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The whiff of sporting upset hung
around Melbourne Park yesterday
after top seeds Andy Murray and
Angelique Kerber were handed
stunning defeats in the Australian
Open fourth round.
Britain’s Murray was bamboozled
by the ser ve-volley game of Mischa
Zverev to exit after 31⁄2 hours on Rod
Laver Arena, while fellow world
No 1 Kerber’s title defence was ended
in little more than an hour by Coco
Murray was the first top seed to
depart before the quarter-finals
since Lleyton Hewitt in 2003,
while Germany ’s reigning women’s
champion was last sent packing before
the second week a decade ago when
Amelie Mauresmo went out in the
Murray and Kerber were playing
their first grand slams as top seeds
and both looked all but powerless to
deal with the style of game they were
confronted with from across the net.
Zverev, the world No 50, rushed
the net 118 times to keep one of the
best defensive players in the game on
the backfoot for much of the contest
before holding his ner ve to close out
the contest 7-5, 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 .
“Credit to him,” Murray said. “ He
came up with great, great shots and
played a really, really good match. You
know, you always finish matches you
lose with things you maybe could have
done a bit better, but he played some
really good stuff.”
The German, ranked outside the top
1000 in the world after wrist surgery
two years ago, will face Roger Federer
in his maiden grand slam quarter-final
after the Swiss master outlasted Kei
Nishikori 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-1, 4-6, 6-3.
New Yorker Vandeweghe later
hammered down 30 winners to
Kerber’s seven, overpowering the
US Open champion 6-2, 6-3 to set up
a meeting with Spanish seventh seed
Garbine Muguruza in her first trip to
the last eight in Melbourne.
Kerber made 15 unforced errors in
a contest asting little more than an
hour and admitted it was simply not
“ It was a tough match and, of course,
I’m disappointed,” she said. “But I was
not feeling the ball at all tonight. I was
not playing good from the first point.
I was trying tonight but, yeah I missed
a lot. So this was not my game like I
While Kerber could yet lose the No
1 ranking to Serena Williams after the
year’s first grand slam, Murray ’s main
rival Novak Djokovic made an even
earlier exit in the second round.
With Murray and the Serbian
reigning champion having already
departed, Melbourne Park will next
week witness the first grand slam since
the 2004 French Open without its top
two men’s seeds.
Federer will hope to profit as he bids
for his 18th grand slam title, as will his
compatriot and 2014 champion Stan
Wawrinka, who is in the same half
of the draw and fended off Andreas
Seppi 7-6 (2), 7-6 (4), 7-6 (4).
Wawrinka next faces France’s 2008
finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who ended
the fairytale run of Britain’s Dan
Evans by coming from a set down to
win 6-7 (4), 6-2, 6-4, 6-4 on Hisense
Murray and Evans had hoped to
become the first British pair to reach
the men’s quarter-finals at Melbourne
Park in 40 years and the first at a
grand slam since Tim Henman and
Greg Rusedski at Wimbledon in 1997.
Venus Williams, at 36 the oldest
woman in the singles draw, also
progressed to the last eight with
a 6-3, 7-5 victory over Mona
Barthel, moving closer to a potential
blockbuster final against sister Serena.
The younger Williams sister
continues her quest for a 23rd grand
slam title against Barbora Strycova on
Monday, when men’s 2009 champion
Rafa Nadal is also in fourth round
action. — Reuters
The West Coast ’s most famous athlete
has been invited back to the Boston
Marathon he won 50 years ago in a
Dave McKenzie surprised not only
himself but the running world when he
won at Boston in 1967, aged 24.
He and his wife Adele will return to
Boston in April, where they will be VIP
guests at 50th anniversary celebrations
of his win.
“I’m looking forward to going back, but
I’m not sure what type of celebrations
will be taking place, nothing has been
confirmed as yet,” McKenzie, a retired
Greymouth Star printer, said today.
He is looking for ward to watching the
next race, on April 17.
“The Boston Marathon is the oldest
one still be contested in the world. I
went back in 1996 when organisers
celebrated the race’s 100th anniversary.”
McKenzie is modest about his
achievements but he remembers the race
“I had no idea I was going to win until
I crossed that line. I remember I did run
a good race and surprised everyone else
with my win.”
He set a new course record of 2hrs
15mins 45secs, finishing ahead of Tom
Laris from the United States and Yutaka
Aoki from Japan.
