Laura Robson v Petra Kvitova: Australian Open day four

Britain's Laura Robson beats Petra Kvitova in a three-hour marathon after Roger Federer, Andy Murray & Serena Williams all win at the Australian Open.

17 January 2013 Last updated at 16:18

Get involved

To get involved contact us in any of the following ways

As it happened

  1. 1356: 

    Right, thanks for that, I'm wrapping this up now. Not sure who's in the seat tonight but they will be bringing you coverage of Britain's Heather Watson versus fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska. See ya...


    Tom Albone on Twitter: "Cracking win @laurarobson5. Takes guts to have a wobbly start but finish with all cylinders firing against a grand slam champion!"

  3. 1346: 

    The last time Britain had three players in the third round of a Grand Slam was I don't know when - anyone fancy checking that out for me? I'm thinking flares and beards were still in. The last time Britain had two female players in the third round of a major was in 1991, when I was only four...


    Ben Markham on Twitter: "British women's tennis has been missing players with a bit of fight for years and then 2 come along at once."


    Matt M on Twitter: "Great win for Robson. She'll be in the top 10 in no time with players like Kvitova there. She was woeful. So many double faults."


    Andy in Glasgow via text: "Courage, determination and poise and that was just me watching at home, brilliant Laura Robson, you are a star."

  7. 1338: 

    Laura Robson's reward for winning through to the third round of the Australian Open is a match-up against Sloane Stephens, the 29th seed from the United States. They played each other in Hobart only recently, Stephens winning 6-4 7-6.


    Michael Willis on Twitter: "Come onnnnn!!! The first two sets were terrible, but they got a lot more consistent in that final set. Great job, Laura!"

  9. 1335: 

    Fine win for Laura Robson and the best part about it was the fact she started out poorly, got better and better and better as the match went on and was roasting hot down the stretch. That said, I wouldn't want to be Kvitova's coach at the moment, she was an emotional wreck out there and 18 double faults suggest she's had plenty of better days.

    BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    Mark Woodforde, grand slam doubles champion: "Gutsy play for Laura Robson, who after that very slow start in the opening set was able to find her game. She had to deal with the disappointment of serving for the match at 6-5 and then having to do it again. Gutsy, gutsy performance by the British teenager."

    GAME, SET AND MATCH- Kvitova 6-2 3-6 9-11 Robson

    It's tenser than a SWAT team stand-off out there but Robson breaks through that tension with an ace down the middle, what a way to kick off this game. Another fine first serve makes it 30-0 before Kvitova swishes a forehand miles long... three match points... KVITOVA BALLOONS THE RETURN WIDE, ROBSON WINS!


    Martin G on Twitter: "This is starting to look like Isner & Mahut!"

    Kvitova 6-2 3-6 9-10 Robson*

    Robson's got her mojo working now, that forehand of hers causing havoc all of a sudden. Kvitova chucks in another double-fault, her 342nd of the match, and Robson has a glimmer at 0-30... Robson just misses with an attempted backhand cross-court pass and just misses again with steered backhand down the line. Break point as Kvitova blows a backhand wide and Robson's taken it! Robson serving for a place in round three...

    *Kvitova 6-2 3-6 9-9 Robson

    I promise, one day this will all be over... Robson double-fault for 15-15 but follows that with a big first serve into the body which Kvitova can only skew wide. Solid forehand volley from Robbo makes it 40-15 before some tremendous hitting on the forehand wing wraps up the hold...

    BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    Mark Woodforde, grand slam doubles champion: "You just have a suspicion that Kvitova has finally settled herself. With those sliding serves and stronger ground strokes you just feel she's ready to mount a big challenge to get the match won."

    Kvitova 6-2 3-6 9-8 Robson*

    You have to hand it to both players, they've raised the standard at the business end of the game, which isn't always the case. A Robson forehand return skims the baseline and it's 30-15. Ace out wide by Kvitova for 40-15 but she follows that with an iffy forehand that lands a couple of inches long. There's that primal scream again, Kvitova closing out the game with an ace...

    *Kvitova 6-2 3-6 8-8 Robson

    Give Kvitova her due, in between looking like she might dissolve into tears every five minutes she's showing plenty of spunk. But Robson is, too, and it's 40-0 courtesy of an ace out wide. Great scrambling from Robson but Kvitova eventually wears her down before putting her away with a fearsome forehand winner. Robson hooks a forehand into the net for 40-30 but Kvitova pushes a forehand wide to hand her rival the game.

    Kvitova 6-2 3-6 8-7 Robson*

    Tremendous double-fisted winner from Robson, Kvitova's feet buried in clay, and the Czech follows it up with her 17th double-fault. Not pretty, this, but ugly can sometimes be just as compelling. Kvitova letting the shoulders go, thumping home a howitzer of a forehand winner for 30-30 and it's time for a spot of controversy - Kvitova challenges a line call, wins it, but the umpire ruled Robson had gone for it and asks her to replay the point. Not sure that was right. Lordy, lordy, that's wild and windy and wanton and woolly and plenty of other Ws you could think of, a drive volley from Kvitova that lands about eight feet long. But Kvitova wrests the advantage and holds serve as a Robson return clips the top of the net and lands long.

