Andy Murray v Jeremy Chardy: Australian Open as it happened

Andy Murray thrashes Jeremy Chardy to reach the Australian Open semi-finals after Sloane Stephens stuns Serena Williams.

23 January 2013 Last updated at 07:35 GMT

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As it happened

  1. 0733: 

    Today's action resumes on Rod Laver in almost exactly an hour's time, when Chris Bevan will take your through the hows, whats and wherefores of Roger Federer against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on this website.

    If you are out and about and want to stealthy keep across both that live text and the audio commentary, may I suggest you walk your fingers down to the local app store and download the BBC Sport gizmo that will deliver piping hot sports news to your smartphone.

    Until next time everyone, thanks for your company.

    Piers Newbery, BBC Sport at Melbourne Park

    "The order of play is out for Thursday and there are no surprises this late in the tournament. It will be Sharapova v Li from 00:00 GMT (11am local time), followed by Azarenka v Stephens not before 02:30, with Djokovic v Ferrer in the night session from 08:30."

  3. 0725: 

    After a win for Britain's Andrew Lapthorne in the mens' quad wheelchair competition earlier in the day, compatriot Lucy Shuker has bounced back from the loss of the first set to beat Australia's Daniela Di Toro 2-6 6-4 6-4.

    No joy for Katy Dunne in the juniors though. The 17-year-old from Hertfordshire was beaten in straight sets by Russia's Elizaveta Kulichkova in the third round of the girls competition.

  4. 0719: 

    Ah, that old chestnut of being too good for his own good. Or is it a question of the opposition being too poor for Murray's good? Either way, should Roger Federer drop a set against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Murray will be the only player left in the men's draw with a faultless straight sets record.


    Dennis Ethan on Twitter: "Was Murray playing an exhibition match or a grand slam quarter final?"


    Rachel in Bristol via text: "Nobody seems to be providing Andy with a test. I know it's good to not use up a lot of energy- but I'm worried he is going to be a little undercooked for whoever he meets in the next round."

  7. 0710: 
    BBC coverage

    Andy Murray's wish for a lengthy match between Roger Federer and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to decide his next opponent may well be granted.

    Of their last six meetings, four have gone the maximum distance in term of allotted sets, including that rousing Tsonga comeback at Wimbledon 2011.

    Their will be live text commentary of that match on this website, as well as live audio commentary from the 5 live team that is so exclusive you won't be able to pick up on your wireless.

    Piers Newbery, BBC Sport at Melbourne Park

    "The only concern for Murray might be that he hasn't been tested yet, but from his perspective that probably won't be a major worry. Winning in straight sets is always pretty good news, and he found the aggressive side to his game today that has been lacking in the more tame early matches - 32 winners is a good sign. It will be a huge step up in the semis, especially if he faces Federer, but he's still on track for Grand Slam title number two."

    Jonathan Overend, BBC Sport at Melbourne Park

    "That was a very clinical performance from Andy Murray. He is looking very strong and, on this performance, you have to wonder if he is capable of winning the tournament."


    Andy Murray: "Today was the best I have played. I have struggled in the last few rounds, Jeremy has had a great tournament and beat some good players so I had to start well. I will watch the semi-final tonight, but not the whole match. I need an ice bath, to do my media commitments and then have some food and an early night. Hopefully Roger and Jo-Wilfried play for four and a half hours tonight."

    Chardy 4-6 1-6 2-6 Murray

    It was not a long hold-up for Andy Murray. An instinctive return jab brings up 30-30 before Chardy nets to give him match point. The Frenchman, who will be content with a best-ever week's work at a Grand Slam, balloons long with the final point of the match.



    Jeremy Bates, BBC Radio 5 live

    "That was unexpected from Chardy, Murray was not expecting any resistance in that final game and Chardy threw the kitchen sink at him. I would expect it is a temporary blip in this match."

    CHARDY BREAKS- *Chardy 4-6 1-6 2-5 Murray

    Andy Murray's first double fault of the match comes at 30-30 in what had seemed certain to be the final game of the match. Jeremy Chardy takes his chance as he fires a strong forehand to force the error from Murray. The Briton looks glum, but surely that is just his perfectionist streak rather a serious fear for the future of the match.

    Jeremy Bates, BBC Radio 5 live

    "Terrific play by Murray there on the break-point. He is so decisive now. He has such a spring in his step today, he has bossed the match from start to finish."

    MURRAY BREAKS- Chardy 4-6 1-6 1-5 Murray*

    Andy Murray is finishing at a canter as if he is making the most of his little remaining time on court to play at a standard far higher than he needs to. The Scot produces an extraordinary get as he retrieves a ball that lob that looks well beyond him, before carving Chardy open to convert his first break point with supreme all court play.

    Jonathan Overend, BBC Sport at Melbourne Park

    "It was clear that Gilles Simon was struggling in Andy Murray's last game, but the Brit seemed to be struggling to finish him off. I think Ivan Lendl has had a word with Murray since then, and he is being more ruthless against Chardy here. He can't feel sorry for these guys. He's here to win the tournament as quickly and efficiently as possible."

    *Chardy 4-6 1-6 1-4 Murray

    Jeremy Chardy's forehand guns, which were leaving holes in Murray's defence in the first set, looked spiked. The spite and zip have drained out of the Frenchman's groundstrokes and, barring any late booby traps that Chardy can spring, Murray's progress to the last four looks secure.

    Chardy 4-6 1-6 1-3 Murray*

    Andy Murray straining at the leash to get this one done and dusted. The Scot runs down a Chardy drop-volley, stroking it away before it can tap twice on the blue surface for 30-30. A zinger of a forehand takes Murray to deuce before he passes an incoming Chardy from deep behind the baseline with a scorching cross court forehand to set up break point. Chardy manages to dodge the growing danger of a bagel though as Murray chops a forehand long.

