Cameron Norrie leaves Australia convinced he can compete with the world’s best after suffering an agonising five-set loss to Alexander Zverev.

The British number one broke new ground with a brilliant attacking display to defeat Casper Ruud in the third round of the Australian Open on Saturday and again showed the new dimensions he has added to his game to push the sixth seed all the way to a deciding tie-break.

Norrie, who had not won a set in their four previous meetings, twice came from behind to force a decider but it is Zverev who moves through to the quarter-finals after a 7-5 3-6 6-3 4-6 7-6 (10/3) victory.

Norrie, the final British singles player standing, reached the Wimbledon semi-finals in 2022 but the draw opened up for him and he did not have to beat a top-30 player, which has certainly not been the same here.

The 28-year-old is still yet to beat a top-10 opponent at a grand slam, but he said: “I think Sascha (Zverev) is probably one of the best players in the world at the moment, and playing close with him and somewhat deep in a grand slam, losing in five sets, a few points in it, I think it’s exactly where I want to be.

“I can take a lot of confidence from that. It’s disappointing but I think it’s nice to know I’m just looking for ways to evolve my game. I was toe-to-toe with him. I got absolutely chopped by him in Vienna at the end of last year, and I managed to take a completely different approach.

“I think there’s still lots to come. I’m still 28 years old. I think you look at the longevity of the other players playing now, I think they’re getting better. I just want to keep learning and keep pushing and keep improving.

“I learned a lot last year and the years before. I know I’ve got the top-10 level in me. I want to just keep taking steps towards that. I’m having fun playing.”

The match was briefly interrupted in the third set by a protester, who threw ‘Free Palestine’ flyers onto the court from the front row of Margaret Court Arena before being forcibly escorted away by two spectators.

Zverev criticised the lack of a response from security personnel, saying: “They wouldn’t let me into the gym because I forgot my credential in the locker room.

“What are you doing? You’re protecting players from players. Something like this happens and it takes three, four minutes for somebody to show up. I think that should be the opposite. I think, when something like this happens, it shouldn’t be another fan dragging the other person out.”

Organisers defended the handling of the incident, saying: “As soon as the behaviour was identified and reported, venue security was deployed to detain the individual.

“The individual was subsequently evicted from the event. Two patrons were active in notifying security and stopping the protester, and we appreciate their actions.”

A coordinated protest also took placed on Kia Arena, with police saying two women were evicted from the tournament.

Norrie’s tactics against Ruud came as no surprise to Zverev, who spent the off-season practising with the British number one in Monte-Carlo.

A serve-dominated first set went the way of Zverev, who then broke to lead 3-2 in the second, but Norrie played what must be one of the best returning games of his career to hit straight back and took the set with a run of four games in a row, saving four break points.

The 19th seed was unable to come to the net as much as he did against Ruud because of the quality of Zverev’s passing shots but he kept the German on his toes with drop shots and short, angled slices.

Zverev responded to take the third set but Norrie upped the aggression again in the fourth, and, after an early exchange of breaks in the decider, he withstood pressure to keep his nose in front.

When Zverev opened the 10th game with a nervy double fault, Norrie must have scented blood, but the sixth seed did not allow him any more looks and the big disappointment for the British number one was that he could not maintain the same level in the tie-break.

Norrie blamed the balls, saying: “The balls were huge in the end, and he was able to get a better hit on the ball. I mis-executed a couple of balls, and he served really well. Nothing in it, and credit to him. I think he played a more complete match than me.”

Zverev was impressed by the level of his opponent, adding: “If he can play this way then for sure it’s going to make him improve.

“Incredibly aggressive, I thought. Taking the ball very early. He usually does that with his backhand, not so much with his forehand. For the first time since I’ve been playing him, I thought his forehand was better than his backhand.”

A blockbuster set of men’s quarter-finals awaits at the Australian Open after Carlos Alcaraz led the favourites into the last eight on Monday.

In complete contrast to the women’s draw, all of the top six seeds have made it through, while Taylor Fritz, at 12, is the lowest-ranked player still left in the tournament.

Alcaraz rated his performance against Miomir Kecmanovic as almost perfect, the second seed hitting 43 winners in a 6-4 6-4 6-0 victory on Rod Laver Arena.

