Ash Barty insisted she had no expectations Naomi Osaka would be her fourth-round opponent at the Australian Open after the Japanese star's surprise loss.

Barty and Osaka were on track to meet in the last 16 in Melbourne before the latter suffered a three-set loss to Amanda Anisimova on Friday.

World number one Barty, who crushed Camila Giorgi 6-2 6-3, always felt there were no certainties despite all the talk about a potential clash against Osaka.

"That was your expectation. My expectation was whoever it would be. I mean, each match is uncertain," she said.

"Each match of tennis, there are no certainties. You have no idea what's going to happen. You just have to navigate your way through as best you can that given moment.

"I have done a good job of that this week. Now it's exciting to get to play Amanda again. We've played before. It will be nice to play each other again in a big match."

Barty and Anisimova will meet for the first time since their 2019 French Open semi-final, which the former won on her way to a maiden grand slam title.

That match was a "turning point" in Barty's career. After losing the first set despite leading 5-1, Barty fell 3-0 behind in the second, only to fight back for a 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 6-3 victory.

"I try to forget, but also, I remember that I learned a lot from that moment," Barty said.

"That was a turning point in my career, and you have to be able to take learnings from those moments, as hard as they are sometimes, and I was able to navigate and find a way through.

"At that point in my life, in my career, it was a massive turning point.

"Obviously it feels like it's a lifetime ago, but some of those memories are still really vivid. Without a doubt we will take that and use that experience, use those feelings and those emotions as best we can come Sunday."

Novak Djokovic's deportation from Australia was "unjust" and the world number one will need time to move on from the saga, according to his long-time coach Marian Vajda.

The 20-time grand slam winner was denied the chance to claim a record-extending 10th crown at the Australian Open after having his visa cancelled on public health grounds.

Despite being unvaccinated against COVID-19, Djokovic had been given a medical exemption to travel to the country, only for that to be blocked by border officials.

He won his initial appeal to re-approve his visa, but immigration minister Alex Hawke used separate powers to revoke it again and a Federal Court upheld the decision.

The long-running case came to an end on Monday when Djokovic arrived back in Serbia, having reluctantly accepted the court's decision.

But Vajda, who has been part of Djokovic's coaching team for each of his grand slam titles, does not agree with the Australian government's handling of the situation.

"I still don't understand why they did it to him," Vajda told Slovakian outlet Aktuality. 

"It was an unhealthy and unjust decision, based on the assumption that Djokovic could do or influence something that had not yet happened.

"I can't imagine how he handled it. It must have been a huge suffering.

"He humbly endured all measures. But what they did to him must mark him. It is clear that it hit him mentally. 

"It will hurt him for a long time and it will be difficult to get it out of his head. However, I know him very well. Novak is strong, resolute and has not yet said his last word in tennis."

 

In a further blow for Djokovic, who has stood firm on his refusal to be vaccinated, it emerged this week that the Serbian may also miss the France Open later this year.

That is after stringent laws were passed in France ahead of May's tournament at Roland Garros that will make proof of vaccination status mandatory to enter sporting arenas.

"I don't understand this," Vajda added. "Why is it important for them to announce this now about the tournaments that will take place in May?

"The world doesn't even know what will happen to the pandemic in a month.

"I do not want to underestimate the whole situation. It is serious in the world. But what is the purpose of discussing it now in January? Is it still about sport?"

Defending Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka squandered two match points as she suffered a shock third-round exit at the hands of unseeded Amanda Anisimova on Friday.

Osaka eased past Camila Osorio and Madison Brengle in straight sets in the first two rounds but fell to a 4-6 6-3 7-6 (10-5) loss to Anisimova in a thrilling contest.

Anisimova, who won her second career title at Melbourne Summer Set 2 earlier this month and is now 8-0 for the season, will face top seed Ash Barty in the last 16.

Two-time Australian Open winner Osaka had won 24 of her past 25 matches in Melbourne and made a fast start against Anisimova by breaking her opponent in the first game.

She held serve to ease ahead on Margaret Court Arena, but Anisimova battled back well in the second set.

