January 21, 2024

Australian Open 2024 LIVE updates: All star super Sunday with de Minaur, Djokovic, Gauff, Sabalenka and Tsitsipas all in action

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Today’s key matches

Here are the key matches for day eight of the Australian Open:

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Tsitsipas the definite crowd favourite

Our reporter Cara Waters is at John Cain at the moment and tells of a sea of blue and white Greek flags.

There’s only one US flag spotted so far.

It’s clear the 2023 Open finalist and No.7 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas is the clear crowd favourite over the No.12 seed and American Taylor Fritz.

No.7 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas v No.12 seed Taylor Fritz.Credit: Getty


Defending champions sailing in matches

It looks like fairly easy rides through to the fourth round for both defending champions.

Aryna Sabalenka, who is yet to be truly tested this tournament, won her opening set 6-3 against American Amanda Anisimova and is now up three games to two in the second.

Over on Rod Laver Arena, Novak Djokovic ordered a bagel for lunch, taking the opening set against Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 6-0. After the opening two games went for 17 minutes, the world No.1 put the accelerator down and wrapped up the first set in just over half an hour.

A tissue fell from his pocket at one stage, suggesting he could still be feeling under the weather.

Meanwhile, on the people’s court, last year’s finalist and No.7 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas is locked in battle with the No.12 seed Taylor Fritz at John Cain Arena.

The Greek is up two games to one in the opening set.

Aryna Sabalenka.Credit: Getty


Cruz Hewitt in photos

A dead ringer for his dad, Cruz Hewitt out on court during the junior championships at the Australian Open.

The 15-year-old is playing the No.6 seed for the junior event, Alexander Razeghi, who is ranked 10th in the world.

Cruz Hewitt.Credit: Alex Ellinghausen.

Cruz Hewitt in the junior championships at the Aus Open.Credit: Alex Ellinghausen,

The box for Cruz Hewitt, including Lleyon and Bec Hewitt.Credit: Alex Ellinghausen.


Fascinating start to Djokovic, Mannarino match

It’s been a captivating first couple of games in the opening set between world No.1 Novak Djokovic and Adrian Mannarino, as each seem to feel each other out despite squaring off multiple times throughout the years.

There’s been a fair few long rallies and volley techniques on show – one rally went for 18 shots before Djokovic claimed it – and Mannarino is being made to cover a lot of the court.

The Serb had an early first pump after winning his third break point to claim both opening games. He leads 2-0 in the first set.

The first two games went for over 17 minutes, so, we could be in for a long one.

Novak Djokovic.Credit: Getty


Djokovic steps out for rare day time match

Novak Djokovic has made his way out on Rod Laver Arena, for his first scheduled day-time match since 2021. This is to make room for Aussie Alex de Minaur, who will headline the Sunday of stars against world No.5 Andrey Rublev.

But now, we’ve got a match on our hands as the men’s world No.1 takes on veteran star Adrian Mannarino.

Despite the day session, it still feels like a night match for the man hunting his unprecedented 11th Aus Open title as the roof on RLA has now closed to keep out a slight bit of rain at Melbourne Park.

Novak Djokovic walks out for his round four clash.Credit: Getty


Lots of home support for Cruz Hewitt

By Marc McGowan

Court three is packed as fans watch Lleyton Hewitt’s son, Cruz, make his Australian Open boys singles debut.

He broke the No.6 seed Alexander Razeghi to love to start the match but then handed the break straight back.

There is lots of support for him out here.

Rain is falling but it is still fairly light for now.

Cruz Hewitt and Razeghi have taken a seat for now, with the American 3-1 and 15-0 up.

There are a lot of similar mannerisms between Hewitt jnr and his dad, a former world No.1, from the backwards hat to his double-handed backhand, how he fiddles with his strings and the way he winds up for shots.


Gauff through to maiden AO quarters in front of Laver

Coco Gauff is safely through to her first Australian Open quarter-finals after making light work of Poland’s Magdalena Frech in straight sets 6-1, 6-2.

In attendance was the man himself, Rod Laver.

Rod Laver watches Coco Gauff and Magdalena Frech.Credit: Getty

“It was an honour to play in front of you, so thank you for coming to my match,” Gauff said post-win.

“Luckily, when I noticed he came, I was up a lot, so I wasn’t too nervous … so thank you for coming.

Coco Gauff, right, is congratulated by Magdalena Frech after making it through to her first Australian Open quarter-finals.Credit: AP

“But it’s not just you, there’s a lot of legends in the box over there, so thank you for coming.”

For Frech, it’s not all bad news – not even close – as the Pole made her deepest run at a grand slam and will collect ranking points to move up into the top 50 for the first time.


Stephens finally answers the smoothie speculation

American player Sloane Stephens, who bowed out of the tournament to Anna Kalinskaya in the third round, has finally answered fan speculation about her choice of in-match snacks.

Fans were quick to notice during her match, next to her water bottle, towel and bag, were two full smoothies and two containers of sushi.

Most commentary across X, formerly known as Twitter, was along the lines of: “Girl, why?”

Now, she’s answered: “We had a long first set, I was hungry and this is all my team could find”.

Where are all those Aus Open bananas when you need them?


‘Unbelievably proud’: Lleyton on son Cruz competing today in juniors

Over on show court 3, Aussie tennis legend Lleyton Hewitt is watching his son, Cruz, in his Australian Open debut in the junior championships.

Here on Channel Nine, Lleyton doesn’t hold back in talking about how proud he is. Take a look:


Gauff in cruise control, comfortably takes first set

Coco Gauff has taken the first set comfortably 6-1 against Poland’s Magdalena Frech.

It could be a rough two days for Polish fans after their greatest hope, world No.1 Iga Swiatek, surprisingly bowed out in the fourth round yesterday.

Now, they need to put pressure on their pipes to cheer on Frech in the second set, as the world No.70 has a mountain to climb against Gauff, the fourth seed.

Coco Gauff.Credit: Alex Ellinghausen.

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