By Alessandro Mastroluca
- Roger Federer beat Filip Krajinovic, Novak Djokovic defeated Tatsuma Ito
- Cori Gauff set up a third-round clash against Naomi Osaka, Caroline Wozniacki upset No.23 seed Dayana Yastremska
- Tommy Paul won his first five-setter against Grigor Dimitrov
MELBOURNE, Australia – Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic easily advanced to the third round. Cori Gauff set up a revenge clash against Naomi Osaka. Grigor Dimitrov lost to Tommy Paul.
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Seven-time champion Novak Djokovic overwhelmed Japanese wild card Tatsuma Ito 6-1, 6-4, 6-2. The Serbian lost to a wild card, Denis Istomin, in the second round here three years ago. Like Istomin in 2017, Ito sealed his place in the main draw here as the winner of the Australian Open Asia/Pacific wild card play-off last month. The World No.146, who recorded his first Grand Slam match-win since 2014 in the first round, won just 11 return points in a one-sided clash.
Roger Federer has never lost before the third round in Melbourne. He beat Filip Krajinovic 6-1, 6-4, 6-1 to seal his 99th win at the Australian Open. The Swiss became the first player to spend 900 weeks in the Top 10. He will face John Millman, the Australian who took his first Top 10 victory against him at the 2018 US Open.
Caroline Wozniacki extended her career with a 7-5 7-5 victory over No.23 seed Dayana Yastremska to reach the third round in her last tournament. The Ukrainian teenager, who began working with coach Sascha Bajin last fall, reached in Adelaide her maiden career final at a Premier-level tournament last week. Aiming to reach the third round for the second consecutive year after her breakthrough campaign in 2019, she raced ahead 5-1. the 2018 champion, however, refused to be set aside so easily.
Cori Gauff sealed her second straight comeback win. The 15-year-old American rallied from 3-0 down in the decider to beat 4-6 6-3 7-5 Romanian Sorana Cirstea. Gauff, ranked higher than her opponent for the first time in her eight main draw matches at the major, is only the fourth player in the last 30 years to win six or more Grand Slam matches before her 16th birthday.
In her Australian Open debut, she will now meet Naomi Osaka who thrashed her 6-3 6-0 at the 2019 US Open before inviting her to share the post-match interview in one of the most emotional moments of the tournament, but she made headlines around the world for an emotional post-match scene that saw both players be interviewed on court.
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Three-time major semifinalist Grigor Dimitrov lost to 22-year-old American Tommy Paul. The World No.80, who began to work with Jim Courier’s former coach Brad Stine, struggled physically towards the end of his second five-setter ever but managed to seal a 6-4 7-6(8) 3-6 6-7(3) 7-6(3). In an entertaining game Paul, who had never won a Grand Slam match until this week, built a two-sets lead and found himself two points from defeat before clinching his best result in a major on his Australian Open debut. Paul will meet Marton Fucsovics to reach the fourth round.
Tennys Sandgren completed his fourth Top 10 victory, the third at the Australian Open on Wednesday. The 2018 quarter-finalist upset the No.8 seed Matteo Berrettini 7-6(7) 6-4 4-6 2-6 7-5 in the second round. The Italian, frustrated by the windy conditions, won four more points than his opponent (152 to 148) but suffered his first career loss in a five-setter.
Marin Cilic won eight of the last nine points in the final set tie-break to defeat Benoit Paire 6-2 6-7(5) 3-6 6-1 7-6(3). The Frenchman has lost nine of the ten tie-breaks played in 2020.
Caroline Garcia built a comfortable lead after the first set only to see it vanish into the air as doubts and frustrations grew. When she lost her serve at 2-1 in the second set, she gave her opponent, the talented Tunisian Ons Jabeur, the golden opportunity to dictate play. Garcia’s serve became unpredictable, her baseline game looked increasingly impulsive, her second serve returns remained below-par. The more assured Jabeur moved towards a 1-6, 6-2, 6-3 win.
Carla Suarez Navarro began her final Australian Open campaign completing a 7-6(6), 7-6(6) upset of No.11 seed Aryna Sabalenka. The Spaniard, who will retire at the end of the season, had lost her first two matches of the year.
A year after suffering a first-round exit as a seeded player at the Australian Open, Julia Goerges upset No.13 seed Petra Martic 4-6 6-3 7-5 hitting 13 aces and 44 winners to complete a high-quality clash. Her aggressive gameplan, in the end, paid off. The German celebrated her first Top 15 win since 2019 US Open (d. No.7 Kiki Bertens).
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