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Australian Open organisers have hit back at tennis greats Martina Navratilova and John McEnroe, saying they "breached protocols" in their protest against the controversial Margaret Court.

Navratilova and McEnroe have called for the Margaret Court Arena at Melbourne Park to be renamed the Evonne Goolagong Arena after the indigenous Australian tennis icon.

The saga comes amid continued controversy over 11-time Australian Open winner Court's discriminatory views on race, homosexuality and the transgender community.

With McEnroe present on Tuesday, Navratilova climbed into an empty umpire's chair at the end of a legends doubles match and embarked on a speech, before the microphone was cut off midway through.

The pair then held up a banner which read 'Evonne Goolagong Arena'.

These events come a day after Navratilova had written a letter calling for the Margaret Court Arena to be renamed while, McEnroe, in an address to Eurosport, labelled Court the "crazy aunt" of tennis and branded her "offensive and homophobic".

He urged Serena Williams to pass Court's total of 24 grand slam titles so the Australian could be left in the past with "her offensive views, where they both belong."

While in the umpire's chair, Navratilova said: "I've been speaking out about an issue for a while now and John McEnroe is here to join me and push the conversation forward."

But the Australian Open, while acknowledging Navratilova and McEnroe were entitled to express their views, were not impressed with the methods used to further the cause in Tuesday's protest.

"We embrace diversity, inclusion and the right for people to have a view, as well as their right to voice that view," read the tournament's statement.

"But the Australian Open has regulations and protocols with respect to how any fan, player or guest can use our facility, the event and the global stage it provides. This is to ensure the integrity of our event.

"Two high-profile guests have breached these protocols and we are working through this with them."

Court was not given the microphone during a reduced appearance in a special ceremony at the Australian Open on Monday, where the 50th anniversary of her achieving the calendar Grand Slam was recognised.

Ash Barty is excited about her run at the Australian Open, but the world number one is trying to ignore the expectations of a nation.

Barty became the first Australian woman to reach the semi-finals of the tournament since 1984 by overcoming Petra Kvitova 7-6 (8-6) 6-2 on Tuesday.

However, while the 23-year-old French Open champion is happy with her run, Barty is ignoring the hype in Melbourne.

"I'm excited. My team's excited. We love the opportunity of getting another match out on that beautiful court," Barty told a news conference.

She added: "I don't pay attention to it [the nation being on her side] honestly. I'm here to try and do the best that I can.

"Obviously it's exciting. Hopefully I can bring a smile to a few faces around our country and around the world.

"For me, it's trying to do the best that I can, find that enjoyment for myself and my team."

Barty will face Sofia Kenin in the semi-finals after the American 14th seed beat Ons Jabeur.

Ash Barty ended a 36-year wait for her nation by reaching the Australian Open semi-finals with a straight-sets win over Petra Kvitova.

In a rematch of last year's quarter-final won comfortably by Kvitova, Barty secured a 7-6 (8-6) 6-2 victory on Rod Laver Arena on Tuesday.

The world number one became the first Australian woman to reach the last four at the tournament since Wendy Turnbull in 1984.

Barty, last year's French Open champion, will face American 14th seed Sofia Kenin in the last four.

The players traded breaks to love early before Barty fought out a tough hold after a 20-point seventh game.

Last year's runner-up Kvitova targeted Barty's second serve with plenty of success, but while four consecutive games went to deuce, both held serve through to a tie-break.

A 69-minute first set went Barty's way, winning the last three points of the tie-break – which was highlighted by a 22-shot point during which the Australian showcased her defensive abilities – thanks to Kvitova errors.

Barty broke in the opening game of the second set and again in the third, producing a delicate lob to take a 3-0 lead.

A desperate and aggressive Kvitova pulled one break back in the sixth game, but handed it straight back in the next with a double fault.

