Novak Djokovic has reached the round of 16 at the Australian Open, and Andy Murray is no miracle this time around. Laura Siegemund was the last German to drop out of singles. Before that, other favorites prevail.
Australian Open: Djokovic bites his teeth again – absent for Murray
Novak Djokovic had his sore thigh kneaded and grimaced – but once again he defied all resistance. Serbia’s top tennis star has taken another step on the way to his 22nd Grand Slam triumph at the Australian Open. The 35-year-old finally lived up to his role as favorite against Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov and won 7:6 (9:7), 6:3, 6:4.
Marathon runner Andy Murray was eliminated. The three-time Grand Slam winner from Scotland lost to Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut 1:6, 7:6 (9:7), 3:6, 4:6. Murray won the third round duel with victory in five sets in 5:45 a.m. and was on the court until after four in the morning. This sparked a discussion about Grand Slam season endings.
“My legs were fine,” Murray said. “But I had lower back issues which affected my serve.” He is always motivated to attack: “I can achieve more than the third round of a slam, without a doubt.”
Djokovic expressed his gratitude for continuing and addressed his issues. “Physically, there were ups and downs,” he said: “The pills work temporarily, heat up the cream and stuff like that. It works for a while, then more, later again.” It was “really a roller coaster ride”. Every season counts for him in advanced professional age.
The physical condition of the nine-time Melbourne winner continues to raise questions. He’s been struggling with a lingering rear thigh injury since the start of the tournament, but giving up is not an option for the outstanding athlete from Belgrade. He wants to make history and, after winning major titles, equalize the injured Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal.
Against Dimitrov he sought medical attention after the tight first set and also in the third round, shortly before the end, the title favorite fell to the ground after a rally. “To be honest, it’s not good at all,” Djokovic said after his second-round win. Ultimately, it’s in God’s hands. Djokovic’s next opponent is Australian Alex de Minaur.
Australian Open: Siegemund missed the round of 16 despite a good performance
Laura Siegemund missed her first round of 16 at the Australian Open despite a big fight. The 34-year-old from Metzingen lost to French favorite Caroline Garcia 6:1, 3:6, 3:6 in the third round duel on Saturday. For the first time since 2010, the round of 16 in Melbourne will take place without a German professional in both individual competitions.
Siegemund played boldly against the winner of last year’s WTA Finals from the start. In the second round, she had already surprised the Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu, now she wanted to continue against Garcia, but in the end she had to recognize the class of her opponent.
“I must be very proud of my performance,” said Siegemund, but it was still difficult for the fighter about two and a half hours after the match: “I’m never happy if I don’t win.”
Siegemund deserved compliments for her performance against the title contender. “She played a great game, read me really well and took advantage of my speed,” Garcia said. “It was an impressive performance from Laura, hats off. She played one of her best hard-court games I’ve ever seen from her,” commented national coach Barbara Rittner. Eurosport: “She should urgently consider whether she should not play a little more individually, because it was really fun.”
Siegemund’s biggest success at Grand Slam level remains the quarter-finals in 2020. In Melbourne, she reached the third round on her debut seven years ago.
In Melbourne, a total of ten German professionals started in the main draw. Only Olympic champion Alexander Zverev had reached the second round alongside Siegemund, but then fell short due to American Michael Mmoh.
Australian Open: Rune makes an impression in Melbourne
Teenager Holger Rune continues to impress in Melbourne. The 19-year-old Dane advanced to the Australian Open Round of 16 without dropping a set. Rune beat Frenchman Ugo Humbert 6:4, 6:2, 7:6 (7:5) on Saturday and is now tackling a tough duel with Andrey Rublev. The Russian eliminated Englishman Daniel Evans 6: 4, 6: 2, 6: 3.
Rune first caused a stir at Grand Slam level at Roland Garros last year when he reached the quarter-finals. The world number ten won three titles last year, including the ATP tournament in Munich.
Australian Open: Mies in double round of 16 in Melbourne
Doubles specialist Andreas Mies has reached the round of 16 at the Australian Open. The 32-year-old from Cologne won with Australian John Peers against Andre Göransson/Marc-Andrea Hüsler (Sweden/Switzerland) 6:4, 7:6 (7:5). Mies is the last remaining German professional in the competition, having already reached the round of 16 last year.
At that time, Mies was still playing with Kevin Krawietz, with whom he won Roland-Garros in 2019 and 2020. At the end of last season, the two announced their separation. Krawietz from Coburg will play in future with Tim Pütz from Frankfurt, with whom he is also forming a Davis Cup team.
Mies and Peers meet the two Australians Alex Bolt/Luke Saville in the Round of 16 in Melbourne.
Australian Open: Olympic champion Bencic in round of 16
Olympic champion Belinda Bencic still has the chance to win her first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open. The 25-year-old Swiss won her third set against Italy’s Camila Giorgi 6:2, 7:5 on Saturday and reached the round of 16.
In 2019, Bencic reached the semi-finals of a major at the US Open, in Melbourne, she did not go past the round of 16. She celebrated her biggest success of 2021 at the Tokyo Olympics, when Bencic defeated Czech Marketa Vondrousova in three sets in the final.
Australian Open, Day 6: the best matches at a glance
|player 1||player 2||result/time|
|Varvara Gracheva (RUS)||Karolina Pliskova (CZE/30)||4:6, 2:6|
|Camila Giorgi (Italy)||Belinda Bencic (SUI/12)||2:6, 5:7|
|Aryna Sabalenka (BEL/5)||Elise Mertens (BEL/26)||6:2, 6:3|
|Laura Siegemund (Germany)||Caroline Garcia (FRA/4)||6:1, 3:6, 3:6|
|player 1||player 2||result/time|
|Andrei Rublev (RUS/6)||Daniel Evans (GBR)||6:4, 6:2, 6:3|
|Ugo Humbert (FRA)||Holger Rune (DEN/10)||4:6, 2:6, 6:7|
|Benjamin Bonzi (FRA)||Alex de Minaur (AUS/22)||6:7, 2:6, 1:6|
|Grigor Dimitrov (BUL/27)||Novak Djokovic (SRB/5)||6:7, 3:6, 4:6|
|Andy Murray (GBR)||Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP/24)||1:6, 7:6, 3:6, 4:6|
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