    *Kvitova 6-2 3-6 7-7 Robson

    Robson with a crackerjack ace down the middle for 30-0 and follows it up with another beefy delivery out wide that Kvitova is unable to deal with. Double-fault Robson, could do without that, and she makes it 40-30 with a rather lazy-looking forehand that lands wide. But that's nice from Robson, a zinger on the line that Kvitova is unable to deal with...

    Kvitova 6-2 3-6 7-6 Robson*

    No tie-break, remember, one of them has to win by two games. Kvitova puts away a drive-volley for 15-0, makes it 30-0, before Robson hits back with a juicy forehand winner. Kvitova with a swinging lefty serve out wide and Robson can only bunt it wide. Kvitova into the net and she is unable to pick it up off her tippy-toes, 40-30. Second serve ace out wide, that was a little bit saucy... Robson serving to stay in the match again...

    *Kvitova 6-2 3-6 6-6 Robson

    That's a peach by Kvitova, a dinky little drop-shot that leaves Robson rooted - takes some cojones to pull that at this stage in the game. And what a return that is, piling into a powder puff second serve by Robson. All of a sudden it's two break-back points for Kvitova and she needs only one of them, Robson spraying a forehand long...

    BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    Mark Woodforde, grand slam doubles winner: "Poor Petra Kvitova - at the change of ends she has the towel over her head - not even daring to look at her coach. Laura Robson now has to start the point off and leave it to Kvitova to make the errors."

    *Kvitova 6-2 3-6 5-6 Robson

    At times like this I often reach for that great old quote from Aussie cricketing legend Keith Miller: "Pressure is a Messerschmitt up your backside, playing is not." That said, I wouldn't want to be Robson or Kvitova right now...

    Kvitova 6-2 3-6 5-6 Robson*

    Ace out wide Kvitova but the Czech lady is an emotional basket case at the moment, I'm worried what might happen whether she wins or loses this. What a shot that is from Kvitova, a backhand cross-court winner, but she follows up with her 16th double-fault. This is psychological warfare now... Robson keeping it cool, Kvitova about to dissolve into tears as she hoicks a forehand wide... Kvitova goes long, Robson with the break, serving for a place in the third round...

    *Kvitova 6-2 3-6 5-5 Robson

    Kvitova has come alive, another one of those blood-curdling screams as she sends Robbo the wrong way with a naughty forehand. Kvitova with a cross-court winner for 15-30, these screams getting a little bit annoying now, it's like having a cheese grater scraped down the side of your face. Robson showing some mettle, making it 40-30 behind a hulking first serve, and she follows up with another big delivery and some hearty groundstrokes. Robson proved me wrong, didn't think she'd hold there...

    BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    Mark Woodforde, grand slam doubles winner: "The advantage is with Kvitova now. Laura's only won points twice in this set when she's had to send down second serves."

    Kvitova 6-2 3-6 5-4 Robson*

    Robson outlasts Kvitova in a ding-dong rally before Kvitova plonks a forehand long to hand the Englishwoman a break... ACE! Followed by a blood-curdling squeal, as if she's just discovered some horse meat in her burger. AND ANOTHER! Kvitova with the advantage but she finds the net with a backhand and Robson follows up with a forehand return that skims the baseline - alas, no, it missed by an inch... what a shot that is by Robson, a fizzing forehand that lands right in the corner, lovely stuff... Robson gets down on her haunches and spoons a backhand into the net and Kvitova seals it with an ace. Turns out the girl from Fulnek has got plenty of gravel in her guts and spit in her eye. Robson serving to stay in the match.

    *Kvitova 6-2 3-6 4-4 Robson

    It's been a pretty awful match, to be honest, but we might have a grandstand finish. Kvitova with a hooky return into the net for 15-15 before an attempted lob lands long. Kvitova pushes a forehand wide into the tramlines for 40-30 and Robson closes out the game with an ace. Robson looking the stronger heading into the final straight, Kvitova just looks like she wants a big hug...

    Kvitova 6-2 3-6 4-3 Robson*

    Another double-fault Kvitova - that's 15, now - and what a return that is from Robson for 0-30. Three break-back points for Robson... only needs one of them, terrific backhand return...

    *Kvitova 6-2 3-6 4-2 Robson

    Without meaning to sound mean, the good news for Robson at the end of that game was that her opponent was almost in tears. That's sport, baby, it stings when it all goes wrong. Kvitova climbs into a forehand winner, Robson makes it 15-15 courtesy of a chunky first serve. Kvitova puts away a wrong-footing forehand winner, Robson sends down a double of her own, two break points... Robson into the net, she had her opponent in tears and handed her a hanky...

    BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    Mark Woodforde, grand slam doubles winner: "A very different Kvitova on the change of ends. Almost in tears - she can't believe she's committing all these double faults. Now is the time for Laura to look at the other end and see what Kvitova is going through and take advantage."

    Kvitova 6-2 3-6 3-2 Robson*

    Kvitova putting in a sliced backhand and Robson gets a net cord that has a look over the top before falling back on her side. Kvitova goes long with a backhand for 30-15 but misses with an attempted forehand pass for 30-30. Robson is given the runaround before Kvitova, visibly growing in confidence as this set wears on, follows into the net and sends a few daggers the Briton's way. The Czech follows up with a double-fault... and another, that's 13 now... back to deuce we go... AND ANOTHER! Kvitova falls forward onto her racquet like an old woman on her stick and Robson mugs her next point, break back...

    *Kvitova 6-2 3-6 3-1 Robson

    Wow, Kvitova hit that hard, a cross-court backhand winner for 30-30. Good challenge from Robson for an ace down the middle, followed by a rank first serve that lands six feet long. But Robson is on the board in this third set as Kvitova shanks a backhand return long.

    Kvitova 6-2 3-6 3-0 Robson*

    Kvitova showing her greater experience here, changing things up in order to change the course of the game. Kvitova pumping her left fist as she sends down another booming ace before Robson tugs a forehand return wide. Robson attempts the drop-shot but it's not a very clever one, Kvitova hunts it down and Robson puts her lob long. And just like that, Kvitova is back in the room...

    BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    Mark Woodforde, grand slam doubles winner: "There's the experience of being a grand slam champion. Smart play by Kvitova, using different tactics. Three times she approached the net and closed down the court."

    *Kvitova 6-2 3-6 2-0 Robson

    Kvitova into the net and Robson shovels her pass wide on the forehand wing. Kvitova rushes the net again and Robson misses with the attempted pass again - Kvitova might have hit on something at just the right time. Three break points as Robson finds the net with a backhand... saves one... saves two... can't save the third, missing with an attempted forehand pass again...


    Rob in Oswestry via text: "Tennis rarely fails to be less painful than root canal surgery, but the elation if Robson can pull this off will more than make up for it."

    Kvitova 6-2 3-6 1-0 Robson*

    Both players march off for what our American cousins euphemistically call 'comfort breaks', although new dresses might be in order, it's like a pizza oven out there. Not just grasshoppers on Rod Laver, we've got pretty much everything out there. No idea what that is. Players back out - if they have changed dresses, it's the same dress in both cases. The longest rally so far has been 13 shots, which rather sums up the quality. Ace from Kvitova, the ninth to go with 10 double faults, followed by her 11th double fault, to go with nine aces. Robson can only bunt the next serve out wide but is all over the next one, rattling a forehand winner down the line. Robson has got a real skip in her step now and there she is scampering into the net and putting away a fearsome backhand. Booming first serve from Kvitova to nick the advantage before Robson finds the net on the backside wing.


    Andrew in London via text: "As woeful as Kvitova is playing Robson has to win the match, not rely on her opponent's mistakes. Much better second set though... Come on Robbo!"


    Elliot H on Twitter: "Only had six hours sleep to make sure I was awake for the Robson and can say getting up early has been worthwhile."

    GAME AND SECOND SET- *Kvitova 6-2 3-6 Robson

    Robson looking as nervous as a fawn in a woodland clearing out there but that was gutsy, outlasting Kvitova in a 13-shot rally to make it 30-15. The Czech goes long with a forehand return on the next point, wide with a forehand on the next, fine serving Robson, we've got ourselves a one-set shootout.

    Kvitova 6-2 3-5 Robson*

    Kvitova reduced to self-flagellation now, smashing her racquet into her leg, but she races into a 40-0 lead in this game and holds serve to love. How big are Robson's conkers? We're about to find out...


    Dave Walker on Twitter: "If Kvitova is the number 8 seed I don't want to see too much of numbers 9 to 32."

    *Kvitova 6-2 2-5 Robson

    Robson serving for the set. Scudder out wide for 15-15, followed by a double fault. Two break points for Kvitova, the first saved with a decent first serve that Kvitova can only parry into the net. That's fine fetching by Robson from the back of the court - shock of shocks, she even chucked in a sliced backhand - and Kvitova eventually shovels a backhand wide. But it's advantage Kvitova again... double fault, Kvitova has one of those breaks back...

    BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    Mark Woodforde, grand slam doubles winner: "Not great stats on the first delivery by Laura - just 41%. But she has been able to contain those unforced errors."

    Kvitova 6-2 1-5 Robson*

    Robson with a forehand winner down the line, the Englishwoman swinging a bit more freely now. Kvitova outlasts Robson in the next rally and again to make it 30-15. The court crawling with grasshoppers now as Robson buckles under the weight of those groundstrokes from Kvitova. Robson back to deuce as Kvitova is unable to deal with that return from Robson and here's another break point for Robson courtesy of a crisp forehand return. Break Robson, looks like we've got ourselves a decider...

