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Australian Open 2009
Melbourne Park, 19 January-1 February




LATEST ACTION (all times GMT)

606: DEBATE
To get involved use 606 or text us your views & comments on 81111. (Not all contributions can be used)

By Caroline Cheese

1324: Impressive from Murray. As he said himself, he played well when he had to. Not to pile any more pressure on him, but it reminded me a bit of an early-round performance by Sampras in his hey-day. Went through the gears when required without ever over-exerting himself. See you tomorrow for, among other things, Federer v Safin. Be still my beating heart.

1320: Murray will play his third-round match against Jurgen Melzer on Saturday. No word yet on exactly when that will be, but it will be live on BBC One or Two as well as streamed on this website and available on BBC Radio 5 Live...

1317: "How does it feel to be among the favourites?" asks Courier. "Well..." says Murray, waiting for the response of the crowd. "There's a few players that disagree with that I think. I've been playing well the last six or seven months and it's probably the best I've felt going onto a Grand Slam. I'm hoping with all the work I've done I can go deep."

1315: On-court interviewer Jim Courier wonders what Andy Murray got up to in Miami during the off-season, other than training. "Did you get to South Beach?" enquires the American former world number one. "I did Bikram yoga there. That's about as interesting as I get..." responds the canny Brit.

1313: "We've known each other since we were 13, 14 years old and we used to play each other a lot so I knew his game style a little bit but obviously he's changed a lot so I had to adapt during the match."
Andy Murray on Marcel Granollers

Murray 6-4 6-2 6-2 Granollers
Murray's got other things on his mind, rushing the first two points to give Granollers a 0-30 lead. But in another new feature of Murray's game, he refuses to panic, winning four straight points before whacking a ball into the crowd in celebration.

Murray 6-4 6-2 5-2 Granollers
Granollers extends the match by at least one more game. Jamie, on the text, accuses me of being negative about Murray. Unintentional, I assure you Jamie. I'm actually beyond impressed that Murray, while playing well within himself, is about to wrap up victory for the loss of eight games.

Murray 6-4 6-2 5-1 Granollers
Murray sets himself a little challenge by giving Granollers a 30-0 headstart in that game but he rises to it magnificently, his first serve firing. Next up for Murray - because he won't lose from here will he? - is Austrian Jurgen Melzer, the man who took Murray to five gruelling sets at the US Open in August.

Murray 6-4 6-2 4-1 Granollers
That's the way, Andy. A cute drop shot clips the outside of the line to bring up three break points. The Scot hammers the return to set up an easy put-away - but belts his forehand long. No problem. He takes the next point with a huge forehand - and I think he's enjoying himself now.

Murray 6-4 6-2 3-1 Granollers
Easy hold there and if Murray could just steal another break here, we could all have an early lunch... which I'm sure is what's on his mind.

Murray 6-4 6-2 2-1 Granollers
Hello...! The real Andy Murray emerges as he sprints right across the court before bending to whip an impossible forehand crosscourt. He follows that with a backhand pass which is almost as good and that's break point - but Granollers saves it with a brave forehand down the line. "Nooooo," shouts Murray. Another stunning forehand pass earns Murray a second break point but the return-on-the-stretch goes long. Another break point and Murray's backhand clips the net and loops wide, before a forehand goes into the net on the fourth. He finally cracks it on the fifth, a low sliced backhand forcing Granollers to net his forehand. "Flower of Scotland" rings out from a small but noisy band of Scottish fans in the crowd.

1245: "Hope Murray's just keeping the good stuff in the tank!"
Simon via text on 81111

Murray 6-4 6-2 1-1 Granollers
Granollers shakes his head in disbelief as his attempted smash lands... well, I don't actually know where it landed because it was out of camera shot. One more break and Murray has this done and dusted.

Murray 6-4 6-2 0-1 Granollers
Granollers gets the third set off to a good start, as Murray takes his foot off the gas. Meanwhile, Venus Williams has been speaking after her shock defeat to Carla Suarez Navarro earlier. "We haven't quite figured out exactly which areas went wrong. But I definitely have to credit her. She was super consistent and aggressive and just went for her shots."

Murray 6-4 6-2 Granollers
As Murray goes to serve at 40-15, an enormous bug lands on his neck. He coolly swats it away - but the critter brings bad luck. A Granollers winner followed by two shoddy errors give the Spaniard a break-back point. Some lung-busting defensive work followed by a lovely drop shot gets Murray back on level terms. He wastes a third and fourth set point with backhand errors but eventually serves it out.

Murray 6-4 5-2 Granollers
Granollers eases out into a 40-0 lead but the mistakes creep in and suddenly Murray has a break point. Granollers looks in the box marked 'gift' and brings out a double fault. Murray is almost winning this match by reputation alone - and that in itself is a measure of how far he has come.

Murray 6-4 4-2 Granollers
Judy Murray - wearing a brave, multicoloured top - looks on with satisfaction as Murray holds serve comfortably. This isn't quite the electric match Aussie Open organisers might have been hoping for when they scheduled it in the evening...

John Lloyd
1221: "Andy is not playing anywhere near as well as he can play, no question about it. But at a Grand Slam, you have to play seven matches and it's rare you play well in all seven of them. In fact, you don't want to be playing your best tennis this early. As long as you get through..."
John Lloyd speaking on BBC2

Murray 6-4 3-2 Granollers
Lots of chat from Murray now. A poor drop shot prompts a shout of "that's rubbish". He's not wrong. Granollers holds to 15.

Murray 6-4 3-1 Granollers
"Yup" says Murray as he acknowledges a winning return from Granollers. But 40-30 down, the Spaniard hammers a forehand long and Murray comes through.

1216: "Murray looks ridiculously casual. He could learn a tiny bit from Nadal. Nadal this year has bucked his rallying trend and shortens every point to conserve energy. Murray still toys too much with lesser opponents."
meeto_1 on 606
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Murray 6-4 2-1 Granollers
Murray smiles as HawkEye shows a ball he challenges was a good few centimetres inside the side-line. No matter. A belting return earns him another break point - but a rather odd-looking backhand slice lands in the trams. "What is that?" asks Murray. I don't know. Granollers escapes.

Murray 6-4 2-0 Granollers
I agree with Chris Bailey speaking on BBC2. There is nothing in Marcel Granollers' body language which suggests he believes he can win this match. Murray wraps up the game with an astute piece of serve-volleying.

Murray 6-4 1-0 Granollers
Time for a bit of the spectacular. Murray is pinned behind his baseline but still whips a lovely topspin lob over Granollers' head. He quickly earns three break points. The first two slip by but Granollers overcooks a forehand and Murray seizes control of the set.

1203: "Murray has a little bit more mobility and asks one more question per rally than Granollers can cope with. I think Murray has enough confidence and know-how to get through but it's still an interesting match."
Andrew Castle on BBC2

Murray 6-4 Granollers
Murray swings a forehand down the line to take the game to love. Workmanlike from the Scot. Nothing more.

