Seeds David Ferrer, Marcos Baghdatis and Janko Tipsarevic made it through the third round of the Australian Open but all will have been hoping to have moved on with a lot less work than was needed to beat their respective opponents.
Tipsarevic needed five sets to defeat Lukas Lacko despite holding a 2-0 set lead and a break in the third set. After Lacko immediately broke back for 1-1 in the third, six games were won to love in a row although one was on return – surprisingly from Lacko who made the breakthrough at 3-2 to take charge of the third set. Serving out the set, he would be pegged by to 30-30 from 30-0 but showed little nerves in winning the next two points to take the set.
A break for 3-2 in the middle part of the set was enough for Lacko who was fairly assured on serve, aside from the game following his break where he found himself 15-40 down but would eventually hold. A 0-30 lead in the following game suggested the insurance break was coming but Tipsarevic held it to just one break. He wouldn’t be able to make a breakthrough and the match would go to a decider. Lacko forced the issue early and found himself with a break point opportunity at 1-1 but it would be saved by Tipsarevic as the Serbian held. After holding for a 3-2 lead, Tipsarevic then called a medical timeout than killed his opponents momentum and as happens so often – the server loses composure and Lacko did so, getting broken to 15.
After saving match points on serve, Lacko would then go on to break Tipsarevic in the next game and hold to tie the set at 5-5. Tipsarevic would gather himself to hold for a 6-5 lead and go on the attack once more as Lacko was broken from 40-15 for Tipsarevic to complete the 6-3 6-4 3-6 4-6 7-5 victory.
Marcos Baghdatis would need four sets to deal with Tatsuma Ito. The Japanese was a surprise winner against John Millman in round one and he showed his confidence as he raced into a one set lead over Baghdatis despite finding himself a break down in the opening game of the match. After that, class would begin to tell however as Baghdatis faced just two break points over the next three sets with both being in the same game in the second set. A single break at 4-3 would be enough to tie the match at one set apiece before Baghdatis’ class begin to tell. Two breaks in the third and fourth set saw the Cypriot on his way to what was, in the end, a comfortable victory in four sets 3-6 6-3 6-2 6-2.
Baghdatis plays David Ferrer in round three who surprisingly dropped a set to lucky loser Tim Smyczek. After losing the first 9 games in a row, it was a massive surprise to see Smyczek battle back to get the match on serve in the second and have the opportunity to force a tie break. Unfortunately he would be unable to do so, with Ferrer breaking at the third time of asking in a lengthy twelfth game of the set. After Ferrer broke once more in the third set for a 3-1 lead, it looked like that would be it for the American but he didn’t give up. Two breaks in a row for Smyczek find himself a break up in set three, which he would hold on to and serve for the set with relatively little worry.
Smyczek wouldn’t be able to force a fifth set after going down a break once more very early in the fourth set. Chances for breaks at 4-1 and 5-3 (and so, match points) were not taken by Ferrer but it mattered very little for the Spaniard as he would eventually serve it out for a 6-0 7-5 4-6 6-3 win and a place in third round.