Australia

Demon starts hot, shock twist in Medvedev crowd feud

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 21: Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates a point during his third round singles match against Karen Khachanov of Russia during day five of the 2022 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 21, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Aussie Alex De Minaur has made a hot start to his clash with Spaniard Pablo Andujar as he hunts a fourth round berth.

Meanwhile, Daniil Medvedev has weighed in yet again on the Australian Open crowd – and this time he was much more positive.

Medvedev, who fumed about noisy Australian fans at his previous match against Nick Kyrgios and jokingly accused some of having a “low IQ”, added to the theatre by comparing the reactions from the crowd to a relationship.

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He added than it is much easier to play against a Dutch player like Botic van de Zandschulp, who he defeated in straight sets to advance to the fourth round, than a local product at the Australian Open.

The Russian star is pleased there is some substance to the relationship, and hopes over time there will be more “good times than bad.”

“I was hoping you (the crowd) were going to be a little bit easier on me guys,” Medvedev chuckled in his post-game interview.

“I’ll put it this way, it’s easier to play a guy from the Netherlands than a guy from Australia in Australia, in Melbourne.

I think every good relationship must have its ups and downs so I think it’s good. it’s entertaining and it’s real you know, it’s not like ‘hey, goodbye, see you next time’, there is some relationship going on.

“Hopefully I can come many more years here – and as I say, I don’t think it’ll be only good ones. But I hope there’ll be more good times than bad times, otherwise it doesn’t work. “

Daniil Medvedev hopes there will be more good times than bad with the Aussie crowd. Picture: AFP
Daniil Medvedev hopes there will be more good times than bad with the Aussie crowd. Picture: AFP

LIVE: FOLLOW THE LATEST FROM DAY 5

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(all times AEDT)

Day six schedule (all times AEDT)

Rod Laver Arena

From 11am: Clara Tauson Danielle Collins (27)

Kaia Kanepi vs Maddison Inglis (WC)

Not before 2pm: Benoit Paire vs Stefanos Tsitsipas (4)

From 7pm: Pablo Andujar vs Alex De Minaur (32)

Sorana Cirstea vs Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 10

Margaret Court Arena

From 11am: Tamara Zidansek (29) vs Alize Cornet

Marketa Vondrousova (31) vs Aryna Sabalenka (2)

Not before 2pm: Botic Van De Zandschulp vs Daniil Medvedev (2)

From 7pm: Iga Swiatek (7) vs Daria Kasatkina (25)

Andrey Rublev (5) vs Marin Cilic (27)

John Cain Arena

Not before 12:30pm: Simona Halep (14) vs Danka Kovinic

Krejcikova/Siniakova (1) vs Adamczak/Han

Not before 5pm: Dan Evans (24) vs Felix Auger-Aliassime (9)

8:09PM DEMON TAKES FIRST SET

First set goes to the Demon!

Alex De Minaur was able to secure a break on Spaniard Pablo Andujar mid-way through the set and is looking the goods on Rod Laver Arena.

6:50PM O’CONNELL KNOCKED OUT

Chris O’Connell’s stunning Australian Open run has been ended by super server Maxime Cressy.

The American produced 28 aces on his way to a 6-2, 6-7, 6-3, 6-2 win over the Aussie wildcard.

It didn’t stop Cressy expressing his discontent to the chair umpire after being docked a point for a time violation on his serve in the fourth set — his second violation for the match.

5:36PM: O’CONNELL WINS SECOND SET

Wow… what a rollercoaster!

Aussie wildcard Chris O’Connell went from leading the tiebeak, to on the ropes, to taking it out!

O’Connell burst out of the blocks early in the tense second set tiebreak, but American opponent Maxime Cressy fought back to bring up two set points.

The Aussie refused to give in, winning four consecutive points to make it a set apiece out at Court 3.

5:15PM: STAR’S GOLDEN REACTION TO YIPS

Aryna Sabalenka is taking a glass half full approach to her serving yips.

The world No.2’s prolific double fault – recording 41 across her first three games, more than double any other female competitor – during the Australian Open has stolen the spotlight away from her three wins.

And she was able to see the funny side after her comeback win over 31st seed Marketa Vondrousova, leaving the crowd cheering with a hilarious response.

Aryna Sabalenka has battled with her serve, but she offered a hilarious response after he latest win.
Aryna Sabalenka has battled with her serve, but she offered a hilarious response after he latest win.

“I’m really happy right now and I’m mostly happy with only getting 10 double faults,” she laughed, raising her arms and fist pumping as the crowd cheered.

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“Yeah I’ve had some trouble… I’ll just keep working on my serve and keep hoping that it will get better with every match

“Thank you so much for the support guys, the atmosphere here was unbelievable today.”

3:40PM: INGLIS KNOCKED OUT OF AUSTRALIAN OPEN

Estonian veteran Kaia Kanepi has surged from a set down to end local wildcard Maddison Inglis’ Australian Open dream in ruthless fashion.

Inglis threatened for one set to make Kanepi her latest scalp, but the former world No.15 began brutalising the young Australian’s second serve as she swung the match in her favour.

Kanepi’s 2-6 6-2 6-0 victory in searing heat moves her into the fourth round at the Australian Open for the first time at her 13th attempt.

She will also return to the top 100 – a status that was also up for grabs for Inglis if she scored the upset – and could face second seed Aryna Sabalenka next.

“She played so well in the first set and I thought it was going to be hard to beat her today,” Kanepi said afterwards.

“I just tried to put the balls back in the court and see what happens.”

Inglis won only one of her 17 second-serve points across the final two sets, including dropping serve all seven times, as Kanepi took full advantage.

The 24-year-old wildcard started the week without a grand slam main draw match win but was bidding on Saturday to join world No.1 Ash Barty in the last 16.

– Marc McGowan.

3:12PM: INGLIS DROPS SECOND SET 6-2

Maddison Inglis is in a serious battle now on Rod Laver Arena.

After her blistering start, she has dropped the second set of her third round match to Kaia Kanepi 6-2.

This is where the experience of Kanepi is going to be telling. She isn’t going to beat herself. Inglis is going to need to find that same energy she had in the first set.

Maddison Inglis in action against Kaia Kanepi. Picture: Getty Images
Maddison Inglis in action against Kaia Kanepi. Picture: Getty Images

2:30PM: INGLIS TAKES OPENING SET 6-2

What a start out on Rod Laver Arena for Aussie Maddison Inglis.

She has raced through the opening set of her match with veteran Kaia Kanepi.

Inglis broke Kanepi’s opening two service games to secure a quick 4-0 lead before closing it out 6-2.

Can the 24-year-old keep it up? The Aussie crowd is right behind her.

2:00PM: COLLINS, HALEP LEAD BIG NAME WINNERS

Danielle Collins has booked her place in the Australian Open fourth round after winning a brutal clash with Clara Tauson.

The American recovered after dropping the first set to pick up the win 4-6 6-4 7-5.

Meanwhile, big names Simona Halep and Alize Cornet are also through to the final 16 after wins this afternoon.

Aussie Maddison Inglis is next up on Rod Laver Arena.

VIDEO: HOW DID HE DO THAT? STAR’S INSANE MOVE STUNS

It was the greatest match of the Open so far and Carlos Alcaraz is a super star in the making.

If you didn’t watch the five set epic against Matteo Berrettini you missed a treat.

But here was one eye-popping moment we can’t wipe form our memories.

While impressed and gobsmacked, we’re also trying to figure out how this is 1; humanly possibly and 2; how he didn’t require a doctor afterwards.

It’s the kind of move we’ve only ever seen from Novak Djokovic.

No doubt th eSerb would be impressed.

Check the video out

1:00pm CORNET’S BRUTAL SPRAY

It would be fair to say Alize Cornet is not happy out on Margaret Court Arena.

The French star was handed a time violation for taking too long between serves at a crucial point in her third round match with Tamara Zidansek.

Cornet couldn’t believe the umpire’s decision to make the call at that moment and immediately went on the offensive.

“This is insane. I didn’t do anything. I took my towel, I took the ball and I went. I didn’t even wait for one second,” Cornet was picked up on the court microphones saying.

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“What is your problem with me?”

“Don’t say anything. Just listen to me.

“It is very far and you have to walk every time. And you’re here just sitting and you’re like ‘time violation’. It’s a little bit too much.”

12:45PM: INGLIS START DELAYED AS COLLINS HITS BACK

We’ve got a tight one on Rod Laver Arena.

The 27th seed Danielle Collins had just evened her match with Clara Tauson after taking the second set.

The American secured the vital break at 5-4 to send the match to a decider.

It means Aussie young gun Maddison Inglis will need to wait a little longer before getting out on court.

Ingils will take on Kanepi next on RLA.

12:25PM: 2:30AM EPIC PRODUCES DOUBLE TWEENER

The 2022 Australian Open has a new record for latest finish to a match.

In the early hours of this morning, the brutal men’s third round clash between Adrian Mannarino and Aslan Karatsev finally came to a close at around 2:30am.

And when we say brutal, we really do mean it.

The four-set epic lasted four hours and 39 minutes, with three of the four sets taking over an hour.

If it went to five, they might still be playing.

In a match filled with highlights, this was one of very best as both Mannarino and Karatsev produced tweeners in the same rally before the Frenchman went on to win the point.

Mannarino also went on to win the match and will take on Rafael Nadal in the next round.

“I realised I was just looking at the clock sometimes and I was like, ‘f***’,” Mannarino said after the match.

“I don’t feel good to be honest. I’m kind of exhausted right now, but it was cool. I was so focused on what I had to do.

“I was not thinking about the fact I was tired. I was like, ‘OK, go get the next point’.

“The crowd was cool. Some people had a couple of drinks, I guess, and they were commentating.”

11:30 INJURY BOMBSHELL FROM RAFA

Nadal said his foot injury last year was so bad he thought he might never play tennis again.

The Spanish great is chasing a men’s record 21st Grand Slam at the Australian Open, where he steamed into the fourth round with a four-set victory over Russian 28th seed Karen Khachanov.

Speaking after his 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 victory in a late-night match on Rod Laver Arena, the 35-year-old Spaniard laid bare the extent of the foot problem that ended his year on the tour in August.

Nadal suffers from Mueller-Weiss syndrome, a degenerative disease that causes a deformity of one of the bones in the central part of the foot.

“First of all, everybody around me, me included of course, but everybody around me had a lot of doubts,” he said, asked if towards the end of last year he feared he might not make it to Melbourne.

“Not (only) about Australian Open, no, but about coming back on the tour because the foot was bothering a lot of days.

“Of course, still today are doubts because the foot, as I said the other day, it is an injury we cannot fix… so we need to find a way that the pain is under control to play, to keep playing. That’s the goal.” Nadal, who has seen the draw open up for him with the deportation of defending champion Novak Djokovic, dropped a set for the first time this week against Khachanov.

But he called it his best performance since returning to the tour at the start of the year.

Nadal will face unseeded Frenchman Adrian Mannarino in the last 16. “It’s a very special week for me coming back from where I have been, every time I come back here to play is a very special thing,” Nadal told the crowd, a nod to his foot issue.

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“I had my best match so far without a doubt since I came back. “I went through some very tough times in the last year and a half, but nights like this mean everything to me, that’s a lot of energy in my pocket to keep going, keep fighting every single day.”

10:10am FIGHT CLUB, AUSSIES THREATENED

The world’s wildest doubles pairing — Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis — did it again on Friday, stunning the world No.1 pairing of Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic in front of a roaring KIA Arena.

And it seems there was some argy bargy behind the scenes after the match with the Aussies reportedly challenged to a fight.

The Croatian duo vented their frustrations with the party atmosphere while on the court, and it seems their coaches took things further afterwards.

“Just letting you know after yesterday’s chop fest in doubles my opponents coach and trainer proceeded to threaten to fight in the players gym,” Kyrgios tweeted on Saturday morning.

“Tennis is a soft soft sport, all because I moved and hit them with a tennis ball.”

His partner Kokkinakis added “That was crazy, mans thought it was UFC.”

9:30am THIS MUST HAVE HURT

It was the greatest match of the Open so far (in my opinion) and Carloa Alcaraz is a super star in the making.

If you didn’t watch the five set epic against Matteo Berrettini you missed a treat.

But here was one eye-popping moment I can’t wipe form my memory.

While impressed and gobsmacked, I’m also trying to figure out how this is 1; humanly possibly and 2; how he didn’t require a doctor afterwards.

Check the video out

Carlos Alcaraz of Spain plays a forehand
Carlos Alcaraz of Spain plays a forehand

8am ZVEREV NEEDS MORE

World number three Alexander Zverev says that he needs to play even better if he wants to go far at the Australian Open, as the German chases a maiden major crown.

Zverev powered his way into the last 16 with a superb serving display against Moldova’s Radu Albot, winning 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 in 1hr 57min in hot conditions.

The Tokyo Olympic gold medallist thundered down 16 aces to put away the 124th-ranked Albot on John Cain Arena.

Zverev will next take on Canada’s 14th seed Denis Shapovalov, whom he leads 4-2 in their series of matches.

“I think from the back of the court I’m playing quite okay,” Zverev, 24, said. “Today was just very different. It was a lot hotter. The balls were flying a lot more. That’s why maybe I was doing a few more mistakes than usual.” Zverev is yet to drop a set as he shapes up for a possible quarter-final showdown with 20-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal.

7:45am BARTY’S OPPONENT OMINOUS

Unseeded American Amanda Anisimova said she was just “soaking in the moment” after stunning defending Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka in the third round on Friday.

The 20-year-old scored one of the biggest wins of her career in toppling the Japanese superstar 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (10/5) at Melbourne Park.

It set up a clash with world number one Ashleigh Barty, a repeat of their 2019 French Open semi-final that the Australian won and went on to lift the title.

“I just want to soak in this moment. I’m just extremely happy. It was an amazing match. There were a bit of nerves and to play Naomi for the first time, it’s unreal, honestly,” said the 60th-ranked Anisimova.

“It sucks we couldn’t both win today.”

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