14/04/2024

Aussie Ajla Tomljanović is through to the third round of the US Open for the first time after beating Petra Martić Photo: Tennis Australia

Only three Australians remain after the second round of the US Open with Popyrin, Barty and Tomljanović all finding a path to victory in straight sets.

Four Australians entered the second round but only three made it through, with the ladies facing challenges despite straight-set victories and the men pushing their higher-ranked opponents to their limits.

Just like at Wimbledon Ash Barty [1] and Ajla Tomljanovic look at home at a Grand Slam seeing off challenging opponents for both women.

Meanwhile, both Jordan Thompson and Alexei Popyrin came up against seeded opponents with only Popyrin walking away the victor.

Barty’s hard work overcomes talented teen

Ash Barty continued her winning ways in the second round of the US Open Photo: Tennis Australia

It was a tale of two sets for Ash Barty as she overcame 18-year-old Clara Tauson in straight sets on day four.

Barty stormed out of the gates winning her first game in 40-0. This was followed by a fight for the second game that lasted 13 minutes with Tauson managing to save nine break point opportunities before losing the game due to a forced backhand error.

It was smooth sailing for the world number one easily winning the next three games, only conceding two points across them.

The Danish teen managed to win one game for the set in the sixth game, denying Barty the chance to break her serve once more but the Aussie finished off the set with ease.

As with the first round, Barty didn’t have the same clean ride through the second set to take the match. Despite breaking Tauson’s serve in the first game, the teen swiftly broke back levelling the scores.

There was a back and forth between the two for most of the set with Barty looking more comfortable in her service games than Tauson.

Barty hit the front again in the seventh game, breaking Tauson’s serve and holding her own to lead 5-3, but the teen wasn’t going down easily.

Holding her own serve, Tauson proceeded to break Barty for the second time in the set but the Australian wasn’t going to allow this to go to a third set, breaking once more before holding her serve in a five minute game.

Next up for the world number one is American Shelby Rogers on day six.

For the first time in eight outings, Ajla Tomljanović is through to the third round of the US Open beating Petra Martić in straight sets.

It was a tough first set for the 28-year-old Australian who fought her way back into the set after going down a break to break back at 4-5 only to have her serve broken once again.

It was game 12 of the first set where things seemed to go Tomljanović’s way, hitting three successive winners to be offered the break point opportunity and capitalising immediately to send the set into a tie-break.

The Australian held her own and was given a set point opportunity early, leading 6-4 but two errors brought the scores level, but she was undeterred and managed to finish off the set forcing an error from Martić.

It was a tight battle in the second set once again, with both players giving up a break early in the set.

Managing to see off two break point opportunities at 4-4 momentum shifted Tomljanović’s way and she never looked back. Breaking the Croatian’s serve in a 40-0 game before denying Martić the chance to break in the final game and serving out the match.

Things don’t get easier for Tomljamović from here as she’ll go on to play Karolína Plíšková [4] in the next round.

Ash Barty [1]67
Clara Tauson15
Ajla Tomljanović7[8]6
Petra Martic [30]6[6]4

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Popyrin is the lone Aussie man to progress on to the third round

Alexei Popyrin is through to the third round for the second time in his career. Photo: ATP Tour – Twitter

Alexei Popyrin’s second-round win over Grigor Dimitrov isn’t the first time the Australian has beaten a top 20 player in 2021 but it came at one of the best times for the 22-year-old.

Popyrin went down a break in the fourth game of the first set but wasn’t down for long quickly bringing it back to 4-4 and from there he hardly wavered. Despite not being able to break the Bulgarian’s serve again for the set the Australian was composed during his own service games and gave up very few points sending the set into a tie-break.

The 22-year-old got out to an early lead over Dimitrov in the tie-break and traded the next six points between them until Popyrin was offered set point for the first time, sealing the set with his first opportunity.

Dimitrov and Popyrin were both broken in their first service games of the second set with the 15th seed making the Aussie fight for the break in a seven-minute game. Both looked comfortable on serve from that point on with Popyrin having a particularly dominant service game serving three aces and closing the game with a winner.

Popyrin gave the Bulgarian a brief look in, in the 11th game but stayed steady to hold his serve with Dimitrov holding his serve to force a second tie-break for the match.

The script wasn’t quite the same in this tie-break as the last with it staying even until Popyrin won two successive points on Dimitrov’s serve, he only lost one point from that point on to close out the set.

The day was clearly Popyrin’s when he took a four-game lead in the third set, with Dimitrov battling yet another injury. Ultimately the Bulgarian wasn’t able to finish off the match and retired after the fourth game of the third set.

Popyrin moves on to the third round of the US Open for the second time in his career and will face Great Britain’s Daniel Evans [24] for the chance at a career first, fourth round berth at a Grand Slam.

Jordan Thompson’s run came to an end in another brutal five set match at the US Open Photo: Tennis Australia

Jordan Thompson once again went to five sets in his second-round match against Russia’s Aslan Karatsev [21].

The Australian was the better of the two in the opening sets consistently holding his own serve for the first and pounced on the first game he was offered to go up a break.

To say he dominated from there would be an understatement, Thompson went on to win the next game to close out the set and opened the second winning four games in a row in style.

Karatsev still got a look in managing to break back in the sixth game, but the Australian was able to finish off the set not long after, holding his own serve and breaking the Russian for the third time for the set to go up two sets.

The 21st seed got out to his strongest start for the match so far in the third set winning the first two games, but Thompson bounced back quickly winning his next service game and getting the upper hand to break Karatsev’s serve in an eight and a half minute game.

However, the Russian broke back again and Thompson wasn’t able to take another opportunity to even up the set, sending the match into a fourth set.

The fourth set accurately reflected how evenly matched the two men actually were despite the early lead from Thompson, with neither one allowing their serve to be broken despite five break point opportunities between them. It came down to a tie-breaker that was just as evenly matched as the rest of the set going to 11-9 with Karatsev winning three points in a row to finish off the set.

In his second five-set match for the US Open Thompson was out of energy and out of luck with Karatsev storming home to win the match, with Thompson only managing to win one game for the set.

Grigor Dimitrov [15]6[4]6[4]0[ret]
Alexei Popyrin7[7]7[7]4
Aslan Karatsev [21]3377[11]6
Jordan Thompson6656[9]1

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