Tramlines

  • "Best speech ever" was the universal verdict to Li Na's unscripted thanks at the trophy ceremony after she erased two near-misses at Melbourne Park with a joyous victory in her third Australian Open final on Saturday.

    Runner-up in 2011 and 2013, the 31-year-old overwhelmed Dominika Cibulkova 7-6(3) 6-0 to win her second grand slam title and then left a packed Rod Laver Arena in stitches as she paid tribute to her team.

    After warming up by paying respects to her opponent, Li thanked her high-profile agent Max Eisenbud for "making me rich" before singling out her husband and former coach Jiang

    Read More »from Li Na gives best winner’s speech ever after Australian Open victory
  • What’s next for Li Na and Dominika Cibulkova?

    Both Li Na and Dominika Cibulkova emerged from the 2014 Australian Open with their reputations greatly enhanced, as well as their career earnings.

    China's Li - who had reached the final of this Grand Slam twice before, only to be defeated both times - won the women's singles final in Melbourne 7-6 6-0 to finally end her spell as a bridesmaid Down Under.

    Slovakian Cibulkova, meanwhile, shocked many fans and experts with her scalp-laden run to the final, only to find herself well beaten by the hungry and powerful champion.

    With Li aged 31 and halfway towards a possible Golden Slam, and

    Read More »from What’s next for Li Na and Dominika Cibulkova?
  • Goran Ivanisevic provoked roars of laughter from the Melbourne crowd at the Australian Open on Thursday.

    Those in attendance at the Rod Laver Arena had been treated to a pair of excellent women’s singles semi-finals as well as the first men’s last-four encounter, where Stanislas Wawrinka finally reached a Grand Slam final with a four-set win over Tomas Berdych.

    And when legends Mansour Bahrami, Pat Cash and Henri Leconte arrived on court for the Grand Slam tradition of a light-hearted doubles match between old greats, Ivanisevic absolutely stole the show.

    Putting all of his antics into words

    Read More »from Goran Ivanisevic provides chuckles aplenty during legends doubles match
  • You'd think that, with the number of matches rapidly reducing as we approach the closing stages of this year's Australian Open, the quantity of stand-out shots on offer day-by-day would decrease.

    Well, you'd be wrong.

    Three enjoyable semi-finals on Thursday produced a wealth of top notch action, and Dominika Cibulkova and her story understandably assumed centre-stage.

    In the video above, she takes a point in the second set of her semi-final as she wrong-foots an advancing Agnieszka Radwanska.

    And below, the Slovakian stays in this game while a break up with this powerful yet well-placed shot

    Read More »from Shots of the Day: Na, Cibulkova and Wawrinka reach Australian Open finals in style
  • Rafa Nadal's badly-blistered hand

    Rafa Nadal has suffered a number of career-threatening injuries in the past yet a bad blister on the Spaniard's hand could be all Roger Federer needs to gain a vital advantage in their Australian Open semi-final on Friday.

    The 27-year-old Nadal has been forced to play the season opening Grand Slam with strapping across his left hand due to the sore, which is painful enough to compromise his aggressive style of play.

    Holding the racquet is not a problem and he remains able to hit his powerful topspin forehand, but the world number one has found it increasingly difficult to control his serve as

    Read More »from Nadal’s blister could hand Federer crucial advantage in semi-final
  • Our look at the most amazing shots of the day at the Australian Open kicks off with a controversial one: Roger Federer's lob a a crucial point in the third set, which opponent Andy Murray clearly thought might have been illegal.

    The suggestion is that Federer scooped the ball with his racquet, rather than hitting it cleanly - which would be a violation of the rules.

    Neither umpire nor line judges saw any cause for concern despite Murray's questioning looks, and Federer carried on as if nothing had happened.

    Roger Federer's contentious forehand lob

    The replay suggests it was indeed a clean hit - though perhaps there was a hint of

    Read More »from Did Federer get away with illegal shot on his way to win over Murray?
  • Eurosport experts Greg Rusedski and Virginia Wade are convinced that Andy Murray's efforts at the Australian Open bode well for his season - despite his quarter-final defeat by the ageing Roger Federer.

    Murray lost in four sets to the 32-year-old world number six in what was only his second tournament after back surgery last September.

    "He's still a work in progress," said Rusedski. "By the time Wimbledon runs around this year, I think he'll be back to 100 per cent. So overall it's been a nine out of ten - an excellent week and a bit for him."

    Wade felt that Murray's back was still giving him

    Read More »from ‘Great tournament for Murray – apart from the fact he lost’
  • Wawrinka ready to step out of Federer’s shadow

    Stanislas Wawrinka has the opportunity to truly step out of Roger Federer's immense shadow if he can only overcome a stubborn Tomas Berdych in their Australian Open semi-final on Thursday.

    Wawrinka's match against the Czech is the highlight of three semi-finals at Melbourne Park on Thursday with women's title favourite Li Na facing exciting teenage prospect Eugenie Boucahrd in one of the women's last four clashes.

    Diminutive Slovak Dominika Cibulkova, who knocked out 2008 champion Maria Sharapova and destroyed 11th seed Simona Halep in the quarter-finals, will be seeking her second top-five

    Read More »from Wawrinka ready to step out of Federer’s shadow
  • Djokovic defeat leaves spotlight on Becker

    Television viewers are used to seeing a snappily-dressed Boris Becker offering his thoughts on the day's big matches from the safety of a comfortable sofa at Wimbledon.

    On Tuesday, minus the make-up and the sharp threads, the German former world No.1 found himself perched on a court-side seat in Melbourne watching Novak Djokovic put through the wringer by Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka at the Australian Open.

    From talking about the game in his familiar tones, Becker found himself a central part of the unfolding drama and, when his charge stumbled, fair game for tennis writers picking over the

    Read More »from Djokovic defeat leaves spotlight on Becker
  • Shots of the Day: Key moments in Wawrinka v Djokovic

    Our regular round-up of the shots of the day from the Australian Open is understandably dominated by the engrossing battle between Stanislas Wawrinka and Novak Djokovic.

    As well as lasting five sets, the titanic tussle provided many memorable moments as two of the more accomplished men on the circuit went head to head.

    The Serb started the better of the two men and claimed the first set in some style with this lovely angled volley at the net.

    Wawrinka, who lost to Djokovic in the fourth round last year in Melbourne, was determined to go toe-to-toe with the reigning champ and held his own in

    Read More »from Shots of the Day: Key moments in Wawrinka v Djokovic