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Page last updated at 08:26 GMT, Monday, 23 January 2012

Australian Open 2012 day eight as it happened

LIVE TEXT COMMENTARY (all times GMT)

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By Aimee Lewis

1426: Time fore me to bid you goodbye, but do return in the early hours of Tuesday for four mouth-watering quarter-final line-ups. What if I were to tell you Victoria Azarenka starts proceedings on Rod Laver Arena against Agnieszka Radwanska, to be followed by Caroline Wozniacki's clash against Kim Cljisters and Juan Martin Del Potro's quarter-final showdown against Roger Federer, with Rafael Nadal closing proceedings against Tomas Berdych. I thought that would keep you interested. Thanks, as ever, for your contributions. You can now stand down. Until Tuesday.

Twitter
Rosalind on Twitter: "An unsurprising winner in the Hewitt-Djokovic match but how spectacular would it have been for Hewitt to have won"

Twitter
Kenny Simpson on Twitter: "Gutted! But what a performance by Hewitt! There's no way he deserves to be outside the top 100 in the rankings!"

Twitter
Tim Creak on Twitter: "Hewitt is an absolute credit to the game! Never gives up no matter how slim the odds look! Must be hell to play against."

1413: A brave effort from Hewitt but, ultimately, he could not defeat a man who has been at the top of his game for the last 12 months. Djokovic extends his winning streak against Australian opposition to 12 matches and, more importantly, sets up a quarter-final clash against Spain's David Ferrer.

1408: Djokovic admits Hewitt's "never-say-die attitude" posed him problems, adding: "I made a lot of unforced errors in that third set." The top seed thanks the fans for staying up until the early hours before saying that men's tennis is experiencing "good times". He then makes the crowd giggle by jokingly telling interviewer Jim Courier that his girlfriend has become more beautiful since she started dating him. Ah, japes.

The match is over
NOVAK DJOKOVIC BEATS LLEYTON HEWITT 6-1 6-3 4-6 6-3

* Djokovic 6-1 6-3 4-6 6-3 Hewitt
So here we are then, Djokovic attempting to put a final nail in the Hewitt coffin. A lovely tango at the net ends with Djokovic as the victor, then two aces gives Djokovic three match points. He squanders the first, but takes his second chance with a typically sublime backhand. Stoic efforts from both players. Phew [add three exclamation marks] is all I can add.
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* Djokovic 6-1 6-3 4-6 5-3 Hewitt
The umpire calls time so Hewitt finishes tying his shoelaces before slowly walking to the baseline. Deafening support for the only Aussie remaining in the singles draw and he repays them by faultlessly grabbing a 30-0 lead. The Fanatics are chanting as if they're at Wembley, they're obviously spurring their man on has he completes the game with two aces.
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Djokovic 6-1 6-3 4-6 5-2 * Hewitt
Djokovic moves up the gears like a brand new Rolls Royce and a solid service game from the Serb takes him to within a game of the match.
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Twitter
Antony Dyer on Twitter: "There won't be a dry eye in the house if little Lleyton pulls this one out of the Kangaroo sack"

* Djokovic 6-1 6-3 4-6 4-2 Hewitt
Oh, splendid stuff from Hewitt as he bounces back from 0-30 to move to within a point of clinching the game, with a superb smash leaving Djokovic stranded on the opposite side of the net. The Serb drags the game to deuce, though, then his backhand gets the better of Hewitt for break point. Ah, agony for the partisan crowd as Hewitt's forehand bounces long. Should the fat lady start warming up her vocal chords, I ask myself.
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Djokovic 6-1 6-3 4-6 3-2 * Hewitt
A trouble-free serve from Djokovic nudges him ahead before both players head to their chairs for a well-deserved break. I can't believe I only brought in one sarnie for lunch knowing Hewitt was playing. What an unforced lunchtime error.
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Twitter
Josh Orwin on Twitter: "In class reading the updates, me and my australian teacher cheering on leyton!."

* Djokovic 6-1 6-3 4-6 2-2 Hewitt
Hewitt has served merely one ace and hit just 18 winners in this match so far (Djokovic has 12 aces and 45 winners) but the ageing warrior's competitive instinct has dragged him back into the match - and his resilience helped him scrape through that game.
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Twitter
Andrew Clifford on Twitter: "Late night for Novak tonight! Written of from the start but Hewitt wouldn't be out here if he didn't think he could win."

Twitter
Daniel George Broda on Twitter: "You can't help but like Hewitt, a superbly dogged competitor and I bet the big four really don't like playing him."

