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Australian Open day six as it happened


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By Ben Dirs

1246: Hewitt 6-4 3-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 Raonic Hewitt sounds pretty emotional in his post-match interview, he's a had a tough old trot with injuries for some time now. Some bloke called Novak Djokovic up next on Monday... good luck with that... Tennis Breakfast on 5 live sports extra from 0600 GMT and I'll be providing live coverage on Tomic-Federer from about 0800 GMT. Peace out...

1242: Hewitt 6-4 3-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 Raonic ... Raonic, eyes like saucers, slams a second-serve return into the middle of the net and it's Hewitt with another match point... what a shot that is from the Canadian, opening up and thrashing a cross-court forehand winner. Deuce number four before Hewitt flirts with the baseline with an overhead to create another match point, number three... Hewitt dinks over a lob, Raonic tracks it down but is only able to put a forehand on the turn into the net. Hewitt topples onto his back, the crowd goes wild and we've got the first wildcard into the fourth round in Melbourne since Matts Wilander in 1994.

1237: ... this game now three hours old as Hewitt hands Raonic another break-back point... ACE! Have some of that... AND SOME MORE! Raonic lured into the net and Hewitt stiffs him with a rasping backhand pass... match point... saved, Raonic with some heavy groundstrokes before punching home the backhand volley...

1234: Hewitt looks to go down the line on the backhand flank but only succeeds in finding the net - Raonic leads 15-30. Raonic with a very loose forehand into the net before Hewitt finds the net with a backhand to hand his rival a break-back point... Raonic goes long! Back to deuce...

1230: ... Hewitt makes an argument of things on Raonic's serve but the Canadian seals the hold with an ace... Hewitt to serve for the match...

1224: First on Hisense Arena on Sunday are Britain's Colin Fleming and Ross Hutchins, who are up against top seeds Bob and Mike Bryan. That won't be easy. Raonic holds to make it 2-4 in the fourth set, Hewitt 2-1 up in sets and with the break. Hewitt holds, Raonic serving to stay in the match...

1217: Lleyton Hewitt, playing in his 16th straight Aussie Open, has just broken in the fourth and there are the first signs of mental fatigue from the normally expressionless Raonic. Hewitt hopping around behind the baseline like his debutant self, rather than a man of 30, and the unforced errors are streaming from Raonic's racquet now. Ace from Hewitt, a trademark "come on"-fist pump combo and Raonic's camp look sick up in the stands.

1211: What's happening tomorrow in Melbourne? On Rod Laver we've got third seed Victoria Azarenka up against Iveta Benesova first up in the fourth round of the women's draw; to follow, Spain's 18th seed Feliciano Lopez has second seed Rafael Nadal to deal with; before defending champion Kim Clijsters does battle with fifth seed Li Na. In the evening session, home favourite Bernard Tomic plays world number three Roger Federer before women's top seed Caroline Wozniacki plays 13td seed Jelena Jankovic.

1206: Raonic saves a break point with an ace on the line and follows up with another before a lucky net cord hands him the game - 1-1 in the fourth...

1156: ... one set point saved, Hewitt tamely plonking into the net... Hewitt has the court at his mercy but opts to go cross-court and finds the net again... HEWITT'S SET! Raonic is a raw talent but he has plenty of holes in his game - Hewitt, scrambling all over the back of the court, eventually puts up a lob, Raonic is unable to put it away and then sticks a very awkward volley-cum-smash into the net. Hewitt leads Raonic 4-6 6-3 7-6 (7-5)...

1152: Marathon, one-hour third set and we're into the breaker... with serve at 3-2, Hewitt's delivery... and it's Raonic to crack first, first mini-break to Hewitt who takes a 5-3 lead... double-break! Three set-points as Raonic goes long and wide with an attempted backhand pass...

1146: Raonic with a heat-seeking backhand down the line to level at 15-15 but Hewitt puts away a text-book volley to make it 30-15. That's a doozy of a backhand winner from the home favourite but he follows up with a sixth double-fault... great scrambling from Hewitt and he finishes things off with a forehand winner. We've got ourselves a third-set tie-break.

1137: Raonic has shown some weakness with his groundstrokes from the back of the court, the occasional one drifting long with the Canadian seemingly under no pressure. Hewitt holds...

