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Aus Open PIX: Medvedev, Cornet, Tsitsipas through to quarter-finals

Last updated on: January 24, 2022 20:18 IST
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Images from Day 8 of the 2022 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on Monday.

Medvedev loses temper but wins match

IMAGE: Daniil Medvedev celebrates winning his fourth round match against Maxime Cressy of the United States during day eight of the 2022 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on Monday. Photograph: Daniel Pockett/Getty Images

An agitated Daniil Medvedev teed off at the chair umpire and lost his cool in the heat before steadying to claim a 6-2, 7-6(4), 6-7(4), 7-5 win over Maxime Cressy and book his second Australian Open quarter-final on Monday.

 

The Russian second seed found the American serve-and-volley exponent a tough nut to crack at Margaret Court Arena and his frustration spilled over after losing the third set.

Apparently refused a request to leave the court to freshen up, Medvedev barked at the French chair umpire Renaud Lichtenstein and complained that Cressy was spending too much time between serves.

Medvedev's frustration only grew as eight break points slipped through his fingers in the fourth set before he finally slipped a forehand past the American in the 11th game to take his serve.

Medvedev wrapped up proceedings with a slew of huge serves before stepping in to thrash a forehand winner on match point.

Last year's finalist, Medvedev next meets Felix Auger-Aliassime for a place in the semi-finals.

Tsitsipas outlasts Fritz to reach quarter-finals

Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas reacts during his fourth round match against Taylor Fritz of the US

IMAGE: Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas reacts after winning his fourth round match against Taylor Fritz of the US. Photograph: Loren Elliott/Reuters

Fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas survived an attritional fourth-round battle with American Taylor Fritz on Monday, twice coming from a set behind to win 4-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 and reach the Australian Open quarter-finals.

At just past midnight on Rod Laver Arena the Greek ended Fritz's resistance to set up a clash with Italian Jannik Sinner when he will be seeking to reach the semi-finals here for the third time in his career.

Tsitsipas looked out of sorts and edgy at times but his greater experience on the big stage eventually told as he got the decisive break in the fifth set before claiming victory.

Fritz, playing in his first Grand Slam fourth round, converted only two of his 15 break points and will rue a missed opportunity to become the first American male to reach a Grand Slam quarter-final for two years.

"It was an epic match that's all I can say, I gave everything out there on the court today," the 23-year-old said.

"I'm proud of the way I fought.

"I'm overwhelmed. It's too good to be true. I knew it was going to be physical, and I knew I had to be patient and in the end it paid off."

Sizzling Sinner boosts Italian pride at Australian Open

IMAGE: Italy's Jannik Sinner celebrates winning his fourth round match against Alex De Minaur of Australia. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Jannik Sinner raised the Italian flag high over Melbourne Park on Monday, knocking out home hope Alex de Minaur 7-6(3), 6-3, 6-4 to join compatriot Matteo Berrettini in the Australian Open quarter-finals.

It is the first time since Paolo Bertolucci and Adriano Panatta at Roland Garros in 1973 that two Italian men have reached the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam.

Sinner, who also reached the last eight at the French Open in 2020, played superbly in a high quality match at Rod Laver Arena, taking control after the first set tiebreak.

“It was a tough test for me because (Alex) is an incredible player and one of the nicest guys on tour also,” said 11th seed Sinner, who will play the winner of Stefanos Tsitsipas and Taylor Fritz for a place in the semi-finals.

"Obviously when he plays here at the Australian Open, he is a tough opponent. Very, very tough. I knew that."

Sinner had won his two prior matches against the 32nd seed, which included a straight sets victory in the decider of the Next Gen ATP Finals in Italy in 2019.

De Minaur, a quarter-finalist at the US Open in 2020, had early opportunities to break Sinner in an even first set but ultimately succumbed to his rival’s firepower.

The clinical Italian broke De Minaur at the start of the next two sets and kept the Australian at bay.

"I tried to stay composed with myself and today, I have to say, I raised the level, especially in the second and third sets,” Sinner said.

"In the beginning, there was a little bit of tension on both sides, which is normal. I was expecting a long match.”

Sinner credited the experience gained throughout last season, when he won four titles and qualified for the ATP Tour Finals, as crucial to his development.

"Last year, for me, was a long year. Many, many tournaments for me for the first time,” he said.

"I (gained) a lot of experience in the last couple of months and I think I’ve grown as a player and as a person.”

Auger-Aliassime books quarter-final berth

IMAGE: Felix Auger-Aliassime in action during his fourth round match against Marin Cilic. Photograph: Daniel Pockett/Getty Images

Canadian ninth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime earned a quarter-final berth when he outlasted veteran Croatian Marin Cilic 2-6, 7-6(7), 6-2, 7-6(4) at the Australian Open on Monday.

Cilic raced through the first set in only 35 minutes, but the long second set proved pivotal.

Auger-Aliassime squandered four set points under a baking afternoon sun, while also saving one with an ace.

But the 21-year-old finally won the set at the fifth opportunity to even the match, and dominated the next set as 33-year-old Cilic's errors mounted as he became frustrated at the length of time his opponent took between serves.

Both players held serve in the fourth set to set up a tiebreaker, in which Auger-Aliassime prevailed with outstanding serving, closing it out with an ace in front of a small but excited crowd.

