May 23, 2013
Federer and Serena make light of Melbourne scorcher
Roger Federer and Serena Williams showed there was plenty of life left in their relatively old legs by easing into the third round of the Australian Open on a day when sweltering heat tested the stamina of thirtysomething and teenager alike.
Sunscreen and icepacks were the order of the day on Thursday as temperatures hit 40 degrees Celsius in the late afternoon but 31-year-old Federer was coolness personified in the early evening as he dismissed Nikolay Davydenko 6-3 6-4 6-4.
Third seed Williams, also 31, kept her time on court to a minimum as she swept aside Garbine Muguruza 6-2 6-0 before Andy Murray, her counterpart in the men's draw, clinically despatched Portugal's Joao Sousa 6-2 6-2 6-4.
Not everybody got off so lightly, however, and Blaz Kavcic slugged it out for four hours and 52 minutes on court three against James Duckworth in ferocious heat in the middle of the day before winning 3-6 6-3 6-4 6-7 10-8.
"Total physical collapse after the match," the Slovenian Tweeted lightheartedly along with a picture of him receiving medical treatment in the locker room. "Feeling quite happy though, just don't know, because of my win or morphine."
Women's defending champion and world number one Victoria Azarenka, 23, proceeded easily enough in the relative cool of the morning with a 6-1 6-0 thrashing of Greek Eleni Daniilidou.
Any hopes the Belarussian had that Williams, against whom she has a 1-11 record, might be hampered by the ankle she injured on Tuesday were quickly dashed in the next match on Rod Laver Arena, however.