If he can maintain the same level through the next six days, he will fancy his chances of possibly beating another Serbian on the same court on Sunday.

Alcaraz missed last year’s tournament with a leg injury but has dropped only one set so far on his way through to a first quarter-final in Melbourne.

Asked what worked well, the second seed said with a grin: “I think everything. I did everything almost perfectly.

“I pushed him to the limit in every ball, in every point. Obviously he has played a lot of matches in five sets, a lot of tough matches, so probably physically he was not at his 100 per cent.

“I’m feeling better and better every day. Every match I’ve played here in Rod Laver I’ve been feeling more comfortable.”

Alcaraz will next take on sixth seed Alexander Zverev, who survived a deciding fifth-set tie-break for the second time in four rounds to make it past Cameron Norrie.

Third seed Daniil Medvedev and ninth seed Hubert Hurkacz were up against the only real surprise packages of the fourth round in Nuno Borges and Arthur Cazaux, respectively.

Medvedev had a wobble against 69th-ranked Borges, the first Portuguese player to make the fourth round here, in the third set, losing five games in a row from 5-2.

But he regrouped in the fourth to claim a 6-3 7-6 (4) 5-7 6-1 victory and reach the last eight for the third time in the last four years.

Former US Open champion Medvedev has not been talked about as much as Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner as a potential challenger to Novak Djokovic, but the Russian, who lost in the final here in 2021 and 2022 and won in New York last year, is happy to blow his own trumpet.

“I know what I’m worth,” he said. “I know how good I can play. I proved it in the US Open, especially for myself, playing some tough opponents, in my opinion, game style-wise. I managed to beat them.

“I’m ready. Hopefully I can show it on the tennis court. We can talk forever who is ready, who is favourite. You need to win.”

Hurkacz ended the run of French wild card Cazaux, coming from a break down in the opening set to win 7-6 (6) 7-6 (3) 6-4 and reach the last eight at a slam for just the second time, while he is the first Polish man to make the quarter-finals here.

Cameron Norrie suffered an agonising end to his Australian Open run as he was pipped in a fifth-set tie-break by Alexander Zverev after a terrific fourth-round tussle.

The British number one broke new ground with a brilliant attacking display to defeat Casper Ruud on Saturday and again showed the new dimensions he has added to his game to push the sixth seed all the way.

Norrie, who had not won a set in their four previous meetings, twice came from behind to force a decider but it is Zverev who moves through to the quarter-finals after a 7-5 3-6 6-3 4-6 7-6 (10/3) victory.

Norrie will leave Australia, though, knowing that he can mix it with the best players in the world on the biggest stage and with confidence fully restored after a shaky second half of last season.

The match was briefly interrupted in the third set by a protester, who threw ‘Free Palestine’ flyers onto the court from the front row of Margaret Court Arena before being forcibly escorted away by two spectators.

The scenes were reminiscent of Wimbledon last summer, when Just Stop Oil protesters threw jigsaw pieces and confetti onto the court during two matches, although the leaflets were swiftly cleared here and play quickly resumed.

Norrie’s tactics against Ruud came as no surprise to Zverev, who spent the off-season practising with the British number one in Monte-Carlo.

There were few rallies of any kind in the first set, with serve dominating until Norrie, who was trying to beat a top-10 opponent at a slam for the first time, was broken at 5-5.

Zverev immediately came under pressure on serve for the first time but saved a break point with a forehand onto the line, and looked to have taken control of the contest when he broke again to lead 3-2 in the second.

However, Norrie played what must be one of the best returning games of his career to hit straight back, finishing it off with a zinging backhand cross-court winner.

And Norrie was not finished there, the 28-year-old showing his new-found aggression and willingness to mix up his tactics to pile more pressure on Zverev in his next service game.

The German saved two break points but then mis-hit a forehand on the third and suddenly Norrie was serving for the set.

It was far from straightforward for the 19th seed but he saved four break points before taking it, fortuitously, when a forehand hit the top of the net and dropped over.

A poor service game at 1-2 in the third set was enough for Zverev to take it and though Norrie pushed hard at the beginning of the fourth set, Zverev managed to save two break points in the second game.

