Head Players Off to Strong Start in Australian Open
*Austria - Kennelbach - January 2009 - *After the first week of play at the Australian Open, HEAD’s brightest stars have put together stunning performances to keep them in contention for the first Grand Slam title of the year. HEAD pros Novak Djokovic, Gilles Simon and Svetlana Kuznetsova survived the first week of play and will compete for the title.
Tennis sensation Novak Djokovic started off the competition with his new weapon of choice, which will be launched in early spring, by defeating his first four opponents while only dropping two sets along the way. In the fourth round, Djokovic won a highly entertaining match against Marcos Baghdatis from Cyprus 6-1, 7-6(1), 6-7(5), 6-2. Djokovic will have to continue his dominance on the court against his next opponent Andy Roddick to defend his title and continue his ascent to No. 1.
“It could really go either way. We had long rallies, even though the result doesn’t show the real picture. We played really, really long match with the difficult rallies,” said Djokovic. “I’m really happy that things are going well with the racquet as well. I’m feeling much better on the court mentally and physically and game-wise. Hopefully I can continue in the same way in the quarterfinals.”
Frenchman Gilles Simon also made it into the quarterfinals where he will face World No. 1 Rafael Nadal. In today’s first match in the Rod Laver Arena, he passed countryman Gael Monfils, who had to retire at 6-4, 1-6, 6-2.
HEAD has also been successful in the women’s completion. No. 8 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova has progressed into the quarterfinals after her opponent Jie Zheng from China retired with a wrist injury when Kuznetsova was leading 4-1. She will now face three time Australian Open champion Serena Williams, after 19-year-old Belarusian HEAD pro Victoria Azarenka was forced to retire at a 6-3, 2-4 lead against the World No. 2.
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