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Australian Open Diary: Andre Wouldn't Like Djokovic Test

Melbourne, Australia

Agassi© Getty ImagesAndre Agassi has returned to the Australian Open for the first time since 2006. takes a look at the news and talking points at the Australian Open on the second Friday.

Agassi Versus Djokovic?
Former World No. 1 Andre Agassi knows a thing or two about winning the Australian Open. The American lifted the Norman Brookes Trophy on four occasions in 1995, 2000-01 and 2003.

But Agassi wouldn't fancy playing Novak Djokovic.

“I would have probably gotten in a fight with him in the locker room before the match,” Agassi joked. “I might have had a chance!"

With Djokovic, Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal at the top of the Emirates ATP Rankings, Agassi marvels at the standard of today’s play.

“It's been amazing watching the standard continually sort of get better,” admitted Agassi, who recently visited New Zealand. “You wonder how it's possible to continue at that sort of rate. It's just a different standard of tennis. It's different rules of engagement when guys can do what these guys can do.

“I don't recognise it from a standpoint of strategy, because I counted on getting somebody behind in a point and then slowly smothering them. But nobody's behind in a point. You never know when they're behind in a point. That would have eliminated any ability I had to move forward in the court. It means I would have had to be a different player, would've had to have a different body.”

Agassi was returning to Melbourne Park for the first time since 2006.

He admitted, “It feels long overdue. This year I said, ‘Let's make it happen’. It's the only place I haven't been since retiring, to pay my respects. It's nice to be back.  It's grown a lot.”

Murray Overcomes Hurdle
Murray finally overcame the hurdle of beating Federer at a major championship.

The Scot had previous lost to Federer in the 2008 US Open final, the 2010 Australian Open final and 2012 Wimbledon final.

“I've obviously lost some tough matches against him in Grand Slams. So to win one, especially the way that it went tonight, was obviously nice. I'm sure both of us will play each other again in slams, so it will help having won once against him.”

Murray Making Major Strides For World No. 1

A New Federer Statistic
Incredibly, Federer had never before played back-to-back five-set matches at a Grand Slam championship.

On Wednesday, he beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in five sets in the quarter-finals. But in losing to Murray, he dropped to 252-38 at the majors.

Federer: He Beat Me Fair & Square

Night Training For Bryans
Memories of losing last year’s doubles final to Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek are still fresh in the memories of Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan.

So much so, that the American twins, who will attempt to win their 13 major team title against Dutchmen Robin Haase and Igor Sijsling on Saturday night, have practised at night and spent extra time on the court since their semi-final win on Thursday.

“By the time we figured it out, it was too late,” Bob Bryan told reporters.

Aussies Versus Czech In Mixed Doubles Final
Australians Matthew Ebden and Jarmila Gajdosova will play Czechs Frantisek Cermak and Lucie Hradecka for the Australian Open mixed doubles title on Sunday.

Ebden and Gajdosova overcame Yaroslava Shvedova and Denis Istomin 7-5, 7-6(5) in the semi-finals, while Cermak and Hradecka knocked out Marcin Matkowski and Kveta Peschke 3-6, 7-5, 10-7.

Kia Motors Extends Partnership
Kia Motors has extended its partnership with the Australian Open through 2018. The South Korean car manufacturer has sponsored the major championship for 17 years. Tennis Australia CEO Steve Wood said, “Tennis Australia is thrilled to have Kia signed on as major sponsor of the Australian Open for a further five years. Kia is a tremendous and long-standing supporter of the event, and we look forward to continuing this successful partnership through until 2018.”

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