2010 Australian Open Daily

Your A.M. once-over of everything Down Under

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Andy Murray reacts to a point in Thursday's semifinal win.
AP

What Happened?

More pleasant weather on Thursday at Melbourne Park -- sunny with a high of 79 -- as the draws continue to winnow out.

• Top-seeded Serena Williams struggled with fatigue but survived a stiff semifinal test against China's Li Na. Serena squandered four match points before sealing the 7-6 (4), 7-6 (1) victory with an emphatic ace in the second-set tiebreak.

• In the second women's semifinal, Justine Henin needed just 51 minutes to advance past Zheng Jie in a 6-1, 6-0 rout -- the most lopsided Australian Open semifinal in 28 years.

• Fifth-seeded Andy Murray rallied from a set down to dispense of Croatia's Marin Cilic in the first men's semifinal. Murray lost the opening set -- his first dropped set of the tournament -- before rolling to a 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 victory.

• Williams and Henin -- the two most dominant players of the past decade -- meet Saturday (3:30 a.m. ET, ESPN2) for the first time against one another in a Grand Slam final. Williams holds a slight 7-6 edge in the head-to-head series, with Henin leading 4-2 in Grand Slams. Surprisingly, they've never met at the Australian Open.

• Following her taxing victory over Li, Serena played in the women's doubles semifinal with Venus and won. She'll play the doubles final on Friday (11 p.m. ET, The Tennis Channel) before Saturday's showdown with the well-rested Henin.

 

Oz Clicks

China's biggest English-language daily celebrates Li and Zheng ... Popular fashion comedy blog Go Fug Yourself takes aim at Venus Williams ... More fashion hits and misses from the Aussie Open runway ... Before Li became the breakout star of this year's tournament, she went bungee jumping ... Seven-time Grand Slam champ Mats Wilander says Murray has the look of a "champion in waiting" ... More on the local broadcasting controversy that's deprived Australian television viewers of so much tennis.

 

Photo of the Day

Li-wide
Li Na of China keeps her eye on the ball during Thursday's first women's semifinal against top-seeded Serena Williams.
AP

 

Go Figure

14 ... Number of consecutive points won by Cilic during the early stages of Thursday's semifinal, before Murray turned the tide.

76 ... Combined titles between Aussie Open finalists Williams and Henin, including 18 Grand Slam championships. Together, they've won more than 950 matches.

135-18 ... Lifetime doubles record of Venus and Serena Williams.

16-1 ... Record of the Williams sisters in doubles finals, the lone defeat coming in 1999 at San Diego to Lindsay Davenport and Corina Moririu. (They're 10-0 in Grand Slam doubles finals.)

2 ... Number of wild cards to reach a Grand Slam women's final: Kim Clijsters at the 2009 U.S. Open and Henin at this year's Australian Open.

 

Tweet of the Day

"i m gonna play PES 2010 online on PS3 my pseudo is lamonf15..."
--Gael Monfils, back home in France and apparently in search of an online gaming partner, Thursday, 6:06 a.m. ET

 

Must-See Video

Murray hit a pair of the tournament's most spectacular shots in Thursday's semifinal victory.

 

What's Happening Today

The Tennis Channel's live coverage begins at 11 p.m. ET with the women's doubles final: Serena and Venus Williams meet the top-seeded team of Cara Black and Liezel Huber.

ESPN2 takes over at 3:30 a.m. for the second men's semifinal between top-seeded Roger Federer and 10th-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

The compete order of play for Day 12 can be found here.

 

They Said It

"They're still sleeping. They didn't wake up. Some day they will wake up."
--Li Na, on why men's players from China haven't matched the success of the women


Follow Bryan Armen Graham on Twitter.

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