Otago Daily Times

Big names bow out on third day of Australian Open


MELBOURNE: Former champion Stan Wawrinka blew three match points to make a dramatic exit from the Australian Open yesterday.

After fighting back from two sets down, Wawrinka succumbed 75, 61, 46, 26, 76 (119) to Hungarian Marton Fucsovics.

With Wawrinka knocked out and his fellow Swiss, Roger Federer, absent, world No 1 Novak Djokovic is now the only Australian Open champion from the past decade left in the men’s draw.

In the match tiebreak, Wawrinka snuck out to a 61 lead and had three match points at 96 but lost all three. Fucsovics then coolly converted his first and only match point.

He will face 14th seed Milos Raonic in the third round after the Canadian beat Corentin Moutet 67 (17), 61, 61, 64.

Djokovic overcame a serious scare from American Frances Tiafoe to grind out a 63, 67 (37), 76 (72), 63 win.

It was far smoother sailing for third seed Dominic Thiem, who eased past Dominik Koepfer 64, 60, 62.

Canadian No 11 seed Denis Shapovalov saw off some difficult points against Bernard Tomic to end the Australian's campaign with a 61, 63, 62 victory.

New Zealander Michael Venus and his Australian partner, John Peers, beat Australian­s Alex De Minaur and Matt Reid 63, 62 in their first round doubles match, but Queenstown­based Ben McLachlan, representi­ng Japan, and Indian partner Rohan Bopanna were beaten 64, 76(0) by Korean wilcards Nam Ji Sung and Song MinKyu.

In the women’s draw, Serena Williams, again sporting her distinctiv­e onelegged leotard, reached the third round for the 19th time with a 63, 60 victory over Serbian Nina Stojanovic.

Her sister, Venus, was not so fortunate, succumbing 61, 60 to Italian Sara Errani after bravely playing through two injuries to fight out the secondroun­d loss in her 21st Melbourne Park campaign.

Williams entered the match with a taped left knee but, when trailing 51 in the opening set, she badly rolled her ankle and took backtoback medical timeouts.

Canadian former US Open champion Bianca Andreescu's comeback after a 15month absence ended abruptly with a 63, 62 loss to the wily Taiwanese Hsieh Suwei, while twotime Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova was also sent packing after a 64, 16, 61 loss to Romanian Sorana Cirstea. — AAP/Reuters

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