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What a way to start the Quarter-Finals with the three hour, three set thriller between Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk & Coco Gauff from the USA where both players fought so hard with back-to-back tiebreaks as Gauff led the first set while Kostyuk activated the 3rd set tiebreaker at 1-1 apiece. But at the end of the day, the match belongs to Gauff who was too good to pull it off towards the finish line for both the win & the semi-final spot, despite 1-2 late consolation games from her opponent. The final score was 6-7 with 6-8 tie, 7-6 with 7-3 tie & 2-6 as Gauff will be tuning into tonight’s 2nd women’s singles quarter-finals match where Barbora Krejcikova (Czech Republic) or reigning AO champ Aryna Sabalanka (Belarus) will meet her next on Thursday.

It’s been a great journey from the show courts to playing at the main event stage but her time has now came to an end where Kostyuk showed lots of fight to give Gauff a hard time along the way. She narrowly lost the first set and narrowly won back in the hope of continuing her fairlytale run into Thursday’s semi-finals night. But unfortunately, she was outrun so fast before being eliminated from this tournament despite picking it up some games towards the end there. She did Ukraine proud as Kostyuk has age by her side at 21 with lots of potential to hopefully fulfill throughout this year’s tennis season. And Gauff is not done yet following a long afternoon out with the win on her first AO knockout finals campaign. She had some tough challenges here & there where Kostyuk does not give her a free run despite picking up some good points. But her fightback and patience has paid off where she finally found a way out to steer away & into the homestretch from her opponent after sharing the lead with Kostyuk at 1-1. Looks like she’s ready for more where winning another grand slam away from home would be great. She has defeated Sabalenka before en route towards her first grand slam title on home soil (US Open) back in September 2023 & Gauff is ready to do it again in order for this to happen if Krejcikova is out tonight.

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What an afternoon of Tennis it has been at Rod Laver Arena between 26-year-old unknown challenger from Portugal Nuno Borges and seasoned Grand slam specialist Daniil Medvedev. Medvedev fired off well as always while Borges emerged from the set down to give his opponent some challenging times along the way. But there can only be one winner and that belongs to Medvedev who responded to Borges’s fight back with a quick finish to the match for the win after just over three hours of play. The final score was 6-3, 7-6 with 6-4 tiebreaker, 5-7 & 6-1 as he awaits he will take on Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz who defeated Frenchman Arthur Cazaux in a close straight sets match at 6-7 with 6-8 tiebreak, 6-7 with 3-7 tiebreak and 4-6.

It’s been a great run with some excellent effort from the Portuguese to push Medvedev to the limit after denying him a straight sets path at the first attempt. If he can replicate that form from the beginning, Borges would’ve been in a fair chance towards an outside win & possibly bring his country a rare chance to cheer him on in the Quarter-Finals. But all good things have come to an end having knocked out two Top 15-25 seeders prior to today (Alejandro Davidovich Fokina & Grigor Dimitrov) where Borges was so far behind for the majority as seen with him tiring fast after back-to-back long spells (2nd & 3rd sets) on the court. We wish him all the best to kick on throughout 2024. And Medvedev has been brilliant all along with an easy start followed by a couple of setbacks before he quickly sprinted towards the finish line for the win on what is going to be his 3rd AO finals appearance. Enduring tough challenges is something he will be keen to test himself going forward like Borges did to him for a while in the hope of doing better later this week. He hasn’t had a great 1st half of last year but did so close though during the 2nd half of the grand slam season as another grand slam title would be great to add into his trophy cabinet & he hasn’t done it since the 2021 US Open.

