds Yan Zi/Zheng Jie lost to Nuria Llagostera Vives/Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez.

Day eight saw the remaining fourth round men's matches with a warm forecast to compliment Australia Day. However it was quite a disapointing day with three seeded players from both men and women's draw retiring due to various reasons. In Rod Laver Arena, 6th seeded Gilles Simon battled against his in-form countrymen, 12th seed Gael Monfils, with Simon taking the first set 6–4 only for Monfils to hit back 6–2. However, he began to show signs of suffering in the third set and after a medical timeout while 4–1 down and eventually losing the set, Monfils retired citing a wrist injury, sending Simon to his first Grand Slam quarterfinals, where he will face top seed Rafael Nadal. Nadal appeared to be in complete control over Fernando Gonzalez, easily winning the first two sets and coming through the third set with heavier resistance from the Chilean, but the Spaniard never looked in doubt in his quest for a first Australian Open title. However, the surprise of the day came when 4th seeded Andy Murray, tipped by many as a favourite to win the title, crashed out to an in-form Fernando Verdasco, despite leading by 2 sets to 1. Verdasco, who had only lost twelve games on his way to the fourth round, came out firing in the last two sets, serving with astonishing accuracy, and won 85% of his first serves to outlast the Scot 2–6, 6–1, 1–6, 6–3, 6–4, and set up a quarterfinal tie with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who sent James Blake packing with a straight sets victory, meaning Murray was the only top eight seed to not make it to the quarterfinals.

In the women's draw, following Monfils' withdrawal earlier on, Victoria Azarenka and Serena Williams took the court earlier than expected, and it was the young Belarusian who made the better start, breaking the three-time champion twice to take the first set 6–3. However, after a missing chances to go 2–0 up in the second, Azarenka started to show signs of discomfort and was broken instead to trail 3–2, and a medical timeout couldn't do the wonders as the youngster retired in tears after another game. Azarenka later explained that she had been throwing up all morning and was feeling weak, but thought she could play after feeling better before her game, but ultimately succumbed. Williams went through to the quarterfinals, where she will play 8th seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova, who benefited from yet another withdrawal, in the form of 22nd seed Zheng Jie, who retired after five games with a wrist injury she picked up in the third game after falling and landing awkwardly on her hand. Elena Dementieva advanced with her fourteenth win of the season, this time dominating Slovakia's 18th seed Dominika Cibulkova, 6–2, 6–2, and will play another giantkiller, unseeded Carla Suarez Navarro in the quarterfinals, the latter easily dispatching compatriot and 21st seed Anabel Medina Garrigues 6–3, 6–2 earlier in the day.

In men's doubles, 4th seeds Lukas Dlouhy and Leander Paes advanced into the quarterfinals after defeating local pairing of Paul Hanley/Jordan Kerr, while Joseph Sirianni/Andrew Coelho also lost to Simone Bolelli/Andreas Seppi. 3rd seeds Mahesh Bhupathi/Mark Knowles and unseeded Lukasz Kubot/Oliver Marach filled in the remaining quarterfinal slots with straight sets victory over their respective opponents. In the women's side, top seeded Cara Black and Liezel Huber advanced after Victoria Azarenka, partnering Vera Zvonareva pulled out with an illness, and 7th seeds Flavia Pennetta/Maria Kirilenko also conceded a walkover to Casey Dellacqua/Francesca Schiavone due to Pennetta suffering from right foot bursitis. 9th seeds Daniela Hantuchova/Ai Sugiyama won through easily against Agnes Szavay/Elena Vesnina, and Anna-Lena Grönefeld/Patty Schnyder also won. In mixed doubles second seeds Yan Zi/Mark Knowles were also shown the exit in the second round by Canadians Aleksandra Wozniak/Daniel Nestor, while 7th seeds Anabel Medina Garrigues/Tommy Robredo won their first round match.

In the first quarterfinal match of the day, women's 7th seed Vera Zvonareva was at her best, despite falling behind 3–1 in the first set as 16th seed Marion Bartoli seemed to have set up the decisive break. Zvonareva, who have yet to concede a set throughout the tournament, hit back strongly, moving her opponent around the court and hitting clean winners while errors started to flow from Bartoli's racket with alarming regularity as her game started to beak apart. In the end, it was Zvonareva who reeled off eleven straight games as she routed the Frenchwoman 6–3, 6–0, advancing to her maiden Grand Slam semifinal. 3rd seed Dinara Safina had a tough opponent in the form of Jelena Dokic, who had defeated three seeded players on her way to the quarterfinals and had won all her matches in three sets so far. The two players traded breaks regularly as they shared the first two sets, Safina taking the first 6–4 but losing the second by the same scoreline. Dokic, with strong local support behind her, continued to battle bravely, breaking Safina to level things at 4–4 in the decider but in the end, Safina's stamina and speed prevailed as she wrapped up the match 6–4, 4–6, 6–4, and progress to the semifinals, while Dokic exited the tournament, but can be assured of a return to the top 100 in the post-tournament rankings.

In the men's draw, Novak Djokovic's reign as the defending champion came to an abrupt end after he forfeited his match against Andy Roddick while 7–6(3), 4–6, 2–6, 1–2 down, due to heat stress. Djokovic had started shakily, winning a tiebreak after both players failed to force a break point on their opponent's serve, but some inspired play by Djokovic saw him taking the tiebreak. Roddick, however, was too strong on his own serve in the second set, dropping just two points and eventually taking the second set 6–4. Djokovic was clearly not himself from the beginning of the third set, and laboured for the final eleven games of the match battling cramps and heat stress before finally decided to give up after he was broken to love in the third game of the 4th set, handing Roddick a 4th semifinal appearance in Melbourne Park. Roddick will face a familiar foe in second seed Roger Federer next, after the Swiss recorded an astonishingly easy victory over Juan Martin del Potro, who is playing in just his second Grand Slam quarterfinal. After losing the first set 6–3, del Potro seemed to have given up while Federer only appeared more devastating as the match progressed, before recording a 6–3, 6–0, 6–0 victory, after which the Argentine admitted that there was little he could do against Federer if he was not playing well.

