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Four seasons in one Melbourne day for perplexed Tipsarevic

Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia hits a return to Julien Benneteau of France during their men's singles match at the Australian Open tennis tourna
Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia hits a return to Julien Benneteau of France during their men's singles match at the Australian Open tennis tourna

By Greg Stutchbury

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Serbia's Janko Tipsarevic appeared to be channeling New Zealand songwriter Neil Finn on Friday, suggesting Melbourne's weather was "crazy".

Finn and his band Crowded House's lyrical love letter to the city's fickle weather, "Four Seasons In One Day", has been aptly demonstrated.

On Thursday, blazing sunshine greeted the players as temperatures exceeded 40 Celsius (104F).

In less than 24 hours, the temperature had dropped to around 21C (72F) by the time play started on Friday, while brief rain showers forced the roof on both the Rod Laver and Hisense Arena courts to be closed.

The disparity was perplexing for the Serb.

"The weather in Australia, I have to say it's crazy," the world number nine said after his 3-6 6-4 2-6 6-4 6-3 victory over France's Julien Benneteau.

"You don't know what are you going to get.

"I mean, three days ago it was really cold when I played Lacko. Two days ago it was like 70 degrees Celsius on the court.

"Today was beautiful, but it was really, really windy.

"Who knows what's going to happen tomorrow? Probably we'll have rain and we're going to end up playing indoors.

"You really need to adjust on a day to day basis to this grand slam."

Tipsarevic, who has never made it beyond the third round at Melbourne Park before, now faces Nicolas Almagro in the last 16 and he hoped he did not have to contend with another heat blast against the Spaniard having played successive five-set matches.

"I am pretty fit at the moment, but these matches are actually not helping me," he said in reference to his three hour, 29 minute clash against Benneteau and the three hours, 51 minutes he spent on court against Lukas Lacko in round two.

"If I'm really wanting to go deep into the tournament, potentially playing Nicolas Almagro on the heat, my legs are going to feel the five set matches which I played in the last two rounds.

"I'm so happy I'm in the second week. It's the first time in my career that I'm able to be in the second week of the Australian Open and I'm really thrilled for that.

"But ...no, they do not help me at all."

(Editing by Justin Palmer)

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