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Here’s an amazing match by the Ukrainian Qualifier Dayana Yastremska today where her straight sets win in the Round of 16 v 2012-13 Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka (Belarus) has put her through into the Quarter-Final for the first time, 6-7 with 6-8 tiebreaker & 4-6. We know she has played in the fourth round once before back in 2019 at Wimbledon but Dayana still has plenty of potential to prove against an experienced grand slam winner. Not only she got away with a close 1-0 lead but the Ukrainian did not throw her game away where it paid off big time towards the end. Now she will take on a rising star in 19-year-old Linda Noskova from Czech Republic, who saw fellow Ukrainian Elina Svitolina retire hurt (back) via walkover also today, having eliminated top seed Iga Swiatek by surprise from the opening set down during the 3rd round. But Dayana can too respond so fast like she did against Emma Navarro two days ago, so this court could be hers to take all the way this week.

Meanwhile, Azarenka always wanted to prove what it takes to dominate at Melbourne Park having got an excellent track record that includes the last two years. But today wasn’t her day unfortunately despite a great start and the effort to stay in this fight & if she just held off a bit longer when it comes to the execution, then we would’ve seen another amazing Azarenka display going into the last 8. This is her favourite place to play with 2 x Australian Open trophies to her name over the last decade as she’s not done playing just yet even having her six-year old son by her side at the age of 34.

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Like the previous match of the afternoon at Rod Laver Arena, we also witnessed another easy match over in the men’s draw during the fourth round between reigning champion Novak Djokovic & 20th seed Adrian Mannarino from France. The first two sets all belongs to Djokovic unchallenged and although Mannarino finally got the ball rolling but still the match belongs to him in straight sets (6-0, 6-0 & 6-3). He will now be watching the 2nd afternoon match of the day where American Taylor Fritz & last year’s finalist opponent Stefanos Tsitsipas (Greece) are currently battling it out to try & book a spot with him for the last eight at John Cain Arena.

Well, that was tough but he did bring some smiles and laughter to the crowd after Mannarino was easily eliminated just outside the last eight for the second time at Melbourne Park. The last time he was here was two years ago where the Frenchman was defeated by Rafa Nadal despite an intense first set via the tiebreak  14-16. Yes, he just wasn’t at the races today where Mannarino made some small games this late in this match. However, he had a great run beforehand who overcame a series of five-set showdowns including 16th seed American & also rising star Ben Shelton. He’s currently the best men’s ranked player in his country with still some energy left in the tank at age 35 as let’s hope his next run here will be a QF.

Meanwhile, things ain’t so hard today from the reigning AO champion where he got the job done as quickly on what has been an unusual daytime outime despite the roof being closed as he can in 1 hour and 44 minutes. As said, he was simply too good and unplayable all along without a lot of fuss from start to finish. Now he’s open for another challenge who can push him all the way like 1st round opponent Croatian Dino Prozmic did to him at the tiebreak during the 2nd set before the Serbian responded well towards the end there. That remains to be if it’s going to be Tsitsipas again who is eager to face him again following the last year’s final. If not after another easy run, then there’s always Daniil Medvedev or the new rising Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz on the road towards next Sunday’s main event here.

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The 2nd week of the 2024 Aussie Open has just been started with an easy, hour long 4th round match of the day in the women’s singles draw between Poland’s Magdalena Frech & American Coco Gauff at Rod Laver Arena. Both players may have started side-by-side including the 2nd stage but Gauff was so quick to get the job done in straight sets, 1-2 & 2-6.

Frech had a great run beforehand in her  best grand slam career result yet at Melbourne Park that began with a brilliant straight sets upset at the tie against 16th seed Caroline Garcia in the opening round before she went from a set down to overcome Anastasia Zakharova two days ago. But unfortunately, it wasn’t her day today she just couldn’t handle such a top player like Gauff for most of the time. She has unfinished business ahead throughout the year to kick on from there for her country like compatriot Iga Swiatek. And the current US Open champion is on her way towards her first quarter-final here following a quickfire win against Frech. She was simply too good to pull off right away where Gauff just wasn’t too bothered about giving her opponent a bit of time to catch up thanks to a big lead as this match is truly her court. So far it’s been an easy campaign for the 19-year-old where her next opponent will be a first time knockout grand slam players bound match in either Maria Timofeeva or Marta Kostyuk from Ukraine.