However, the Olympic champion was powerless to stop Norrie forcing a decider, the 28-year-old creating two set points at 4-5 and taking the first with a delicate half-volley.

Norrie was managing to bully Zverev, one of the most powerful players on tour, at times from the baseline, while his drop shots and short angled slices kept the German guessing.

They exchanged breaks of serve at the start of the fifth set while Norrie survived a tense game at 3-3, saving three more break points.

Both men managed to hold serve through to a first-to-10-points tie-break but there Norrie’s resistance ran out, with Zverev clinching the win after four hours and five minutes to end British interest in the singles.

A tearful Elina Svitolina was forced to retire with a back injury only three games into her fourth-round clash with Linda Noskova at the Australian Open.

The former world number three, who has made a very impressive return following the birth of daughter Skai last year, appeared the favourite to make the final from a wide open top half of the draw.

But her back locked up in the first game of the match and she sobbed as she called it a day trailing 3-0.

She said: “This one I think I never had that before, the shooting pain like this. I had some injuries to my back before where it just was tiredness the next day of the match, but this one was really out of nowhere. I felt like someone shot me in the back.”

Svitolina, who reached the semi-finals of Wimbledon last summer, did not want to think about what might have been, saying: “I cannot say that this was an open draw in a way.

“If you take other players, they are meant to be there. You have also in the other side of the draw very strong players who won slams and played really consistent throughout the year last year.

“So I don’t want to look this as a missed opportunity, especially right now when it was not about my tennis today.”

Having beaten Iga Swiatek in the third round, 19-year-old Noskova is now through to her first grand slam quarter-final, where she will take on another Ukrainian in Dayana Yastremska.

She saved two set points in the opening set and then came from 3-0 down in the second to beat two-time former champion Victoria Azarenka 7-6 (6) 6-4, powering 38 winners.

Yastremska was ranked as high as 21 in 2020 but had not won a slam match since serving a provisional doping suspension the following year and had to come through qualifying here.

The 23-year-old tested positive for the synthetic testosterone mesterolone and missed nearly six months of competition before it was decided she bore no fault or negligence and was therefore free to compete again.

Yastremska is the second Ukrainian through to the last eight after Marta Kostyuk, and Svitolina will be cheering on her countrywomen.

“Of course I’ve been following that we all have been playing really well,” she said. “At the beginning of the tournament, seven Ukrainians in the main draw, and going that far so many of us, it’s nice in the second week as well.

“It’s great for Ukrainian tennis. Of course, now I feel very old because of my health, but I’m happy that they are doing great. It’s great for Ukrainian tennis. It’s great for the upcoming generation as well, especially now these days when Ukraine is in such a tough time.”

Defending champions Novak Djokovic and Aryna Sabalenka cruised into the quarter-finals of the Australian Open.

Djokovic was on course for a ‘triple bagel’ against Adrian Mannarino before eventually winning 6-0 6-0 6-3 while Sabalenka was a 6-3 6-2 winner over Amanda Anisimova.

Sabalenka appears very likely to face Coco Gauff in the semi-finals, while Australian hopes were ended when Andrey Rublev defeated Alex De Minaur in five sets.

Picture of the dayShot of the dayKicking offNext gen

Cruz Hewitt, the 15-year-old son of former world number one Lleyton, was beaten on his junior grand slam debut. But 16-year-old Jagger Leach, whose mother is three-time major champion Lindsay Davenport, did make it through to round two.

Murray magic

 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Andy Murray (@andymurray)

 

Fallen seeds

Women: None
Men: Stefanos Tsitsipas (7), Karen Khachanov (15), Adrian Mannarino (20)

Who’s up next?

 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Cameron Norrie (@norriee)

 

Cameron Norrie will bid for a first victory over a top-10 player at a grand slam when he takes on sixth seed Alexander Zverev on Margaret Court Arena on Monday.

The winner will face either second seed Carlos Alcaraz or Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic, who meet in the night session, while third seed Daniil Medvedev plays Portugal’s Nuno Borges.

After beating Iga Swiatek, teenager Linda Noskova plays Elina Svitolina, and 12th seed Zheng Qinwen plays two-time former champion Victoria Azarenka.

