Ranked number 82, Friedsam had never been past the second round of a Grand Slam and the 21 year old’s fourth round match against Agnieszka Radwanska had a bit of everything in it, including severe cramping, an underhand serve and a point penalty for delaying the game, plus there were lots of tears.
Radwanska survived the two and a half hour match at the end, pulling out a dramatic win to reach the quarterfinals for the fourth time in five years, Friedsam limped off the court, sobbing, to a standing ovation.
Friedsam who had never been past the second round of the Grand Slam raced out to a lead of 5 -2 in the final set, fourth ranked Radwanska rallied and broke back to make it 5 -4. Friedman took a medical time-out on the next changeover and returned with her right thigh wrapped, Radwanska easily held serve for 5 all and Friedsam suffered from severe cramping.
Friedsam stood at the baseline preparing to serve, grabbed her leg and stretched, she hit an underhand serve and tried a regular serve without lifting off her leg, which also went out. She later said she was not sure if it was an injury or cramping as she has never suffered from cramping before. She still pushed through the teary game, Radwanska made her run.
Radwanska sympathised and said she knows how much cramps hurt and the former Wimbledon finalist also knowns she is lucky to reach the quarterfinals in the Australian Open, her next game was against Carla Suarez Navarro for a spot in the semi-finals, which would match her best result in Melbourne.
Friedman was fighting till the end, she never contemplated retiring. Radwanska said it gives her confidence that she won, maybe it was something that she shouldn’t have won in the end, but if she would have to choose, she would prefer two – set matches.