Melbourne Park, 9 December 2011 | Natalie Yoannidis

First seed Greg Jones was given a scare in his quarterfinal clash with fellow New South Welshman Dane Propoggia this morning.

The fourth-ranked Australian male battled tough weather conditions and a first-set tiebreaker on his way to a 7-6(2) 6-2 win

The result means Jones makes his way through to the semifinal stage of the Australian Open 2012 Play-off.

Jones said a combination of extreme weather conditions and a solid opponent made his job difficult.

“It was very difficult conditions today, probably some of the toughest that I’ve played in this year. I thought Dane played really well, especially in the first set which made it even tougher for me,” he said.

“Overall I was really happy with how I was able to handle things. I won a close first set and managed to run away with things in the second.”

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Jones said he was frustrated at times with his inability to take his chances during Propoggia’s service games.

“I was just frustrated with myself at not being able to capitalise on a few of those opportunities. As a result having to go into a tiebreak to win it in which anything can really happen. “

The first set was a close and gruelling encounter with both players producing a series of unforced errors.

Jones was solid on serve but was unable to capitalise on his early dominance as the match progressed to 2-2.

The frustration was building for the No.196 in the world who called out in grief at his failed attempt to pass Propoggia at the net with the scores at 3-2.

Both players missed a series of opportunities to break their opponent’s serve. Jones raced to a 0-40 lead in the eighth game with the scores locked at 4-4 but was unable to gain the break.

Jones and Propoggia were both able to hold serve in the final four games and send the first set into a tiebreaker.

It was difficult to split the two for the entire first set, but the tiebreaker told a different story.

Jones produced several deep court balls and forced the world No.666 Propoggia into hitting a series of errors. He then held his nerve and was able to take the tiebreaker 7-2.

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The second set unfolded in an entirely different fashion to the first with Jones having total control of play.

Propoggia was unable to produce the same grit and consistency he produced in the opening set, as the difference in rankings between the pair started to become apparent.

After conceding the first game on the Propoggia serve, Jones held his own serve with relative ease and did not look back.

The New South Welshman finally got the breakthrough in the third game when he was able to curb the Propoggia serve and gain a 2-1 lead.

This trend continued with Jones easily holding serve and consolidating the break before stamping his authority on the match by recording a crucial second break and a commanding 4-1 lead.

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Jones set his sights on the Propoggia backhand, serving out wide to the backhand side and forcing the error.

While Propoggia managed to hold serve in the seventh game taking the second set to 5-2, the damage had been done. Jones was able to serve out the match and coast into the play-off semifinals.

The No.1 seed, who progressed to the second round of the Australian Open in 2011, said his confidence was building and this would hold him in a good position for his semifinals match tomorrow.

“I think with each match I get a little more confidence, “ he said.

“I’m just getting back into the swing of things. I had a bit of time off so with each match I think I’ll start to hit the ball how I’d like to.”

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