On a day marked by heroic comebacks and epic collapses, most of the players who pulled off upsets in the first round crashed out of the Australian Open in the second round — with Kyle Edmund and Marta Kostyuk among the few exceptions.
Belinda Bencic (beat Venus Williams in R1), Zhang Shuai (beat Sloane Stephens in R1), Yuichi Sugita (beat Jack Sock in R1), Timea Babos (beat Coco Vandeweghe in R1) and Ruben Bemelmans (beat Lucas Pouille in R1) all failed to back up their wins from the opening round and were sent packing.
Here’s a look at the highs and lows of day three at Melbourne Park…
HERO OF THE DAY
Caroline Wozniacki climbed back from 1-5 down in the final set against Croatian Jana Fett, saving two match points along the way, to advance to the third round. A gritty performance from the No. 2 seed. Remember when Angelique Kerber saved a match point in her Australian Open first round then went on to win the title in 2016? Could this be a defining moment in Wozniacki’s quest for a maiden Grand Slam title? Time will tell!
— Caroline Wozniacki (@CaroWozniacki) January 17, 2018
COLLAPSE OF THE DAY
Daria Gavrilova squandered eight set points at 5-0 up and somehow ended up losing the opening set, 5-7 to Elise Mertens in their second round clash on Rod Laver Arena. The Aussie won just three of the last 16 games to hand Mertens a 7-5, 6-3 victory. Ouch!
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Good on him. Little claim to fame. Let him have it.”
— Nick Kyrgios when told that the spectator distracting him during his match said on social media it was the greatest thing he has ever done.
STAT OF THE DAY
22 — The 15-year-old Marta Kostyuk became the youngest to reach the Australian Open third round since Martina Hingis in 1996.
MARATHONER OF THE DAY
In typical Ivo Karlovic fashion, the 89th-ranked Croatian survived a four-hour 33-minute affair to defeat Jack Sock’s conqueror Yuichi Sugita 7-6 (3), 6-7 (3), 7-5, 4-6, 12-10 and become the oldest man to reach the Australian Open third round in 40 years. He fired 53 aces and will next play Italy’s Andreas Seppi.
— Christopher Kas (@KasiTennis) January 17, 2018
DRAW OPENINGS ALERT
One of the following will be in the quarter-finals:
Ivo Karlovic, Andreas Seppi, Nikoloz Basilashvili, Kyle Edmund.
One of the following will be in the semi-finals:
Luksika Kumkhum, Petra Martic, Elise Mertens, Alize Cornet, Denisa Allertova, Magda Linette, Marta Kostyuk, Elina Svitolina.
DEBUTANT TO REMEMBER
Mackenzie McDonald made sure he left a lasting impression on his first Australian Open as he narrowly lost to No. 3 seed Grigor Dimitrov in an entertaining affair that ended 8-6 in the fifth set in the Bulgarian’s favour. McDonald won both the singles and doubles NCAA titles with UCLA in 2016 and is ranked 186 in the world.
Gallant in defeat.
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 17, 2018
POINTS FOR EFFORT
Malek Jaziri spent a total of eight hours and four minutes on court in his first two rounds. The Tunisian came back from two sets down to defeat Salvatore Caruso in his opener then climbed from a two-sets-to-love deficit in the second round against No. 23 seed Gilles Muller before finally surrendering in five sets. Not bad from a guy who turns 34 in three days.
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