Djokovic 6-1 6-3 4-6 2-1 * Hewitt
Hewitt is taking a swing at the Djokovic serves and the Serb, shoulders slightly hunched, is looking a tad downbeat as Hewitt wins a superb point; racing to the back of the court to retrieve a lob and then, displaying the athleticism of a tyro, dashing back to the net to dispatch an attempted Djokovic drop shot. Hewitt then earns break point, but the Serb saves and eventually holds.
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* Djokovic 6-1 6-3 4-6 1-1 Hewitt
I didn't think there was much point telling you this a couple of hours ago, but should Hewitt beat Djokovic his ranking will catapult from 181 to about 90, which will guarantee him direct entry into the remaining three Grand Slams of the year. A Djokovic forehand can only find the net and we're all square.
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Djokovic 6-1 6-3 4-6 1-0 * Hewitt
Djokovic is quickly out of the blocks and holds to love. Ruthless stuff from the defending champion.
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Twitter
Steve Watson on Twitter: "Hewitt is playing some phenomenal tennis right now, asking questions of the world number 1. He deserves that set"

THIRD SET:

* Djokovic 6-1 6-3 4-6 Hewitt
"What a titanic game this is proving to be," says 5 live commentator Al Eykyn. A roar of frustration from Hewitt as the 30-year-old's forehand sails into the tramlines for 0-30. Djokovic drops to his knees and is moving a little gingerly before missing a superb chance to earn a break point. Hewitt, though, is just as profligate, squandering three set points before drilling a forehand long to hand Djokovic break point. Hewitt however scampers to produce a stunning angled volley from the net for deuce and then Djokovic nets twice to take this match to a fourth set. Hewitt's wife, Becky, is on her feet, as are most of her compatriots. Breathless stuff.
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Djokovic 6-1 6-3 4-5 * Hewitt
A deft Djokovic drop shot gets the better of Hewitt. But the Australian is as dogged as ever, reducing the arrears with a wonderful forehand winner and smash. The camera shows Hewitt's wife delirious with joy as her hubby creates a break point for himself and the Serb nets! A superb game from Hewitt, who skips back to his chair for a well-deserved gulp of water.
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Twitter
Dave McKay on Twitter: ""A Flock Of Seagulls enter the Rod Laver Arena"? Well, it's got to be better than Cliff Richard at Wimbledon Centre Court!"

* Djokovic 6-1 6-3 4-4 Hewitt
A backhand slice as delicate as a spider's web earns Djokovic the first point of the game. A double fault puts the Serb, looking to become the fourth man in the Open era to win three or more Australian Open titles, in control, but the Australian bounces back, saves break point, and holds when Djokovic nets a return. The fat lady has returned to her seat.
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Djokovic 6-1 6-3 4-3 * Hewitt
"The crowd smell blood," says Al Eykyn, his voice drowned by the vociferous home support, who are whooping and hollering after a Hewitt drop shot bamboozles the scampering Serb for 15-30. Djokovic certainly has dropped down a gear or two, but still manages to cling on, using top spin and a booming serve to good effect.
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* Djokovic 6-1 6-3 3-3 Hewitt
Djokovic's attempted passing shot misses and a revitalised Hewitt is a point away from holding serve. He scampers to the net, putting pressure on Djokovic and the Serb wilts. Easy peasy for Hewitt.
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Djokovic 6-1 6-3 3-2 *Hewitt
Even if Hewitt loses against Djokovic, his world ranking will jump to about 130 after what has been an unexpected ride to the last 16 for the man who only played 20 matches last year because of injury. A slight wobble from Djokovic as Hewitt nudges ahead at 15-30 and it's break-point to the diminutive Aussie after a sloppy volley from the onrushing the Serb. Hewitt takes his chance, forcing the top seed to hit long. Wowzers! Although, don't get too excited. Al Eykyn warns: "Breaks of serves aren't hugely significant in matches of this nature as Hewitt has only held serve three times."
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* Djokovic 6-1 6-3 3-1 Hewitt
Prior to the match, the 30-year-old Australian faced what some described as mission impossible . It certainly is a tough task for the Australian now, although he holds for his first game of the set.
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Djokovic 6-1 6-3 3-0 * Hewitt
As we approach midnight in Melbourne, a clinical Djokovic gives Hewitt no chance on his serve and, as quick as a flash, races 3-0 ahead. A flock of seagulls enter the Rod Laver Arena, just when a number of Hewitt fans leave. They think it's all over.
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Twitter
Shara Christina on Twitter: "what's this tweet about Novak not having a tennis soul??? He practically lives and breathes tennis... nonsense"

