Aussies in the Open: O’Connell and Inglis’ golden run continues, Demon takes first win on Rod Laver

Maddison Inglis could not believe she won again. (Photo: Tennis Australia)

Both ranked well outside the top 100 in the ATP and WTA rankings, Australian wildcards Christopher O’Connell and Maddison Inglis continued their incredible Australian Open run on Thursday as Alex de Minaur flexed his muscles.

O’Connell secures career-defining win

Argentine Diego Schwartzman was looking for his 50th Grand Slam win in an opportune encounter against Australian wildcard O’Connell.

The 13th seed looked to be cruising as he took a 5-3 lead in the first set, but O’Connell dug deep and managed to send the first set to a tiebreaker.

A huge forehand winner was met with a loud Court 3 cheer as O’Connell took the first set tiebreaker in a staggering 84 minutes. Both players hit 14 winners each in the first set, such was the closeness of the battle.

O’Connell, ranked 175th in the world, started to dominate in the second set, losing just two points on his accurate first serve. With the score locked at four-all, O’Connell managed to break the Schwartzman serve to love.

During the set, Schwartzman looked to hit a ball wide, before O’Connell admitted to the umpire that he had edged the ball in the a terrific show of sportsmanship.

The Aussie struggled with his serve in the final set, failing to land most of his first serves, but it mattered little as he broke the Argentine twice to clinch a famous victory in three hours and seven minutes. The final score was 7-6(6) 6-4 6-4.

O’Connell will face world No. 70 Maxime Cressy in the third round on Saturday and look to extend his best ever Grand Slam result.

Christopher O’Connell was all smiles today. (Photo: Tennis Australia)

Inglis’ golden run continues

World No. 133 Inglis recorded her second successive win at Melbourne Park, defeating 165th-ranked American Hailey Baptiste in three sets on Thursday.

The first set was tight, with both players breaking each other’s serve three times each, leading to a tiebreaker. The West Australian clinched it with a big forehand much to the delight of the fans.

The Margaret Court Arena crowd were silenced in the second set as Baptiste was able to hit Inglis off the court with powerful serving and stroke play.

It was the Australian wildcard who took the third set, hitting ten winners as Baptiste struggled with 16 unforced errors.

Maddison Inglis expresses her emotion. (Photo: Tennis Australia)

The 7-6(4) 2-6 6-2 win was Inglis’ second ever Grand Slam victory. The 24-year-old is now closing in on a top 100 spot in the rankings for the first time in her young career.

Inglis could barely believe she had won another match as the final point ended, looking towards her box in shock.

She will face Kaia Kanepi in the third round.

Demon flies through

Australia’s best men’s player de Minaur made quick work of Pole Kamil Majchrzak on Rod Laver Arena.

The speedy ‘Demon’ dominated from start to finish to take a straight sets win in warm conditions.

Such was the dominance of the world No. 32, a break point opportunity was not offered to the 107th-ranked Majchrzak through the entire match. The Australian took the win with a 6-4 6-4 6-2 margin in just 99 minutes.

Alex de Minaur is in strong form. (Photo: Australian Open)

Looking fresh, De Minaur is in ominous form, with his draw opening right up. He will face world No. 83 veteran Pablo Andujar in the third round as he looks to reach the second week of the Australian Open for the first time.

Stosur farewells Melbourne Park

Despite going down in straight sets to tenth seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Australian icon Samantha Stosur was celebrated on Kia Arena on Thursday.

Playing in the final singles tournament of her career, a packed house was on hand to say farewell to Stosur in an emotional afternoon at the Australian Open.

Stosur ends her singles career as a US Open champion and Roland Garros finalist. The 37-year-old will play a second round doubles clash tomorrow.

Medvedev knocks out spirited Kyrgios

World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev has defeated Nick Kyrgios on Thursday night.

The 2021 US Open champion broke the Australian in just the third game of the match, on his way to a 3-1 lead.

Kyrgios broke back to level the score at 4-4, much to the delight of the home crowd.

The set would be decided in a tiebreaker, which Medvedev cruised through to take the lead.

Daniil Medvedev cruised through the first set tiebreaker. (Photo: Australian Open)

The Russian dropped just one point on his first serve in the second set, such was his service dominance. Medvedev broke Kyrgios’ serve in the very last game of the set to take a commanding two sets to love lead on Rod Laver Arena.

It wouldn’t be a Kyrgios match without some controversy; the world No. 115 arguing with the umpire after receiving a time violation at the start of the third set.

In the seventh game of the third set, a wave of momentum would hit Kyrgios square in the face, with the Australian sensationally breaking Medvedev’s serve.