The world number 60 broke Osaka in the fourth game with a sublime disguised backhand drop and served out the set in a relatively straightforward manner.

Anisimova continued to dig in and saved two match points in the 10th game to help pave the way for a decisive first-to-10 tie-break.

Osaka had no response to her opponent's accurate hitting as she fell 3-0 behind and, while she did bring it back to 3-2 and 5-4, Anisimova took five of the next six points to advance in a big upset.

DATA SLAM: Osaka outgunned by Anisimova

Osaka had dropped just one set in her first five matches this season and looked in the mood as she raced ahead against Anisimova.

But the American youngster fired in 11 aces and hit more than twice the number of winners that Osaka managed (46 to 21) to pull off the victory.

With this defeat, Osaka has now failed to defend any of her four major crowns, with Victoria Azarenka the last women's player to do so at Melbourne Park in 2012 and 2013.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Anisimova – 46/44
Osaka – 21/45

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Anisimova – 11/8
Osaka – 5/3

BREAK POINTS WON
Anisimova – 1/8
Osaka – 1/10

Defending Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka squandered two match points as she suffered a shock third-round exit at the hands of unseeded Amanda Anisimova on Friday.

Osaka eased past Camila Osorio and Madison Brengle in straight sets in the first two rounds but fell to a 4-6 6-3 7-6 (10-5) loss to Anisimova in a thrilling contest.

Anisimova, who won her second career title at Melbourne Summer Set 2 earlier this month and is now 8-0 for the season, will face top seed Ash Barty in the last 16.

Two-time Australian Open winner Osaka had won 24 of her past 25 matches in Melbourne and made a fast start against Anisimova by breaking her opponent in the first game.

She held serve to ease ahead on Margaret Court Arena, but Anisimova battled back well in the second set.

The world number 60 broke Osaka in the fourth game with a sublime disguised backhand drop and served out the set in a relatively straightforward manner.

Anisimova continued to dig in and saved two match points in the 10th game to help pave the way for a decisive first-to-10 tie-break.

Osaka had no response to her opponent's accurate hitting as she fell 3-0 behind and, while she did bring it back to 3-2 and 5-4, Anisimova took five of the next six points to advance in a big upset.

Matteo Berrettini spoke glowingly on the potential of Carlos Alcaraz after battling past the Spaniard at the Australian Open on Friday.

The 2021 Wimbledon finalist managed to make it to the fourth round, despite squandering a two-set lead, as he edged to a 6-2 7-6 (7-3) 4-6 2-6 7-6 (10-5) victory.

Berrettini went down to the 18-year-old, who is the youngest man in the draw of the first grand slam of 2022, in a third-set tie-break loss in Vienna last year.

After securing victory on this occasion in Melbourne, the Italian heaped praise on Alcaraz following their marathon slog that lasted four hours and 10 minutes.

"He is unbelievable," seventh seed Berrettini said of his teenage opponent as he reflected that he did not have a single ATP point to his name at Alcaraz's age.

"He is impressive and will only improve playing matches like this, he has shown everyone his potential. Luckily today I won."

There was a slight concern for Berrettini during the deciding set after the 25-year-old rolled his ankle.

But he was pleased to have fought through his injury problems as he discussed how he almost relinquished his two-set advantage at Rod Laver Arena.

"I felt confident, and that momentum was on my side in the third set but then I got broken," he added during his on-court interview.

"My energy wasn't right in the fourth set and in the fifth I just started to think about fighting for every point. In every match something happens [like the ankle injury] but I fought through it."

Awaiting Berrettini in the next round will be Alcaraz's fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta, who defeated Sebastian Korda in four sets to win his third-round tie.

Ash Barty continued her rampant run at the Australian Open, brushing aside Camila Giorgi in straight sets on Friday.

The world number one has dominated during the opening week in Melbourne and quickly eased past Giorgi, the Italian 30th seed, 6-2 6-3 on Rod Laver Arena.

Barty has dropped just eight games in the first three rounds at her home grand slam, where she is eyeing her third major title.

