Australian Open Day 4: Road ends for Emma Raducanu, Andy Murray as most top seeds advance
Round 2 is now complete, but Thursday at the Australian Open could not have been more different than Wednesday. While nearly all of the top seeds made it through to Round 3 on Wednesday, Thursday brought the defeat of several top women's seeds, a young champion and a longtime favorite.
Some top seeds advance
It was an eventful day for some of the top-seeded women and men, and there weren't a lot of easy wins to be found. No. 2 Daniil Medvedev, the 2021 US Open champion, had to beat back a challenge from Nick Kyrgios. Kyrgios gave it all he had before Medvedev won 7-6(1), 6-4, 4-6, 6-2. No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka had to rally from a first set loss to beat Xinyu Wang 1-6, 6-4, 6-2.
No. 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas was tested by Sebastian Baez, with two sets going to tiebreakers. Tsitsipas eventually won 7-6(1), 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4. Ninth-seeded Felix Auger-Aliassime played tiebreakers in all four sets against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, pulling out a hard fought 7-6(4), 6-7(4), 7-6(5), 7-6(4) win.
But not all the wins were hard. Simona Halep, Iga Swiatek and Ana Pavlyuchenkova all easily made it to Round 3. None of them lost a set and none of their opponents were able to win more than two games in a set. Jannik Sinner and Andrey Rublev also cruised to wins in straight sets.
Muguruza, Kontaveit, Schwartzman all out
The women's Top 10 suffered their first significant losses on Thursday. Third-seeded Garbine Muguruza suffered a shocking upset to France's Alize Cornet, who is unseeded at the Aussie Open and ranked No. 61 in the world. Cornet beat Muguruza 6-3, 6-3 in a match that lasted just under 90 minutes. No. 6 Annet Kontaveit was also handed a surprising loss when she was beaten by Clara Tauson in straight sets.
The men's field also lost a top seed with Argentina's Diego Schwartzman loss to Australian wild-card Christoper O'Connell, who is currently ranked No. 175 in the world. O'Connell defeated the No. 13 seed 7-6(6), 6-4, 6-4.
Road ends for Andy Murray, Emma Raducanu
The road to the Aussie Open championship ended for Andy Murray on Thursday. Murray, the former World No. 1 who is playing as a wild-card, lost to Japanese qualifier Taro Daniel, who is ranked No. 120 in the world. After the straight sets defeat, Murray expressed frustration that he couldn't make it farther, and admitted that he was disappointed in himself for losing a Grand Slam match to a player outside the Top 100.
Emma Raducanu's journey at the Australian Open also came to an end on Thursday. The surprise winner of the 2021 US Open was upset by Montenegro's Danka Kovinic, marking the first time a player from Montenegro has made it to the third round of any Grand Slam.