- 10 Feb 2021
The top half of the men’s draw at the Australian Open were back in action on Wednesday, with eight-time champion Novak Djokovic leading a host of big names into the third round.
What you need to know: Djokovic drops set; Thiem through, Kyrgios saves match points
World No 1 Novak Djokovic was made to work harder than he expected on Wednesday as he battled his way into the third round with a 6-3, 6-7 (3), 7-6 (2), 6-3 victory over valiant American Frances Tiafoe.
Djokovic was pushed hard by Tiafoe but helped by 26 aces and the attitude and resilience that has helped him to 17 Grand Slam titles, the Serb battled through in four sets to set up a clash with Taylor Fritz.
— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) February 10, 2021
The upsets: Fucsovics upends Wawrinka
Stan Wawrinka and Marton Fucsovics often bring out the best in each other. Heading into Wednesday’s showdown, they had already played two thrillers against each other. Wawrinka won 1-6, 7-6(2), 7-6(10) at the 2018 Rogers Cup and he also prevailed 6-4, 6-7(5), 7-5 at the 2019 Indian Wells Masters. Overall, the Swiss led the head-to-head series 3-1.
Wawrinka could not have been closer to handing Fucsovics another heartbreaking defeat. The No 17 seed led 9-6 in the fifth-set super-tiebreaker but could not get across the finish line from triple-match point up. Fucsovics took the last five points of the match to triumph 7-5, 6-1, 4-6, 2-6, 7-6(9) in three hours and 59 minutes.
What. A. Match. 😱
Fucsovics survives multiple match points for Wawrinka in the fifth set tiebreak to triumph in a classic 👏👏
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) February 10, 2021
The expected winners: Thiem leads big names through
Dominic Thiem is looking a real title contender — again. The 2020 Australian Open runner-up and 2020 US Open champion erased Dominik Koepfer 6-4, 6-0, 6-2 in one hour and 39 minutes.
He’ll face Nick Kyrgios, the enigmatic and at times controversial Australian who was at his brilliant best on Wednesday as he saved two match points before beating Frenchman Ugo Humbert 5-7, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6, 6-4.
Sixth seed Alexander Zverev eased past American Maxime Cressy 7-5, 6-4, 6-3, while No 8 Diego Schwartzman was the first into the third round; he destroyed lucky loser Alexandre Muller 6-2, 6-0, 6-3 in just one hour and 32 minutes. Milos Raonic, the No 14 seed, dropped one set to Corentin Moutet but was quick to recover for a 6-7(1), 6-1, 6-1, 6-4 success. No 18 seed Grigor Dimitrov cruised to a 7-6, 6-1, 6-2 over Australia’s Alex Bolt while No 23 Dusan Lajovic held off Alexander Bublik 6-4, 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-3.
All-Canadian clash coming up in R3
It was another productive day for Canadian men. In addition to Raonic’s success, Denis Shalovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime also marched into the last 32. No 11 Shapovalov disposed of qualifier Bernard Tomic 6-1, 6-3, 6-2 in one hour and 47 minutes. No 20 Auger-Aliassime made similarly quick work of James Duckworth, winning 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 in an hour and 45 minutes.
An all-Canadian affair between best friends Shapovalov and Auger-Aliassime is on tap for Friday. Shapovalov leads the head-to-head series 3-1 (2-1 at the ATP level).
Shapovalov-Auger Aliassime R3 at the #AusOpen.
Felix remembers their first meeting well, Denis not so much. pic.twitter.com/tOlbCAR3vF
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) February 10, 2021