1200: "Re 1152: The word factoid is now sometimes also used to mean a small piece of true but valueless information. FACT!(oid?)"
Anon via text on 81111

Murray 5-4 Granollers
"Andy..." says a disgruntled Murray as a wayward return allows Granollers to get back to 30-30. The Spaniard makes Murray serve out. Meanwhile, Ernests Gulbis battles back from two sets down to force a fifth set against Igor Andreev, breaks in the decider and then loses it 6-4. Heartbreak. That means this match on Rod Laver Arena is the only one still in play...

Murray 5-3 Granollers
Big support for Murray in the crowd and they're loving that love service game. So far the texts have largely involved puns on Granollers/granola. I might not be able to, but you're going to have do better than that I'm afraid. I also have a text from someone purporting to be Steve Wright of Radio 2 fame. It seems unlikely...

1152: "Re 1134: A factoid is an inaccurate statement masquerading as a fact. Also: Come on Murray."
Anon via text on 81111

Murray 4-3 Granollers
Brutal, brutal rally. The pair trade groundstroke after groundstroke, each looking to outmanoeuvre the other. Murray ends it with a forehand down the line and a brilliant lob earns him a break point. The Brit fumes when he wastes it with a return into the net, but another drop shot brings up a second opportunity. Granollers pounces on a shorter ball and whips a forehand crosscourt to get out of trouble, but not for long. Murray leaps to latch onto a Granollers volley and direct a clever backhand pass down the line to break at last.

Murray 3-3 Granollers
There's Murray's first drop shot of the day and it's a good one. Granollers scoops it up but Murray calmly puts away the volley. The Brit comes from 0-30 down to take that game, showing a bit more aggression as he does so.

Murray 2-3 Granollers
Hmm. Granollers has got a big forehand. This much I have learned. He's also got a rather odd serving motion but a big delivery helps him take charge of the point at 40-30 and he edges ahead. Murray looking a little too passive out there, just feeling his way into the match.

1134: "Any updates on Ernests "the swan" Gulbis? (Gulbis is swan in Latvian - a wee morning Baltic factoid for ya!)"
Anon via text on 81111
I love a Baltic factoid in the morning. He's now a break up in the fifth against Igor Andreev having come back from two sets down...

Murray 2-2 Granollers
Like his first service game, Murray eases into a 40-0 lead before Granollers goes for broke on a return to make it 40-15. This time, though, Murray doesn't close it out. Three straight forehand errors hand Granollers a break-back point. The Spaniard forces Murray to net a volley and is back on level terms. Well, well...

1128: "Murray may win but this guy can play and will give him a match. I predict more than three sets."
Bagshot on 606
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Murray 2-1 Granollers
Oh dear. A routine baseline rally ends with Granollers slapping a forehand into the net. A poor second serve allows Murray to fire a forehand return down the line and he's a break up already. Easy.

Murray 1-1 Granollers
Plenty of empty seats on Rod Laver Arena as fans seek refreshment after that marathon women's match. They miss a solid opening service game from Murray. A weak second serve at 40-0 - which Granollers dispatches with ease - is the only hiccup, and he's up and running.

Murray 0-1 Granollers
Good start from the Spaniard, holding to 15. No sign of nerves at all.

1118: Granollers to serve first. An angry texter demands to know why I haven't mentioned James Blake's 6-3 6-2 6-3 win over Sebastien De Chaunac. Consider it mentioned.

1115: The players are out now. I've never seen Marcel Granollers play but he's been in decent nick this season, reaching the Chennai semi-finals. He is the world number 50 and, unlike many of his compatriots, he's not a clay-court specialist. They've met once before, Murray winning their first-round match in Barcelona in 2006 - after three sets.

1113: "Let's hope that's all this morning's Spaniard-beats-seed episodes over with... or will Marcel be inspired?"
Rich, London, via text on 81111

1107: Andy Murray and Marcel Granollers due on Rod Laver Arena in a minute. The crowd are still murmuring about what they have just witnessed. Not a great performance from Venus, but nerves of steel from Carla Suarez Navarro and it's not often you say that in women's tennis. By the way, Anne Keothavong defeated Suarez Navarro a couple of weeks ago, which, by my reckoning, makes Keothavong better than five-times Wimbledon champion Venus Williams.

1104: Take a bow, Carla Suarez Navarro. Brilliant from the Spaniard, recovering from 5-2 down to beat sixth seed Venus Williams - whose poor run in Melbourne continues. The world number 46 shows absolutely no sign of nerves - until it comes to her on-court interview in which she can only convey how "very, very happy" she is.

1102: CARLA SUAREZ NAVARRO BEATS VENUS WILLIAMS!

1056: Unbelievable. Suarez Navarro earns two break points, and on the second, Venus goes wide with a forehand. The American - who hardly ever uses HawkEye - challenges in desperation but the call is confirmed and Suarez Navarro will serve for the match.
Latest: Venus 6-2 3-6 5-6 Suarez Navarro

1053: Venus belts a backhand return miles over the baseline off a first serve which bounced up invitingly on her first match point. She allows herself a sheepish smile - but she's not smiling now. Suarez Navarro draws level. Let's hope Andy Murray has his Nintendo DS (other hand-held games consoles are available) in the locker room. Murray received it as a gift from his new agent Simon Fuller and is now addicted to a brain training game.
Latest: Venus 6-2 3-6 5-5 Suarez Navarro

1051: "Re 1039: Everything you watch is history in the making..."
Ian in Poole, via text on 81111

1045: Some of the crowd are on their feet now. Venus's first serve wobbles - but Suarez Navarro hits some quite magnificent groundstrokes to keep Venus behind the baseline, finishing it with a stunning forehand down the line.
Latest: Venus 6-2 3-6 5-4 Suarez Navarro

1036: Carla Suarez Navarro is winning fans among the Rod Laver Arena crowd, forcing Venus to serve out. She'll have the new balls to do so.
Latest: Venus 6-2 3-6 5-3 Suarez Navarro

1039: "I'm attempting to do some coursework at school but the tennis is distracting me. I was hoping to catch some of the Murray match during this lesson but no such luck! Coursework it is..."
ZoŽ via text on 81111
Try telling your teacher it's been 73 years since a British man has won a Grand Slam singles title. We could be watching history in the making...

1036: A hold from Venus and she is now a game away from round three. Igor Andreev is now receiving treatment on his stomach muscle injury as he trails 4-1 in the fourth with a two sets to one lead over Ernests Gulbis. James Blake is two sets and 5-2 up against Sebastien de Chaunac.
Latest: Venus 6-2 3-6 5-2 Suarez Navarro

1033: Tell you what. CSN's forehand ain't bad either. She wraps her racquet round one to bring up game point and Venus nets a return as the Spaniard stays in touch.
Latest: Venus 6-2 3-6 4-2 Suarez Navarro

1025: Carla Suarez Navarro's backhand is a thing of rare beauty. Not a sentence I imagined I'd be writing today. Venus, who still hasn't learnt her lesson, sends her approach shot down that wing - and is left stretching for a difficult volley which lands in the net. She saves the break point though and comes through a testing game to make it 4-1.
Latest: Venus 6-2 3-6 4-1 Suarez Navarro

1021: Igor Andreev - the 18th seed - was two sets up against dangerous Latvian Ernests Gulbis, but the Russian is now in a bit of bother. Gulbis has taken the third set and Andreev now apparently has a stomach muscle injury. Not good news when you're relying on a rocket of a forehand. The winner of that match looks set to face James Blake, who leads Sebastien de Chaunac 6-3 6-2 2-1 over on Margaret Court Arena.