The Australian is on track to face Naomi Osaka in a blockbuster fourth-round clash, although the Japanese star was involved in a tight contest with Amanda Anisimova.

Giorgi made a nervous start and back-to-back double faults handed Barty a break of serve in the second game.

Barty rolled into a 4-1 lead before digging herself out of a 15-40 hole to hold for 5-2.

Speaking after her second-round win, Barty was wary of Giorgi's ability to hit players off the court, but 16 unforced errors were costly for the Italian in the first set.

Giorgi tidied up the errors to begin the second set, but a double fault handed Barty two more break-point chances in the sixth game.

The reigning Wimbledon champion took the second of those when Giorgi pulled a backhand well wide.

That break proved to be enough for Barty, who closed out a fourth win in as many meetings with Giorgi.

DATA SLAM: Barty keeps up top-seed record

Top seeds have enjoyed good records at the Australian Open.

In the Open Era, the top seed has only once failed to make the last 16 at the Australian Open and that came in 1979 (Virginia Ruzici). Barty ensured she did not join the Romanian.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Barty – 11/13
Giorgi – 8/24

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Barty – 4/2
Giorgi – 0/5

BREAK POINTS WON
Barty – 3/5
Giorgi – 0/4

Gael Monfils admitted it felt "different" not to have Novak Djokovic in his draw at the Australian Open after reaching the fourth round.

Monfils, 35, moved into the last 16 at Melbourne Park with a 7-6 (7-4) 6-1 6-3 win over fellow seed Cristian Garin on Friday.

The Frenchman reached the fourth round of a major for the 20th time in his career, holding a 9-10 win-loss record in such matches, including losing five of his past six.

As he would have expected, a Serbian awaits him on Sunday – but it will be Miomir Kecmanovic and not Djokovic, who was removed from the draw after being deported from Australia prior to the start of the tournament.

Monfils has losing head-to-head records against Djokovic (0-17), Rafael Nadal (2-14) and Roger Federer (4-10).

"To be honest, for sure Novak is the world number one, and he always beat me, I never beat him. I lose to him, I lose to Roger, I lose to Rafa," he said after his win on Friday.

"When you go no matter what in a slam, for many years I've been losing to those big guys. Whoever is in the forefront, he's there for a reason, so it's going to be a big match no matter what.

"I think at that stage you don't really think about it, you're just like, okay, it's different, but different is not easier."

Monfils bowed out in the Australian Open first round last year, but enjoyed a strong finish to 2021 and started 2022 by winning the Adelaide International 1 event.

A winner of 11 ATP Tour titles, Monfils said he had put his early exit in Melbourne last year behind him.

"To be honest I tried to not even remember last year. I can just say that I'm here, I'm good," he said.

"I feel good, as I say. I worked, well, a lot harder, and I've just been playing great tennis for many months now since America last year. So I'm just me."

Emma Raducanu revealed members of her support team proposed she should abandon her Australian Open campaign before Thursday's defeat to Danka Kovinic.

The 19-year-old US Open champion was badly affected by a blister on her right hand as she slid to a 6-4 4-6 6-3 defeat on Margaret Court Arena.

Raducanu made a strong start in the opening set before the pain began to kick in, and she said she won the second set "with basically one shot" after being unable to consistently club heavy ground strokes.

But Raducanu could not maintain that level into the decider, suffering her first grand slam defeat in a completed match, having previously pulled out injured during a Wimbledon fourth-round clash with Ajla Tomljanovic before streaking to a sensational first major in New York.

Raducanu did not specify who exactly had suggested she ought not take to the court, but said: "There were some people in my team that maybe didn't want me to play."

A recent case of COVID-19 interrupted Raducanu's preparation for her first major since teaming up with new coach Torben Beltz.

"Because of 21 days, no tennis, my hands got pretty soft," Raducanu said.

She explained blisters had begun to form on her hand in training soon after arriving in Australia, with the current problem – "right in the crease" – having been affecting her since just prior to the Australian Open beginning.

The problem has been getting worse rather than better and Raducanu said the blister had become "pretty deep".

