Aussies in the Open: Barty cruises through; Vukic defeated; ‘Special K’ show gets started

Ash Barty is in fine form at the Australian Open. (Photo: Australian Open)

Ash Barty’s hot summer form continued as Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis put on a show at First Nation’s Day on Day Three at the Australian Open.

Ruthless Barty crushes Bronzetti

Barty tackled Italian Lucia Bronzetti during the day session on Rod Laver Arena.

The world No. 1 was ruthless as she dismissed the qualifier in just 52 minutes.

Barty hammered down eight aces and hit a stunning 21 winners to her opponent’s six in the sunshine on Melbourne Park’s centre court, winning 6-1 6-1.

Ash Barty plays a backhand in the sunshine. (Photo: Australian Open)

The Wimbledon champion won five of her six break points, such was the dominance. The Queenslander has not had her serve broken in five consecutive matches, dating back to the Adelaide International.

After the match, the Indigenous star spoke of her admiration for her friend and trailblazer Evonne Goolagong.

Barty will play another Italian in the third round, tackling 30th seed Camila Giorgi on Friday.

Zverev coasts past fighting Millman

Crowd favourite John Millman hosted German third seed Alexander Zverev during the night session on Wednesday.

Both players traded breaks early in the first set, but it was a set that was predominantly decided on the world No. 3’s racquet.

Zverev hit a contrasting 14 winners and 15 unforced errors as he managed to secure two breaks and the first set.

The German broke Millman in the third game of the second set, as the Aussie’s first serve accuracy let him down. The world No. 89 clawed his way back into the set but it was Zverev’s big serve that did the talking, as he took a two sets to love lead.

Millman began the deciding set in the worst possible fashion, dropping his service game in the very first game.

The characteristic grit and fight of John Millman were present right until the very end, but the class of Zverev shone through. The third seed winning, 6-4 6-4 6-0.

Moldovan veteran silences chaotic Court 3 crowd

Wildcard Aleksandar Vukic had a rowdy crowd behind him as he faced qualifier Radu Albot on Court 3 on Wednesday.

Aleksandar Vukic put in a brave performance on Wednesday. (Photo: Australian Open)

The Aussie struggled with his first serve throughout the first two sets, landing them at a rate of less than 50 percent, as he dropped to a two sets to love deficit.

Vukic had a sniff in the third set, breaking back after an initial break by Albot, winning three consecutive games to level the scores and rallying the vocal crowd behind him.

But it would be the 32-year-old Moldovan, who was playing his fifth match at Melbourne Park following a successful qualifying campaign, who took the win, 6-4 7-6(4) 6-4.

Albot has now matched his best result at a Grand Slam, which was at the Australian Open last year.

He will face Zverev in the third round.

Men’s Doubles

Kyrgios and Kokkinakis teamed up in the men’s doubles against fellow Australian pairing Alex Bolt and James McCabe.

The show had begun before the match even started, with Kyrgios throwing his racquet to a fan in the crowd.

Despite two pairs of Australians playing against each other, the crowd was there to cheer on Kyrgios and Kokkinakis.

The ‘Special K’s’ did not lose their serve, and hit just one unforced error, as they raced through the match, winning 6-4 6-2.

After being bundled out of the singles draw yesterday, Jordan Thompson’s week didn’t improve as he and Matt Reid were defeated by wildcard pairing Rinky Hijikata and Tristan Schoolkate, 4-6 6-3 6-2.

Still alive in the singles, Christopher O’Connell teamed up with Jason Kubler against Spanish partners Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and Jaume Munar. The Aussies clinched a tight first set tiebreaker before the Spaniards were forced to retire halfway through the second set.

O’Connell will be full of confidence ahead of tomorrow’s second round in the singles after he and Kubler took the win, 7-6(6) 3-2 (retired).

James Duckworth and Marc Polmans were unable to secure any momentum in their encounter with doubles specialists Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares. The Aussie pair struggled in their 6-3 6-2 loss.