The women doubles semifinals lineup was also completed. 9th seeded Daniela Hantuchova and Ai Sugiyama reached the semifinals after ending the dreams of co-world number ones Cara Black and Liezel Huber in three sets, winning a third set tiebreak 12–10, and will be up against unseeded Nathalie Dechy and Mara Santangelo next, the French-Italian pairing coming from behind to send Spanish 11th seeds Nuria Llagostera Vives/Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez packing. The other semifinal match will be between French Open runner-ups Casey Dellacqua/Francesca Schiavone against the Williams sisters, Venus and Serena, with the 12th seeded Australian-Italian pair coming back from a first set bagel to defeat Anna-Lena Grönefeld/Patty Schnyder while the 10th seeds needed 3 sets to get past Hsieh Su-wei/Peng Shuai as well. In men's doubles, giantkillers Lukasz Kubot/Oliver Marach defeated another seeded team, 6th seeds Mariusz Fyrstenberg/Marcin Matkowski and will play 3rd seeds Mahesh Bhupathi/Mark Knowles in the semifinals.

In mixed doubles, it was a bad day for Black and Huber as well as the top seeded Cara Black and Leander Paes crashed out to the unseeded pairing of Patty Schnyder/Wesley Moodie, while Liezel Huber and Jamie Murray lost to Nathalie Dechy/Andy Ram. 7th seeds Anabel Medina Garrigues/Tommy Robredo and unseeded Iveta Benesova/Lukas Dlouhy made it to the quarterfinals, both with wins in a match tie-break against their respective opponents, leaving Medina Garrigues and Robredo as the only seeded team left.

Day ten of the competition saw temperatures reaching as high as 43 degrees Celsius, causing the extreme heat policy (EHP) to be implemented for the first time this year. As part of the policy, all outdoor matches were suspended and eventually cancelled, affecting many junior matches, and also legends and wheelchair tournaments. Play continued in the main stadiums, with Svetlana Kuznetsova, apparently more comfortable than her opponent Serena Williams in the blistering heat, taking the first set 7–5 despite failing to close the set while serving at 5–4 up. However, the momentum swung over to Williams' side, after the match was interrupted for closing the roof of the stadium due to the implementation of the EHP. Kuznetsova, visibly unhappy at the interruption, hang in tough to break Williams again and went 5–3 up, but will rue missing a golden opportunity to make her first Australian Open semifinal as Williams won 4 games in a row to take the second set 7–5, and blasted her way through the third 6–1, winning ten out of the last eleven games to destroy the Russian's dream of an all-Russian semifinal, following Elena Dementieva's 15th win of the season. The 4th seeded Russian proved too good for surprise package Carla Suarez Navarro, playing in her second Grand Slam quarterfinal in just four Grand Slam main draw appearances, though the 6–2, 6–2 scoreline did not clearly reflect the closeness of the match, as the young Canary Island resident had numerous chances to break back against Dementieva, only to be saved by the in-form Russian each time.

The second semifinal match in the men's singles has also been decided when top seed Rafael Nadal set up an all-Spanish encounter with compatriot, 14th seed Fernando Verdasco. Nadal experienced momentum swings against 6th seeded Gilles Simon, winning the first set 6–2 with ease, but had to come from behind in the next two sets, including saving a set point in the second set, but eventually breaking Simon to win both sets 7–5, and continued his march to a first Australian Open crown after advancing to a second straight semifinals without dropping a set. Hopes of a rematch of last year's semifinals were dashed after Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was sent out of the tournament in four sets against a fired up Fernando Verdasco, who had been on song since winning the Davis Cup for Spain at the end of last year. Tsonga's serve appeared impenetrable early on, while Verdasco was forced to save break points but raced to a 5–2 lead in the tiebreaker before eventually winning 7–2. Tsonga hit back with his first break which sealed the second set, but Verdasco's serve once again proved to be the deciding factor as Tsonga's falter, Verdasco racing to a 4–0 lead in the third and converting all four break opportunities he has, in contrast to Tsonga's two out of thirteen, and powered into his maiden Grand Slam semifinals 7–6(2), 3–6, 6–3, 6–2.

In men's doubles, second seeds Bob and Mike Bryan advanced to the semifinals with a hard-fought win over compatriots Mardy Fish/John Isner, where they will take on 4th seeds Lukas Dlouhy/Leander Paes in a rematch of last year's US Open final, who ended the journey of Italians Simone Bolelli/Andreas Seppi. The mixed doubles semifinals lineup is also completed with 7th seeds Anabel Medina Garrigues/Tommy Robredo defeating Patty Schnyder/Wesley Moodie in a match tie-break, and will play Nathalie Dechy/Andy Ram after the unseeded pair defeat Dominika Cibulkova/Jurgen Melzer in straight sets. Last year's finalists Sania Mirza/Mahesh Bhupathi also won through against Aleksandra Wozniak/Daniel Nestor, and will play Czechs Iveta Benesova/Lukas Dlouhy, who received a walkover from Alize Cornet/Marcelo Melo.