"It's a bit annoying," she said, "because I know it's something that will heal in a few days. It's just unfortunate timing. I have had blisters before but never this bad. It's quite deep, and it's just in a very awkward position that is so difficult to tape."

She said every shot was taking a toll on the blister, with the friction meaning each impact was "very painful".

The forehand slice became a big shot for Raducanu, and it was to her credit that she almost eked a win out of such difficult circumstances.

In the end, world number 98 Kovinic found ways to overcome a hampered opponent, setting up a daunting third-round clash with Simona Halep.

Raducanu said: "I thought it was a pretty good learning experience for me. I discovered tools about myself and my game that I didn't know I had before. That slice forehand is not so bad, and I have some sort of hand skills. That was a positive surprise.

"To get that second set with basically one shot, I can't believe it really.

"Because I'm still young, I feel like I can learn a backhand, I can learn some sort of tactics, but it's quite hard to learn or teach someone that fight and grittiness to hang in there when things are pretty much all against you. So, I'm quite proud of that."

Daniil Medvedev did not hold back following his victory over Nick Kyrgios as he labelled spectators who jeered him during the second-round match of having "a low IQ".

The world number two continued his quest for a second grand slam crown, and a first at the Australian Open, with a 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 4-6 6-2 win over Kyrgios on Thursday.

Medvedev, who is the highest-seeded player at Melbourne Park following Novak Djokovic's withdrawal, prevailed against the home favourite in just under three hours.

He played the role of pantomime villain in front of a partisan crowd fully behind Kyrgios, which the Russian took exception to after sealing a place in the third round.

Medvedev, who will take on Botic van de Zandschulp for a place in the last 16, was particularly unhappy with those who made noise between his serves at Rod Laver Arena.

"It's a little bit disappointing," he told Eurosport. "I guess it's normal, everyone experiences it, especially when you play a home favourite and not just any home favourite, but Nick.

"A few moments on my serve, where he managed to make some good returns, and then break point on second serve and people are cheering like you've made a double-fault.

"That's just disappointing. It's not everybody who's doing it, but those who are doing it probably have a low IQ.

"When you get booed between first and second serves you have to stay calm."

The crowd interrupted the interview, at which point on-court reporter and two-time Australian Open winner Jim Courier attempted to play peacemaker.

Courier pointed out that the noisy crowd were shouting 'siuu' in homage to Cristiano Ronaldo's now-trademark celebration.

"Guys I can't hear him, please show some respect for Jim Courier, he won here guys," Medvedev said.

"Let him speak guys. If you respect somebody, at least respect Jim Courier. I cannot hear him guys."

Kyrgios described the 'siuu' chants as like "being in a zoo" after his first-round match, while Andy Murray admitted to being "irritated" by the persistent chanting.

"What I'm saying is that between first and second serves is not easy," Medvedev added. "I remember the games I lost on the break points it was the case and it's tough to play."

Further embracing his role as public enemy number one after eliminating Kyrgios, Medvedev signed the letters "SIUUUU" in the camera lens before exiting the court.

After winning the US Open, Medvedev is aiming to become the first man in the Open Era to follow up his maiden grand slam title with another in his next major appearance.

Last-year's beaten finalist saw off Henri Laaksonen in straight sets in round one and is now the strong favourite to advance past world number 57 Van de Zandschulp.

Medvedev hit 31 aces against Kyrgios – the highest tally in a single grand slam main draw match – en route to reaching the third round in Melbourne for a fourth straight time.

Reflecting on his impressive win, Medvedev said: "Five years ago I probably would break two racquets, just get angry, start shouting at my box for nothing.

"And it probably would not help me win the match. I could win some [matches] like this, but you cannot win grand slams like this.

"So it makes me really happy because I can still have some tantrums, we all know it, but I've been working on myself. 

"I've been working pretty hard last couple of years and I’m trying to mature as a tennis player and a person.

"The match like tonight, and a few last year, show that I'm capable of being really strong mentally no matter what happens on the court and I'm really happy about that."

A hampered Emma Raducanu crashed out of the Australian Open with a defeat to Danka Kovinic in the second round on Thursday.