1133: Hewitt serving to stay in the set and he's struggling - fine backhand down the line from the Canadian and Hewitt can only find the net to hand Raonic two break-points...

1118: That's got to hurt - Hewitt almost busts a gasket in breaking Raonic's serve only to lose his own service game to love...

1113: Big boy, Raonic, and he's got some serve on him. It's a languid thing of beauty once it gets going, although all that ball-bouncing could get a little bit annoying, he's not exactly a man in a hurry. Hewitt with a couple of break-points and he converts the second, his Canadian opponent unable to deal with a threaded forehand pass. Hewitt leads 3-2...

1105: Raonic levels the third set at 2-2, still rammed to the rafters on Rod at gone 10pm...

1054: Hewitt levels over on Rod - packed out, the crowd go wild as Raonic goes long with a backhand...

1050: For those of you who are fans of Iranian-based tennis tomfoolery, Mansour Bahrami, everyone's favourite tennis tomfool, is currently in action in the legends' doubles over on Hisense. Bahrami is partnered by Frenchman Cedric Pioline and they are up against Pat Cash and Goran Ivanisevic, who lead 4-2 in the first set. Hewitt has broken in the second set against the baby-faced Raonic, the Aussie serving for the set.

1036: Raonic with a second-serve ace down the middle to make it 2-2 in the second set. Raonic is Montenegrin by birth but moved to Canada at the age of three. He is currently ranked 25th in the world, his highest ever, and reached the fourth round in Melbourne last year. Hewitt getting them rocking and rolling on Rod Laver with some old moves against the young pretender and he holds to make it 3-2 in the second set.

1026: Hewitt is playing in his 16th straight Aussie Open which is a new record, surpassing Jack Crawford and Harry Hopman. Thirties legend Crawford sometimes necked shots of whiskey between sets, apparently, which even Jocky Wilson might have baulked at in the glory days of darts. In another game I haven't yet mentioned today, Spain's David Ferrer beat Juan Ignacio Chela in straight sets.

1018: Home favourite Lleyton Hewitt is up against young Canadian Milos Raonic on Rod Laver and the Aussie has dropped the first set 6-4. Raonic, 21, won on tour in San Jose last year and was voted ATP Newcomer of the Year. Very much a star of the present and perhaps an even bigger one of the future.

1002: Pretty good post-match interview actually, Murray being allowed to show a bit of personality by dint of some left-field questions: favourite actor? Will Ferrell. Pippa or Kate Middleton? Pippa. Radio boys didn't like it, but anything that makes Andy crack a smile and relax a bit is fine by me.

Murray 6-4 6-2 6-0 Llodra
Llodra sticks up the old moon ball and Murray crunches the overhead on the bounce. Lodra with another hotdog - AND HE'S PULLED IT OFF! Only for Murray to put away the simple backhand volley. Murray with two match points and he only needs one of them - bit of hitting from the back of the court, Llodra still has time to throw in a mid-rally Murray grunt impersonation before the Scot puts him away with a pin-point lob. Earlier, someone asked: If age did say something what do you think it would be? Llodra.
*Denotes next server

*Murray 6-4 6-2 5-0 Llodra
Murray with a magnificent angled forehand pass before Llodra plonks a forehand volley long. To borrow from boxing parlance, we're watching a man grow old on the court - two more hours with Murray and the Frenchman would be making his way off Hisense Arena in a wicker wheelchair. Another hotdog attempt from Llodra and another blank - Murray to serve for the match...
*Denotes next server

Murray 6-4 6-2 4-0 Llodra*
Murray with two bites at a smash and he devours the second one. Easy hold, Llodra looks like he wants out, that's seven straight games for the world number four.
*Denotes next server

*Murray 6-4 6-2 3-0 Llodra
Llodra showing signs of fatigue now as Murray continues to drag him out to sea, he knows it's only a matter of time before Murray grinds his hobnails into his fingers and casts him free into the deep blue abyss. Murray threadles a forehand down the line with Swiss precision (speak to old East End people, 'threadle' is a word) and Murray goes on to break again.
*Denotes next server

