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Ana and Novak Djokovic’s Australian Open mixed doubles second round match has been scheduled as the fifth match on Court Two tomorrow (Tuesday). Their showdown with sixth seeds Daniel Nestor and Elena Likhovtseva is expected to begin sometime after 4.30pm local time (6.30am Central European Time).
It follows two Legends mixed doubles ties, a boys’ singles and another mixed doubles match on an arena that holds 3,000 spectators. There are no seats reserved on Court Two; all visitors with ground passes can gain admission.
Weather in Melbourne was markedly cooler today than in previous days and a similarly moderate climate is forecast for tomorrow. The Serbians’ round one win over Russian Igor Andreev and Maria Kirilenko was delayed for several hours after the the Extreme Heat Policy was invoked on a day when temperatures reached 42 degrees Celsius.
Ana and Novak will begin as massive underdogs against the hugely experienced pairing of Nestor and Likhovtseva, who between them have racked up no fewer than 67 doubles titles (including three grand slams) and have a combined doubles ranking of 17. Nestor has been ranked No.1 in the world for doubles while Likhovtseva has peaked at No.3.
In comparison, Ana is ranked 145 in doubles while Djokovic does not have a ranking because he has never played a competitive men’s doubles match. Ana has has played just 11 on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour.
Despite the pedigree of their decorated opponents Ana and Novak will take encouragement from the fact that the Canadian-Russian team struggled into the second round. Like Ana and Novak they required a Super Tiebreak to see off the unranked pairing of Julian Knowle and Ana’s countrywoman Jelena Jankovic before triumphing 3-6, 6-4, 13-11.
By Gavin Versi
photo: Denis Gallucci Lopes