Outfits are always a hot topic in tennis, especially at the majors and spotting the fashion hits and misses is probably every spectator’s favourite pastime.
After debuting his unfortunate sleeveless look on opening day, Grigor Dimitrov wisely switched to a regular t-shirt on Wednesday in his second round and it’s possible the hilarious reaction on the internet is what drove him to rectify the situation – at least we hope so.
After seeing Eugenie Bouchard’s dress/top – it’s very difficult to figure out what it was – one journalist joked that Dimitrov actually loaned his sleeveless shirt to wear for her match own match on Wednesday. You know, keeping it in the Nike family and all that.
But on a more serious note, Nick Kyrgios suffered some short-related drama during his second-round match with Pablo Cuevas as they were apparently too small for him and were hindering his performance. The young Aussie had to change his shorts mid-match and sounded quite stressed about it after his victory.
“It was an absolute circus,” Kyrgios said. “I’m not going to talk too much about it, but it was just a massive mix up and that’s just part of the challenges you face.”
Can you imagine losing a match because your shorts were too tight? Luckily, Kyrgios didn’t have to find out.
Serena Williams found the sneakiest way to plug her friend Eva Longoria’s new TV show, ‘Telenovela’, while dodging a question about why her sister Venus skipped her mandatory post-match press conference on Tuesday, which saw the American veteran fined a record $5,000 for the offence.
“I don’t know. If you want to, you can ask her… In fact, I was watching Telenovela. I’m coming apart, though. Do we have any more questions?” said Serena.
Petra Kvitova is mystified by her poor Australian Open results in recent years after the world No7 was sent packing by 21-year-old Daria Gavrilova in the second round on Wednesday.
The Czech two-time Wimbledon champion has now made a first-week exit on her last four trips to Melbourne – her 6-4, 6-4 defeat to Gavrilova the latest in a stream of tough losses for Kvitova Down Under.
The Russian-born Gavrilova, who officially became an Aussie a few weeks ago, had lost their only previous encounter in three tight sets in Wuhan last September. But the support of the home crowd helped keep her on point against the sixth-seeded Kvitova as she completed her 89-minute victory.
Kvitova had been ill this month which forced her to skip her title defence in Sydney. Her two matches in Melbourne were her first completed ones of the year.
Asked if her lack of match play affected her readiness for someone as tough as Gavrilova, Kvitova said: “I felt good in the first round but it wasn’t as physically tough as today. I really had to move well today, which I didn’t. And I think it wasn’t just about the matches; when I was ill I couldn’t really do what I wanted, physically and tennis as well, so that’s why I think I was a little bit struggling,” said Kvitova, who recently got engaged to hockey player Radek Meidl.
The match saw a combined eight service breaks and Kvitova hit a whopping 35 unforced errors to just 17 winners.
When questioned about why she hasn’t been doing well in Melbourne in recent years – she was a semi-finalist in 2012 but has done poorly since – Kvitova said: “If I know, I will tell you, but I don’t know. I’m not pretty sure why. I wish I could play well, but I think it’s still a lot of work ahead of me and if I’m not really ready for that, it’s really no chance to play well. So I have to be ready for these kind of battles.”
Meanwhile, reigning WTA Finals champion Agnieszka Radwanska produced a clinical display to come through a difficult second round against ex-world No5 Eugenie Bouchard.
The fourth-seeded Radwanska needed 83 minutes to complete a 6-4, 6-2 win over the Canadian on Rod Laver Arena in what was a high-quality affair throughout.
Roger Federer admits he hoped to erase his shock defeat in last year’s Australian Open third round on Wednesday as he set up an eye-catching last-32 showdown with Grigor Dimitrov – the Bulgarian once dubbed “Baby Fed”.
Federer, the 17-time Grand Slam record-holder, was never in trouble against his Ukrainian practice partner Alexandr Dolgopolov in a clinical 6-3, 7-5, 6-1 win in one hour 33 minutes on Rod Laver Arena.
While his great rival Rafael Nadal fell at the first hurdle, the Swiss great has now reached the third round in all 17 of his appearances at Melbourne Park.
Next up is 27th seed Dimitrov, the former world number eight and a finalist last week in Sydney who was long tagged ‘Baby Fed’ because of his similarities to Federer’s elegant game.
After last year’s campaign ended at this stage with a stunning defeat to Italy’s Andreas Seppi, third-ranked Federer hopes to avoid another upset this time around.
“Grigor did well in Sydney and that definitely will give him a bit of a lift,” Federer said.
“I think it’s a tough draw. He’s got the game to be really dangerous. He’s fit enough for a five-setter so I’ve gotta definitely bring my best game to the court.
“It’s the least I expect to be in the third round of a Slam, obviously, so I’m pumped up, playing well, feeling good.
“But there’s always a danger, you know. Like last year the third round was the end for me, so I hope to go further this time.”
Federer’s loss to Seppi condemned him to his earliest exit from the season’s first Grand Slam in 14 years.
Against Dimitrov, the 34-year-old will be seeking his 300th Grand Slam singles victory as he chases his fifth title at the Australian Open, and first since 2010.
Wednesday’s win came off the back of an impregnable serve. While he broke Dolgopolov’s serve five times, he did not face a single break point on his own serve and hammered 25 aces.
“I thought today I did serve very well. Maybe it just matched up well, maybe Dolgopolov wasn’t seeing it as well,” Federer said.
“But also conditions are fast during the daytime, so that helps to be able to serve through opponents. It’s also harder to return, clearly.
“I’m happy I got the crucial first break in the first set. I think it was a big set for me. Then second set was the key, because it was close for a while.”
Federer said he was also working on his defensive game under the guidance of new coach and former world number three Ivan Ljubicic, who arrives following the departure of Stefan Edberg.
“I did put in the hard yards in the off season, but then again, I like to work on my strength most of the time,” he said.
“The offensive part of my game, serve and volley, taking the forehand early, using my backhand as a variation.
“But, of course, the defensive part is the base. You also need to have that to be able to play the transition game, which I have played so well throughout my career.
“To go from defence to offence in the blink of an eye, it’s something I did so well for so many years.”
Federer practised with the pony-tailed Dolgopolov in Dubai during the off-season and took his record over him to 3-0.
“I’m a big fan of Alex’s game. He’s explosive, got a great return, especially on the second serve,” the Swiss said.
“He’s got all the shots. Just for him, managing how to use what at what time.”