But before that we've got the first semi-final - Roger Federer v Novak Djokovic
. That tussle will be live on the Red Button
and on 5 live sport extra
from 0830 GMT on Thursday, commentators Andrew Cotter and John Lloyd.
Calling all Murray/Ferrer fans... you can watch the pair lock horns for a place in the Australian Open final LIVE on BBC Two
and the HD Channel
at 0830 GMT on Friday 28 January
. Andrew Cotter and John Lloyd your commentators, Sue Barker and Tim Henman in the studio. The match is also available on the Red Button
, right here online
and via BBC Radio 5 live sports extra
burtoner26 on 606:
"Ferrer is a decent player even if lot of us want Murray to win, which i will think Murray will do in 4 tight sets."
Luke, Liverpool, via text on 81111:
"Poor Ferrer. First question in his post match interview is about Nadal. Jim Courier may as well have started with 'Congratulations on your hollow, meaningless victory'."
So Ferrer's shock victory over Nadal sets up a semi-final against Britain's Andy Murray. Not the opponent Murray would have been expecting, but a player in superb form all the same. Ferrer has won three of their five meetings but those were all on clay. Their two hard-court encounters went the way of Murray, including
their most recent duel at the ATP World Tour Finals in November.
Pengumile on Twitter:
"Yes, Nadal wasn't at his best and I feel so sorry for him, but all credit to Ferrer. He didn't let up. #BBCAussieOpen"
Somerset via text on 81111:
"Even if you aren't a Rafa fan (which clearly I am!), this is such a shame - being unable to at least compete for the 'Rafa Slam'. Gutted for him. "
News reaching us that Nadal injured his left thigh
during game two of the first set. It sounds like a fresh injury, and seems his medical time-out at the end of that mammoth game was actually to receive strapping for the problem. More as and when we get it.
"It's not easy because Rafa is a gentleman and he played with an injury as we are friendly," says Ferrer
. "I fought a lot but for him with injury it was not easy. I did my game, played every serve, tried to go to the net. It's not normal that you win against Rafael in three sets - it's a victory for me but not really a victory. It wasn't easy for me because I could see Rafael could not run. But I just focused on me and my game. I'm very happy with this two weeks, it's amazing. I will try to do my best in the semi-finals, I will do my best."
Nadal 4-6 2-6 3-6 Ferrer
Two powerful serves take Ferrer to 30-0 and a backhand pass is helped by a net cord to make that 40-0 and three match points
. Big serve from Ferrer, resigned return from Nadal, forehand put-away from Ferrer. Nadal motionless. Rafael Nadal is out.* denotes next server
Nadal 4-6 2-6 3-5 Ferrer*
Relieved faces among Team Nadal after a net cord from a Ferrer groundstroke falls in their man's favour. Ferrer battles to wrap the match up with an eighth break of the Rafa serve but the top seed stays strong. Ferrer to serve for the match.* denotes next server
*Nadal 4-6 2-6 2-5 Ferrer
A break of serve now is critical to Nadal's slim hopes and it looks on the cards when a double-fault earns him a break point
. The spectators want it, Rafa does too, but Ferrer ends any such chance with a bullet serve out wide for deuce. Buoyed by that let-off, the seventh seed refuses to give the world number one another sniff.* denotes next server
Nadal 4-6 2-6 2-4 Ferrer*
Biggest cheer of the match as Nadal rallies from 30-30 to produce several eye-catching combinations before advancing for a smash to bring up game point. The hold is his when Ferrer nets and the crowd are doing everything in their power to prolong this beyond three sets.* denotes next server
amyspineapple on Twitter:
"This is as depressing as putting my wee car in for repair and the thought of getting shafted £91 to fix a wire. Poor Nadal. #BBCAussieOpen"
*Nadal 4-6 2-6 1-4 Ferrer
Spirited effort from the 24-year-old Majorcan, a curling forehand up the line helping him register two break points
. But this looks like being Ferrer's day and he saves both before getting to game point with a forehand that Rafa does everything to reach yet ends up wafting at thin air. The look on Nadal's face is like that of a lost boy. His 28-year-old opponent comes through strongly and now seems to be in total command.* denotes next server
5 live tennis on Twitter:
"Can't help but feel sorry for Nadal. Chasing four in a row - surely a once in a lifetime chance - he tweaks a muscle inside 3 games."
Nadal 4-6 2-6 1-3 Ferrer*
Ominous signs for Nadal as Ferrer opens game four with a forehand pass that leaves his compatriot stranded at the net. But Rafa shows plenty of aggression to fight back and collect a morale-boosting hold. I can confirm the world number one is still alive.* denotes next server
Anon via text on 81111:
"Ferrer is 3-2 up on head to heads with Murray but all of his wins have been on clay. His two losses to Murray have been on hard courts. "
*Nadal 4-6 2-6 0-3 Ferrer
A third straight hold to love, closed out with the latest in a catalogue of forehand winners, sees Ferrer edge towards a semi-final meeting with Andy Murray. An error-strewn Nadal has no answer and looks on the verge of tears as he returns to his seat. A break for Ferrer now and it's surely all over.* denotes next server
Nadal 4-6 2-6 0-2 Ferrer*
The Nadal backhand has crumpled more spectacularly than Chelsea's Premier League title defence and he plops one into the net to give Ferrer two break points
. An ace helps the top seed recover to deuce but Rafa goes long to hand his fellow Spaniard a third break point
. Ferrer gets his bearings all wrong, missing consecutive forehands, but keeps targeting Nadal's left side and stays in contention with a yet another forehand winner down the line. When Nadal fails to cope with a magnificent service return, he faces a fourth break point
and this time he succumbs with a heavy forehand sailing wide. "This is not the Nadal we know and love and who opponents fear," says Andrew Cotter on the BBC Red Button
.* denotes next server
Catalan Power on 606:
"Uncle Toni will now make a couple of phone calls and organise a total eclipse for the middle of the third set - a one-hour break will be necessary."