The women's semifinals were played inside Rod Laver Arena with its roof closed once again, due to temperatures hitting a new high during the fortnight, causing the Extreme Heat Policy to be invoked for the second day in a row, and outdoor matches were suspended until 1930 hours. Nevertheless, play continued inside the main stadium with Serena Williams looking to snap a three-match losing streak against the form player of this season, Elena Dementieva, who had won 15 consecutive matches while taking two titles. The first two games saw multiple deuces and a couple of break points for both players but ultimately managed to hold serve, and the game proceeded on serve until Williams broke the deadlock in the eighth game and subsequently served out the first set 6–3. Dementieva bounced back strongly to break Williams at the early stages of the second set to open up a 3–0 lead, but her serve began to falter as well, recording a series of double faults as Williams broke back twice to lead 4–3. A series of blistering forehands saw Dementieva getting back into the match but in the end, her serve failed her again and Serena Williams soon served for the match, winning 6–3, 6–4 in 98 minutes, ending Dementieva's unnbeaten start to the season and advancing to the women's final for the fourth time. Her opponent will be Dinara Safina, who broke a three-match losing streak as well against Vera Zvonareva. Zvonareva, in her first Grand Slam semifinals, appeared to be more shaky of the two, quickly falling behind against Safina's dictating baseline rallies. Even though Zvonareva managed to break back, she appeared to be troubled by her own serve, until Safina broke again in the 7th game and went on to seal the set 6–3. The second set was a closer affair as Safina began to make unforced errors, trading a break with Zvonareva, until Zvonareva appeared to have the upper hand while serving for the second set at 6–5. Safina, however, broke her opponent to love and from that point onwards she was in control, sealing her second Grand Slam final by winning the tiebreak. Victories for both Williams and Safina ensured that Jelena Jankovic will surrender her world number one status in the post-tournament rankings to the winner of the finals, and is projected to fall to number 3 in the world.

In the first men's semifinals, Roger Federer was back to his best as he dismantled American Andy Roddick 6–2, 7–5, 7–5 to move on to his fourth Australian Open final, having won the previous three in 2004, 2006 and 2007. Federer was in complete control in the first set, quickly breaking Roddick twice to open up a 5–1 lead, but had to stave off a late Roddick charge to secure thr first set 6–2. The second set was much closer, Roddick relying on his big serves and constantly charging to the net to stay in the set, even though Federer looked comfortable and broke the American in the eleventh game, serving out with ease. The third set was similar to the second set, and as Federer sealed the decisive break to lead 6–5, there was no stopping the Swiss as he advanced to the finals, where he awaits the winner between Rafael Nadal and Fernando Verdasco.

The men's and women's doubles semifinals were also concluded, with Bob and Mike Bryan easing past Lukas Dlouhy and Leander Paes 6–3, 6–3 in just 54 minutes, advancing to their fifth final in six years, while Mahesh Bhupathi and Mark Knowles needed just four more minutes to defeat surprise package Lukasz Kubot and Oliver Marach 6–3, 6–1. The women's doubles finals will be between 9th seeded Daniela Hantuchova/Ai Sugiyama and 10th seeded Venus Williams/Serena Williams. The Slovakian-Japanese pairing looked sharp on the way to a 6–4, 6–3 victory over Nathalie Dechy and Mara Santangelo, while the Williams sisters, with Serena fresh from her singles semifinals, crushing 12th seeds Casey Dellacqua/Francesca Schiavone 6–0, 6–2. Nathalie Dechy and Andy Ram were the first to advance to the mixed doubles final, sending the last seeded pair Anabel Medina Garrigues and Tommy Robredo out of the tournament with a 7–6(7), 6–4 win.

In the second men's singles semifinals, top seeded Rafael Nadal took on his countrymen, 14th seed Fernando Verdasco, in the first ever all-Spanish semifinal in Australian Open. Nadal was the favourite to advance, only losing one set to his older opponent in 6 meetings and is yet to drop a set this year in Melbourne Park, however Verdasco had been on his peak form, upsetting favourites like Andy Murray and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on his way to his maiden Grand Slam semifinal. With Roger Federer waiting in the final, both players carried their form into the match, holding on to their own serve as they entered a first set tiebreak, where Nadal had the initial advantage, but Verdasco's big serves comes to his rescue again and earned two set points after a lucky net cord, which he duly converted to take the first set. Nadal was heavily tested on his own serve in the second set while Verdasco powered to several love service games, but Nadal hanged on and with some astonishing play, saved two game points in the 10th game and broke Verdasco, levelling things at one sets all. The momentum appeared to swing to Nadal's side as he broke Verdasco twice in the third set, only for Verdasco to break back immediately each time, bringing the third set into a tiebreaker which Nadal won handily. Verdasco's huge forehands and serve continued to pose a problem for Nadal, even though he had to call on a trainer at changeovers to tend to what appeared as a problem to his left calf. Another tiebreak was needed to settle the 4th set, and Verdasco sprinted away with a 7-1 victory, bringing the match to a decider. By then the match had already lasted more than 4 hours - but neither player showed signs of tiredness, even though Nadal appeared to be more at ease. Having come down from 0-30 down to lead 5-4 in the decider, Nadal gained 3 match points courtesy of only a 3rd double fault from Verdasco, and even though Verdasco managed to save two of them, a second double fault of the game - 4th overall - handed Nadal the match and a place in the finals. Nadal only managed to win one more point than Verdasco (193 to 192), who blasted 95 winners past Nadal, in a match that broke the Australian Open record as the longest men's singles match at 5 hours and 14 minutes (previous record by Boris Becker and Omar Camporese in 1991 at 5 hours and 11 minutes).

In an earlier match, the women's doubles final was played out between Daniela Hantuchova/Ai Sugiyama and Serena Williams/Venus Williams. Playing beneath the roof of the Rod Laver Arena as temperatures hit 43 degrees Celsius outdoors, the Slovak-Japanese pairing appeared to have the upper hand at first, breaking Venus to take the opening game. But it did not take the sisters too long to find their rhythm as Sugiyama was broken for 2-2. Sugiyama's serve was under pressure again by some heavy returns and the sisters break again, serving out the first set 6-3. All four players failed to held serve at 1-1 in the second set, with Sugiyama's first to go, but eventually the Williamses get the decisive break to lead 4-3. Two games later Hantuchova was left serving to stay in the match, but the sisters combined power proved too much as they eased to a 6-3, 6-3 victory, for their 8th Grand Slam doubles title together, meaning they are now the joint 3rd most successful doubles pairings in the Open Era, together with Virginia Ruano Pascual and Paola Suarez, and behind Martina Navratilova/Pam Shriver (21) and Gigi Fernandez/Natasha Zvereva (14).