    *Chardy 4-6 1-6 0-3 Murray

    Andy Murray's raking stride gobbles up the yards at the back of the court as she sets off in pursuit of Chardy's blasts. Eventually he pops up a simple overhead for the Frenchman to put away for 30-30. Chardy goes hunting Murray's serve out wide, using the angle to take a pot-shot down the line. He is off target though and the danger passes for Murray as Chardy trails his return into the net.

    Jeremy Bates, BBC Radio 5 live

    "Murray is still motivating himself with little fist-pumps. He knows the importance of completing the task and it's a sign of how professional he has become."

    MURRAY BREAKS- Chardy 4-6 1-6 0-2 Murray*

    Jeremy Chardy's ball toss yips continue as he takes another couple of goes to set the service ball where he wants it and slips to 30-30. The Frenchman is chasing it through the air once more and a corking forehand cross court gives Murray the chance to break Chardy early in a set once more. Chardy obliges him with a loose groundstroke into the curtain.

    *Chardy 4-6 1-6 0-1 Murray

    Andy Murray swarms all over what little Jeremy Chardy offers back over the net in response to some tidy serving. A hold to love. The Frenchman's chin maybe dropping and this match and his first taste of the last eight of a Grand Slam could be over sooner rather than later.

    GAME AND SECOND SET- Chardy 4-6 1-6 Murray*

    The loss of the previous game looks to have taken the wind out of Jeremy Chardy's sails as the Frenchman slides 0-40 down. That big booming Chardy serve trundles into view and takes back a couple of those break chances, before a Murray groundstroke is called long at the back. The Scot's challenge is instant and correct and Chardy bows out with a double fault - the 25-year-old was chasing his ball toss over his shoulder as he slapped his final second serve into the net.

    *Chardy 4-6 1-5 Murray

    Murray buys his passage through that game with gallons of sweat. Jeremy Chardy chases back and swivels on the baseline to fire a fierce forehand back at Murray in response to a lob. Murray, caught off guard, and nets to move the Frenchman 0-30 up. Murray wins the next point but a too-cute forehand drop shot dies in the net to give Chardy two break points. Chardy is suddenly moving around the court with helium in his heels.

    Murray though is at his scrapping, scraping best, beating Chardy at the net before forcing him to play just one more shot, one that ends up in the net. Murray wastes game point from deuce, Chardy clings determinedly to his shirt tails to deny him once more before Murray snicks the line with a rasping ace out wide to get over the line. That was a big chance for Chardy and he might not get any more.

    Jeremy Bates, BBC Radio 5 live

    "Murray's defence is staggering and his agility and athleticism to retrieve seemingly impossible positions is remarkable. Chardy is a high-risk player and there's no compromise with his some of his shots. There's not much Murray can do on certain points but overall his consistency will come through. Murray is doing a terrific job to neutralise the Frenchman's arsenal."

    MURRAY BREAKS- Chardy 4-6 1-4 Murray*

    A promising position for Andy Murray at 0-30 is whipped out from under him as Jeremy Chardy cranks out an overdue ace and then thrashes away a forehand volley on the run. Chardy's hackles are up and he tries to keep the snarl in his game as he whips across court. His forehand is just off target though and Murray has break point. Murray plys the Frenchman's backhand with a diet of slice and eventually up pops the error in reply. Murray moves a double break up and perhaps out of sight in the second now.

    *Chardy 4-6 1-3 Murray

    Jeremy Chardy is unable to lay any leather on the Andy Murray serve after gobbling it up so effectively in the mid-part of the opening set. Murray is rarely troubled by thinking about what second shot is required as he breezes through.

    MURRAY BREAKS- Chardy 4-6 1-2 Murray*

    Murray draws blood first in the second set. After a couple of Chardy miscues, the world number three produces a beautifully lazy cross court lob to move to 0-40. That was set up by a return that pinned Chardy on the toes as he attempts to follow in behind a serve. The Frenchman looks like he has given up on the game as he wafts a forehand into the net.

    Piers Newbery, BBC Sport at Melbourne Park

    "A very aggressive start turned into a nervous finish to the first set for Murray, who spent much of it trying to find a way to the Chardy backhand as the Frenchman went to great lengths to run round it. His forehand is what got him this far and it will need to work for several hours if he is to beat Murrray."

    *Chardy 4-6 1-1 Murray

    Andy Murray's serve is more Swiss army knife when compared to Chardy's bazooka. A canny, effective tee-off into the body cramps the Frenchman for space and brings up 40-0 and the Scot takes the game to love as he scampers in and gets the sunny side of a thick net cord.

    Chardy 4-6 1-0 Murray*

    Jeremy Chardy's sledgehammer forehand propels the ball through the back of Andy Murray's side of the court at breakneck speed as he moves to 40-15. More nuclear-grade ball-striking as the Frenchman clubs down a serve to seal the opening game of the second set.

    Jeremy Bates, BBC Radio 5 live

    "Murray will be a little bit relieved to be a set up. There was stiff resistance from Chardy with some huge serves and colossal forehands, but Murray did well to hold on. If Murray can keep the pressure on here you sense it would be an very steep hill for Chardy to climb."

    GAME AND FIRST SET- *Chardy 4-6 Murray

    As ever in this tournament, Murray does just enough. He faces a poser as Chardy reads him like an open book to pat the Scot's attempted pass away from his station at the net and then the Frenchman's slice backhand again proves difficult to drag up and over the net cord. 0-30. But Murray lures the Frenchman into the net as he moves to 30-30 and then emits a bark of 'C'mon' as he rattles away a big serve to bring up set point. Chardy creeps into the net to take the game to deuce, but Murray rifles away a forehand to move onto the brink once more. Chardy unloads on the forehand to take it back to deuce but he powers into the top of the net trying to repeat the trick.