World number 98 Kovinic beat the US Open champion 6-4 4-6 6-3 on Margaret Court Arena to become the first player representing Montenegro to reach the third round of a grand slam.

Raducanu was troubled by a blister on her right hand and although the 17th seed showed her fighting spirit to take a topsy-turvy match the distance, she was unable to avoid an early exit.

It had all started so well for the 19-year-old Raducanu, but Kovinic won five games in a row from 3-0 down in the first set and although the Brit got back on serve at 5-4, she was fell behind after being broken for a fourth time.

Clearly restricted by her damaged hand, the favourite mixed up her approach intelligently with a measured sliced forehand and levelled the match courtesy of two breaks, an overcooked forehand from Kovinic ending the set.

Kovinic saved four break points early in the decider and broke when her opponent sent a backhand long, but the battling world number 18 hit straight back to get back on serve at 3-2.

However, a stroke of good fortune via the net cord gave Kovinic another break point, which she won with a brilliant lob and went on to serve out the match.

Kovinic will face two-time major winner Simona Halep or Beatriz Haddad Maia for a place in the fourth round at Melbourne Park, having struck 40 winners to Raducanu's 27 in the biggest win of her career.

Taro Daniel delivered a fine display as he defeated former world number one Andy Murray in straight sets at the Australian Open.

Murray, a five-time finalist in Melbourne, defeated Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-1 3-6 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 in his first-round match on Tuesday, yet the Scot was no match for Japan's Daniel two days later.

Perhaps fatigue played its part, with Murray struggling to find his rhythm against the qualifier, who is ranked 120th in the world.

Murray had never before lost to a player ranked as low as Daniel, who has reached the third round of a grand slam for the first time.

Daniel sealed a 6-4 6-4 6-4 success with a neat backhand volley, taking the match at the first time of asking.

Murray, who had been targetting a "deep run" in the tournament, walked off court in disgruntled fashion, offering a quick acknowledgement to the crowd after his first appearance in the season's opening major since 2019.

Asked in his post-match news conference if he planned to return to Melbourne next year, Murray told reporters: "Yes, but not if I do what I did tonight too often.

"I want to perform well on the big events and what I did tonight was not good enough. Reaching the second round of grand slams doesn't particularly motivate me."

While Murray was far from the level he displayed against Basilashvili, Daniel's performance was more than worthy of victory.

"Winning a big match like this is unbelievable," the 28-year-old said. "It was an amazing level from me, I was getting nervous in the third set.

"I tried not to make a big deal about this – everyone said I was playing Murray – but I tried to treat it like another match."

Murray, meanwhile, did not use fatigue as an excuse.

"I felt alright physically so I was pleased from that perspective," he said. "I just made way too many errors on the court."

The statistics back up Murray's claim. He won just two out of 11 break points and made 49 unforced errors, with Daniel only making 21.

Daniel struck 12 aces to Murray's seven, recording a first-serve win percentage of 79.

Murray's first-serve win percentage was down at 66, while he also made three double faults to Daniel's two.

Australian Open chief executive Craig Tiley will not stand down from his position over the handling of the Novak Djokovic case and has refuted claims that Tennis Australia funded the world number one's legal expenses.

Tiley was speaking after the Federal Court published the written reasons for rejecting Djokovic's appeal to remain in Australia, stating it was "plainly open" to Immigration Minister Alex Hawke that the reigning Australian Open champion was opposed to a COVID-19 vaccination.

Djokovic failed in his second bid to overturn a decision from the government to cancel his visa on public health grounds at the Federal Court in Melbourne on Sunday, a day before the Australian Open started.

The 20-time grand slam winner arrived back in Belgrade on Monday, bringing an end to a saga that began after he was held at an airport in Melbourne on January 6 due to his travel declaration form containing incorrect information.

It was reported this week that Tennis Australia covered all of Djokovic's legal fees, but Tiley – who was jeered by spectators on Thursday while on-court to present flowers to the retiring Samantha Stosur – denied that was the case.

"I have seen those reports and we don't really go into the detail of financial arrangements we have with players," he told Channel 9. "But those reports are simply untrue."