Barty managed to close it out in the next game, an ace out wide seeing her complete the job.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN 
Ash Barty [1] bt Petra Kvitova [7] 7-6 (8-6) 6-2

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS  
Barty – 20/28
Kvitova – 28/38

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS  
Barty – 5/3
Kvitova – 2/6

BREAK POINTS WON  
Barty – 4/8
Kvitova – 2/12

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE  
Barty – 63
Kvitova – 56

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE  
Barty – 74/35
Kvitova – 63/45

TOTAL POINTS  
Barty – 82
Kvitova – 73

Sofia Kenin continued her memorable Melbourne run by reaching the Australian Open semi-finals at the expense of Ons Jabeur in straight sets.

Kenin moved through to a maiden grand slam semi via Tuesday's 6-4 6-4 victory over unseeded Tunisian Jabeur on Rod Laver Arena.

Next up for American 14th seed Kenin is either world number one Ash Barty or last year's Australian Open runner-up Petra Kvitova.

Both unheralded women were featuring in their first grand slam quarter-final after dazzling at Melbourne Park.

Kenin upstaged 15-year-old sensation and fellow American Coco Gauff in the fourth round, while Jabeur became the first Arab woman through to the quarters of a major after beating giant-slaying seed Wang Qiang.

The first set saw contrasting approaches – the variety on Jabeur's racquet resulting in 18 unforced errors and 17 winners compared to Kenin's five unforced errors and eight winners.

Kenin and Jabeur both had break point chances, but a break of serve in the seventh game saw the former move ahead 4-3 and it was a lead that she never relinquished.

Jabeur saved five set points, however, Kenin – who had won the previous two meetings between the pair – eventually closed it out after 44 minutes thanks to another unforced error from her opponent.

Kenin took control after a tricky start to the second set, Jabeur unable to maintain her fierce performance on centre court.

Just like the first set, Kenin – yet to face a seed in Melbourne – broke in the seventh game and never looked back en route to the final four.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN 
Sofia Kenin [14] bt Ons Jabeur 6-4 6-4

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS 
Kenin – 14/16
Jabeur – 34/36

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS 
Kenin – 0/3
Jabeur – 5/1

BREAK POINTS WON 
Kenin – 3/9
Jabeur – 1/7

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE 
Kenin – 72
Jabeur – 57

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE 
Kenin – 64/55
Jabeur – 72/37

TOTAL POINTS 
Kenin – 75
Jabeur – 66

Simona Halep continued her imperious form at the Australian Open as she secured a quarter-final spot at the expense of Elise Mertens.

Yet to drop a set at these finals, the fourth seed produced another commanding performance to book a meeting with Anett Kontaveit.

Garbine Muguruza felled another seed, Kiki Bertens beaten in just 69 minutes by the Spaniard, as she reached the last eight in Melbourne for only the second time.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova also progressed after a tense battle with 2016 champion Angelique Kerber.

 

KONTAVEIT WINS EPIC TO EARN HALEP SHOWDOWN

Beaten in their previous meeting in Doha last February, Halep had to work hard for a 6-4 6-4 victory over Mertens as she reached the quarter-finals in Australia for the fourth time.

After Mertens recovered from a 3-1 deficit to lead 4-3, Halep went on a six-game winning streak to take the opening set and move 3-0 up in the second.

Mertens rallied again to recover a double break, but Halep battled to move 5-4 ahead before serving out to love.

"Mentally, I think I did a great job today at four-all with those break points, game points," she said. "But in the end, I got the game and then I served very well the last game. I feel like I played a better match than all the matches since I'm here."

Halep now faces Kontaveit, who came through a punishing three-set clash against Polish teenager Iga Swiatek.

Kontaveit recovered to win 6-7 (4-7) 7-5 7-5 to become the first Estonian to reach the quarter-finals of a major.

MUGURUZA POWERS PAST BERTENS 

Muguruza claimed back-to-back wins over top-10 players by beating Bertens 6-3 6-3 to reach a grand slam quarter-final for the first time since the 2018 French Open.

The 26-year-old, who knocked out world number five Elina Svitolina in round three, has an eye on the big prize already after showing too much power for ninth-seed Bertens, hitting 19 winners and six aces. 

"It is very good to be back here," she said. "It is one of the grand slams that one day I would like to win. It's exciting." 