    Chardy 4-5 Murray*

    The Chardy serve is locked up a lot tighter now after Murray was raiding like a schoolboy at an unguarded sweet shop in the opening stages of the set. The Frenchman digs himself out of a spot of bother at 30-30 with a cannon blast of a serve out wide.

    *Chardy 3-5 Murray

    Chardy is loitering with intent around this Murray serve. Chardy presses the net and the Scot overshoots to win his fifth successive point off the Murray serve. Murray stops the rot as he pings a backhand down the line in the next point to usher Chardy out of position. The Frenchman walks around a baseline ball to get his forehand onto the ball and sends it fizzing past an outstretched Murray. Ace from Murray for 30-30. Chardy is a whisker away from setting up another break point with a crackerjack return and then guesses wrong as he attempts to pre-empt Murray's serve.

    Chardy 3-4 Murray*

    Jeremy Chardy is finding his groove and it is a groove with a thumping percussion section. A beefy forehand speeds out of reach as he punishes a lack of depth from Murray and seals the game. The Frenchman's first serve is finding the mark with increasing regularity.

  38. 0531: 

    Serena Williams was heard on court to say it had been the "worst two weeks" as she has struggled with ankle and back issues, and after her defeat by Sloane Stephens she stuck by that assessment.

    "For a Grand Slam, absolutely. Absolutely," she said. "Oh, my gosh, I'm almost relieved that it's over because there's only so much I felt I could do. I was unaware the microphones picked that up. But, oh my gosh, it's been a little difficult. I've been thrown a lot of balls these two weeks."

    Asked about the back problem, Williams played it down, saying: "It's fine. You know, just nothing. I think everyone at this stage in the locker room has something wrong with them, so it's fine. There's no excuse there."

    CHARDY BREAKS- *Chardy 2-4 Murray

    A net cord allows Jeremy Chardy to make his way into the net and he shows some surprisingly soft hands to move to 0-30. Murray pushes a forehand wide to hand the Frenchman three break points and one of the Scot's early breaks disappears in smoke as he fails to prise Chardy's backhand slice off the deck.

    Chardy 1-4 Murray*

    An elastic-limbed Andy Murray covers every square inch of plexicushion, fishing Jeremy Chardy's full-blooded wallops out of the corners. Has he hooked back an improbable winner at 15-15? It is close, but wide Hawkeye rules to the relief of a stranded Chardy. The Frenchman snaps down a couple of big serve to put himself on the scoreboard at last.

    *Chardy 0-4 Murray

    Jeremy Chardy clumps a backhand return long for 40-15 to Murray and then a limp block response to the third seed's next serve drops gently into the net. A rock-solid hold from Murray as he moves four games up in 17 minutes.

    Piers Newbery, BBC Sport at Melbourne Park

    "There's a decent crowd still on Rod Laver Arena for Andy Murray and Jeremy Chardy, despite the need for refuelling post Stephens-Serena. An early morning chat in the media room had a few worried for Murray this afternoon, having made it this far without a real test and now facing a big-hitter in the form of his life."

    MURRAY BREAKS- Chardy 0-3 Murray*

    Jeremy Chardy is having a bit of trouble with his ball toss, having to regather a few errant throws as he wobbles to 30-30. His forehand is such a strength that it takes the Frenchman by surprise when Murray changes tack from hitting to his backhand and can only watch a winner streak away. 30-40 and another break point for Murray. This time there is no change of tack. Murray piles the pressure onto the backhand and marches in to slot away a regulation forehand volley.

    *Chardy 0-2 Murray

    Jeremy Chardy slaughters a Murray slice serve, pounding it away for a cross-court winner and 15-30. A netted attempt at a repeat follows, but he tees off with relish on a Murray second serve to bring up 30-40 and break-back point. Murray lasers a forehand cross-court and out of reach of that dangerous Chardy hitting zone to save it. The Scot then prevails as he trains fire on Chardy's far weaker backhand.

    Piers Newbery, BBC Sport at Melbourne Park

    "It's not Nadal-Rosol, quite, bearing in mind the injury worries surrounding Williams before the match, but that is still a huge shock. And for all the physical problems the five-time champion was clearly going through, Stephens produced a level of play under intense pressure that suggests Brad Gilbert's claim might be right - she could be a future number one. Now she has to recover quickly to take on Azarenka tomorrow."

    MURRAY BREAKS- Chardy 0-1 Murray*

    Jeremy Chardy is in his first Grand Slam quarter-final and he looks like he is feeling his way into it as he concedes the first two points in nervous fashion to Murray. It is more like the Frenchman's best as he whips away a forehand and then thumps an ace to level. A second double fault of the match give Murray break point though and Chardy stutters into a backhand volley that ends in the net. Nervy, very nervy.

  47. 0504: 
    Live now

    This match is live on BBC Radio 5 live. Chardy will serve first, Murray having opted for the shady end of the court.

  48. 0503: 

    The man that they have dubbed 'Crocodile Dunblane' down under is out on court knocking up ahead of his quarter-final against Jeremy Chardy.

    The last time the pair met the Scot came unstuck in straight sets in Cincinnati. Chardy also dispatched sixth seed Juan Martin del Potro in the third round here in Melbourne.

    The good news? In their other four matches, Murray has emerged victorious on each occasion. And since that defeat in Cincinnati, Murray has affirm his credentials as one of the best in the world with the US Open title.

  49. 0456: 

    So many twists and turns over the course of three sets, you might want to take in Piers Newbery's report to remind yourself how that shock unfolded.

    Now though there is some serious Andy Murray-based business to take care of...

  50. 0453: 

    Sloane Stephens is asked what her state of mind is after that win. "Oh my goodness," he gasps repeatedly and genuinely. She announces that she has upped her gift allowance to herself from this trip from one to two presents as she charms the socks of the Rod Laver Arena crowd.

    I'm sure she is already sponsored to the hilt, but there maybe a few more corporate dollars heading her way pretty soon. Real star quality on and off court.