* Djokovic 6-1 6-3 2-0 Hewitt
Djokovic is in control and it doesn't look as if Hewitt will take this game to a five-setter. He drags a backhand to the net to hand Djokovic a break point, but then bravely makes a rare foray to the net to smash the ball out of reach for deuce. "He's under the cosh big time," say the 5 live team of the Aussie, although Djokovic's running forehand fails to find the court, handing Hewitt a reprieve. The pair jostle from the baseline, Djokovic making the scampering Hewitt work hard, and the Australian soon tires, gifting the Serb another break point. A Hewitt forehand sails beyond the baseline and Djokovic doubles his lead.
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Djokovic 6-1 6-3 1-0 * Hewitt
"Djokovic just oozes self-belief," says Alastair Eykyn in the 5 live box as Djokovic opens the third set with his seventh ace of the match. The Serb has only dropped 10 games on his way to the last 16 and looks in fine fettle against Hewitt, comfortably holding to move ahead.
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SECOND SET:

* Djokovic 6-1 6-3 Hewitt
A handful of supporters rise to their feet in appreciation of sublime Hewitt backhand, which finds the line, for 30-all... A flick of the wrist from Djokovic, though, takes us to deuce. Hewitt looks to to have the game in the bag, but a handful of errors from the Australian gifts Djokovic set point and the Serb isn't one to let such opportunities pass as Hewitt hits long to go two sets down.
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Djokovic 6-1 5-3 * Hewitt
A well-oiled machine Djokovic certainly is, although I'm sure he has tennis soul, too. The Serb takes no time to progress to 40-0. Hewitt delays the inevitable by taking advantage of a net cord to lob the Serb for 40-15. The Australian raises his racquet to acknowledge his fortune before Djokovic seals the game to force his opponent to serve to remain in the second-set mixer.
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Twitter
Khadeeja Maktabi on Twitter: "Novak djokovic reminds me of Tin-Man from Wizard of Oz, he's a well oiled machine! But no tennis soul! Go Hewit"

* Djokovic 6-1 4-3 Hewitt
Hewitt wipes his perspiring brow, tosses the ball into the night sky and launches a menacing serve which Djokovic can only return to the net and it's a second hold of serve from Hewitt.
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Djokovic 6-1 4-2 * Hewitt
Djokovic, who has only lost to a player ranked lower than Hewitt once - back in 2010 when he fell to world number 319, Filip Krajinovic, in Belgrade - serves an ace down the centre for 40-15 and in the time it takes me to unwrap the foil on my turkey sandwich, the Serb has Hewitt o the backfoot and the bedraggled Australian nets for a trouble-free hold for the 24-year-old.
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* Djokovic 6-1 3-2 Hewitt
It's only taken him 54 minutes, but Hewitt holds serve and does so in some style with an ace down the middle. The wily Australian is still hanging in there.
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Djokovic 6-1 3-1 * Hewitt
Yay! Someone holds serve. An easy hold for Djokovic. Don't forget to send me your thoughts. Tweet me @aimee_lou_lewis using the hashtag #BBCTennis or text in on 81111 (UK).
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Twitter
Marc Forsaith on Twitter: "Come on Lleyton, at the very least give Djokovic a bit more time on court for Murray's sake!"

* Djokovic 6-1 2-1 Hewitt
There aren't any easy service games for Hewitt as Djokovic forces him to deuce. The Serb then adjusts his run to hit a delightful lob over the hapless Hewitt. It's break point. And the top seed clinches the game to break the Hewitt serve for the fifth time on the trot. Can the Serb push ahead from here?
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Djokovic 6-1 1-1 * Hewitt
Two break-back points for the aggressive Hewitt. "Lovely stuff this, one for the purists," says Jonathan Overend as a seemingly endless rally, peppered with beautiful backhand slices from the Djokovic racquet, finishes when Hewitt nets. No matter, though, as Hewitt takes his second chance when the Aussie whips a return back towards the startled Serb, who can only find the net. As you were then. By the way, the last time a top seed failed to reach the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam was at the French Open in 2009 when Rafael Nadal lost to Robin Soderling.
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* Djokovic 6-1 1-0 Hewitt
So, just for fun, when was the last time a male player ranked number one failed to reach the quarter-finals? Answers on a postcard, please. Hewitt gets the second set underway and he's soon 0-30 behind, although the home favourite levels when an attempted Djokovic passing shot drifts wide and then a Djokovic backhand goes long. The Serb earns break point, though, which he puts in his back pocket when Hewitt can only find the bet.
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FIRST SET:

Djokovic 6-1 * Hewitt
As you'd expect, Hewitt, determined as ever, isn't giving up and the Australian has a chance when Djokovic's backhand sails beyond the baseline for 30-all. A ruthless Djokovic is mixing the play beautifully, though, advancing to the net to conclude a cat-and-mouse rally with a smash for set point. Hewitt won't go away, saving a second set point with an winner down the line, but he can do little to stop Djokovic from securing a third set point, with an ace down the middle.
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Twitter
Nicola MacLellan on Twitter: "So excited for Hewitt v Djokovic. Come on Lleyton, let's have the upset of the tournament!"

