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Aus Open PIX: Federer, Serena, Djokovic advance; Osaka rallies after tantrum

Last updated on: January 22, 2020 21:31 IST
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Images from Day 3 of the Australian Open in Melbourne on Wednesday

Imperious Federer sweeps past Krajinovic into third round

Switzerland's Roger Federer plays a backhand in his second round match against Serbia's Filip Krajinovic

IMAGE: Switzerland's Roger Federer plays a backhand in his second round match against Serbia's Filip Krajinovic. Photograph: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

Roger Federer displayed imperious form to canter into the third round of the Australian Open on Wednesday with a 6-1, 6-4, 6-1 thumping of Serb Filip Krajinovic, leaving the 20-time Grand Slam champion feeling a "little bit sorry" for his opponent.

Starting his match at around 2100 local time under the closed roof of Rod Laver Arena, the Swiss appeared to be in a hurry to finish the contest, breaking his opponent's serve twice in the first two sets and thrice in the third.

Krajinovic took a medical timeout to have his right upper arm attended with Federer leading 2-1 in the third set but it made no difference to the 38-year-old's momentum.

He breezed through the next four games and hit a crosscourt forehand winner - his 42nd of the night - to end the contest in a little over 90 minutes.

Krajinovic's first outing against a top-five player at a Grand Slam ended up being a forgettable occasion.

The 41st-ranked player had his first-round match against Quentin Halys postponed due to rain on Monday and faced Federer after needing almost four hours to battle past the French qualifier in five sets on Tuesday.

"I thought it wasn't 100% fair that he played three-and-a-half hours yesterday and me zero," Federer said in an on-court interview.

"The rain helped me. I do feel a little bit sorry actually like this but you have to take advantage of it."

 

Krajinovic's first serve percentage in the first two sets was almost 90%, which Federer called "rare". But it had no impact on the outcome of the match.

Unlike his main rivals, Federer, who won his last major title in 2018 at Melbourne Park, opted out of the inaugural ATP Cup in Australia to spend more time with his family before launching his 22nd season on Tour.

"I prefer this much more than (being) overcooked," Federer told reporters.

"As easy as it looks, there's always the effort, trying to extend the lead.

"Of course, it's not quite the same stress level if you're down a set or a break or two sets, whatever it may be. I prefer it this way because you have always extra left in the tank if you need it."

Next up for Federer will be a meeting against local hope John Millman, who beat him in four sets at the 2018 US Open.

"He's a super good guy, unbelievably tough opponent," Federer said.

"There are not many fitter guys than him out there and those are the guys I respect the most, actually.

"He gets absolutely the most out of the game and I hope it is going to be a great match with some great rallies."

Serena into third round after testy win over Slovenian

Serena Williams

IMAGE: Serena Williams plays a forehand during her second round match against Tamara Zidansek of Slovenia. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Serena Williams overcame an erratic performance at the Australian Open on Wednesday to beat Slovenian Tamara Zidansek 6-2 6-3 and advance to the third round.

The 38-year-old American, who is bidding for a record 24th Grand Slam singles title, was hardly troubled in the first set as she broke Zidansek twice to wrap up the opener in just over half an hour.

But the 70th-ranked Zidansek put up an impressive defence in the second set, saving seven break points as an increasingly frustrated Williams racked up more than a dozen unforced errors.

Zidansek, however, could not keep up the resistance and Williams clinched the victory with a cross-court forehand winner to set up a meeting with China's Wang Qiang.

Djokovic swats aside Ito to reach Australian Open third round

Novak Djokovic

IMAGE: Serbia's Novak Djokovic plays a forehand during his second round match against Tatsuma Ito of Japan. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Defending champion Novak Djokovic despatched Japanese wildcard Tatsuma Ito 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 to reach the third round of the Australian Open on Wednesday.

The world number two Serb, who struggled through a four-set grind against unseeded German Jan-Lennard Struff in his opener, was back to his imperious best as he fired down 16 aces and racked up 31 winners at a gusty Rod Laver Arena.

Chasing a record-extending eighth title at Melbourne Park, Djokovic finished off with a slew of thumping serves, sealing the match when a scrambling Ito thudded a shot into the net.

Djokovic will meet another Japanese player in Yoshihito Nishioka, who knocked out British 30th seed Dan Evans in straight sets, for a place in the fourth round.

Osaka rallies after tantrum to reach third round

Naomi Osaka

IMAGE: Japan's Naomi Osaka celebrates after winning a point during her second round match against Saisai Zheng of China. Photograph: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Defending champion Naomi Osaka struggled on serve and produced one of the most animated tantrums of the tournament so far before fending off China’s Zheng Saisai to reach the third round of the Australian Open.

After being broken early in the second set, Japan’s Osaka threw her racket, slammed a ball into the court and gave her racket a kick for good measure before steadying the ship and earning a 6-2 6-4 win at Margaret Court Arena.

Osaka rallied from 4-2 down in the second set and clinched the win when the outgunned Zheng double-faulted on match point.

She will next meet the winner of the match between Coco Gauff for a place in the fourth round.

Gauff survives three-set thriller, to face Osaka in Melbourne

Coco Gauff

IMAGE: Coco Gauff of the United States celebrates after winning match point during her second round match against Sorana Cirstea of Romania. Photograph: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

American teenage sensation Coco Gauff prevailed over Sorana Cirstea in a thrilling 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 encounter at the Australian Open, to set up a meeting with defending champion Naomi Osaka.

