Australian Open 2021 News
Djokovic said he had celebrated his triumph by calling his family back home in Serbia and sitting down for a meal capped off with a cake. The ups and downs of what he described as a ‘rollercoaster’ of a trip Down Under had made his 18th Grand Slam title triumph all the more satisfying. The injury was not the only issue Djokovic had to contend with during his time in Australia.
At 23, Osaka is fast developing the aura that helped Williams amass 23 Grand Slam titles. Once prone to the occasional breakdown on court, Osaka has been all business at Melbourne Park and paid tribute to her coach Wim Fissette and team for helping her forge a stronger mental game. The first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam title, Osaka said she wanted to pay her team back with another trophy.
American 22nd seed Jennifer Brady reached her first Grand Slam final after beating 25th seed Czech Karolina Muchova 6-4, 3-6, 6-4. She faces Naomi Osaka in the final as the Japanese beat 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams earlier on Thursday. The Russian is the first man to reach the semi-finals on his debut in a Grand Slam.
The 39-year-old, who is one Grand Slam short of Margaret Court’s record, walked off Rod Laver Arena to a standing ovation on Thursday, pausing for a moment to put her hand on her heart and wave to the crowd. But the smile soon faded, and a question about whether her defeat to Osaka was just a ‘bad day at the office’ saw her take a sip of water before choking up. Williams had looked her sharpest in years at the tournament but 24 unforced errors cost her against Osaka, who also beat her in the 2018 US Open final.
The canned applause piped into the arena in the absence of fans appeared to taunt Barty, who would have been guaranteed passionate support for her semi-final had she made it through after Melbourne's coronavirus lockdown was lifted. The Czech was a player transformed after a medical timeout in the second set and rallied to secure a place in her first Grand Slam semi-final, where she will meet the winner of the clash between Americans Jennifer Brady and Jessica Pegula.
Osaka’s winning streak includes a US Open title in September for her third Grand Slam championship. The streak also includes her fourth-round win last week, when she saved two match points and swept the final four games to overtake Garbine Muguruza. Osaka is 4-0 in Grand Slam quarterfinals, including a victory en route to the Australian Open title in 2019.
The No. 7-seeded Sabalenka had already beat American Ann Li 6-3, 6-1 in front of a small morning crowd in Rod Laver Arena. Sabalenka is the only woman among the top 16 seeds who has yet to reach a major quarterfinal. In other third-round play, No. 14-seeded Garbine Muguruza defeated Zarina Diyas 6-1, 6-1.
Young Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece survived a marathon five-set match against Thanasi Kokkinakis of Australia to move into the third round of the Australian Open. In other major matches, world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty and No. 6 seed Karolina Pliskova of Czech Republic posted easy wins in the second round in Melbourne on Thursday. Here we take a look at some of the top action from Day 4 of the Australian Open.
Former No. 1 Karolina Pliskova advances to the third round at the Australian Open by beating American Danielle Collins, a semifinalist at Melbourne Park in 2019, 7-5, 6-2. Barty followed up her 6-0, 6-0 drubbing of Danka Kovinic in the first round with a much tighter 6-1, 7-6 (7) win over fellow Australian Daria Gavrilova. American Shelby Rogers advances to the third round at the Australian Open for the first time by beating qualifier Olga Danilovic 6-2, 6-3.
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic had to battle hard to reach the third round of the 2021 Australian Open. The double defending-champion posted a hard-fought 6-3, 6-7(3), 7-6(2), 6-3 over American Francis Tiafoe. There was, however, disappointment for the likes of Petra Kvitova and Venus Williams, who crashed out of the year's first Grand Slam. Here we take a look at some of the major matches from Day 3 of the Australian Open in Melbourne.
Badosa complained bitterly about the experience, saying it was ‘far and away the worst’ of her career. Fatigue appeared to take its toll as she served to stay in the match, and Samsonova took full advantage, running Badosa ragged until the Spaniard sprayed a shot wide on match point. Her infection saw her transferred to a separate ‘health hotel’ where COVID-19 cases are isolated, and the clock on her mandatory period of isolation was restarted.
The Indian tried to fight fire with fire but the intensity shown by Berankis blew him away and he found himself serving to stay in the set. Nagal struggled to get on the board, missing two break points offered by Berankis in the fifth game but managed to break his rival in that game. Berankis was guilty of unforced errors in that short phase, giving easy points to Nagal.
For the past four years, Williams has been trying to equal Australian Margaret Court’s record of 24 major titles. Williams’ most recent Grand Slam championship came at Melbourne in 2017. Osaka drew a potential tough opening opponent in Pavlyuchenkova, a Russian ranked 39th who reached the quarterfinals in Melbourne three of the past four years.
State Premier Dan Andrews has made it clear that “the safety of the community is paramount and said there were no guarantees” the Australian Open would go ahead. Tiley said the 507 people affected, 160 of them players, would have their tests completed by late Thursday afternoon. The Australian Grand Prix, the traditional season opener of the Formula One championship, was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic last March a few hours before the cars were due to take to the track at Melbourne's Albert Park.