Britain’s Hannah Klugman is looking to follow in the footsteps of teen sensation Mirra Andreeva at the Australian Open.

Sixteen-year-old Andreeva lost in the junior final 12 months ago but beat Ons Jabeur on Rod Laver Arena on her way to the fourth round of the women’s singles in Melbourne before losing to Barbora Krejcikova.

Klugman, from Wimbledon, does not turn 15 until next month but she is already ranked seventh in the junior game and has been attracting attention well beyond British shores.

 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Hannah klugman (@hannah.klugman)

 

In December, she became the first British girl to win the prestigious under-18 Orange Bowl title in Florida, whose former champions include Coco Gauff, Caroline Wozniacki and Chris Evert.

“I went into the week with not much expectations,” said Klugman. “I wasn’t playing that great. I went into Orange Bowl with a fresh mind and really played some great tennis.

“It was amazing. I was walking past a poster with all the winners. There’s some pretty amazing people on there. So it’s great.

“Nothing’s massively changed. But, obviously, I think I have more confidence in myself. I know I can do it, I have the level. I’ve just got to bring it to the court. I want to go deep this week.”

Klugman described winning a junior grand slam title as a “massive goal” but preparing her for the senior game is the main focus.

The teenager has a powerful forehand and serve, which reached 113mph during a first-round win over Antonia Vergara Rivera in the girls’ singles on Sunday.

Age restrictions designed to prevent the kind of teenage burnout seen in the women’s game in previous decades mean Klugman is heavily restricted in the number of senior tournaments she can play – only 10 in a year even once she turns 15.

But her ranking is already in the top 700 and Andreeva’s rapid rise provides inspiration.

 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Hannah klugman (@hannah.klugman)

 

“It’s not that far away,” said Klugman. “People think it’s quite far away, but it’s actually not. She was here this time last year and a lot can change really quickly.

“I don’t think some people would have said it would happen that quickly and now she’s in the fourth round here. It’s crazy.

“It definitely gives me a lot of confidence and trust in myself that, if I keep working hard every day, I can do it.

“I think I play a bit similar to her. She changes the pace. She doesn’t hit like crazy. I think that’s what I do.”

There is a great deal of excitement within British tennis about the potential of Klugman, who was given a wild card into Wimbledon qualifying last summer and could well be in line for a shot at the main draw this time.

She insisted she is in no hurry, saying: “It’s such a great honour to even get a qualies wild card. So I honestly don’t mind if it’s really far into the future.”

Unlike Emma Raducanu, who stayed in school to complete her A Levels, Klugman has just left Wimbledon High School and switched to online learning.

Asked if she would miss it, Klugman, who is also a talented hockey player, said: “Massively, but I’ll definitely keep in touch with my friends.

“I want to do well in my GCSEs. I want to get a good education. So it’s tough to be juggling all that when you’re away in Australia. I know I will have to be disciplined, but I know I can do it.”

Cameron Norrie’s new attacking game style against Casper Ruud came as a surprise to many, but not to his next opponent Alexander Zverev.

The British number one eschewed his usual grinding baseline game, making frequent forays to the net, and his reward was the best grand slam victory of his career.

Through to the fourth round of the Australian Open for the first time, Norrie will try to break more new ground with victory over a top 10 player at a major.

 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Cameron Norrie (@norriee)

 

Zverev had a sneak peek at Norrie’s new tactics when they trained together during pre-season and the German said: “I actually thought he played exactly what he was working on in the off-season.

“We obviously spent the off-season together in Monaco, so I’ve seen him every single day. This is exactly what he was working on.”

He continued: “When you think of Cameron Norrie, you normally think of somebody who grinds a lot, a big fighter. But in the off-season he really worked on his game and he really worked on the aggressive style of play. He really worked on coming forward.

“It was very noticeable in December, and you can see it on the court now. The work is paying off for him.”

Norrie moved to Monte Carlo in 2022, partly because it would mean being able to train with some of the best players in the world, while he hired a new assistant coach in former Wimbledon doubles champion Stephen Huss.

Having struggled during the second half of last season, Norrie appears rejuvenated and he said: “Even just being in the second week for the first time in Australia, never done that. It means a lot to do that and start the year playing some good tennis.

“I think it just helped having a good break and a really good off-season to put a lot of time on the court and get better as a player.

“I think it just comes down to how can you play the biggest points the best and feeling calm and feeling good about yourself. I have done that, and I was feeling that coming into the season.

“I want to keep going. I know it just gets tougher. Next match is going to be tougher.”

Norrie will certainly have to adjust the game plan for his clash with sixth-ranked Zverev, who has made a strong return to the top of the sport following a serious ankle injury in 2022.

The British number one relentlessly attacked Ruud’s backhand but Zverev has one of the best in the business, while putting the German under pressure on serve will be a challenge.

Much of the attention on Zverev this fortnight has been regarding his forthcoming court case to contest domestic abuse charges, which he denies, but whatever the rights and wrongs of his position on the ATP Player Council or continued participation on the tour, he remains an exceptional player.

He has beaten Norrie on each of the four previous occasions they have played without dropping a set.

“I sat down with (coach) Facu (Lugones) and watched the matches with Casper back, and we talked a lot about what wasn’t working,” said Norrie, who had also lost three times to Ruud prior to Saturday’s victory.

“I think there will be a lot of things in there with Zverev. The last few times I have played him, it’s kind of been a similar match every time, a tough set and then he’s run away with it.”

Zverev is taking nothing for granted, saying of Norrie: “He’s playing great tennis, beating Casper. I think Casper was undefeated in Australia so far this year, also playing great tennis. I’m looking forward to a tough match.

“I think everybody is always improving. Everybody is always trying new things. I think with Cam this year, you definitely see that. I’m just going to try to keep going for it and just try to extend my lead.”

Novak Djokovic equalled Roger Federer’s record by reaching a 58th grand slam quarter-final in style at the Australian Open.

It appeared the world number one might do so by becoming the first player to claim a ‘triple bagel’ victory at the tournament when he won the first 13 games against Adrian Mannarino.

The Frenchman looked hugely relieved when he finally got on the board in the second game of the third set but Djokovic, playing in his 73rd major tournament, eased to a 6-0 6-0 6-3 victory.

Having started the tournament battling illness and surviving two long matches, Djokovic is now looking in ominous form, although he still became riled by the crowd at times.

“The best sets I’ve played in a while,” the Serbian said afterwards. “I really wanted to lose that game in the third set because the tension was building up so much in the stadium. I needed to get that out of the way and refocus on what I needed to do to finish the match.

“I served very well. In the moments when I needed to come up with the first serve, I did. All in all, great performance.

“The last couple of days has been really good so it’s going in a positive direction health wise, tennis wise, so I’m really happy.”

Aryna Sabalenka and Coco Gauff restored order at the Australian Open by easing into the quarter-finals.

While Iga Swiatek’s shock loss to Linda Noskova on Saturday means no top-10 seeds made the fourth round in the top half of the draw, Sabalenka and Gauff are on a semi-final collision course in the bottom half.

Neither has yet dropped a set and they lost only eight games between them in the fourth round, Sabalenka beating Amanda Anisimova 6-3 6-2 and Gauff racing to a 6-1 6-2 victory over Magdalena Frech.

It was a particularly impressive win and performance from defending champion Sabalenka, who had lost four of her previous five matches against Anisimova.

The 22-year-old American has been resurgent here having missed most of last season for mental health reasons but could not match the precision power of her opponent.

Anisimova reacted to the defeat by dropping her racket on the court and leaving it there as she walked off Margaret Court Arena.

“I’m super happy with the level, happy to get this win,” said Sabalenka. “She’s a tough opponent and I’m super happy to see her back on tour. I’m pretty sure she’ll be back at the top soon.

“I really want to stay here as long as I can until the very last day and, hopefully, we can get this one one more time.”

Gauff is treading new ground having made it through to the last eight at Melbourne Park for the first time.

“I’m super happy to be in this position and be here,” said the 19-year-old. “I think I had three fourth rounds. It’s cool to get over that hump. Hopefully I can keep going for more.”

Next she will take on Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk, who made the last eight at a slam for the first time with a 6-2 6-1 victory over qualifier Maria Timofeeva.

Teenager Linda Noskova blew the women’s draw wide open at the Australian Open by stunning world number one Iga Swiatek in the third round.

There are no top-10 seeds left in the top half after 19-year-old Czech Noskova came from a set down to claim a 3-6 6-3 6-4 victory on Rod Laver Arena.

Swiatek had dug herself out a major hole in the second round against Danielle Collins but she was unable to repeat the trick here.

“Physically, I didn’t feel anything,” said Swiatek. “Mentally, as well, I felt like actually I came back in my match against Danielle and I could kind of start over and not expect a lot, just try to play my game.

“I would say that I wasn’t returning overall in this tournament the same way as usual, especially the second serves.

“But still, I know that I did everything I could to try to make it work. Technically it didn’t work. But I know I did everything I could. I have no regrets.

“For sure I wish I could have played a little bit better in this tournament.

“I just want to get back to work. I know I’m going to have plenty of chances during the season to show my game.”

The never-ending production line of Czech female talent is one of the wonders of tennis, and 19-year-old Noskova is at the head of a new generation.

Ranked 50 but set to rise rapidly, she showed superb maturity to turn the match around after losing the first set, hitting 10 aces in a tally of 35 winners.

Swiatek speculated that Noskova would feel she had nothing to lose, but the teenager denied that, saying: “I know my game. I know that I have improved a lot in the last year-and-a-half. I just believed my game tonight.

“I just really wanted this win because I didn’t really come to that court with the thought of ‘I have nothing to lose’. I took it very seriously. It was like a match as any other. I just know that, when I’m going to be aggressive, I can play with anyone.”

She is the first teenager to beat a world number one at the Australian Open since Amelie Mauresmo defeated Lindsay Davenport in 1999.

Noskova next plays 19th seed Elina Svitolina, who was a comfortable 6-2 6-3 winner over Viktorija Golubic and will fancy her chances of reaching a first grand slam final.

So, too, will 12th seed Zheng Qinwen, who is the highest-ranked player left in the top half and is making waves, 10 years on from Li Na’s historic triumph.

Zheng needed two hours and 40 minutes to make it past countrywoman Wang Yafan 6-4 2-6 7-6 (8) on Friday as China took centre stage in the day session on Rod Laver.

But her power hitting eventually got her over the line and there was a special treat after the match when she was congratulated by Li, who is here to play in the legends event.

“That was totally a surprise for me,” said Zheng. “She just went to me, say congratulations. I was feeling super happy to meet her and have the chance to talk with her because I never talked with her in person.

“She said to me ‘don’t think too much, just keep (it) simple’. I think that’s – right now – what I need to do as well.”

Zheng revealed in her on-court interview that she had watched Li’s final victory over Dominika Cibulkova here in 2014 10 times.

Li remains the only Chinese winner of a grand slam singles title having become the first Asian champion when she claimed the French Open crown in 2011.

There is a growing number of Chinese players, both men and women, pushing towards the top of the game, but Zheng is at the head of the queue.

In the last 16, she will take on Oceane Dodin, who defeated fellow unseeded French player Clara Burel 6-2 6-4 to reach the fourth round at a slam for the first time.

One of Zheng, Dodin, 26th seed Jasmine Paolini and Russian Anna Kalinskaya is guaranteed to make a first slam semi-final.

Paolini ended the run of Anna Blinkova, who knocked out Elena Rybakina in round two, while Kalinskaya beat former finalist Sloane Stephens 6-7 (8) 6-1 6-4.

It is turning into an excellent tournament for Ukraine, with Dayana Yastremska joining Svitolina and Marta Kostyuk in the last 16, thanks to a 6-2 2-6 6-1 upset of 27th seed Emma Navarro.

She next faces two-time former champion Victoria Azarenka, who is again looking strong in Melbourne and came from 2-5 down in the second set to beat Jelena Ostapenko 6-1 7-5.

Teenager Linda Noskova pulled off a huge upset to knock world number one Iga Swiatek out of the Australian Open in the third round.

Swiatek had dug herself out a major hole in the second round against Danielle Collins but she was unable to repeat the trick against Noskova, going down 3-6 6-3 6-4.

The never-ending production line of Czech female talent is one of the wonders of tennis, and 19-year-old Noskova is at the head of a new generation.

