Tsitsipas and Kanepi reach Australian Open quarter-finals | Tennis News
While Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas survived challenges to have their say, world number 2 Aryna Sabalenka saw another Grand Slam dream fade overnight.
Medvedev called it “the unluckiest day of my life”. Unhappy with the schedule that had put him at the Margaret Court Arena, he took on the luck of his opponent American Maxime Cressy, he then took on chair umpire Renaud Lichtenstein, who had rejected the asks the Russian to change his sweat-soaked gear in second. together.
The world No. 2, however, was nearly faultless on the pitch, committing just 11 unforced errors in their 6-2, 7-6 (7-4), 6-7 (4-7) win. 7-5. Medvedev was unbroken in the 3 hour 30 minute encounter in which Cressy cut a frame back with his style of net play.
Stefanos Tsitsipas, the fourth seed, faced all types of music on Rod Laver Arena, including a power play from American great Taylor Fritz, but the Greek was backed by the roar from home. No sooner had the match started than he was called off for a time violation and immediately afterwards landed a first serve. He also received a few warnings for coaching as his masked father Apostolos shouted instructions at his son.
Tsitsipas, however, stepped in to deliver, rallying to score a 4-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 win in the fourth round. The Greek, who has 53 winners, has reached the semi-finals twice in Melbourne in 2019 and 2021. To match that effort, he will need to beat Italy’s Jannik Sinner in their round of 16.
Sabalenka struggled with her serve during the championships which led to double faults, often twice and three times in a single match. Against world No. 115 Kaia Kanepi in the fourth round, the Belarusian powerhouse committed 15 double faults which derailed her Australian Open campaign.
Kanepi, 36, rallied from a set to score a 5-7, 6-2, 7-6(10) win to make the last eight at Melbourne Park for the first time.
Sabalenka, 23, took her time getting into the matches, having lost the opening set in her previous three outings, but on Monday she took the early lead but failed to take advantage as her service came undone.
Successive double faults in the second set saw the veteran Estonian take a double break, helping her level the scores. She kept that momentum going in the decider, but Sabalenka saved four breakpoints in game seven to hold it 3-4. A combination of factors, including a break in the game for low-flying seagulls that lent to the atmosphere, caused him to stutter again.
More double faults put Kanepi in position to serve the match, but she failed to finish the serve at 40-0, until the tie-break, closing her fifth match point. “I was really tight. My hand was shaking when I started to serve. I didn’t make any first serves and that added to the pressure,” Kanepi said of his first three match points. “I almost didn’t make it. She had that match point too. I guess I just got lucky in the end.”