Melbourne - Angelique Kerber survived some
nervous moments before fending off American teenager Madison Keys in the
third round of the Australian Open, then got to blow out the candles on
a cake to celebrate her 25th birthday.
Fifth-seeded Kerber won
6-2, 7-5 on Friday to move into the fourth round, further than she's
ever gone in six trips to the Australian Open.
brought Kerber a cake onto court immediately after the match and the
crowd at Rod Laver Arena sang "Happy Birthday." She blew out the candles
and said thank you to the crowd and to 17-year-old Keys.
is a great young player and it was very tough," said Kerber, a
semifinalist last year at Wimbledon. "So happy I won today on my
Kerber will next play No 19 Ekaterina Makarova of
Russia, who advanced after a tough 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-4 win over 2007
Wimbledon finalist Marion Bartoli. In the fourth round last year,
Makarova beat Serena Williams and was the first of only four women to
beat the powerful American in 2012. Kerber was the last.
Angieszka Radwanska, meanwhile, won her 12th match in a row with a 6-3,
6-1 victory over Britain's Heather Watson on the second of the show
courts at Melbourne Park.
"I'm extremely happy to be playing my
best tennis from the beginning of the year," said Radwanska, who won
tournaments in Auckland and Sydney before coming to Melbourne.
"Hopefully I'll play on the same level the rest of the tournament."
next play 2008 French Open champion Ana Ivanovic, who beat Jelena
Jankovic 7-5, 6-3 in a clash featuring two Serbians who were both former
Ivanovic surged to a 5-2 lead in the first
set but lost the next three games. The 13th-ranked Ivanovic broke
Janovic to pull ahead 6-5 and the won the first set with an ace.
25-year old Ivanovic had an easier time in the second set, wrapping it
up on her second match point. Sixth-seeded Li Na advanced 6-4, 6-1 over
27th-seeded Sorana Cirstea of Romania to a fourth-round match with No.
18 Julia Goerges, who Zheng Jie 6-3, 1-6, 7-5 .
Li won the 2011 French Open just a few months after reaching at the Australian Open.
soaring to 41 Celsius (106F) on day four, the temperature dropped into
the mid-70s on Friday, and light rain briefly interrupted play on some
Novak Djokovic was aiming to extend his winning streak at
the Australian Open to 17 matches when he took on No. 31 Radek Stepanek
later Friday in the third round. Djokovic is aiming to be the first man
in the Open era to win three consecutive Australian titles.
Federer has won four Australian titles among his 17 majors, and is
ordinarily one of the most popular athletes in Australia.
only problem is this: His 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 win over Nikolay Davydenko on
Thursday night set Federer on course for a third-round match against
Bernard Tomic, the last remaining Australian in the men's or women's
The 20-year-old Tomic beat German qualifier Daniel Brands
6-7 (4), 7-5, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (8) in the last afternoon match on the center
court at Melbourne Park, keeping his cool on a long, searing day.
Federer praised Tomic's play for the crowd, and later said he won't mind for whom or how loud fans are cheering Saturday.
don't think it matters whether he's the last Australian or 10 more,"
Federer said. "There's always excitement about Aussies playing here. I
played him here last year. The crowd was great. I expect something
similar. If it's not, if it's totally for him, that's fine, too. I'm
always excited when the crowd gets into it."