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Page last updated at 07:58 GMT, Friday, 20 January 2012

Australian Open day five as it happened


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By Ben Dirs

1256: ... on the Hisense Arena, first up is Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga against Frederico Gil of Portugal, followed by women's 21st seed Ana Ivanovic against American Vania King. Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova is next against Sabine Lisicki before the big one, Britain's Andy Murray against Michael Llodra of France. 5 live sports extra will be kicking in at 0600 GMT on Saturday, Murray expected on court at 0800 GMT. I'll be back around about that time for live text commentary, get involved...

1252: ... what have we for you tomorrow? Or indeed this evening? On Rod Laver, Wimbledon champion and second seed Petra Kvitova is up against Russia's 27th seed Maria Kirilenko first. That's followed by fourth seed Maria Sharapova against 30th seed Angelique Kerber, before men's number one Novak Djokovic against Frenchman Nicolas Mahut. In the evening session Serena Williams kicks off against Greta Arn before home hero Lleyton Hewitt goes head to head with Milos Raonic of Canada...

1247: ... that's that I'm afraid - Garrigues hobbles on for five minutes more before realising the pointlessness of it all, clattering a ball into the crowd, dissolving into tears and heading for the exit. Li Na wins on a retirement...

1240: Not sure what's going on out there - tears turn to smiles turn back to tears as the ankle is strapped and then when she rises to her feet she can barely walk. She's playing on, but this might not last long...

1238: Fans are streaming towards the exits as Garrigues is treated on her chair, they're less optimistic than the player herself, who is popping painkillers and having her ankle strapped. This could all be over - then again, it might not be...

1232: Li makes the early break before Garrigues suffers a heavy fall and appears to have turned her ankle. Tears and it looks like this could be over almost before it's started...

Text in your views on 81111
Tim, London, via text on 81111: "Hantuchova always seems to have the flair and technique of a Hingis, but the determination and mental strength of someone playing their first Slam. Such a shame."

Text in your views on 81111
Ian, Hants, via text on 81111: "A lot of talk before this match about Tomic and Dolgopolov being the future of tennis but for me neither of them are likely to go to the very top. Fun to watch but the game has moved on from this sort of tennis. They make Murray look aggressive! Raonic is the real future."

1221: It's French Open champion Li Na to serve first and here's a nice fact for you - 26th seed Garrigues, the Spanish number one, has beaten Li on the four previous occasions they've played. Apropos nothing, Garrigues' favourite actors are Tom Cruise and Bruce Willis, which doesn't help her in the first game, a Li hold...

1215: Fifth seed Li Na of China is out on court knocking up with Anabel Garrigues of Spain, it's gonna be a late one...

1200: Both men toy with each other, looking for all the world like Borg-McEnroe back in the day, before Dolgo fires long and wide with a forehand. Tomic opens up and converts a forehand winner and a sprayed backhand from the Ukrainian makes it two match points for the 19-year-old Aussie. And that's a wrap! Tomic wins in five sets, 4-6 7-6 (7-0) 7-6 (8-6) 2-6 6-3. Great game, that, more variety of shot-making than you might normally see in an entire week.

1156: Tomic has got Dolgo rocking and rolling now and he includes a screamer of a forehand pass as he holds to make it 5-2. What a forehand that is from Dolgopolov, a top-spin pass right down the line. Dolgo follows up with one of those cute drop-shots of his and finishes courtesy of a belting forehand right down the middle. Tomic serving for the match - with brand new balls...

1151:Del Potro is through in straight sets against Taiwan's Yen-Hsun Lu - 6-2 6-3 6-0. Pretty much a case of if the Argentine got his first serve in, Lu was toast.

1145: So much slice on some of these Dolgo backhands that they're turning almost square off the court but his forehand has been his problem - he finds the net halfway up before Tomic sends down a boomer to steal a three-game lead in the deciding set.

1141: Del Potro is stretching his legs and showing his class over on Hisense - 5-0 up in the third, a game away from a fourth round clash with German Philipp Kohlschreiber. Two break points for Aussie hope Tomic... only needs one of them, he leads 3-1...

1135: Dolgo showing signs that he's rattled - first he sprays a forehand wide before responding to boos from the crowd with 'bring it on' arms movements, the cheeky so and so. Del Potro is still cruising, he's 3-0 up in the third set and has one foot in the fourth round. Tomic 2-1 up, he's just held...