* Djokovic 5-1 * Hewitt
Hewitt last reached the last eight on his way to the final back in 2005. Should he reach the quarter-finals today then it'll be an supernatural achievement. Djokovic wraps his wrist around a forehand winner for break point and secures it by dashing to the net to meet a net cord, swatting the ball away for a chance to serve for the set.
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Djokovic 4-1 * Hewitt
Hewitt gets a sniff at 15-30 thanks to the help of Hawkeye, but Djokovic swings from the hips to produce a sublime forehand winner for 30-30. Wow - wait a minute - a Djokovic error, yes, a Djokovic error [insert own exclamation mark] earns Hewitt a break point and the Australian does indeed break when the Serb carelessly hits long.
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* Djokovic 4-0 Hewitt
Hewitt opens the fourth game with a double point, then hits a straight-forward smash wide AND THEN nets a forehand into the net to slip to 0-40. "These are desperate times for the wildcard from Adelaide," says 5 live's Jonathan Overend. Djokovic has hardly broken sweat and he's 4-0 ahead. Incredible.
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Twitter
Vi Phuong on Twitter: "day off today. Try and do some work with the tennis on. Djokovic in straight sets."

Djokovic 3-0 * Hewitt
Djokovic is bidding to reach the quarter-finals in Melbourne for a 5th year on the trot and he's made a good start, racing 3-0 ahead in just 11 minutes. A crisp service game from the defending champion.
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* Djokovic 2-0 Hewitt
"Ll-ey-ton, Ll-ey-ton," chant the Hewitt Fanatics. I knew it wouldn't take long for them to find their voice. Djokovic, like a fine puppet master, pulls Hewitt hither and tither to earn his first point on the Australian's serve and the scampering Hewitt can then only find the tramlines for 30-30. A lovely backhand winner - it really was lovely - nudges Hewitt ahead but we're at deuce when Djokovic ruthlessly dispatches a tame second serve down the line. The world number 181 is having to work hard and Djokovic breaks when Hewitt wildly finds the tramlines. Two words: Up hill.
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Djokovic 1-0 * Hewitt
Hewitt wins the toss and orders the top seed to serve. Djokovic obliges, producing an ace down the line for 30-15 and wraps the game up in a couple of minutes with a wonderful forehand volley.
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1105: One down, one to go. Who is up next? It's only world number one Novak Djokovic and home favourite Lleyton Hewitt. I can feel your excitement. Huge cheers for both players as they enter a floodlit Rod Laver Arena. Louder cheers for the Serb, according to Jonathan Overend, and far be it for me to disagree with him. Djokovic, clad in black, has opted for the goth look while father-of-three Hewitt thinks he is keeping Old Father Time at bay by wearing his baseball cap back to front. Why not, I say. Why the devil not.

Twitter
Australian Open on Twitter: "Atmosphere building on RLA now. Fans warming up for Hewitt v Djokovic with a Mexican wave."

Twitter
Naomi Elliott on Twitter: "Monday mornings at work are so much more fun with #bbctennis to keep me company. Great match by Sharapova and Lisicki today."

1057: Sharapova admits in her post-match interview that it was an "up and down" performance from herself. "Even though I didn't play my best tennis I fought until the end and sometimes that's what you've got to do," said the three-time Grand Slam champion. "No matter what round it is, every time I come to this court it brings backs such great memories." Sharapova must now prepare to face unseeded compatriot Ekaterina Makarova in the quarter-finals, slayer of five-time Australian Open champion Serena Williams.