    *Kvitova 6-2 1-4 Robson

    ... double fault Robson for 0-15... powder puff second serve from Robson, Kvitova is all over it for 15-30... Kvitova's 24th unforced error, a forehand into the tramlines, and Robson has matched her error for error. A 172kph ace down the middle from Robson but Kvitova hits back with a wrong-footing forehand for deuce. Net cord from Robson but it should have been a lucky one for Kvitova, but the Czech chases it down and plonks a forehand into the net. Kvitova hoicks a forehand return wide, Robson holds...

    BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    Mark Woodforde, multiple grand slam winner: "How different does Robson's face look now? Her anxiousness has disappeared."


    Andrew in Newcastle via text: "This is a disastrous development by Robson. No, not in tennis terms but in the sense that she's raising expectations every tournament she plays. Soon we'll get to a stage as we do with every British player when we can't enjoy their performances due to our nerves let alone theirs!"


    Gary in Wirral via text: "Kvitova is going to fall apart any minute now, this is Robson's for the taking, she just needs to believe she can win."

    Kvitova 6-2 1-3 Robson*

    Kvitova shanks a backhand wide for 0-15 before plonking one long. The one hope for Robson is that Kvitova's radar is rubbered. Robson attempts a backhand lob on the run but it lands out, but she does carve out a break point with some heat-seeking backhands that skim the line. Kvitova finds a big first serve for deuce only for Robson to nick another advantage with a rinky-dink forehand return... Robson's 10th break point and she's taken only one... make that two, another clobbered forehand return, Kvitova unable to deal with it...

    *Kvitova 6-2 1-2 Robson

    The standard rose slightly in that last game but let's be brutally honest, this isn't a great advert for women's tennis. Robson moves into a 40-0 lead before Kvitova leaves her rooted with a whipped forehand winner. Robson, off balance, into the net with a forehand before blazing a forehand long - deuce. Kvitova balloons a forehand return long, Robson hits back with a double fault. That's poor from Kvitova, Robson out of court and the Czech sprays a forehand miles wide. Robson dredges up a big first serve to hold...

    Kvitova 6-2 1-1 Robson*

    Robson being bullied by Kvitova there, the Czech setting her up with a deep, searching forehand before putting away the forehand winner. Another double from Kvitova makes it 15-30 before Kvitova finds a couple of bigguns... followed by another double... it's not getting any better... forehand long from Kvitova, break point Robson... Robson dragged out wide, Kvitova puts her away with a backhand pick-up... another break point as Robson sends home a crisp forehand return, Kvitova lunges low and wins the point behind a rasping backhand... Robson with a tame backhand into the net, followed by a forehand, chance gone, Kvitova holds.

    *Kvitova 6-2 0-1 Robson

    The crowd on Rod Laver watched that first set in bemused silence, I've witnessed more engaged audiences at a Japanese kabuki performance. And if you don't know what kabuki is, look it up, it's bemusing. Kvitova nails Robson into a corner with some deep groundstrokes and Robson plonks a backhand into the net for 0-15. Robson being pulled all over the place by Kvitova and she eventually flails a forehand long for 30-30... Kvitova hoicks a backhand into the tramlines and Robson seals the hold with a couple of tonking forehands. Robson with her nose in front in the second set...

    GAME AND FIRST SET- Kvitova 6-2 Robson*

    Laura Robson discovering that, against the top players, if you go in there thinking you're just going to throw haymakers and knock everyone out, it won't necessarily happen: you've got to have a few slicks up your sleeve as well. Robson tugs a backhand long, her 13th unforced error, before spraying a forehand wide. Robson not exactly emanating fight at the moment - contrast that to Davydenko in the previous match on Rod Laver, the man would have carried on battling Federer with two bloodied stumps for arms if it meant winning only a point against Federer. Kvitova chucks down a couple of double-faults to let Robson back into the game and Robson nicks the advantage with a thunderous forehand. AND ANOTHER! This time cross-court for another advantage, but Kvitova hits back with an ace. Third double-fault from Kvitova in this game - seven in total - but Robson muffs the return on the next point. Kvitova plonks a forehand long, as does Robson, back to deuce we go... Robson gets stuck into that forehand return for break point number four... another save, Robson going long again... ace Kvitova, and another, chance gone Robson, set Kvitova.... that wasn't very good...

    *Kvitova 5-2 Robson

    This match sorely lacking in variety at the moment - it's like opening a tin of Quality Street to find only Toffee Pennies. Another double-fault by Robson, that's four so far for the Briton. Great shot Robson, hammering a forehand winner down the line having pulled her rival out wide with her serve. Kvitova with a thunderous forehand return and Robson eventually yanks a forehand long. Robson into the net with a forehand to make it deuce and she tugs a backhand into the tramlines to hand Kvitova break point. Another poor forehand from Robson, Kvitova looks to have the sign over her.