Nadal 4-6 2-6 Ferrer*
Nadal sinks to 0-30 and lets his frustration be known by smacking the ball away. Ferrer drifts long but then runs round a forehand to notch two set points
, the first of which is taken with a backhand winner down the line. Ferrer goes two sets up on Nadal
and the end could well be nigh for the world number one. He returns to his seat, puts his head in his hands and gives the impression of a beaten man.* denotes next server
*Nadal 4-6 2-5 Ferrer
One of the most resounding love holds you'll see this year, sealed by an in-form Ferrer with a fifth ace of the match. At the changeover the seventh seed asks for bananas and a ball boy brings them immediately. Everything's going his way today.* denotes next server
Nadal 4-6 2-4 Ferrer*
Nadal did everything he could to keep warm during the fireworks break but still looks far from comfortable on the resumption and slips 30-15 behind on serve. Ferrer very much dictating proceedings with that blistering forehand and it brings him a break point
as Rafa fails to control a return. That one is saved but the seventh seed varies things up by switching to the continental grip and slicing a drop shot winner. It's a second break point
for Ferrer and he gets the break
when Nadal drills a forehand wide. Rafa sends a couple of racquets to the stringer as his miserable night takes another turn for the worse.* denotes next server
Stu via text on 81111:
"Re 1007 - do you think Karue Sell knows that he sounds like a fairground attraction?"
In the meantime, fancy quizzing Britain's Fed Cup team ahead of their Europe/Africa Zone I week at the end of January? GB have been drawn in the round-robin along with Switzerland and a Caroline Wozniacki-led Denmark. Post your questions for Elena Baltacha, Anne Kethoavong, Heather Watson and Jocelyn Rae
on the British Tennis Facebook page.
We're having a scheduled 10-minute break for Australia Day fireworks. They're pretty stunning but arrive at a bad time for Rafa, who needs to keep that left leg warm and moving. Both men pop to the locker room before returning for a stretch as the pyrotechnics continue over the banks of the Yarra River.
*Nadal 4-6 2-3 Ferrer
Sublime hold from seventh seed Ferrer, the highlight a truly incredible forehand winner that he picks up on the full-stretch from just above the Plexicushion and curves around/over the net post. The crowd are on their feet. Wonderful scenes.* denotes next server
Nadal 4-6 2-2 Ferrer*
Oh dear, Rafa. Now it's the top seed's turn to fall 40-0 down on serve. Three break-back points
to Ferrer. Nadal saves the first with a booming ace, his first today, but then nets a backhand. There's the break-back
and we're on level terms once again.* denotes next server
TB365 on Twitter:
"Run to final that could have included Del Potro, Baggy, Soderling, Rafa has become Melzer, Dolgo and Ferrer. Murray's year?"Hold your horses, TB365
*Nadal 4-6 2-1 Ferrer
"That will be music to the ears of Rafael Nadal," says commentator Andrew Cotter on the BBC Red Button
as Ferrer slips to 0-30 and lets out a huge roar of disapproval. Another error gives Nadal three break points
and the world number one breaks
to love when his opponent and good friend fires beyond the baseline.* denotes next server
A quick note from the boy's doubles. Britain's George Morgan and his Croatian partner Mate Pavic have been beaten in their quarter-final, going down 6-7 (3-7) 6-1 10-8 to Mitchell Krueger and Karue Sell.
Nadal 4-6 1-1 Ferrer*
More like the usual Nadal, that. Topspins his way to 40-15 and gets over the line with an athletic backhand pick-up volley at the net.* denotes next server
*Nadal 4-6 0-1 Ferrer
A first ace of the day for Ferrer takes him to 40-0 and he closes out a hold to 15 with a well-placed winner, his 18th of the day so far.* denotes next server
Nadal 4-6 Ferrer*
Whatever medication the trainer gave Nadal, it seems to be kicking in at last. He's moving far more freely at the start of game 10. But Ferrer finally appears to realise Rafa's in pain whenever he moves to his left and begins to target that side. They may be good friends, but this is business. The diminutive right-hander, who trails their head-to-head 11-3, engineers two set points
only for Nadal to dig deep and save both. Ferrer keeps plugging away, though, and here's a third set point
... Rafa opens his body and throws an inside-out forehand into the tramlines. Ferrer takes the opening set
and that is the first set Nadal has dropped all tournament.* denotes next server
Somerset via text on 81111:
"I know this is sad but I'll probably cry if Rafa's body beats him... you don't want that on your conscience, Rafa-thigh, do you?! Come on Rafa!!!"
Anon via text on 81111:
"One of the main reasons why I think Federer will always be greater then Nadal: Fedex takes CARE of his body. The way Nadal is going, his body will cut his career short. Roger could go on for another 6-7 years!"
*Nadal 4-5 Ferrer
Would you Adam and Eve it... Nadal breaks back
. Errors galore from Ferrer see him slip 40-0 down and here come three break points. Rafa puts a running forehand horribly long and the crowd gasp in disbelief. That was a gimme. He then whips a backhand into the net. One last chance... and Ferrer plants a backhand into the tramlines.* denotes next server
SchizOfRenic on 606:
"To be fair to him, this isn't the first time. Nadal is known to have done this before. If he'll win - he'll be proclaimed a fighter, a hero. If he loses - he was injured, whatever. Win-win situation there for Rafael there. Not a word about David
Nadal 3-5 Ferrer*
A feathered forehand volley and a forehand winner give Rafa two game points. Out comes the fist pump and that's more like it from the world number one. The service hold arrives when Ferrer goes long and suddenly there looks to be some life in Nadal.* denotes next server
Piers Newbery on Twitter:
"Just emerged from the Tube, not liking what I'm hearing about Rafa. Might help Murray but Nadal deserves the chance to go for his Slam."
