Australia

‘Absolute joke’: Star rages over shock call

Russia’s Andrey Rublev was Covid positive when he arrived in Australia

Denis Shapovalov is not a happy man on Margaret Court Arena.

Taking on one of the biggest servers in the game in Reilly Opelka, the Canadian is convinced he was on the wrong end of a hawk-eye shocker.

Trailing 4-5 and at 30-all, Shapovalov thought he had a Opelka fault in the books following a wide serve.

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However, the official challenge system had it clipping the edge of the line, which meant Opelka won the point with an ace.

Denis Shapovalov was fuming after the ball was called in.'
Denis Shapovalov was fuming after the ball was called in.’

“It’s an absolute joke,” Shapovalov screamed.

“It was like this far out and it is calling it good.”

The Australian Open isn’t using line judges this year, instead running with hawk-eye for all calls.

It’s hard to argue with a machine and not surprisingly, the umpire didn’t change the call.

LIVE: FOLLOW THE LATEST FROM DAY 5

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(all times AEDT)

ROD LAVER ARENA

Day session – From 11:00am AEDT

Women’s Singles • Round 3

V. Azarenka 24

E. Svitolina 15

Women’s Singles • Round 3

B. Krejcikova 4

J. Ostapenko 26

Men’s Singles • Round 3

C. Alcaraz 31

M. Berrettini 7

Night session – From 7:00pm AEDT

Women’s Singles • Round 3

A. Barty 1

C. Giorgi 30

Men’s Singles • Round 3

K. Khachanov 28

R. Nadal 6

MARGARET COURT ARENA

Day session – From 11:00am AEDT

Women’s Singles • Round 3

N. Parrizas Diaz

J. Pegula 21

Women’s Singles • Round 3

M. Kostyuk

P. Badosa 8

Men’s Singles • Round 3

R. Opelka 23

D. Shapovalov 14

Night session – From 7:00pm AEDT

Women’s Singles • Round 3

A. Anisimova

N. Osaka 13

Men’s Singles • Round 3

A. Mannarino

A. Karatsev 18

JOHN CAIN ARENA

Day session – From 11:00am AEDT

Men’s Doubles • Round 2

R. Hijikata WC

T. Schoolkate WC

J. Peers 5

F. Polasek 5

Day session – Not before 1:00pm AEDT

Women’s Singles • Round 3

V. Kudermetova 28

M. Sakkari 5

Women’s Doubles • Round 2

M. Linette

B. Pera

S. Stosur 4

S. Zhang 4

Day session – Not before 4:00pm AEDT

Men’s Singles • Round 3

A. Zverev 3

R. Albot Q


FOLLOW DAY 5 LIVE BELOW
5:23 STOSUR KNOCKED OUT OF DOUBLES

It wasn’t to be for Sam today.

After her and Zhang Shuai secured the break to even the ledger in the fifth set, the pair lost out to Linette and Pera 6-7, 6-1, 7-5.

5:08pm STOSUR SECURES BREAK

Sam Stosur and her doubles partner Zhang Shuai are back in this third set!

The pair, ranked fourth in the world, have broken Magda Linette and Bernada Pera in a tense final set to make it level pegging at 5-5.

They certainly have the crowd behind them over at John Cain Arena!

3:07pm 5YO STILLS THE SHOW

Few would have thought anything could steal Victoria Azarenka’s thunder after she ousted No 15 seed Elina Svitolina at the Australian Open.

Cue her son Leo.

The 5-year-old joined his mum for her post match press conference and stole the show.

Sporting a pair of sunglasses, Leo was asked what he made of the match and her performance.

Victoria Azarenka brought her 5-year-old son into the interview room — and he stole the show! Picture: Twitter
Victoria Azarenka brought her 5-year-old son into the interview room — and he stole the show! Picture: Twitter

“Awesome,” he said.

It was an outstanding Aus Open debut for the youngster who spent the rest of the media call breathing heavily into the microphone.

“Good job,” Azarenka said afterwards.

2:29pm RULE-BREAKING STAR’S LAME EXCUSE

Barbora Krejcikova was up to her old tricks.

The Czech became the first player at this year’s tournament to cop a violation for breaking the new toilet rules.

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And Krejcikova has form in this department.

