SA flag still flying high in Australian Open

2015-01-22 07:31

Melbourne – South Africans are still hanging in at the Australian Open, which is currently under way in Melbourne.

Today, South Africa’s Chanelle Scheepers and her doubles partner, Zarina Diyas from Kazakhstan, beat Croatia’s Darija Jurak and the USA’s Megan Moulton-Levy 4-6 6-4 7-6 (5) to advance to the second round of the women’s doubles event.

And Raven Klaasen advanced to the second round of the men’s doubles with his Indian partner Leander Paes.

Kevin Anderson meets Frenchman Richard Gasquet tomorrow in Round 3 of the men’s singles event.

Meanwhile, the Williams sisters have advanced to the third round at the Australian Open, with top-ranked Serena fending off set points before going on a 10-game roll to beat Vera Zvonareva 7-5, 6-0 and Venus beating fellow American Lauren Davis in straight sets.

Serena Williams, seeking a sixth Australian and 19th Grand Slam title, saved three set points in the ninth game before holding to swing the momentum of the match.

She said Zvonareva, a two-time Grand Slam finalist who played only five tournaments in 2014, started out aggressive “and I was a little too passive.”

That’s when she told herself: “‘You know Serena, you’ve done so well here, you have nothing to lose’ – and I started playing a little better.”

After breaking Williams’ serve twice in the first set, Zvonareva only won eight points in the second set and didn’t get close to another break-point chance.

Venus Williams, who had a 6-2, 6-3 win over Davis, hasn’t been beyond the third round at a major since reaching the fourth round at Wimbledon on 2011.

Sixth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska needed only 44 minutes to race through her 6-0, 6-1 win over Johanna Larsson, continuing her run of reaching the third round or better at every Australian Open since 2010.

No. 24 Garbiñe Muguruza beat veteran Daniela Hantuchová 6-1, 1-6, 6-0.

On the men’s side, US Open finalist Kei Nishikori beat Ivan Dodig 4-6, 7-5, 6-2, 7-6 (0), getting a crucial service break in the 10th game of the fourth set when Dodig was serving for the set and then dominating in the tiebreaker.

No. 12 Feliciano López was leading 4-6, 4-6, 7-6 (3), 4-0 when Adrian Mannarino retired from their second-round match and No. 19 John Isner beat Andreas Haider-Maurer 6-4, 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-4.

Steve Johnson ousted No. 30 Santiago Giraldo 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.

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