The 2014 Australian Open scheduled was slightly disrupted thanks to extreme heat and rain. Some second round matches were finished in the early hours on Friday morning.
Hello and welcome to our live blog coverage of the fifth day of the 2014 Australian Open. It's another scorching day in Melbourne with the temperature again tipped to reach the 44 degree mark. The tournament's extreme heat policy was finally invoked early on Thursday afternoon but the tournament was also disrupted by rain and lighting in the early evening. It's just that sort of time of year.null
Thursday saw the end of the Australian men’s challenge with the fall of the ‘Special Ks’, Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis, but Samantha Stosur and Casey Dellacqua will be flying the flag on court in the women’s. Stosur will play former world No.1 Ana Ivanovic, the 14th seed, tonight on Rod Laver Arena.
Dellacqua would fancy having a chance chance of proceeding to the fourth round against China’s unseeded Zheng Jie, who is a dual grand-slam semi-finalist ranked 56 in the world, this afternoon, also on Rod Laver.
World No.1 and tournament favourite Serena Williams will be first up on centre court against Daniela Hantuchova, while the world No.3 David Ferrer continues on his understated way taking on James Chardy. Defending champion Novak Djokovic will play world No.49 Denis Istomin tonight.
It is going to be another interesting day on and off the court at Melbourne Park so CLICK HERE for today's schudule.
With a fourth consecutive day in the 40s set to scorch Melbourne Park, the debate continues about the safety of playing in such heat, let along watching from the stands, where hundreds of people have been treated for heat stress. The extreme heat policy was finally implemented on Thursday but only caused further confusion among the players. Maria Sharapova she and Karin Knapp were forced to continue playing because the policy dictates that play not be stopped until the set in progress had been complete. For Sharapova and Knapp, that eventually occurred after 18 games. READ MORE.
While some such as Corey Watts, regional projects manager at the Climate Institute, questions the risk of playing the Australian Open at this time of year, READ MORE, Andy Murray does not want the date of the tournament changed. READ MORE.
Serena's Williams clash against Daniela Hantuchova has just began on centre court. An interesting point is that Williams has had two quick previous round match, conceding only six games in total whereas Hantuchova has played two three setters, with the decider against Karolina Pliskova finishing 12-10. You would have to think that could be a factor the longer this match goes.
READ HERE for a re-cap of round two results for men's singles.
READ HERE for a re-cap of round two results for women's singles.null
Ninth seed Angelique Kerber has won the first set against Alison Riske, 6-3.