January 22, 2024

Australian Open 2024 LIVE updates: De Minaur plots future victories; Azarenka faces qualifier; Alcaraz takes on Kecmanovic

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Key matches

Here is a look at today’s key matches:

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French fan-favourite wildcard out; Hubert Hurkacz through

Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz has put an end to French wildcard Arthur Cazaux’s dream run and booked his spot in the quarter-finals with a 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (7-3), 6-4 victory.

The world No.9 is through to his first quarter-final at an Australian Open.

Hubert Hurkacz has made his maiden Australian Open quarter-final.Credit: Alex Ellinghausen.

Last time he was in a grand slam quarter-final, it was the match that ended Rodger Federer’s career, when the Swiss star’s knee got the better of him at Wimbledon in 2021.

In a much better victory today, the Pole was in huge spirits following the fourth round win on John Cain Arena and thanked the crowd for their support – which was scattered with Polish flags.

For Cazaux, it’s tournament over after the 21-year-old took the Open by storm, including taking out 8th seed Holger Rune in the third round.

Arthur Cazaux plays a forehand against Hubert Hurkacz.Credit: Alex Ellinghausen.

He vowed to fight as hard as he could, for as long as he could. And that particular battle ended today, but the future is looking very, very bright.


‘I’m happy it was not five sets’: Medvdev saves energy, progresses to quarters

World No.3 Daniil Medvedev is through to another quarter-final as he chases an elusive Australian Open title.

The Russian star, a finalist in 2021 and 2022, took another step towards finally getting his hands on the trophy when he defeated Nuno Borges 6-3, 7-6 (7-4), 5-7, 6-1.

After two late finishes, including one close to 4am this tournament, Medvedev said he was glad to get the job done before it went to five sets.

“Actually, before this match, I was feeling 100 per cent, but he made me run,” he said to a laugh from the crowd.

“Now I am again pretty tired. Now, one day off, and should be alright again for next match.”

Danill Medvedev of Russia in the fourth round of the Australian Open.Credit: AP

Medvedev looked capable of taking the victory in straight sets early on, but dropped the third 7-5 before taking back control of the match in the fourth, dropping just the one game.

“Third set was tough physically because he was playing very aggressive,” Medvedev said.

“End of third set I didn’t play long enough, good enough … I just hoped it was not five sets, and I am happy it was not five sets.”

On to the quarter-finals.


A look ahead

While the tennis is in full swing at Melbourne Park today, here’s a look ahead to tomorrow in case you’re interested in what’s on around the courts.

Coco Gauff is back against Marta Kostyuk, Novak Djokovic will headline the day session against Taylor Fritz, and at night, defending champion Aryna Sabalenka will play Barbora Krejcikova ahead of Jannick Sinner’s match against Andrey Rublev.

Here’s a rundown:


Cazaux battles tummy problem; Medvedev sent to fourth set

French wildcard Arthur Cazaux jumped up and down and shook his body side of court, trying to switch back into gear after a slight delay in which he took something for a stomach issue.

“It’s my tummy,” he could be heard saying during a medical time-out.

As someone who is running off three ice lattes today, I understand the feeling. Well, not quite.

Cazaux is back fighting and trying to regain some points after he dropped the first two sets to Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz in tense tie-breakers 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (7-3).

Arthur Cazaux plays a backhand against Hubert Hurkacz.Credit: Alex Ellinghasuen.

Meanwhile, over on Rod Laver Arena, Daniil Medvedev dropped the third set 7-5 to Nuno Borges after claiming the first two 6-3, 7-6 (7-4). It’s sent the match into a fourth.

Good for fans who’ve packed out the arena!


I asked Alexander Zverev about his DV allegations, and I wasn’t chasing clicks

By Michael Koziol

This one is worth a read, by Sydney editor Michael Koziol:

It didn’t take long for word to spread through the tennis fraternity that a journalist at this year’s Australian Open was asking players about the Alexander Zverev issue at their post-match press conferences.

Awkward clips of players dodging the question were soon all over X, formerly Twitter, posted by tennis accounts and podcasts. The clips attracted criticism from tennis diehards seemingly upset and confused the matter was being raised, as well as praise and relief that someone was finally asking basic questions about a problem that had been swept under the rug.

Alexander Zverev has denied allegations that he violently abused two former partners.Credit: AP

That problem is this: Zverev, a German player currently ranked sixth in the world and competing for a spot in the quarter-finals of this tournament, has been fighting allegations of domestic abuse for more than three years. The 26-year-old strenuously denies these allegations.