1019: "Re 1006: Venus is certainly not at her best, but Suarez Navarro is playing absolutely superb. I came into this match hoping it'd be over quickly so I could watch some of Andy Murray before I go out, but I'm loving every minute, this is enthralling. Come on Suarez!"
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Chris Bailey
1014: "You begin to wonder if Venus Williams talked to anyone before the match and asked what Suarez Navarro's strengths and weaknesses are, how best to approach it tactically. You'd have thought she'd have worked it out by now anyway."
Chris Bailey on 5 Live sports extra

1011: It is the early round of a Grand Slam tournament so, unlike eirebilly (see below), I can't say I'm that surprised that Venus is playing so poorly. Still, flashes of brilliance get her to deuce on Suarez Navarro's serve and the Spaniard double-faults to surrender a break point. CSN whips away a forehand winner to save it though. Tremendous stuff from the Canary Islands resident. It's 1-1.

1006: "Will the real Venus Williams please stand up and wrap this match up? I can't believe that she is playing so poorly."
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0959: That means if you're eagerly awaiting Andy Murray's second-round match, you've probably got at least half an hour. Stick the kettle on would you?

0954: Gripping stuff. Carla Suarez Navarro looks cool as you like as she earns two set points and she looks like she's taken it when Venus wildly mis-hits a backhand on the second. The crowd think it's going long but it lands bang on the line and a forehand pass gets us back to deuce. But Suarez Navarro keeps her cool and wins the next two points. A third set it is.

0951: As you were Andy. Double fault from the big V hands Suarez Navarro a break point opportunity and the Spaniard fires a lovely one-handed backhand down the line. She will now serve to take this into a decider...

0946: And just as Tsonga is celebrating, Venus Williams breaks back and now trails 4-3 in the second set. Time for Andy Murray to start warming up.

0945: Backhand into the net by Ivan Ljubicic and Jo Wilfried-Tsonga completes a hard-fought 6-7 7-6 7-6 6-2 win. The Frenchman dances around the Hisense Arena, which might not be the best idea with his creaking back. Tsonga faces Israeli Dudi Sela in round three.

0944: Jo-Willy now has the double break and is serving for the match against Ivan Ljubicic...

0941: Disappointed sighs around Rod Laver Arena as a ball flies into the crowd - and is dropped. The Aussie fans never like to see a missed chance. "It was a woman though," says Chris Bailey on BBC 5 Live sports extra. Hmmmm...

0935: "In a way I wish all the Muzza's games were in the middle of night. At least I could watch them on TV, and then catch up with sleep at desk in office. Murray to win in four!"
H from Bristol, via text on 81111

0931: Turning out to be a decent tussle on Rod Laver Arena now. Beads of sweat are running down Venus's face as she attempts to regain control of the match - but a lovely crosscourt backhand gives Carla Suarez Navarro an improbable 3-0 lead in the second. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga breaks to love to take a 3-2 lead in the fourth against Ivan Ljubicic. James Blake a set up against Sebastien de Chaunac, Igor Andreev two sets up against Ernests Gulbis.

0926: Carla Suarez Navarro is a bit of a 70s throwback with her short curly hair and classic white pleated skirt. Very Virginia Wade. Anyway, she's only gone and broken serve! Venus double-faults and the Spaniard has a 2-0 lead in the second, the American winning the first set 6-2.

0921: "Murray should beat Granollers convincingly. He will get a good test from Melzer. Then should beat Verdasco convincingly and then the fun starts against Tsonga/Nadal/Djoko/Fed."
Ned Olympic Doubles... on 606
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0915: He's done it! Tsonga, the adrenalin pumping, pounds a forehand onto the baseline and Ljubicic can't respond. The Frenchman sprints to his chair, fist pumping, and he now has a two sets to one lead. Venus now 5-2 up against Carla Suarez Navarro.

0911: Jo-Willy looks in all sorts of bother as Ljubicic earns three set points - but the Frenchman, who has been feeling his troublesome back, hits a drop-shot followed by a drop-shot/lob/smash combo before Ljubucic hits long. It's 6-6. Incredible drama.

0910: "Tsonga and Ljubicic is a nice warm up to the Murray match. Far more entertaining than watching Williams crush Navarro anyway."
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0906: Ivan Ljubicic rifles a phenomenal forehand down the line to open the third-set tiebreak against last year's finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Set all at the moment in a Hisense Arena thriller. Hisense Arena... Will that ever sound normal? Igor Andreev is a set and a break to the good against Ernests Gulbis. James Blake a break up against Sebastien De Chaunac.

0900: I imagine plenty of you (Brits anyway) will now be settling down at your desks and reaching for the computer on switch, so just as well 606 is up and running. Get involved, make your predictions, highlight my errors.
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0855: Suarez Navarro is already hearing the dreaded sympathetic cheers on Rod Laver Arena as she wins her first game to make it 2-1. Venus looks comfortable though.

0849: The night session is open for business. Venus Williams takes up her usual position about a foot inside the baseline to receive Carla Suarez Navarro's serve. It works. She breaks.

0842: If you're already looking ahead to tomorrow, news reaches me that the mouthwatering clash between former champions Marat Safin and Roger Federer will be live on the BBC tomorrow via the Red Button. It follows another potential cracker between Caroline Wozniacki and Jelena Dokic, which begins at 0830 GMT. Commentary also on 5 Live sports extra and, of course, right here on the website.

0835: No breaks in the third set between Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Ivan Ljubicic on Hisense Arena. The winner of that match will face Dudi Sela, who earlier became the first Israeli man since 1994 to make the third round of a Grand Slam. Nice one, Dudi. Over on Court 2 Igor Andreev is serving for the first set against Ernests Gulbis.

0830: Morning all. Rod Laver Arena is beginning to fill up ahead of the night session. Venus Williams and Carla Suarez Navarro will provide us with the appetiser to the hotly-anticipated Murray v Granollers clash.

By Chris Bevan

0815: Tsonga sees a set-point come and go at 6-5 on the Ljubicic serve but saves one himself with a crunching smash at 6-7 and goes on to take the set and level the match.

Plenty of mileage left in this clash but this seems a very good time to bid you farewell. Thanks for keeping me company all night and I leave you in the capable hands of Caroline Cheese to steer you through the rest of the day's action. See you again later on tonight.

0805: Indeed we are now into a tie-break and, again, Ljubicic goes a break up early on. He moves further clear after putting away a volley to win a remarkable rally but Tsonga responds well and levels at 3-3.

