Australian Open Day Ten – Venus is shocked and Novak is sick but Serena and FedEx fight-back to win

Match of the Day: Jo Wilfred Tsonga bt Novak Djokovic 7-6, 6-7, 1-6, 6-3, 6-1
Jo Wilfred was again involved in an encounter filled with drama and high quality play. See-sawing momentum shifts with every game, it should have been Djokovic’s match having been up a break in the first set only to then miss out in the breaker. The second set was much the same only this time the Serb manage to close it out. A divine third set should have been enough – Tsonga looked all at sea with no answers and seemingly no gameplan of his own. Then, at the start of the fourth, Djokovic fell ill and was reportedly sick in the locker room – he never fully recovered and despite a brief reprieve in the final set it was always the Frenchmans’s match. Will Tsonga have enough to challenge Federer in the semi’s well, it’s doubtful but anything and everything has happened in this exceptional major so far. Djokovic’s fitness must again be brought into question however.

Federer himself was in serious trouble against the unbeaten Davydenko in the earlier match on Rod Laver Arena. An error-strewn and indifferent Swiss quickly dropped down 2-6, 1-3, 15-40 and it all looked to be a challenge too far after the cakewalk against Hewitt. But, much like at Roland Garros against Del Potro it was one superb winner which changed the match and gave the worlds number one the belief to win. Davydenko was hapless to resist the charge, dropping the next 13 games in a row before a re-focus ensured a tightish finish to the inevitable outcome, losing 6-2, 3-6, 0-6, 5-7. Lets hope that the likeable Russian can maintain his early form throughout the year and continue to be a threat at the summit.

The expected ‘all Williams semi final’ failed to materialise today as Venus Williams lost out to surprise package Li Na in an equally inconsistent match with neither player finding their rhythm at the same time. Like Federer, the Chinese looked down and out at 2-6, 4-5 but as, in her fourth round match, Venus’ serve deserted her at crucial times. It was break-city in the decider with no less than nine games going against the serve – the last two unbelievably to love. Sister Serena proved why she is the world’s best player with a stirring comeback to silence Victoria Azarenka. Again, it was seemingly curtains for the eventual winner, the American was 4-6, 0-4 down and just three points from defeat before wrestling the match into her hands and enforcing the devastating, powerful and at times scintillating shotmaking that makers her such a hard nut to crack for most.

It’s now two Chinese women in the final four of a slam for the first time but against arguably the best player’s of the last decade, it’ll be tough for either to make the final.

Seeds to have fallen today

Novak Djokovic
Nikolay Davydenko
Venus Williams
Victoria Azarenka

Pic from BBC Sport

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