*Nadal 2-5 Ferrer
More grimaces from Nadal as Ferrer moves to within a game of the opening set. He's trying so hard, the top seed, but it's not happening. Will he be beaten by his body yet again?* denotes next server
Nadal 2-4 Ferrer*
Nadal gets back on the board with a gritty hold but life's not good for the world number one out there on Rod Laver right now. Could dreams of a 'Rafa Slam' be coming to an end? A member of Nadal's team scuttles from his seat in the stands. The Majorcan retired from his quarter-final against Murray last year with knee problems. This time round it seems a left thigh or groin complaint may deny him a rematch with the British number one.* denotes next server
*Nadal 1-4 Ferrer
An easy hold to 15 and here comes the trainer for Nadal again. "He's running on empty," says Andrew Cotter on the BBC Red Button
. Think I can hear Rafa say "It's not working". Ooooh and now we can see some strapping on Rafa's left thigh. Thinking about it, he did seem to tweak something against Cilic on Monday. Perhaps it's actually injury, not illness.* denotes next server
Nadal 1-3 Ferrer*
After gingerly returning to his baseline, Rafa opens game four by dumping a groundstroke into the net. The 24-year-old is struggling badly and, despite picking up a point, Ferrer reels off a couple of winners that Nadal doesn't even move for. So two break points
to the man from Javea and he takes the first with a backhand down the line. Ferrer breaks
to restore his early advantage. For how long Rafa will continue is anyone's guess.* denotes next server
Five minutes later Rafa returns. But he does not look happy. At all. Exchanges words with uncle Toni, shakes his head. This is very worrying for the top seed. A penny for Andy Murray's thoughts?
Nadal greeted by the trainer at the change of ends. The top seed is sweating profusely but I can't see much else wrong with him. However, he's off to the locker room frowning and shaking his head. What's up? Umpire Eva Asderaki tells us Nadal is receiving a medical time-out
. Which means it's illness, not injury. Plenty of concern on the face of uncle Ton in the stands. Uh Oh...
*Nadal 1-2 Ferrer
An instant riposte from the wounded (not literally) Nadal. After an epic game two, it's a quick-fire game three as the world number one races to 40-0 on the Ferrer serve, meaning three break points
. He nets the first but converts the second by chasing down a poor Ferrer pick-up and dispatching a cute angled backhand at the net. There's the break back
.* denotes next server
Nadal 0-2 Ferrer*
Excellent hitting from both men prompts Ben Dirs in the seat next to me to suggest "this could be a long one". The game and the match, by the looks of it. Rafa brings up 30-0 in no time, his viciously-spinning forehand forcing Ferrer to return balls at head height. But back comes the seventh seed with consecutive winners to level. And here's a glorious chance for the 5ft 9ins right-hander to bring up break point... but he dumps a fairly straightforward backhand volley into the net. Rafa regains control but looks nervous and two poor drop volleys prevent him from seeing out the game. Ferrer visibly grows in confidence and registers that hard-earned break point
by wrong-footing Nadal with a brilliant crosscourt backhand winner. And is this the break? David thinks his backhand has kissed the line, Rafa calls it out, David asks for a Hawkeye challenge, Rafa is proved correct. So on we go and neither Spaniard seems prepared to budge. Ferrer brings up deuce number EIGHT with a stunning forehand and it's a second break point
when Rafa puts a defensive backhand long and wide. Ferrer is playing on a different level and seals the break
with a stinging forehand which Nadal can only return into the net. MARATHON
.* denotes next server
Kate, London, via text on 81111:
"Racing to get into work early. Hoping for a five-setter from the Spanish duo. Well done Andy, prob a good thing he dropped a set, less pressure"
*Nadal 0-1 Ferrer
A very confident start on serve sees Ferrer smash his way to 15-0 and then dominate a baseline rally for 30-0. Just as uncle Toni takes his seat, Rafa powers a forehand winner for his first point of the match, but Ferrer holds firm and seals the game when his opponent finds the net.* denotes next server
Ferrer - black top and shorts with yellow 'go faster' stripes on the trim - to get us going. Enjoy...
IAmAndyMurray on Twitter:
"When was the last time in a Slam that all of the top 8 male seeds reached the quarters?"Fine question, and one I'll endeavour to answer later on...
Anon via text on 81111:
"Sitting in work looking forward to the Spanish duo going head-to-head. Think Ferrer will win in five sets. Come on, David"Me or him?
Australia Day festivities over and done with on Rod Laver Arena, so we're all set for Nadal v Ferrer
. Both men bounce out of the locker room to a rapturous welcome and meet at the net with umpire Eva Asderaki of Greece. She performs the toss and Ferrer calls correctly, opting to serve first. Warm-ups taking place as we speak and we'll be under way in not too long at all.
Murray reaction, Nadal-Ferrer chat, general tennis musings all welcome. Get involved through Twitter (via hashtag
(from 0900 GMT) or text on 81111
(UK) with TENNIS before your message. Want a question answered? Just
and I'll do my best to get back to you.
Kate, Twickenham, via text on 81111:
"Woken up at 6am by rubbish truck so got to bite my nails for end of Murray match. Looking forward to Rafa winning in a tight 5 setter! "
Those of you who haven't manually refreshed your pages since the Murray match, give it a go now. You should be greeted by the live stream and a new byline if nothing else.
Two ways in which you can do just that. Via the BBC Red Button
and right here online
. Failing that, why not tune into BBC Radio 5 live sports extra
for some mighty fine audio coverage.
Welcome to the fourth and final men's last-eight match - Rafael Nadal v David Ferrer
. All of Spain is watching. Are you?
A very happy Australia Day/extended Rabbie Burns celebration for Andy Murray, through to the semi-finals at Melbourne Park with a
four-set victory over Alexandr Dolgopolov.
But who will Britain's finest meet for a place in Sunday's showpiece? That, my friends, is exactly what we're about to find out.
Rightio everyone. Try not to be too down on our man. He is into the last four for the loss of just one set which is pretty tidy work. It will probably have to be more of what we saw against Melzer, than what we stared at through bleary eyes this morning if he wants to go any further though.
mike_willis_uk on Twitter:
"Murray creeps over the line but that was absolutely rubbish tennis at the end. Hopefully that's his one dodgy match done with."
Sleepy in Herts via text:
"I'm a big Murray fan but watching his mental approach in this match I'm finally wondering whether he does have the cojones to win a grand slam. He came out slow and has mainly stayed slow."
"I was expecting a lot of different points. He has a fast service action and plays his forehand either flat or with a lot of spin, but I got there eventually," Murray says. And on his semi-final opponent? "You would expect Rafa to come through in a tight one."
It will be Spanish opposition for Murray in the last four. Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer go head to head later today, and you can see who comes through to face Murray on this website, BBC Radio 5 Live and the Red Button.
