Australian Open overnight: Upsets aplenty as Raducanu falls on Day 4
The first Grand Slam of 2022 is officially underway. Each morning, we'll review the action you may have missed Down Under. Here's what happened overnight on Day 4 of the Australian Open.
Top story: Raducanu's run ends early
U.S. Open champion Emma Raducanu has lost 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 to Danka Kovinic in the second round of the Australian Open.
Raducanu won the U.S. Open as a qualifier last September in just her second main draw appearance at a major.
The 19-year-old Raducanu entered the Australian Open as the 17th seed and beat 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens in the first round.
But after going up a double break early, Raducanu had treatment for what appeared to be blisters on her right hand and then dropped four of the next five games to lose the set.
She rallied to level the match in the second but again needed treatment on her hand before the third set.
No. 98-ranked Kovinic had two match points on serve and, after Raducanu saved one with a big forehand winner, closed it out with a backhand winner down the line to reach the third round of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time.
Tough day for the U.K.
Andy Murray is out of the Australian Open two days after posting his first win at the season-opening tennis Grand Slam tournament in five years.
The former No. 1-ranked Murray lost to 120th-ranked Taro Daniel 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 in the second round.
Murray only lost five games in a best-of-five-set Davis Cup encounter against Daniel in their only previous encounter, and he had never lost to anyone ranked above No. 91 at a major tournament.
But Daniel, a 28-year-old qualifier from Japan, broke in the ninth game of the third set to take a 5-4 lead and then served it out to advance to the third round of a major for the first time.
The 34-year-old Murray, a five-time runner-up in Australia, was playing on a wild-card entry.
His win over 21st-seeded Nikoloz Basilashvili in the first round was his first at the Australian Open since 2017. Injuries and illness kept him out in 2018 (hip), 2020 (pelvis) and 2021 (COVID-19), and he lost a five-setter in the first round in 2019, which many thought might have been his last in Australia.
Medvedev tames Kyrgios, Aussie crowd
Daniil Medvedev has overcome Nick Kyrgios and all his tricks and the constant noise of a boisterous crowd to advance to the third round of the Australian Open.
Second-seeded Medvedev, who won the U.S. Open last year and was runner-up in Australia, is the highest-ranked player in the tournament after nine-time champion Novak Djokovic was deported for failing to meet Australia’s strict COVID-19 vaccination requirements.
He had to work hard for his 7-6 (1), 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 win over No. 115-ranked Kyrgios, who worked up the fans in Rod Laver Arena like a crowd at a soccer match.
Surprise results on women's side
No. 3 Garbiñe Muguruza has become the highest-seeded player to lose a match at this year's Australian Open, bounced in the second round by Alize Cornet 6-3, 6-3.
Muguruza is a two-time Grand Slam champion and was the runner-up at Melbourne Park in 2020.
But her play was filled with shaky returning and plenty of mistakes. She made 33 unforced errors, more than twice as many as Cornet's 16.
Muguruza never managed to earn a single break point while facing 12.
The 61st-ranked Cornet is appearing in her 63rd career Grand Slam tournament, the past 60 in a row. She never has made it past the fourth round at a major.
There was another second-round surprise in women's action when 19-year-old Clara Tauson eliminated No. 6 seed Anett Kontaveit 6-2, 6-3.
Tauson reached the third round for the first time at a major.
Kontaveit lost to Muguruza in the title match of the season-ending WTA Finals in 2021.
Sabalenka overcomes wonky serve
Second-seeded Aryna Sabalenka shrugged off a shaky serve and 19 double-faults to beat Wang Xinyu 1-6, 6-4, 6-2 and advance to the third round of the Australian Open.
Sabalenka double-faulted 12 times in the opening set, including nine in her first two service games as she fell behind 3-0 in less than 15 minutes.
But she cleared her head after a trip to the locker room following the first set, and rediscovered her form.
The U.S. Open and Wimbledon semifinalist said she had “a lot of experience of playing without the serve," and she kept telling herself she had enough other shots to win “even if you can’t serve.”
Sabalenka made a stuttering start to 2022, with her service woes including a combined 39 double-faults contributing to first-round losses at tuneup events in Adelaide.
Sabalenka will face No. 31-seeded Marketa Vondrousova in the next round.
Tsitsipas beats former junior star
Fourth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas has advanced to the third round of the Australian Open with a 7-6 (1), 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-4 win over Sebastian Baez in a match featuring two former junior world No. 1 players.
French Open runner-up Tsitsipas was a semifinalist at the Australian Open last year and has now reached the third round at Melbourne Park for the fourth straight year.
Tsitsipas said the 21-year-old, No. 88-ranked Baez has “one of the biggest forehands" he's faced and he was glad he "overcame that obstacle.”
He will next play Benoit Paire.