MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Local fans had a night to remember as well as one to forget at the Australian Open on Friday after home favourite Nick Kyrgios took U.S. Open champion Dominic Thiem to five sets before spectators were asked to leave ahead of a lockdown in Melbourne. With his back against the wall and […]
Tennis: Australian Open day five
MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Local fans had a night to remember as well as one to forget at the Australian Open on Friday after home favourite Nick Kyrgios took U.S. Open champion Dominic Thiem to five sets before spectators were asked to leave ahead of a lockdown in Melbourne.
With his back against the wall and a fired-up home crowd cheering every Kyrgios point, third seed Thiem came back from two sets down to triumph 4-6 4-6 6-3 6-4 6-4 in a see-saw battle at the John Cain Arena.
“There are easier things to do,” Thiem said when describing playing in front of a raucous crowd that will be absent for the next five days.
Top seed Novak Djokovic battled through an injury scare and came through an epic five-setter to beat Taylor Fritz 7-6(1) 6-4 3-6 4-6 6-2, celebrating with a guttural roar inside an empty arena after fans were asked to leave 30 minutes before midnight.
Second seed Simona Halep eased past Russian Veronika Kudermetova 6-1 6-3 to reach the fourth round while seven-times winner Serena Williams was tested in the opening set of her 7-6(5) 6-2 victory over Anastasia Potapova.
Naomi Osaka beat Ons Jabeur 6-3 6-2 with a power-packed performance but also displayed her delicate side when she escorted a butterfly that had settled on her face out of harm’s way.
Felix Auger Aliassime dispatched higher seed Denis Shapovalov 7-5 7-5 6-3 in an all-Canadian affair while French Open champion Iga Swiatek advanced with a 6-4 6-3 win over Fiona Ferro.
Highlights of day five of the Australian Open tennis championships at Melbourne Park on Friday. Times local (GMT +11):
SATURDAY, 0021 DJOKOVIC SURVIVES FRITZ TEST
Top seed Novak Djokovic survived an injury scare to beat American 27th seed Taylor Fritz 7-6(1) 6-4 3-6 4-6 6-2 in a match lasting three hours and 25 minutes.
The Serbian, who began to suffer with a side injury early in the third set and needed to leave Rod Laver Arena to have treatment, next faces Canadian 14th seed Milos Raonic.
2335 PLAY SUSPENDED BRIEFLY IN DJOKOVIC-FRITZ CLASH
Play was suspended briefly at the Rod Laver Arena as fans were asked to leave the grounds, as per Victorian government and Tennis Australia orders ahead of a lockdown in the state.
World number one Novak Djokovic was leading 7-6(1) 6-4 3-6 against American Taylor Fritz at the time of suspension.
2331 SWIATEK BAGS EASY WIN OVER FERRO
French Open champion and Polish 15th seed Iga Swiatek secured her 10th successive Grand Slam win after beating France’s Fiona Ferro 6-4 6-3.
2240 THIEM FIGHTS BACK TO BEAT KYRGIOS IN FIVE SETS
Austrian third seed Dominic Thiem recovered from a shaky start to clinch a comeback 4-6 4-6 6-3 6-4 6-4 victory over Australia’s Nick Kyrgios in a thriller lasting three hours and 21 minutes.
Thiem next faces Bulgarian 18th seed Grigor Dimitrov.
2138 AUGER-ALIASSIME WINS ALL-CANADIAN BATTLE
Canadian 20th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime defeated compatriot and 11th seed Denis Shapovalov 7-5 7-5 6-3 to set up a fourth-round meeting with Russian qualifier Aslan Karatsev.
2028 RAONIC DOWNS FUCSOVICS
Canadian 14th seed Milos Raonic survived a mid-match wobble to beat Hungarian Marton Fucsovics 7-6(2) 5-7 6-2 6-2.
2027 HALEP BREEZES PAST KUDERMETOVA
Romanian second seed Simona Halep sealed a comfortable 6-1 6-3 victory over Russian 32nd seed Veronika Kudermetova.
1900 EIGHTH SEED SCHWARTZMAN CRASHES OUT
Argentine eighth seed and world number nine Diego Schwartzman suffered a shock 6-3 6-3 6-3 defeat to Russian qualifier Aslan Karatsev.
World number 114 Karatsev sent down nine aces and hit 50 winners, while Schwartzman failed to record any aces and managed only five winners.
1708 ZVEREV DOWNS MANNARINO IN STRAIGHT SETS
German sixth seed Alexander Zverev sent down 19 aces and hit 35 winners to seal a dominant 6-3 6-3 6-1 win over Frenchman Adrian Mannarino.
1647 OSAKA BAGS STRAIGHTFORWARD WIN
Three-times Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka sealed a comfortable 6-3 6-2 victory over Tunisian 27th seed Ons Jabeur. The Japanese third seed next faces Spaniard Garbine Muguruza.
1505 HSIEH BATTLES PAST ERRANI
Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei reeled off four straight games to snatch a 6-4 2-6 7-5 victory over Italian qualifier Sara Errani.
1500 WILLIAMS PASSES POTAPOVA TEST
Serena Williams roared back from 5-3 down in the opening set to overcome Russian Anastasia Potapova 7-6(5) 6-2. The American will next face in-form Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka.
1455 DIMITROV ADVANCES AS CARRENO BUSTA RETIRES ILL
Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, seeded 18th, secured a spot in the fourth round after Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta was forced to retire with illness, while trailing 6-0 1-0.
1355 MUGURUZA MARCHES INTO ROUND FOUR
Spain’s Garbine Muguruza, who finished runner-up at Melbourne Park last year, booked her last-16 spot with a dominant 6-1 6-1 victory over Kazakhstan’s Zarina Diyas.
1255 VONDROUSOVA MOVES INTO FOURTH ROUND
Czech Marketa Vondrousova, seeded 19th, held off a late challenge from Romania’s Sorana Cirstea in a 6-2 6-4 win to reach the Australian Open fourth round for the first time.
1213 SABALENKA STEAMS INTO FOURTH ROUND
Aryna Sabalenka showed why she is among the bookmakers’ favourites for the tournament with a comprehensive 6-3 6-1 win over American Ann Li in exactly an hour on Rod Laver Arena.
1110 PLAY GETS UNDERWAY
Play began on an overcast morning at Melbourne Park with the temperature a cool 18 degrees Celsius.
The Victoria government reported five new locally-transmitted cases of COVID-19, taking the number of active cases in the state to 19.
(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, Hardik Vyas, Manasi Pathak and Rohith Nair; Editing by Richard Pullin, Shri Navaratnam, Tom Hogue and Toby Davis)