Australian Open day eight: Djokovic in a hurry as reigning champions progress

By Sports Desk January 21, 2024

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

 

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Fallen seeds

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

Who’s up next?

 

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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.

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  • Jabeur edged out by Pliskova in Nottingham Open quarter-finals Jabeur edged out by Pliskova in Nottingham Open quarter-finals

    Ons Jabeur pushed Karolina Pliskova all the way in their delayed quarter-final match, but it was the Czech that came out on top.

    After rain delayed the match on Friday, and start of play on Saturday, a tough battle ensued, but Pliskova reached her third semi-final of the season with a 7-6 (10-8), 7-6 (7-3), 7-5 win.

    Pliskova edged the first set on the tie-break before Jabeur forced a decider with an equally impressive win in the second.

    Despite going toe-to-toe once more in the third, Pliskova just did enough to hold off top-seed Jabeur, getting a vital break to set up a meeting with Diane Parry.

    Meanwhile, Emma Raducanu advanced to her first semi-final since 2022 after receiving a walkover from Francesca Jones, but her match against Katie Boulter was suspended due to rain after the first set, which lasted an incredible 80 minutes.

    In 's-Hertogenbosch, Bianca Andreescu will play in the Libema Open final after her straight-sets 6-4, 6-2 victory over Dalma Galfi on Friday, earning a place in her first final of the season.

    Data Debrief: Jabeur unable to stop the break

    Jabeur had the opportunity to win seven break points during the quarter-final, but had a measly 14 per cent conversion rate (1/7). Pliskova, meanwhile, won half of hers (2/4).

    The Czech also won 94 per cent of her service games (17/18), just one more than Jabeur. It was the fine margins that won out in Nottingham.

  • De Minaur to face Korda in Libema Open final after downing Humbert De Minaur to face Korda in Libema Open final after downing Humbert

    Alex de Minaur will face Sebastian Korda in the final of the Libema Open in 's-Hertogenbosch after posting a straight-sets win over Ugo Humbert in the last four.

    De Minaur – the top seed for the ATP 250 tournament in the Netherlands – needed one hour and 46 minutes to wrap up a 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 success over the world number 16, having thrown away a 4-0 first-set lead before holding his nerve in a tiebreak.

    The second set was cagey as De Minaur did not give up a single break point and converted one of two he forced, some strong serving ensuring he held off his opponent.

    He will face Korda in Sunday's final after the American ended Tallon Griekspoor's title defence at the semi-final stage earlier on Saturday, winning 6-2 6-4.

    Meanwhile, Jack Draper will face Matteo Berrettini in the final of the BOSS Open in Stuttgart, having beaten Brandon Nakashima 6-3 6-3 in the semi-finals.

    Former Wimbledon runner-up Berrettini came through an all-Italian clash with Lorenzo Musetti in just 67 minutes, winning 6-4 6-0.

    Data Debrief: New high for De Minaur

    De Minaur is into his 17th ATP Tour-level final, having an 8-8 record in his previous 16. It will be his third on grass, after beating Lorenzo Sonego in Eastbourne in 2021 and losing to Carlos Alcaraz at Queen's last year.

    The victory also ensured he will rise to eighth in the world rankings – a new career-high position.

  • Osaka crashes out of Libema Open, De Minaur through to semi-finals Osaka crashes out of Libema Open, De Minaur through to semi-finals

    Naomi Osaka crashed out of the Libema Open despite fighting to a tie-break in the final set, with Bianca Andreescu progressing to the semi-finals after a 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7-3) win.

    Osaka's match was interrupted by rain early on with her in the lead, but Andreescu came back out in top form to take the first set.

    The Japanese raced through the second though, taking a 5-0 lead before holding off Andreescu's fightback to go into a decider.

    Despite an impressive comeback to force a tie-break in the final set, Osaka became sloppy, with her mistakes contributing to the Canadian's path into the semi-final, where she will face Dalma Galfi.

    Elsewhere, Alex de Minaur is through to the semi-finals after a comfortable straight-sets victory over Milos Raonic.

    Despite a long break due to bad weather, the Australian eased into the next round with a 7-5, 6-2 victory on Friday.

    He will face either Ugo Humbert or Gijs Brouwer in the next round.

    Data Debrief: Osaka not close enough, De Minaur in cruise control

    Despite winning more points (98 compared to 94), and winning more games (16 to 15), Osaka could not hold her nerve in the tie-break to reach the semi-finals.

    Competing as the top seed for the first time in his tour-level career, De Minaur felt no pressure as he rallied in the second set to ensure Raonic would not find a way back into the match, winning his last five games in a row on his way to victory. 

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