Although the heat persisted on Day 5 at the Australian Open, it wasn't enough to interrupt play as several top contenders in both draws were in action.
The vast majority came through with impressive victories, and those who went on later benefited from more manageable temperatures in Melbourne, according to ESPN.
While you were sleeping the temps at #ausopen went from a scorching 108.5 degrees to a brisk 74. You read that right, over a 30 degree drop.— ESPNTennis (@ESPNTennis) January 17, 2014
Now that the weather appears to be in check to some extent, all of the focus can be placed on the matches themselves. There were several exciting, well-played contests, and the favorites in each draw continued to prove why they are the players to beat Down Under.
There were a couple of notable upsets, but Day 5 at the Australian Open was mostly chalk. Here is a look at all of the men's and women's singles results as well as the biggest storylines that shaped the day.
|David Ferrer (3) def. Jeremy Chardy (29)||6-2, 7-6(5), 6-2|
|Novak Djokovic (2) def. Denis Istomin||6-3, 6-3, 7-5|
|Tomas Berdych (7) def. Damir Dzumhur||6-4, 6-2, 6-2|
|Tommy Robredo (17) def. Richard Gasquet (9)||2-6, 7-5, 6-4, 7-6(6)|
|Kevin Anderson (19) def. Edouard Roger-Vasselin||3-6, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(5), 7-5|
|Fabio Fognini (15) def. Sam Querrey||7-5, 6-4, 6-4|
|Florian Mayer def. Jerzy Janowicz (20)||7-5, 6-2, 6-2|
|Serena Williams (1) def. Daniel Hantuchova (31)||6-3, 6-3|
|Casey Dellacqua def. Zheng Jie||6-2, 6-4|
|Ana Ivanovic (14) def. Sam Stosur (17)||6-7(8), 6-4, 6-2|
|Angelique Kerber (9) def. Alison Riske||6-3, 6-4|
|Li Na (4) def. Lucie Safarova (26)||1-6, 7-6(2), 6-3|
|Flavia Pennetta (28) def. Mona Barthel||6-1, 7-5|
|Ekaterina Makarova (22) def. Monica Niculescu||6-4, 6-4|
|Eugenie Bouchard (30) def. Lauren Davis||6-2, 6-2|
Serena Williams Sets Aussie Open Wins Record
With 17 Grand Slam titles to her credit, Serena Williams' list of accolades is seemingly never-ending. Despite that, Williams added another impressive record to her resume on Day 5 with a fairly routine 6-3, 6-3 dispatching of No. 31 Daniela Hantuchova in the third round.
The victory was Serena's 61st all time at the Aussie Open, which is a new career record on the women's side, per SportsCenter.
Serena Williams beats Daniela Hantuchova in straight sets in 3rd Rd. Her 61 match wins are now most all-time at #AusOpen (passing M. Court).— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 17, 2014
In addition to that, the dominant No. 1 seed has now won 25 straight matches, and she hasn't shown any signs of slowing down.
Williams certainly has a great chance to win her sixth career Australian Open title and first since 2010, but she won't be adding a fifth Aussie Open doubles title to the trophy case. Unfortunately, sister Venus Williams was forced to pull out of the tournament with a leg injury, per BBC Sport.
Serena and Venus Williams withdraw from Australian Open doubles because of an injury to Venus's left leg: http://t.co/wwmQlFiDpQ— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) January 17, 2014
Although Hantuchova had high hopes entering the match, she acknowledged that Serena was simply too hot to handle in the big moments.
"I always go into matches thinking it'll be my day.She played very well on the important points, it made a difference" #Hantuchova on Serena— Australian Open (@AustralianOpen) January 17, 2014
Based on the way that Williams has been playing over the past couple of years, it isn't outside the realm of possibility that she could challenge Margaret Court's record of 24 Grand Slam titles. Serena is 32 years of age, and she would need to play at a high level for a few more years, but nobody can touch her right now.