On the day of the race the weather
was freezing with sleet and rain and he
wore gloves and long sleeves under his
Greymouth Athletic Club singlet, which
he kept as a memento.
He recalls taking off from the rest of
the field when he hit the hills and then
got one minute ahead and stayed in front
for the historic win.
Before Boston, McKenzie had won
eight of his 10 previous marathons and
was a champion harrier back home in
He ran for New Zealand in two
consecutive Olympic Games but failed
to repeat his Boston heroics, finishing
37th in Mexico City in 1968 and 22nd
four years later, in Munich.
In an extraordinary twist, ageless
champion Roger Federer is suddenly
the new Australian Open favourite.
The 35-year-old father of four is
contesting his first official tournament
in six months following a career-
threatening injury-enforced lay-off.
After backing up his third-round
schooling of 10th seed Tomas Berdych
with a 6-7 (4-7), 6-4, 6-1, 4-6, 6-3
defeat of fifth seed Kei Nishikori last
night, Federer now has the backing of
bookmakers around the world.
The Swiss great ’s vintage form and
the shock exits of Sir Andy Murray
and six- times champion Novak
Djokovic — marking the first time in
15 years the top two seeds have bowed
out — have conspired to have Federer
installed as open favourite at the
tornament ’s halfway point.
Such as scenario was unthinkable
a week ago as Murray, the newly-
knighted and newly-elevated world
No 1, and Djokovic arrived in
Melbourne eyeing their own special
places in tennis history.
Instead, Federer — who harboured
only modest expectations before
embarking on his 18th consecutive
Open tilt — will play Mischa Zverev
in the quarter-finals tomorrow after
the unheralded German sent Murray
Hunting down an elusive 18th grand
slam crown — five years after landing
his record 17th — Federer could
strike fourth-seeded countryman Stan
Wawrinka or Jo- Wilfried Tsonga in
The winner of the top half of the
draw will likely line up against either
third seed Milos Raonic or eighth
seed Dominic Thiem in the final — or
Rafael Nadal if the two grand slam
titans can each win two more matches.
Grigor Dimitrov believes his midnight
burner against Richard Gasquet will help,
not hinder, his Australian Open title
The Bulgarian world No 15 outclassed
Gasquet 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 in the latest-
starting match in Australian Open
The third-round contest began at
11.58pm on Saturday and finished at
exactly 2am on Sunday — but Dimitrov
has no complaints after extending his
winning streak to eight matches in
other wise quick time. “ We had matches
in the past finishing four, five in the
morning,” he said without a hint of fuss.
“ Whatever it is, it ’s in the game. I just
had to deal with whatever was in front
of me. Yeah, I’m just moving along now.
The past couple of days I’ve been going
to bed pretty late just to get the feel going
to bed late. I don’t fall asleep if the match
“Again tonight, I’m just happy I finished
in straight sets and I didn’t have to waste
more energy or more time on the court.”
The winner of the season-opening
Brisbane International believes the late-
night workout — which had nothing on
the famous fourth-round clash between
Lleyton Hewitt and Marcos Baghdatis
back in 2008 that ended at 4.34am — can
only have served him well. — A AP
PICTURE: Getty Images
Roger Federer celebrates his Australian Open win over Kei Nishikori last
night at Melbourne Park.
Vintage Federer new
No hangover for night owl Dimitrov
PICTURE: Viv Logie
Dave McKenzie, at home in Dunollie today, reminiscing about his Boston Marathon win in April 1967.
Coaster invited back
for Boston 50th
Ryan Fox has had no problem
adjusting to his first full year on the
European Tour, notching two top-
New Zealand golfer Fox, who
turned 30 yesterday, celebrated by
closing with a one-under 71 to
secure a share of 19th at the Abu
The result follows a ninth placing
in December’s Australian PGA
Championship, the opening event
of the 2017 season.
It is an encouraging start for the
world No 127, who found himself
playing alongside American heavy-
hitters Dustin Johnson and Rickie
Fowler earlier in the tournament.
His eight-under tally was nine
strokes behind English winner
Tommy Fleetwood, who won his
second European Tour title.
No 1s Murray and Kerber sent packing
Fox secures top finish in Abu Dhabi
PICTURE: Getty Images
Mischa Zverev plays a backhand in
his match against Andy Murray who
he beat last night at Melbourne Park.
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