    Champagne moment- Williams 6-3 5-7 4-6 Stephens

    Remember this win. It might be the first of many high-profile scalps that Sloane Stephens takes on her way to becoming the one that the all underdogs aim at. The teenager comes to the net at 15-15 and coolly allows Williams forehand to fly past her nose and out. Williams dumps into the net to hand her compatriot two match points. A long rally as each player probes for holes in the other's game. No nerves from Stephens this time and Williams cracks first, the tape claiming her backhand crosscourt. A warm embrace between the players at the end and the crowd rise to acclaim the shock of the tournament so far



    *Williams 6-3 5-7 4-5 Stephens

    Sloane Stephens is almost blown off her feet by a whipcrack return from Serena that takes the score onto 15-30. The youngster's supremely deft touch at the net and then a Williams over-hit gives Stephens 40-30 but Williams power carries the game through to deuce. Another Williams roundhouse from the baseline brings up break point, but she gives Stephens too much of a look down the line and it is saved. Tremendous slugging from both players. It has been a drama with more twists and turns than a south American soap opera and this episode is Stephens as she milks Williams for another error. One break away from the biggest upset of her career.

    Serena Williams
    Williams 6-3 5-7 4-4 Stephens*

    Intriguing. This is not over yet. Serena Williams drags a forehand wide of the sidelines to give Stephens 15-30 and the number three's serve lets her down to offer up two break-back points. The first is saved, but Stephens is forces the second home to level in the set.

    Piers Newbery, BBC Sport at Melbourne Park

    "According to Pam Shriver on ESPN, the official word on the Williams injury is it was a "back spasm". The last time I had one of those I couldn't leave my flat for two days, so full marks to Serena for battling on."

    *Williams 6-3 5-7 4-3 Stephens

    Williams used all her street-smarts to fight a successful rearguard action and clinch an enthralling rally in which Stephens looked favourite throughout. The youngster coming in and taking a volley when she would have been better to wait for the bounce. That is 15-30 and two break points follow as Stephen strays long. Stephens defends both manfully, but Williams has a third break point from deuce as Stephens over-cooks by the narrowest margins, Worth a challenge? Apparently not. Stephens wins out as the pair trade backhands, but Williams crashes away a return to bring up a fourth. Typically gutsy, atypically defensive, but Williams converts as she lurches into a sinew-straining fetch and Stephen cracks a forehand into the top of the net. Arms shoot aloft in Williams' players box.

    Williams 6-3 5-7 3-3 Stephens*

    Stephens wrong-foots Williams at the baseline and the American directs a floppy forehand into the net for 15-30. Serena batters Stephens back behind the baseline to even up on the next point before Stephens wastes a big chance as she nets of a Williams second serve that was not doing anything particularly clever. 40-30 and Stephens finds the gauze once more to spark a bellowing shout of celebration from Williams.

    *Williams 6-3 5-7 2-3 Stephens

    Sloane Stephens gives Serena Williams the runaround at the baseline, solid shot-making crowned with ruthlessly put-away volleys takes the game. I'm not sure what the physio rubbed into Serene Williams back, but it looks like it is taking effect. The number three seed ends the game in the splits and that is not a place you want to be with a spasming back.

    Piers Newbery, BBC Sport at Melbourne Park

    On Twitter: "Serena just got called for a foot fault. I want that man in the trenches alongside me if it all goes down... "

    Williams 6-3 5-7 2-2 Stephens*

    Sloane Stephens is snapping at Serena Williams' heels once more. The first serve is recovering some of its zip, but once she gets engaged in rallies, Williams does not look comfortable at all. She nets a backhand to give Stephens a break point at 30-40, but serves and volleys to see it off. Stephens moves her off balance again to peg Williams back from advantage, but eventually Williams proves too strong.

    *Williams 6-3 5-7 2-1 Stephens

    It is back to the rhythm of the opening set, with neither player posing much threat on the others serve. Serena Williams exits the game with a poor attempt at a return and mashes her racquet into the ground and then her chair as she heads to the changeover. "Code violation," warns the umpire. "Don't push me, cuz I'm close to the edge," says Grandmaster Flash, rather appropriately, as the music starts up over the public address.

    Williams 6-3 5-7 1-1 Stephens*

    Serena Williams slow-motion serve continues to befuddle Stephens. She does not quite trust herself to go for the winner off each tee-off and Williams, the great fighter, limps on in the contest.

    *Williams 6-3 5-7 0-1 Stephens

    Friends they may be, but Sloane Stephens is grinding her heel into Williams. The youngster looks a little vulnerable at 30-30, but twice responds to forceful Williams groundstrokes with replies of perfect depth. Williams is not comfortable crouching on the base line with her back in pain and fires into the net to cede the game.

    GAME AND SECOND SET- Williams 6-3 5-7 Stephens*

    Williams is shying away from hitting full-blooded forehand, but, after slipping 0-30 down, she discovers a bit of bite still remains in the opposite wing. The serve is recovering a bit of its pop as well as she recovers to 40-30, the crowd are enthralled by the drama of watching the wounded favourite being hounded by the young pretender. They are happy to see another set of this and they get their wish as Stephens pins back Williams and converts a second set point. What next? Anyone's guess.

    Serena Williams
    *Williams 6-3 5-6 Stephens

    Fifteen-thirty and Williams risks a burst to the front of the court to get involved in a pit-a-pat exchange with Stephens. She loses that point and had to stoop low to pick up a low ball into the bargain. Stephens misses with a forehand on the next point though to give Williams break point. Stephens creams away a forehand that the rooted Williams gives up for lost as soon as it left her racquet to defend it. The youngster keeps plugging away and those nerves that afflicted her look vanquished as she edges ahead once again. Williams to serve to stay in the set next.