She is defying the odds by playing the best tennis of her career, and it doesn't seem as though she can be stopped in Melbourne.
Novak Djokovic Rolls into Round of 16
After Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Roger Federer advanced on Day 4, No. 2 seed Novak Djokovic faced pressure to do the same on Day 5. Although he received some push back from Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin, Djoker was able to make it into the Aussie Open Round of 16 yet again with a straight-sets win.
As the three-time defending Australian Open champion, Djoker is expected to win whenever he steps on the court. He held up his end of the bargain on Day 5 and extended his impressive winning streak both in Melbourne and overall.
Nobody is better at holding a lead than Djokovic, so it was clear that he had a major advantage once he took the first set from Istomin.
Djokovic takes 1st set 63 off Istomin. Djoker has the best closing record among active players when winning 1st set at 471-22. That’s 95.5%!— ESPNTennis (@ESPNTennis) January 17, 2014
Although the score line makes it seem as if Djokovic ran Istomin ragged, that wasn't the case. Istomin was competitive throughout the match, and he even held serve at love, as seen in this video:
Denis Istomin is playing out of his mind right now. He just gave us "The Perfect Game". Check it out for yourselves - http://t.co/TueooYEFmB— ESPNTennis (@ESPNTennis) January 17, 2014
How will Djokovic fare in the 2014 Australian Open?
That is no easy task, and Istomin's celebration illustrated that. Despite Istomin's inspired effort, Djokovic was simply too good and wouldn't be denied.
When the men's bracket was initially released, the first reaction from most tennis fans was that Djokovic received a charmed draw. All of his "Big Four" competition is in the other half of the draw as are the likes of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Juan Martin del Potro, although the latter was eliminated.
Djokovic's toughest speed bumps appear to be Tomas Berdych and David Ferrer. Neither are pushovers by any means, but Djokovic would be an obvious favorite in a match against either of them.
All the Serbian star can do is play who is on the schedule, and he has taken care of business thus far.
Pair of Seeded Men Upset
Although most of the Day 5 matches played out as expected, there were two notable upsets in the men's draw. Perhaps the biggest was No. 20 Jerzy Janowicz falling to unseeded German Florian Mayer in straight sets.
The powerful Pole was seemingly in distress throughout the match, and he was never able to get anything going.
After the loss, a disappointed Janowicz admitted that he wasn't prepared.
That lack of preparation wasn't entirely Janowicz's fault, though, as he was dealing with a broken bone in his foot, per Sports Illustrated.
Janowicz blames lack of pre-tourney preparation for loss. Says he has a broken bone in his foot and doctors advised him not to play AO.— Beyond The Baseline (@SI_BTBaseline) January 17, 2014
Although the loss will technically go down as an upset since a seeded player lost to an unseeded one, Ben Rothenberg of The New York Times pointed out that Janowicz was actually the underdog in betting terms.
No20 Jerzy Janowicz, who seemed like Dead Seed Walking this entire #AusOpen, out 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 to F.Mayer. Mayer was favored by oddsmakers.— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) January 17, 2014
Nevertheless, it was a disappointing loss for Janowicz, who experienced a breakout year in 2013 that included a trip to the Wimbledon semifinals.
The other upset was a minor one as No. 17 Tommy Robredo upended No. 9 Richard Gasquet in a four-set thriller.
Gasquet seems to be a constant inside the Top 10 of the rankings, but Robredo has been playing fantastic tennis as of late, including a win over Roger Federer at last year's U.S. Open.
Robredo vs. Gasquet was arguably the best match of Day 5, and it likely took a lot out of both men as it lasted in excess of three hours.
17th seed Tommy Robredo upsets 9th seed Richard Gasquet - pushing him for 3:22hrs 2-6 7-5 6-4 7-6 and now heads into last 16 #foxtennis— FOX SPORTS News (@FOXSportsNews) January 17, 2014
It will be interesting to see if Robredo can keep his impressive run going against No. 8 Stanislas Wawrinka in the Round of 16.
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