1129: Tomic's fans rendered silent as Dolgopolov wraps up the fourth set to take the match into a fifth - 6-4 7-6 7-6 2-6 so far. Dolgo with a break point in the first game of the final set but the Ukrainian goes long with a forehand. Ace from Tomic but Dolgo hits back with a top-spin forehand cross-court. Dolgo steals the advantage only for Tomic to hit back with a vicious ace. Dolgo with a ripper of a hooked backhand pass but he can't take advantage and Tomic puts away an overhead to create game-point. Dolgo saves again and now we have some controversy thrown in - I believe someone in the crowd called 'out', Dolgo pretty much stopped playing, and now he's remonstrating with the umpire. Anyway, Tomic leads the final set 1-0.

1116: Tomic tottering on serve as Dolgo steals a 0-30 lead. Tomic gets back level before finding the net with a forehand and we have a double-break, Tomic finding the net again. We're careering into a fifth set on Rod Laver as news reaches me Del Potro has moved two sets up against Lu.

1111: Dolgo is getting some back treatment - shirt off, prostrate, not as many wolf whistles as he might have liked. He's back up and at it, though, you get the feeling wild horses wouldn't be able to drag him off Rod Laver.

1105: Some much slicing in this Tomic-Dolgo match that both players will be fighting over the nickname 'Chef' after battle is ended. Another splendid rally that ends with Tomic scrambling backwards and hooking a forehand wide. Tomic goes long with a forehand to make it 0-30 before Dolgo gets an unfortunate net cord which sends a potential winner wide. But we have ourselves a break, Tomic fluffing a forehand, to deathly silence on Rod.

1057: The first two games of the fourth set between Tomic and Dolgopolov go with serve, Del Potro still a break up over on Hisense Arena. There was me thinking Hisense must have been some Aussie legend from yesteryear - Margot Hisense, or some such - when it turns out Hisense is actually a multinational electronics manufacturer based in China.

1048: Dolgo attacking the net and eventually putting away a beast of a backhand volley to open up a two-point lead. Tomic rips a forehand down the line to make it 4-5 and the Aussie levels things off the back of a brave drive-volley. Set point Tomic but Dolgo saves it with an ace out wide... Dolgopolov sprays a forehand wide and it's set point Tomic again... the Melbourne faithful go wild, Dolgo into the net with a backhand and Tomic goes 2-1 up in sets. Del Potro looks to be cruising, he's a break up in the second set having taken the first.

1041: Have some of that! Tomic stands tall and larrups a backhand down the line to steal a mini-break and a 1-0 lead. Dolgo breaks back immediately courtesy of a knifed backhand volley and Tomic shovels a forehand long on the next point to make it 2-1 Dolgo. Dolgo finds the middle of the net with a timid backhand before Tomic smashes a forehand return to the feet of his opponent to make it five successive service breaks.... make that six, 3-3...

1035: Dolgo with an easy hold, Tomic will be serving to save the set. Del Potro has taken the first set in his match against Lu, a breeze to be honest, 6-2. Dolgo goes long with a forehand, Tomic 40-15, and the Aussie wraps things up with an ace - another breaker, Tomic won the last won to love...

Andrew Clifford on Twitter: "Never seen so many slices in a match, backhand and forehand!World class shovelling! Dolg needs to start hitting again to win this."

Ivo Karlovic on Twitter: "There were some positive things in todays match. Gaining 2k followers on twitter is one of them. Thanks Jim."

1029: Del Potro bangs down an ace to move 4-2 ahead in the first set of his match against Lu... the Argentine has broken again, he'll be serving for the set...

1023: Tomic sends down an ace to make it 40-30 but what a shot that is from the Ukrainian, a beautifully-disguised sliced drop-shot. Dolgo then gets a beneficial net cord for a break point but muffs a forehand into the net. Tomic slices a backhand into the net before saving a second break point courtesy of a beefy first serve. Great crafted point from Tomic, switching from backhand slices to flat forehands in the blink of an eye, and that's a save.

1018: Lots of TV shots of what I assume his Bernard Tomic's 'squeeze', a lovely tanned lady with long blonde hair, the sort of woman I'd like to promenade with on the Essex Riviera. Dolgo holds to make it 4-3, while over on the other late court Del Potro is 3-1 up against Lu. This Dolgo-Tomic match has more twists than the proverbial twisty-turny thing, I feel something brewing in this Tomic service game.

1014: Break point Dolgopolov but Tomic saves as the Ukrainian steers a forehand return into the net. Tomic wins the next two points to make it 3-3. Dolgo looks deeply frustrated, missing shots he should really be making. Keep the chat coming by tweeting me @bendirs1 using the hashtag #BBCTennis or text us on 81111 (UK).