    Piers Newbery, BBC Sport at Melbourne Park

    "The biggest moment of the women's draw so far just took place off court when Serena Williams was treated for a back injury. Grimacing between points and swinging at everything, the 15-time Grand Slam champion looks in trouble. Even if she gets out of this, there is no rest day for her side of the draw and she will have to face world number one Victoria Azarenka tomorrow."


    Michael Willis on Twitter: "Back muscle pulls are horrible. She'll lose lots of power for the rest of the tournament if she plays on. Sharapova's title then!"

    Williams 6-3 5-5 Stephens*

    All eyes on the speed gun as Serena Williams clumps down her first serve on the first point. A fair chunk of pace has been shaved off that usually explosive shot, it is wallowing down at 80-odd miles per hour, but the change of pace seems to have foxed Stephens. Her returns shoot off the strings at all angles as she slips away to love. Serena may be hindered, but she is getting plenty of help from the opposite end.

  69. 0339: 

    It looks like it is Serena Williams' back, rather than ankle, that is giving her some gip. The on-court doctor takes a look at the alignment of her spine and gives the umpire the nod to approve a three-minute medical time-out. Now, which Williams will emerge from the physio's table?

    *Williams 6-3 4-5 Stephens

    Serena Williams barely moving at the baseline, she slugs away to take two points off the Stephens serve, but looks out of the second set as the ball sits up invitingly at 40-30 for the younger player. Stephens' arm stiffens with nerves though and she pumps long. Deuce and the prospect of overhauling her idol produces a double fault from Stephens. Break-back point for Williams and Stephens game is infested with jitters. She folds out of the game and Williams breaks back.

    OUCH!- Williams 6-3 3-5 Stephens*

    Serena Williams yanks a forehand into the net for 0-30 and she spills the ball as she bounces pre-serve on the next point. She wins the next point, but in her rush to the net to put away the forehand she shrieks in pain, apparently turning the ankle that she hurt in the first round of this tournament. Williams is a sitting duck for the rest of the game and loses the next two points, her serve going particularly limp. Stephens will serve for the set next.

    *Williams 6-3 3-4 Stephens

    Sloane Stephens holds for the loss of one point and Serena Williams looks a little lost for an answer to the conundrum she is posing. The third seed's footwork is as steady as an early-hours reveller at a rain-soaked Glastonbury and she is remonstrating with her demons upstairs. Fortunately for her, her rut is close to other player's peaks.

    Williams 6-3 3-3 Stephens*

    Serena Williams nails a back-pedalling overhead from a steepling Sloane Stephens moon ball for 30-0, but she nets with a backhand and then has the unfamiliar experience of being outmuscled in the next rally, unable to blow a decisive hole in Stephens defence. Stephens opens up her shoulders and cranks away a winning off-forehand return to bring up break point. A monster ace from Williams sees it off though. Williams has to lean on that big serve down the middle though as she sees her way though from deuce. There is one big tussle developing down there.

    *Williams 6-3 2-3 Stephens

    Stephens misses with a second serve at 40-15 and that looks like it might be costly as Serena looms menacingly at the net on the next point. Stephens keeps her gaze on the ball rather than being mesmerised by Williams charge, and rolls away a winning forehand to win her third game in succession.

    Williams 6-3 2-2 Stephens*

    Stephens finds a raking return to pull Serena out of shape on the baseline and bring up 30-30. Her backhand block off Serena's next tee-off floats long but she makes it to deuce, scuttling around to send back the best that Serena can summon up before coming to the net and slotting away. Williams sends a forehand long with Stephens not even in the picture. It was a needless error and Hawkeye cannot salvage it for Serena. Break point to Sloane Stephens and she dukes it out with Serena, eventually coaxing the error from the favourite's racquet. Well played.


    Dom Breslin on Twitter: "The great mystery is who from the 'next era' will win a Slam first! Stephens, Keys, Barty, or our Robson or Watson?"

    *Williams 6-3 2-1 Stephens

    Stephens' best game so far as she finds the racquet's sweet spot and whips a succession of forehand winner past Williams to hold for love. That is what all the buzz and expectation is built on, not the rather pallid game she has brought to the table so far. It has probably come too late to make this match into more of a contest.

    Williams 6-3 2-0 Stephens*

    A 118mph serve is not something you stare down the barrel of on the junior tours that Slone Stephens was playing in a few years ago. The 19-year-old pats back just such a rasper from Williams, but the US Open champion is onto it in a flash and thumps away to win the game for the loss of just one point.

    *Williams 6-3 1-0 Stephens

    Serena Williams is swinging through the ball more cleanly now and her power forces a miscue from Stephens for 0-30. The teenager makes a hash of a basic forehand, under little pressure, to give Williams 15-40 and two break points. Stephens saves the first. 30-40. The best rally of the match follows as they finally stop shadow boxing and go toe to toe at the baseline. Williams was not getting to Stephens' forehand out wide, but unfortunately for the teenage her attempted knockout punch is just off target. That could have been the point that kick-started Stephens' game.

  80. 0257: 

    As soon as we use the Brit Up graphic we have to bring out the Brit Down version. British junior Katy Dunne has lost her third-round match 6-3 6-4 to Russia's Elizaveta Kulichkova on Court 22.

    GAME AND FIRST SET- Williams 6-3 Stephens*

    Serena Williams wins the first two points of the game, but two wayward groundstrokes give Stephens parity at 30-30. It may be a good idea to try and emulate Serena generally, but now is not the time for Stephens. She follows Williams' lead as she frames a return long. Set point for Williams and Stephens trails a backhand wide to wave the 15-time Grand Slam champion though.

    *Williams 5-3 Stephens

    Is this the tennis version of rope a dope? After posing little danger in the three previous Stephens service games, Serena Williams springs into a couple of forehands to take a 0-30 lead. Stephens clunky double fault offers up three break points at 0-40. The first is back in the bag as Stephens advances to the net and puts away a forehand volley. The second is also safe as Serena pings a whisker wide. The third goes the way of American tennis's queen bee though and she looks alive for the first time. A fist-pump and a scream from Williams.