Murray 6-4 6-2 2-0 Llodra*
Llodra with a smoking overhead and he moves into a 30-15 lead with some heavy-hitting before an attack on the net. Llodra misses out on two Murray second serves, and you can't really afford to do that against Murray, and the Scotsman holds.
*Denotes next server

*Murray 6-4 6-2 1-0 Llodra
Murray with an overhead full of heft before Llodra plays a drop-shot so deft I'm not even convinced it happened. Llodra with a wild and windy woosh that lands well wide to hand Murray a break-point and the Frenchman follows up with a double-fault. Murray looks to have this match by the lapels.
*Denotes next server

Murray 6-4 6-2 Llodra*
Well, I don't recall ever seeing that before in all my time watching tennis - Murray and Llodra exchange acute shots at the net before Llodra puts away the winner, not over the net, but behind the post. So cheeky, even Murray has to smile about it. Another unbelievable rally - some of this stuff is straight out of the circus - this one ending with Llodra making a dog's dinner of another hotdog attempt. This really is stupendous stuff - Murray finally holds, Llodra rifling the ball straight at his rival's body only for Murray to somehow deflect the ball over the net before tumbling backwards. Bring on the jugglers!
*Denotes next server

*Murray 6-4 5-2 Llodra
Double-fault from Llodra, his first of the match, to make it 15-15. Llodra gets the rack treatment as he stretches full-length to make a forehand volley, only for Murray two sweep a forehand winner down the middle. Llodra balloons a volley long to hand Murray a break-point and the Scot converts, whipping a backhand cross-court winner past the stationary Frenchman. Murray serving for the set.
*Denotes next server

Murray 6-4 4-2 Llodra*
Serena Williams is through to the fourth round of the women's draw, she's smashed Hungary's Greta Arn 6-1 6-1. Monfils is out, too, beaten in five sets by Mikhail Kukushkin, who will play the winner of this match. Llodra has two Murray second serves to have a go at there but muffed up on both occasions, Murray holds...
*Denotes next server

*Murray 6-4 3-2 Llodra
Murray scrambling well and he somehow produces a backhand lob from nowhere that has Llodra attempting a hotdog between the legs, which he doesn't manage to pull off. Llodra works his way back into the game only for Murray to take it to deuce with a naughty little pass at the net. Lovely wrong-footing backhand volley from Llodra only for Murray to unfurl another ripped backhand pass. Another tremendous rally ends with Murray hitting Llodra on the back with a vicious backhand before embracing his opponent - lovely stuff. Tremendous backhand stop-volley from Llodra and that's a hold as Murray hooks a backhand return well wide.
*Denotes next server

Murray 6-4 3-1 Llodra*
Llodra with a three-minute treatment time-out, he's got a gammy right knee. All that stooping at the net is going to wear away at things but after a brisk massage and a bit of tape he's back on court, prancing around behind the baseline like a two-legged, hornless, human-faced gazelle (with no fur or hooves). Murray with a hooked forehand winner to take him to 40-0 and he wraps things up with ease courtesy of a ding-dong forehand.
*Denotes next server

TKO Radio on Twitter: "Really upsets me that serve-and-volley players are almost extinct. The alternative strategy made many interesting matches"

*Murray 6-4 2-1 Llodra
Murray with a savage forehand return, but Llodra manages to pop it over off his toes. What a return that is from Murray, stepping in and almost square-cutting through point, a la Robin Smith. Elegance at the net from Llodra, striking the classic stretch-volley pose, and he wraps things up courtesy of a peach of a first serve.
*Denotes next server

Murray 6-4 2-0 Llodra*
Llodra appears to be struggling a little bit with an iffy back - up against a man who returns the ball like Murray, that's like attempting to climb the north face of the Eiger in flip-flops. Murray with a pass so acute it almost went backwards before Llodra returns fire with a pile-driver of a backhand return. Ace Murray, break consolidated.
*Denotes next server

*Murray 6-4 1-0 Llodra
Bizarrely, Murray was successful with 74% of first serves in that first set yet found himself under all sorts of pressure on his own delivery. Llodra, with a change of shirt, now in peppermint green, is left clawing at the floor at the net by a beefy Murray pass and Murray follows up with a rasping cross-court backhand - two break-points, and Murray only needs one of them...
*Denotes next server

Text in your views on 81111
Jack, Teddington, via text on 81111: "If age did say something what do you think it would be?"

Murray 6-4 Llodra*
Coming hot on the heels of Tomic-Dolgopolov on Friday, which was full of old-school craft and frills and flourishes, this display from Llodra makes one think I have passed through some kind of tennis time-portal, except all the men are angrier with bigger thighs. Three set points for Murray... Llodra makes Murray buckle under the force of a forehand before the British number one tamely plonks a forehand pick-up into the net. Murray then finds the net with an attempted backhand smash before putting away a backhand volley to create a fourth set-point. Murray's set, sealed with a backhand pass...
*Denotes next server

*Murray 5-4 Llodra
Llodra has eyes like a ruddy kestrel - he challenges what looked a good backhand pass from Murray, adjudging correctly that it missed the line. Becker-esque diving backhand volley from Llodra before the Frenchman puts away a simple backhand at the net. Another straightforward hold for Llodra and all this serve-and-volleying is good to watch.
*Denotes next server

Murray 5-3 Llodra*
Llodra is all attack, attack, attack and Murray muffs an attempted pass wide... and again... Murray hits back with a ripsnorter of an ace down the middle - scratch that, challenged correctly... Murray has a rummage around and pulls a top-spin lob out of his top-drawer, but here's two more break-points, this time Llodra out-hitting him from the back of the court... Murray saves one behind another hefty serve before serve-volleying for the first time in the match - four break-points saved. More angles than Pythagoras at the net from Llodra but Murray saves a fifth break-point with yet another ace. Llodra attacks a Murray second-serve but only succeeds in finding the net with a backhand and Murray holds courtesy of another ballsy first serve. Gael Monfils has won the fourth set against Kazakhstan's Mikhail Kukushkin, 6-1...
*Denotes next server

*Murray 4-3 Llodra
Park shot from Llodra - and I don't mean a posh park in Wimbledon, I mean a park in Hackney - an attempted pass that lands about three feet wide. Llodra showing his full array of doubles skills up at the net, deft pick-ups and solid volleys, and he holds with a minimum of fuss.
*Denotes next server

Murray 4-2 Llodra*
A rare sighting of Murray's old man in the crowd, just a few down from Ivan Lendl. Let's just say Andy didn't inherit his luxurious mane from his dad. Well-worked point from Llodra, pulling Murray this way and that before popping over a simple forehand volley into the open court. Murray wins a net exchange to make it 15-30 before ramming home his third ace so far. Break-point as Murray knifes a backhand into the net but that's another fine serve to save, this time down the middle. You have to say that was magnificent! Marvellous lob from Llodra but Murray hunts it down and puts away a barely-credible forehand winner. Murray holds, although Llodra is knocking on the door.
*Denotes next server

*Murray 3-2 Llodra
Really aggressive start from Murray and what a return that is, just flicking a backhand past the rooted Llodra. Murray is all over the Llodra second serve like a cheap suit - that one pops up perfectly and Murray goes at it like a lumberjack felling a red wood. Llodra with a fine pick-up off his toes and he holds, despite an almost miracle forehand pass on the scamper from Murray that lands just wide.
*Denotes next server

Murray 3-1 Llodra*
... then again, Llodra's not going to beat Murray from the back of the court either, so, to paraphrase Michael Caine in Alfie, if Murray ain't got you one way, he's got you another... some crisp hitting from Llodra takes him into a 30-15 lead on the Murray serve before what appears to be an ace is called a let. Double-fault from Murray hands Llodra a break-point but the Scott sizzles an ace out wide to save and sends another one down to hold - mini-crisis averted.
*Denotes next server

*Murray 2-1 Llodra
Llodra very much of the old-school, looking to rush the net at every opportunity, but that's a doozy from Murray, hooking a backhand pass cross-court. Llodra picks one off his toes but Murray passes him again, this time on the forehand wing. Llodra beaten at the net again as Murray cerates three more break-points but the Frenchman saves the first with a text-book, punched backhand volley. Bit of tit-for-tat at the net before Murray scrambles back and beats Llodra on the turn. That game, in a nutshell, is why hardly anyone plays serve-and-volley any more - Llodra a sitting duck at the net against the force of Murray's groundstrokes.
*Denotes next server