0758: More drama at the Hisense Arena, where Ljubicic was at 0-40 and faced three break points at 4-4 in the second set but reeled off five straight points to hold. He is now 6-5 up and Tsonga will serve to try to take us to another tie-break.

0753: Er, nothing is certain in tennis these days, apart from the fact that whenever Serena Williams is in town, a journalist will ask her something about fashion. Usually, it is about what she is wearing but, this time, the women's second seed was asked about the outfit that Michelle Obama wore to her husband's Presidential inauguration.

"I thought the green outfit was fabulous," Serena said. "I really liked the necklace that went with it."

0745: "The Muzz-Dogg vs The Granola Bar is going on the desk screen at work this morning. Think we're meant to have market news on it but the consensus is it would be nice to see something positive rather than the endless stream of garbage we've had of late."
Graham via text on 81111

Andy Murray
Hmmm. I'm not 100% sure, but I think Graham is referring to Andy Murray's match with Marcel Granollers, which takes place later this morning. I'll throw in another picture of Andy anyway, just to be on the safe side...


Andy Murray
0741: Wow. Tsonga has just played a drop-shot, on the run, that would have made Andy Murray blush. It was as inch-perfect as it was audacious and gave Ljubicic no chance. Strangely, it is the French star's power game that is letting him down at the moment, however, and he puts his next two forehands in the net and wildly wide to let the Croatian go 4-3 up in the second set, which has gone with serve so far.

0737: World number 41 Shuai Peng had to work hard to win the first set against Bulgarian teenager Sesil Karatantcheva but she has made short work of the second set, winning 6-4 6-0 to set up a clash with Serena Williams in round three.

0733: Elena Baltacha has been on 5 Live talking about her narrow defeat by Amelie Mauresmo. "I see it as a learning curve," said the London-based Scot. "It gives me big confidence I can play at that level and move forwards from that. I am just outside the top 100 and I'm confident I can break into the top 100 soon and keep moving forward."

0729: Shuai Peng is rather running away with the second set against Karatantcheva and is serving with a 4-0 lead. Things are a bit tighter between Ljubicic and Tsonga, with the Frenchman levelling the second set at 2-2 with a phenomenal back-to-front forehand down the line after a backhand by the Croatian clips the net-cord. Blink and you would have missed that.


The sun is out again in Melbourne
0721: A weather update ahead of Andy Murray's clash with Marcel Granollers for you from 5 Live's Jonathan Overend in Melbourne.

"It is a little bit cooler than yesterday, with plenty of wind which has been a factor on the outside courts but it is getting stiller as the day wears on. It won't be too hot for Andy when he comes on court later though."
BBC Radio 5 Live's Jonathan Overend

0717: Ivan Ljubicic has two serves for the first set at 5-4 in the tie-break and he produces two huge deliveries to wrap it up without further ado, before celebrating with a clenched fist. A cracking start for the 29-year-old.

0715: Only one other singles match going on at Melbourne Park at the moment and it is between China's Shuai Peng and Bulgaria's Sesil Karatantcheva, who are playing for the right to face second seed Serena Williams. Peng, the world number 41, has the upper hand and has just taken the first set 6-4 against her opponent, ranked 135th.

0709: We're into a first set tie-break between Ljubicic and Tsonga and the Croatian has the early break. Tsonga's power is frightening at times, but so are the number of unforced errors that he makes.

0705: Further to 0700, I will add that, should Andy Murray see off Granollers, he will face Austria's Jurgen Melzer in round three. If Venus wins, she will meet (deep breath) Spain's Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, who beat Akgul Amanmuradova of Uzbekistan 6-2 6-4.

0702: Ljubicic serves for the first set at 5-4 but Tsonga decides now would be a good time to start playing and a couple of ferocious groundstrokes, coupled with some nervous serving by the Croatian, mean we are level at 5-5. All to play for then.

It's good news for a Briton in Melbourne
0700: I know I've mentioned it a couple of times already but for all you early risers, or late joiners, here are the details of Andy Murray's second round match with Spain's Marcel Granollers which will start at around 0945 GMT.

Andy Murray
That match will be live on BBC2, this website (for UK users) and 5 Live Sports Extra, as will the one before it on the Rod Laver Arena between sixth seed Venus Williams and Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain. The Williams-Navarro clash starts at 0830 GMT.

0652: Ivan Ljubicic may only be ranked 55th in the world at the moment but he is a former top three player and, well, he is playing like one at the moment. He has had the best of a lively opening to his match with Tsonga and is still a break up in the first set, leading 5-3 after two love service games in a row.

0648: We've had a lot of talk about Andy Murray's hopes of winning the Australian Open but what about those of the world number one Rafael Nadal?

Speaking after his one-sided win over Roko Karanusic, the Spanish star said: "I've won in Toronto, at the Olympics, Montreal, Madrid and Indian Wells on this kind of surface. When you win these tournaments playing against the best players of the world, why can't you win a Grand Slam on hard courts?"

Nadal's best showing here came when he reached the semi-final last year, but he's come on a bit since then, hasn't he?

0642: My favourite quote of the day? Serena Williams, talking about a marathon game during her win over Gisela Dulko, when the Argentine served for the set but saw six set points come and go as well as 12 deuces.

Serena's take on said game: "She had a couple of opportunities but I always felt I wasn't going to lose."

0636: French fifth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is out on the Hisense Arena against Ivan Ljubicic but he has not made a great start. In fact, he has just been broken by the Croatian, who leads 2-1 in the first set.

The sun is out again in Melbourne
0632: It's been a good day for the Bondarenko sisters too - Kateryna and her elder sister Alyona both won to continue their progress. The Ukrainian pair, who teamed up to win the women's doubles last year, are into round three after Kateryna saw off Spain's Lourdes Dominguez Lino 7-5 7-5 and, after a bit more of a struggle, Alyona beat France's Severine Bremond 7-6 (7-1) 1-6 6-2.

0627: Karlovic, seeded 25th, becomes the first men's seed to lose tonight. Mario Ancic, or 'Baby Goran' as he is known in his homeland goes forward to meet France's Gilles Simon in round three.

0623: And there it is. Ivo Karlovic looks absolutely devastated as Mario Ancic storms to the net to reach a poor drop-shot attempt and smash down a winner to seal a 5-7 7-5 4-6 6-4 6-3 victory. Phew!

0620: Mario Ancic breaks to edge 5-3 ahead in the fifth set of his marathon match with Croatian compatriot Ivo Karlovic. Ancic has always been behind until now but is just one game away from victory.

0617: It's not been a great night for Australian players but they do have one woman through into round three to join Jelena Dokic.

Samantha Stosur has wrapped up a 6-3 6-4 win over Sabine Lisicki after the German's attempt at a lob lands long and Stosur will play Olympic gold medalist Elena Dementieva next. The crowd at the Rod Laver Arena seem quite happy with that outcome, oddly enough.