Murray 7-5 6-3 6-7 (3-7) 6-3 Dolgopolov
That is your lot. ANDY MURRAY THROUGH TO THE AUSTRALIAN OPEN SEMI-FINAL.
Dolgo flops into the net to hand Murray two match points, the Ukrainian keeps hitting out but he strays over the baseline and the resistance is over.
* Murray 7-5 6-3 6-7 (3-7) 5-3 Dolgopolov
Given his wild inconsistence that could easily have been the end. But a fizzing Murray return aside, Dolgo chalks up the game unchallenged.
Murray 7-5 6-3 6-7 (3-7) 5-2 Dolgopolov *
Dolgopolov attempts to inject a little pace but there is a little too much heat on his forehand as Murray progresses to 30-15. The Ukrainian cracks one into the net, his 76th unforced error of the match, and then racks up his 77th as he concedes the game with a miscued forehand.
* Murray 7-5 6-3 6-7 (3-7) 4-2 Dolgopolov
Mother Judy is murmuring encouragement to Murray, or is it a curse on his opponent? Two errors from Dolgo give Murray 15-30, but the British number one is hauled back by the heaviest of cross-court forehands before forcing deuce with a choice winner of his own. Dolgopolov comes forward, digs one out with his stabbing backhand and consolidates his break back with a hold.
Murray 7-5 6-3 6-7 (3-7) 4-1 Dolgopolov *
This time it is all Dolgo's doing rather than mine. The 22-year-old takes advantage of some sloppy stuff from Murray and breaks back.
* Murray 7-5 6-3 6-7 (3-7) 4-0 Dolgopolov
Dolgo puts away a forehand volley to finally stop the rot and bring up 15-30. But he frames up into Row E in the next point and has no answer as a relentless Murray moves a double break up. A manual refresh should remove that game I erroneously awarded to Dolgo as well. Apologies.
Murray 7-5 6-3 6-7 (3-7) 3-0 Dolgopolov *
That is 12 unanswered points in Murray's favour so far this set. The Scot thumps an ace deep and clean past Dolgo to complete another love game. He is yet to be forced to second serve as well. The Ukrainian stares into the middle distance.
* Murray 7-5 6-3 6-7 (3-7) 2-0 Dolgopolov
Dolgo could not have done more to deflate the momentum that seemed to be building behind him. A lacklustre game ends with him failing to land a single punch as Murray breaks to love.
Murray 7-5 6-3 6-7 (3-7) 1-0 Dolgopolov *
Big puff of the cheeks for Murray as he hits two aces, one more than he managed in the whole of the third set, on his way to a hold to love. "Oh, Andy we love you," ends the song from his fans. He looks like he needs a bit of bromance at the moment.
* Murray 7-5 6-3 6-7 (3-7) Dolgopolov
This one could get a little tasty for Murray as the crowd greet Dolgo's resurrection with the sort of cheer that is reserved for home favourites. A mini-break for Dolgopolov in the sixth point moves him 4-2 ahead and a double-fault follows from Murray who is steaming with frustration. A netted smash from Murray hands Dolgo four set points. The Scot plays possum in the next point and Dolgo's impatience gets the better of him as he hits long. On his own serve, Murray goes the other way, attacking whole-heartedly, but smearing one just wide to concede the set.
Murray 7-5 6-3 6-6 Dolgopolov *
Tie-break time. At 0-15 up, Dolgo puts a comfortable backhand volley straight down the centre with both flanks gaping. Murray duly punishes him, but finds himself 15-30 adrift after Dolgo shaves the outside of the baseline on the next point. A ballsy drop-shot pulls Murray back level and he serves and volleys for game point. A challenge from Murray on one wide on his forehand side is upheld and he is into the shoot-out. The sun is breaking through down under to remind us it is a summer's day as opposed to a winter's morning for these lucky guys.
* Murray 7-5 6-3 5-6 Dolgopolov
Murray gets Dolgo's nerves a' creaking as he climbs back to 30-30. Dolgo appears to have restored order with a lovely deep forehand, but then nets to give Murray deuce. A Murray break point is salvaged with some classic serve-volley tactics and a flicked forehand brings up game point for Dolgo. He can't convert either though. Murray is forced onto the defensive as a second break point slips away and sees a third also head south as Dolgo rushes the net and slams away a forehand volley. A mammoth 35-shot rally with more slice that a gourmet kitchen eventually goes Dolgo's way as Murray is distracted by the crowd's oohing and aahing. Forced wide at game-point down, Murray then shoots wide and long and it is a tie-break at worst for Dolgo.
Murray 7-5 6-3 5-5 Dolgopolov *
If Dolgo came up with a plan at the changeover, he couldn't put it into practice. Murray smashes needlessly into the net at 40-0 up, but otherwise it is a clear round as he turns the focus back to the Ukrainian.
* Murray 7-5 6-3 4-5 Dolgopolov
Dolgo whistles through a service game to love, mashing some big serves Murray's way, before he heads to his stool to contemplate a way to force a Murray mistake as the Scot serves to stay in the set.
Murray 7-5 6-3 4-4 Dolgopolov *
Dolgo rips into a backhand return as Murray sends down a powder-puff second serve but is a whisker away from a clean winner. 30-15. He has his radar fixed up through as he pushes and pulls Murray hither and thither before swatting away a forehand to move to 40-30. Murray follows his example, takes the initiative, ups the aggression, raises the tempo, all of those sort of things that many of his critics want him to do, and clumps one home after dominating the point.
* Murray 7-5 6-3 3-4 Dolgopolov
A thumping ace from Dolgo survives a challenge from Murray to move the Ukrainian onto 40-15. Those doubts creep back for the 22-year-old though and he strays fractionally long and then into the net to bring up deuce. He recovers his game just in time and battles though to edge ahead for the first time in the set. "One shot is sometimes all it takes to get yourself going when you are a shot-maker like him," says John Lloyd
on BBC Two.
