Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Australian Open: British trio out.


  • Game, set and match - Ward out

    Ward 6-2 0-6 6-7 (6-8) 3-6 Verdasco
    Posted at
    "Ward has a point to take the game and force Verdasco to serve it out but the Spaniard reels off three points in a row to avoid that pressure, and obligingly pats his strings in applause to the crowd as he waits to shake hands. The crowd shuffle off quickly in search of drama elsewhere and Ward is left to pack away his natty clothing and racquets. Britain 0-3 Rest of the World."
  • Ward* 6-2 0-6 6-7 (6-8) 3-5 Verdasco
    Posted at
    Another break point for Ward, another service winner from Verdasco. The Spaniard is showing the class of a seeded player at the moment and the time is running out for British hopes on day two.
  • Being ill sucks - Watson

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    Heather Watson
    British number one Heather Watson probably just wants to flake out on the sofa after her first-round exit. The 22-year-old struggled physically and called for the doctor during her 6-3 6-0 defeat by Bulgaria's Tsvetana Pironkova.
    But first she has met the media in a post-match news conference. "Yesterday I woke up not feeling that great, just kind of bloated and weak and not that good, and I feel like that today," she says.
    "I just struggled on the court to have energy. Against any player it's tough enough when you're fit, let alone when you're not. It's a real shame and it sucks."
  • Ward* 6-2 0-6 6-7 (6-8) 2-4 Verdasco
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    Fernando Verdasco, the number 31 seed, is edging to joining Wawrinka in the next round. British number two James Ward holds comfortably enough and then has Verdasco under pressure at 30-30, but the Spaniard again serves his way out of trouble. It's becoming a habit.
  • Glad to be back - Wawrinka

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    Earlier (see 03:38), we told about defending champion Stan Wawrinka's safe passage into the slightly choppier waters of round two. Here's what he said afterwards:
    "It was great to be back on Rod Laver Arena again, it brings back so many memories from last year," says the Swiss, who won his first Slam at the same venue 12 months ago,
    "It was such an amazing two weeks last year so it was great to come back here and I am pleased with my game in general and I'm excited to start again.
  • Ward* 6-2 0-6 6-7 (6-8) 1-3 Verdasco
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    Verdasco throws in a double fault but he's already 40-0 up and the Spaniard finishes the job with a forehand into the corner, which opens up the court for another into the opposite side. Textbook Verdasco.
  • Ward 6-2 0-6 6-7 (6-8) 1-2 Verdasco*
    Posted at
    Is there any way back for Ward? Not if he continues to trade holds with the Spaniard.
  • Ward 6-2 0-6 6-7 (6-8) 0-1 Verdasco*
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    Fernando Verdasco
    Oh dear. It's understandable after losing a set in which he led by a break and had a set point, but a forlorn looking Ward thumps a forehand long to give Verdasco the break at the start of the fourth.
  • Piers Newbery

    Piers Newbery

    BBC Sport at Melbourne Park

    Ward loses third set

    Ward* 6-2 0-6 6-7 (6-8) Verdasco
    Posted at
    "As tense and as tight as a Grand Slam match can be, Ward gets another break to move 5-4 up. Two serves for the set… but he nets a poor forehand for 5-5. An epic, epic rally follows with Verdasco hammering away at the forehand and Ward scrabbling to stay alive until the court opens up and he smacks a backhand winner.
    "Set point for the Briton…. big serve from Verdasco. And then an ace! Set point for Verdasco now… and a big forehand proves too much for Ward to handle. That one got away from the British number two."
  • Ward loses third set

    Ward 6-2 0-6 6-7 (6-8) Verdasco
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    James Ward will be crossing his fingers that this match goes to five sets, because if doesn't then he's on the next plane back to Blighty....
    Ward makes a terrific start, breaking on the first point and then making it 3-0 with a couple of heavy serves. A half-chance goes begging, however, when he frames a backhand as Verdasco cuts the deficit to 3-2 and then levels with a big forehand for 3-3.
  • Ward* 6-2 0-6 6-6 Verdasco
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    Tension mounts on court seven as James Ward and opponent Fernando Verdasco prepare to start their third-set tie-break. The clock ticks past the 60-minute mark for this set - and we could be here for a long while yet if this goes all the way...
  • Ward* 6-2 0-6 6-6 Verdasco
    Posted at
    James Ward
    The pressure is once again on James Ward. The British number two serves to force the tie-break but he comes through impressively with a hold to 15, firing a forehand down the line on game point. Fair to say this tie-break will be pretty crucial....
  • Piers Newbery

    Piers Newbery

    BBC Sport at Melbourne Park
    Ward* 6-2 0-6 4-4 Verdasco
    Posted at
    "Yikes. Ward drags an agricultural forehand into the tramlines to fall 0-30 behind and Verdasco sweeps into the net to angle away a backhand volley for 15-40. Ward fires long on the second break point and we're all square."
  • Best of the rest

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    Djokovic rips the plastic wrapping off his new racquet with the excitement of a kid about to find out they've been given a new games console for Christmas.
    The Serb knocks up with his first-round opponent, who is Slovenian qualifier Aljaz Bedene. His Aussie Open record? Played two, lost two. I don't fancy his chances of ending that unwanted 100% record against the four-time champ.
  • Best of the rest

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    Wawrinka
    Here's one of the least surprising pieces of Australian Open news tonight. World number four Stan Wawrinka begins his men's singles title defence with a comprehensive 6-1 6-4 6-2 win over Turkey's Marsel Ilhan in the Rod Laver Arena.
    There's no way the Swiss wants to shift the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup off his mantelpiece. Next up on the show court? A chap called Novak Djokovic.
  • Ward* 6-2 0-6 4-3 Verdasco
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    Ward arrows a serve down the 'T' to maintain his two-game advantage and then sets about attacking the Verdasco serve. A swinging backhand winner takes the Briton to 0-30, but Verdasco hits back with a thumping forehand down the line on his way to the game.
  • Edmund pleased with progress

    Edmund 4-6 4-6 3-6 Johnson
    Posted at
    Edmund
    Great Britain's Kyle Edmund has just faced the press following his straight-sets defeat by world number 38 Steve Johnson.
    "I really struggled to get on his serve today, especially towards the end of the second and the third sets," said the 20-year-old Yorkshireman.
    "There wasn't a lot of rhythm due to the fact that he was serving really well. It's just something I have to take away and work on and use as a stepping stone to get better.
    "To qualify, win three matches and play my first round is a good experience. Looking back on it, it's still been a good week."
  • Ward* 6-2 0-6 3-2 Verdasco
    Posted at
    Spain's Verdasco mops his relieved brow as he wriggles out of another tight spot in the fifth. Ward pins him back, probing for a chink in his armour, with the possibility of a second break looming large over the Spaniard. However, he survives and keeps Ward within one.
  • Ward 6-2 0-6 3-1 Verdasco*
    Posted at
    Verdasco's serve cannot be broken in the third game, then he he has an opportunity to break back. But the Spaniard blows his chance, as Ward scampers back to maintain his two-game lead.
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