Djokovic, Osaka, Halep, Zverev prevail, Thiem suffers upset
Novak Djokovic defeated Canada’s Milos Raonic 7/6(4), 4/6, 6/1, 6/4 to reach the quarterfinals of the Australian Open yesterday. In the women’s event, Naomi Osaka of Japan saved two match points to proceed to a 4/6, 6/4, 7/5 victory over 2020 finalist Garbine Muguruza Blanco of Spain, while Romania’s Simona Halep overcame a first set loss to defeat Poland’s Iga Swiatek 3/6, 6/1, 6/4, just as Germany’s Alexander Zverev defeated Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic 6/4, 7/6, 6/3.
However, third-seeded Dominic Thiem of Austria suffered a 6/4, 6/4, 6/0 loss to Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov.
Muguruza took the first set and broke Osaka’s serve in the first game of the second. Osaka broke back and led 3-1 on a second time. The gap remained throughout the set, which Osaka won 6/4. Muguruza served for the match leading 5-3 and reached 40-15 when Osaka missed a backhand shot.
However, Osaka survived and reduced the tally to 4-5. She held her serve to level. Muguruza bore the burden of a lost opportunity as she conceded the 11th game on her serve. The third seeded Osaka won four straight points to win the set 7/5 for a march to the quarterfinals. It was the first career meeting of the two multiple Grand Slam winners.
In the quarterfinals, Osaka will face Taiwan’s unorthodox shot maker, Hsieh Su-wei who defeated Czech Republic’s Marketa Vondrousova 6/4, 6/2.
Iga Swiatek dominated Simona Halep in the first set as the Polish youngster drove the Romanian from side to side. Simona broke early in the second set and raced on with two additional breaks to win 6/1 and level the match. Her lead of 2-0 in the third set was eroded by Swiatek who held serve till she conceded a break in the ninth game. Halep held the 10th game 6/4 match for the narrow victory.
Zverev broke Lajovic’s big serve in the third and seventh games to win the first set. The two players traded breaks in the second set, which progressed to a tiebreak that Zverev narrowly won by seven points to five.
A break of Lajovic’s serve in the third game of the third set gave the sixth-seeded German a constant gap. He sealed the victory with his 15th ace of the match, which was his 50th Grand Slam win.
Grigor Dimitrov won a total 53 points returning Thiem’s powerful serve and that resulted in the breaks that gave him the first two sets. The third set was one-sided, as the Austrian looked unfit.