Murray 7-5 6-3 3-3 Dolgopolov *
Uh oh. A drop shot from Dolgo makes inroads in the first point, but a sharp yelp from Murray indicates that he has levelled to 15-15. A weak pat at the net allows Dolgo, stranded in no man's land, to stay in, and then win, a point for 30-30. A screaming forehand winner then gives the Ukrainian his first break point of the set. Murray hooks one long, it is all square and there is suddenly a bit of a buzz around Rod Laver. There is only going to be one man the home crowd are supporting if this goes into a fourth.
* Murray 7-5 6-3 3-2 Dolgopolov
Dolgo double faults to give Murray a brief scent of a break at 40-30 but then slams the door as he whips on off his shins, over the highest point of the net and past a rooted Murray. They have
in the BBC Two studio apparently, no such love in this hemisphere sadly.
Murray 7-5 6-3 3-1 Dolgopolov *
Dolgo snaps a string as one flies long to give Murray game point. He delves into his bag to get a new weapon, but it can't do much against another fierce delivery from Murray. The umpire calls for new balls to go with Dolgo's fresh racket.
* Murray 7-5 6-3 2-1 Dolgopolov
Dolgo defends his honour there after I questioned his staying power following two five setters. A comfortable hold to love, but a break down already he will have to attack Murray's serve if he wants to stay in the contest.
Murray 7-5 6-3 2-0 Dolgopolov *
There might not be much left in this one unless Dolgo can find a second wind from somewhere. He is brushed aside for love and is looking as exhausted, I imagine, as some of us feel.
* Murray 7-5 6-3 1-0 Dolgopolov
Murray gets off to a flier in the third with a helping hand from across the net. Dolgopolov's double fault gives Murray a sniff and the Scot chases superbly to fire on onto Dolgo's toes to force 30-40 and a break point. He doesn't have to do much to convert it though as Dolgo pushes long.
xenon21 on Twitter:
"Yes! Come on! Winning ugly. Gilbert influence! Hope he closes out match against Dolly Mixtures. Come on Andy!"
Murray 7-5 6-3 Dolgopolov *
The second is in the bag. Murray's serve rattles off the first three points but, forced to rally in the fourth point of the game, he drifts long. No love-game flourish then. Murray further blots the copybook with a double fault, but nails his sixth set point as he stretches Dolgo past the point of no return.
* Murray 7-5 5-3 Dolgopolov
Murray wraps a lovely forehand winner down the line and then a Dolgo double fault gives him 15-40 and two set points. Both go to waste though, with Murray cracking a forehand just below the tape under no apparent pressure. A third set point for Murray is saved by Dolgo as he wins a battle of the muscle as the two exchange meaty forehands. Murray attempts to tickle a little drop shot cross court but the net inconveniently gets in the way and Dolgo serves out.
Murray 7-5 5-2 Dolgopolov *
Dolgo screws a makeshift-looking backhand wide to give Murray three game points and the Scot latches onto a looping return from Dolgo and puts away a forehand down the line as his opponent heads off in the opposite direction.
* Murray 7-5 4-2 Dolgopolov
What a frustrating client Dolgopolov must be for Australian coach Jack Reader. A ferocious ace is followed by a limp attempt at a trick shot as he races back in pursuit of a Murray lob. The game goes to love but Murray lets him off the hook somewhat as he slaps one wide.
Murray 7-5 4-1 Dolgopolov *
Murray turns the screw with a hold to love. Dolgo won the second set after losing the opener in both his five-set wins over Tsonga and Soderling. Can he still cause upsets from two sets adrift? We might be about to find out.
* Murray 7-5 3-1 Dolgopolov
Messy from Dolgo and Murray makes him pay for it. Dolgo cranks up the serve and sends shock waves through Murray's wrists with an unreturnable one for 40-15 and then has all the time and space in the world to put away a high backhand. He contrives to plant it somewhere beyond the tramlines though and that is all the encouragement Murray needs. He sweeps the game from beneath Dolgo, finishing off by dragging him all around the court before scooping a backhand into the wide open court.
Murray 2-1 7-5 Dolgopolov *
Murray holds to love, but the biggest round of applause is for a crowd member who fills the changeover with a rousing solo rendition of Advance Australia Fair. Great stuff. Do they still do those 'ten-pound Pom' deals? I'm on the boat.
* Murray 1-1 7-5 Dolgopolov
A teasing little lob from Murray cascades over the top of Dolgo for 30-30, but the Ukrainian takes the game with a sweet angled forehand. Some strands of that long mane escaping the grip of the alice band now though, they could be a crucial factor...
Murray 1-0 7-5 Dolgopolov *
That was far more business-like. Murray holds to love and there are some rowdy British voices raised in approval in this Australia Day crowd.
* Murray 7-5 Dolgopolov
Job eventually done for Murray, but, boy, it was a tussle. At the net and with plenty of space to aim at, Murray somehow locates the only corner of the court containing a six foot Ukrainian. He is spared though as Dolgo finds the net. Three points on the bounce from the Ukrainian and he is all set to head for a tiebreak as Murray hangs on up above him at the net. But a stray smash is met with a superb reflex winner from Murray and we head to deuce. Murray sees one set point disappear over the horizon, but a successful challenge on Dolgo's serve paves the way to another. That one is saved with a big ace. Neither player able to convert as first Dolgo slumps into the net and then sends down another monster to waste one set-point and then save another. Fourth set-point to Murray and he slots a clean backhand winner off Dolgo's second serve. Dolgo challenges but that shaded eclipse is painting the line.
Murray 6-5 Dolgopolov *
Murray looks all set to follow suit with his own hold to love, but a jumping, top-spinning forehand from Dolgo curls behind the Scot and touches down just inside the baseline to ruin the look. It is only a temporary reprieve though.
* Murray 5-5 Dolgopolov
Dolgopolov sweeps a majestic backhand across court for a third successive point, a flick of the ponytail and a crackerjack ace later and it is a hold to love and all square. Chances of getting in some sleep after a speedy Murray victory are slimming all the while.
Murray 5-4 Dolgopolov *
Dolgo, who is a pretty expressive guy on court, nods in agreement as a Murray ace is called in to set up 40-15. Nice. Another close call on the winning point, but no complaints from Dolgo on that one either.
Anonymous via text:
"This is like when i play tennis with mates, we rarely hold our serve! A break to us is when we actually do hold."