0612: Stefan Koubeck puts a backhand into the net and that is Gael Monfils through with a 6-4 6-4 2-6 6-2 win. He was missing last year because of a wrist injury but the Frenchman looks very much at home in Melbourne, not least because he was wearing a outfit that was the same shade of blue as the courts at the Australian Open.

0607: France's Gael Monfils dropped the third set against Stefan Koubek and was looking a bit tired on Hisense Arena - he has been out been on court for three hours but he is now 5-2 up in the fourth set and one game away from reaching round three, which would equal his best showing at Melbourne in 2007.

0558: Stepanek may indeed have been enjoying a 'keen battle' with Berrer a few minutes ago but now he is very much in the third round after sealing a 6-3 6-3 6-7 (3-7) 7-5 win. He plays Verdasco next.

0550: The match between Ivo Karlovic and Mario Ancic on Court Two has gone to a fifth set, while 22nd seed Radek Stepanek is also enjoying a keen battle with Germany's Michael Berrer on Court 13 - Stepanek is 2-1 up in sets and 6-5 up in the fourth.

0538: Ah, here's something to wake you from your slumbers. The schedule for Friday's matches on the showcourts at Melbourne Park has just been released. Home hope Jelena Dokic, who plays Caroline Wozniacki, and men's second seed Roger Federer, who takes on Marat Safin, will play in the evening matches on the Rod Laver Arena.

0533: Svetlana Kuznetsova, who won the 2004 US Open but has never been beyond the last eight here in seven previous attempts, is into round three. She has made short work of Germany's Tatjana Malek to progress with a 6-2 6-2 win.

Someone is having a tantrum in Melbourne
0525: While Monfils is in action, it's probably a good time to mention that his coach Roger Rasheed has caused a bit of a storm in Melbourne with his comments about the weight of some women players.

"I'm baffled that girls in sport, in tennis, can actually carry excess baggage," said Rasheed. "That means you're slower, your mind doesn't work as well, you can't recover, you can't recover off shots."

Monfils is looking exceptionally lean and fit on court against Austria's Stefan Koubek at the moment so at least Rasheed cannot be accused of not practicing what he preaches, although perhaps he could have put it a little more delicately?

0518: Croatia is guaranteed a winner from the clash on Court Two between Ivo Karlovic and Mario Ancic and, by the looks of things, it will be Karlovic - all 6ft 10in of him - that will be progressing to round three. He's now two sets to one up, although the fourth set has gone with serve so far.

0510: Good morning to those of you who have just joined us. And where, exactly, have you been for the past five hours?

I suppose I'd better give you a quick update from around the courts at Melbourne Park. Men's 12th seed Gael Monfils has just gone two sets up against the world number 183, Stefan Koubek of Austria. And women's eighth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova is 6-2 4-1 ahead against Germany's Tatjana Malek. Not long to go in that one methinks, although I did say the same about Gisela Dulko earlier.

0458: "The Spanish Destroyer prevails once again. He won't get a challenge until the semis, where he will face the in-form Murray, should he progress. That will be a test but I see Nadal edging that match as he seems to deliver in the Slams. We can all live in hope."
HM in London, revising,via text on 81111

True, Nadal was superb tonight but, as Jonathan Overend says below, Tommy Haas will make things a lot more difficult for him in the next round. And, anyway, I'm not going to think about the semi-finals until the quarter-finals are done and dusted!

0453: All of the men's seeds have done pretty well so far today (ie, they've all won!) and Spanish 14th seed Fernando Verdasco is no exception. He's just polished off Arnaud Clement with the loss of only four games. As for that all-Croatian match-up on Court Seven, Mario Ancic took the second set against Ivo Karlovic to level the match at a set-apiece and the third set is going with serve so far.

It's good news for a Briton in Melbourne
0448: As I may or may not have mentioned several times already tonight, Andy Murray is in action in, oh, about five hours or so. If you are awake now, you may as well stay that way now for the rest of the morning and watch his second round match against Spain's Marcel Granollers. It's only live on BBC2, this website (for UK viewers) and on 5 Live Sports Extra you know.

Andy Murray
So what are Andy's chances? Here's BBC Radio 5 Live's Jonathan Overend to tell us more...

He's got a very good chance of winning. At the level he is at, he should be beating the world number 51 and in many ways Marcel is a perfect opponent at this time - he is a talented guy and Andy will hope to get bit of a workout to get him used to conditions out on Centre Court.
BBC Radio 5 Live's Jonathan Overend

0443: Well, Rafa has rocked through that one in no time at all - beating Roko Karanusic of Croatia 6-2 6-3 6-2 - and the world number one will face Tommy Haas next.

"It's been as simple as you like for Nadal who does have the ability to blow opponents like this away. It might be a different story for him against Haas in the next round though."
BBC Radio 5 Live's Jonathan Overend

0436: As you may have seen earlier (UK users can watch the replay on this website now), Elena Baltacha gave former World number one Amelie Mauresmo a right old scare in their second-round match before being beaten in three sets.

"I'm expecting to play better and better as the tournament will go on," Mauresmo said afterwards. "I'm definitely expecting a tougher match and a tougher opponent next round. So I will have to step up and play some better tennis."

0429: Not a good night for Australian tennis so far, with the last Australian in the men's draw, Chris Guccione, bowing out after a good start against sixth seed Gilles Simon. Now Jessica Moore is out too, losing 6-4 6-1 to Italian 12th seed Flavia Pennetta.

"It seems like all the women seeds have had scares tonight - Serena just about made it, now Pennetta has just edged Moore. The fans at that match have been funny, with Barack Obama masks, distinctive green and yellow outfits and their "Aussie Aussie Aussie, oi oi oi" chants!"
Anon, revising,via text on 81111

0420: Here's Serena Williams reflecting on her battle with Gisela Dulko that ended with the nine-time Grand Slam champion scraping into the third round 6-3 7-5 against the world number 45. Turns out she was in agony all along, which explains a lot.

"It was a very tough second set, she started playing unbelievable, hitting winners left and right," Williams said. "She had a couple of opportunities but I always felt I wasn't going to lose. I feel I could play a lot better."

0413: In the time it took me to cut that picture, Nadal is now two sets up and, by the looks of things, very near to a place in round three - where he will play Germany's Tommy Haas, who has just thumped Italy's Flavio Cipolla 6-1 6-2 6-1.

Rafael Nadal
Nadal is in colourful form against Roko Karanusic in their second-round clash
0406: Rafa is not only sporting sleeves these days, he's gone all Andre Agassi on us and is wearing a hot pink and turquoise outfit against Roko Karanusic. He is not exactly hanging around out on the Rod Laver Arena either - leading by a set and a break at the moment.

"Nadal took the first very convincingly and is playing some lovely stuff but Roko is several divisions in class below him."
BBC Radio 5 Live's Jonathan Overend

0359: "Yey! My text finally got put on the BBC website (see 0320). I must be the only fool up at this time watching the Elena game for the second time! On the red button and looking at the women's doubles draw! Haha my life is interesting."
Dave again in Watfordvia text on 81111

Rest assured that you are not alone Dave...

