The hottest day this week – 38 Celsius most of the day (102 Fahrenheit). A main favorite beside Djokovic, Andy Murray spent only 101 minutes on Hisense Arena in these difficult conditions, overpowering Joao Sousa  of Portugal 6-2 6-2 6-4. “It’s good to get it done in three sets because physically, it’s very demanding,” Murray said, “When you’re playing in that heat, it’s very, very difficult to focus when you’re really out of breath.” A very plausible Murray’s quarterfinal opponent, Juan Martin del Potro dropped just eight games as well, finishing Benjamin Becker with four consecutive aces. Murray next faces Lithuanian qualifier Ricardas Berankis , who stunned in three quick sets Florian Mayer. The 22-year-old Berankis made a great debut in Australia two years ago reaching the third round, but was sidelined four months soon afterwards, with a right pelvis stress fracture. Bernard Tomic lost his serve in a 6th game of the 1st set against Nieminen in Sydney’s quarterfinal and hasn’t been broken since then #, which means he holds 76 service games in a row! ~1/3 of them against Daniel Brands in a tough battle, all four sets requiring a 5-all situation. Brands isn’t an ace machine, but when his 1st serve percentage is high (66% today), he is tough to break; Del Potro survived against him in three tie-breakers last October (Vienna). In the 4th set against Tomic, Brands fought off seven match points (!): one at 4:5, another two at 5:6, a triple match point at 3:6 in the tie-break, and 6:7 – thrice serving aces, he had his only set point in that set at 8:7 – Tomic responded with a service winner down the T, and clinched on eight match point just under three hours, 6-7(4) 7-5 7-6(3) 7-6(8). The match featured 49 aces combined. “I was surprised [with] the way he played today… it was a really tough match,” said Tomic. Also a big problem with converting match points had Blaz Kavcic  on Court No. 3. His rival, James Duckworth came back from a 2:5 deficit in the deciding set, saving one match point in the process, and a triple match point at 5:6. When he was serving at 6:7 began to suffering cramps. His big serve (25 aces, Kavcic 23) allowed him to hold two more games, but he wasn’t able to do anything at Kavcic’s last four service games though. After 4 hours 52 minutes (seventh longest Australian Open match), the Slovenian could celebrate his epic victory as the Australian youngster sent a forehand long. A couple hours later on his Twitter account, Kavcic wrote he had received morphine because of exhaustion – officials denied it, saying he got an appropriate muscle relaxant… Gael Monfils, similarly to Tomic and Kavcic, had blown several match points before won the final point of his match against Yen-Hsun Lu, however, Monfils couldn’t capitalize on his serve, he needed six match points in one game, serving double faults on four occasions (23 overall – equaled Guillermo Coria‘s record of Aussie Open ’06)! Earlier, at 5:6 (0/30) the serve helped him to avoid elimination from the tournament; the final score 7-6 4-6 0-6 6-1 8-6. Last year at Wimbledon, Denis Istomin ousted Andreas Seppi 8-6 in the 5th set being two points away from defeat, this time the Italian made a sweet revenge surviving a 5-set struggle (7-6 5-7 6-7 7-6 6-2) in 4 hours 7 minutes, being two points away from loss at 5:6 in the 4th set.
Longest match: 4 hours, 52 minutes. Blaz Kavcic d. James Duckworth 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-7(3), 10-8 Most aces:29 – Gael Monfils, defeated Yen-Hsun Lu
16-9 Jarkko Nieminen, 11-11 Andreas Seppi, 10-4 Gael Monfils, 8-6 Yen-Hsun Lu, 7-4 Denis Istomin, 3-3 Ivan Dodig, 2-1 Blaz Kavcic, 1-1 James Duckworth