IMAGE: Alize Cornet celebrates winning her fourth round match against Simona Halep of Romania. Photograph: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

Alize Cornet survived stifling heat to outlast former world number one Simona Halep 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 in a battle of attrition at the Australian Open on Monday, advancing to her first Grand Slam quarter-final where she will meet Danielle Collins.

Collins earlier became the third American woman after Madison Keys and Jessica Pegula to reach the quarters of this year's event after she overhauled Elise Mertens 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.

Frenchwoman Cornet, making her 63rd main draw appearance at a Grand Slam, improved her record against 2018 finalist Halep to 4-1 after the 32-year-old came through a battle lasting two hours and 33 minutes at the Rod Laver Arena.

Cornet, who had both thighs heavily taped, buried her face in a towel and broke into tears after converting her third match point.

"It was a battle with Simona today in this heat. After 30 minutes of the game we were both dying on the court. We kept going for two and a half hours with all our heart," Cornet said on court amid warm applause from the crowd.

"Congrats to Simona because I know she struggled a lot and I admire this player so much. She's such a fighter and an example to me. To beat her today to go to my first quarter-final is a dream come true.

"I don't know what to say. It's just magic. It's never too late to try again."

IMAGE: Alize Cornet, making her 63rd main draw appearance at a Grand Slam, improved her record against 2018 finalist Halep to 4-1. Photograph: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

Halep missed Wimbledon and the French Open during an injury-plagued 2021 but looked in peak form at the start of the season as she notched nine wins in a row, including a title in Melbourne in the lead-up to the Australian Open.

The Romanian had conceded only 12 games en route to the fourth round but the 30-year-old looked exhausted as the match progressed, leaning on her racquet between points to catch her breath.

Kanepi stuns Sabalenka to reach last eight in Melbourne

Estonia's Kaia Kanepi in action during her fourth round match against Belarus' Aryna Sabalenka

IMAGE: Estonia's Kaia Kanepi in action during her fourth round match against Belarus' Aryna Sabalenka. Photograph: Asanka Brendon Ratnayake/Reuters

Estonia's Kaia Kanepi rallied from a set down to topple world number two Aryna Sabalenka 5-7 6-2 7-6(10) on Margaret Court Arena in a tight contest on Monday to reach the Australian Open quarter-finals for the first time.

Having surrendered the opening set for three matches in a row, Sabalenka took a one-set lead for the first time in Melbourne but was unable to build on it as her serving issues resurfaced once again.

The Belarusian committed 15 double faults in another error-strewn performance, five more than she had in her third-round win over Marketa Vondrousova.

Kanepi was gifted a double break early in the second set with back-to-back double faults from her 23-year-old opponent and did not waste the opportunity as she cruised to a 4-0 lead before taking the set.

The 36-year-old carried that momentum into the decider and looked set to go 5-3 up but Sabalenka saved four break points to hold for 3-4 and level it, before suffering a service meltdown again and hitting three double faults in four points.

Kanepi was made to work for her victory after being unable to close the match from 40-0 up as Sabalenka saved four matchpoints to break back, before the pair traded holds to take the deciding set into a tiebreaker.

Kaia Kanepi (right) is congratulated by Belarus' Aryna Sabalenka after their fourth round match 

IMAGE: Kaia Kanepi (right) is congratulated by Belarus' Aryna Sabalenka after their fourth round match. Photograph: Asanka Brendon Ratnayake/Reuters

The Estonian finally prevailed in the tiebreak, taking advantage of a string of unforced errors from Sabalenka to convert her fifth matchpoint and complete the upset.

"I think I would be more happy if I won after two, three matchpoints," Kanepi told reporters. "It was really close, I almost lost the match.

"My hand was shaking when I started serving in that game. I didn't make any first serves in, and that added to the pressure.

"I almost didn't (recover). I guess I was just lucky at the end. So close."

Sabalenka expressed disappointment in her performance but said there were still positives to take from the defeat.

"I had all the opportunities and I didn't use it," Sabalenka said. "I would say I started well but I lost focus and it became really emotional. I couldn't find a way back.

"Compared to the beginning of the season, I'm really happy that I was able to kind of find the rhythm on my serve. So there is still something positive."

Kanepi will take on 2020 French Open champion Iga Swiatek, who beat Sorana Cirstea 5-7, 6-3, 6-3 earlier on Monday, for a place in the semi-finals.

The world number 115 has reached the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam on six previous occasions, most recently in the 2017 US Open, but has never managed to progress beyond the last eight.

Collins downs Mertens to reach quarters

IMAGE: Danielle Collins celebrates a point during her fourth round match against Elise Mertens of Belgium. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Danielle Collins won a battle of attrition in scorching heat to overhaul Elise Mertens 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 and book her second quarter-final at the Australian Open on Monday.

In a gruelling clash of former semi-finalists, the American 27th seed snatched the win with a barrage of power hitting as Mertens served to stay in the match.

IMAGE: Danielle Collins hits a forehand during the fourth round match. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Belgian Mertens saved two match points, the second with a gutsy second serve, but then surrendered meekly on the third with a double-fault.

Collins will play the winner of Simona Halep and Alize Cornet for a place in the semi-finals.

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