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Also an hour or two ago this afternoon over at Margaret Court Arena, we witnessed another five set stunner between 14th seed American Tommy Paul & Miomir Kecmanović from Serbia. The Serbian got a close opening set lead while Tommy Paul went from a set down to being closer towards the finish line after the third set at 2-1. However, Kecmanovic never gave up when not only he won another set back at the tiebreak but he managed to finish the match by punching his ticket into the last 16 so fast at the 5th & final set decider. The final score was 4-6, 6-3, 6-7 with 7-9 tiebreaker & 0-6.

Bugger for Tommy Paul with the 3rd round exit after his huge breakthrough here 12 months ago where he lost to Novak Djokovic but what an effort thought to fight back nonetheless. He was so close earlier on and he knew what he had to do to rebound before Paul took over top spot over his opponent for the first time. Sadly, he just couldn’t find his way back after he lost both the 4th tie, being blown away fast at final set & the match itself. Paul hasn’t kicked on for most of last year, even though he did okay through to the 4th round on home soil at the US Open. Plus, hats off to Kecmanovic who put in an absolute show where he’s now off to the fourth round for the first time in his grand slam career. Although, he will be tested against one of the world’s best right now in Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz. It will be interesting to see if his courageous resistance in long spells would be the key towards an outside chance of a win. But for now, he will need to work on his inconsistency where he struggled midway through the afternoon until he managed to regroup himself during the fourth set before he sprinted his way past Paul again & there goes his huge day on-court. He has gone through a tough 2023 after not being able to advance after the 1R & the Serbian is sure to win back more this year despite a difficult next round match-up.

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Here’s one of the highlight matches to look back earlier in the 2nd half of 3rd Round women’s singles matches this afternoon when Dayana Yastremska knocked down 27th seed American Emma Navarro after a quick three-set showdown (2-6, 6-2 & 1-6) at John Cain Arena. Dayana’s next opponent on Monday for the fourth round will either be Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko who eliminated Australia’s Ajla Tomjlanovic in the 2nd round or 2012-13 winner Victoria Azarenka from Belarus.

That was really quick for both players who fought back and fourth at every turn but one of them has to advance while another will need to leave and it’s one of the Top 30 seeders in Navarro. She was so good to respond by bringing it into a 3rd set decider after a poor start before the American lost her way once again and that was the writing on the wall towards the end there. This is her best grand slam result so far, having won some ITF tournaments last year as well as Navarro’s first WTA title a few weeks ago at Hobart International. So plenty of time to kick on and have a better impact from there at age 22. Meanwhile, it’s been a long time coming even though the Ukrainian is 23 as this is the second time that Yastremska will be playing in the fourth round since Wimbledon back in 2019. She was on the move that fast to get the ball rolling & although she would have loved to get the job done in straight sets, but still, Yastremska took her time to regroup herself with another quickfire winning set during the decider to bring this game to a close. After languishing between the Qualifers & 1st round last year, she is playing her best tennis at the moment where a last 8 breakthrough would mean a lot to her by flying the flag for Ukraine.

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Here’s another match to look back earlier in the afternoon when it comes to the women’s singles match in the 3rd Round between USA’s Amanda Anisimova & New York born Paula Badosa from Spain at John Cain Arena. Badosa had the early headstart but it was Anisimova who had the all-round performance to confirm her elimination in straight sets at 7-5, 6-4.

