Melbourne - Spanish fourth seed David Ferrer
needed five match points before subduing American Tim Smyczek in four
sets to reach the third round of the Australian Open on Wednesday.
was extended by the 125th-ranked American before clinching a 6-0, 7-5,
4-6, 6-3 win in 2hr 38min on Margaret Court Arena to take his place in
the last 32 of the tournament.
The Spaniard looked to be heading
for a regulation straight-sets victory but the tenacious Smyczek broke
him twice to take the set and keep Ferrer longer out on the court.
despite being treated several times at changeovers by the trainer for a
tight right thigh, chased down everything and Ferrer needed five match
points before finally prevailing.
"I'm OK because I've won the
match and he gave a good performance. I don't have any physical
problems, so all's good," Ferrer said. "I will rest this afternoon and on Thursday and get ready for my next match."
It was Ferrer's ninth
win in 10 matches this year after reaching the semi-finals at Doha and
successfully defending his title at Auckland last week.
playing in his 41st straight Grand Slam, is looking to take advantage of
his fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal's enforced absence to go deep into the
second week at the Open.
He beat Nadal in the quarter-finals in
Melbourne two years ago before going down to Andy Murray in the
semi-finals, his best performance at the Australian Open. Ferrer will
play Marcos Baghdatis in the third round.