Last year's mixed doubles finalist, India's Sania Mirza and Mahesh Bhupathi also earned the opportunity for another shot at the title, cruising past Iveta Benesova/Lukas Dlouhy 6-1 6-4 to advance to the finals against Nathalie Dechy and Andy Ram.

The women's singles final saw second seed Serena Williams clash against third seed Dinara Safina, with the winner ascending to the top spot in the WTA rankings, replacing Jelena Jankovic, in the post-tournament rankings. Safina was also aiming to be just the second Russian to ascend to the position with her maiden Grand Slam title, while it would be the 10th for Williams. Having won the women's doubles title a day earlier, Williams settled down quickly, comfortably holding serve and built up a 2-0 lead following multiple double faults from Safina. A hope for a Safina comeback was quickly extinguished as Williams looked sharp, blasting winners and heavy returns past her younger opponent, and sealed the first set 6-0 in just 22 minutes. Safina regrouped and proceeded to break Williams in the opening game of the second set, her first lead of any kind in the match, but the advantage was short-lived as Williams broke back immediately, and after easily holding to love, two more double faults and errors from Safina allowed her opponent to seal the decisive break. Safina could do nothing more than fighting to hold her own serves, forcing Williams to serve out, but another dominant service game saw Williams clinched her 4th Australian Open title after wins in 2003, 2005 and 2007. Safina admitted later during the prize giving ceremony that she felt like a ball boy on court against her opponent, promising to return the following year, while Williams will spend her 62nd non-consecutive week on top of the rankings next week.

Following the women's singles final, the men's doubles final took place in the Rod Laver Arena. Second seeds, American twins Bob and Mike Bryan overcame the third seeds Mahesh Bhupathi and Mark Knowles to take home their third Australian Open title together. Bhupathi and Knowles came out firing first, playing a near flawless first set to take the first set 6-2 after just 27 minutes, with a series of clever play that wrong-footed the twins on various occasions. They continued to pressure the 30 year old Americans in the second set, forcing numerous break points but unable to convert each time, as the momentum shifted over and with Knowles' serve starting to falter, the Bryans were able to put away some smashes and volleys to take the second set 7-5. From there, they looked comfortable, steamrolling past the decider 6-0 to regain the title they last won in 2007, and dash Bhupathi's hope of winning two titles (he made it to the finals of the mixed doubles as well).

Nadal and Federer's first encounter for the year resulted in a five-set epic—lasting 4 hours and 23 minutes—with Nadal prevailing, 7–5, 3–6, 7–6(3), 3–6, 6–2 for his sixth Grand Slam title and his first on hard courts. Nadal is the first Spaniard in history to win the Australian Open and the fourth male tennis player — after Jimmy Connors, Mats Wilander and Andre Agassi — to win Grand Slam titles on three different surfaces. Federer, who was pursuing a record-tying fourteenth Grand Slam title, was unable to hold back tears during the trophy presentation.

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2003 Australian Open

The 2003 Australian Open was a tennis tournament held in 2003. It was the first Grand Slam event of the 2003 ATP Tour and the 2003 WTA Tour. It was the 91st edition of the event.

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Australian Open

Margaret Court Arena at the Australian Open with the old Rebound Ace surface. Rod Laver Arena, the centre court, in the background.

The Australian Open is the first of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments held each year. The tournament is held each January at Melbourne Park. The tournament was held for the first time in 1905 and was contested on grass from 1905 through 1987. Since 1988, the tournament has been held on hard courts at Melbourne Park. Mats Wilander is the only male player to have won the tournament on both grass and hard courts.

Like all other Grand Slam tournaments, there are men's and women's singles competitions; men's, women's, and mixed doubles; and junior's and master's competitions.

The two main courts used in the tournament are Rod Laver Arena and Hisense Arena and feature retractable roofs, which can be shut in case of rain or extreme heat. It is the only Grand Slam tournament that currently features indoor play, although Wimbledon's Centre Court will have a retractable roof beginning in 2009.

Held in the middle of the Australian summer, the Australian Open is famous for its notoriously hot days. An extreme-heat policy is put into play when temperatures (and humidity) reach dangerous levels.

The Australian Open typically has very high attendance, with the 2009 Australian Open achieving the highest ever single-day day/night attendance record for any Grand Slam tournament of 66,018. The event is worth around £38 million to the Australian economy.

In 2008, the Rebound Ace surface, which had been in place for the past 20 years at Melbourne Park, was replaced by a cushioned, medium-paced, acrylic surface known as Plexicushion Prestige. The main benefits of the new surface are better consistency and less retention of heat (because of a thinner top layer). This change was accompanied by changes in the surfaces of all lead-up tournaments to the Australian Open. The change was controversial, primarily because of the new surface's similarity to DecoTurf, the surface already being used by the US Open.

The singles winners in 2009 were Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams.

The Australian Open is managed by Tennis Australia, formerly the Lawn Tennis Association of Australia (LTAA), and was first played at the Warehouseman's Cricket Ground in St Kilda Road, Melbourne in 1905. This facility is now known as Albert Reserve Tennis Centre.

The tournament was first known as The Australasian Championships and then became the Australian Championships in 1927 and the Australian Open in 1969. Since 1905, the Australian Open has been staged in five Australian and two New Zealand cities as follows: Melbourne (50 times), Sydney (17 times), Adelaide (14 times), Brisbane (8 times), Perth (3 times), Christchurch (in 1906), and Hastings (in 1912). In 1972, when it was decided to stage the tournament in the same city each year, the Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club was selected because Melbourne attracted the biggest patronage.

Melbourne Park (formerly Flinders Park) was constructed in time for the 1988 tournament to meet the demands of the evolving tournament that had outgrown Kooyong's capacity. The move to Melbourne Park was an immediate success, with a 90 percent increase in attendance in 1988 (266,436) on the previous year at Kooyong (140,000).

