By Ros Satar
- Nick Kyrgios continues to drive for change with his performances, but his antics are still not far away
- Cici Bellis had a triumphant win after years of injury hell
- Is this year for Alexander Zverev and Elina Svitolina?
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – Dust and rain caused havoc with the scheduled once more, but the singles third round line-ups are set.
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Nick Kyrgios declared his desire to be based in Melbourne Area for as long as possible for the tennis faithful to come watch him as he our-ground Gilles Simon. He was cruising, he was up to his antics, but a loss of concentration gave the Frenchman a way back in, but the Aussie, prevailed.
Dominic Thiem needed five sets to get past Aussie Alex Bolt 6-2, 5-7, 6-7(5), 6-1, 6-1. The Austrian is widely tipped to be the first of the younger generation to break the stranglehold of the Big Three but will have to stop taking the torturous route if he wants to be the last man standing.
Before Coco Gauff, the Americans had Cici Bellis as the possible next big thing. A former junior No. 1, the home crowds were thrilled to watch her take out the then No. 12 seed Dominika Cibulkova in three sets in 2014, at the age of 15.
Fast forward to the end of last year, and her return to the tour after 20 months out with continual injuries to her arms.
A lesson in never giving up 💪
📸 Instagram / behindtheracquet pic.twitter.com/UP0Gsx8WQO
— ITF (@ITF_Tennis) January 23, 2020
She downed No, 20 seed Karolina Muchova and earns herself a third round match up with Elise Mertens.
Last year’s semi-finalist Danielle Collins was plain out-gumptioned by Yulia Putintseva. Wearing identical kits and with identical attitudes, Collins will come to rue losing the momentum that saw her level the match quite decisively. She saved a match point in the decider as Putintseva was serving for the match, but was broken straight back to love and only won a single point more.
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Today’s special mentions go to the two players often scoffed over for their not-so-impressive Slam records. With Alexander Zverev’s offer to contribute $10k for each match won and all of his prize money should he win the whole shebang, he continued to put aside a truly awful ATP Cup experience for another straight sets win to make the third round. His best performance was to make the fourth round last year.
On the WTA side, Elina Svitolina handled the potential issue of the tenacious Lauren Davis in straight sets. Svitolina is twice a quarter-finalist but her steady tour game has never quite translated to the Slams until last year, where she made two semi-finals. Could this be the Slam where she makes the ultimate breakthrough?
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