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Blake Hits Wicked Shots, Insufficient To Topple Tsonga; Monfils Out, Serena Survives

Monday, January 26, 2009

~~AUSTRALIAN OPEN ROUND OF 16~~


Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga continues to prove that he's the man with the plan. Tsonga came out on fire and ready to go toe-to-toe with American James Blake. Blake got in some impressive shots throughout the three sets, but never really had Tsonga in any danger.

Tsonga showed visions of the impressive play that took him to the final of the Australian Open in '08. This straight set 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (3) win places Tsonga into the quarterfinals.


American James Blake attempted to figure out what to do to defeat the Frenchman, but it was not to be. Although Blake was hitting terrific shots throughout, he never really seemed to be sufficiently motivated to bring Tsonga down. So, he went down.


This was retirement Sunday, and one of the retirements occurred during the Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka of Belarus match. Azarenka had won the first set 6-3, and at 2-4 in the second set, Azarenka began experiencing dizziness and called for the trainer. Serena also called for the trainer to look at her ankle. Azarenka was taken off court and treated.

The two resumed the match but Azarenka's health continued to worsen. After a really weak swing at the ball she began to cry, covered her face, walked to the net and retired from the match. Serena seemed to be very concerned and supportive as she spoke with Azarenka.

Serena said, “honestly, I got worried. I was like, ‘Oh, my goodness.’ Because she started like walking really slow. The last thing she would want to do, to me, would be fall. It was just weird.”

“Hopefully she’ll be okay. She’s young, so she will have plenty of opportunity to do better.”

This retirement win places Serena into the quarterfinals.


I'm not quite sure what happened during Frenchman Gael Monfils' match with his friend and fellow Frenchman Gilles Simon. Monfils seemed to be playing just fine, but at 6-4, 2-6, 6-1, Simon leading, Monfils retired with a wrist injury. The two Frenchmen came to the net with Simon showing a lot of concern for his friend.

Simon said, "well, you never want to win like this. It's already strange when it's another player, but when it's a friend like Gael it's more difficult."


Photos by Getty Images

Posted by Shelia

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