AUSTRALIAN OPEN 2012
Down Under Diary - Federer's Two-Hander
by ATP Staff|
ATPWorldTour.com takes a look at the news and talking points at the Australian Open on Friday.
NEW TRICK FAILS LEGEND APPROACHING MILESTONE
He may be on the brink of accomplishing 1000 tour-level matches, but Roger Federer showed you are never too old to try something new. The Swiss, who normally hits a single-handed backhand, attempted a double-handed backhand in his third-round match on Rod Laver Arena. "Yeah, I did. I lost the point," said 30-year-old Federer. "That's why I play one-handed. Double-handed can be really nice as some of the greats showed us - [Bjorn] Borg, [Mats] Wilander, [Andre] Agassi and so forth. It's still a nice shot."
Federer was playing 6'10" Ivo Karlovic for a place in the fourth-round, and it was another risky shot that nearly backfired for the four-time Australian Open champion. Trailing 5-6 in the first set tie-break, Federer attempted a close-range lob against the Croat who duly framed the smash. "I got the angle sort of right and was able maybe to surprise him. We were that close to each other, so it was hard to react quickly maybe," he confirmed.
Going on to win 7-6(6), 7-5, 6-3 in two hours and 17 minutes, Federer's 999th tour-level match will be against Australian Bernard Tomic for a place in the quarter finals. "I feel good. I feel healthy. I don't know if I can play another 1000 [matches], but I feel like it's a lot of tennis. I would like to play a lot more, but it's quite a number."
LUCZAK BOWS OUT
Former World No. 64 Peter Luczak bowed out of professional tennis on Friday, partnering Lleyton Hewitt to a 6-3, 7-6(5) loss against top seeds and five-time titlists Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan. "It's a nice way to go out, playing with a good mate and also playing the best doubles [players] in the world," said Luczak. "I can't keep up anymore. When you play in that sort of atmosphere you do want to play again, but it's not like that every week. Not even close."
MATCH OF THE DAY
Home favourite Tomic admitted to Jim Courier it was like looking in a mirror in terms of tennis style when he came up against Alexandr Dolgopolov in the third round. The Aussie No. 1 had already played nine sets before Friday's night session on Rod Laver Arena and needed another five to get past the Ukrainian, 4-6, 7-6(0), 7-6(6), 2-6, 6-3, in a slice fest that lasted three hours and 49 minutes. "[The crowd] was remarkable," said Tomic. "[I had] so much support. The crowd pumps you and you feel so good out there playing. It makes you focus and want to win the next point. That's why I think I won today."
AROUND THE GROUNDS
Melbourne Park was buzzing on Friday with legends of the game arriving for an all-access hour at the Jacob’s Creek corporate suite. Henri Leconte and Guy Forget, former Australian Open winner Yevgeny Kafelnikov, and doubles specialist-turned commentator Todd Woodbridge were among those in attendance. Elsewhere, David Ferrer met fans at Autograph Island, while a number of Australian celebrities, namely comedian Andy Lee and Western Bulldogs footballer Luke Darcy, enjoyed the intriguing evening match-up between Tomic and Dolgopolov.
RECORD ATTENDANCES CONTINUE
For the second consecutive day a record number of fans passed through the gates at Melbourne Park. 46,135 spectators enjoyed the action, bettering 40,724 fans on the previous record Friday last year.