  83. 0247: 

    Time to use the Brit Up graphic after Andrew Lapthorne overcomes Nicholas Taylor of the United States 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 in the quad wheelchair singles. His fellow Briton Lucy Shuker is in action later on Court Seven.

    Williams 4-3 Stephens*

    Serena Williams holds to love. This match is a strange non-event so far with neither able to get a toehold in the other's service games. Will the business end of the set, where breaks carry that extra weight, focus their minds?

    *Williams 3-3 Stephens

    Sloane Stephens treats a dolly of a Serena Williams return with brutal disdain, flaying it away for a forehand winner for 30-0. Serena's radar is on the wonk and she breaks from her strangely subdued mood to shoot an accusatory glance at up box. Stephens holds to love for the third game in succession.

    Williams 3-2 Stephens*

    Serena Williams powers down her fastest serve of the match so far to close out the game for the loss of just one point. Sloane Stephens got into a few rallies in that game but it was chasing in vain pursuit of some trademark big hitting.

    *Williams 2-2 Stephens

    Sloane Stephens' serve is a peppery little number and it is causing Serena a few problems. The favourite is yanking though the ball with full velocity on return, but at the moment she is more in danger of hitting a line judge than a winner. A hold to love for Stephens.

    Let's have your thoughts on this one and the upcoming Murray-Chardy ding-dong. #bbctennis is the Twitter handle with 81111 the number for your texts from UK mobiles.

    Williams 2-1 Stephens*

    Serena Williams knocks off another game to love and in the first seven minutes three games have gone the way of the server with just one point taken against the head. A strangely subdued start in some ways.

    *Williams 1-1 Stephens

    Well, well. Sloane Stephens lands the match's first ace en route to taking the game to love. And she looked almost nonchalant in doing so.

    Williams 1-0 Stephens*

    No danger of a rally breaking out. Serena Williams is straight into her range of concussive groundstrokes and Sloane Stephens is still getting her eye in. Williams sheds one points as she cuffs a forehand wide, but is through easily before taking a casual stroll round the netpost.

  91. 0225: 

    No doubt about who is the favourite for this one. Sloane Stephens may be a coming force at 19 and she ably dispatched Britain's Laura Robson in the third round, but it will be a massive shock if she upsets US Open and Wimbledon champion Serena.

    Williams won their meeting in Brisbane earlier this month in straight sets and Stephens in a pre-match interview sounded a little awed as she described her opponent (accurately) as "one of the greatest players to play the game".

  92. 0221: 

    Victoria Azarenka and Svetlana Kuznetsova have been replaced on the Rod Laver Arena surface by Serena Williams and Sloane Stephens. After all-Spanish and all-Russian quarter-finals yesterday (between Ferrer and Almagro and Sharapova and Makarova respectively), it is an all American affair in the final women's last-eight meeting.


    Victoria Azarenka: "At the beginning it took a little adjustment because she has such a different game, but there are never going to be easy matches in the quarter-finals. I am pleased that I was able to produce some of my best tennis."

    Kuznetsova 5-7 1-6 Azarenka

    Fifteen-thirty and Azarenka ratchets up the power to crumple Kuznetsova at the baseline and swat away a backhand volley for 15-40 and two match points. Kuznetsova folds her hand in the match with a punted groundstroke that flies long prompted a clenched fisted squeal of delight from Azarenka. She bellows back to her box in delight. Serena Williams or Sloane Stephens up next in the last four for her.




    Duncan Jones on Twitter: "Only @andy_murray fan in an Aussie-filled office. It's not easy being a Pom sometimes!"

    Adam Gennard on Twitter: "Good thing about being a Brit in Oz, Murray on at a good time and some banter with their being no Australian in the draw."

    *Kuznetsova 5-7 1-5 Azarenka

    Victoria Azarenka is not waltzing through service games. Svetlana Kuznetsova finds a cross-court angle to claim a long baseline rally for 40-30, before a double fault gives her deuce. Azareka angrily swipes up her next service ball and it is Kuznetsova who is cursing on the next rally as she misses a second-serve return to give Azarenka advantage. An ace seals the deal for Azarenka.

    Piers Newbery, BBC Sport at Melbourne Park

    "Did I mention drizzle earlier? There will be no drizzle. It's a scorcher out on court 22, where Katy Dunne is taking on Russian Kulichkova - who must be 6ft tall. The Brit is holding her own though, amid the sounds of screaming both from nearby children and nearby courts."


    Andy in Glasgow via text: "With that fightback in first set Azarenka proving she's the only woman who can challenge Serena Williams in the slams, Come on Queen Victoria!"

    Kuznetsova 5-7 1-4 Azarenka*

    Kuznetsova howls at the Melbourne sun as she nets going cross-court to allow Azarenka 30-30 after winning the first two points of the game. Azarenka is gifted a break point, but Kuznetsova advances to wrench it out of her grasp. A corking cross-court winner strafes across the front of Azarenka to give Kuznetsova advantage. She can't take that one though. Or the next as she misfires with a double fault. A duffed drop-shot gives Azarenka a second break point, but Kuznetsova rolls away a forehand behind a big serve to see it off. A third break point pops up and this time Azarenka reaps the dividends from her previous pressure as Kuznetsova's sixth double fault put the defending champion well on her way.

    *Kuznetsova 5-7 1-3 Azarenka

    A hold to love for Victoria Azarenka as she nibbles away at Svetlana Kuznetsova's ankle, working her opponent from side to side. Kuznetsova for her part looks disinclined to launch into those sliding groundstrokes that she was hitting in the first set.