Because of its geographic remoteness very few foreign players entered this tournament at the beginning. In the 1920s, the trip by ship from Europe to Australia took about 45 days. The first tennis players who came by aircraft were the U.S. Davis Cup players in November 1946. Even inside the country, many players could not travel easily. When the tournament was held in Perth, no persons from Victoria or New South Wales crossed by train, a distance of approximately 3,000 kilometres between the east and west coasts. In Christchurch in 1906, of a small field of 10 players, only two Australians attended, and the tournament was won by a New Zealander.

The first tournaments of the Australasian Championships suffered from the competition of the other Australasian tournaments, and before 1905 all Australian states and New Zealand had their own championships, the first being organised in 1880 in Melbourne and called the Championship of the Colony of Victoria (later become the Championship of Victoria).. In those years the best two players by far - the Australian Norman Brookes (whose name is now written on the men's singles cup) and the New Zealander Anthony Wilding - almost did not play this tournament. Brookes came once and won in 1911 and Wilding entered and won the competition twice (1906 and 1909). Their meetings in the Victorian Championships (or at Wimbledon) were the summits that helped to determine the best Australasian players. Even when the Australasian Championships were held in Hastings, New Zealand, in 1912, Wilding, though three times Wimbledon champion, did not come back to his home country. It was a recurring problem for all players of the era. Brookes went to Europe only three times, where he reached the Wimbledon Challenge Round once and then won Wimbledon twice. Thus, many players had never played the Austral(as)ian amateur or open championships: the Renshaws, the Dohertys, William Larned, Maurice McLoughlin, Beals Wright, Bill Johnston, Bill Tilden, René Lacoste, Henri Cochet, Bobby Riggs, Jack Kramer, Ted Schroeder, Pancho Gonzales, Budge Patty, Manuel Santana, Jan Kodes and others, while Brookes, Ellsworth Vines, Jaroslav Drobny, Manuel Orantes, Ilie Năstase at 35 years old, and Bjorn Borg came just once.

Beginning in 1969, when the first Australian Open was held on the Milton Courts at Brisbane, the tournament was open to all players, including professionals who were not allowed to play the traditional circuit. Nevertheless, except for the 1969 and 1971 tournaments, many of the best players missed this championship until 1982, because of the remoteness, the inconvenient dates (around Christmas and New Year's Day), and the low prize money — in 1970 the National Tennis League (NTL), which employed Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall, Andres Gimeno, Pancho Gonzales, Roy Emerson and Fred Stolle, prevented its players from entering the tournament because the guarantees were insufficient, and the tournament was ultimately won by Arthur Ashe.

In 1983, Ivan Lendl, John McEnroe, and Mats Wilander entered the tournament. Wilander won the singles title, and subsequently both his Davis Cup singles rubbers in the Swedish loss to Australia at Kooyong shortly after. Following the 1983 Australian Open, the International Tennis Federation prompted the Lawn Tennis Association of Australia to change the site of the tournament, because the Kooyong stadium was then inappropriate to serve such a big event, and in 1988 the tournament was first held at Flinders Park (later renamed Melbourne Park) on Rebound Ace.

Before the Melbourne Park stadium era, tournament dates fluctuated as well, in particular in the early years because of the climate of each site or exceptional events. For example, just after World War I, the 1919 tournament was held in January 1920 (the 1920 tournament was played in March) and the 1923 tournament in Brisbane took place in August when the weather was not too hot and wet. After a first 1977 tournament was held in December 1976 – January 1977, the organisers chose to move the next tournament forward a few days, then a second 1977 tournament was played (ended on 31 December) but this failed to attract the best players. From 1982 to 1985, the tournament was played in mid-December, then it was decided to move the next tournament to mid-January (January 1987), thus there was no tournament in 1986. Since 1987, the Australian Open date has not changed. However, some top players, including Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, have said that the tournament is held too soon after the Christmas and New Year holidays, thus preventing players from reaching their best form, and expressed a desire to shift it to February.

Names of the winners are inscribed on the perpetual trophy Cups.

Unlike the other three Grand Slam tournaments, which became open in 1968, the Australian tournament opened to professionals in 1969. Thus, the records here break at the 1969 tournament. Citations for these records.

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2008 Australian Open

2008 Australian Open Tennis, Melbourne.jpg

The 2008 Australian Open was a tennis tournament played on outdoor hard courts. It was the 96th edition of the Australian Open, and the first Grand Slam event of the year. It took place at the Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Australia, from January 14 through January 27, 2008.

After twenty years of playing on Rebound Ace, the courts were changed to Plexicushion, a marginally faster surface. The new surface is notably thinner, and therefore has lower heat retention. This decision was made in a bid to reduce the "stick" of the court and the frequency of the extreme heat policy being invoked. However, the new surface faced criticism for being too similar to DecoTurf, the surface used at the U.S. Open. Player reaction to the change of surface was generally ambivalent.

For the mixed doubles, in every game, the first team to score four points, wins the game. In other words, should a deuce happen in a game, the team who wins the next point wins the game.

On 30 May 2007, Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley announced that as of the 2008 Australian Open, the Rebound Ace surface that had been used since 1988 would be replaced by a newer, faster Plexicushion surface. The Rebound Ace surface had been criticized for several years, from players including Andy Roddick and Mark Philippoussis, who claimed that the "stick" of the court was a contributing factor in many players injuring themselves. This "stick" was a result of the thick rubber mat (10 mm) laid beneath the surface, the high heat retention because of this, and the high temperatures present during the Australian summer, which intermittently resulted in the extreme heat policy being invoked. Conversely, players such as Pete Sampras and Marat Safin put the high number of injuries down to lack of preparation from players; partly due to the fact that the tournament is held so early in the year, but also because there were so few tournaments preceding it. Rebound Ace was also chastised by Lleyton Hewitt for having an inconsistent bounce, in terms of height and pace (shock absorption); and claimed that these factors varied depending on the weather. The heat retention of the surface had also been a point of contention between players.