0355: As I mentioned earlier, one Murray has tasted defeat today. Andy's older brother Jamie and his American partner Eric Butorac were seeded 16th in the mens' doubles but lost 6-4 6-4 to unseeded duo Nicolas Lapentti and Tommy Robredo in round one.

"It was tough conditions and we didn't play particularly well and got beaten," said Murray afterwards. "I lost my serve something like four times so we were always kind of fighting to get back into it.

0350: Oops, I meant to mention who Andy Murray will face in round three, should he beat Marcel Granollers later. Austria's Jurgen Melzer, whom Murray has beaten in all three of their previous encounters, came through his second round match with Andreas Beck with a 5-7 7-6 (9-7) 6-4 6-3 win.

0348: Serena has done it. The second seed has beaten Gisela Dulko 6-3 7-5 in one hour and 15 minutes, after a bit of a struggle I should explain, and is into the third round.

"It may look one sided for Serena Williams on the scoresheet but in reality it was far from that. Dolko had so many chances in the second set that she really should have taken it to a third."
BBC Radio 5 Live's Jonathan Overend

0344: Rafa has taken the first set 6-2 against Roko, who is not the only Croatian in action today at Melbourne Park. Not by a long shot, as two of them are playing each other on Court Two where Ivo 'Giant' Karlovic has taken the first set 7-5 against Mario 'baby Goran' Ancic.

0336: BBC 5 Live's Jonathan Overend is watching Serena Williams against Gisela Dulko on the Hisense Arena and here's his take on what is turning into an extraordinary battle. Williams won the first set 6-3 and has just gone 6-5 up in the second.

"The last two games have lasted more than 30 minutes and this is an extraordinary battle she is having. Serena will want to finish this off in straight sets but has got a fight on her hands."
BBC Radio 5 Live's Jonathan Overend

0326: Rafa is closing in on the first set against Roko - he has broken twice in the first set to lead 5-2 - and right on cue, here is David Law of 5 Live fame from the commentary box on Rod Laver Arena with the lowdown on the World number one's opponent.

"Roko Karanusic is perhaps the only man on the planet to be described by Goran Ivanisevic as 'crazy'. "If you think I'm bad, you should see this guy," says Goran. Coming from him, that's saying something."
BBC Radio 5 Live's David Law

0320: Wow. A real battle for the second set between Dulko and Serena Williams. The Argentine sees five set points come and go while serving for the set at 5-4, and has to come through 12 deuces and save five break-points before Serena comes through - she needs treatment on a foot injury after that marathon game, and I'm not surprised.

"Dulko wouldn't fly out anyway (see 0300) - she's in the second round of the doubles after beating the fourth seeds!"
Dave in Watfordvia text on 81111

0311: World number one Rafael Nadal has just started his second round match against Croatia's Roko Karanusic on Rod Laver Arena. We've not got pictures of Rafa v Roki unfortunately so you will just have to imagine those bulging biceps - which are of course covered up by sleeves this year in any case...



Someone is having a tantrum in Melbourne
0303: I should add at this point that we've had a few problems accessing your texts on 81111 here in sunny Shepherds Bush recently. In fact, we haven't been able to see any of them. But that problem is fixed now, or so I'm told, so please get in touch to give us your thoughts on Elena, Andy, or even Patty Schnyder's somewhat surprising exit.

0300: And my uncanny accuracy at predicting the outcome of matches being played on the other side of the world has no bounds. Far from flying out of Melbourne, Argentina's Gisela Dulko is serving for the second set against Serena Williams on the Hisense Arena.


It's bad news for a Briton in Melbourne
0257: Er, so much for the fightback. Jamie Murray and Eric Butorac are out, beaten 6-4 6-4 by Nicolas Lapentti and Tommy Robredo in their first round men's doubles match.
It's good news for a Briton in Melbourne
0252: Jamie Murray is fighting back in his men's doubles match and is level at 4-4 in the second set so this is probably a good time to remind you that his little brother Andy is in action a little bit later, taking on Spain's Marcel Granollers for a place in the third round at around 0945 GMT. That match will be live on BBC2, this website (for UK users) and 5 Live Sports Extra.

0249: Good news for Gasquet's compatriot Gilles Simon too - he has beaten Australian hope Chis Guccione 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 6-1 6-2.

0245: I promised to update you on the progress of France's Richard Gasquet and I'm almost sorry to say he has posted a pretty comprehensive victory, beating Denis Istomin 6-3 6-4 6-4 to reach round three without any wobbles and end any hopes of me using my pun. Probably for the best, all things considered.

It's bad news for a Briton in Melbourne
0241: So, what's going on around the courts? Well, Fernando Gonzalez is through to round three after beating Guillermo Canas of Argentina 7-5 6-3 6-4. And Jamie Murray and Eric Butorac are in trouble - a set and 4-2 down against Nicolas Lapentti and Tommy Robredo. Can 'Stretch and Booty' claw their way back into that one?

0238: Well, it all began promisingly enough but that defeat for Elena Baltacha means Andy Murray is Britain's sole representative in the senior singles at the Australian Open. She has done very well to get this far though - remember she came through three rounds of qualifying too - and put up a real battle against Amelie Mauresmo too. The French star may not be the force she was, but she is still the 20th seed.

0228: "Baltacha lost it by not taking those break point opportunities in the second set and it was Mauresmo's experience that brought her through in the end."
BBC Sport's Sam Smith

THIRD SET

It's bad news for a Briton in Melbourne
Baltacha 6-4 3-6 2-6 Mauresmo
It's all over. Baltacha's mistakes have been her downfall today and Mauresmo is able to take full advantage as she sees out victory in two hours and 15 minutes. Elena's powerful shots put her in with a chance of an upset but her accuracy went out of the window in the third set. She saves a first match point but another wild forehand and a double fault bring her challenge to a disappointing end.

"I cant believe the amount of unforced errors Baltacha has made today! It's cost her the match since winning that first set."
Steve in Northamptonvia text on 81111

Baltacha 6-4 3-6 2-5 Mauresmo
There seems nothing left in Baltacha's locker and she can only manage some relatively limp returns as Mauresmo marches towards victory. She holds to love and has now won five games in a row.

"Mauresmo has been a very shrewd operator out here today but she has struggled to see out matches in the last couple of years so this one is not over yet."
BBC Sport's Sam Smith

Baltacha 6-4 3-6 2-4 Mauresmo
Oh dear, that could be that for Baltacha. She throws everything she has got left at Mauresmo but her forehand seems to have broken down completely and the Frenchwoman is quick on her toes at 0-30 to reach a drop-shot and put away a winner. She quickly completes the break and is in full control of this match now.

Baltacha 6-4 3-6 2-3 Mauresmo
A timely ace from Mauresmo seals this one and she has a bit of a spring in her step for once as she dances back to her seat.

