MELBOURNE, Australia: A quick look at the Australian Open:
LOOKAHEAD TO FRIDAY
Top-ranked Novak Djokovic takes on American Taylor Fritz in one of the high-intensity matches set on the Australian Opens fifth day. In what should be an entertaining encounter between two young Canadians, No. 11 Denis Shapovalov plays 20th seeded Felix Auger-Aliassime. U.S. Open champion Dominic Thiem will face fan favorite Nick Kyrgios. The often-fiery Australian saved two match points in his five-set second-rounder against Frenchman Ugo Humbert. Kyrgios said the vocal crowd at John Cain Arena helped get him through. Organizers have scheduled him for the first night match at the same venue against Thiem, the runner-up here last year. In women’s play, Serena Williams takes on Anastasia Potapova and Naomi Osaka is against Ons Jabeur. Its definitely a mutual admiration society. Osaka recalls Jabeur from the 2015 WTA Rising Stars tournament held alongside that years WTA Finals in Singapore. Ons was the only person that would talk to me, Osaka said, laughing. She was just super-nice and inviting. I remember when I played her there, she was doing these things that Ive never seen before hitting drop shots and then hitting flat-out winners right off the bat. Jabeur, a 26-year-old Tunisian, became the first Arab woman to reach the quarterfinals of a major when she made the last eight at Melbourne Park in 2020.
Possible rain, high of 24 Celsius (75 Fahrenheit)
Partly cloudy, high of 33 Celsius (91 Fahrenheit).
THURSDAY’S KEY DAY RESULTS
Womens Second Round: No. 1 Ash Barty beat Daria Gavrilova 6-1, 7-6 (7); Kaia Kanepi beat No. 4 Sofia Kenin 6-3, 6-2; No. 6 Karolina Pliskova beat Danielle Collins 7-5, 6-2; No. 11 Belinda Bencic beat Svetlana Kuznetsova 7-5, 2-6, 6-4; No. 18 Elise Mertens beat Zhu Lin 7-6 (8), 6-1; No. 21 Anett Kontaveit beat Heather Watson 6-7 (5) 6-4 6-2; No. 22 Jennifer Brady beat Madison Brengle 6-1, 6-2; No. 25 Karolina Muchova beat Mona Barthel 6-4, 6-1. No. 26 Yulia Putintseva beat Alison Van Uytvanck 6-4, 1-6, 6-2.
Mens Second Round: No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Thanasi Kokkinakis 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-1, 6-7 (5), 6-4; No. 7 Andrey Rublev beat Thiago Monteiro 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (8); No. 9 Matteo Berrettini beat Tomas Machac 6-3, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3; No. 19 Karen Khachanov beat Ricardas Berankis 6-2, 6-4, 6-4; No. 24 Casper Ruud beat Tommy Paul 3-6, 6-2, 6-4, 7-5; Feliciano Lopez beat No. 31 Lorenzo Sonego 5-7, 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, 6-4.
STAT OF THE DAY
75: number of consecutive Grand Slam appearances by Feliciano Lopez, a mens record. His five-set win Thursday advanced the 39-year-old Lopez to the third round.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
I obviously felt like Im not there 100% physically, mentally, my game. Everything just feels real off, obviously. Its not good. Defending champion Kenin, wiping away tears, after losing in the second round.
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