Australian Open Day 3 & 4 – Cruise control, Kenin & Kvitova fall, Kyrgios delights, Halep fights, Feli strikes again & much more

Over the last couple of days there has been some exceptional tennis played at Melbourne Park, the usual names have got the business done where as some have slipped up and some big battle have taken place.

Cruise Control

Round two for quite a few top seeds saw them navigate their way into the next round in some style but not too many upsets:

Serena Williams 6-3 6-0 Nina Stojanovic
Naomi Osaka 6-2 6-3 Caroline Garcia
Iga Swiatek 6-2 6-4 Camila Giorgi
Garbine Muguruza 6-3 6-1 Ludmilla Samsonova
Diego Schwartzman 6-2 6-0 6-3 Alexandre Muller
Dominic Thiem 6-4 6-0 6-2 Dominik Koepfer
Karolina Pliskova 7-5 6-2 Danielle Collins
Ash Barty 6-1 7-6 Daria Gavrilova

Kenin and Kvitova fall

Defending champion Sofia Kenin and former finalist Petra Kvitova saw their runs in Melbourne come to an end on Thursday and Wednesday respectively.

Petra Kvitova fell a set down to Sorana Cirstea who made the headlines herself in round one. Sorana asked the umpire to give her coach a warning for coaching but the umpire explained the warning would have to go to her. There were no problems on Wednesday as in three sets the Romanian took out the two time Wimbledon champion. She led 6-4 and got pulled back losing the second set 1-6 before returning the favour to cause the first big upset of the tournament.

The early hours of Thursday morning saw another big upset, this time Sofia Kenin. The American who is the defending champion slipped up in the second round but didn’t look like she had that same intensity coming to Melbourne which saw her win here last year and runner-up in Paris.

Kenin did play to her usual strengths during her time in Melbourne but credit to Kaia Kanepi, she has the game and has history of creating upsets and has done it once again!

Djokovic & Halep dig deep!

Novak Djokovic and Simona Halep safely found their way into the second round but it was far from straight forward.

The world number one had a tough battle with Frances Tiafoe but did seem to be bothered by some shoulder and eye problem. After winning the first set 6-3 the next two sets saw nothing between them, Tiafoe won a surprising second set on a tie-break and when the third set went to a tie-break it looked like being tricky for Djokovic who did pull through and went onto win 6-3 6-7 7-6 6-3 to win his 16th consecutive match at the Australian Open.

Simona Halep has announced herself in the tournament. I didn’t have her down as a genuine contender following back injury in the warm-up but the performance against Tomljanovic showed grit. Credit to Alja, she played a fantastic game but the defence and accuracy from Halep when it mattered was sensational.

It did look like another upset was on the cards, Halep trailed 2-4 in the final set with Alja serving for a 5-2 lead. Before you know it they are level and the match finished with the Romanian winning 5 of the last 6 games to win 4-6 6-4 7-5.

Leaving Early

Some other former major champions saw their time come to an end in the second round.

Venus Williams lost 1-6 0-6 to Sara Errani following an ankle injury. However, massive respect and credit to Venus who continued and wanted to finish her match and put up a big fight.

Someone else who put up a big fight was Stan Wawrinka, former champion had a rough battle Marton Fucsovics. Marton was a set up on the three time major champion but was pulled back to two sets a piece and it felt like Stan would run away with it but the Hungarian won 7-6 (11-9) in the final set tie-break to win!

The returning Bianca Andreescu saw her return come to an end, the fascinating Su-Wei Hsieh ended the Canadian’s return to top level tennis with a good solid performance in a 6-3 6-2 win over the 2019 US Open champion.

Kyrgios delights on Wednesday night!

A perfect Wednesday night of tennis at Melbourne Park. Nick Kyrgios was a few match points down but produced arguably the performance of the tournament soo far to as he fought off Frenchman Ugo Humbert.

Nick was visibly emotional from the match, he thanked the crowd and in his press conference for their “insane atmosphere” helping to propel him to the win.

He has received criticism very unfairly with some saying he doesn’t looked like he has trained or done fitness in the lockdown which is a load of nonsense, he does care and his performance and reaction showed that.

He called it one of the greatest matches he ever played and it was epic! Credit to both players who played exceptionally well but it was Nick who fell to his knees in celebration after 3 hours and 25 minutes on court winning 5-7 6-4 3-6 7-6 6-4 against Ugo Humbert.

Feliciano Lopez strikes again!

At 39 years old, Feliciano Lopez who is the tournament director of the Mutua Madrid Open is not slowing day.

Feli is playing in his record breaking 75th consecutive Grand Slam which is a stunning record and one which will not be broken for some time and having defeated Li Tu in round one he is now in the third round up against Andrey Rublev on Friday.

The Spaniard was two sets down to Lorenzo Sonego who upset Djokovic in Tokyo last year in a bizarre match but Felt proved age is just a number coming back to win 5-7 3-6 7-5 6-3 6-4 to book his place into the next round!

Ones to watch…

There has been some noise made by upcoming stars so far this week, the two that have caught the eye are Felix Auger Aliassime and Anastasia Potapova who are in the third round at Melbourne Park.

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