Another great day in Melbourne Park - had Rod Laver tickets today so I was mostly in a nice shaded seat thankfully as it was still a hot one (though not as brutal as the past two days).
Li Na was first up on Rod Laver and she looked pretty good against local Olivia Rogowska. I got some goosebumps when she walked onto the court to a huge reception. Li Na is clearly beloved here and she even mentioned in her oncourt interview that she noticed how much support she had today, and not just from Chinese fans. Was a great atmosphere.
Kim Clijsters, up next, was going to steamroll her opponent so I took the chance to watch Kiwi Marina Erakovic take on American Christina McHale. When Marina's name was announced, the crowd erupted. It was amazing! I knew she'd have a lot of support since there would be a lot of Kiwis at the tennis but it was pretty impressive. Sadly Kim did not take her time winning so it was quickly back to Rod Laver Arena for Rafa vs Haas!
Thankfully, after two pretty straightforward women's matches we were treated to a very good match between Rafa and Tommy. Rafa started really well and took a 4-0 lead but then Tommy got himself into the match and hung in quite well. The crowd oo'd and ah'd and we finally got some drama and some wonderful tennis. Rafa could have easily lost the third set but he was able to come back from an early break to win in three tight sets.
The Rod Laver crowd was amazing after the match and gave Tommy a roaring send off. Who knows if he will be back in Melbourne again so was thrilled to be there to see him in his possible last match here.
The doubles is well underway now and there are some pretty interesting doubles pairing. Many new teams have paired up in preparation for the London Olympics and my favourite team is definitely Svetlana Kuznetsova and Vera Zvonereva. That is a lot of emotion and potential craziness on one side of the net! I hope they stay together for the year and compete in London. I caught the last 20 minutes of their match and saw them charge back from a break down to advance.
Being at a grand slam, in searing heat, day after day is exhausting and after a few long days of sunburn and dehydration I called it an early night tonight. So of course we had some intense five setters that I missed: Isner/Nalbandian, Dolgopolov/Kamke and Almagro/Dimitrov. But, three days down, five awesome ones to go!
Some other photos from the day's action: