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AO PHOTOS: Federer, Djokovic reach quarters; Kenin stops Gauff

Last updated on: January 28, 2020 00:00 IST
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Images from Sunday's action at the Australian Open in Melbourne.

Federer recovers from slow start to reach Melbourne quarters

Roger Federer

IMAGE: Switzerland’s Roger Federer serves against Marton Fucsovics of Hungary. Photograph: Jack Thomas/Getty Images

Roger Federer regained control after a slow start against Hungarian Marton Fucsovics to march into the quarter-finals of the Australian Open with a 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 win on a chilly evening at the Rod Laver Arena on Sunday.


The six-time Australian Open winner, who was two points from defeat against John Millman in his previous round, looked rusty in the first set with Fucsovics breaking him in the seventh game to win the set.

But the 38-year-old Swiss, a 20-times Grand Slam winner, soon shifted up a gear and broke Fucsovics early in each of the next three sets to reach the Australian quarter-finals for the 15th time.

The third-seeded Federer will now face American Tennys Sandgren, who defeated No. 12 seed Fabio Fognini 7-6(5), 7-5, 6-7(2), 6-4 earlier on Sunday.

Kenin snuffs out 'Cocomania' in Melbourne

Sofia Kenin of the United States waves to fans as she celebrates winning her fourth match against Cori Gauff

IMAGE: Sofia Kenin of the United States waves to fans as she celebrates winning her fourth match against Cori Gauff at the Australian Open on Sunday. Photograph: Hannah Mckay/Reuters

American Sofia Kenin ended teen sensation Coco Gauff’s run at the Australian Open on Sunday with a 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-0 victory to reach her first career Grand Slam quarter-final.

The 15-year-old Gauff, who had beaten defending champion Naomi Osaka in her previous match and seven-times Grand Slam winner Venus Williams in her opener, rallied from a break down to win the opening set in a tie-breaker.

While Gauff enjoyed most of the support at the packed Melbourne Arena, Kenin, the 14th seed, fought her way back into the match and got the crucial break in the second set when Gauff served three double faults in the fourth game.

The unforced errors kept mounting for Gauff in the third set as Kenin broke her three times to secure her place in the quarter-finals against Ons Jabeur of Tunisia, who beat China’s Wang Qiang 7-6(4), 6-1.

Defending champion Djokovic into quarter-finals at a canter

Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates after winning-match point against Diego Schwartzman of Argentina.

IMAGE: Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates after winning-match point against Diego Schwartzman of Argentina. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Novak Djokovic continued his imperious progress through the Australian Open draw on Sunday, negotiating a potentially tricky encounter with Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 to reach the last eight at Melbourne Park for the 11th time.

The seven-times champion only added to a strong feeling around the tournament that the Serbian is again the man to beat at the year's first Grand Slam as he ousted the Argentine in just over two hours on Rod Laver Arena.

The defending champion broke for 5-3 and served out for the opening set before grabbing early breaks in the next two stanzas and successfully resisting Schwartzman's attempts to get back on terms.

The 32-year-old second seed wrapped up the contest by serving out to love and moves on to a quarter-final meeting with Milos Raonic, who he has beaten in all nine of their previous meetings.

In-form Raonic downs Cilic to ease into quarter-finals

Canada's Milos Raonic celebrates winning his third round match against Croatia's Marin Cilic at the Australian Open on Sunday

IMAGE: Canada's Milos Raonic celebrates winning his third round match against Croatia's Marin Cilic. Photograph: Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters

In-form Canadian Milos Raonic pounded down 35 aces and 55 winners to overcome Croatian Marin Cilic 6-4, 6-3, 7-5 on Sunday and become the first man to reach the quarter-finals of the Australian Open.

The 29-year-old, a former world number three, is seeded a lowly 32nd at Melbourne Park but has been in impressive form over the first week and reached the last eight without losing a set.

Cilic, the 2014 US Open champion, may have been feeling the effects of two five-set matches against seeded opponents earlier in the tournament and needed a lengthy medical timeout for treatment on his back at 3-0 down in the second set.