1008: Tomic holds to make it 3-1, he's got a toe-hold in the set. Depth from Dolgo on the backhand before he creates game point with a vicious forehand. Tomic with a dreamy sliced backhand pass before the pair engage in what starts out as a cagey rally that eventually breaks out into a full-on fist-fight, which Tomic eventually wins. The Aussie bites back, 3-2 Dolgo, Tomic to serve. Lu wins his first game over on Hisense to make it 2-1 Del Potro.

1001: Lu saves a break-point in the opening game, doing so with a confident drive-volley, Dolgo moves into a 3-0 lead on Rod. Tomic has gone off the boil, it's as if someone's turned his gas off. Del Potro has indeed broken, I'm predicting a beasting for his 28-year-old Taiwanese opponent.

0954: The Australian Open official day session attendance was a record Friday attendance of 46,135. The previous record was set in 2011 with 40,724 attending. Someone told me that. What know you of Taipei's Yen-Hsun Lu? Well, he made the quarters of Wimbledon last year and has played Del Potro once before, winning 4-6 6-3 6-2 in Washington a few years back. His older brother is a computer engineer. Dolgo has broken early in the third set, he leads 2-0.

0947: Following on from Clijsters-Hantuchova on Hisense, we've got Argentina's 11th seed Juan Martin del Potro versus Yen-Hsun Lu of Taipei. They'll be in action in five or so minutes. Dolgopolov is having his backside handed to him in the second set breaker, 0-6 down and he coughs up a double-fault - 6-4 6-7 (0-7). This one has got five sets written all over it in giant Magic Marker. Old-school tennis, a real variety of shot-making, as if they're wielding wood, not graphite.

0942: More slices in that rally than in your average white cut loaf and Dolgo eventually muffs into the net before handing Tomic a set point with a ballooned forehand. Back to deuce before Tomic fizzes a forehand down the line to gain the advantage. Flash, bang, wallop, what a rally! The ball slip-sliding hither and tither before Dolgo gets an unfortunate net cord and Tomic climbs all over it, smashing a forehand winner. But that's some serious guts from Dolgo, he holds to take it to a breaker.

TonySylver on Twitter: "Tomic's been boring & ordinary. Dolgo's active & I am loving his unpredictability. Fed will have a field day with either."

0932: We're all square at 5-5 between Dolgopolov and Tomic, Clijsters serving for the match over on Hisense. That's a peach from Tomic, a knifed backhand down the line, and he wins that service game to love to move 6-5 ahead in the second set. Clijsters has wrapped things up, a fairly regulation third-round win, 6-3 6-2.

0927: Dolgopolov being rewarded for greater ambition at the moment and that's a snorting backhand return down the line. Hantuchova not going down without a fight, she's broken back to make it 2-4. Tomic holds, Dolgo serving to stay in the set...

Tim Ness on Twitter: "Daniela Hantuchova has been my favourite player for years. So elegant. And so frustrating. Potential never quite achieved."

0921: Tomic with a love game, rounded off with two successive aces. Clijsters makes it 4-1, another break, Hantuchova, sometimes described as 'gazelle-like' (by me) being devoured, she really is taking one hell of a beating.

0917: Two break points for Dolgo and Tomic saves the first behind a second serve. Ace! Oh dear, Tomic finds the net with a rather underwhelming forehand and that's a break back from the Ukrainian. Ripper of a cross-court forehand from Clijsters to move 3-1 ahead in the second set.

0912: If anyone fancies getting involved via Twitter or text, or perhaps in the form of a letter, you can. Perhaps you're a fan of Daniela Hantuchova's splendid fuschia dress, or Kim Clijsters' forehand, or indeed the precociousness of young Bernard Tomic, who has just broken to make it 3-1 in the second set.

0907: Hantuchova broken in the first game of the second set and Clijsters looks to be cruising in that one. Tomic holds to make it 2-1, screaming forehand down the line to clinch it. Oh my Lordy, Lord - Hantuchova has the court at her mercy on break-back point and she demonstrates the touch of a hod-carrier, ballooning a forehand about six feet long. Clijsters goes on to hold, Hantuchova looks like she might cry.

BBC Radio 5 Live
Former British number one Jeremy Bates on BBC Radio 5 live: "Tomic needs to be more aggressive and raise the stakes because Dolgopolov is perfectly happy to go along with his game. He can't afford to be so passive."