    Kuznetsova 5-7 1-2 Azarenka*

    Svetlana Kuznetsova clumps long to give Azareka 15-30, before missing with a double-handed forehand down the line after some superb fetching from the world number one to offer up two break points. Kuznetsova goes on the attack to try and retrieve them but sprays a backhand wide. Kuznetsova is moving fairly freely and there is no call for the trainer at the end of the game.


    David Scott on Twitter: "The student lifestyle will allow me to watch a bit of Andy Murray, so long as these two don't go at it all night!"

    *Kuznetsova 5-7 1-1 Azarenka

    There is nothing wrong with Victoria Azarenka physically, but Kuznetsova's sprain looks like it has got into the top seed's head. She offers up two break points and, although Kuznetsova's attempt to take on the shot up the line on the first is long, the second is seized with some brutish baseline hitting from the Russian.

    OUCH!- Kuznetsova 5-7 0-1 Azarenka*

    Uh-oh. Svetlana Kuznetsova rolls her right ankle as she comes out of her service action, producing a squeal from the player and agonised oohs from those watching the replays. She surrenders her serve to love and limps her way round the net post. It would be such a shame if that nips any second set fight-back in the bud.


    Matthew Vernon on Twitter: "As usual, torn between Brit pride wanting Andy to make Slam history here and wanting Federer to prove his greatness yet again!"

    Ganz on Twitter: "Murray will win today, but he will struggle big time in the semis-his prep has been far from ideal having no tough matches so far."

    GAME AND FIRST SET- *Kuznetsova 5-7 Azarenka

    Some great scurrying to stay in the point at 15-15 from Svetlana Kuznetsova, but Victoria Azarenka's drop-volley at the net had more disguise than Carlos the Jackal. Kuznetsova crushes a forehand winner for 30-30, but then is wrong-footed to bring up a set point for Azarenka. Kuznetsova loads a backhand with spin, it curling and spitting out of range to bring up deuce. Another set point for Azarenka, but Kuznetsova bashes away another big winner to hold her up. Third time lucky. Kuznetsova powers back a return off Azarenka's second serve, but the top seed scrapes back off her backhand. Kuznetsova's slice drifts into the tape and the set is cooked in an hour and 17 minutes.


    Dominic Doggett on Twitter: "Hate the Australian time difference, really want to watch the @andy_murray quarter-final but 3:30 is too much."

    Kuznetsova 5-6 Azarenka*

    Victoria Azarenka nudges long at 0-15 up but then punches through a backhand winner for 15-30 to pile the pressure on Kuznetsova. Another murdered return as the number one seed has two break points. One is all she needs. An arcing forehand touches down inside the line to give her a potentially decisive break. If she serves as well as she returned in that game it is a done deal. 69 minutes on the clock already. Murray-time still very distant.

    *Kuznetsova 5-5 Azarenka

    The Kuznetsova touch is back. A peachy pair of caressing slice forehands from the Russian bring up 15-15, before she swats away a vicious cross-court winner for 30-30. Azarenka is made of some pretty stern stuff though and nails a backhand down the line for 40-30. A delicious backhand drop-shot from Kuznetsova take her to deuce before Azarenka picks up a volley off her toenails to move to advantage. A double fault follows and then an ace as the game swings back and forth.

    Azarenka misses with her first serve and then frames a forehand as Kuznetsova batters her second on return. But, with the set on the line, the world number one grinds though to level on the scoreboard.


    Andy Watson on Twitter: "She may not win today, but Sloane Stephens will show why she will go far in the game. Bad news for Robson/Watson."

    Kuznetsova 5-4 Azarenka*

    Svetlana Kuznetsova motors through to 40-0 as Victoria Azarenka struggles to scrape up her slice floated forehand. A double fault checks the Russian's momentum briefly, but she picks off Azarenka at the net with a raking forehand. Azarenka plunges to her left in pursuit, but only lays frame on it.


    Sanjay Khetani on Twitter: "I predict Andy Murray to win his quarter-final match today in straight sets. Murray to win the Australian Open. Have faith in him."

    *Kuznetsova 4-4 Azarenka

    Svetlana Kuznetsova strays long with a cross-court backhand to give Azarenka 30-15 and then flaps one into the net as she looks to up the power on the forehand. That purple patch that she hit in the middle of this opener looks to be fading. We have not seen that sliced forehand that was as precise as a scalpel in opening up Azarenka in a while.

    That is more like it from the Russian as she rolls her wrist into a topspin forehand down the line to head on to deuce. Azarenka takes the game though as Kuznetsova pushes all her chips onto the table with a fierce return and comes up with nothing as it streaks long.

    Kuznetsova 4-3 Azarenka*

    A smash-and-grab raid on the Svetlana Kuznetsova serve as Victoria Azarenka plucks another couple of ripped winners to bring up two break points at 15-40. Kuznetsova nets and we are back on serve with a break apiece.

    *Kuznetsova 4-2 Azarenka

    Victoria Azarenka pulls a little teapot pose at the back of the court, hands on hips, as she misses with a cross-court drop of her own to give Kuznetsova 40-30. She is having trouble reading the range of spin and speed that is being funnelled back at her from the opposite end, but she sees out this service game safely.


    Greg Matthews on Twitter: "With the length of this opening set already, your prediction of Murray starting at 3am seems a bit bold to me."

    Can I change my sweepstake pick to 0410 GMT?

    Kuznetsova 4-1 Azarenka*

    Victoria Azarenka has a break point at 30-40 but Svetlana Kuznetsova clubs her over the head with some booming groundstrokes before picking her pocket to take it back. The Russian is a little too clever with a delicate backhand drop-shot that is smothered by he net, but there is a steel fist in that velvet glove. More string-stretching power carries her over the line.


    Patrick Warburton on Twitter: "Good idea to turn the sound off on the Kuznetsova v Azarenka match, don't want the neighbours to get worried and call the police."

