This year’s Australian Open will not feature Roger Federer in the fourth round for the first time in 14 years after the former champion was ousted in a display of brilliance from Andreas Seppi, a player who hadn’t won more than a set off Federer in previous meetings. An 0-10 head-to-head record (and 21 of 22 sets lost) couldn’t deter the world No. 46 Seppi, an Italian with only three career tournament titles to his name, from notching the biggest win of his career at Rod Laver Arena Friday afternoon as the shadows engulfed this tournament’s center court. The upset was a classic combination of a champion being a little off and a challenger being extremely on, Seppi taking advantage of the fact that Federer’s game wasn’t quite clicking, while at the same time preventing it from doing so. It was not the first time Federer has lost in four sets despite winning more points. Juan Carlos Ferrero beat him at 2000 US Open, 7-5 7-6(6) 1-6 7-6(6), with 14 fewer points.
Murray continued his serene progress in Melbourne on Friday by taking out Sousa with relative ease, winning the opening two sets 6-1 before making fairly heavy work of closing out the match. The sixth-seeded Brit started well, breaking his Portuguese opponent in the fourth game with some terrific backhands and taking the first set with consummate ease.
Marcos Baghdatis turned back time on Show Court 3, summoning the powers of his run to the final here way back when in 2006, to lead Grigor Dimitrov by two sets to one. But no matter how loud the Cypriots in the crowd, how much Baghdatis still believes, Dimitrov came back. Roaring to the heavens as he finished him off in just under three and a half hours.
Nadal has had his struggles so far in the 2015 Australian Open but motored through his third round match, beating Israel’s Dudi Sela in straight sets.
It’s been four long years since Bernard Tomic played an Australian Open fourth round, but, in an all-Aussie encounter, Tomic trumped the tournament’s ace leader 6-4, 7-6 (10-8), 6-3 to set up a mouth-waterer against seventh seed Tomas Berdych.
Sharapova thundered past Zarina Diyas 6-1, 6-1 and won her encounter as well.
Men’s Singles – Round 3
Andreas Seppi (ITA) beat Roger Federer (SUI)
6-4 7-6(5) 4-6 7-6(5)
Rafael Nadal (ESP) beat Dudi Sela (ISR)
6-1 6-0 7-5
Andy Murray (GBR) beat Joao Sousa (POR)
6-1 6-1 7-5
Tomas Berdych (CZE) beat Viktor Troicki (SRB)
6-4 6-3 6-4
Women’s Singles – Round 3
Maria Sharapova (RUS) beat Zarina Diyas (KAZ)
Simona Halep (ROU) beat Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA)
Julia Goerges (GER) beat Lucie Hradeckà (CZE)
Eugenie Bouchard (CAN) beat Caroline Garcia (FRA)
|Men’s Bracket||Time (ET)||Court|
|No. 2 Roger Federer vs. Andreas Seppi||9:30 p.m.||Rod Laver|
|No. 3 Rafael Nadal vs. Dudi Sela||4:15 a.m.||Rod Laver|
|No. 7 Tomas Berdych vs. Viktor Troicki||8:15 p.m.||Margaret Court|
|Malek Jaziri vs. Nick Kyrgios||3 a.m.||Margaret Court|
|No. 6 Andy Murray vs. Joao Sousa||9:30 p.m.||Hisense|
|Bernard Tomic vs. Sam Groth||1 a.m.||Hisense|
|No. 14 Kevin Anderson vs. No. 24 Richard Gasquet||2 a.m.||Show Court 2|
|No. 10 Grigor Dimitrov vs. Marcos Baghdatis||7 p.m.||Show Court 3|
|No. 7 Eugenie Bouchard vs. Caroline Garcia||8:15 p.m.||Rod Laver|
|No. 2 Maria Sharapova vs. No. 31 Zarina Diyas||3 a.m.||Rod Laver|
|No. 10 Ekaterina Makarova vs. No. 22 Karolina Pliskova||7 p.m.||Margaret Court|
|No. 3 Simona Halep vs. Bethanie Mattek-Sands||11 p.m.||Margaret Court|
|No. 14 Sara Errani vs. Yanina Wickmayer||7 p.m.||Hisense|
|No. 21 Shuai Peng vs. Yaroslava Shvedova||7 p.m.||Show Court 2|