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Live Tennis Commentary: 2013 Australian Open - Day Four

That's it for day four live coverage.

theage.com.au will keep you up to speed with the night matches, and this live blog resumes tomorrow at 11am. Stay cool until then (unless you are in some part of Australia, or the globe, that is not sweltering).

Day four was not cold.
Day four was not cold. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo
Caroline Wozniacki was in a hurry to defeat Donna Vekic on Hisense Arena.
Caroline Wozniacki was in a hurry to defeat Donna Vekic on Hisense Arena. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo
Tennis fans turn to the fans.
Tennis fans turn to the fans. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo
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James Duckworth (AUS) v Blaz Kavcic (SLO) 6-3, 3-6, 4-6, 7-6, 10-8 on Show Court Three.

The match went for 292 minutes, with 33 break points and 380 points won. That's the sort of match that makes attending the Open worthwhile, an epic on a more intimate court between two gutsy competitors with plenty to gain. Kavcic, ranked 93, beat Duckworth, ranked 223, and is now experiencing his best-ever grand slam tournament, having only ever reached the second round since making his debut in 2010 at Melbourne Park.

The temperature started around 35, and ended at 40 during that marathon five-setter.

James Duckworth of Australia gave everything in his second round match against Blaz Kavcic.
James Duckworth of Australia gave everything in his second round match against Blaz Kavcic. Photo: Lucas Dawson
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Peter Hanlon

James Duckworth (AUS) v Blaz Kavcic (SLO) 6-3, 3-6, 4-6, 7-6, 8-8 on Show Court Three.

Colleague Emma Quayle is covering the Duckworth-Kavcic match, which is now ticking towards five hours, and like Duckworth has just cramped up. That's commitment to a yarn right there. The final set alone has ticked past 82 minutes.

James Duckworth (AUS) v Blaz Kavcic (SLO) 6-3, 3-6, 4-6, 7-6, 7-8 on Show Court Three.

278 minutes of torture, with the temperature now reaching the forecast 39 degrees. Duckworth is serving to keep level. Tennis for players of thisw level is brutal at a grand slam - five-set matches like this ca change a career, but they are hours longer than most games such journeymen usually play. And in this heat, you have to feel sorry for someone who goes so far but ends up a loser.

Peter Hanlon

Caroline Wozniacki beats a hasty retreat from the sun with a comfortable 6-1, 6-4 win over Donna Vekic to her name. She tips we'll be seeing plenty more of her 16-year-old opponent, and reveals how early female tennis players are seen to be heading over the hill by saying she was asked in an interview last year if she was retiring. The Dane is 22.

Bernard Tomic.

Bernard Tomic v Daniel Brands 6-7, 7-5, 7-6, 7-6 (10-8) Rod Laver Arena.

Tomic thanks the fans on centre court for their support, saying he "didn't feel good" after conceding the first set to the big-serving German in hot conditions. He pays "full credit" to Brands for playing so "unexpectedly" well. "He was serving really good, it was really difficult", he says of their 175-minute clash.

Tomic conceding only one break point, which was unconverted, and prevailed by making potent incursions at key moments. He won 153 points to Brands' 154, but won them when it counted, converting a break point and winning a tiebreaker.

Brands hit 73 winners to Tomic's 59, but made seven more unforced errors.

The underrated Tomic serve, consistent and surprisingly powerful - he hit 26 aces to 23 - was the cornerstone of this win.

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Bernard Tomic v Daniel Brands 6-7, 7-5, 7-6, 7-6 (10-8) Rod Laver Arena.

Tomic led 3-1 and 6-3 in this tie-break, and lost a fourth match point when serving at 6-5. But he eventually outlasted Brands, causing hugnry local fans to burst open with relieved applause. It seemed no-one was up for a five-set thriller except Daniel Brands, who fought valiantly to the very end of a deceptively tight match.

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Bernard Tomic v Daniel Brands 6-7, 7-5, 7-6, 6-6  Rod Laver Arena.

Tomic forced hard in the final two Brands' service games, bringing up three match points, but the German held his nerve, prevailing after the shot of the match, which took both players all over the court. If he gets his big serve working during the breaker, he could draw level, despite Tomic looking the winner for much of the past hour.

