- 05 Feb 2021
It has been a busy Friday at the men’s Melbourne Summer Series events, with both third-round and quarter-final action taking place at a pair of ATP 250s. That means there was double duty — yes, two matches in a single day — for many players and for Stan Wawrinka, it proved too much.
Great Ocean Road Open
Big things are expected of Jannik Sinner in 2021, and so far he has not disappointed. The 19-year-old Italian, who is already up to 36th in the rankings, won his first two matches with ease at Melbourne Park. That left him well-rested for Friday, when he added two more victories to his credit. Sinner beat Aljaz Bedene 7-6(6), 6-2 and then battled past No 7 seed Miomir Kecmanovic 7-6(10), 6-4.
Next up for Sinner in the semi-finals on Saturday is No 2 Karen Khachanov, who saved a match point before overcoming little-known Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp 6-7(6), 7-5, 6-3.
On the other side of the draw it’s Thiago Monteiro vs. Stefano Travaglia in the semis. Both players entered the event unseeded, but they have made impressive runs to the weekend. Monteiro continued his fine form from the first two rounds by getting the best of Carlos Alcaraz and No 11 Jordan Thompson on Friday. Travaglia has upset three seeded opponents in a row, most recently No 3 Hubert Hurkacz via a 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 decision.
Murray River Open
Jeremy Chardy has to play Novak Djokovic in the first round of the Australian Open. On the bright side, Chardy’s luck at the Murray River Open has been much better. The Frenchman has won six consecutive sets since losing his first one of the week to Marin Cilic, coming back to beat Cilic in three and then cruising past Gilles Simon on Wednesday and Taylor Fritz on Friday. After earning a quarter-final spot, Chardy became the first man into the semis when he got a walkover from No 1 seed Stan Wawrinka. The former Australian Open champion, who had outlasted Alex Bolt 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(5) earlier in the day, withdrew citing an injury — although it is likely just a precautionary measure in advance of the season’s first Grand Slam.
Chardy is joined in the last four by No 8 Dan Evans, a straight-sets winner on Friday over both Marcos Giron and No 4 Borna Coric. Coric had beaten No 13 Nick Kyrgios earlier in the day, but he could not recapture that magic against the Briton.
The other semi-final spots belong to No 3 Felix Auger-Aliassime and Corentin Moutet. Auger-Aliassime advanced when Jiri Vesely retired after the Canadian took their opening set 7-6(3); Moutet downed No 2 Grigor Dimitrov 7-5, 6-2.