The match is over
MARIA SHARAPOVA BEATS SABINE LISICKI 6-3 2-6 3-6

Lisicki 6-3 2-6 3-6 Sharapova
The erratic Sharapova notches an eighth double fault of the match to allow Lisicki on the scoreboard for 15-15. Error-strewn performance from both players as Lisicki wastes an opportunity to earn break point with a lob which sails long. Second match point from Sharapova... she aims for wings and Lisicki's reply can only dribble to the net. Game, set and match Miss Sharapova.
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Lisicki 6-3 2-6 3-5 * Sharapova
Can Lisicki hold to stay in the match? Er... yes, but only by a whisker. Sharapova hits a return beyond the baseline for 30-15 - so far so good for the German - but, hang on, Sharapova's reliable backhand brings us to 30-all. It's tense out there. A double fault, Lisicki's third of the match, and we're at deuce. Another needless double fault gives Sharapova match point. Nerves of steel, though, from Lisicki, as the longest rally of the match is ended when Sharapova can only find the net. Next, a Sharapova backhand barely reaches the net and the Russian's chance is gone as Lisicki holds.
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* Lisicki 6-3 2-6 2-5 Sharapova
Lisicki inches closer to the baseline in an attempt to attack the Sharapova serve, but she can do little to halt the Russian from easing 40-15 ahead thanks to a lovely volley. It's another error-strewn game from the former Australian Open champ, though, as she carelessly finds the net cord for deuce and then gifts the German break point, which she saves with the help of her menacing serve. Sharapova sends Lisicki running the wrong way with a clever forehand and it's a huge roar from the Russian as she secures a crucial hold. It's effective rather than pretty from the powerful Sharapova.
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Twitter
TJ on Twitter: "Great comeback here by Maria Sharapova she's more determined than she was in 1st set cmon Maria!!!"

Lisicki 6-3 2-6 2-4 * Sharapova
The Sharapova grunt-o-meter is now peaking at glass-smashing decibels. The Russian puts a bit of pressure on her opponent's serve at 15-30 and a lazy Lisicki forehand hits the net to hand Sharapova two break points, which she takes when Lisicki can only find the tramlines. "Surely Lisicki is toast," says 5 live's Alastair Eykyn.
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* Lisicki 6-3 2-6 2-3 Sharapova
Sharapova races 40-0 ahead at breakneck speed, but Lisicki whips a beautiful return for 40-15 before Sharapova brings matters to an end for a comfortable hold.
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Lisicki 6-3 2-6 2-2 * Sharapova
Both players hitting tasty winners, with a Lisicki forehand down the line moving the game to 30-all. A subdued atmosphere on Rod Laver at the moment, saving their voices for Hewitt v Djokovic perhaps. A dipping backhand from Lisickie finds the baseline and we're all square again.
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* Lisicki 6-3 2-6 1-2 Sharapova
Blimey, a double fault from Sharapova - her seventh in what has been an erratic match - hands her opponent two break points. Sharapova, as cool as a really cool cucumber, saves one and a terrific second serve down the middle, which Lisicki can only hit long, drags the game to deuce. "It's a fascinating battle," says Alastair Eykyn in the 5 live commentary box. Sharapova then saves two further break points before wildly hitting a backhand long to gift her young opponent a fifth break point. Sharapova, endlessly bouncing the ball, serves to the wings and advances to the net for a sweet volley and the Russian brings the 13-minute game to a conclusion with a winner down the line.
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Lisicki 6-3 2-6 1-1 * Sharapova
Oh la la! An excellent drop shot from Lisicki drags Sharapova to the net and the German seals the point with a wonderful lob, which Sharapova can only look back on and admire. A love hold for Lisicki. Nice work from the young German.
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* Lisicki 6-3 2-6 0-1 Sharapova
Lisicki, towel draped over her shoulders, wanders back from a time out, decides to don a royal blue visor, to match her skirt - which has a rather revealing slit I must add - before trudging back on court to face the Sharapova bullets. "The wind has been taken out of her sails a little bit," says the 5 live Sports Extra commentary team of the German. The 22-year-old's return game has certainly dropped a notch or two as her more-celebrated opponent holds when Lisicki's return can only find the tramlines.
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SECOND SET:

Lisicki 6-3 2-6 * Sharapova
Lisicki is handed super-bouncy new balls as she serves to stay in the match, but they do little to help as the German soon finds herself 0-30 behind. Sharapova comes through a series of entertaining exchanges at the net for two set points and the Russian eventually prevails to take the match to a deciding set. Has Lisicki crumbled under the pressure?
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* Lisicki 6-3 2-5 Sharapova
It looks like you need to prepare yourself for an intriguing third set as more brutal serving from the Sharapova racquet moves her to within a game of the second set.
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Lisicki 6-3 2-4 * Sharapova
Sharapova is now the dominant player on Rod Laver Arena and finds the line with a venomous return. Lisicki, though, somehow manages to fend off her opponent and concludes the game nicely with an ace down the line, her third of the match, by the way.
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* Lisicki 6-3 1-4 Sharapova
Can Lisicki bounce back just as she did in the first set? It doesn't happen in the fifth game as Sharapova sends another missile out wide to inch closer to the second set finishing line. As good, though, as her service game is at the moment, Sharapova has yet to serve an ace in this match.
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Lisicki 6-3 1-3 * Sharapova
Lisicki, who withdrew from build-up tournaments in Auckland and Sydney because of injury, is struggling again as Sharapova hits a series of sizzling returns to bag three break points. The three-time Grand Slam winner squanders one but wraps up the game with an unstoppable backhand winner down the line.
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* Lisicki 6-3 1-2 Sharapova
The Sharapova serve seems to be back on song. She races to 40-0, a slight blip brings Lisicki to within a point of deuce but Sharapova wriggles free to nudge ahead.
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Lisicki 6-3 1-1 * Sharapova
Lisicki levels after a trouble-free service game and it's evenly poised at the beginning of the second set.
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* Lisicki 6-3 0-1 Sharapova
Sharapova is playing a tad more aggressively in this set, but the error count is still high and a 17th unforced error from the Russian's racquet gives Lisicki a sniff at 30-30. A curving Lisicki backhand bamboozles Sharapova for deuce and the German earns break point, which Sharapova saves by dancing to the net. An irretrievable smash from Sharapova stops the rot and she finally wins a game.
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FIRST SET:

Twitter
Doreen Umeadi on Twitter: "Could there be another upset in the Sharapova Lisicki match?. Lisicki seems to have found her full hitting range."

Lisicki 6-3 * Sharapova
Brutal stuff from Sharapova and Lisicki from the back of the court, but it's Sharapova who comes out on top when the Lisicki backhand finds the net. A wry smile from the German after that error, but it's now a stern-looking Lisicki as another backhand sails long to gift Sharapova two break points. The 14th seed dashes to the net and a driving volley saves one break point... and booming serve into Sharapova's ribcage saves another. Can Lisicki steady the nerves to take the set? Yes she can. An incredible comeback from the German as Sharapova's return goes beyond the baseline.
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* Lisicki 5-3 Sharapova
Sharapova's groundstrokes are wayward, her serve has crumbled somewhat and Lisicki dispatches with Sharapova's second serve with ease to earn break point, which she takes with the minimum of fuss. The German to serve for the set...
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Lisicki 4-3 * Sharapova
Sharapova has beaten Lisicki on two of their previous meetings, the most recent defeat for the German coming at last year's Wimbledon's semi-finals. Who knows how this match will go as Sharapova earns break point... but she wastes the chance by finding the net cord. Lisicki is mixing it up nicely, though, as an angled backhand winner takes the German to advantage and she completes a tricky hold with a stylish 90mph ace.
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* Lisicki 3-3 Sharapova
Sharapova's first serve percentage has tumbled to 50% and the Russian seems to be wilting under the pressure. The big-hitting Lisicki hits an unreturnable forehand down the line for 0-30 and a menacing return earns her three break points. The tide has turned, ladies and gents. Sharapova can only find the net with a tame backhand and parity is restored.
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Lisicki 2-3 * Sharapova
A double fault from the 14th seed gives Sharapova a sniff at 30-15, but Sharapova's backhand sails long by the width of one of her fingernails and the 22-year-old Lisicki skips back to her chair having held. She senses she's back in the match, me thinks.
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* Lisicki 1-3 Sharapova
You can get involved Tweet me @aimee_lou_lewis using the hashtag #BBCTennis or text in on 81111 (UK) It gets awfully lonely here sometimes so your thoughts on the match would be warmly received. A venomous backhand return from Lisicki earns her break point. Sharapova could only look on and admire that return. Incredible power. Second serve from Sharapova... she gets it in... but the Russian then hits long. "Come on," cries the German as she breaks.
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Lisicki 0-3 * Sharapova
According to the WTA website, Lisicki describes herself as "happy, hardworking and someone who laughs a lot". She also has a Terrier named Happy and her mother, Elisabeth, is an artist. There you go, some facts for you to drop into conversation. Little for Lisicki to smile about at the moment as the Amazonian Sharapova once again ekes out two break points on the 14th seed's serve and, just as in the opening game, Lisicki finds the net to hand the Russian the game. Just eight minutes gone.
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* Lisicki 0-2 Sharapova
It's all a little too easy for Sharapova at the moment. As quick as a flash she holds serve with her opponent posing little problem.
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Lisicki 0-1 * Sharapova
And that's an early break for Sharapova. The Russian earns two break points in the opening game, a series of booming returns seamlessly taking her to 15-40 and wraps up the game when Lisicki feebly hits a forehand into the net.
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0835: The ladies are just about set. Sharapova, blonde hair tied back in a pony tail with a lime green visor to keep any perspiration at bay, won the toss and elected Lisicki to serve.