Next for Muguruza will be Pavlyuchenkova, who triumphed 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 over Kerber in two hours and 41 minutes. 

Having lost the first set after surrendering a double break, the Russian fought back to edge a tight second with a thumping return winner on her fifth set point.

The third set was more one-sided as Pavlyuchenkova moved 5-2 up and serving out the match with an ace.

Margaret Court received a surprisingly warm ovation during a special ceremony at the Australian Open on Monday.

The controversial 77-year-old Australian was honoured during a ceremony to celebrate the 50th anniversary of her Grand Slam, winning all four majors in 1970.

Court has previously been criticised for comments on race, homosexuality and the transgender community.

However, the 24-time grand slam singles champion was greeted by applause and cheers during the presentation on Rod Laver Arena.

She was presented with a replica Australian Open trophy by Rod Laver, who received a huge cheer.

Court remains the record holder for most grand slam singles titles, with Serena Williams stuck on a tally of 23 that she will not add to in Melbourne this year.

Another tennis great, John McEnroe, criticised Court in a video posted by Eurosport on Twitter earlier on Monday.

"It's the 50th anniversary of Margaret Court's Grand Slam, and Tennis Australia is facing a dilemma: what do they do with their crazy aunt?" the seven-time major champion said.

"They finally decided to invite her, but it came with a twist, 'we will recognise what she did in 1970, but we won't celebrate the person'.

"Huh? Well it doesn't work that way. You can't separate the person from her achievements."

Ashleigh Barty avenged her fourth-round defeat at Wimbledon to Alison Riske by overcoming the American in three sets in the Australian Open fourth round.

The world number one battled to victory in an hour and 36 minutes to book a quarter-final meeting with Petra Kvitova, who came from a set down to beat Maria Sakkari.

Coco Gauff saw her brilliant week end in disappointment as she lost to compatriot Sofia Kenin, who is into the last eight of a grand slam singles tournament for the first time.

Qiang Wang, who stunned Serena Williams in round three, was defeated in straight sets by Ons Jabeur – another woman making major history in Melbourne.

NO REWARD FOR RISKE AS BARTY BATTLES ON 

Australia's hope for a home champion continues after Barty recovered from a miserable second set to defeat Riske for the first time. 

Riske won their first encounter in Eastbourne in 2016 before taking victory at Wimbledon last year, but Barty ended that losing streak with a 6-3 1-6 6-4 success. 

Barty was clinical in the opening set against too many errors from Riske, but the 29-year-old rallied in the second, breaking twice and dropping just five points on her own serve to force the decider. 

At 5-4, Barty set up match point with a backhand pass and Riske produced just her second double fault to hand victory to the favourite. 

"It was third time's a charm for me tonight," said Barty. "I just had to hang in there. It was very tough from both ends playing very differently. I just had to give myself a chance." 

Barty will face Kvitova next in a repeat of last year's quarter-final, the Czech having fought from a set down to defeat Sakkari.

"I love Petra, but let's hope she doesn't break my heart again on Tuesday!" said Barty, who was beaten 6-1 6-4 at Rod Laver Arena in 2019.

  

COCO MANIA DEPARTS MELBOURNE​, JABEUR MAKES HISTORY

Gauff's fairytale run came to an end at the hands of countrywoman Kenin, who steamrolled the 15-year-old 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-0 on Melbourne Arena.

American sensation Gauff dethroned defending champion Naomi Osaka in the previous round and she looked on track to reach the quarters in Melbourne.

However, fellow rising star and 14th seed Kenin blitzed Gauff to reach her first grand slam quarter-final.

Next up for Kenin is Jabeur after the Tunisian beat Chinese star Qiang Wang 7-6 (7-4) 6-1.

Wang eliminated 23-time slam singles champion Williams in the third round, however, she was unable to back it up on Sunday.

Jabeur, who hit 29 winners, became the first Arab woman to ever make a slam quarter-final.

KVITOVA RETURNS TO QUARTERS

Australian Open runner-up Kvitova avoided a major upset as she rallied past Sakkari 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 6-2 on Rod Laver Arena.