Ranked 50 but set to rise rapidly, she showed superb maturity to turn the match around after losing the first set.

Noskova began to outhit her illustrious rival through the second set and into the third, where a break of serve for 5-3 proved the crucial moment.

She looked stunned after converting her first match point, and said: “I’m speechless, obviously.

“I knew it’s going to be an amazing match with the world number one and such a player. I didn’t really think it would end up like this but I’m just really glad to get through this round.”

She is the first teenager to beat a world number one at the Australian Open since Amelie Mauresmo defeated Lindsay Davenport in 1999.

Noskova hit 10 aces in a tally of 35 winners, with a forehand return drilled over the baseline from Swiatek sealing her fate.

It is only the second time in the last 13 grand slam tournaments that Swiatek has failed to make it beyond the third round but it represents a second early exit in a row after she lost in the fourth round of the US Open.

She is guaranteed to hang onto top spot in the rankings, though, with her nearest challenger Aryna Sabalenka unable to gain points having won the tournament last year.

Ten years on from Li Na’s historic win at the Australian Open, China’s Zheng Qinwen is making waves at Melbourne Park.

The 21-year-old 12th seed is considered one of the rising stars of the game and she is now the favourite to reach the semi-finals in a wide open section of the draw.

Zheng needed two hours and 40 minutes to make it past countrywoman Wang Yafan 6-4 2-6 7-6 (10/8) on Friday as China took centre stage on Rod Laver Arena.

But her power hitting eventually got her over the line, and there was a special treat after the match when she was congratulated by Li, who is here to play in the legends event.

“That was totally a surprise for me,” said Zheng. “She just went to me, say congratulations. I was feeling super happy to meet her and have the chance to talk with her because I never talked with her in person.

“She said to me don’t think too much, just keep simple. I think that’s right now what I need to do as well.”

Zheng revealed in her on-court interview that she had watched Li’s final victory over Dominika Cibulkova here in 2014 10 times.

Li remains the only Chinese winner of a grand slam singles title having become the first Asian champion when she claimed the French Open crown in 2011.

There is a growing number of Chinese players, both men and women, pushing towards the top of the game, but Zheng is at the head of the queue.

In the last 16, she will take on Oceane Dodin, who defeated fellow unseeded French player Clara Burel 6-2 6-4 to reach the fourth round at a slam for the first time.

One of Zheng, Dodin, 26th seed Jasmine Paolini and Russian Anna Kalinskaya is guaranteed to make a first slam semi-final.

Paolini ended the run of Anna Blinkova, who knocked out Elena Rybakina in round two, while Kalinskaya beat former finalist Sloane Stephens 6-7 (8) 6-1 6-4.

Novak Djokovic avoided his struggles of the first two rounds in a straight-sets win over Tomas Martin Etcheverry at the Australian Open on Friday.

His fellow defending champion, Aryna Sabalenka, routed Lesia Tsurenko 6-0 6-0 while 16-year-old Mirra Andreeva recovered from 5-1 down in the deciding set to beat Diane Parry.

It was generally a good day for the big names, with Coco Gauff, Jannik Sinner and Stefanos Tsitsipas also winning.

Picture of the dayTweet of the dayRod back in his houseOutfit of the dayFallen seeds

Women: Beatriz Haddad Maia (10), Lesia Tsurenko (28)

Men: Ben Shelton (16), Sebastian Baez (26), Sebastian Korda (29), Tomas Martin Etcheverry (30)

Who’s up next?

 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Cameron Norrie (@norriee)

Britain’s final singles hope, Cameron Norrie, takes on Casper Ruud for a place in the fourth round.

Chinese players take centre stage in the day on Rod Laver Arena, with Zheng Qinwen meeting Wang Yafan before Shang Juncheng faces Carlos Alcaraz.

Iga Swiatek is first up in the night session against Czech teenager Linda Noskova, while Daniil Medvedev meets Felix Auger-Aliassime.

Novak Djokovic found his form at the Australian Open in a straightforward win over Tomas Martin Etcheverry.

The 10-time champion has been struggling with illness and was well short of his best in his first two matches, particularly a second-round clash with Alexei Popyrin on Wednesday that he was lucky to escape.