It’s been a tough last year due to injury where she has gone closer outside the knockout rounds the year before but the Spaniard didn’t do bad to start the match with a bang. She’s so good at catching up where Badosa was so close to catch her opponent and get the job done on her terms but just couldn’t go all the way with a lack of execution going against her for the loss after a great run over the last couple of days against USA’s Taylor Townsend (1R) & Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (2R) prior to today. Then hats off to Anisimova who has now reached the 4th round for the third time in a few years, having last done so back in 2021 & 2019. She just couldn’t give up her game in the way the American has caught up to Badosa with patience and finish off her way as the match goes on & that’s how Anisimova stood tall without giving it away towards the end there. But there is a tough challenge ahead this Sunday though where her next opponent for the fourth round will be reigning champion Aryna Sabalenka from Belarus. It’s not the first time she will back away, having shocked 2021 champion Naomi Osaka two years ago before the 2022 champ Ash Barty confirmed her elimination the same round later (Round 4). Like Badosa, she too hasn’t been playing for most of last year but for a different reason due to mental health & now is a great time to come back in the hope of making another miracle & play in her 3rd knockout finals match (last 8) since the 2022 Wimbledon tournament.

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World No.4 Italian Jannik Sinner is on a roll this afternoon at Margaret Court Arena following a straight sets win v Sebastian Baez from Argentina. He was too good in the opening two sets & although Baez finally got the ball rolling on time that late in such a huge task to try & hang in there, but Sinner took his time well to bring it home with the win 6-0, 6-1 & 6-3. The Davis Cup team winning player for Team Italy will now face either Tomáš Macháč (Czech Republic) or Karen Khachanov (Russia) for the fourth round this Sunday.

It’s been a great run where this is the second time that Baez has played in the third round after the 2023 US Open but his time was over so fast against such a tremendous player. Like how he fought back in the third set with some good shots to slow Sinner down. But then he was so behind unfortunately for most of the time as there’s nothing he can do about it other than looking to move on next time. He’s ranked 26th right now at age 23 who might not be the tallest but has great ability to unpack things along the way where a great ATP Tour season would see him challenge beyond the third round. And yes, what a player he is from Sinner who is enjoying the Tennis of his life at the moment. He was simply too good over the first two sets over an opponent being so much shorter than him before he took his time a bit longer well against an alert & ready Baez in the third set with a great way to wrap it up in just under two hours of play. Aside from the 2023 Davis Cup team win for Italy, he only made the semi-final last year at Wimbledon but only made the last 8 at Melbourne Park once back in 2022. So he has plenty to prove as his Davis Cup heroics can help springboard his way into something special & win a grand slam from there – same goes to our Aussie own Alex De Minaur who also did well in the Davis Cup and he’s currently ranked World No.10.

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Oh so close but Norwegian Casper Ruud has just won the match as Max Purcell left the men’s singles draw with so much applause from the crowd at Margaret Court Arena. He too has put up such a top notch effort right through the very end before things just didn’t end up his way after four hours of play this afternoon. The final score was 3-6, 7-6 with 7-5 tiebreaker, 3-6, 6-3 & 6-7 with 7-10 tiebreaker.

He’s got the fight Purcell needs to keep it up with such a Top 15 seeded player in Ruud, which wasn’t easy. But He bounced back really well as seen during the 2nd set tiebreak and the 4th set to give himself a lifeline ahead of the 5th & final decider. He looks like he was almost there to bring home an upset against someone he has known from his junior competition days, but just couldn’t quite escape right of time at the finish line there with the loss. It’s his best performance yet in the 2R at this grand slam alongside the Roland Garros in Paris last year as he is 25 right now with the room to improve throughout this year.

Meanwhile, what a player he is from Ruud who proved to be the better challenger after being established at other slams grams over the last few years. Although he has yet to advance past the 4th Round so far here back in 2021, but this is his greatest day today ahead of his next match-up against Briton Cameron Norrie who also got away from his own five set escape v Giulio Zeppieri from Italy. He fired off well with a great start to bring an early lead. Now he might have struggled to keep up the consistency as exposed by Purcell at times, but he managed to stay ahead by regrouping himself towards the end with patience for the win. He has some unfinished business left though with back-to-back 2nd round results off the back end of last year at Wimbledon & the US Open respectively.

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