Rod Laver Arena erupted as Kyrgios took a 5-3 lead, before the charismatic entertainer won the set.

The fourth set began evenly, with both players trading holds. Medvedev was impressive on serve, hitting multiple big aces as he raced through each service game.

He then broke Kyrgios’ serve to take a comfortable 4-2 lead as the set neared a close.

Kyrgios smashed his racquet into the court as Medvedev took a 5-2 lead, and the Aussie wasn’t able to recover.

In an entertaining second round encounter, it was the top seeded player left in the draw that took the win, 7-6(1) 6-4 4-6 6-2.

Men’s Doubles

Wildcards Dane Sweeney and Li Tu had their clash ended early, with 16th seeds Franko Skugor and Andrey Golubev retiring during the first set.

Fresh from last night’s loss again Alexander Zverev, John Millman paired with American Mackenzie McDonald on Thursday evening. Playing against Jonny O’Mara and Andrei Vasilevski, Millman and McDonald bowed out, losing 6-2 6-2.

In front of a vocal crowd on Kia Arena, Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell played against Jonathan Erlich and Andre Goroansson. The Aussies cruised through, taking out a 7-6(5) 6-3 victory.

Luke Saville and John-Patrick Smith were defeated by compatriot John Peers and Slovakian Filip Polsek. The fifth seeds were in control for most of the match, winning 6-3 7-5.

Andrew Harris and Aleksandar Vukic were knocked out in devastating fashion, dropping two tiebreak sets to American pairing Austin Krajicek and Sam Querrey, 7-6(2) 7-6(4).

Women’s Doubles

Wilcard pairing Kimberly Birrell and Charlotte Kempenaers-Pocz secured an upset on Court 5, defeating Nuria Parrizas Diaz and Arantxa Rus in just under two hours, 6-3 2-6 6-4.

Monique Adamczak and Chinese partner Xinyun Han moved into the second round with a win over Madison Brengle and Tatjana Maria, 6-4 6-7(1) 6-3.

Top seeds Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova showed why they are the favourite to win the Australian Open, annihilating Lesley Pattinama Kerkhove and Arina Rodionova 6-0 6-2 in under an hour.

Mixed Doubles

Recently married Australian pair Daria and Luke Saville teamed up in the mixed doubles, but were bounced out by fourth seeds Alexa Guarachi and Tim Puetz, 7-6(5) 7-5.

Alex Bolt and Lizette Cabrera came as close as you can get, but Kiwi pair Erin Routliffe and Michael Venus took the match in a super-tiebreak third set, 6-7(5) 7-5 (13-11).

More Tennis News

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Highlight of the Day

Two close friends played each other in an entertaining clash on John Cain Arena on Thursday afternoon.

World no. 22 Taylor Fritz defeated showman Frances Tiafoe in straight sets, but it’s what happened after the match that earns today’s best highlight.

Immediately after the final point, Fritz went down with a bout of cramp in his right leg. Despite having just been knocked out of a Grand Slam, Tiafoe ran to the other side of the court to help pick up his opponent, and give him a big hug, in a fantastic show of sportsmanship.

Aussies in Action on Day Four

11:00am: Rinky Hijikata/Tristan Schoolkate [WC] vs John Peers/Filip Polasek [5] John Cain Arena

11:00am: Caroline Dolehide/Storm Sanders [9] vs Eri Hozumi/Makoto Ninomiya Kia Arena

11:00am: Lizette Cabrera/Priscilla Hon [WC] vs Shuko Aoyama/Ena Shibahara 1573 Arena

11:00am: Arina Rodionova/Marc Polmans [WC] vs Camila Osorio/Juan Sebastian Cabal Court 8

1:00pm: Alexa Guarachi/Nicole Melichar-Martinez [5] vs Greet Minnen/Ellen Perez Court 8

3:00pm: Samantha Stosur/Shaui Zhang [4] vs TBD John Cain Arena

3:00pm: Rebecca Peterson/Anastasia Potapova vs Kimberly Birrell/Charlotte Kempenaers-Pocz [WC] Court 15

3:00pm: TBD vs Jason Kubler/Christopher O’Connell [WC] 1573 Arena

4:00pm: Dane Sweeney/Li Tu [WC] vs Treat Huey/Christopher Rungkat [WC] Kia Arena

5:00pm: Nicole Melichar-Martinez/Robert Farah [3] vs Ellen Perez/Matwe Middelkoop Court 8

5:00pm: Nick Kyrgios/Thanasi Kokkinakis vs Nikola Mektic/Mate Pavic [1] Kia Arena

7:00pm: Ash Barty [1] vs Camila Giorgi [30] Rod Laver Arena

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

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