Australian Open 2022 | Tennis

Muguruza, Raducanu among high-profile casualties

Daniil Medvedev tamed Nick Kyrgios to surge into the Australian Open third round on Thursday and avoid joining Garbine Muguruza and Emma Raducanu on the list of high-profile casualties.

Also out on a day of shocks was former World No. 1 Andy Murray, losing to Japanese qualifier Taro Daniel in straight sets.

Second seed Medvedev is the highest seed left in the men’s draw and the favourite after the deportation of reigning champion Novak Djokovic.

Stern test

But the 25-year-old Russian faced a stern test of his title credentials, and temperament, in the face of an unpredictable but talented Kyrgios, who revved up the home crowd in their prime-time evening showdown.

The 26-year-old Australian beat Medvedev, the reigning US Open champion and last year’s losing finalist in Melbourne, in their only two previous clashes.

It was a madhouse inside Rod Laver Arena with showman Kyrgios dealing out all his assortment of unplayable serves and tweeners before a partisan home crowd, while embroiled in a running battle with the chair umpire.

But calculating Medvedev dealt with it all to ease through 7-6(1), 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 and will now face Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp.

Greek fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, chasing a maiden Major, also fought his way past former junior World No. 1 Sebastian Baez of Argentina 7-6(1), 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4.

There was to be no fairytale run for Britain’s three-time Major champion Murray, going down 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 to 120th-ranked Daniel, who moves into the third round of a Slam for the first time.

Australian wild-card Chris O’Connell pulled off an upset with a straight-set win over 13th seed Diego Schwartzman of Argentina.

In the women’s draw, third seed Muguruza, US Open champion Raducanu and sixth seed Anett Kontaveit suffered upsets.

Kovinic, Tauson shine

The 19-year-old Raducanu, the 17th seed but making her debut in Melbourne, struggled with blisters on her serving hand as Montenegro’s Danka Kovinic won 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.

WTA Finals winner Muguruza is also out, losing 6-3, 6-3 to 61st-ranked veteran Alize Cornet.

Kontaveit, seen by many as a serious title contender after a breakout 2021, committed 27 unforced errors as she was stunned 6-2, 6-4 by fast-rising Danish teenager Clara Tauson.

But second seed Aryna Sabalenka lives to fight another day, just, after coming from a set down for the second successive match to beat China’s World No. 100 Wang Xinyu.


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Printable version | May 14, 2022 4:37:43 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/tennis/aus-open-muguruza-raducanu-among-high-profile-casualties/article38299275.ece