Tennis world was in for some shock on the eighth day of the Australian Open as two top favourites—6 times champion Novak Djokovic and 5th seed Dominic Thiem—were stunned in the third round of the first Grand Slam of the year. Both the remaining Indians, Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan, also lost out along with their respective partners.
Here’s a quick recap from the Melbourne Park.
Down two set and up 30-0 in Chung’s serve, Melbourne Park saw the return of “Djoker”. Novak Djokovic who is known for some entertaining moments on the court, turned to the crowd and asked for more cheers, a typical Djokovic’s style. It seemed like that would boost him and he would beat the ATP Next Gen champion Hyeon Chung in 5 sets despite being two sets down, it was not asking a lot as the Serbian has done it a number of times and this was the best place to replicate that.
However that was not the case to be. World number 58, who was beaten by former world number 1 at the same venue a couple of years ago, ousted him 7-6(4), 7-5, 7-6(3) to become the first Korean to enter the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam.
It was not just that he won, but he also returned the favour. What Djokovic had done in the above incident, Chung replicated it when he had 3 match points.
For the 14th time in 15 years, 19 times Grand Slam winner Roger Federer entered the quarterfinal with another straight set victory. He defeated Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics 6-4, 7-6(3), 6-2 to set up a clash with 19th seed Tomas Berdych.
It was a disappointment for all the Hungarians who woke up at 5am to watch their favourite star play against one of the greatest Tennis players of all time.
It took Federer four break points to earn an advantage in the first set, before taking the second on a tie-break.
But the five-time Australian Open winner broke early in the third and followed up with another break of serve to set up a repeat of last year’s third round.
World number 97 Tennys Sandgren stunned fifth seed Dominic Thiem in five sets to reach the Australian Open quarter-final.
The American won 6-2 4-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-7 (7-9) 6-3 in three hours 55 minutes.
Sandgren, 26, had never won a match at a Grand Slam before this event and is only the second man in the last 20 years to reach a quarter-final on his Melbourne debut.
Tennys Sandgren had also stunned Wawrinka earlier in the tournament.
After defeating American Lauren Davis in a third-round match that lasted nearly four hours, fatigue could have easily become an issue for world No. 1 Simona Halep. The weather in Melbourne Park has been especially brutal this week, and the matches are only going to get tougher from here.
Fortunately, the Romanian was able to quickly earn a 6-3, 6-2 win over world No. 72 Naomi Osaka on Monday. The match lasted only an hour and 20 minutes, so perhaps Halep will actually have some fresh legs when she takes the court in the quarterfinals. That might not have been the case had Halep and Osaka gone to a third set.
Former champion Angelique Kerber battled back against world number 88 Hsieh Su-wei to reach the Australian Open quarter-finals.
Kerber, the favourite for the title following her convincing win over Maria Sharapova in round three, recovered from a set down to win 4-6 7-5 6-2.
The 30-year-old German and 21st seed is the last remaining Grand slam champion in the women’s singles draw.
She will play American 17th seed Madison Keys in the last eight.
Indians in action
India’s challenge in the men’s doubles at the Australian Open came to an end on Monday after Rohan Bopanna and Edouard Roger-Vasselin lost their third round match.
Bopanna and his French partner lost to Oliver Marach of Austria and Croatia’s Mate Pavic 6-4, 7-6 (7-5), 3-6 at the Melbourne Park.
The match lasted a little over two hours and saw the Indo-French duo convert one out of two break points, while their opponents converted three out of 12 break points. Bopanna and Roger-Vasselin had two aces compared to their opponents’ seven.
Earlier, Divij Sharan and his partner Rajeev Ram had gone down to top seeds Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo 6-3, 6-7(4), 4-6 . On Sunday, Leander Paes and Purav Raja were beaten 1-6, 2-6 by 11th seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah of Colombia.