After losing a tight first set, two-time Wimbledon winner Kvitova hit 33 winners and broke Sakkari eight times en route to a fourth quarter-final in Melbourne.

Playing in front of a vocal Green contingent supporting Sakkari, Kvitova said: "When I was shaking the hand with the umpire, I told him it was like a soccer match today. I mean, it's nice on one side. On the other side, it's the tennis, and it's not a Fed Cup. It's strange. But it didn't bother me at all."

Coco Gauff said playing at the Olympic Games in Tokyo this year is "definitely the goal" following the 15-year-old's Australian Open exit.

Gauff's fairytale run in Melbourne came to an end at the hands of fellow American Sofia Kenin, who rallied past the teenage sensation 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-0 in the fourth round on Sunday.

After dethroning defending champion Naomi Osaka, highly rated Gauff was unable to get past Kenin to reach her maiden grand slam quarter-final.

But the world number 67 was in good spirits post-match as she looks to qualify for Tokyo 2020.

"That's definitely the goal," Gauff told reporters when asked about the Olympics, which gets underway in July. "Hopefully I can get my ranking up and qualify. I'm sure the cutoff is French Open. 

"I'm pretty sure I only have like three tournaments before French Open, so… it will be difficult. But I'm going to try as hard as possible. I definitely do want to play the Olympics. I mean, it would be pretty cool."

Gauff dazzled in her first Australian Open main draw appearance, upstaging Venus Williams, Sorana Cirstea and Osaka en route to the last 16.

"My short-term goal is to improve," Gauff added. "That's the main thing. I'm doing well right now at 15. I still have so much I feel like I can get better on. Even my parents, my team, they all believe I can get better.

"I don't even think this is close to a peak for me, even though I'm doing well right now. The goal is just really to get better, you know, have these good runs at tournaments, building up my experience and playing more tournaments just so I can be ready for matches like this today."

Simona Halep believes the run to the Australian Open last 16 by Coco Gauff is a "great thing" for tennis and expects the 15-year-old to win a grand slam "soon".

Gauff stunned defending champion Naomi Osaka in the third round to match her best career performance at a major, which she previously achieved at Wimbledon.

The American was knocked out by eventual tournament winner Halep in the fourth round at the All England Club.

Both players are in contention for glory in Melbourne after the fourth seed joined the teenager in round four with a 6-1 6-4 win over Yulia Putintseva on Saturday.

Halep was asked about the contrast in women's tennis between Gauff thriving at 15 and Caroline Wozniacki retiring at 29 at a time 38-year-old Serena Williams is soon to be re-joined by another veteran in Kim Clijsters.

"Well, it's kind of a big mix here with the 15-year-old that is winning matches in a grand slam and makes it look easy," said the 28-year-old.

"And a 29-year-old retiring, so I'm very close but, yes, I hope not yet! But also we have a 38-year-old still playing, Serena. Everyone has their own feelings about this sport. 

"What Coco Gauff is doing in this moment is a great thing. I'm sure that she gets a lot of confidence, and soon she will be able to win one of these big tournaments.

"And about Kim it's really nice to hear that she's coming back. I played once against her and I lost. 

"Maybe I will have another chance to play against her, because actually, she was a model for me growing up, so I look forward to see her back on tour."

Gauff will meet compatriot Sofia Kenin in the last 16 while two-time grand slam winner Halep takes on Elise Mertens.

Osaka has discussed the pressures of returning to the top events as a major champion but Halep feels her previous successes at the French Open and Wimbledon give her an advantage.

Halep said: "It was different because I played few finals before and actually I felt that it's really tough to get one. 

"After I did it, I felt like, okay, it's really tough but it's possible. Everything is possible.

"So maybe I relaxed a little bit more and I don't see that these tournaments are so out of reach anymore. So I feel more confident."

And Halep insisted seeing Williams, Osaka, Karolina Pliskova, Elina Svitolina and Belinda Bencic crash out in the early stages does not make her worried about being the next victim of an upset.

"I hope not," she said. "I just take the responsibility on my game, and I have expectations for myself, but I know that everything can happen. So I'm ready to fight for every match I play. 

