Dubble Click
News Blog

Kyrgios and Tomljanovic continue to fly the flag for Australia


It was another successful night for Australia at the US Open, with both Nick Kyrgios and Ajla Tomljanovic advancing to the quarter-finals at Flushing Meadows for the first time.

On Arthur Ashe Stadium, despite having never previously reached the last eight in the Big Apple, Kyrgios fancied his chances against world number one and defending champion Daniil Medvedev, against whom he held a 3-1 record.

This included a win in their most recent career meeting in Montreal, while Medvedev’s only win was in the second round of this year’s Australian Open, en route to reaching the final.

The much-anticipated showdown between Medvedev and Kyrgios lived up to expectations, with the Canberran striking first when he broke for a 4-2 lead.

However, the Russian showed just why he has won in New York before, breaking back to force a tiebreaker, during which he held three set points before Kyrgios fought them off and converted on his fourth set point to claim it by 13-11 in just over one hour.

It marked the first time Medvedev had dropped a set in his title defence, but he hit back with a vengeance in the second set, winning 6-3 to level the match.

Kyrgios then sent a scare through his camp when he stumbled early in the third, after which Medvedev went to check on his rival on the other side of the net, but the Australian broke in the fourth game to lead 3-1, eventually claiming it 6-3.

Nick Kyrgios of Australia reacts against Daniil Medvedev at the US Open.

Nick Kyrgios reacts against Daniil Medvedev at the US Open. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

A double break to Kyrgios in the fourth set was enough for him to claim the fourth set 6-2, spelling the end of Medvedev’s title defence and his reign as world number one.

This means that any of Rafael Nadal, Carlos Alcaraz or Casper Ruud will claim the world number one ranking when the ATP charts are updated next week.

Of the three, Nadal, who plays the last remaining American man in the draw, Frances Tiafoe, this morning (AEST), is in the box seat; if neither Alcaraz or Ruud reach the final, the legendary Spaniard will return to the top of the rankings once again.

Further, Medvedev’s exit means we’ll have a first-time US Open finalist from the top half of the draw, though Kyrgios and Matteo Berrettini (who will play fifth seed Ruud in his quarter-final) both reached the Wimbledon final this and last year, respectively.

Alcaraz will play the only other active former US Open champion remaining in the draw, Marin Cilic, in his fourth round match this morning (AEST).

With the win over Medvedev, Kyrgios joins some elite company in having multiple wins over a world number one at a Major; of the active players, only Novak Djokovic (14) and Nadal (10) have won more matches against a reigning top seed at this level.

By contrast, Federer’s lone win over a reigning world number one came in the semi-finals of Wimbledon in 2012, where he ended Djokovic’s title defence before going on to win a then-record-extending 17th Major title, and seventh at the All England Club.

Kyrgios next goes on to face another Russian, Karen Khachanov, who edged out Spanish 12th seed Pablo Carreno Busta in a five-set epic, in the quarter-finals, while Berrettini also needed five sets to edge out another Spaniard, Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

While the Canberran was putting on a show on Arthur Ashe Stadium, next door on Louis Armstrong Stadium, Ajla Tomljanovic backed up her momentous win over Serena Williams with an equally epic victory over Russian Liudmila Samsonova.

The 29-year-old was forced to save eight set points in a lengthy first set which lasted an hour and 22 minutes, which also included a pivotal tenth game which went for nearly 20 minutes.

In the end, it went to a tiebreak, which Tomljanovic won 10-8, before she ran riot in the second, a break of serve in the second game more than enough for the Queenslander to advance to her third career Major quarter-final, and first at Flushing Meadows.

She is the first Australian woman to reach the last eight in the Big Apple since Samantha Stosur got this far in three consecutive years between 2010-12, the best result being of course when she defeated Williams in straight sets to win the title in 2011.

Having faced four consecutive unseeded opponents in her US Open journey so far, the Tomljanovic faces the toughest test of her credentials when she comes up against fifth seed Ons Jabeur in the quarters on Wednesday morning (AEST).

Elsewhere, 12th seed Coco Gauff edged out China’s Zhang Shuai 7-5, 7-5, to reach her first quarter-final in the Big Apple, where she will start favourite against French veteran Caroline Garcia, who dismissed another American, Alison Riske-Amritraj, also in straight sets.

The four remaining fourth round matches in the top half of the women’s draw will be played out this morning, with the likes of Iga Swiatek, Petra Kvitova, Victoria Azarenka, Karolina Pliskova, Danielle Collins and Aryna Sabalenka all in action.

Kvitova, who edged out fellow former Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruza in a three-set epic in her previous match in which she saved two match points, is up against eighth seed Jessica Pegula in the first match on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

That forms part of a massive day for the locals on Centre Court, with Frances Tiafoe, the last remaining American man in the draw, taking on Rafael Nadal before Danielle Collins and Aryna Sabalenka kick off the night session with the Cilic vs Alcaraz match to then follow.

Women’s world number one Swiatek has again been relegated to Louis Armstrong Stadium, while formerly top-ranked players Azarenka and Pliskova will also clash in the secondary stadium following the Swiatek vs Jule Niemeier match.

Matches to watch on Day 8

Arthur Ashe Stadium
Day session – from 2am (AEST)
[21] Petra Kvitova (CZE) vs [8] Jessica Pegula (USA)
[22] Frances Tiafoe (USA) vs [2] Rafael Nadal (ESP)

Night session – from 9am (AEST)
[19] Danielle Collins (USA) vs [6] Aryna Sabalenka
[15] Marin Cilic (CRO) vs [3] Carlos Alcaraz (ESP)

Louis Armstrong Stadium
From 1am (AEST)
[7] Cameron Norrie (GBR) vs [9] Andrey Rublev
[1] Iga Swiatek (POL) vs Jule Niemeier (GER)
[26] Victoria Azarenka vs [22] Karolina Pliskova (CZE)
Ilya Ivashka vs [11] Jannik Sinner (ITA)





Source link

Comments are closed.