In announcing the change, Tiley said Plexicushion would have a "lower rubber content than Rebound Ace, was firmer under foot and retained less heat through its thinner top layer." Tiley later said that the change of colour, from green to blue, would also benefit players and officials, although this change was quite arbitrary. The manufacturers of Rebound Ace derided the new surface, with director Paul Bull saying that, "We had an Australian icon event with a unique Australian product and now we are just going to become a clone of the U.S. Open." Bull also said that the inconsistencies in pace were down to the organizers' imperative, who kept asking for the pace to be adjusted to pander for certain players, such as Hewitt. Bull, however, conceded that a change was needed; and said that the suggestion of a Rebound Ace court with a rubber mat thickness of around 5 mm was made.

The Plexicushion surface received a relatively mixed reception from players. Lleyton Hewitt, Justine Henin and Serena Williams were all keen to endorse the new courts; with Hewitt's appraisal focused on the greater consistency of the courts. Henin called it a "good surface" but said she did not find it markedly distinguishable from Rebound Ace, saying the biggest difference was the change of colour. Williams claimed that the court was not as "bouncy" and was causing less physical strain on her feet and ankles. One source of criticism from players was the slower than expected pace, although many of these comments came prior to the event's commencement. Players were exposed to the new courts through other tournaments, played in advance of the Open; and practise on the new surface. Roger Federer described it as slow, with Novak Djokovic, Jelena Janković and James Blake all corroborating this opinion, albeit from experience in preliminary tournaments. Pundit and former World No. 1 Pat Rafter said it was possible that the courts would speed up in time.

This was followed by a statement from the wider community of the International Tennis Federation (ITF), Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), Women's Tennis Association (WTA) and organizers of all four Grand Slams that they would review their anti-corruption policies in the future. This announcement came six days prior to the start of the Open, on 8 January 2008.

On 15 January, Day 2 of the tournament, the Victoria state police had to intervene when Greek Australian supporters, following Greece's Konstantinos Economidis in his match against Chilean Fernando González, became unruly. The match, in progress at the Margaret Court Arena, was suspended for ten minutes as the police attempted stop the "offensive chanting" and eject certain fans. Approximately forty supporters, heavily outnumbered by Chilean fans, were warned of their disorderly conduct prior to the police deploying pepper spray. The police regiment was heavily outnumbered, with a BBC Radio employee commenting that, " two guys against maybe 70-80, that's not good." Tournament officials said that 3 people had been sprayed and 5 evicted; a small proportion of the Greek fans left the arena, upset at how events were transpiring and fearing for their safety.

Both players said that the trouble was not something they had witnessed before; and Economidis condemned his supporters, saying that, "It was a really nice atmosphere until this moment. I am really unhappy." Some witnesses have implicated Cypriot and Serbian supporters in the trouble.

Australian Open director, Craig Tiley, had announced in the week preceding the event that police and security forces would "impose a 'zero-tolerance' policy on anti-social behaviour". This statement appeared to be a delayed reaction to the trouble that marred the event in 2007, with Australian youths of Greek, Serbian and Croatian origins involved in mutually abusive sparring. However, the problem was much more pronounced in 2007, with violence breaking out and around 150 fans ejected.

Police were called to investigate a report that a 12-year-old girl was sexually assaulted by a drunk man at the Australian Open.

In a brief statement, Victoria Police said they received a report that the girl was inappropriately touched on the buttocks on Monday.

During the Open, a video posted on YouTube almost a year earlier made headlines in the Australian media. The video shows the 2008 fifteenth seed, Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis, at a barbecue hosted by his Greek Australian fans in Melbourne in early 2007. In it, Baghdatis is holding a flare and taking part in chants against the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. Melbourne's Turkish Cypriot community called for Baghdatis to be expelled from Australia, but in a statement issued through his manager, the Cypriot player said he was "supporting the interest of my country, Cyprus, while protesting against a situation that is not recognized by the United Nations".

Day 1 saw few upsets, as favourites Justine Henin, Serena Williams, Lindsay Davenport, Tatiana Golovin, Maria Sharapova, Shahar Pe'er, Amélie Mauresmo, Nicole Vaidišová, Andy Roddick, Rafael Nadal, Nikolay Davydenko, Richard Gasquet, and Mikhail Youzhny all advanced. Jelena Janković, world #3, also advanced but was heavily tested by Tamira Paszek, having to win 2–6, 6–2, 12–10 in three hours, saving three match points; the match featured an exceptional 15 breaks of serve. Finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga scored his best victory to that point in a four set win over number 9 seed Andy Murray, 7–5, 6–4, 0–6, 7–6. Home favourite Alicia Molik also advanced in to the second round.

Favourites Roger Federer, Tomáš Berdych, James Blake, Novak Djokovic, Fernando González, Lleyton Hewitt, Marcos Baghdatis, David Nalbandian, David Ferrer, Marat Safin, Venus Williams, Ana Ivanović, Anna Chakvetadze, Daniela Hantuchová, and Svetlana Kuznetsova all advanced. Other seeded players such as Li Na, Nadia Petrova, Sania Mirza, Agnieszka Radwańska, Dmitry Tursunov, and Juan Carlos Ferrero also advanced. Sofia Arvidsson caused the upset on the women's side, as she defeated #10 Marion Bartoli 6–7, 6–4, 6–3. On the men's side, the upset of the day came when Dutch qualifier Robin Haase defeated #17 Ivan Ljubičić 6–7, 6–3, 6–0, 7–6. Day 2 saw the completion of all the remaining first round matches.

The Australian crowd were treated to an upset from one of their own as Casey Dellacqua sent #15 seed Patty Schnyder crashing out in the women's draw, while #13 Tatiana Golovin and #19 Sybille Bammer also struggled, losing to Aravane Rezaï and Hsieh Su-wei respectively. Maria Sharapova defeated comeback queen Lindsay Davenport in somewhat easy fashion 6–1, 6–3, and Justine Henin, Serena Williams, and Jelena Janković also advanced with wins. Joining them were numerous lower seeds including Elena Dementieva, Nicole Vaidišová and Amélie Mauresmo. In the men's draw, Mardy Fish dominated #11 seed Tommy Robredo to send him crashing out 6–1, 6–2, 6–3, while Stanislas Wawrinka retired against Marc Gicquel down two sets to one. Rafael Nadal, Nikolay Davydenko, Andy Roddick and Richard Gasquet all progressed in straight sets, whilst Mikhail Youzhny was tested before eventually winning 4–6, 7–5, 6–3, 7–6. The doubles competition also began on Day 3.

