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Tennis-Australian Open day four | National Post


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MELBOURNE — Highlights of the fourth day of the Australian Open at Melbourne Park on Thursday, all times local (GMT +11):

1930 AUGER ALIASSIME DOWNS DAVIDOVICH FOKINA IN MARATHON CONTEST

Felix Auger Aliassime staved off a strong challenge from Alejandro Davidovich Fokina to win 7-6(4) 6-7(4) 7-6(5) 7-6(4) in four hours 19 minutes and book his place in the third round. The Canadian ninth seed faces Dan Evans next.

Frenchman Benoit Paire also progressed after toppling 26th seed Grigor Dimitrov 6-4 6-4 6-7(4) 7-6(2).

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READ MORE:

Australian Open order of play on Thursday

Tsitsipas toils past Baez to seal third-round spot in Melbourne

Third seed Muguruza knocked out by ‘super focused’ Cornet

Muguruza blames COVID outbreak following Cornet defeat

Sabalenka survives service meltdown to avoid seed exodus

Stosur bows out of singles after Melbourne Park defeat

Evans through to third round after Rinderknech wrist injury

O’Connell thanks coach Matosevic after reaching third round

Tiley says not resigning, denies Tennis Australia paying Djokovic legal fees

Australia court rules minister acted rationally in canceling Djokovic’s visa

1842 TSITSIPAS QUELLS BAEZ CHALLENGE

Former semi-finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas overcame a mid-match wobble to beat Sebastian Baez 7-6(1) 6-7(5) 6-3 6-4 and stay on course for his first Grand Slam title.

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Earlier, Taylor Fritz beat Frances Tiafoe 6-4 6-3 7-6(5) in an all-American battle while Alex de Minaur and Roberto Bautista Agut also advanced with straight sets victories.

1708 RYBAKINA RETIRES INJURED

In-form 12th seed Elena Rybakina became the latest leading women’s player to exit the Australian Open after she retired injured while trailing 6-4 1-0 against China’s Zhang Shuai.

1555 KASATKINA SETS UP SWIATEK CLASH

Daria Kasatkina eased past Magda Linette 6-2 6-3 to set up a third-round clash with seventh seed Iga Swiatek. Kasatkina has beaten the former French Open champion in three sets when they met for the first time in Eastbourne last year.

1458 SABALENKA SURVIVES WANG SCARE

Second see Aryna Sabalenka surrendered the opening set, like she did in her opener, before outclassing China’s Wang Xinyu 1-6 6-4 6-2 on Rod Laver Arena to reach the third round.

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Local wildcard Maddison Inglis followed up her victory over U.S. Open runner-up Leylah Fernandez with a 7-6(4) 2-6 6-2 win over American qualifier Hailey Baptiste.

1432 CROWD FAVOURITE STOSUR BOWS OUT AFTER DEFEAT

Former U.S. Open champion Sam Stosur’s 20th and final Australian Open singles campaign ended in a 6-2 6-2 defeat by 10th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Stosur is set to finish her singles career after the major but will play doubles in 2022.

“It’s a special moment for Sam and I want to give it to her. It was emotional for me today. I had goosebumps when everyone was clapping for Sam. She’s a wonderful human being and a great tennis player. Thanks, Sam,” Pavlyuchenkova said.

An emotional Stosur said that she always dreamed of winning a Grand Slam, a feat she achieved at Flushing Meadows in 2011. “To do what I’ve done, dreaming as a little kid is phenomenal,” Stosur said. “I’ve done more than I ever thought possible.”

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The cheers for Stosur turned to boos for Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley, under fire for his role in the Novak Djokovic saga, when he made his first public appearance at Melbourne Park this week to congratulate her.

1420 SCHWARTZMAN STUNNED BY WILDCARD O’CONNELL

Diego Schwartzman, seeded 13th, fell to a 7-6(6) 6-4 6-4 defeat against world number 175 Christopher O’Connell, while Maxime Cressy outclassed Tomas Machac 6-1 3-6 6-1 7-6(5) to reach the third round of a major for the first time.

1302 RED-HOT RUBLEV ROLLS ON

Last year’s quarter-finalist Andrey Rublev made short work of Ricardas Berankis with a 6-4 6-2 6-0 win over the unseeded Lithuanian to reach the third round for the fourth time. The Russian fifth seed next meets Marin Cilic who beat Norbert Gombos 6-2 6-3 3-6 7-6(6).

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1245 MUGURUZA, KONTAVEIT CRASH OUT

Third seed Garbine Muguruza, a runner-up at Melbourne Park two years ago, suffered a shock 6-3 6-3 defeat at the hands of French veteran Alize Cornet.

“Today, I stepped on the court thinking I’d have fun. That’s the best way I play. There was a lack of fun sometimes in my 16-year career. But right now I want to enjoy it,” Cornet said.

“I don’t know how many years I have left. Today was a perfect gift.”

Joining Muguruza in making an early exit was sixth seed Anett Kontaveit, who lost 6-2 6-4 to 19-year-old Clara Tauson – the girls’ singles champion at Melbourne Park in 2019.

1227 SWIATEK THROUGH, EVANS EARNS WALKOVER

Former French Open champion Iga Swiatek booked her place in the third round, the seventh seed advancing with a 6-2 6-2 win over Sweden’s Rebecca Peterson.

Britain’s Dan Evans, the number 24 seed, moved through to the next round after his opponent, Arthur Rinderknech, pulled out with a wrist injury.

1113 PLAY UNDERWAY ON DAY FOUR

Play at Melbourne Park got underway on all courts as scheduled on day four of the year’s first Grand Slam.

A warm day is expected for the second round matches with the temperature already at 21 Celsius (71 Fahrenheit) with a high of 29C forecast. (Reporting by Michael Church, Shrivathsa Sridhar and Dhruv Munjal; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Jacqueline Wong)

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