"The key for me now is the experience Mauresmo brings to the court, despite the fact I think Elena is playing the better match of the two."
BBC Sport's Sam Smith

Stretch and Booty (Jamie Murray and Butorac to you and me) are a break down in their men's doubles match with Nicolas Lapentti and Tommy Robredo. Jamie has never won a men's doubles match here at Melbourne, which is not a great omen.

It's bad news for a Briton in Melbourne
Baltacha 6-4 3-6 2-2 Mauresmo
Phew, a real battle this one, and, sadly for Elena, it ends badly for her. She fires a forehand into the net at deuce and sends a floated backhand into the tramlines on break-point and we are all-square in this final set.

Elsewhere, Beck and Melzer now have one set apiece so Andy Murray's next opponent (if he wins later on today, of course) is still very much up in the air. No such trouble for two-time women's champion Serena Williams, the second seed this year, who is two breaks up on Argentina's Gisela Dulko in the first set. I wonder if Dulko has booked her flight out of Melbourne yet?

Baltacha 6-4 3-6 2-1 Mauresmo
Another break here would be nice but it is not to be. Mauresmo holds with ease and Baltacha is quickly in her seat for the changeover, where she has been reading some scribbled notes. Not sure what they say, but I don't think she is revising for an impending exam, unlike a lot of you night owls...

It's good news for a Briton in Melbourne
Baltacha 6-4 3-6 2-0 Mauresmo
A solid service game by Baltacha, whose first serve is in full swing now. Impressive stuff and I'm going to use another Brit-Up graphic.
It's good news for a Briton in Melbourne
Baltacha 6-4 3-6 2-0 Mauresmo
A solid service game by Baltacha, whose first serve is in full swing now. Impressive stuff and I'm going to use another Brit-Up graphic.
It's good news for a Briton in Melbourne
Baltacha 6-4 3-6 1-0 Mauresmo
The perfect way to start the deciding set for Elena. With Mauresmo flapping, she works her way to 15-40 thanks to those thumping groundstrokes. The first break point comes and goes and that doubt creeps in (for me anyway!) but Baltacha clinches the game with a precise forehand passing shot and she has her nose in front at a crucial time.

"Those sort of passing shots have been a big part of Elena's game today. If she can wrestle back some momentum here, she is in business."
BBC Sport's Sam Smith

0150: We are back under way on Rod Laver Arena, with Amelie Mauresmo serving at the start of this third set. Jamie Murray and Eric Butorac have started their men's doubles match on Court 19 too.

By the way, Jamie Murray is known as Stretch because of his long arms, and ability to reach volleys (obviously). And Butorac is known as 'Booty' because it's a play on his surname. It's that catchy, I'm going to use it myself later.

0148: I'll take advantage of this break in action to fill you in with what's going on around the courts at Melbourne Park.

Good news for Fernando Gonzalez fans - he is two sets up against Guillermo Canas. Richard Gasquet is also cruising, two sets and a break up against Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin, even he cannot throw that one away, surely? If so, rest assured I will be wheeling out the old line about Richard blowing a gasket. Apologies in advance...

SECOND SET

Baltacha 6-4 3-6 Mauresmo
We're going to need a third set folks. Baltacha's form drops off slightly and her groundstrokes are no longer finding their mark, not in this game anyway. At 15-40, Elena puts a forehand into the net and Mauresmo breaks to level the match.

Mauresmo has gone off court for a heat break, so Baltacha will have 10 minutes to focus ahead of the deciding set.

Baltacha 6-4 3-5 Mauresmo
A chance for Baltacha at 0-30 but her next two shots are wild and long and at 40-30 it appears the Brit's chance has gone. Not so, and a double-fault and an inspired passing shot give Elena a break-point and, Mauresmo is pushed all the way before holding. Baltacha is serving to stay in the second set and this is turning into a right old battle.

"There have been quite a few games where Mauresmo has been 30-0 up on the Mauresmo serve and hasn't quite converted. Some loose shots here and there are costing her dear."
BBC Sport's Sam Smith

Baltacha 6-4 3-4 Mauresmo
Phew a bit of an epic game that - Baltacha looks like she is building up a head of steam as she marches to 40-0 but has to fight to hold and stay in this set after losing four points in a row. She needs a break next but she has done it before...fingers crossed.

Well, we've had our first upset of the day - women's 14th seed Patty Schnyder has been dumped out by France's Virginie Razzano, who claimed a thumping 6-3 6-1 win. Fourth seed Elena Dementieva is through to round three, though, after crushing the Czech Republic's Iveta Benesova 6-4, 6-1.

And Britain's Jamie Murray and his American partner Eric Butorac are about to emerge on Court 19 as Dominika Cibulkova has just seen off Yung-Jan Chan in double-quick time, winning 6-0 6-2. 'Stretch' and 'Booty' are up against Ecuador's Nicolas Lapentti and Spain's Tommy Robredo in round one.

Baltacha 6-4 2-4 Mauresmo
Just when it looked like Mauresmo had conquered her demons, she throws in a couple of unforced errors and a double-fault and Baltacha has her first break points of the second set at 15-40. Some big serving by the French star rescues both of those and, although a terrific forehand down the line gives Baltacha another chance, Mauresmo holds out, just.

News from Court Seven, and it has implications for Andy Murray - who plays the winner of the clash between Germany's Andreas Beck and Austrian 31st seed Jurgen Melzer. Beck has just taken the first set 7-5 and is 2-1 up in the second after an early break.

"Took my laptop to bed to work but Elena ruined any chances of that! If her serve was more consistent she would be a force to be reckoned with!"
Derek from Glasgow via text on 81111

Baltacha 6-4 2-3 Mauresmo
That's more like it from Elena, who rediscovers her power-play from earlier on and chucks in an ace too for good measure as she holds with ease.

Baltacha 6-4 1-3 Mauresmo
Another solid service game by Mauresmo, who is definitely looking more comfortable now. Baltacha is still in the driving seat at the moment but this match could have a long way to go.

"Baltacha would have made the top twenty by now had her career not been blighted by illnesses and injuries - she's a class act."
James in Whitechapel via text on 81111

Baltacha 6-4 1-2 Mauresmo
A decent reply by Baltacha who knuckles down and gets off the mark. She is definitely less aggressive at the moment but maybe she is just biding her time.

News from around the courts and a chance of a shock on the Rod Laver Arena where sixth seed Gilles Simon has just lost the first set against Australia's Chris Guccione. Gonzo is a set up, as is another famously self-destructing French star, Richard Gasquet.

Baltacha 6-4 0-2 Mauresmo
Mauresmo's serve has been inconsistent to say the least so far - three breaks in the first set tell their own story - but it is much better here and she even manages a first break of the match as she holds.

It's bad news for a Briton in Melbourne
Baltacha 6-4 0-1 Mauresmo
A quick weather update for you - it's pretty blustery out on Court Two and temperatures are meant to top 30C today. High winds and high temperatures are not among many tennis player's favourite things so it is a very good thing that Andy Murray is in action later. Back to the tennis and signs of life from Mauresmo - she breaks and lets out a roar of relief and delight. Well, she looked a bit happier anyway.

