“Australian Open”: Medvedev and Tsitsipas advance to the fourth round, Rublev out… Halep qualifies
Sunday – 20 Jumada II 1443 AH – 23 January 2022 AD Issue No. [
French third seed Cornet Kahera Mugurosa (AP)
Melbourne: «Middle East»
Russian Daniil Medvedev, ranked second in the world, is one of the most prominent candidates to win the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam tournament, and his place in the fourth round for the fourth year in a row, after defeating Dutchman Botique van Zandscholp 6-4, 6-4, 6 – 2 on the third floor in an hour and 55 minutes. Greek fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas continued his career successfully, to join Medvedev after defeating Frenchman Benoit Paire 6-3, 7-5, 6-7 (2-7), 6-4.
Medvedev set a date with the American Maxime Cressi (70), who narrowly beat Australian Chris O’Connell (175) 6-2, 6-7 (6-8), 6-3, 6-2 for a ticket to the quarter-finals. “I thought you’d be more tolerant of me,” said the Russian, jokingly joking with fans who met him during his match against “naughty” local star Nick Kyrgios two days ago. He continued, after expressing his anger towards some fans, describing their behavior as “disrespectful”: “I will put that aside, it is easier to play against a player from the Netherlands than to play a match against a player from Australia in Melbourne.” And he added, “Any good relationship must go through ups and downs. So I think there is a real relationship between me and the fans, and it is a good, entertaining and real relationship.”
In the second match, Greece’s 23-year-old Tsitsipas, who reached the semi-finals in Melbourne last year, needed four sets to eliminate his opponent. The winner said: “Benoit is among the toughest players to beat because he has a lot of talent and feels good in the tennis world. So I am very happy.” The young Russian Andrei Rublev, the fifth in the world, was not lucky, as he lost to veteran Croatian Marin Cilic (27) 7-5, 7-6 (7-3), 3-6, 6-3, to qualify for the round of 16 in a scenario repeated for the last two editions. At the age of 33, the 2018 Australian runner-up hit 24 aces and succeeded in 55 kicks to breach the defensive play of his 24-year-old opponent.
In women’s, Romanian Simona Halep, ranked 15th in the world, qualified for the fourth round after defeating Montenegrin Danka Kovinic 6-2, 6-1 in the third round. “I feel very good, even if the heat is very high,” said Halep, who needed one hour and 4 minutes to beat her 98th seed. “She played very well, but (Kovenic) was a little tired,” the former world number two added.
Without causing much fanfare, Halep, 30, advanced in Melbourne and set up a date with Frenchwoman Alice Cornet (61) in order to reserve a ticket for the quarter-finals. “I am gradually starting to gain confidence after a difficult year,” added Halep, who was eliminated in the quarter-finals last year in Australia after reaching the final in 2018. After a year during which she suffered from frequent injuries, the winner of the Roland Garros 2018 and Wimbledon 2019 started the new year in a perfect way, after winning the “WTA” Melbourne Preparatory Tour for the Open Championship.
In the first two rounds, Halep removed the Polish Magdalena Frisch 6-4, 6-3 in one hour and 29 minutes, and the Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maria 6-2, 6-0 in one hour and 6 minutes. Second-seeded Belarusian Arina Sabalenka overcame her serve problem at the start of the year, but needed three sets to beat Czech Marketa Vondrosova (31) 4-6, 6-3, 6-1. Sabalenka, who had committed 70 double faults, hit a double on serve. During her previous four matches in 2022, she met Estonian veteran Kaia Kanepi, who defeated Australian Madison Inglis.