    *Kuznetsova 3-1 Azarenka

    Three errors on return have Svetlana Kuznetsova sprouting a few rude words in the Spanish tongue of her coach Carlos Martinez as she slips to 40-15. Good to know that he is passing on all the important bits of vocab as well as technique. The Russian slices under the ball to get into the next rally and it proves prudent - a few gremlins pop up in Azarenka's game as a couple of unforced errors allow her to deuce. The Azarenka serve is spluttering too, it may be that the Melbourne sun is dazzling her on the ball toss, and a double fault denies her from advantage. Kuznetsova is starting to mix it up effectively. A lovely forehand slice proving too good for Azarenka at the front of the court. Another deft touch drops the ball on Azarenka's toes at the net to bring up a first break point for Kuznetsova, but her slice return is snared by the net to see it slip by unconverted.

    Azarenka clambers into a midcourt forehand to bring up advantage, but sees her second serve creamed back past her for a clean winner. The Belarusian is on the brink once more, but Kuznetsova shunts her around the court with some more lovely touches before gleefully whipping away a winner. This forehand slice dab is fast becoming Kuznetsova go-to shot bring Azarenka up against the cliff face of the net. The number one cannot get the ball up, over and down again and then gives away a second break point with a desperate-looking foray to the net. A over-blown baseline groudstroke from Azarenka gives away the break and suddenly Kuznetsova is cosying into this match like a pair of favourite slippers.

    Kuznetsova by the way looks like the sort who doesn't do slippers. Her latest tattoo? "Pain doesn't kill me, I kill the pain." Yikes.

    Kuznetsova 2-1 Azarenka*

    Svetlana Kuznetsova's forehand is not quite the weapon that Victoria Azarenka is packing at the other end. The top-spin does not bite the Melbourne air quite enough as he over-hit to give Azarenka a peek at 30-30. A big serve is followed by another unforced error to take us onto deuce. Kuznetsova comes to the net to bring up advantage, a strong tactic for her, but her second serve is given the full treatment as Azarenka cracks away a winning return. Kuznetsova has a large slice of court to aim at to seal the game after forcing Azarenka wide, but the net cord pings her effort down the line out of play. Eventually Kuznetsova is through as Azarenka swats a straightforward overhead into the net. The Russian is having to paddle mighty hard to keep her serve out of Azarenka's reach though at the moment.


    Phil Robins on Twitter: "Predictions for today? I'm almost certain there will not be any upsets today. Azarenka, Serena, Murray and Fed all to go through."

    Contact us using #bbctennis on Twitter or via 81111 on text from UK mobiles with your thoughts on the day's action.

    *Kuznetsova 1-1 Azarenka

    Victoria Azarenka's forehand is firing. Two satisfying thumps whizz clean past Kuznetsova before she snaps her spine into a serve down the middle to complete a hold to love in a little over a minute. Good start.

    Piers Newbery, BBC Sport at Melbourne Park

    "Day 10 is upon us, and the word 'drizzle' appears in forecasts for the first time in living memory. It will clear this afternoon, apparently, and the majority of the action should take place in a sunny 26C. Murray is once again scheduled for the Melbourne afternoon, at around 03:00 GMT, while Federer gets his fourth nightshift - something reports have suggested the Murray camp are not happy about. The upside is that a quick win could earn the Briton a few valuable hours advantage over whoever emerges from the evening session as his semi-final opponent."

    Kuznetsova 1-0 Azarenka*

    Kuznetsova wallops away a fine forehand to bring up 40-15, before choking down on a backhand and then ballooning long off the opposite wing to give Azarenka a free pass to deuce. Big serve down the tee at 111mph makes it advantage Kuznetsova, but her first double fault of the match pegs her back. Another rocket down the middle looks to have moved Kuznetsova back to within a point of the opener, but Azarenka's hand pops up to issue a Hawkeye challenge. The computer agrees and Kuznetsova punts long to give Azarenka break point. Kuznetsova gets lucky as a framed forehand wobbles over the net to take it back to deuce. Eight minutes on the clock before Kuznetsova finally strings together a pair of points to see off the danger and get the scoreboard ticking over.

    * denotes next to serve

  126. 0016: 

    First though, Victoria Azarenka, whose world number one ranking will be lost should Serena Williams win through to the semi-finals later today, has a job on her hands against two-time Grand Slam winner Svetlana Kuznetsova. The Russian is on the rise after missing large parts of last season through injury and leads Azarenka 4-3 in their head to head meetings. Kuznetsova to serve first.

  127. 0012: 

    Nothing so po-faced for Jeremy Chardy. The 25-year-old hit the beach for a bit of bat and ball. I should imagine a cheeky 99 Flake ice cream followed for Juan Martin del Potro's conqueror.

    Jeremy Chardy
  128. 0008: 

    Despite the smorgasbord of delights, most British thoughts are inevitably concentrated on our newly crowned US Open champion.

    There was an interesting contrast between the pictures that emerged of Andy Murray's preparations for today's match and that of his unseeded French opponent.

    First, Andy Murray, wearing a T-shirt bearing the slogan Prepare, Attack, Destroy, was being drilled under the steely eye of coach Ivan Llendl.

    Ivan Llendl and Andy Murray
  129. 0000: 

    Day 10 of the Australian Open is breaking all over us like a Bondi blue tube, bringing in the second pair of quarter-finals in both the men and the women's draw.

    First up is world number one Victoria Azarenka's meeting with Svetlana Kuznetsova before the winner of the last two Grand Slams, Serena Williams, takes on fellow American Sloane Stephens.

    Then once they are done, at a rough guess of 0300 GMT, Andy Murray will attempt to make the last four of the Australian Open for the fourth successive year when he plays France's Jeremy Chardy.

    Roger Federer takes on Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the evening session in Melbourne (a match you can also follow via our online radio commentary).

    A tasty little line-up.

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