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Australian Open 2021: Serena, Thiem, Djokovic progress, Andreescu knocked out

Australian Open 2021 Results, Day 3: While Serena Williams eased through to the third round, Bianca Andreescu’s comeback after a 15-month absence ended abruptly at the hands of Hsieh Su-wei.

By: Reuters |
Updated: February 10, 2021 9:46:21 pm
Serena Williams in action in the Australian Open on Wednesday. (Twitter/@AusOpen)

After an eventful second day, the Australian Open resumed its action on Wednesday with several second-round clashes featuring big-money names like Serena Williams, Dominic Thiem, Stan Wawrinka and Bianca Andreescu.

SERENA SEES OFF STOJANOVIC

Serena Williams overcame a spirited Nina Stojanovic 6-3 6-0 on a sun-drenched Rod Laver Arena to reach the third round of the Australian Open for the 19th time on Wednesday.

The American, again sporting her distinctive one-legged leotard, needed to find her best game at times in the first set against a Serbian 15 years her junior who was playing in her fourth Grand Slam.

“She pushed me really hard and played well throughout the match,” the 39-year-old said. “I wasn’t thinking so much in the second set.”

VENUS MAKES PAINFUL EXIT AFTER ROLLING ANKLE

Venus Williams refused to give up after suffering an injury against Italian Sara Errani and fought through pain before bowing out of the Australian Open second round with a 6-1 6-0 defeat on Wednesday.

The 40-year-old American, a seven-times Grand Slam winner and twice finalist at Melbourne Park, started the match with a taped left knee and twisted her right ankle trying to play an approach shot while trailing 1-5 in the opening set.

ANDREESCU’S COMEBACK CUT SHORT BY HSIEH

Bianca Andreescu’s comeback after a 15-month absence from tennis ended abruptly in the second round of the Australian Open on Wednesday with the Canadian eighth seed crumbling to a 6-3 6-2 defeat to Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei in the opening match at Rod Laver Arena.

CIRSTEA SENDS KVITOVA CRASHING OUT

Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova was sent packing from the Australian Open on Wednesday after a 6-4 1-6 6-1 second-round defeat by Romanian Sorana Cirstea.

OSAKA MARCHES INTO THIRD ROUND

Naomi Osaka marched confidently into the third round of the Australian Open on Wednesday, overpowering Caroline Garcia 6-2 6-3 with a rock-solid performance at the Rod Laver Arena.

The Japanese third seed fired six aces at her French opponent in the first set and four in the second. Garcia was unable to muster up a single break point over the contest.

The U.S. Open champion, whose last defeat in a WTA tournament was to Coco Gauff in the third round at Melbourne Park last year, will next face Ons Jabeur.

SABALENKA ADVANCES WITH WIN OVER KASATKINA

Seventh seed Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus ground down classy Russian Daria Kasatkina 7-6(5) 6-3 in the early match at Margaret Court Arena.

HALEP SURVIVES HUGE SCARE TO ADVANCE

Romanian second seed Simona Halep won five consecutive games to come back from the brink to defeat local hope Ajla Tomljanovic 4-6 6-4 7-5 in an error-strewn match to advance to the third round of the Australian Open.

READ | Bopanna-McLachlan pair goes down fighting in Melbourne

DJOKOVIC PASSES TIAFOE TEST

Novak Djokovic’s aura of invincibility at Rod Laver Arena wavered under pressure of Frances Tiafoe but the Serbian rose to the challenge to claim a galvanising 6-3 6-7(3) 7-6(2) 6-3 win and reach the third round.

Tiafoe went toe-to-toe with the top seed but it all fell apart in the seventh game of the final set when the American grew frustrated by the service clock and was broken after a foul-mouthed tirade.

Tiafoe also earned a code violation for an audible obscenity before bowing out with a double fault on match point as Djokovic advanced to a third-round clash against the winner of Americans Taylor Fritz and Reilly Opelka.

THIEM EASES THROUGH IN MELBOURNE

U.S. Open champion Dominic Thiem kept his time in the Melbourne sun to an absolute minimum on Wednesday, taking 93 minutes to beat Dominik Koepfer 6-4 6-0 6-2 and secure his place in the third round.

The 27-year-old booked a third-round date with the winner of the later contest between Nick Kyrgios and Ugo Humbert when Koepfer went wide with a forehand for his 38th unforced error.

ZVEREV CRUISES PAST CRESSY

German sixth seed Alexander Zverev put in a clinical display to ease past American qualifier Maxime Cressy 7-5 6-4 6-3 into the third round of the Australian Open on Wednesday.

He set up a meeting with 32nd-seeded Frenchman Adrian Mannarino, who earlier defeated Miomir Kecmanovic 6-1 6-2 6-4.

WAWRINKA FALLS TO FEARLESS FUCSOVICS

Hungarian Marton Fucsovics came through a five-set thriller against Stan Wawrinka on Wednesday, defeating the three-time Grand Slam champion 7-5 6-1 4-6 2-6 7-6(9) to reach the third round of the Australian Open.

Wawrinka, the 17th seed, was sloppy in the opening two sets, committing 29 unforced errors and landing just over 60% of his first serves.

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