    Kvitova 4-2 Robson*

    Kvitova with an ace out wide, followed by a double fault. Feast or famine at the moment. Not much rallying out there, not much anything to be brutally honest. Robson sends a forehand long, straight-forward hold for Kvitova.

    Piers Newbery, BBC Sport at Melbourne Park

    "If you haven't got the message already, it's a ruddy furnace on Rod Laver Arena. Asked about the prospect two days ago, a smiling Robson said dryly, "Can't wait." There are many who think she can cause an upset tonight as Kvitova finished last year unconvincingly, and has not shown much sign of improvement early in 2013. The two left-handers' games have been compared regularly, and both are capable of smacking down plenty of aces and winners. Unforced errors could be the key tonight. It was the first thing Robson asked the press about after her last match, in which she made 28 winners but 30 errors."

    *Kvitova 3-2 Robson

    Robson having been born in Melbourne, there are some Australians who try to claim her as their own. She isn't. Robson into a 15-0 lead courtesy of a beefy forehand winner but she follows that with a shovelled forehand long. Robson bounces the ball three times before turning to stone, looking wistfully into the middle distance and sending down those Hammer of Thor serves of hers. Kvitova not cracking, Robson with a couple of unforced errors on the forehand flank, another break for the Czech.

    Kvitova 2-2 Robson*

    Hopefully Robson has shaken off the heeby-jeebies and can start swinging freely. Let's see if she can get stuck into the Kvitova serve. Kvitova pulls out a plum to kick off the game as the insects start dropping in. Both players duking it out from the back of the court, Robson buckles first, 40-0. Easy hold...

    *Kvitova 1-2 Robson

    Very nervy out there at the moment, both women going for their shots and missing with regularity. Robson sends down a big first serve and puts away the forehand - her first point won on serve - but follows up with another double fault. Kvitova sends a forehand long for 30-30 but follows up with a drive-volley for another break point. Kvitova, frightening with those big, X-ray eyes of hers, sends another forehand long before Robson dredges up an ace. Another hearty first serve from Robson and that's a welcome hold.

    Kvitova 1-1 Robson*

    Double fault by Kvitova makes it 15-15 before Robson hits her straps, hitting a screamer of a backhand, cross-court winner. Kvitova with that elegant, swingeing service action of hers and she likes to take her time, you could boil up the kettle and sink a cup of tea between points. Robson puts in the lob and Kvitova goes long with an overhead and we have a deuce... another double from Kvitova, Robson with a break point but she thrashes her backhand marginally long... no, skims the line and Robson's overrule bears fruit... BREAK! Kvitova into the net with a backhand. Did I say this might be ugly? I was wrong, it's rancid at the moment...

    *Kvitova 1-0 Robson

    It's Robson to serve first.... two double-faults to start, the Briton consumed by nerves... three break points for Kvitova and Robson is broken to love as she muffs a forehand volley into the middle of the net. Not the start we wanted, the Czech had to do almost nothing to win that one.

  64. 1030: 

    Robson has never played a match on Laver before, at least not as a senior, and it's still jam-packed out there following Federer's win over Davydenko. Robson of Britain, via Melbourne, wearing a white dress with yellow cap, Kvitova in various shades of purple, primarily dark orchid on the Dulux chart.

  65. 1026: 

    Frenchman Richard Gasquet has just wrapped up a routine three-set win over Colombia's Alejandro Falla, he's got Croatia's Ivan Dodig in the third round. Two southpaws on Rod Laver now and, as with boxing, two lefties often make for an ugly match. Let's see, Robson and Kvitova knocking up now.

  66. 1017: 

    Now it's Laura Robson of Great Britain against 2011 Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova - I predict an upset...

  67. 1016: 

    Federer now leads that head to head 18-2, the Russian's only consolation will be that at least he's been good enough to play Federer 20 times. Federer's victory is so regulation, Aussie Open interviewer Jim Courier is reduced to chatting about Federer's children and his shoelaces. Courier goes rogue! Chucks in a Bernard Tomic teaser but Federer refuses to take the bait: "It's good to see Bernard playing better etc etc etc" What a ruddy gentleman.

    GAME, SET AND MATCH- Federer 6-3 6-4 6-4 Davydenko

    Federer has served out more matches than I've had hot dinners, and I mean that literally. Therefore, the four-time champion should make light work of this service game... Davydenko threads a backhand winner down the line but Federer makes it 30-15 courtesy of a beefy delivery. Match point Federer and the crowd awaken... ace out wide, Davydenko left with big fat tyre tracks all over his back...

    *Federer 6-3 6-4 5-4 Davydenko

    The fat lady may have been singing for about two hours now but Davydenko's still swinging, that's a fairly comfortable hold and Federer is set to serve for the match...

