Sat, Jan 24, 2015 - Page 20 News List

Hsieh, Mirza crash out of the Open, as does Federer

FUMING:Sania Mirza was unhappy with a call in the first set of the shock second-round defeat of the second seeds, while Chan Yung-jan exited the mixed doubles

By Dave Carroll  /  Staff reporter, with AP, MELBOURNE, Australia

Italy’s Andreas Seppi celebrates defeating Roger Federer of Switzerland in their Australian Open third-round men’s singles match in Melbourne yesterday.

Photo: Reuters

Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Sania Mirza of India crashed out of the second round of the women’s doubles yesterday as the second seeds were stunned by unseeded Gabriela Dabrowski of Canada and Alicja Rosolska of Poland.

The Indian world No. 5 and Taiwanese world No. 6 crashed to a shock 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 defeat in 1 hour, 43 minutes on Court 8 at Melbourne Park, despite their opponents serving up six double faults.

Hsieh and Mirza converted just three of 13 break-point chances, hitting just 29 winners compared with their opponents’ 45.

Hsieh and Mirza led 4-1 in the tiebreak, before squandering their advantage to lose it and the first set. They were also 3-0 up in the second set after two breaks, but again they squandered the advantage.

At end of the match, Mirza and Rosolska had an animated chat as they walked up to shake hands with the chair umpire. Mirza was clearly very unhappy about a call made in the first set as Rosolska explained her point of view.

In the mixed doubles, Taiwan’s Chan Yung-jan and Marin Draganja of Croatia exited in the first round after a tight 6-2, 5-7, 10-6 loss to fifth seeds Cara Black of Zimbabwe and Juan Sebastian Cabal of Colombia.

Both pairings served up two aces and five double faults, with Chan and Draganja converting three of nine break-point chances, while their opponents came good on four of seven to wrap up the win in 1 hour, 19 minutes.

In the men’s singles, Roger Federer was also having a bad day, his chances of reaching a 12th consecutive semi-final at Melbourne Park erased in a shocking third-round loss to Andreas Seppi.

Rafael Nadal is still in contention, rebounding from his five-set, second-round win to beat world No. 106 Dudi Sella 6-1, 6-0, 7-5 in a third-round match lasting a little over two hours to reach the fourth round.

Second seed Federer went into the season’s first major in form, winning the Brisbane International warmup tournament and aiming for an 18th Grand Slam title. Nadal was coming off a lengthy stint on the sidelines and had not given himself much chance of collecting a 15th major.

Federer had never lost to world No. 46 Seppi in 10 previous meetings, but made some uncharacteristic errors, including nine double faults — one to surrender a mini-break in the last tiebreaker — in the 6-4, 7-6 (7/5), 4-6, 7-6 (7/5) defeat.

Seppi, a 30-year-old Italian who had only advanced beyond the second round once on his nine previous trips to the Australian Open, held his nerve, despite some withering winners from Federer, who registered his 1,000th career win earlier this month in Brisbane.

Federer also had a 4-1 lead in the second-set tiebreaker and let it slide.

“I knew how important that second-set tiebreaker was — clearly that hurt, losing that one,” Federer said. “It just broke me to lose that second set and actually the fourth, I should win it, too. Just a brutal couple of sets to lose there. The end wasn’t pretty.”

Federer has won the Australian title four times and had reached the semi-finals or better at Melbourne Park every year since winning the championship for the first time in 2004. It was his earliest exit since 2001, when he also lost in the third round.

“I had to believe that I could win,” said Seppi, adding that he stuck out his racket and hoped for the best on match point — a forehand that sailed past Federer and landed in the corner.

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