Novak Djokovic reached the third round of the Australian Open on Wednesday with some difficulty. The Serbian won after a relatively long match in four sets against the American Frances Tiafoe. Stan Wawrinka saw all his hopes for success in Melbourne fade after a marathon match against Márton Fucsovics.
The 33-year-old Djokovic surprisingly lost the second set to the ten years younger Tiafoe, his first lost set this Australian Open. He recovered fairly quickly and still ‘just’ took the spectacular game in 3.5 hours: 6-3, 6-7 (3), 7-6 (2) and 6-3.
In the first round against Frenchman Jérémy Chardy, Djokovic lost only six games. For a place in the fourth round, the number one in the world awaits a duel with the American Taylor Fritz or his fellow countryman Reilly Opelka.
Earlier on Wednesday, Dominic Thiem easily dealt with Dominik Köpfer: 6-4, 6-0 and 6-2. The German number seventy in the world only managed to force a breakpoint twice, but never managed to win Thiem’s service game.
Due to his problem-free victory, the Austrian is still without a set loss at the Australian Open. In the third round, Thiem may face a showdown with home player and ‘enfant terrible’ Nick Kyrgios, who first has to beat Ugo Humbert.
Thiem is one of the favorites to win the Australian Open this year. The current number three in the world won a Grand Slam tournament for the first time in his career in September 2020 by capturing the US Open title after a heroic final against Alexander Zverev.
Dominic Thiem is in the third round of the Australian Open.
Wawrinka stranded after a four-hour marathon match
Wawrinka, 35, is no longer in the race to reach the Australian Open final. The Swiss lost after a four-hour marathon match to the Hungarian Fucsovics in five sets: 5-7, 1-6, 6-4, 6-2 and 6-7 (9).
In the decisive super tie break of the fifth set, Wawrinka took a 9-6 lead and got three match points, but Fucsovics knocked them all out. The number 55 in the world won four points in a row and then hit his first power point immediately.
It is the fourth year in a row that Wawrinka has not reached at least the semi-finals at the Australian Open, which he won in 2014. The three-time Grand Slam winner also stranded in the second round in 2018 and 2019. Last year, the quarter-finals were the final destination for Wawrinka.
The tired Márton Fucsovics stayed on the Australian hard court for a while after the decisive point.
Source: NU by www.nu.nl.
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