Goerges and Whitthoeft fly the flag | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 21.01.2015
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Goerges and Whitthoeft fly the flag

After the disappointing start for Germany's ladies at the Australian Open, two unlikely names continue their paths in the tournament. Elsewhere, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova survived scares.

Germany's last two women standing in Melbourne both advanced to the third round on Wednesday, after Julia Goerges and Carina Whitthoeft survived the scorching Australian heat to earn victory.

Despite losing the second set, Goerges beat 46th ranked Russian Klara Koukalova 6-3, 4-6, 6-2. "I am very happy with my performance. It's my favorite Grand Slam," said the 26-year-old afterwards.

She was then followed through by 19-year-old Whitthoeft who took just 49 minutes to upset American Christina McHale - ranked 50 places higher - 6-3, 6-0. "I'm so happy. I can't believe it," said Whitthoeft after her victory.

A bewildered Maria Sharapova survived a real scare to progress to the third round on Wednesday. The world number two looked to be in meltdown in the heat as she survived two match points, but then staged an incredible comeback to beat her courageous compatriot Alexandra Panova 6-1, 4-6, 7-5.

"I didn't actually want to be out here for two-and-a-half hours but that's sometimes the way it goes on days when you're not playing your best - sometimes it's good enough just to get through," she said afterwards.

"I was one point away from being out of this tournament twice today and not playing my best tennis so I'm just happy I was able to win that last point."

Canada's rising star Eugenie Bouchard comprehensively beat Kiki Bertens 6-0, 6-3 to power into the third round.

Australien Russland Tennis Australian Open 2015 Maria Sharapowa

Sharapova demonstrated her fighting spirit once again

Federer, Murrary and Nadal through

One of Germany's last hopes in the men's draw was Philipp Kohlschreiber, but the 31-year-old couldn't follow Goerges and Whitthoeft into the third round. The 22nd seed was beaten 7-6, 4-6, 6-7, 5-6 by crowd favorite Bernard Tomic.

Roger Federer overcame a bee sting in the little finger of his right hand to keep his hopes of an 18th Grand Slam title alive. Federer started slowly and even lost the first set against 48th ranked Simone Bolleli of Italy, but turned the match around to eventually cruise to a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 win.

Sixth and seventh seeds Andy Murray and Thomas Berdych both progressed with straight set wins over Marinko Matosevic and Jurgen Melzer respectively.

In one of the most intense games of the tournament so far, Rafael Nadal beat American Tim Smyczek in five sets. The 14-time Grand Slam winner overcame a slow start and cramps to seal victory 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-2), 3-6, 5-7.

Both players exchanged sets before the pair battled it out for a grueling 81 minutes in the third. The world number 112 - who has never beaten an opponent in the top 10 - sealed the tie-break 7-2. Smyczek was defiant until the end, but the imperious Spaniard fought back to take the fourth before breaking serve late in the fifth and eventually sealing his progression.

Home favorite Nick Kyrigos continued to delight the crowd as he upset 23rd seed Ivo Karlovic in a hard-fought match that the Australian won in four sets.

apc/jh (AFP, dpa)

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