Alexei Popyrin paired with South African Lloyd Harris against Colombian’s Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah. After Popyrin and Harris both suffered upset losses in the singles, they were unable to click in their doubles encounter and lost, 6-4 7-6(5).

Women’s Doubles

Women’s fourth seed Samantha Stosur and Shuai Zhang escaped in a close shave, defeating Miyu Kato and Sabrina Santamaria 6-3 2-6 6-1.

Samantha Stosur in doubles action on Wednesday. (Photo: Tennis Australia)

Ninth seed in the women’s doubles Caroline Dolehide and Storm Sanders won in under an hour, taking out Anna Karolina Schmiedlova and Kimberley Zimmermann, 6-3 6-2.

Greet Minnen and Ellen Perez smashed Aussie pairing Jaimee Fourlis and Maddison Inglis, 6-1 6-3. Inglis will be in singles action tomorrow after yesterday’s stunning win over Leylah Fernandez.

More Tennis News

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Kokkinakis explodes on the big stage in Adelaide triumph

Fernandez suffered her second consecutive shock-loss, teaming up with Kiwi Erin Routliffe as the pair were stunned by Aussie wildcards Lizette Cabrera and Priscilla Hon, 6-3 6-1.

Wildcards Seone Mendez and Taylah Preston were taken out in straight sets by Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic, 6-4 6-2.

Late entrants Alexandra Bozovic and Olivia Tjandramulia came close to causing an upset over Jasmine Paolini and Heather Watson, but eventually lost, 7-6(4) 4-6 6-2.

Highlight of the Day

American youngster Sebastian Korda and Frenchman Corentin Moutet played out an epic clash on Court 8 today.

The packed crowd was heard chanting ‘USA’ throughout the match, which got under the nerves of Moutet who constantly told the crowd to ‘shut up’ and threw his racquet on numerous occasions.

After four hours and 47 minutes of sapping action, the 21-year-old American took the win, 3-6 6-4 6-7(2) 7-5 7-6(6).

Korda, the son of 1998 Australian Open champion Petr and brother of LPGA golf stars Jessica and Nelly, continued the tradition of his father by performing a scissor kick after the match. All three Korda children perform the scissor kick, which was made famous by their Grand Slam-winning father.

The world No. 43 will face 19th seed Pablo Carreno Busta on Friday.

Aussies in Action on Day Four

11:00am: Diego Schwartzman [13] vs Chris O’Connell [WC] Court 3

11:00am: Nuria Parrizas Diaz/Arantxa Rus vs Kimberly Birrell/Charlotte Kempenaers-Pocz [WC] Court 5

11:00am: Luke Saville/John-Patrick Smith vs John Peers/Filip Polsek [5] Court 8

1:00pm: Hailey Baptiste [Q] vs Maddison Inglis [WC] Margaret Court Arena

1:00pm: Erin Routliffe/Michael Venus vs Lizette Cabrera/Alex Bolt Court 16

1:00pm: Samantha Stosur [WC] vs Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova [10] Kia Arena

2:30pm: Alex de Minaur [32] vs Kamil Majchrzak Rod Laver Arena

2:30pm: Madison Brengle/Tatjana Maria vs Monique Adamczak/Xinyun Han Court 8

3:00pm: Andrew Harris/Aleksandar Vukic [WC] vs Austin Krajicek/Sam Querrey Court 5

3:00pm: Barbora Krejcikova/Katerina Siniakova [1] vs Lesley Pattinama Kerkhove/Arina Rodionova Court 16

4:00pm: Dasha Saville/Luke Saville [WC] vs Alexa Guarachi/Tim Puetz [4] Court 15

4:00pm: Mackenzie McDonald/John Millman vs Jonny O’Mara/Andrei Vasilevski Court 6

6:00pm: Jonathan Erlich/Andre Goroansson vs Matthew Ebden/Max Purcell Kia Arena

6:00pm: Franko Skugor/Andrey Golubev [16] vs Dane Sweeney/Li Tu [WC] Court 3

7:00pm: Nick Kyrgios vs Daniil Medvedev Rod Laver Arena

Times are subject to change at the discretion of the Australian Open.

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