* Murray 4-4 Dolgopolov
Dolgo doesn't mess around like some of the more celebrated names on tour. Quick double bounce and that serve is bashed down. He has three game points and, although Murray runs down a drop shot to save the first, he can't prevent the loss of a fourth game. As Andrew Cotter
points out on BBC Two
, that is the first time he has lost four games in a set so far in the tournament.
Murray 4-3 Dolgopolov *
It is back in the mix once more. Murray is continuing to push the limits on his second serve and his third double fault gives Dolgo 0-30. An big first serve pulls one back for Murray, but Dolgo mixes it up to good effect, imparting spin every which way on that poor fuzzy fella, to set up two break points. A cracking forehand and there are questions now for Murray to answer.
* Murray 4-2 Dolgopolov
Dolgo looks up against it as Hawkeye rules against his speared cross-court forehand and gives Murray a 0-30 advantage. But he is back in control with a more conservative winner, and overhead smash and an overcooked Murray effort. Murray earns some applause from his opponent as well as the crowd for a running forehand right into the apex of tramline and baseline, but Dolgo's smash down a couple of belters and is out of the woods with his first hold of the match.
Murray 4-1 Dolgopolov *
Better. Murray's serve, which was so wayward in the opening game, is beginning to find its range. He jams one into Dolgo's body to advance to 40-15 and the Ukrainian obligingly pushes a forehand over the baseline to see Murray build a three-game lead.
* Murray 3-1 Dolgopolov
Strange going-ons here. It is a third break of serve in four games and this one come quite easily as Murray slices a return and draws Dolgo into a rally that he never looks entirely comfortable in. He duly dumps one in the net and Murray has a break to love.
Murray 2-1 Dolgopolov *
The Ukrainian gets stuck straight back in and hits back immediately with a searing shot up the line sending Murray back to the chair with plenty on his mind.
* Murray 2-0 Dolgopolov
The first game goes Murray's way after a six-minute struggle that sees Dolgo miss a glaring chance to break with an overhead smash and yards and yards of open court. The second also heads the Scot's way as three forehand errors from Dolgo allow him to seize a second break point.(* denotes next to serve)
But this is a very different Dolgopolov that Murray is facing now. Buoyed by wins over Jo Wilfried Tsonga and Robin Soderling, he is in the form of his life. Murray to serve first - game on. A manual refresh please as well if you may.
If you are thinking along the lines of our nameless mystic below, you will be pleased to know that the last time these two met it was a 6-3 6-4 6-2 win for Murray in a Davis Cup match in 2006.
Anonymous via text:
"Watched Federer lay waste to Stan yesterday and looking forward to murray doing exactly the same! Murray to win in 3 for my fatigue's sake"
Morning all. You'll be pleased to know that I began today with a Burns Night dinner for breakfast. Murray has to do the business after that I think. Can't promise a repeat for a possible semi and final.
OK everyone, a manual refresh of this page will make moving pictures and sound available to UK users. Murray and Dolgopolov will be along any minute so I'm going to hand you over to Mike Henson for game-by-game coverage of this one, while I attempt to scribble down what exactly is going on. Good luck, everyone.
Clijsters recovers from 2-0 down in the tie-break and then fires a bullet for a forehand down the line for 4-4. An ace follows and the three-time US Open champion is closing in at 5-4. Radwanska then nets and it's two match points
.... and Kim Clijsters wraps up a 6-3 7-6 victory.
Zvonareva up next for the Belgian and she'll need to improve on today's performance. Right, what now....?
saamFG on Twitter:
"Enjoying Clijsters-Radwanska immensely. Some of the best women's tennis I've seen in quite some time. Hope it goes to 3 sets."
Radwanska holds and we're into a tie-break....Clijsters 6-3 6-6 Radwanska
From Perry via text:
"Come on Kim! I'm not sure I can hang on for any longer! Win this and get Andy on!"
She needs four attempts but Clijsters breaks back in an entertaining game, despite being driven to distraction by the slicing and dicing coming from Radwanska, who's a clever player. "Vooooooooooom!!!" A plane flies incredibly low over the Arena in celebration of all things Australian. Brad Gilbert clearly isn't getting into the swing of things as far as the local cuisine goes. Personally, I've always preferred Vegemite to the spikier British version, I'm ashamed to say.Clijsters 6-3 5-5 Radwanska
Brad Gilbert on Twitter:
"That Vegemite experience was awful. It tastes like a super saltly black beer paste gone bad!! Took me 22 minutes rid the bad taste."
Putting aside a nation's desire for a swift conclusion here, Radwanska is putting in an incredible effort and has broken yet again. The Pole will serve for one set all.... Meanwhile,
the order of play is out for Thursday
and the women's semi-finals will begin at, gulp, 0230 GMT
with Wozniacki v Li before Zvonareva v Clijsters/Radwanska. The late match across BBC outlets will be Federer v Djokovic at 0830 GMT
.Clijsters 6-3 4-3 Radwanska
Times correspondent Neil Harman on Twitter:
"Delic into full body cramp @8-9, 15-30. Rules is rules. Treatment should not be given. Time violation, pt pen. MP. Morgan wins 10-8. Sad end. Tennis should look at cramp rule applied to juniors. Delic's coach leapt fence to tend to his lad - shooed off. Fittest survive at all odds?"
Clijsters finally gets the break of serve to move within two games of victory, a place in the semi-finals, and the eternal thanks of a sleepy United Kingdom. Radwanska breaks back immediately.Clijsters 6-3 4-3 Radwanska
While we ride this wave of British success towards Murraytime in the next half an hour or so, possibly, why not pass the time by quizzing the nation's Fed Cup team ahead of their big Europe/Africa Zone I week at the end of the month? GB have been drawn in the round-robin along with Switzerland and a Wozniacki-led Denmark. Post your questions for Elena Baltacha, Anne Kethoavong, Heather Watson and Jocelyn Rae
on the British Tennis Facebook page.
British junior George Morgan
completes a mammoth 6-4 6-7 10-8 victory over Croatia's Mate Delic on Court 19. That's got to be a good omen, no?
