Australian Open: Locker room secret, Osaka hard to excite


Andy Murray was given a boost he did not need, while Japanese rising star Naomi Osaka was hard to excite.

We look at the talking points from Melbourne.


Sam Groth gave Andy Murray a boost the world number two did not need in the locker room before they took to Rod Laver Arena.

"I was standing right next to him in the locker room and he said to someone, 'This is my first time on Rod Laver, I've never even hit on it before'," Murray said in an on-court interview.

"I was like, 'OK, great. That's good'. I was like, 'That's good for me'." It was. Not that he needed that help in a 6-0 6-4 6-1.



Naomi Osaka has already done much more than make her main-draw debut at a grand slam. The Japanese rising star booked her spot in the third round with a 6-4 6-4 win over 18th seed Elina Svitolina on Thursday.

Into the third round in Melbourne and about to face two-time grand slam champion Victoria Azarenka, Osaka should be excited.

"Yeah, I'm pretty happy right now," the 18-year-old said unconvincingly.

Asked about facing Azarenka, Osaka said: "Well, OK, I don't know. I feel like there's something wrong with me because I don't get excited or anything that much.

"Like I just learn that I'm going to play someone and I'm like, 'OK, I'm going to play them'. So I don't really do like background checks or anything to psych myself out. Yeah."



Like all professional athletes, tennis players pride themselves on fitness and healthy eating and drinking.

So it came as a slight surprise when American Rajeev Ram was sipping a can of Coke during his five-set loss to Stephane Robert.

The 31-year-old could be forgiven, however, as their match on court 19 took three hours, 37 minutes.



Morning drizzle meant play at Melbourne Park was delayed for the second straight day, but seemingly only competitively.

Wet weather was unable to keep some of the sport's best and biggest names from the practice courts, including Maria Sharapova.

The Russian drew the biggest crowd, who were not short of options as Kei Nishikori, Fernando Verdasco and David Goffin hit nearby.