In the pick of the second round matches, former finalist Marcos Baghdatis dispatched former champion Marat Safin in five sets; 6–4, 6–4, 2–6, 3–6, 6–2. Seeds Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Fernando González, David Nalbandian, Tomáš Berdych and James Blake all came through unscathed; with Federer dropping only 3 games against Fabrice Santoro. Nineteenth seed and home favorite Lleyton Hewitt came through in typically gritty fashion, defeating Denis Istomin 7–6, 6–3, 5–7, 6–1. On the women's side, Ana Ivanović defeated Tathiana Garbin 6–0, 6–3 in the night match preceding Baghdatis vs. Safin. Svetlana Kuznetsova, Anna Chakvetadze, Venus Williams, Daniela Hantuchová, Nadia Petrova and form player Li Na all navigated their way in to the third round too.

The total attendance figure for Day 4 was 62,885, setting a new world record for a combined day/night attendance at a Grand Slam event. The previous record was 61,083, set during the 2007 U.S. Open.

The first match of the night session on the Rod Laver Arena saw local player Casey Dellacqua, who had previously never progressed beyond the first round at the Australian Open, defeat former champion Amélie Mauresmo 3–6, 6–4, 6–4. Justine Henin struggled to get to grips with Francesca Schiavone before winning; and Nicole Vaidišová and Serena Williams set up an intriguing fourth round match.

In the last match of the day, Philipp Kohlschreiber, the 29th seed of Germany, defeated the 6th seeded Andy Roddick in 232 minutes: 4–6, 6–3, 6–7, 7–6, 8–6; with the match reaching its conclusion past 02:00. Roddick was visibly perturbed during the match, which resulted in his earliest exit at the Australian Open since 2002. During the match, Roddick called umpire Emmanuel Joseph an "idiot" and received a retrospective fine of $500 for racquet abuse. Kohlschreiber entered the tournament in good form, having won the 2008 Heineken Open. Rafael Nadal faced world number 33 Gilles Simon, and had to save six set points in the first set. Simon squandered the first three to unforced errors, but it was Nadal who produced two aces and a drop shot to save himself at 4-5, 0-40. Paul-Henri Mathieu, under the stewardship of Mats Wilander, progressed after surviving a five-set thriller versus Stefan Koubek. Nikolay Davydenko, Richard Gasquet, Mikhail Youzhny, Jarkko Nieminen and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga also advanced.

Day 6 in Melbourne was plagued by rain and consequently matches could only take place on the indoor courts. In the women's competition, Ana Ivanović made light work of Katarina Srebotnik whilst Venus Williams was more sternly tested by Sania Mirza. However, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Anna Chakvetadze both saw their tournaments ended in the third round by Agnieszka Radwańska and Maria Kirilenko respectively.

The men's competition featured two prolonged five-set matches. In the first, #1 seed Roger Federer was pushed to the limit by Janko Tipsarević before triumphing; 6–7, 7–6, 5–7, 6–1, 10–8 in 267 minutes. The second featured Australian hopeful Lleyton Hewitt, who defeated Marcos Baghdatis 4–6, 7–5, 7–5, 6–7, 6–3 in a match that provoked discussion about the validity of night matches; the players did not finish play until 04:34, 282 minutes since it started at 11:52. Significantly, the match extended further into the evening than any other in the history of the Australian Open. The Federer-Tipsarević match, which lasted 267 minutes, overlapped in to the night session and this delayed the commencement of the women's singles match between Venus Williams and Sania Mirza until 10:00. Rules had previously been put in place so that a men's singles match would not start if other matches had played past 11:00; however, with the home crowd growing anxious, the organizers decided to go ahead with the Hewitt vs. Baghdatis match.

In other matches, the 2007 finalist Fernando González made an early exit to Marin Čilić; Novak Djokovic, James Blake and Tomáš Berdych all progressed as well.

Nikolay Davydenko became the highest-seeded male player out so far, losing to fellow Russian Mikhail Youzhny, setting up a quarter-final tie with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who dumped out No.8-seeded compatriot Richard Gasquet 6–2, 6–7, 7–6, 6–3 in just over three hours. Jarkko Nieminen also advanced to the last eight. Maria Sharapova easily beat Elena Dementieva and she joined Justine Henin, Serena Williams and Jelena Janković, who eliminated home favourite Casey Dellacqua, in the quarter finals. Li Na said goodbye to the tournament, losing to qualifier Marta Domachowska. Rafael Nadal advanced to the quarter finals as opponent Paul-Henri Mathieu retired with an injured left calf muscle; the second-ranked Spaniard was ahead 6–4, 3–0. David Nalbandian, the number 10 seed also suffered a straight-sets defeat at the hands of former world number one Juan Carlos Ferrero.

World number 4 Jelena Janković was handed a US$2,000 fine after allegedly receiving coaching from her mother, Snežana, during her third round match with Virginie Razzano of France. The game took place on Day 3 of the event. Umpire Maria Alves spotted the infringement during the match, and although unable to understand what had been communicated, dealt Janković a code violation for illegal coaching.

Janković denied the allegation, saying that she simply shouted 'C'mon' in Serbian. The practice of coaching during a match is banned at all WTA and Grand Slam events.

Maria Sharapova was fined the same amount at the 2007 Australian Open, also for receiving illegal coaching, with the same umpire, Maria Alves, in the chair.

Novak Djokovic powered his way into the quarter-finals, defeating Lleyton Hewitt 7–5, 6–3, 6–3 in a fourth-round clash. Roger Federer finished Tomáš Berdych's tournament in 1 hour and 59 minutes, 6–4, 7–6, 6–3. He faces James Blake next, who scored a 6–3, 6–4, 6–4 win over 19-year-old Croat Marin Čilić; a victory which saw him advance past the fourth round here for the first time. Venus Williams fought back twice from service breaks in the first set to secure a place in the quarter-finals; with a 6–4, 6–4 win over Marta Domachowska. She next faces #4 seed Ana Ivanović, who put together a 6–1, 7–6 win over Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki. No. 9 seed Daniela Hantuchová beat No. 27 Maria Kirilenko 1–6, 6–4, 6–4 and will next play Poland's Agnieszka Radwańska, who upset No. 14 Nadia Petrova 1–6, 7–5, 6–0.

Jelena Janković survived a straight set win over defending champion Serena Williams, making the semifinals of her 3rd different major. Rafael Nadal won his quarter final match against Jarkko Nieminen in straight sets, putting him into his first semi-final at the Australian Open. Maria Sharapova defeated No. 1 seed Justine Henin in a repeat of the 2007 WTA Tour Championships final. On this occasion, Henin was unable to win even a set as Sharapova eased to victory; 6–4, 6–0. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga won his match against 14th seed Mikhail Youzhny and booked his spot in the semi-finals.

In a day that was relatively free of controversy on the court, several media outlets focused on allegedly unsavoury aspects off it. Sharapova's father, Yuri Sharapov, came under intense scrutiny from Australian media after he made a throat-slashing gesture shortly after his daughter's match against the world No. 1 Justine Henin. Sharapova had earlier joked that her father's camouflage hoodie made him look like "an assassin". The WTA claimed that the gesture was simply a joke between the pair, pertaining to this comment.

Novak Djokovic defeated David Ferrer 6–0, 6–3, 7–5 in a closely fought third set, which advanced him to his fourth consecutive Grand Slam semi-final. Ana Ivanović progressed to her first Australian Open semi-final after defeating Venus Williams 7–6, 6–4, a result that was Ivanović's first triumph over Williams. She set up a tie with Daniela Hantuchová, who advanced to her first Grand Slam semi-final after dispatching Agnieszka Radwańska 6–2, 6–2. Roger Federer defeated James Blake 7–5, 7–6, 6–4 in just over 2 hours. Federer's progression marked his 15th consecutive Grand Slam semi-final, a record.

In the first women's semi-final match, fifth seeded Russian Maria Sharapova defeated third seeded Serbian Jelena Janković in a two sets, 6–3, 6–1 to clinch the first spot in the finals. Janković later conceded that she "wanted to withdraw", but played on for the crowd's benefit. Fourth seeded Ana Ivanović also progressed to the final after defeating Daniela Hantuchová in three sets, 0–6, 6–3, 6–4. Ivanović had lost the first eight games of the match before rectifying her game. However, Hantuchová was critical of Ivanović's tactics during the latter stages of the match. Hantuchová claimed that Ivanović resorted to gamesmanship by shuffling her feet prior to her serve, thereby causing a distraction. Ivanović said that any possible noise was a result of the new court surface; and tried to offer an explanation of Hantuchová's motives, saying, "Maybe she was just trying to pick on something, to get upset." Unseeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeated second seeded Spaniard Rafael Nadal in the first men's semifinal, in straight sets, 6–2, 6–3, 6–2 in less than 2 hours. Journalists expressed shock, not only at the victory, but at the comprehensive manner in which the nascent Tsonga won it. Tsonga hit a total of 49 winners to Nadal's 13 and served imperiously: Nadal was unable to force a break point until the third set.

In the second men's semi-final, between #1 Roger Federer and #3 Novak Djokovic, Djokovic won in just over 2 hours; completing the victory in straight sets, 7–5, 6–3, 7–6 to reach the second grand slam final of his career. This broke Federer's record run of appearing in 10 consecutive grand slam finals. In the women's doubles final, Alyona and Kateryna Bondarenko beat Victoria Azarenka and Shahar Pe'er 2–6, 6–1, 6–4 to win their first Grand Slam title.

Maria Sharapova of Russia won the Women's 2008 Australian Open over Ana Ivanović of Serbia in straight sets; 7–5, 6–3. It was Sharapova's third slam title and her third different slam; leaving her needing a French Open title for a career grand slam. Sharapova also achieved the feat of not dropping a set the entire tournament. In the men's doubles final, the Israeli pair, Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram beat Arnaud Clément and Michaël Llodra of France 7–5, 7–6 to win their first Grand Slam title.

The juniors competition also reached its conclusion on Day 13. Australian Bernard Tomic defeated Taiwanese player Yang Tsung-Hua; 4–6, 7–6, 6–0 to win the boys' event. Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands defeated the other Australian hopeful, Jessica Moore, 6–3, 6–4 to claim the girls' singles crown. In the women's wheelchair event, Esther Vergeer won her third consecutive title, beating fellow Dutchwoman Korie Homan 6–4, 6–3. Shingo Kunieda won his fourth slam in a row in the men's wheelchair competition, defeating former champion Michael Jeremiasz 6–1, 6–4.

Third seeded Novak Djokovic of Serbia defeated unseeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France in four sets; 4–6, 6–4, 6–3, 7–6, becoming the first Serbian man to win a grand-slam singles tournament title. For Djokovic, this was his first slam victory; making him the 2008 Men's Australian Open Champion.

Sun Tiantian of China and Nenad Zimonjić of Serbia were crowned the 2008 Mixed Doubles champions after defeating Sania Mirza and Mahesh Bhupathi of India in straight sets; 7–6, 6–4.

These were the seeds for the 2008 Australian Open.

On the women's side of the draw, all of the world's top thirty-two players were present; whereas in the men's draw Tommy Haas and Guillermo Cañas were both forced to withdraw due to injury. On the date that the seeds were announced, January 11, 2008, Haas was No. 12 in the world and Cañas No. 17.

Ana Ivanović serving in her quarter-finals match.

Jarkko Nieminen and Robert Lindstedt attack the ball.

A doubles match on the outdoor courts.

Jarkko Nieminen serving.

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Source : Wikipedia