The 15-year-old Gauff, who beat seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams in the first round, was broken midway through the opening set as she struggled with errors off her forehand and a composed performance from her more experienced Romanian opponent.

Cirstea’s levels, however, dipped at the start of the second set, allowing Gauff to capture an early break and force the match into a decider.

The final set was a gripping, evenly-matched affair as Gauff fought back from a break down to advance to the third round in two hours and seven minutes.

Barty bounces out Hercog to reach third round 

Ash Barty

IMAGE: Ashleigh Barty of Australia serves during her second round match against Polona Hercog of Slovenia. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

World number one Ash Barty eased into the third round of the Australian Open with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Polona Hercog on a blustery Rod Laver Arena.

The Australian had given her compatriots a scare by losing her first set of the tournament on Monday but there were no such nerves on the main showcourt on day three of the championships as Barty raced through the first set in 24 minutes.

Hercog caused the French Open champion a few problems on her serve with her rangy returns but Barty saved all six break points she faced and sealed the win when the Slovenian was unable to keep a backhand return in the court.

The top seed will play Belgian qualifier Greet Minnen or Kazakh Elena Rybakina in the third round as she looks to stay on course to become the first homegrown champion at the Australian Open since 1978.

Wozniacki rallies to tame Yastremska in Melbourne

Caroline Wozniacki

IMAGE: Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki in action during the match against Ukraine's Dayana Yastremska. Photograph: Hannah Mckay/Reuters

Caroline Wozniacki refused to be rushed into retirement as the former world number one fought back from 5-1 down in the first set to beat Ukraine’s Dayana Yastremska 7-5, 7-5 in the second round of the Australian Open.

The Dane had appeared set for an early exit at Melbourne Park, the scene of her only Grand Slam triumph in 2018, but rallied to win six games in a row against the 19-year-old in the opening set.

Wozniacki, who is hanging up her racket after the tournament, made up for her lack of firepower with her trademark defensive skills, forcing the aggressive Yastremska into a series of errors.

She found herself 3-0 down in the second set too but again rallied before converting her sixth match point to seal the win over 23rd seed Yastremska.

Wozniacki will face Ons Jabeur in the next round after the Tunisian beat Caroline Garcia of France 1-6, 6-2, 6-3.

Tennys is back! Sandgren downs eighth seed Berrettini in five sets

Tenny Sandgren

IMAGE: Tennys Sandgren of the US reacts during the match against Italy’s Matteo Berrettini. Photograph: Edgar Su/Reuters

For the second time in three years, Tennys Sandgren defied his lowly ranking to send a top 10 seed out of the second round of the Australian Open when he outslugged Matteo Berrettini 7-6(7), 6-4, 4-6, 2-6, 7-5.

The world number 100 felt he rode his luck a little after giving up the third and fourth sets to the eighth seeded Italian young gun with barely a whimper before rallying to snatch his chance of one of the biggest victories of his career.

“It’s a top 10 at a slam so it’s right up there,” the affable 28-year-old American told reporters.

“He played too good in the fourth, kind of beat me up a little bit, so going into the fifth set I didn’t feel like I had much momentum ... I think I got away with one there.”

Sandgren has been getting away with a good few wins at Grand Slams since he beat ninth seed and former champion Stanislas Wawrinka in the second round in 2018 and embarked on a stunning run to the quarter-finals at Melbourne Park.

Putting his poor ranking down to his inability to manage his schedule sensibly, Sandgren said he was just getting better at planning his training to peak at the four major tournaments.

“I like these tournaments a lot, it’s one of the few weeks where it feels like tennis actually means something,” he said.

“Sometimes it feels like you get lost when you are travelling 25-30 weeks of the year. I feel like my game comes together in weeks like this.”

The 2018 run, which also included a win over fifth seed Dominic Thiem in the last 16, convinced Sandgren that he had the potential to do well at Grand Slams.

Translating that into outright confidence was another matter entirely.

“Confidence is a very fickle thing,” he said.

“It helps to know that you can do something but if you’re stick in the woods and you can’t really see the sun, it doesn’t matter what you’ve done, if you can’t get a good vibe going, your confidence is lost.”

Sandgren’s 2018 run was soured when his Twitter account came under scrutiny and he was forced to defend himself against accusations of far right political sympathies. He has been in no mood to discuss the incident on his return this year.

Standing in his path to the fourth round is compatriot Sam Querrey, who came out on top in four sets - three of them decided by tiebreaks - when the pair met at Wimbledon last year.

“We’re good friends and he’s a great player, he got me in a heartbreaker at Wimbledon last year,” Sandgren said.

“I think our games match up pretty well, he’s got a great serve and I return pretty well. I’m going to have look after my serve.”

Tsitsipas through to third round after Kohlschreiber withdraws

Stefanos Tsitsipas

IMAGE: Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas celebrates. Photograph: Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters

Sixth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas has advanced to the third round of the Australian Open after his German opponent Philipp Kohlschreiber withdrew, organisers said.

The Australian Open’s official schedule showed the Greek had won his second round match with a walk-over without providing further details.

Tsitsipas, who had won both his previous meetings against the world No. 79, will meet either Canadian Milos Raonic or Cristian Garin of Chile in the third round.

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