Tennis – Australian Open, day 4: Alexander Zverev fails early – Novak Djokovic briefly with problems – Andy Murray with a mega comeback

The return to the big stage ended after the second round of the Australian Open: Alexander Zverev still has a lot of work to do. Only one German is still represented in the competition. During the night session, a sick Novak Djokovic gave up a set.

Alexander Zverev walked through Melbourne Park in flip flops and sobered up. “There’s still a long way to go,” said Germany’s top player, exhausted and disappointed when his long-awaited Grand Slam return produced an unequivocal truth: Seven and a half months after his serious injury, the Olympic champion is still a tennis world of his old class.

“I have a lot of work ahead of me. It just wasn’t enough on my part,” said the former world number two, for whom the Australian Open was the final leg of the second round. The 25-year-old from Hamburg lost to ATP No. 107 Michael Mmoh (USA) 7:6 (7:1), 4:6, 3:6, 2:6.

“There are a lot of positive and certain things that I can do better,” said Zverev, who entered the tournament with no expectations: “But you also have to be realistic, look ahead and tell yourself that it will be better in the next few years. month. “

While Zverev, who was unlucky even with a fat bird ‘greeting’ in the second sentence, was still disappointed after his difficult reality check ended, Laura Siegemund was happy with his unexpected entrance. in the third round, which she has against the favorite. Romanian Irina -Camelia Begu won. “You have to pinch your butt a bit, and then you see you rock the thing,” the 34-year-old Metzingen said of the endgame of her 5:7, 7:5, 6:3 hit, in which it was mostly about the struggle, about the mentality.

Australian Open: Laura Siegemund continues to make a splash

Due to numerous injuries, Siegemund wants to focus more on doubles in the future but is showing Melbourne that she can still do it as a lone fighter. “I know that I can play very good tennis,” said the last remaining representative of German tennis: “I’m still going strong.” And she wants to continue to cause a sensation with another great performance on Saturday, then against the French Caroline Garcia, world number four.

Zverev wants it again, but first the construction work continues. “My foot is healthy. But I’m not at the physical level that I was. I’m not as fast, my condition is not as good as before,” he said after the ” good test” on the other end. of the world: “I’m happy to have three more months before the next Grand Slam and to play many matches between now and then.”

There is a lot to catch up on, he received encouragement from Boris Becker, who praised Zverev’s combativeness and commitment. “The work is still to come, but it was a good start,” said the Eurosport pundit. The German Davis Cup number one receives the next test. The German team meets on 3./4. February in Trier against Switzerland and wants to return to the group stage. And Zverev takes new steps to all classes.

Australian Open: Djokovic despite thigh problems in third round

Title favorite Novak Djokovic has passed the next hurdle on his way to his 22nd Grand Slam title but again revealed issues with his injured thigh. In the second round of the Australian Open, the best Serbian player beat Frenchman Enzo Couacaud 6-1, 6-7 (5-7), 6-2, 6-0. The drunken fans in the stands, whom Djokovic summarily kicked out of the stadium, also sparked resentment.

“To be honest, it’s not good at all,” Djokovic told Eurosport about his injury: “I look at it day by day. It was better in my first game. In the end, it depends on God.”

After a trouble-free first set, Djokovic struggled with his left thigh in the second round. The former world no.

Djokovic’s condition then visibly improved – he left world number 191. in the rest of the match are no longer close to winning a set. Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov (#27) is now waiting for the 35-year-old in the third round.

Djokovic’s concentration in the fourth set was only disturbed by repeated heckling from a small group of seemingly drunken fans. “He’s completely drunk and wanted to provoke me from the start. He’s not here to watch tennis,” the Serb complained to the chair umpire about a particularly loud spectator – successfully: a short time later the men were escorted out of the stadium.

En route to his tenth title in Melbourne, Djokovic has one less major contender: after No. 1 spot Rafael Nadal had already dropped out, number two on the seeded list, Casper Ruud, also made his farewell. The Norwegian surprisingly lost his second round match against Jenson Brooksby (USA) in four sets.

Andy Murray wins the marathon match

Double British Olympic champion Andy Murray, meanwhile, remains in the tournament thanks to a comeback. After his spectacular victory in five sets against Matteo Berrettini (Italy) in the first round, the three-time Grand Slam winner also won his next marathon match.

After almost six hours, the 35-year-old converted the first match point at 04:06 local time in 4:6, 6:7 (4:7), 7:6 (7:5), 6:3 and 7-5 against Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis. In the third round Murray meets Roberto Bautista Agut (Spain/#24).