Apologies for the slow updates by the way. It's not me, it's my computer. Promise. Ollie is on the case as I speak.

FIRST SET

It's good news for a Briton in Melbourne
Baltacha 6-4 Mauresmo
Mauresmo doesn't half make things difficult for herself at times. Two double-faults put Baltacha put within two points of the first set before Mauresmo hauls herself back to 30-all. It isn't long until the 2006 champion presses the self-destruct button again though, handing Baltacha a set-point, which she takes with a stunning drop-shot after an epic (in terms of length) rally. Brilliant!

The winner of this match will face 13th seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus in the third round after her opponent, Italy's Tathiana Garbin, retired hurt early in their match. Azarenka won the Brisbane International earlier this month and has won all five of her matches so far in 2009.

"Sam is not asking herself whether she can do this. She is probably asking herself does she need to do anymore. Elena has never been short of confidence, it is one of her great strenghs."
BBC Sport's Sam Smith

Baltacha 5-4 Mauresmo
Another tight game and this time at 30-all it is Baltacha who makes the mistake, sending a forehand long. She repeats her mistake in the next point and Mauresmo has broken back. We are back on serve, not that that really means a lot in this match so far.

A nice little stat from my colleague Ollie, who tells me that Mauresmo has earned £7,500 so far in 2009, while Baltacha has managed to pick up £190. She'll get a bit more to put in her pocket, whatever happens in this match, so don't worry about how she will afford the air fare home.

Baltacha 5-3 Mauresmo
Baltacha's backhand has served her well so far and it gives her a sniff of yet another break at 15-30. She will have to wait to tidy up this set, however, as Mauresmo ups her game to take the next three points and hold for the first time in three service games. Baltacha will still serve for the first set next though...

News from Court 19 where 18th seed Dominika Cibulkova has run away with the first set against Yung-Jan Chan, winning 6-0. The only reason we are interested in that one is because Jamie Murray and Eric Butorac are next up.

Baltacha 5-2 Mauresmo
Baltacha is in a spot of bother at 30-all but with Mauresmo trying to get to the net, a big backhand gets her out of trouble. We still get to deuce but the Brit pulls out another big backhand and rounds off the game with a drive volley - which is my favourite way to finish off a point. Not every time, obviously...

Oh, and Gonzo has been pulled back to 4-4 by the way. Forget what I said earlier...

It's good news for a Briton in Melbourne
Baltacha 4-2 Mauresmo
Blimey. A double fault by Mauresmo hands Baltacha a second break on a plate. The French star is known for her fragile mindset when under pressure. She can't be wilting already though, (surely?) but, whatever the reason, it is the Brit who is on top at the moment.

Over on the Margaret Court Arena, 13th seed Fernando Gonzalez made a whirlwind start against Argentina's Guillermo Canas and raced into a 3-0 lead. Gonzo is 4-2 up at the moment so it doesn't look like he will be throwing his trainers in the bin at the end of that one. Early days of course though...

Baltacha 3-2 Mauresmo
A bit of a battle to hold serve again for Elena but she manages it - she's putting an awful lot into this match, but at the moment she is getting her rewards.

"Chris, I know Andy Murray's happy about having a night match but I'll be in an exam by then! Baltacha is going to have to keep me going through the cramming session!"
Vicky in Hampshire via text on 81111

It's good news for a Briton in Melbourne
Baltacha 2-2 Mauresmo
A great response from Baltacha sees her earn three break points of her own with some pulsating tennis. The first two come and go thanks to a fine Mauresmo backhand and a wild Baltacha forehand - but at the third time of asking she produces a wicked forehand return and we are all square again folks.

"There are two very different approaches on display here - Elena is all fire and brimstone and very aggressive. Amelie is very calm and considered."
BBC Sport's Sam Smith

It's bad news for a Briton in Melbourne
Baltacha 1-2 Mauresmo
Ah, not so good that. Mauresmo uses all her experience to bring a series of errors out of Baltacha, who suddenly faces three break points at 0-40. A big serve saves the first one but she sends a backhand into the tramlines on the next point and Mauresmo has an early break.

"Come on Elena!! Awake before driving to luton to go and watch Gloucester in Biarritz. Whats more likely, Elena winning or Glos getting through? I'll go with Elena!"
John, Gloucester via text on 81111

Don't worry John, you could still be right.

Baltacha 1-1 Mauresmo
Baltacha is still looking confident, trying a drop-shot that doesn't quite come off but finishing off the point with a solid volley. Mauresmo still holds comfortably enough but this is a promising start for our girl.

"I'm not in work tomorrow Chris, and the girlfriend isn't here. Give me all the tennis you've got!"
Sean, Chester via text on 81111

It's good news for a Briton in Melbourne
Baltacha 1-0 Mauresmo
A good start by Baltacha, who is not showing any nerves out on Court Two. It's not exactly full to be honest though. The Brit throws in a double-fault but that is her only blip in an otherwise, er, faultless opening game. Worth a Brit-Up graphic, surely?

0009: So has Baltacha got a chance against the 2006 champion? The London-based Scot is aged 25 and ranked 134. Mauresmo is 29, and a former World number one. She is a bit of a fading force these days and without a Tour title for the best part of two years, plus a lot of recent injury problems too.

0005: Baltacha and Mauresmo are on court and warming up.

It's good news for a Briton in Melbourne
0000: And - hold on to your hats - 'Stretch' and 'Booty' are back. Yes, Andy's big brother Jamie 'Stretch' Murray is teaming up with Eric 'Booty' Butorac at Melbourne Park for the first time since the 2007 US Open. They are up against Ecuador's Nicolas Lapentti and Spain's Tommy Robredo in the second match on court 19.

2358: We've also got the bulging biceps (covered by sleeves this year of course) of men's world number one Rafael Nadal on display in the second match on the Rod Laver Arena. Rafa plays Croatia's Roko Karanusic for a place in round three.

It's good news for a Briton in Melbourne
2354: But there is plenty to stop you nodding off before then, starting with another British hope, Elena Baltacha, who plays 2006 champion Amelie Mauresmo on Court Two in the next few minutes.

And the good news is that you will be able to watch Baltacha live on the red button and this website (again, UK users only I'm afraid).

Andy Murray
2349: Okay, you will have to be particularly fanatical/brave/foolish to stay up until Andy Murray takes on Spain's Marcel Granollers at around 0945 GMT on Thursday. I'm all of the above, obviously.

That match will be live on BBC2, this website (for UK users only) and 5 Live Sports Extra - so not only shouldn't you miss it, you probably wouldn't be able to even if you wanted to.

2345: Evening tennis fans, I hope you're not thinking about going to bed? How could you even contemplate it with some truly mouth-watering matches in store for us in the next few hours...



see also
Aussie Open photos
22 Jan 09 |  Tennis
Aussie Open quotes
22 Jan 09 |  Tennis
Murray cruises into third round
22 Jan 09 |  Tennis
Mauresmo triumphs over Baltacha
22 Jan 09 |  Tennis


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