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Australian Open 2014 Day 3: Hutchins & Fleming in happy return

Ross Hutchins and Colin Fleming at the Australian Open 2014
by Alexandra Willis at Melbourne Park
Wednesday 15 January 2014

Wimbledon.com's highlights from the third day of play at the 2014 Australian Open at Melbourne Park

Heart-warmer
Just over a year after being diagnosed with cancer, Ross Hutchins won his first round match in the men's doubles alongside Colin Fleming, in punishing heat too, beating Marinko Matosevic and Michal Przysiezny in three sets. The pair were quarter-finalists at Wimbledon and the US Open in 2012, and now begin their road back together.

"It's an amazing feeling to be back," Hutchins said. "It was actually brilliant to be honest.

"When we won I felt a bit emotional myself," Fleming said. Just a real sort of release, and I'm looking forward to playing again the next couple of days."

Dominic Inglot made it two wins out of two for British doubles players, he and doubles partner Treat Huey, the 12th seeds, beating Colombia's Cabal and Farah 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.

The new Li Na            
With the astonishing news that Li Na contemplated retiring before Wimbledon last year, she continued to paint herself in a positive light with a well executed 6-0, 7-6(5) win over Belinda Bencic in the midday heat. Li thundered through the first set in just 22 minutes, before keeping her cool in the second.

The real deal
Belinda Bencic is no illusion. With 11 sponsors to her name at the age of just 16, she recovered from losing the first set to Li Na without a game, pushing the world No.3 all the way to a tie-break. With some serve for a girl her age, and the perfect physique for tennis, the junior Wimbledon champion has certainly impressed. She even left the court with a smile.

Cruising
The following won their matches without dropping a set: Li Na, Serena Williams, Richard Gasquet, Tomas Berdych, Ekaterina Makarova, Flavia Pennetta, Sam Stosur, Genie Bouchard, Kevin Anderson, Ana Ivanovic, Sam Querrey, Alison Riske, Angelique Kerber, Novak Djokovic.

The upsets
Sabine Lisicki continues to struggle at Grand Slams outside of Wimbledon. Despite thundering through the first set against the admittedly tricky Monica Niculescu, 6-2, the 15th seed dropped the next two by the same scoreline, exiting the tournament in exactly two hours. 14th men's seed Mikhail Youzhny was also frazzled out of the draw, beaten in five by Florian Mayer. Ernests Gulbis, the 23rd seed, was dumped out in three sets by Sam Querrey, while Kirsten Flipkens was a shadow of the player who had beaten Laura Robson in her straight sets loss to Casey Dellacqua, the Australian wild card. 30th seed Dmitry Tursunov bowed out in four to Denis the menace Istomin.

Pity poor...
... David Ferrer. Fined a time violation for re-gripping his racket on the changeover. And he had so nearly finished it.

Doubles off to a rocker
The doubles draws began on Wednesday, with seeds Nestor & Zimonjic (8th), Granollers & Lopez (6th), Fyrstenberg & Matkowski (9),  Kubot & Lindstedt (14), Roger & Tecau (10), Peya & Soares (2) all safely through. The only ones to fall were Gonzalez & Lipsky (16), beaten by Marach and Mergea. There was also a cheerful win for Aussies Ben Mitchell and Jordan Thompson, the youngster who so nearly ousted Jerzy Janowicz the other night. There was no fairytale for Pat Rafter and Lleyton Hewitt though, despite the exuberant support of the Aussie fanatics. They went down in two to Butorac and Klassen.

In the women's, all the seeds survived - Groenefeld and Lucic-Baroni (11), Peschke and Srebotnik (4), Chan and Huber (13), Kops-Jones and Spears (8), King and Voskoboeva (16).

Bagels
8

Retirements
1 (Ivan Dodig)

Marathon matches

Daniela Hantuchova d. Karolina Pliskova 6-3, 3-6, 12-10 in 3hrs and 13mins

Florian Mayer d. Mikhail Youzhny 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 in 3hrs and 6mins

Stat of the day

60
The number of match wins in Melbourne for Serena Williams, tying Margaret Court's total.

Quote of the day

Q. Did you feel like an old lady?

Li Na: No, I think I'm mostly young in this room, right?

Tweet of the day

"How to say slice if you're Australian: sloice. So awesome."
@TheFanChild

Alice gets behind Andy
As part of AO Blitz, a new interactive competition introduced by Tennis Australia which encouraged towns all across the country to get out and play tennis to earn points, and then be allocated a player based on points earned and the number of people involved, Andy Murray has his own support group in Alice Springs, the town made famous by Nevil Shute's novel. A group of 27 young players from Alice Springs came to Melbourne Park on Wednesday to meet Murray at his practice session and pose for a photo

Video of the day

Yes, it is hot. 

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For all the reports and results from Melbourne Park, visit the Official Australian Open website



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20:24...But boy, it was a barrow-load of fun. I hope you enjoyed it even half as much as we did. Thank you for all your messages throughout, you've been the glue holding us together as the edges frayed amid the madness. Now if you'll excuse me, it's time for us Brits to raise a toast to Andy Murray and Fred Perry. British sporting legends both.

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