    Federer 6-3 6-4 5-3 Davydenko*

    The crowd on Laver have already written this one off, all the atmosphere already strained out of the occasion. Davydenko goes long with a backhand, gives a shrug, the Russian to serve to stay alive...


    Pranav Ullal on Twitter: "Brian Lara's standing on one leg hook and cover drive can be added to that list of beautiful sporting sights."

    BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    Barry Flatman, Sunday Times correspondent: "I'm just looking at the path that awaits Federer now and there's a gentleman called Tsonga who's caused him some Grand Slam grief."

    *Federer 6-3 6-4 4-3 Davydenko

    Davydenko with a lucky net cord - an apology, doesn't mean it - and the Russian seals the hold with a flat ace out wide...

    Federer 6-3 6-4 4-2 Davydenko*

    Federer scuttles into the net and puts away a forehand winner as Del Potro finishes off Benjamin Becker with a wrecking ball ace down the middle over on Margaret Court. Comfortable hold for Federer and a change of weapon for the final push.

    Piers Newbery, BBC Sport at Melbourne Park

    "Unbelievable stuff on Hisense where Monfils serves for the match at 7-6 in the fifth after three and a half hours on court, misses his first match point in regulation fashion and then hits double-faults on the next four! Huge roars, groans and, yes, laughs around the press room. The Frenchman grins sheepishly when number six comes up and, mercifully, hits a service winner. A total of 29 double-faults in the match from Le Monf. Something to work on."

    BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    Barry Flatman, Sunday Times correspondent: "This is only the second competitive match Roger Federer has played since November but he's clearly put in the work during the off season, he looks as though he's hit the ground exactly where he wants to be, without being hugely spectacular he's working very, very nicely."

    *Federer 6-3 6-4 3-2 Davydenko

    Becker has saved a match point over on Del Potro but the German is on the precipice and awaiting the nudge at 5-1 down in the third. Becker holds, Del Potro forced to serve out the match. Davydenko still battling manfully on Rod Laver, wading through a deuce game on serve.

    Federer 6-3 6-4 3-1 Davydenko*

    Laura Robson is up against 2011 Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova on Rod Laver and sager tennis minds than mine are tipping Robbo to cause an upset. Davydenko bunts a forehand return long and that's another comfortable hold from Federer - this match done and dusted now, perhaps even in the mind of Nikolay Davydenko.


    Philip Siu on Twitter: "Exciting for Watson & Robson - the prospect of 2 women in the Last 64 of a Slam used to seem impossible, let alone the Last 32."

    *Federer 6-3 6-4 2-1 Davydenko

    Del Potro's not hanging about, he's 4-1 in the third against Becker and rolling into the third round with the hand brake on. Davydenko on the board in the third set, a reminder that it's Laura Robson of Great Britain to follow.

    Federer 6-3 6-4 2-0 Davydenko*

    That is the height of outrageouseness from Federer, skimming across the baseline, hunting down a Davydenko 'winner' and flashing a backhand down the line. You have to say that's magnificent. Game Federer, Davydenko could find himself monstered in this third set.

    *Federer 6-3 6-4 1-0 Davydenko

    Barry Flatman (see below) raises a nice debate - what are the beautiful sights in sport? The Federer backhand, the Duckham swerve, the McEnroe serve, the Holding bowling action, the Gower cover-drive. Meanwhile, Davydenko has been broken early in the third and Monfils has emerged battered and bloodied and bruised after a five-set war against Yen-Hsun Lu of Taiwan.

    BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    Barry Flatman, Sunday Times correspondent: "When Federer does come in to volley it really is one of the beautiful sights in sport."

    GAME AND SECOND SET- Federer 6-3 6-4 Davydenko*

    Davydenko outfoxing Federer at the net before Federer makes it 40-15 with a 200kmh ace down the middle. That's Federer's set, sealed with a hammered cross-court forehand. Have. Some. Of. That. Davydenko may not be long for this tournament.

    *Federer 6-3 5-4 Davydenko

    Davydenko misses the open court with an attempted forehand winner before Federer swings a backhand long - that backhand hasn't been in the very toppest of form today. Heat-seeking forehand winner from Davydenko but Federer retaliates with a fizzing wrong-footing forehand for 30-30. Break and set point for Federer but he slides a forehand long for deuce. Hand fans out in force on Rod Laver, it's smoking hot out there. Set point number two for Feds but Davydenko eventually holds.

    Federer 6-3 5-3 Davydenko*

    Monfils is at 5-5 in the final set against Taiwan's Lu Yen-hsun, that match has been going on for several hours in heat so hot I'm told it comes close to melting the soles of your trainers. Davydenko gets to 15-30 on the Federer serve only for Federer to pull out a biggun down the middle. Davydenko makes light of an insouciant flicked backhand from Federer, drilling a forehand down the line for deuce, but Federer sends down a kicker out wide for the hold.

    *Federer 6-3 4-3 Davydenko

    Davydenko with an ace down the middle for 30-15 before Federer applies the squeeze and the Russian nets with a forehand. But that's ballsy from Davydenko, finding a couple of plums to secure the hold.


    Martin J on Twitter: "Huh! And there I was thinking that Federer is probably the only player who could pull that outfit off with panache."

    Federer 6-3 4-2 Davydenko*

    Davydenko takes that game to deuce - door ajar - but Federer slams down an ace to seal the hold - door in the face.

    Piers Newbery, BBC Sport at Melbourne Park

    "While Federer and Davydenko go at it in a bracing 39C, Aussie James Duckworth has just been through his round of media duties after spending four hours and 52 minutes losing to Blaz Kavcic in 40C+. 'The court actually felt really hot underfoot,' said Duckworth. 'My feet were burning every time I pushed off to sprint.' So did he get an IV drip after the match? 'No, I just went on the bike for a little bit.'"

    BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    Barry Flatman, Sunday Times correspondent: "If you're going to be brutally honest Davydenko doesn't really look like a tennis player, he's quite a frail, inconsequential looking man but he really can hang in there."

    *Federer 6-3 3-2 Davydenko

    Federer rips into that forehand with all the force of a man pulling up a tree trunk and Davydenko bunts his reply out to hand his opponent a break point. But that's cuter than a baby's nose from the Russian, an angled backhand that leaves Federer rooted to the baseline. Davydenko with an ace down the middle but Federer drags it back to deuce. Some mad scrambling from Federer but he eventually puts a forehand long and Davydenko holds as Federer hooks a backhand wide. Davydenko still throwing punches.

    Federer 6-3 3-1 Davydenko*

    On Court 2, Frenchman Richard Gasquet is 5-3 up in the first set against Alejandro Falla, Del Potro is a break up in the second against Becker. Both Davydenko and Federer are that rare thing on the men's tour, fathers. Which is pretty much relevant to nothing in particular. Easy hold for Federer.

    *Federer 6-3 2-1 Davydenko

    Lu Yen-hsun has broken back against Monfils, it's a monster match on Hisense. Back on Laver Federer has two break points and he needs but one of them, pulling Davydenko hither and tither behind the baseline before putting away the forehand winner.

    Federer 6-3 1-1 Davydenko*

    Regarding my previous entry, I should stress that I don't actually think Federer will end up playing tennis in hell. Although he might, I don't really know what he's like. Federer holds to 15, wrapping that game up with forehand down the line.

    *Federer 6-3 0-1 Davydenko

    Over on Hisense, Monfils has a break in the decider against Lu Yen-hsun, the Frenchman 3-1 up. Shirt change for Davydenko, from ice white to something approaching navy blue. Still 40 degrees out on Laver but Federer wouldn't break sweat playing tennis in the fiery pits of hell. Davydenko with a solid hold at the start of the second set.

    GAME AND FIRST SET- Federer 6-3 Davydenko*

    Federer serving for the set and, just like that, he's won it. Something of the Dick Dastardly about Roger Federer - you can be neck and neck and looking across at him and he gives you a wry smile, flicks on the afterburners and leaves you floundering.

    BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    Barry Flatman, Sunday Times correspondent: "This year Davydenko has gone back to the brand of racquet he used when he was a top five player. Changing racquets for players is a very dodgy business. Djokovic did it about five years ago and for more than a few months he didn't have any touch on his game at all."


    Ayra Tabrizi on Twitter: "Don't see what the big deal is, love the Federer laces."


    From Andrew in Newcastle, via text: "Re DavidLawTennis - I think all told Federer is probably not that far off his 2005 self. Maybe 95%? His problem is twofold in that a) he no longer has the aura he had back then and also b)h is competition is probably at about 120% of where they were in 2005."

    *Federer 5-3 Davydenko

    Sixth seed Del Potro is ripping things up over on Margaret Court, 5-1 up in the first against Germany's Benjamin Becker. Davydenko goes 0-30 down but knuckles down and makes it 30-30. However, there are the first signs of despair on the Russian's face as Federer takes the next point, only for the Swiss to find the net with a backhand. Davydenko yanks a backhand long and wide and it's a second set point... Federer balloons a backhand long, Davydenko puts away a forehand, Federer makes it deuce with a backhand hit squarely and sweetly. Davydenko seals the game with an ace down the middle, the Russian hanging on, grimly...

    BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    Barry Flatman, Sunday Times correspondent: "Some very good returning by Davydenko but that was always his game, he was almost Agassi-like."

    Federer 5-2 Davydenko*

    That was beautiful to watch from Federer, like a mechanic under a car just tap-tapping away at his opponent before he finally went wrong. Federer speeds into a 40-0 lead on serve and seals the hold with an overhead-cum-forehand volley.

    *Federer 4-2 Davydenko

    I do hope Davydenko has applied some sun screen, otherwise he's likely to be virtually lobotomised by this Melbourne sun, not much hair up there. Fearsome backhand winner by Davydenko but he's a break point down ... saved as Federer pops a forehand long... classic Federer, pushing his opponent out wide before putting away the backhand down the line, the old one-two. Federer frames a backhand but a couple of unforced errors by the Russian hand his rival the break.

    Federer 3-2 Davydenko*

    Both men striking the ball early and neither man giving any quarter. Federer with one of those dinky squash shots of his but he finds the net. Another deuce game but Federer wrests the advantage with an ace out wide but that's a magnificent backhand return from Davydenko, the Russian picking off some low-hanging fruit*. Davydenko with another fine return on the rise and it leaves Federer flat-footed, but the Swiss finishes things off with a scorching cross-court forehand.

    * A Federer second serve

    *Federer 2-2 Davydenko

    Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro is on court against Germany's Benjamin Becker, I'll keep you posted on that match. Meanwhile on Hisense, Monfils of France is involved in a ding-dong of epic proportions against Yen-hsun Lu of Taiwan - Monfils about to take the fourth set and take the match into a decider. A rattling rally back on Rod and Davydenko eventually buckles and hands Federer break point... another fine rally but this time Feds whips a forehand into the net. Another break point for Federer, but this time the Swiss fires a forehand long. Another crackerjack rally which finishes with Federer netting a backhand. Davydenko duking it out with Federer and it's fun to watch.

    Federer 2-1 Davydenko*

    Davydenko sweating like a lunatic already, who knows how many towels Greg Rusedski would have ploughed through in these conditions. Perhaps Greg should have patented a full-body sweat band? Nice forehand return from Davydenko as he hauls the game back to deuce before Federer seals the hold with an ace out wide.

    *Federer 1-1 Davydenko

    Nothing shocking about Davydenko's outfit, very much regulation PE kit for the Russian. Davydenko moves into a 40-0 lead behind some solid deliveries before Federer picks up a point courtesy of a fizzing backhand down the line. Ripping cross-court forehand from Federer but he can't repeat the trick and Davydenko holds.

    Federer 1-0 Davydenko*

    Federer with his first ace down the middle, not much Davydenko could do about that, and here's Federer with a cute wrong-footing forehand winner. Tame backhand into the net by Davydenko, game Federer...

  110. 0812: 

    Our man in Melbourne, Piers Newbery, has just taken a stroll around Melbourne Park and reports that it's so hot you can fry a full Irish breakfast on court, including white pudding. That being the case, Federer will want to get this dusted as soon as. Here they are now, Federer serving first...

  111. 0809: 

    Here are the players now, Federer rocking the shocking pink, with luminous shoelaces and everything. He's let himself down, quite frankly. Knocking up now, play in a few minutes. The umpire today is the veteran Gerry Armstrong, who defaulted John McEnroe in Melbourne 23 years ago.

    Piers Newbery, BBC Sport at Melbourne Park

    "I've just been for a 20-minute walk around the outside courts. I lasted five minutes. It's like being smothered by a very hot towel. There are seats aplenty for anyone able to bear the heat but most people are opting for shade, and the walkways are practically deserted compared with previous days. The temperature officially peaked at 40.4C at 4.40pm local time. Aussie hope Bernard Tomic was out on court then, sporting a much-discussed bright blue cap. I've just seen him leaving the players' area wearing a rather sharper black number."

  113. 0803: 

    Players are expected on Rod Laver at 0800 GMT but no sign of them yet. I'll let you know. The winner of this one will play local hero Bernard Tomic after the 20-year-old saw off Daniel Brands in four sets. Bit of beef between Federer and Tomic, apparently, according to some bored journalists somewhere.

  114. 0755: 

    Davydenko has a pretty decent record in Melbourne with four quarter-final appearances. However, I think it's fair to say he's not what he was, currently down at 40 in the world. The Russian beat Israel's Dudi Sela in four sets in round one, without giving any hint he might have the artillery to do a number on Federer.

  115. 0750: 

    Morning. It's tennis today from the Australian Open tennis tournament at Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Australia. First up this evening (morning) is four-time champion and world number two Roger Federer against Russian veteran Nikolay Davydenko.

    You may be thinking "what's the point of watching this? Federer's obviously going to beat him". And you're probably right - the Swiss leads 17-2 in head-to-heads. But if we all thought like that no-one would get out of bed in the morning and I'd be writing this on papyrus. On the plus side for the 31-year-old Davydenko, his two wins over Federer were on hard courts. On the minus side, 11 of his defeats by Federer were on hard courts. The Australian Open is played on hard courts.

Share this story

The BBC Sport app

BBC Sport app now available on tablets

BBC Sport brings you all the breaking news on its free smartphone app for users in the UK

Australian Open: 14-27 January

Novak Djokovic BBC pundits on Djokovic triumph

"The lesson we've learnt is that there's another level with Djokovic," says Boris Becker.