Azarenka tops Wozniacki; Isner, Johnson, 7 total U.S. women advance
MELBOURNE -- Catch up on all of the action from the Australian Open on Thursday that you may have missed while you were sleeping, and be sure to check out Friday's schedule and best matches to watch.
Vintage Vika upsets Caroline Wozniacki
Welcome back, Victoria Azarenka. The two-time Australian Open champion showed her vintage form to upset No. 8 Wozniacki 6-4, 6-2 and earn her biggest win in over a year. Despite the scoreline, the match was a high-quality affair, with Azarenka striking 31 winners and 28 unforced errors to Wozniacki's 18 winners and 20 unforced errors. Azarenka, down to No. 44 after an injury-addled season, was able to impose her percussive baseline hitting to pin Wozniacki behind the baseline and on the run.
The loss is a brutal one for the Dane. She ended the 2014 season on such a positive note, showing improved aggression and power to beat Maria Sharapova twice in two months and to push Serena Williams to tough three-setter at the WTA Finals. But against her friend on Thursday evening, Wozniacki was far too passive.
So...at what point do we start looking ahead to an Azarenka-Serena quarterfinal?
Agnieszka Radwanska, Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic baked bagels on RLA
Radwanska joked that new coach Martina Navratilova told her to make it quick because of her TV commentary duties and she obliged. The Pole needed just 44 minutes to beat Johanna Larsson 6-0, 6-1. Serena followed her by coming back from 3-5 down, saving set points and winning the last 10 games of her match to beat Vera Zvonareva 7-5, 6-0. Djokovic made it 19 consecutive games won by the No. 1 seeds of the tournament after he raced to a 6-0, 3-0 lead on Andrey Kuznetsov to win 6-0, 6-1, 6-4 in 84 minutes. It was a short day on Rod Laver Arena.
Seven American women now into the third round
Venus Williams, Madison Keys, Varvara Lepchenko, Madison Brengle and CoCo Vandeweghe followed Serena into the third round, making it a grand total of six American women into the third round. Venus brushed aside Lauren Davis in straight sets and will play Camila Giorgi next. Keys knocked off No. 29 Casey Dellacqua 2-6, 6-1, 6-1 to earn a third round bout with No. 4 Petra Kvitova. No. 30 Lepchenko defeated Ajla Tomljanovic in straight sets and will play Radwanska. And Brengle, a surprise story in Melbourne, beat fellow American Irina Falconi in straight sets and will play another country-woman, Vandeweghe, in the next round after she put on a top-notch performance to knock out No. 20 Sam Stosur 6-4, 6-4 on Thursday night.
John Isner and Steve Johnson advance
19th-seeded Isner took care of Andreas Haider-Maurer in four sets and will play No. 42 Gilles Muller in the third round. Muller upset No. 13 seed Roberto Bautista Agut. If Isner can get the win he'll likely face Djokovic in the fourth round.
No. 38 Johnson scored the mild upset over No. 30 seed Santiago Giraldo 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 to advance to a third round of a major for the second time in his career. The win earns him a shot at No. 5 Kei Nishikori, who needed four sets to beat Ivan Dodig.
Jerzy Janowicz knocks out No. 17 Gael Monfils
There would be no fifth-set heroics for Monfils today. Janowicz rallied from two-sets to one down to win 6-4, 1-6, 6-7 (3), 6-3, 6-3. Janowicz has been up and down through his first two rounds but the win over Monfils showed his composure and could set up a deep run in Melbourne. He plays No. 12 Feliciano Lopez next and then could face No. 8 Milos Raonic in the fourth round.
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Quote of the day
Wozniacki: "A loss is a loss. All losses suck. It doesn't feel fun to be here right now. I would rather completely suck and play terrible and win than play wonderfully and lose. I'm a competitor. It hurts to lose."
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