Australian Open: double Grand Slam finalist Casper Ruud absent

Two-time Grand Slam runner-up Holger Rune from Norway lost to American Jenson Brooksby 3:6, 5:7, 7:6 (7:4), 2:6 on Thursday and must hope for the first major title to give away for the instant. Ruud reached the French Open and US Open finals last year. In Melbourne, he started in second place. Top seed Rafael Nadal has already said goodbye to the tournament.

Doubles specialist Andreas Mies has successfully started his first Grand Slam tournament after parting ways with Kevin Krawietz. The 32-year-old from Cologne beat the Indians Yuki Bhambri/Saketh Myneni with the Australian John Peers 7: 6 (7: 5), 6: 7 (4: 7), 6: 3 and reached the second round.

In November, Krawietz/Mies, who won Roland-Garros together in 2019 and 2020, announced their separation. Going forward, Krawietz will play with Frankfurt’s Tim Pütz, with whom he is also forming a Davis Cup team. However, the Coburger is missing in Melbourne as he is expecting his first child. Pütz missed the second round alongside Frenchman Nicolas Mahut.

Australian Open: Jabeur, Wimbledon finalist, fails in the second round

Tunisian second seed Ons Jabeur failed surprisingly early at the Australian Open. The 2022 Wimbledon runner-up lost 6-1, 7-5, 1-6 to unseeded Czech Marketa Vondrousova in the second round of the Grand Slam tournament.

Jabeur, who had already struggled in the first round in the three-set victory over Tamara Zidansek (Slovenia), rarely found her game and appeared to be physically handicapped. The 28-year-old must wait for her first Grand Slam title. Vondrousova meets fellow 17-year-old Linda Fruhvirtova in the third round.

Australian Open: Danielle Collins celebrates too soon

Danielle Collins dropped her racquet and threw her arms in the air in celebration. The American advanced to the third round after hard work – or so she thought – and headed to the net to receive congratulations from her opponent Karolina Muchova. But she didn’t come.

Collins, the 29-year-old American, celebrated too soon as the score was 7-3 in the third set tie-break. A so-called tie-break match up to 10 has been played out in the decision-making process in Melbourne since 2019. “I would have preferred to disappear into the ground,” the 12th seed said afterwards, his premature celebration was quite embarrassing for Collins. After all, she actually won in the end 6:7 (1:7), 6:2, 7:6 (10:6).

Rafael Nadal: Long break after early exit

Bitter news for Rafael Nadal the day after his departure in the second round: the 36-year-old Spaniard injured the iliopsoas muscle (hip flexor) in his left leg.

The record Grand Slam champion is again out for six to eight weeks. This was announced by Nadal after an MRI. The Spaniard has always struggled with injuries.

There is more information in the detailed news here.

Australian Open: Toilet talk about Djokovic

Toilet talk around Novak Djokovic: The 21-time Grand Slam winner has denied reports that he went to the toilet in the first set of his first-round match on Tuesday without the permission of referee Aurelie Tourte.

“I didn’t challenge her or the rules. She gave me permission and told me to be quick,” Djokovic wrote on Instagram. The referee just called him to tell him that the toilets were on the other side of the field. But he found one.

The regulations provide for toilet breaks mainly between sets, but do not exclude this within the usual time frame when changing sides. Djokovic won the match against Roberto Carballes Baena 6-3, 6-4, 6-0.

Australian Open, Day 4: the best matches at a glance

player 1 player 2 result/time
Aryna Sabalenka (BLR/5) Shelby Rogers (USA) 6:3, 6:1
Veronica Kudermetova (RUS/9) Katue Volynets (USA) 4:6, 6:2, 2:6
Caroline Garcia (FRA/4) Leylah Fernandez (CAN) 7:6, 7:5
Belinda Bencic (SUI/12) Claire Liu (USA) 7:6, 6:3
Ons Jabeur (TUN/2) Marketa Vondrousova (CZE) 1:6 7:5, 1:6
Laura Siegemund (Germany) Irina-Camelia Begu (ROM/27) 5:7, 7:5, 6:3
player 1 player 2 result/time
Casper Ruud (NOR/2) Jenson Brooksby (USA) 3:6, 5:7, 7:6, 2:6
Taylor Fritz (USA/8) Alexei Popyrin (AUS) 7:6, 6:7, 4:6, 7:6, 2:6
Alexander Zverev (GER/12) Michael Mmoh (USA) 7:6, 4:6, 3:6, 2:6
Andy Murray (GBR) Thanasi Kokkinakis (Australia) 4:6, 6:7, 7:6. 6:3, 7:5
Holger Rune (DEN/9) Maxime Cressy (USA) 7:5, 6:4, 6:4
Novak Djokovic (SRB/4) Enzo Couacaud (FRA) 6-1, 6-7, 6-2, 6-0
Andrei Rublev (RUS/5) Emil Ruusuvuori (FIN) 6:2, 6:4, 6:7, 6:3

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