0831: Sorry, got a bit carried away there after watching Indiana Jones last night. Good morning to you! Or at least it is morning where I'm typing. Maria Sharapova and Sabine Lisicki are about to kick off the evening session in Melbourne as they continue their quest for the priceless artifact that is the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup.

0825: Here we go then, the second week of the Australian Open. Congratulations to those who dodged enemy fire, leaped over the booby traps and swatted hundreds of flying fluffy yellow things. Commiserations to those who failed to duck under the boulder in time. The stage is set, the scenery drenched in sunshine. Which character will get the axe before the start of the next act? Djokovic? Hewitt? Lisicki? Sharapova? Oh, the tension!

By David Ornstein

0300: That's all for now, folks, but get yourselves back here in around five hours time. Aimee Lewis will be in the hotseat to talk you through the evening session, with live text on Sharapova v Lisicki and Djokovic v Hewitt. Two potential humdingers.

Andy Murray
ANDY MURRAY: "I played him a few weeks ago at Brisbane and it was three tough sets and I expected another tough one today. I hadn't seen him play before Brisbane and he hit some huge shots early and had me work. It was hot on the court and it is good for me that I have conserved energy. It is tough for him for that to happen in the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time."

0255: Kukushkin trudges off court a little sheepishly. Polite applause from the crowd on Rod Laver Arena, who will be hoping they get value for money from Serena Williams v Ekaterina Makarova after that write-off. Here comes Andy for a chin-wag with Jim Courier...

Twitter
kurt_sullivan on Twitter: "Well that was the most pointless 50 minutes of my life. I will never get them back! So easy for Murray. Night!"

simonlennon91 on Twitter: "This might be bad for Murray in the next round as he won't be tested enough."

Angyyourselfmate on Twitter: "How do you handle the heat in Melbourne? Beat your opponent into submission within 50 minutes."

michaelweaver84 on Twitter: "So Murray through is less than an hour, huge advantage if Tsonga match is dragged out."

It's good news for a Briton
The match is over
ANDY MURRAY REACHES THE AUSTRALIAN OPEN QUARTER-FINALS AFTER MIKHAIL KUKUSHKIN RETIRES WHILE TRAILING 6-1 6-1 1-0

Murray 6-1 6-1 1-0 Kukushkin
More break points... this is ridiculous. Kuku nets... and calls it a day after 50 minutes on court.
*Denotes next server

Text in your views on 81111
Andrew, Gretna, via text on 81111: "Great to see Murray cruising so far but dunno how much u can take from that - even if he wins this and possible quarter v Tsonga the real test would be Djoko + would that be too early to assess Lendl's impact?? I don't know.. supporting Murray is like supporting England, you learn not to get carried away!!"

SECOND SET:

It's good news for a Briton
Murray 6-1 6-1 Kukushkin*
Hold to love, 22 minutes. Start the car!
*Denotes next server

*Murray 6-1 5-1 Kukushkin
Deary me, this is car crash tennis from Kukushkin. He's still hasn't held serve once. NOT ONCE! Murray is making the easiest progress imaginable towards the Aussie Open quarters. Couldn't have dreamt of a more carefree passage.
*Denotes next server

Text in your views on 81111
Anon via text on 81111: "Finally, this could be Murray's year, more and more solid with every passing round. Djokovic, Federer, Nadal, watch your backs!"

Murray 6-1 4-1 Kukushkin*
Murray, who has never lost a Grand Slam match to an opponent ranked lower than Kukushkin, follows the break with a hold to love. First-serve percentage of 63% for the Scot so far.
*Denotes next server

*Murray 6-1 3-1 Kukushkin
And there's another break for Murray following a yet another wildly long forehand from Kuku.
*Denotes next server

France
0230: Vying for the right to face Murray or Kukushkin in the quarter-finals, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Kei Nishikori are battling it out on Hisense Arena. Tsonga has just taken the first set 6-2. Murray has winning records against both, although Tsonga did knock him out of this tournament a few years back.