Clijsters earns a break point, opens up the court with an arrow-straight backhand down the line and then blazes a drive-volley wide. Ouch. Another chance comes along, and this time she just fails to get enough hook on a forehand down the line. Radwanska holds.Clijsters 6-3 2-2 Radwanska
Paul Newman in The Independent:
"Although Dolgopolov has been ranked in the world's top 100 for less than a year, he is used to going on court with the world's best players. His father, Oleksandar, coached Andrei Medvedev, a former world No 4 and the best player to come out of Ukraine. Dolgopolov Jnr accompanied his father on tour from the age of three and got to hit with players like Thomas Muster and Marc Rosset. 'When there's a kid on tour, all the players try to play with him,' he recalled. 'I had a nice time.'"
Radwanska sees of a break point early in the second and holds serve for only the second time in the match - she's a battler and won't hand this over.Clijsters 6-3 1-1 Radwanska
From Scott via text:
"At work till 6 wasting my life away so hoping for a Schiavone-Kuznetzova marathon with Kim and Ag so I can catch Murray in action."
Brit junior George Morgan is in the teeth of a right old battle on 19, trailing 7-6 on serve in the final set against Croatia's Mate Delic.
Clijsters rediscovers her mojo at just the right time with a couple of sweeping winners into the corner and earns two set points
... and converts the second with a barrage of heavy forehands. It hasn't been perfect but she looks to have more than enough in reserve. Andy, look lively....Clijsters 6-3 Radwanska
Clijsters looks in total command with the double break at 4-1 but again lets her opponent back in, Radwanska getting one of the breaks back without actually doing all that much. All a bit odd.Clijsters 4-3 Radwanska
From Doug, Troon, via text:
"I've got to get up to pick up my nephew tomorrow morning, but gosh darn i think andy murray is more important! tell my brother i'm sorry!"
Clijsters breaks again and could be on her way now, maybe. George Morgan has pulled out a 4-2 lead in the final set against Delic on Court 19. And for all those asking, the Murray v Dolgopolov match follows this one with all the technical whizz-bangery you would expect i.e. sound and pictures.Clijsters 3-1 Radwanska
You lot - I'm blinking back the tears here, I really am. Must press on. Clijsters gets an early break and I can see her racing through this one quickly. Radwanska has done brilliantly to make it this far having had surgery on a right foot stress fracture in late October, after which the surgeon gave her 1% chance of playing Australian Open. Hang on, the plucky Pole has broken straight back...Clijsters 1-1 Radwanska
From Christian, Newcastle,via text:
"Morning, work in 6 hours but can't miss another live text; no more waking up with my phone in the rigid claw of my hand. I'm gonna power through Andy!"
bencurtis999 on Twitter:
"An exam at 9am but can I count watching Murray as cramming??? There's mechanics in tennis somewhere...surely?"
Mark Hodgkinson in the Telegraph:
"The men's game is filled with players whose Plans A, B and C involve cuffing the hell out of the ball, yet Murray and Dolgopolov are plainly not among them. On the tennis spectrum, Murray is plainly much closer to 'does his own thing' than 'slave to the coaching manuals', so it is telling that even he regards Dolgopolov, who is playing his first Australian Open, as an original."
Rats. Delic wins the tie-break and levels it up at one set all against Morgan, so the British fourth seed needs to dig deep. Rod Laver Arena welcomes the arrival of title favourite Kim Clijsters
and 12th seed Agineszka Radwanska,
who is looking for a real slice of history today by becoming the first Polish player in the Open era to reach a Grand Slam semi-final. That would be quite something. Especially as she's up against a woman playing her 14th Slam semi and fifth in Australia.
From Fraser, Newcastle, via text:
"Hi Piers, I finally, FINALLY, finished exams so this my Australian Open 2011 live text debut! Hoping Andy does the job quickly, I'm rather tired..."
George Morgan has saved set points in the second and is into a tie-break against Mate Delic.
"I knew it was going to be a tough match and I just tried to stay in there," says Zvonareva. And on the moment in the second set when a spectator suffered a fall: "It was a difficult moment and it's hard, someone is feeling bad and you're here to play tennis, but the chair umpire says you have to play. It was a little bit distracting but I kept my focus."
Petra Kvitova double faults at 15-30 to open the door for Vera Zvonareva
and a devilish lob gets the Russian to match point
.... and Kvitova fires a forehand over the baseline to lose 6-2 6-4
. A surprisingly straightforward win in 74 minutes for the second seed and you cannot argue that she has transformed herself over the last year into a real Grand Slam contender.
Zvonareva edges through a tight service game to move within sight of the semi-finals, and the Russian will want to finish this now as there are just signs that Kvitova is getting into the match. The Czech will serve to stay in it.Zvonareva 6-2 5-4 Kvitova
Steve Brenner in The Sun:
"Murray has won six out of the 12 sets he has played by 6-1 scores and lost just 22 games in his four wins. The world No 5 is looking cool, calm and determined to land a Slam title."
Mixed news from the wheelchair singles, where Peter Norfolk
beats fellow Brit Andrew Lapthorne 6-2 6-2, but Jordanne Whiley
goes down 6-4 6-1 to Jiske Griffioen of the Netherlands. George Morgan is battling away on Court 19, breaking serve with Mate Delic going for the set at 5-3, which will please the massed ranks of the LTA in the stands.
The comeback is well and truly on as Kvitova at last begins to display the talent that will take her into the world's top 20 for the first time next week. A slightly fortuitous backhand smash takes her within sight of another break at 0-30, and Zvonareva nets a backhand on break point.Zvonareva 6-2 3-4 Kvitova
Seeing as you ask, not so good. I do not recognise any of the celeb names before me and will give you a random sample - Jesinta Campbell, Mieke Buchan, Adam Hills, Peter Evans. Let's hope Billy Connolly can make it again.
KiwiTiger12 on Twitter:
"How's the celeb line up today Piers at #BBCAussieOpen? Happy Aust Day (or west island of NZ!)"