"I know at this level everything can happen, so that's why sometimes I'm a little bit stressed, sometimes I'm relaxed.

"It's just a tournament, and I'm sure that for you guys it's a little bit of shock when the top-10 players are losing, but it's life and we cannot be 100 per cent every day. So we go ahead, and if I'm still in the tournament, it's a good thing."

Second seed Karolina Pliskova and fifth seed Elina Svitolina were high-profile casualties in the third round of the Australian Open on Saturday.

Pliskova fell to a straight-sets defeat to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Svitolina was soundly beaten by two-time grand slam champion Garbine Muguruza.

Belinda Bencic and Donna Vekic were also sent packing, losing to Anett Kontaveit and Iga Swiatek respectively.

There was no sign of a slip-up from former world number one Simona Halep, however, as she made serene progress to the next round by easing past Yulia Putintseva.

 

PLISKOVA, SVITOLINA CRASH OUT

After defending champion Naomi Osaka and 23-time grand slam winner Serena Williams were eliminated on Friday, Pliskova joined the star duo in dropping out of the tournament.

Pliskova went down 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-3) to 30th seed Pavlyuchenkova in the first match on Rod Laver Arena on Saturday.

"I think she was playing very well. Maybe the best she played against me so far in the last couple matches," Pliskova told reporters. "But let's say I was [at] about 40 per cent of my game, so of course then she can feel so much better if I just don't play enough [of] what I can play. 

"That's how it is. I think especially [in] the important moments she always served well so I had a couple chances here and there. But I think she just played better than me."

Svitolina did not fare much better as she lost to Muguruza in 67 minutes, the Spaniard - now ranked 32 in the world - hitting 31 winners to advance 6-1 6-2.

 

BENCIC, VEKIC SENT PACKING

It was another tough day for seeds as Bencic (6) and Vekic (19) failed to progress beyond the third round in Melbourne.

US Open semi-finalist Bencic was swept aside in just 49 minutes, humbled 6-0 6-1 by 28th seed Kontaveit on Margaret Court Arena.

"I think every grand slam there are seeded players losing, so I think this grand slam was even the best because no top-10 player lost in first round," she said in a news conference. "It's the same at every grand slam. There are upsets, and I think it's normal, because it's tennis, and tennis is very unpredictable."

Kontaveit will face Swiatek after the 18-year-old stunned Vekic 7-5 6-3.

 

HALEP, KERBER MOVE ON

Halep thwarted in-form Putintseva 6-1 6-4 to move through to the second week of the slam for a third consecutive year.

Fourth seed Halep - runner-up in Melbourne two years ago - needed one hour, 18 minutes to progress to the fourth round.

Away from Rod Laver Arena, 2016 champion Angelique Kerber ground out a 6-2 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 victory over Italian Camila Giorgi.

Kerber was pushed but the three-time major winner clinched a spot in the fourth round for the fifth successive season after two hours, eight minutes.

 

MERTENS AND BERTENS ADVANCE

Next up for Halep is 16th seed Elise Mertens, who required three sets to overcome CiCi Bellis.

Mertens was two points from victory in the second set after taking a 5-4 lead in the tiebreak but failed to close it out. However, she managed to keep her run alive by reeling off the next six games in succession.

The 2018 semi-finalist breezed through the final set to wrap up a 6-1 6-7 (5-7) 6-0 victory in just under two hours.

Joining Mertens in the next round was Dutch ninth seed Kiki Bertens, who made the second week of the Australian Open for the first time.

Bertens claimed a 6-2 7-6 (7-3) victory over Zarina Diyas and has a meeting with Svitolina's conqueror Muguruza to look forward to.

Coco Gauff continues to make history at the Australian Open and the American teenage sensation has the chance to break more records.

Gauff has the opportunity to become the first 15-year-old to win a grand slam title after dethroning Australian Open champion and third seed Naomi Osaka in the third round on Friday.

After announcing herself against Venus Williams at Wimbledon last year, Gauff has flourished in her main-draw debut at Melbourne Park this month.

