Australian Open: Arthur Cazaux, Daniil Madvevdev advance to fourth round
MELBOURNE — French wild card Arthur Cazaux continued his stunning Australian Open debut on Saturday, upsetting 28th seed Tallon Griekspoor in straight sets to charge into the fourth round.
The 21-year-old sensation, who served as an alternate at the Next Gen ATP Finals in November 2023, claimed a stunning straight-set victory 6-3, 6-3, 6-1 win over 28th seed Tallon Griekspoor, not facing a single break point during the match.
Celebrated with high-fives from French fans on Court 3, Cazaux’s surge in rankings to No. 83 sets the stage for a potential Top 60 breakthrough if he triumphs in his first-time meeting against Hurkacz.
Cazaux, hailing from Montpellier, aims to make history by becoming the first wildcard since Nick Kyrgios in 2014 to reach a Grand Slam quarter-final. This remarkable feat follows his previous struggles, as he had not advanced beyond the first round in three career major appearances before this week.
Meanwhile, Cameron Norrie showcased a new game plan in a confidence-boosting victory over 11th seed Casper Ruud. The British player, who had experienced a challenging end to 2023 and withdrew from a quarter-final in Auckland due to a wrist injury, bounced back with an aggressive and confident display.
Norrie’s strategic approach, which included hitting 63 winners and successfully converting net approaches, secured him a place in the fourth round at Melbourne Park for the first time. The win propels him back into the Top 20 of the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings, setting up a meeting with the winner of Alexander Zverev and Alex Michelsen.
Earlier, Daniil Medvedev showcased his prowess by efficiently dispatching Felix Auger-Aliassime in straight sets 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 on Margaret Court Arena.
With a chance to reclaim the World No. 1 ranking, Medvedev’s clinical performance positions him for a title run. His next challenge comes against Portugal’s Nuno Borges, who caused a shock upset over 13th seed Grigor Dimitrov.
Australian Open: Azarenka, Alcaraz sail to fourth round
MELBOURNE — Victoria Azarenka showcased her prowess with a stellar performance, securing her place in the fourth round. The 34-year-old two-time AO champion triumphed over the 11th seed Jelena Ostapenko with a commanding 6-1, 7-5 upset at Margaret Court Arena.
Azarenka’s resilience shone through as she fired 11 aces, including crucial moments where she saved break points, serving for the match. Notably, the Belarusian limited her unforced errors to 17, a key factor in her victory, as opposed to her opponent’s 30.
The 18th seed’s comeback from a 2-5 deficit in the second set highlighted her determination, securing the win in just 1 hour and 23 minutes. This victory extended Azarenka’s unbeaten record against Ostapenko to 4-0, setting the stage for an intriguing journey in the tournament. Azarenka’s next challenge comes in the form of qualifier Dayana Yastremska, who made waves by upsetting 27th seed Emma Navarro to reach the round of 16 for the first time in her burgeoning career.
Meanwhile, in the men’s draw, 20-year-old sensation Carlos Alcaraz made history at Rod Laver Arena. Facing a younger opponent for the first time in 294 matches, Alcaraz delivered a spectacular performance against teenage wildcard Jerry Shang, who unfortunately had to withdraw 66 minutes into their showdown due to a right leg injury.
Alcaraz’s victory not only marked his first appearance in the Australian Open second week but also secured his place in the record books.
Despite missing AO 2023 due to injury, he now holds the distinction of being the youngest player in the open era to advance to the fourth round in seven consecutive Grand Slam appearances, surpassing the legendary Bjorn Borg’s record.
Next up for Alcaraz is a clash with the 60th-ranked Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic, who himself saved match points in a thrilling upset over 14th-seeded American Tommy Paul.