By Ros Satar
- Karolina Pliskova and Elina Svitolina exit before the end of the first week
- Alexander Zverev keeps on rolling
- Tennis Australia have a decision to make about the round four clash between Rafael Nadal & Nick Kyrgios
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – While not quite as chaotic as Saturday, more seeds went packing and Nick Kyrgios caught the headlines again.
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Is Garbiñe Muguruza back? It looks like she very well might be, after a clinical dispatch of the No. 5 seed Elina Svitolina. To be fair to the Ukrainian, there did not appear to be much that she did wrong but Muguruza was back to her ruthless best.
Having started the tournament almost down and out with a viral illness, her comeback has been living up to her ‘Mugu-ruthless’ nickname, certainly in this match. She was take the distance in her first two rounds, and she reached the fourth round giving up just three games.
The last time she teamed up with Conchita Martinez (much to the delight of fans and pundits alike), she picked up a Wimbledon title – and with the current carnage amongst the Top 10 seeds on the women’s side, she is putting herself in the driving seat to make a title run.
Alexander Zverev continues to quietly go about his business. After his impassioned press-conference where he pledged $10k for every match he wins, and should he win the title, his whole prize money, he is now setting about putting his tennis out there.
Fernando Verdasco can be tricky – but he can also be adept at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, and having broken for a lead in the third set, Zverev steadied the ship with two straight breaks before another straight sets win 6-2, 6-2, 6-4.
Going into her match with Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova with a commanding 6-0 lead, we were in for a long match when the players were labouring through long opening games in the time it took Angelique Kerber to whizz through her first set. The Russian had Pliskova on the back foot from that long first service game for the No. 2 seed, forcing her to save six break points and looked as though she would be running away with things, before Pliskova pegged her back from a 1-4 deficit in the first set.
Although the second set was perhaps a little more competitive from Pliskova despite losing the first set tie-break, she always seemed under pressure with more multiple break-point saving, before the Russian clinched two tie-breaks for a 7-6(4) 7-6(3) win.
Andrey Rublev is unbeaten in 2020 on the tour, winning titles in Doha and Adelaide. Having struggled a lot with injuries last year, and off the back of Daniil Medvedev’s great run at the end of last year, Russian tennis is looking in very good hands.
Talking of Medvedev, while all kinds of chaos was ensuing between compatriot Karen Khachanov and Nick Kyrgios, Medvedev is also making his way comfortably through the draw, proving that his form at the end of last year was not a fluke.
Last but by no means least, we have a mouth-watering fourth round in store as Kyrgios found a way to get past Khachanov in the fifth set, and the real question is will Tennis Australia allow Kyrgios to continue playing on Melbourne Arena, where groundspass-holders can come in, or whether they will make this a big-ticket event on Rod Laver Arena or even Margaret Court Arena.
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