So here we have a prominent tennis player – a former world No.2 – on trial over domestic violence allegations, who not only continues to play at the highest level but was only this month elected by his peers to the Player Advisory Council of the Association of Tennis Professionals, which runs the men’s tour.

That is what I – along with my colleague Carla Jaeger – asked players, including Zverev, about last week. Put aside his guilt or innocence – that is for the courts to determine. But while this matter is unresolved, should he serve in a leadership position in the sport?

Take a read of the full piece here.


Crowd is loving French wildcard

French wildcard Arthur Cazaux, 21, who has hit his way into the fourth round and is now battling hard to progress even further, has the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand.

He dropped the opening set against Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz in an exciting tie-break 7-6 (8-6) and is now locked at 4-4 in the second.

Arthur Cazaux vs Hubert Hurkacz.Credit: Alex Ellinghausen.


Medvedev on track for quarters; Zverev back on court

World No.3 and Russian star Daniil Medvedev is on track for the quarter-finals, claiming the opening two sets against Portugal’s Nuno Borges 6-3, 7-6 (7-4).

He’s up 2-1 in the third set.

And in classic Medvedev style, there’s a lot of animated questioning going on for the chair umpire.

Danill Medvedev in the fourth round of the Australian Open.Credit: Getty

Across Melbourne Park, Alexander Zverev is back out on court against Great Britain’s Cameron Norrie. They are locked in battle for the opening set, with Norrie up 5-4.


Fritz and Riddle settle Vegemite bet

Taylor Fritz’s girlfriend, Morgan Riddle, finally ate a mouthful of Vegemite on Instagram live, repaying the debt she acquired after the 12th seed won his fourth-round match.

The TikToker and influencer declared she would eat a jar of Vegemite if Fritz won his match with Greek star and last year’s finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Fritz won 7-6 (7-3), 5-7, 6-3, 6-3.

Taylor Fritz looks on as Morgan Riddle reacts to eating a spoon of Vegemite.Credit: Twitter

Paying up, she swallowed the spread – without any butter, toast or biscuit, mind you – and then immediately gagged and could be heard sitting it out off camera.

“What the f—,” she said to her boyfriend. “That was disgusting. If anyone had to eat a whole jar of that, nope, nope, nope.”

One fan, correctly, commented: “Put it on toast with cheese, it’s so much better.”

Watch the whole footage here:


Hurkacz claims opening set

It wasn’t easy but Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz has claimed the opening set against wildcard Arthur Cazaux in a tense tie-break 7-6 (8-6).

The world No.9 and world No.122 are miles apart on paper but are putting on quite the close and quality show on John Cain Arena.

The crowd have been quietened by the chair umpire on numerous occasions and plenty of Polish and French flags can be seen throughout the crowd.

If you’re at Melbourne Park, there are a few seats left – and worth grabbing – and if not, I’d put the TV on.

Hubert Hurkacz.Credit: AP


‘Next question’: Azarenka refuses to answer about Russia-Ukraine war

By Carla Jaeger

Belarusian Victoria Azarenka, who was knocked out of the tournament by Ukranian 23-year-old Dayana Yastremska earlier today, has refused to answer a question about the on-court impact of the Russia-Ukraine war.

Two-time champion Victoria Azarenka was defeated in the fourth round of the Australian Open.Credit: Alex Ellinghausen

Azarenka’s home country Belarus, an ally of Russia that has supported its invasion of the Ukraine.

Azarenka lives in Florida and in March, 2022, released a statement on X, formerly known as Twitter, to state her heartbreak of the “actions that have taken place”, referring to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, aided by Belarus.

She “declare[d] her dismay and great sadness at the events [in Ukraine]“, adding: “I have always seen … Ukrainian and Belarusian people [and] nations … [as] friendly and supportive of one another.

“It is hard to witness the violent separation that is currently taking place instead of supporting and finding compassion for each other.”

In a post-match press conference after her fourth round defeat, the 18th seed was asked whether playing against a Ukranian added more pressure to the match, and how the atmosphere felt at Rod Laver Arena.

“The atmosphere was good. I always enjoy playing in Australia … I always have so much support here. And yeah, I wish I could’ve played longer here. It wasn’t meant to be,” Azarenka said.

The journalist asked again about the pressure, at which point the moderator interjected and asked for another question.

The same reporter repeated the question. Azarenka turned to the moderator and said: “Next question.”

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