Asked if he intended to step aside as chief executive due to the perceived mishandling of the saga, Tiley replied "no" before turning focus to the remainder of the tournament.

"I am very focused today on delivering a great event," he said.

"I am proud of being able to stand up here and you can see what is behind us. I am proud of what the team has done and what we have delivered so far."

Djokovic won his first appeal to avoid deportation from Australia, but Hawke used separate powers to again cancel the 34-year-old's visa.

That decision was taken amid much backlash in Australia and was upheld unanimously by three judges of the Federal Court's full bench.

Four days on from that verdict, which denied Djokovic the chance to win a record-extending 10th Australian Open crown, Chief Justice James Allsop delivered the court's reasons for rejecting the challenge.

It was found that it was reasonable for Hawke to be concerned by Djokovic's high-profile presence in the country as it "may encourage rallies and protests that may lead to heightened community transmission."

"An iconic tennis star may influence people of all ages, young or old, but perhaps especially the young and the impressionable, to emulate him," Allsop added in his report.

"This is not fanciful; it does not need evidence.

"Even if Mr Djokovic did not win the Australian Open, the capacity of his presence in Australia playing tennis to encourage those who would emulate or wish to be like him is a rational foundation for the view that he might foster anti-vaccination sentiment.

"I consider that behaviour by influential persons and role models, which demonstrates a failure to comply with, or a disregard of, public health measures has the potential to undermine the efficacy and consistency of the Australian Government’s and State and Territory Governments' management of the evolving COVID-19 pandemic.

"Mr Djokovic is such a person of influence and status. Having regard to the matters set out above regarding Mr Djokovic's conduct after receiving a positive COVID-19 result, his publicly stated views, as well as his unvaccinated status, I consider that his ongoing presence in Australia may pose a risk to the good order of the Australian community."

Samantha Stosur reflected on achieving "more than I ever thought was possible" after her singles career came to an end with a defeat to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

Stosur, 37, confirmed that this year's Australian Open would be her final appearance in a singles draw. 

The one-time grand slam champion will call time on her career altogether at the end of the year, but will remain on the doubles circuit until then.

Though she has tasted more success in the doubles, winning two Tour Finals and seven grand slams, including last year's US Open, Stosur has more than held her own as a single.

Indeed, she reached a career-high world number four ranking and clinched her sole singles grand slam success at Flushing Meadows in 2011, having previously reached the final of the French Open.

The Australian made her singles debut in the main draw at Melbourne Park 2002, having failed to progress through the qualifying rounds in the previous two years.

In fitting fashion, her second-round match against Pavlyuchenkova on Thursday proved her last.

"I have done more than I ever thought was possible," she said in an on-court interview after the 6-2 6-2 defeat. 

"I dreamed of winning a grand slam and doing close to the things I did. To do what I have done dreaming as a little kid is phenomenal.

"I couldn't have asked for more. I've had many great moments here in Australia and around the world. Yeah, it's been amazing.

"Thank you to everyone who has been along with me the 20 years. The coaches, they know who they are, they have all helped me in some way on and off the court, shaped me into the person I am.

"The family – they are all down there now – mum and dad, my brothers for giving up everything early on driving me to tournaments on the weekend, getting dragged along for Sam's tennis. But I think it was all worth it, so thanks for giving everything you've got as well."

Stosur was playing in her 797th career singles match, though she was never any match for 10th seed Pavlyuchenkova, who felt the emotion of the occasion.

"It was actually very emotional for me," said the Russian. 

"I had goosebumps when everybody was clapping for Sam. She is such a wonderful human being and also an amazing tennis player, so thank you, Sam."

Alize Cornet is simply living in the moment at the Australian Open, after she suggested 2022 will be her final year on the court.

Cornet defeated reigning WTA Finals champion Garbine Muguruza 6-3 6-3 on Thursday to reach the third round of the Australian Open for the sixth time in her career.

The 31-year-old did not offer up a single break point across the 87-minute encounter with 2020 Australian Open finalist Muguruza, who entered the tournament ranked third in the world.