Also a former world number three, the 31-year-old still had enough game to test Raonic, especially when he was able to engage the Canadian in lengthier rallies.

Raonic was consistently sending down serves well in excess of 200 kilometres per hour (124 mph), however, and it was appropriate that he finished the match on Margaret Court Arena with one final booming ace.

“I’m just happy to be playing well, to be playing in this kind of atmosphere and this kind of support,” said Raonic, a semi-finalist in Melbourne in 2016.

“It feels pretty damn good I’ve gotta say, I can’t complain about it. It’s been an exciting tournament for me so far and hopefully there are exciting things ahead.”

In the last eight, Raonic is likely to face Novak Djokovic, who was playing Diego Schwartzman on Rod Laver Arena as the Canadian wrapped up his match.

The Serbian has a 9-0 career record against Raonic, including a win in the quarter-finals in Melbourne in 2015.

The Montenegro-born world number 35 said he would need to be on top of his game to get past the defending champion.

“I think I’m going have to hit more ... aces,” he laughed.

Tunisia's Jabeur in first quarter-final with win over Wang

Ons Jabeur of Tunisia celebrates after defeating Qiang Wang of China

IMAGE: Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur celebrates after defeating China’s Qiang Wang Photograph: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

Tunisian Ons Jabeur defeated China's Wang Qiang 7-6(4), 6-1 at the Australian Open on Sunday to become the first Arab woman to make a Grand Slam quarter-final.

Jabeur, who sent former world number one Caroline Wozniacki into retirement in the previous round, dazzled the crowd at Margaret Court Arena with both her variety and power, hitting 29 winners in the 77-minute contest.

Both players struggled to hold serve at the start of the match, each losing an early break, before Jabeur claimed the first set with a forehand winner in a tie-break.

Wang's game unravelled completely in the second set as she went down two breaks before Jabeur sealed victory with another forehand winner.

Kvitova silences 'soccer' crowd to beat Sakkari 

The Czech Republic’s Petra Kvitova celebrates winning her fourth round match against Greece’s Maria Sakkari

IMAGE: The Czech Republic’s Petra Kvitova exults after winning her fourth round match against Greece’s Maria Sakkari. Photograph: Edgar Su/Reuters

Petra Kvitova came from a set down and took full advantage as her Greek opponent Maria Sakkari’s self-belief drained away to advance to the Australian Open quarter-finals with a 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-2 victory on Rod Laver Arena on Sunday.

Seventh seed Kvitova looked second best early on against Sakkari, who was backed by loud support from local Greek fans, but seized the advantage in a second set where both players struggled to hold serve.

The two-times Wimbledon champion broke Sakkari four times in the second set and then took a 3-0 lead in the decider to give her the advantage she needed to put away the stubborn 22nd-seed in two hours, 12 minutes.

“It’s pretty tough to play Maria. I lost the last time I played her so I knew it would be difficult,” Kvitova said.

“I had to fight pretty hard ... but suddenly I got used to her game and was playing more rallies and starting to play my own game.”

Sakkari, 24, had never been in the fourth round of a Grand Slam before but had won the last two of her three previous matches against Kvitova, all of which were played last year.

Sakkari broke early but blew her first chance to seal the opening set when she lost serve leading 5-4. She broke again in the next game to give herself another opportunity at 6-5 but let that slip away too as Kvitova broke back to set up a tiebreak.

The Czech wasted an opportunity to go 3-0 up when her forehand return to a second serve flew long and Sakkari snatched the momentum back, going on to seal the tiebreak to win the set in 52 minutes.

Both players lost their serving rhythm in the second set with Kvitova dropping serve twice but also breaking Sakkari on four occasions, the last of which when the Greek double-faulted on set point.

Sakkari’s shoulders appeared to drop during the set and she frequently argued with her support team sitting courtside.

Kvitova jumped out to a 3-0 advantage in the decider then let her emotions show for the first time in the fifth game, a bellow of celebration coming after a forehand winner put her 4-1 ahead.

The Czech completed the win when a Sakkari return smacked into the net, setting up a meeting with either top seed Ash Barty or Alison Riske, who play later on Sunday, in the last eight.

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