A spectator appears to be in some distress in the crowd, possibly a heavy fall, and when the decision is made to resume play after a brief delay, Zvonarea is clearly unhappy at the situation. Kvitova keeps her mind on the task at hand to hold serve and then get the break back.Zvonareva 6-2 3-2 Kvitova
Kvitova sprays a backhand into the tramlines on break point and Zvonareva then rattles through her service game to take a commanding lead in the second set. It's a pretty ropey old start to the day's play, to be honest, but it could hasten the arrival of Murray. Although.... the following match between Clijsters and Radwanksa will not start before 0130 GMT
, whatever happens in this one.Zvonareva 6-2 3-0 Kvitova
From Sophia, London, via text:
"My ingenious plan to ensure I watch the murray game has been to ask my lucky friend who is at the game to text and wake me up. The slightly less ingenious side of the plan is that it has resulted in my being turfed on to the sofa for the night."
From andy in hull via text:
"At work trying to keep up with the updates! Hoping that my boss isn't a secret tennis fan and is staying up through the night himself checking these updates...otherwise this has turned into a massive fail."
From Ross in dunfermline via text:
"Is it just me or is andy murray a lot chirpier off-court? Perhaps that's the reason he's playing so well, Billy Connolly's obviously lightened his mood a bit."
Peter Norfolk has snaffled the first 6-2 against fellow Brit Andrew Lapthorne, and George Morgan takes the first 6-4 against Mate Delic, but Jordanne Whiley has lost her opener 6-4 to Jiske Griffioen.Zvonareva 6-2 1-0 Kvitova
Kevin Mitchell in the Guardian:
"Dolgopolov is faced with an opponent who is playing at probably an even higher level than when he reached the final here last year. The Murray that Dolgopolov will meet is the Murray who stretched Nadal in the semi-final of the World Tour Finals at Greenwich in November, a match regarded by many as the best contest of 2010."
Kvitova wallops her 11th unforced error of the first set - and it feels like more - to lose the first set in 29 minutes. Zvonareva 6-2 Kvitova
Fadders10 on Twitter:
"Just got in. Sleep for 5 hours or pull the all night to watch murray play in australia? Jaffa cakes could be difference."
mike_willis_uk on Twitter:
"3:30GMT ya reckon? Thats 20:30 Canadian Mountain Time. Think I'll take a dip in hot tub on the roof & be back for the match!"
So what do the British press make of the challenge facing the nation's number one today? "Dolgopolov has turned into one of the craftiest players on the tour and in some respects is like the Scot in that his mixed-up game style can drive opponents to distraction," says
Mike Dickson in the Daily Mail.
"This ability is not as fine-tuned as Murray's, but it was enough to overload the microchip in Soderling's head and take out Jo Wilfried Tsonga in the round before, so he is definitely not to be underestimated."
It's going pretty well for the Brits so far, with Norfolk up 4-2 and Whiley 4-3 with a break, and Morgan has just saved a break point to lead 5-3.
Zvonareva loses concentration momentarily and Kvitova at last manages to get the ball over the net and inside the lines for a bit, leading to a break for the Czech who, incidentally, is one of five players over six feet tall in the world's top 50. Trying falling asleep with that sort of info heading your way!Zvonareva 4-1 Kvitova
From Doug, Manchester, via text:
"Coffee- check, laptop on bbc sports- check, alarm set for 3 am in the hope of not missing game if i fall asleep- check. Foolproof plan don't you think?"
From Dalan, London, via text:
"Hi Piers, using you to keep myself awake at least till Murray's 2 sets up. Anyone know where I can get live video coverage online? Ta. Looking forward to a gr8 night of tennis from "da mannn!"
From Leo via text:
"Job interview tomorrow morning, staying up to watch the tennis. Kvitova to take this first ladies match, Clijsters the second and Murray in 4 sets."
The texts and tweets are flooding in as you regale me with your plans for staying awake, everyone seems very perky at the moment. We'll see.... a nervous Kvitova gets to 40-15 but tanks it dramatically, losing three points in a row before double faulting, and Zvonareva leads 4-0.
Blimey, seven minutes gone and Zvonareva leads 3-0
on a hushed and fairly empty Rod Laver Arena. It's Australia Day today, so maybe everyone's enjoying a lie-in. If we had a Great Britain day, I wouldn't even draw the curtains. I'm that patriotic.
There are other Brits in action today aside from Mr Murray, and George Morgan
has just got under way in his boys' singles third-round match against Croatian Mate Delic on Court 19. George will team up later with another Croatian, Mate Pavic, in the doubles. He's got a lot of Mates, George. Wheelchair singles stars Peter Norfolk
and Jordanne Whiley
are currently in first-round action too.
A flagrant disregard of responsibilities in the pursuit of shared sporting glory - that's the spirit, Britain. We're about ready to go on Laver, with second seed Zvonareva continuing her quest to reach a third straight Slam final (and then win it), and Kvitova trying to repeat her run to the Wimbledon semis (and then win it). Zvonareva to serve...
SFurnivall on Twitter:
"Going to try manfully to stay up for Andy Murray match. #BBCAussieOpen live text and plenty of coffee, still doubt I'll make it past 02:00"
stanbag1 on Twitter:
"Bedtime... When I awake Murray will be in his 5th grand slam semi having dropped a handful of games #mysticmeg #temptingfate #bbcaussieopen"
In the meantime, we'll concentrate on Vera Zvonareva v Petra Kvitova,
which is about to start on Rod Laver Arena, to be followed by Kim Clijsters v Agnieszka Radwanska.
And all the while I will be demanding updates from you on how and where you're following the action, who's going to win and what excuses you're planning for your shoddy performance at work/school/college later today. Get in touch via
with the hashtag
unless you have a specific enquiry for me, in which case go for
Or you can send a text to 81111
(UK) with TENNIS before your message.
That's right, barring injuries in the preceding two women's quarter-finals, we expect to see Andy Murray v Alexandr Dolgopolov at around 0330 GMT,
which is when BBC Two, the Red Button, online streaming and 5 live
will roar to life.
Here we are, teetering on the start of another day of destiny for Andy Murray, and if I could come round and wake each of you individually with a gentle coo in your ear, you know I would. Unfortunately, the best way to avoid dropping off before the big match is by staring fixedly at your computer screen for about the next three hours. Probably while standing in the garden, just to be sure.