0901: Clijsters has broken Hantuchova again and will therefore serve for the first set. Wobbly old opening service game from Tomic but he holds. Clijsters scampers to the net, pummels a forehand straight down the middle and pumps the fist, first set to the Belgian. Rip-snorting rally over on Rod, finished off with another sliced drop-shot from Dolgo - some of Dolgo's shots are so sweet, a surfeit of them might make you sick. Like Refreshers.

0853: We've got ourselves a genuine ding-dong on Rod Laver - Tomic cruises into a 0-40 lead before Dolgo scraps back to 30-40. Saves it with an ace - spunky. Another ace, first set to the 13th seed, 6-4. Good game that, lots of variety, and you can't always say that about modern tennis.

0848: Dolgopolov wraps his graphite round a forehand winner down the line to create a break point but Tomic saves courtesy of a splendid drive-volley. Hantuchova showing big balls - breaks back, but she's now having her foot treated. Dolgopolov breaks - fizzing forehand pass, he'll be serving for the set.

0842: Dolgo with break-back point and that's a cutey from the Ukrainian, a sliced drop-shot to make it 3-4. Hantuchova has saved two more break points over on Hisense Arena, the Slovak refusing to be broken under Clijsters' steel-rimmed wheels. Scratch that, she's just been broken, the defending champion leads 4-2 in the first set. Dolgo wins his service game to love, they're all-square again at 4-4.

0836: Two break points for Tomic and, at the risk of sounding like Dan Maskell, I haven't see tennis like this for quite some time - the ball bending and curving through the air under a welter of slices. Tomic breaks to steal a march, he's 4-2 up...

0831: Tomic holds after that punch-em-up game, he leads 2-1. Clijsters looks in particularly savage mood - forehand like a lumberjack felling a red wood with an axe and she's taken Hantuchova to deuce once again on the Slovak's serve. Three aces in a game from Tomic, the Aussie moves 3-2 ahead in the opening set...

Darren Cahill, coach and pundit on Twitter: "Bernie & Alex are slicing & dicing the ears off the balls. RLA crowd is not sure if this is a 3rd round or an exo."

Martin_LTFC on Twitter: "Tomic vs. @TheDolgo is easily the most anticipated match-up for the next 5 years for me, two huge prospects."

0825: Tomic saves the first break point of the match before Dolgo creates another... Tomic saves courtesy of a man-size serve down the middle before winning a marathon of slices - a slice-athon, if you will - only to muff the next point. Steely from Hantuchova, and that's not an adjective you'd always use to describe the Slovak - she saves two break points before levelling against Clijsters at 1-1. They're still knifing each other over on Rod Laver, I'll keep you posted...

0820: The chaps are on the wireless - Russell Fuller and Jeremy Bates commentating on the boys match for BBC Radio 5 live sports extra. If you're watching on TV, turn off the sound and listen to them instead. Dolgo - I will be calling him that from now on - holds to make it 1-1 against Tomic, while Clijsters also holds to make it 1-0 against Hantuchova.

0814: Dolgopolov leads the 19-year-old Tomic 3-0 in head-to-heads, all on hard courts. If Dolgopolov wasn't a tennis player he'd like to be a rally car driver. Or a welder. I can't remember which. As for young Tomic, his ATP website write-up says he likes Eminem and some chap called 50 Cent, which is tremendous, really lovely. We're off and it's Tomic to serve first. Hantuchova and Clijsters are knocking up over on Hisense, the long-limbed Hantuchova resplendant in orange, Clijsters less boastful in black. Tomic holds...

0803: Tomic and Dolgopolov make their way onto Rod Laver Arena and the crowd erupts - well, they do for Tomic, poor old Dolgopolov saunters on to icy silence. Big man, Tomic - 6ft 5ins, a full 7 inches taller than his opponent. Knocking up, we'll have some play in five minutes... Keep the chat coming by tweeting me @bendirs1 using the hashtag #BBCTennis or text us on 81111 (UK).

0800: Morning. While the big boys have already had their fun in Melbourne - Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal both breezed through in straight sets overnight - there is still much to look forward to from the Australian Open. And I will be telling you all about it. On Hisense Arena we've got defending champion Kim Clijsters up against the gazelle-like Daniela Hantuchova, followed by Argentina's Juan Martin de Potro versus Yen-Hsun Lu of Taipei. And over on Rod Laver*, Young Turk** Bernard Tomic will be duking it out with 13th seed Alexandr Dolgopolov, which could be a ruddy barnburner.

* This match will not be taking place actually on Rod Laver, but on the court named after him
** Tomic is a thrusting young Australian, not a Turk

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