It marked Cornet's third straight win over Spain's Muguruza, who is a two-time grand slam champion.

Cornet is playing in her 63rd grand slam and 17th Australian Open, yet the Frenchwoman has never progressed deeper than the fourth round at a major.

This is Cornet's 60th successive appearance in the main draw at a grand slam, meaning she is just two shy of the record held by Ai Sugiyama (62).

Should Cornet, who will play Tamara Zidansek in round three, feature in the main draw of each of this year's majors, she will set the outright record.

However, should she achieve that feat, it may well mark the end of her career.

"I'm telling myself that I'm playing probably my last year. I'm not sure yet," she told reporters.

"When I stepped on the court, I was like, You know what, just enjoy the moment because you don't know if you're going to come back. I think that's what made the difference.

"Playing a whole year, playing 100 per cent, trying to beat this record of consecutive play in a grand slam. After that, I think it will be a good time for me to retire. 

"I gave so much to this game and to this tennis life. I feel I'm pretty much ready for the next chapter.

"It's been a while [since I] beat a Top 5 player in a slam, so it's a really good feeling. 

"I really enjoyed it today, which doesn't mean I will enjoy it tomorrow! That's why when the fun is here, you have to take it. You never know how you're going to feel in the next match."

 

Muguruza was not the only big name to drop out on Thursday, with sixth seed Anett Kontaveit falling foul of teenager Clara Tauson.

The 19-year-old Dane needed just 79 minutes to seal a 6-2 6-4 victory that brings up her first win over a Top 10 opponent in only her second such match.

Kontaveit won 28 of her last 32 matches in 2021 to break into the Top 10.

"It's the first time I'm in the third round of a slam," said Tauson. 

"Playing a player like her to reach it, it's a really big achievement for me. Obviously, it was one of the things I really wanted to do, to beat the good players in the bigger tournaments.

"Doing it in a slam is a really great feeling. It's just a lot of hard work that I've put into it."

An Olympic gold medal would be most athletes' prized possession, but Alexander Zverev's ownership has perhaps been a little more carefree – or it was until he found himself wondering if his brother had sold it on eBay.

Zverev claimed arguably the biggest title of his career last year when claiming gold in Tokyo, adding that to his 2018 ATP Finals success – he went on to repeat that triumph at the year-end tournament in Turin.

The German beat Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals at the Olympics before going on to defeat Karen Khachanov in straight sets to win the tournament.

That made him the first German man to win a gold in the singles and first to win any medal since Tommy Haas got silver 21 years earlier.

While some might tend to their gold medal on a daily basis, polishing it generously as it takes pride of place on the mantelpiece, it turns out Zverev has not actually seen his for a while.

His older brother Mischa has had it for a few months, leaving the younger sibling not even sure if it is still in the family's possession.

After beating Australian's John Millman to reach the third round of the Australian Open, Zverev was asked where he keeps his gold medal, to which he replied: "That's actually a good question because my brother took it for a media appearance.

"He didn't give it back to me yet. I don't know where it is for the past five months. Hopefully he hasn't sold it on eBay or something."

 

Zverev will presumably be a little more attentive to any silverware he claims in Melbourne this year, with the 24-year-old still chasing his first major.

Seeded third this month, Zverev is certainly considered one of the favourites after an excellent 2021 in which he won six titles, more than anyone else on the ATP Tour.

Zverev was initially on course to meet Djokovic in the semis, but the Serbian's absence means many will consider him the favourite to reach the showpiece from his side of the draw and he has made a solid start.

After dispatching fellow German Daniel Altmaier, Zverev saw off the tricky Millman, a big-serving Australian who understandably had the crowd's backing on Rod Laver Arena, coming through both games in straight sets.

"My tactic today was to hit the ball as slow as possible," he said. "That was my mindset going into the match, but hopefully I can hit it even harder next match and harder the next match after that.

"I could really feel that you guys have been locked down for two years. I'm prepared that everybody will hate me after the match. It's quite accurate and that's my mindset.

"I'll get a lot of boos and hopefully everybody will cheer against me. I'm kidding."

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