Bernard Tomic v Daniel Brands 6-7, 7-5, 7-6, 6-5 deuce  Rod Laver Arena.

Brands fights off his second and third match points on his now vulnerable service, but Tomic keeps pressing.

Bernard Tomic v Daniel Brands 6-7, 7-5, 7-6, 5-5  Rod Laver Arena.

Match point for Tomic on Brands' serve, but the German stands firm, and serves out after being down 30-40. Once again, Tomic has upped the ante at a crucial point, after games in which he did not look capable of breaking serve.

Bernard Tomic v Daniel Brands 6-7, 7-5, 7-6, 5-4 Rod Laver Arena.

Another set dominated by the serve, both players looking resigned to battling on in hope of error from their opponent. It is an illusion - they are both striving their utmost, but in this heat, good serving is saving either from long rallies and break points. Brands has had just one break point in the entire match.

James Duckworth (AUS) v Blaz Kavcic (SLO) 6-3, 3-6, 4-6, 7-6, 1-2 (on service) on Show Court Three.

Any chance of some fashion police overseeing the apparel choices of players? Duckworth and Kavcic are camouflaged against each other, both wearing white and yellow tops and predominantly white caps. Duckworth has just broken back at the start of the deciding set, Kavcic double-faulting on game point. His opponent just took an injury break to be treated by a masseuse. These two warriors have been at it for 230 minutes in 38 degree-plus heat, with the only shade occasional breaks between games.

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Bernard Tomic v Daniel Brands 6-7, 7-5, 7-6, 3-2 Rod Laver Arena.

Tomic has not had his serve broken for 73 games, colleague Greg Baum notes, stretching back to the Sydney International tournament he won. Perhaps that is why he has appeared so serene despie struggling to pressure Brands at various points of this match.

Bernard Tomic celebrates a rare break of serve against Daniel Brands.
Bernard Tomic celebrates a rare break of serve against Daniel Brands. Photo: Reuters

Bernard Tomic v Daniel Brands 6-7, 7-5, 7-6, 2-1 Rod Laver Arena.

A person wearing a green and gold mascot suit feaaturing a large, tennis ball-like head sprints a lap of the concourse during a game break, capturing the attention of even Bernard Tomic, who glances up approvingly as the athletic feat is completed. In 38 degreee heat, that was a tremendous run - these days fancy-dress types are obviously under the influence of sports scientists to prepare for tournaments like this.

Emma Quayle

James Duckworth (AUS) v Blaz Kavcic (SLO) 6-3, 3-6, 4-6, 7-6 on Show Court Three.

 James Duckworth has leveled things at two sets apiece on court 3. He took the forth set tie-break 7-3 against Blaz Kavcic. Waddle happen next I wonder...

(The Duckworth name is causing great problems of restraint for all pun-loving journos at the Australian Open - ed.)

 

 

Bernard Tomic.

Bernard Tomic v Daniel Brands 6-7, 7-5, 7-6 (7-3) Rod Laver Arena.

A huge roar from the centre court crowd, and probably all around the expanded venue, as Tomic goes to 6-3 in the tiebreaker, then pounds down a serve which Brands can only backhand into the bottom of the net. Suddenly Tomic broke through the seemingly invincible Brands serve, breaking him on point after point. It is the second time in the match he has pounced and strung together multiple points to seize the initiative, despite seeming slightly behind the play overall.


Daniel Brands of Germany cools down during his second round match against Bernard Tomic.
Daniel Brands of Germany cools down during his second round match against Bernard Tomic. Photo: Reuters

Bernard Tomic v Daniel Brands 6-7, 7-5, 6-6 Rod Laver Arena.

Here it is, for the second time, a tie-breaker. Brands has barely lost a point on service in this set. Tomic must find a way past him ona  couple of big points, in order to take control of this match. The centre court clash is now two hours long, and Bernard is facing a fight to the death, not an easy passage to his supposed destiny of a clash with Roger Federer on Saturday night in the Third Round.

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