But Djokovic, playing his 100th match at Melbourne Park, looked much more like his usual self in a 6-3 6-3 7-6 (2) victory over Argentina’s Etcheverry, who beat Andy Murray in the first round.

The Serbian was hitting his groundstrokes with their customary ferocity again and, although there were perhaps still a few more mistakes than he would have liked, he was always fully in control of his 92nd win on these grounds.

Djokovic said: “It was a great match, the best performance I had during this tournament. I’m pleased with the way I played throughout the entire match, particularly the first two sets.”

The form players of the first week have been fourth seed Jannik Sinner and big home hope Alex De Minaur.

Sinner finished last season beating Djokovic twice in one day as he led Italy to the Davis Cup title and has eased through to the fourth round here.

He dropped just four games in a 6-0 6-1 6-3 destruction of Sebastian Baez to set up a meeting with Russian Karen Khachanov, who was a semi-finalist here last year.

Sinner said: “Today’s match was really good. I played good tennis. I love the conditions also today, because was no wind and no sun.

“I felt great… I made the right decisions and I used every chance I had today, which maybe in the first match I was struggling a little bit. But it’s good to have this match feeling back again. I’m very excited to step on the court every time.

“I’m doing my job. I try to stay focused. I try to find a solution against every player I play. The next round is going to be different, it’s going to be tough.”

Khachanov, who has reached at least the quarter-finals at three of his last four slams, had a tougher time in beating Tomas Machac 6-4 7-6 (4) 4-6 7-6 (5).

De Minaur’s rise into the top 10 just before the tournament fuelled hopes of a first home winner of the men’s singles since Mark Edmondson in 1976, and he has dealt with the pressure immaculately so far.

The 24-year-old had no trouble getting past Italian qualifier Flavio Cobolli, dropping only seven games in a 6-3 6-3 6-1 victory.

Last year’s runner-up Stefanos Tsitsipas also had a comfortable afternoon, beating young Frenchman Luca Van Assche 6-3 6-0 6-4 to set up a clash with American 12th seed Taylor Fritz, who came from a set down to see off Fabian Marozsan 3-6 6-4 6-2 6-2.

Cameron Norrie will have to break new ground in two ways if he is to keep British singles hopes alive at the Australian Open.

The 19th seed is the only British player to have reached round three but he has never been further at Melbourne Park, while he has lost all three previous matches against opponent Casper Ruud.

Indeed, Norrie has managed just one set, at the ATP Finals in 2021, while Norwegian Ruud also came out on top in meetings in Miami and San Diego.

 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Cameron Norrie (@norriee)

 

“He’s beaten me a few times in some really big matches,” said Norrie. “I’m going to look at those matches and see where I can improve.

“I think a lot of the time was down to execution and him staying a bit calmer than me in the bigger moments. Every time I played him, he served really, really well. I think his serve is quite underrated.

“I didn’t actually get a chance to watch one point of his (second-round) match, but I heard it was really high level from both. I’m looking forward to watching that one and then watching my previous matches with him to see what I can improve on and what I can do to make him uncomfortable out there.”

Both Norrie and Ruud survived five-set encounters on Thursday, with the British number one putting wrist pain out of his mind to come from two sets down to beat Giulio Zeppieri.

Ruud, meanwhile, prevailed in a deciding tie-break against Australia’s Max Purcell to make it to the last 32 in Melbourne for the second time.

He was ranked number two in the world after reaching his second grand slam final of the season at the US Open in 2022 but, despite getting to the same stage again at Roland Garros last year, he has slipped to 11th.

The 25-year-old is yet to lose so far this season, though, winning all his matches at the United Cup earlier this month, and he hopes he still has the winning formula against Norrie.

“He’s a tough competitor, for sure,” said Ruud. “He’s raising his level the past three, four years.

“He has a cool story. Came from college, took it to the next step from there. He’s a great player. I need to be on top of my game if I want to hang in there with him.

“I have played him a few times before, been able to beat him before. I know what has given me the win. He will try to seek revenge and find a way to beat me.

“It’s going to be a tough one. In a way we’re both in a similar situation, we had a tough five-setter.”

Page 6 of 273
© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.