x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Vera Zvonareva marches on after minor scare

The No 2 seed wins in three sets, while Bernard Tomic, an 18-year-old Australian wild card entry, advances to set up a daunting third-round tie against Rafael Nadal.

MELBOURNE // Second seed Vera Zvonareva survived a scare to beat Serbia's Bojana Jovanovski 2-6, 6-3, 6-1 and advance to the third-round of the Australian Open.

At one point left sobbing under her towel after some wretched play in the first set, Zvonareva blasted her way back helped in no small part by 48 unforced errors from Jovanovski.

Zvonareva, beaten finalist at last year's Wimbledon and US Open majors, was her own worst enemy at times, putting in just 58 per-cent of her first serves.

However, the 10-times WTA tour titlist ultimately had too much power for 58th-ranked opponent, who appeared to freeze after taking a surprise one-set lead.

Elswehere, local teenager Bernard Tomic upset the No 31 seed Feliciano Lopez 7-6, 7-6, 6-3. The 18-year-old wild card entry is the only Australian left in the draw and faces Rafael Nadal in the next round.

"I can't believe that I'm playing him. What an opportunity it is to play him, in a third-round as well. It's a dream come true. I've got nothing to lose," Tomic said.

"I'm hitting the ball great. My confidence is up there, especially after two matches.

"I'm not going to go and win this match if I go out there and play not to lose. I've got to play to win and I believe I can.

"I'll just have a go. I don't think he'll like my game. I think the way I mix it up, he's not going to like. But who knows?"

Elsewhere, Frenchman Michael Llodra was another seed to fall early on day four, the Frenchman losing 7-6, 6-3, 7-6 to Milos Raonic of Canada but Mikhail Youzhny, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Marin Cilic all progressed.

Tenth-seed Youzhny beat Blaz Kavcic 6-3, 6-1, 5-7, 4-6, 6-1 while Tsonga (13) and Cilic (15) did not lose a set against Andreas Seppi and Santiago Giraldo respectively.

Alexandr Dolgopolov beat Benjamin Becker while 32nd seed Guillermo Garcia-Lopez overcame Eduardo Schwank to set up a possible third-round encounter with Andy Murray, who meets Illya Marchenko later today.

Australian Open winners

Men: No. 1 Rafael Nadal, No. 10 Mikhail Youzhny, No. 13 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, No. 15 Marin Cilic, No. 32 Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.

Women: No. 2 Vera Zvonareva, No. 3 Kim Clijsters, No. 10 Shahar Peer, No. 12 Agnieszka Radwanska, No. 13 Nadia Petrova, No. 16 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, No. 22 Flavia Pennetta, No. 25 Petra Kvitova.

Australian Open losers

Men: No. 22 Michael Llodra, No. 31 Feliciano Lopez.

Women: No. 7 Jelena Jankovic, No. 18 Maria Kirilenko, No. 24 Alisa Kleybanova, No. 26 Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez.