The No. 1 player in the world, Iga Swiatek, maintained her good form this year, defeating Cristina Bucsa in only 55 minutes, 6-0, 6-1. Despite being on the tougher side of the unbalanced women’s draw, which will be revealed on Sunday, the Pole has yet to drop a set in the first three rounds of her campaign, as she faces defending Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina.
Since her victory in London a year ago, Rybakina has mostly flown under the radar due to her lower ranking. Her victory over last year’s finalist Danielle Collins in the third round was especially stunning. The Kazakh breezed through the first set before slipping in the second, a mistake she cannot afford against the world’s top player.
On the men’s side, third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, one of the favourites for the title this year after so many top seeds have been eliminated, continued his great form by defeating Tallon Griekspoor in straight sets for the third time in a row. Next up is the eagerly awaited matchup against the young Italian Jannik Sinner, who needed a dramatic comeback in the third round.
After being outplayed for much of the opening two sets, Sinner overcame Marton Fucsovics 4-6, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-0. The Italian is the only male or female player to have advanced to at least the fourth round of each of the last six Grand Slam tournaments, and this best-of-five consistency has permeated his comeback. Towards the match’s conclusion, both the serve and backhand were in fine shape.
Medvedev crashes, Gauff cruises
Seventh seed and last year’s runner-up Daniil Medvedev lost to American Sebastian Korda in the third round of the Australian Open. 6-7 (7), 3-6, 6-7 (4). (4).
Medvedev lacked composure during the entire meeting. He rallied late in the first to force a tiebreaker, and he did the same in the third, but neither time did he perform at his best when it mattered. As a result of his absence and Rafael Nadal’s early exit, his section of the draw is wide open.
Coco Gauff kept her bid for a first Grand Slam title on track by defeating Bernarda Pera 6-3, 6-2 in another outstanding performance in the women’s division. That’s eight consecutive wins in 2023 without dropping a set.
If she defeats Jelena Ostapenko, she will then face either Swiatek or Rybakina, depending on the outcome.
Bopanna out, Jeevan-Balaji in
Rohan Bopanna and Mathew Ebden of Australia lost their first-round men’s doubles match to the Austrian duo of Alexander Erler and Lucas Miedler, 6-3, 7-5.
In the second set, the pair had a few opportunities to get back into the match, but they failed to capitalise. Bopanna will partner with Sania Mirza in her final Grand Slam mixed doubles match, extending his journey in Melbourne.
While Yuki Bhambri and Saketh Myneni, as well as Ramkumar Ramanathan, joined Bopanna in being ousted in the first round, Sriram Balaji and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan, who reached the final at the ATO 250 in Pune earlier this month, have earned a spot in the draw as alternates. In the first round, they will face fifth-seeded Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek.
Other notable results:
(6) Felix Auger Aliassime def. Francis Cerundolo 6-1, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 (18) Karen Khachanov def. (16) Frances Tiafoe 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (9) (9) (10) Hubert Hurkacz def. (20) Denis Shapovalov 7-6 (3), 6-4, 1-6, 4-6, 6-3
(3) Jessica Pegula def. Marta Kostyuk 6-0, 6-2 (24) (24) Victoria Azarenka def (10) Madison Keys 1-6, 6-2, 6-1 Zhu Li def (6) Maria Sakkari 7-6 (3), 1-6, 6-4