Not overawed, Gauff became the youngest player to beat a defending champion at the Australian Open in the Open Era courtesy of her ruthless 6-3 6-4 victory over former world number one Osaka on Rod Laver Arena.

It was a performance, which lasted just over an hour, that shattered records in Melbourne, where Gauff became the youngest player to beat a defending champion at a slam since Jennifer Capriati (15 years and 163 days) at the 1991 US Open.

Gauff also eclipsed Martina Hingis – the youngest winner of a major singles title (1997 Australian Open) at 16 years and 105 days – as the youngest player to reach the last 16 at Melbourne Park since the Swiss great (15 years and 120 days) made it through to the 1996 quarter-finals.

She was the first American woman in 30 years to reach the third round in each of her first three slam main-draw appearances, a feat accomplished by neither Williams sister, and the third player in the last 30 years to earn at least eight slam match wins before her 16th birthday.

Gauff is also the youngest player to defeat a top-five ranked opponent since the 1991 match between Capriati and Gabriela Sabatini.

Karolina Pliskova became the latest high-profile casualty at the Australian Open, the second seed stunned by Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in straight sets.  

Defending champion Naomi Osaka and 23-time grand slam winner Serena Williams crashed out at Melbourne Park on Friday.

Pliskova – another women's singles contender – joined the star duo in departing the year's opening slam following Saturday's 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-3) defeat to 30th seed and two-time quarter-finalist Pavlyuchenkova.

A semi-finalist last year, Pliskova had matched or improved her best results at the Australian Open year-on-year since debuting in 2013.

However, the 2016 US Open runner-up was unable to build on her performances at Melbourne Park, where she succumbed to the aggressive Pavlyuchenkova in a gruelling encounter on Rod Laver Arena.

Pavlyuchenkova raced out to a 4-1 lead in the opening set, which was highlighted by a 30-point second game, before eventually prevailing in a tie-break after Pliskova rallied.

Pliskova, who finished with 35 winners and 29 unforced errors, recovered from a slow start in the second to force another tie-break but the Czech star was unable to send the match into a deciding set.

After tallying 51 winners and 43 unforced errors in two hours, 25 minutes, Pavlyuchenkova will face 2016 champion and three-time slam winner Angelique Kerber in the last 16.

World number one Ash Barty made serene progress to the fourth round of the Australian Open as Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams suffered shock exits.

Coco Gauff claimed another famous scalp in the form of defending champion Osaka to join Williams' conqueror Qiang Wang in the next round.

In a mixed day for the American contingent, Alison Riske and Sofia Kenin also went through, but Madison Keys was knocked out in straight sets.

Petra Kvitova was in commanding form as she progressed, while Caroline Wozniacki saw her career come to an end with defeat.

OSAKA DEFENCE ENDS AS SERENA WAIT GOES ON

Gauff got revenge for a rout at the hands of Osaka at the US Open last year to claim the biggest win of her fledgling career, seeing off the number three seed 6-3 6-4.

Beaten 6-3 6-0 in just 65 minutes at Flushing Meadows, 15-year-old Gauff made the most of 30 unforced errors from her opponent to set up a meeting with compatriot Kenin, who defeated Shuai Zhang 7-5 7-6 (9-7).

Williams' wait for a 24th grand slam singles title goes on, the American beaten in 6-4 6-7 (2-7) 7-5 by Wang in a gripping encounter.

The 38-year-old, who hit 56 unforced errors to Wang's 20, confessed afterwards: "I just made far too many errors to be a professional athlete today."

OMINOUS SIGNS FROM BARTY AND KVITOVA

There were no such concerns for Barty, who dispatched Elena Rybakina 6-3 6-2 in 78 minutes.

The home favourite will face Riske in the fourth round, the American outlasting Julia Goerges 1-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-2.

Last year's runner-up Petra Kvitova progressed in similarly imperious fashion, seeing off Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-1 6-2.

Kvitova, who is yet to drop a set at this year's event, will now face Maria Sakkari after her impressive 6-4 6-4 defeat of Keys.

 

TEARFUL WOZNIACKI BOWS OUT

Former world number one Wozniacki saw her career come to an end with a three-set defeat to Ons Jabeur.