Murray 1-1 Llodra*
A shot of Ivan Lendl in the crowd, adopting the pose of Rodin's Thinker. But not a lot to worry about on his charge's first service game, the Scot breezes through it to love.
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*Murray 0-1 Llodra
Llodra serve-volleys on the first point and pays the price, Murray almost flicking a forehand winner past the Frenchman's despairing reach. Murray with a hefty return on the Llodra second serve and Llodra is unable to deal with the pace. Llodra shovels a forehand wide to hand Murray two break points and the Frenchman saves the first courtesy of a cute forehand volley. Llodra follows up with an ace down the middle but hands Murray a third break-point with a wild and woolly backhand. Another save and the Frenchman holds on...
*Denotes next server

0807: More on Llodra: he is looking to end a five-match losing streak against top 10 opposition. The last top-10 opponent he beat was Novak Djokovic in Paris in 2010. In addition, he once put his ability to hide in very small spaces to the test (see entry at 0736) by collapsing his skeleton and secreting himself in a box of matches owned by June Brown (Dot Cotton off of EastEnders). We'll have some play any second...

0802: Righto, players are out. Thankfully, Murray is wearing the same mandarin orange shirt as he was in the last round, so I don't have to change the index picture. They have the toss and they're currently knocking up...

0758: Of course, if you don't fancy reading this, it's also on 5 live sports extra with commentary from the tremendous Al Eykyn - a good man in an often hateful world. He'll be joined by the estimable former British number one Jeremy Bates - a calm vessel on stormy seas. Not long now, they should be out in a few minutes.

0753: We have a Japanese into the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time in the Open era and his name is Kei Nishikori, who has beaten Frenchman Julien Benneteau in four sets. Not actually an upset, Nishikori is the 24th seed while his opponent was unseeded.

Paul Richards on Twitter: "Just sent you a proper letter stating how unlucky Murray was against Djokovic. Should be relevent when it reaches you"

0744: More on Llodra: he is something of a doubles specialist, with 22 doubles titles to his name, including three Grand Slams and the Aussie Open in 2004. He's still in the doubles this year, through to the third round with partner Nenad Zimonjic. He is one of eight men over 30 to reach the third round this year, the most at any Grand Slam since 12 men reached the third round at Wimbledon in 1978. That might say something about the way tennis is going. Then again, it might not.

0736: I should mention that Murray and Llodra are due on court at 0800 GMT. Good match in progress between Gael Monfils, the 14th seed, and Kazakhstan's Mikhail Kukukshin, the non-seed two sets up and on the verge of an upset. Llodra, so says Murray, is something of a joker who once stripped naked and hid in Ivan Ljubicic's locker. A little-known fact is that Llodra is actually a quarter mouse (on his mother's side) and, in common with mice, is able to collapse his skeleton in order to fit into very small spaces.

0729: As ever, we'd love to know what you think about tennis and stuff via a variety of means, both modern and ancient. Tweet me @bendirs1 using the hashtag #BBCTennis , lob over an SMS on 81111 (UK) or perhaps take the time and effort to sit down and write a proper letter: Benjamin Dirs, Quay House, Salford Quays, M50 3SQ.

0720: Morning all, at least from where I'm sitting. British number one and fourth seed Andy Murray is playing a game of tennis today against a Frenchman called Michael Llodra. Murray is bidding to reach the fourth round for a fourth consecutive year, while 31-year-old Llodra, the world number 46, has only reached the second round on one previous occasion, as a qualifier in 2000 (when Murray was no doubt a snotty second year at Dunblane High School). Murray leads 2-0 in head-to-heads but they haven't played each other since '08.

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see also
Murray makes short work of Llodra
21 Jan 12 |  Tennis
Djokovic crushes struggling Mahut
21 Jan 12 |  Tennis
Williams and Kvitova make last 16
22 Jan 12 |  Tennis
Men's singles results
21 May 10 |  Tennis
Women's singles results
22 May 11 |  Tennis
Men's singles latest
21 May 10 |  Tennis
Women's singles latest
21 May 10 |  Live scores
Order of play
15 Jan 12 |  Tennis
Men's singles draw
26 Aug 11 |  Tennis
Women's singles draw
28 Jan 10 |  Tennis
Tennis on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Tennis

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