Murray 6-1 2-1 Kukushkin*
Can't be easy to concentrate when things are going so swimmingly, and there's certainly a lapse in focus as Murray falls to 0-40. Three break-back points, the second of which is gifted to Kuku by a backhand rifled into the net. Back on serve.
*Denotes next server

*Murray 6-1 2-0 Kukushkin
Kuku is really struggling on serve, though, and I don't think this will be going to five sets. Another break point to Murray and it's converted when his opponent chops a backhand long.
*Denotes next server

Murray 6-1 1-0 Kukushkin*
Solid start to the second set from Murray and while his opponent doesn't seem up to the task, take nothing away from Britain's number one. He's striking the ball and moving very well indeed. Nice and aggressive. Kuku received a thigh massage at the end of the first set - feeling the effects of his five-setters against Troicki and Monfils in rounds two and three? Worth noting that Kuku has a perfect record in five-set matches, winning all four he has played. So if this goes all the way...
*Denotes next server

Text in your views on 81111
Stuart, Darwin, via text on 81111: "I am a Scot in Australia. Great start from Murray. Let's hope for a quick victory."

FIRST SET:

It's good news for a Briton
*Murray 6-1 Kukushkin
Nice to see Murray playing much closer to the baseline than we're used to seeing. He did it against Michael Llodra on Saturday and he's doing it again. The influence of Ivan? Coach Lendl looking on from the strands with a white towel draped around his shoulders. Murray engineers two set points. Both are saved but he seems capable of stepping it up at will. Here's third set point and Kuku whacks a forehand long. Very long. First blood to Murray. The trainer and doctor return to treat our beleaguered Kazak friend.
*Denotes next server

Twitter
Murray's former coach Brad Gilbert on Twitter: "Muzzard all over Kukushkin get the feeling that this will be a short day at office 3 and out."

Murray 5-1 Kukushkin*
Presume you're aware that Murray is bidding to reach the Australian Open quarter-finals for the third successive year? Good. He's going to get there in a hurry at this rate. Races to 40-0 and despite a brief Kuku flurry (sounds like some sort of fast food ice cream) Murray dishes up a neat winner.
*Denotes next server

*Murray 4-1 Kukushkin
How on earth did this guy take a set off Murray in Brisbane? Two more break points and he batters a backhand into the tramlines to restore Murray's double-break advantage. Out comes the trainer and doctor for Kuku. Hang in there, son.
*Denotes next server

Murray 3-1 Kukushkin*
Less than convincing from Murray this time, falling to 15-40 and handing over two break points. Kuku doesn't do much more than keep the ball in play, although his groundstrokes are generally pretty heavy. Murray nets. Game on.
*Denotes next server

Text in your views on 81111
Paul, Sutton, via text on 81111: "Hope Murray can win this one quickly, got to be up at 6am! Want at least 3 hours sleep...!"

*Murray 3-0 Kukushkin
Erm... this lad isn't very good. Murray brings up another break point with a backhand service return winner and gobbles it up when Kuku slaps a awkward forehand into the net. Three games in seven minutes and they've all gone the way of the fourth seed. By the way, if you fancy listing to the match, BBC Radio 5 live is your port of call. Jonathan Overend and Jeremy Bates in the box at present.
*Denotes next server

Murray 2-0 Kukushkin*
This time it's Murray with a couple of mistakes. It takes time to adjust to the light, we're told by our TV commentators. The world number four responds with an stonking ace and two forehand winners of the highest order. Applauded in kind by those who have turned up on Rod Laver Arena.
*Denotes next server

Twitter
BBC Radio 5 live's Jonathan Overend on Twitter: "Terrible crowd on RLA today. 9 rows of unsold seats all around the back of the stadium."

*Murray 1-0 Kukushkin
I don't think Murray's in the mood to hang about out there. He forces the man from Kazakhstan - no, not Borat - to net twice and the fire long. That's three break points... the first of which is taken why Kuku makes error number four, belting a forehand past the baseline.
*Denotes next server

0155: Britain's finest wins the toss. Elects to... receive.

The sun is out
0153: Warm-ups under way, both men in white t-shirts and baseball caps on what is an absolute scorcher at Melbourne Park. We're talking 35C around the grounds, let along on Rod Laver Arena. Get those match sticks between your eyes and let's be hearing from you. Tweet me @bbcsport_david using the hashtag #BBCTennis or text in on 81111 (UK).

Mikhail Kukushkin
Andy Murray
0150: Hello? Anybody there? It may be an ungodly hour in the UK but it's the middle of the day in Melbourne and Andy Murray is wide awake. Well, we hope so... he's about to play Mikhail Kukushkin for a place in the Australian Open quarter-finals. Pop the kettle on. Get comfy. Here we go...



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see also
Djokovic beats determined Hewitt
23 Jan 12 |  Tennis
Murray through as opponent quits
23 Jan 12 |  Tennis
Serena upset by unseeded Makarova
23 Jan 12 |  Tennis
Kvitova beats Ivanovic to advance
23 Jan 12 |  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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