The 2018 champion lost 7-5 3-6 7-5 to the Tunisian, who will play a fourth-round match at a major for the first time against Wang.

An emotional Wozniacki, who fought back from 3-0 down in the decider but was decisively broken in the 11th game, said afterwards: "I want to be out there fighting. I fought like my life depended on it."

Two-time grand slam winner Naomi Osaka claimed she still does not have a "champion's mentality" following her stunning defeat to 15-year-old Coco Gauff at the Australian Open.

Osaka's defence of her Melbourne Park crown crumbled at the third-round stage amid a sea of unforced errors as she went down 6-3 6-4 on Rod Laver Arena.

American teenager Gauff appeared the more composed player throughout and Osaka conceded her fragile mindset was holding her back.

She said: "It was one of those days where I couldn't do anything right.

"I don't really have the champion mentality yet, which is someone that can deal with not playing 100 per cent. I have always wanted to be like that, but I guess I still have a long way to go.

"There are moments when you don't play 100 per cent and you still win the match because you don't have to play perfect to win sometimes.

"It's just something that I think some people are born with and some people have to [undergo] trials and stuff to get it."

Osaka described her life as "full of tests" and admitted she is sometimes "overwhelmed".

She added: "I feel like I get tested a lot, like life is just full of tests and unfortunately for me, my tests are tennis matches. So I just have to find a way to navigate through it.

"I feel like there are moments where I can handle them and then there are moments like this where I get overwhelmed and I don't really know what to do in the situation."

Osaka's misery and self-reflection was in stark contrast to Gauff who felt she had learned the lessons of her hammering at the hands of the same opponent at the 2019 US Open.

Asked what she had taken on board from that chastening New York experience, Gauff said: "Definitely the pace of her ball.

"She definitely plays faster than most players. I think at the US Open I wasn't really prepared for that. And today I definitely showed that I worked on that in the offseason."

Following their last meeting, Gauff broke down in tears and was consoled in moving scenes by Osaka.

And the youngster, who meets Sofia Kenin next, will always be grateful for the Japanese's considerate reaction.

"I'm forever thankful for that moment," she said.

"It was a great moment for me, but also the people watching. In sport, sometimes people think we're enemies, and we're not. Some of us are, but most of us, we're all friends.

"Obviously on the court, we take things intense, but a real athlete can absolutely hate you on the court, but off the court they're nice.

"That's what true champions are, and that's why she has two grand slams, because of her on-court personality and off-court personality."

This time there were no tears, no consoling embraces, no emotional speeches, it all seemed crushingly routine. And that was the most remarkable thing of all.

Fifteen-year-old Coco Gauff breezed past defending champion Naomi Osaka and into the fourth round of the Australian Open with a ridiculously accomplished display on Friday.

The last time they met, at the 2019 US Open, Osaka was a 6-3 6-0 victor with the teenager's uncontrolled disappointment at the end met with compassion and grace by the Japanese.

This was no way to repay her, Gauff gaining ruthless revenge – winning 6-3 6-4 in just 67 minutes on Rod Laver Arena - to set up a clash with either Zhang Shuai or Sofia Kenin.

Osaka started well, her blazing groundstrokes threatening to overpower Gauff but the American gradually started to impose her game and, as she did, the errors started to increase from the other side of the net.

Three successive missed backhands handed Gauff a break and a 5-3 lead and, aided by two more mistakes from Osaka's backhand wing, she served it out to love.

Osaka's mental time-out continued at the start of the second, a wild forehand seeing her broken again.

But, finally, the third seed regrouped to hit back immediately and level at 1-1 and then move 2-1 up.

If there was a time for self-doubt it was now, but Gauff never wavered, her consistency from the back of the court in stark contrast to Osaka, who racked up 30 unforced errors in the match.

The majority came on the backhand and it broke down again as Gauff claimed the Osaka serve to edge 4-3 up.

Osaka did, at least, make Gauff serve it out but then handed her the win on a silver platter with another error-strewn game as the world number 67 powered through.

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