Serena Williams (WTA-11) defeated seventh seed Aryna Sabalenka (WTA-7) in three sets in 2 hours 9 minutes: 6-4, 2-6 and 6-4 in the fourth round. It was the first meeting between Williams and the Belarusian chasing her 24th Grand Slam in Melbourne. The tournament is not over yet for Sabalenka. She will play Alice Mertens in doubles later today.
Williams will face Simona Halep (WTA-2) in the quarterfinals with a new clapper. The Romanian defeated Polish Inga iatek (WTA 17) in three sets in the fourth round. After an hour and 50 minutes, Halep came out on top in a duel between two Roland Garros champions (Halep in 2018, Sweetek in 2020). It was 3-6, 6-1 and 6-4. Halep and Williams have already faced each other 11 times. Williams leads 9-2, but lost her last appearance in the 2019 Wimbledon final.
Osaka also barely made it to the quarterfinals
Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka has also struggled to qualify for the quarterfinals. In the fourth round, she defeated Spain’s Garbine Muguruza in three sets, who reached the final last year. The game at Rod Laver Arena ended after 1 hour 55 minutes of play: 4-6 6-4 7-5.
The 23-year-old Japanese was trailing 5-3 in the last set. He got two match points and then came back well. Third seed Osaka will face Taiwan’s Hsieh Su Wei in the quarterfinals. She won her match in straight sets 6-4, 6-2 against Czech Marketa Vondrosova.
Osaka had little opposition to it. He defeated all his opponents in straight sets. The three-time Grand Slam winner is back on track in Australia for the first time since her win at the US Open. She won the Australian Open in 2019, but was surprisingly knocked out in the third round by American teenager Coco Gauff last year.
Dominic Thiem out The fairy tale continues for the debutant Aslan Karatsev
Austrian Dominic Thiem (ATP3) is out in the eighth final. The third seed lost to Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov (ATP 21) 6–4, 6–4 and 6–0. Thiem reached the final in Melbourne last year. He lost in five sets to Serbian Novak Djokovic.
Grigor Dimitrov is in the last eight of the Australian Open for the fourth time in his career. In 2017, he also made it to the semi-finals (after winning the quarter-final against David Goffin).
The 29-year-old Bulgarian, seeded eighteenth, plays for a ticket to the semi-finals against surprise qualifier Aslan Karatsev. Tournament surprise for Russian tennis players men. Playing her first Grand Slam tournament in Melbourne, ranking number 114 qualified for the quarter-finals on Sunday.
The 27-year-old qualifier defeated Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassim (ATP 19) in the fourth round. He had to fold 3-6, 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 and 6-4 after 3.5 hours of tennis and five sets.
Karatsev is the first player since Germany’s Alex Radulescu at Wimbledon in 1996 to immediately reach the quarter-finals on his Grand Slam debut.
Russia did not lose a single set in their first three matches. He defeated Italian Gianluca Mager (ATP 96), Belarusian Egor Gerasimov (ATP 79) and Diego Schwartzman (ATP 9) of Argentina in a row.
Djokovic preparing to meet Alexander Zverev
Defending champion Novak Djokovic (ATP1) is set for a ninth overall win at the Australian Open. The Serb won in the fourth round against Milos Raonic (ATP 14) of Canada. Djokovic won 7-6 (7/4), 4-6, 6-1 and 6-4 at the desolate Rod Laver Arena after two hours and 56 minutes of tennis. An abdominal muscle injury was not a problem for him in the third-round five-setter against American Taylor Fritz (ATP 31).
Djokovic will face Germany’s Alexander Zverev (ATP7) in the quarter-finals. He kept Serbian Dusan Lajovic (ATP 27) apart in three sets. Djokovic leads 5-2 against Zverev in a clash. Last month they played against each other in the ATP Cup. There, the Serb was slightly stronger (6-7 (3/7), 6-2, 7-5).
Djokovic, 33, has already won the Australian Open in 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2019 and 2020.
Elise Mertens also reached the quarterfinals in doubles
Elise Mertens has qualified for the quarterfinals of the women’s doubles at the Australian Open with Belarusian Arya Sabalenka. Second-seeded Mertens and Sabalenka defeated German Laura Siegmund and Russian Vera Zvonareva in the eighth final (3rd round) in three sets: 6–3, 6–7 (5/7) and 6–2. The match lasted for two hours and eleven minutes.
The final two winning pairs of the US Open were facing each other, with a duel between Mertens/Sabalenka and Siegemund/Zvonareva. Mertens and Sabalenka won doubles at Flushing Meadows in 2019, Sijmund and Zvonareva last year. In the quarterfinals, Japanese tandem Shuko Aoyama/Ana Shibahara awaits Mertens and Sabalenka. She defeated American Hayley Carter and Brazilian Luisa Stefani 6-2 and 6-4.
The quarter-finals were the last station for Mertens and Sabalenka in Melbourne last year, their best doubles result to date at Happy Slam.
In singles, Mertens easily qualified for the eighth final on Saturday. Limburger won in her third round in two sets (6–2 and 6–1) against Swiss Belinda Bencic (WTA 12). Mertens will face Czech Karolina Muchova (WTA 27) in the eighth final, who surprisingly settled in her third round with her compatriot Karolina Pliskova (WTA 6) in two sets (7-5 and 7-5). . The match is scheduled for fourth at the Margaret Court Arena and will begin no earlier than 6 pm local time in Belgium.