A set down against Jelena Ostapenko and in blisteringly hot conditions, Krejcikova left Rod Laver Arena for over eight minutes.

When she returned her excuse was she broke her necklace.

But we have been here before.

And not long ago.

At the 2021 US Open she was accused of being unprofessional by Garbine Muguruza when she called for the trainer at 5-6 in the second set having won the first, before leaving the court for nine minutes.

New rules were put into effect at this year’s slam after Stefanos Tsitsipas was accused of cheating in his opening round against Andy Murray in New York last year.

Tsitsipas was ridiculed by rivals Alexander Zverev and Murray for taking extended bathroom breaks at key points in matches.

1:30pm ANOTHER WOMEN’S UPSET

There has been another upset in the women’s draw with 15th seed Elina Svitolina going down to Victoria Azarenka in straight sets.

Azarenka, a two-time Australian Open finalist, blitzed the Swede 6-0, 6-2 in just over an hour to advance to the fourth round.

“He’s been my inspiration for a while,” Azarenka said in her post-game interview.

“I’m so proud of what his involvement is in Australia.

“Those guys, the wheelchair tennis, they deserve so much recognition. I just hope you guys come and watch them because they are way better than us.

“I just want to give him a shoutout, it’s his last tournament and I can’t wait to see what he’s going to do next because he’s such an amazing personality.”

Meanwhile, Aussie pair Arina Rodionova and Marc Polmans took out their mixed doubles match 4-6, 6-3, [10-7].

1:18pm STUBBS SLAMS SIUU, AND MULLETS?

Former No.1 doubles star Rennae Stubbs has taken aim at spectators making the Cristiano Ronaldo ‘siuu’ noise at the Australian Open – and those adorning mullets.

The Aussie, who won six doubles titles across her career before moving into coaching and commentary, implored these people to stop booing and cutting their hair into the mullets, labelling them as “idiots”.

“Two things! Stop cutting your hair as a mullet and two stop booing or doing whatever noise sounds like a boo at the tennis! U idiots and Good night!” Stubbs tweeted overnight.

The Ronaldo ‘siuu’ was prevalent from the crowd yet again during Nick Kyrgios’ loss to Daniil Medvedev last night.

11:45am VIKA ON FIRE

It’s not looking good for Svitolina on Rod Laver Arena.

She’s just dropped the first set to Azarenka in 25 minutes 6-0.

That’s absurd.

11:01am KYRGIOS’ HAIR DYE EXPOSED

There aren’t many ways to link Nick Kyrgios to Donald Trump’s mate Rudy Giuliani, but the hot conditions on Rod Laver Arena did just that.

Kyrgios was reaching for the towel a lot during his clash with Danil Medvedev.

No doubt the Aussie superstar was sweating, he was giving everything he had in the tank against the world No 2.

He pushed the top seed to four sets in a match which fell just shy of three hours.

This is less than a week after recovering from Covid.

But was it perhaps also to cover up the fact he might be getting a little help in keeping his hair in impeccable form?

Images from the blockbuster showdown shared on social media suggest Kyrgios might have been sweating some hair dye beads.

We’ve all got few greys to cover up and given how exciting Kyrgios plays, we’re fully expecting to have a few more by week’s end.

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Football reporter James Dodd tweeted: “Is that a bit of ‘Just For Men’ dribbling down Kyrgios’ forehead?”

10:45am STAR BREAKS DOWN ON COURT

Benoit Paire is best described as the Nick Kyrgios of France.

Brash, opinionated, talented but not always at his best and always dividing opinion.

He made more headlines last year for spitting on court and his general behaviour than he did for any victories or success.

He’s a hard nut that seemingly doesn’t care what we think.

But there’s always a soft side isn’t there which is what made his post match interview after he defeated Grigor Dimitrov on day four so moving.

The might Frenchman, who has had a torrid 18 months, was reduced to tears on court.

“I am happy,” he said. “It’s not been easy since the beginning of last year.

“I know that my parents and everyone are watching. This really was exceptional.”

Paire then had to pause the discussion to compose himself.

Wiping away tears, he continued: “It was a shit year last year. It was really complicated.

“This year started shit, I tested positive and had seven days in isolation so it started like shit again. But I’m here, I’m hanging on. This was one of my best matches in a long time.

“I’ve been criticised a lot. When I pull off wins like this and have the French fans, really there is nothing better.”


9:29am PLAYER ARRIVED IN AUS COVID POSITIVE
Tennis star Andrey Rublev has revealed he was allowed into Australia with Covid despite the ugly Novak Djokovic row.

The 24-year-old Russian is set to face Marin Cilic in the third round of the Australian Open after beating Ricardas Beraknis.

And ahead of that match-up he has revealed how his own battle with coronavirus before the Grand Slam tournament left him uncertain on whether he would be in Melbourne.

But even though he was still positive for Covid upon his arrival Down Under, he was let in and is no longer being tested.

Speaking to Sport Klub, Rublev said: “I am not being tested personally now because I just got over the coronavirus.

“When I flew to Australia, I was still positive, but the level of Covid SS, as it is called, I will not lie, it was very low and not dangerous.

“I was allowed to enter the country. In addition, I spent more than ten days in quarantine.”

Rublev tested positive on December 27 and it is widely understood traces of Covid showed on tests due to him shedding the virus.

Per the government website it appears the superstar followed all protocols.

Originally published by The Sun

9am STOP THE SIUUUUUU
I hold Cristiano Ronaldo personally responsible for the most irritating sound in sport since the vuvuzela of 2010.

And I mean no disrespect to the Portuguese language when I say that.

I understand the origins of the Siiiuuuuu chant, but why is it at the Australian Open?

Why is a football chant making its way on to a tennis court?

Why are crowds so entertained by a noise that makes them sound like they’re booing some of the greatest sporting talent in the world?

I have so many questions about this ridiculous trend.

I’m all about a crowd getting behind a home favourite and creating an atmosphere but honestly watching grown men and women boo/siuuuu and heckle a player between points, between serves even and between games grow up.

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Danil Medvedev had every right to voice his frustrations with the crowd after the match.

Andy Murray has done similar this week.
There’s a time and a place for this siuuuu nonsense and it’s never and nowhere.

There’s a time and a place for this siuuuu business and it’s never and nowhere

.

8:40am CROWD HAS LOW IQ

The best tennis player in the world says Melburnians who cheered between his serves “probably have a low IQ” as he lashed Thursday night’s Rod Laver Arena crowd as “disrespectful”.

Big-serving Russian Daniil Medvedev waltzed past hometown hero Nick Kyrgios in four sets, but it was his encore match against the public – and awkward on-court interview with Jim Courier – that stole the show.

The Cristiano Ronaldo-inspired ‘Siuuu’ chant has spread like Omicron across Melbourne Park crowds this week, and while several players have mistaken it for boos it appeared Medvedev was actually on the receiving end of distasteful jeers.

READ THE FULL STORY HERE

8:15am TILEY SPLITS OPINION

Nick Kyrgios has backed Craig Tiley’s brazen move to jet unvaccinated superstar Novak Djokovic into the country as powerful players reject calls for Tennis Australia’s board to sack its long-time chief executive.

Kyrgios spoke to Djokovic when he was locked up in detention shortly before the world’s best player was deported by the Federal Government as Tiley’s move backfired spectacularly.

“We spoke briefly, and he’s back home now,” Kyrgios told News Corp.

“I guess it’s just been a bit of s**t-show for him, so I was just making sure he’s all right. He’s been through worse, I’m sure he just wanted to get away from it all.”

Tiley has become the Australian Open’s invisible man since the fiasco that made the Australian Open and the entire country a lightning rod for global criticism.

READ THE FULL STORY

7:40am Good morning we are here for day 5! It’s the morning after the night before and if, like me you’re still recovering from the Kyrgios-Medvedev four setter, strap yourself in because there’s a lot to work through.

Amid the pantomime on Rod Laver Arena we perhaps missed the fact Emma Raducanu has bowed out of the tournament after struggling with blisters.

The 19-year-old, making her debut at Melbourne Park, looked on track when she raced to a 3-0 lead in the opening set against Montenegro’s Danka Kovinic.

But the 17th seed then lost five games in a row and needed a medical timeout for treatment on her right, racquet hand, and said afterwards that the blisters were so bad she had only been able to practise backhands.

Despite battling back she couldn’t stop 98th-ranked Kovinic winning 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 on Margaret Court Arena.

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