Rod Laver Arena is typically more sedate than the raucous John Cain Arena, but that wasn’t the case when Nick Kyrgios entered the court.
Nick Kyrgios faces world No. 2 Daniil Medvedev tonight and the Aussie will be hoping to put on a show even if he is the underdog against last year’s US Open champion.
It’s been a great day for Australia already, as wildcards Chris O’Connell and Maddison Inglis joining Alex de Minaur and Ash Barty in the third round.
Meanwhile, women’s 3rd seed Garbine Muguruza, 6th seed Anett Kontaveit and 12th seed Elena Rybakina, as well as 13th seed mens player Diego Schwartzman all crashed out.
Kyrgios’ blockbuster clash underway
Nick Kyrgios gave his new girlfriend Costeen Hatzi a kiss for good luck ahead of his clash against Australian Open favourite Daniil Medvedev.
While loosening up in the waiting area before striding onto Rod Laver Arena, the Aussie looked relaxed as he mucked around with his team and Hatzi, who was in the stands cheering on her new beau as he blitzed past Liam Broady in three sets on Tuesday night.
Kyrgios was greeted by the familiar “siiuu” sound that rang around John Cain Arena during his win over Broady. Many people thought it was booing at first but it emerged it was actually the noise made when football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo performs his trademark celebration after scoring a goal.
The crowd at Rod Laver is typically more sedate than the fans you’d find on the raucous John Cain Arena, but there were plenty of enthusiastic cheers for Kyrgios to suggest the atmosphere tonight on centre court would be just as exciting.
The cheers kept coming as Kyrgios opened with an ace and he had two break points in the second game, but Medvedev held then broke himself to go up 2-1.
Kyrgios whipped out his firm underarm of the evening 20 minutes into the contest, but was trailing at 4-2 with his serve to come.
To counter Kyrgios’ fast serve, Medvedev stood extremely deep in the court on his returns.
“He (Medvedev’s coach) and Medvedev have cooked up this strategy of returning from great depth and it is going to be challenged by Kyrgios,” commentator Jim Courier said on Channel 9.
“Medvedev stands as deep as anyone ever has on tour.”
Day four order of play
Rod Laver Arena
Alize Cornet (FRA) defeated  Garbine Muguruza (ESP) 6-3 6-3
 Aryna Sabalenka (BLR) defeated Xinyu Wang (CHN) 1-6 6-4 6-2
 Alex de Minaur (AUS) defeated Kamil Macjchrzak (POL) 6-4 6-4 6-2
Not before 7pm: Nick Kyrgios (AUS) vs  Daniil Medvedev (RUS)
 Simona Halep (ROU) vs Beatriz Haddad Maia (BRA)
Margaret Court Arena
Clara Tauson (DEN) defeated  Anett Kontaveit (EST) 6-2 6-4
Maddison Inglis (AUS) defeated Hailey Baptiste (USA) 7-6 2-6 6-2
 Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) defeated Sebastian Baez (ARG) 7-6 6-7 6-3 6-4
Not before 7pm: Danka Kovinic (MNE) vs  Emma Raducanu (GBR)
Steve Johnson (USA) vs  Jannik Sinner (ITA)
John Cain Arena
 Iga Swiatek (POL) defeated Rebecca Peterson (SWE) 6-2 6-2
 Taylor Fritz (USA) defeated Frances Tiafoe (USA) 6-4 6-3 7-6
Shuai Zhang (CHN) defeated  Elena Rybakina (KAZ) 6-4 1-0 walkover
Not before 5:30pm: Andy Murray (GBR) vs Taro Daniel (JPN)
Other Aussies in action:
Chris O’Connell (AUS) defeated  Diego Schwartzman (ARG) 7-6 6-4 6-4
 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) defeated Sam Stosur (AUS) 6-2 6-2
Another big name bites the dust
On a day that saw No. 3 seed Garbine Muguruza and 6th seed Anett Kontaveit both ousted, that quarter of the draw has been blown open further by the retirement of 12th seed Elena Rybakina.
Down 6-4 1-0, Rybakina called it quits, allowing Zhang Shuai to move into the third round.
The Kazakh called the physio in early in the second set and appeared to point at her ankle.
The commentators also though she said “I want to retire”.
But instead of calling a medical time-out, Rybakina got back up and returned to the court.
After facing two more serves when Zhang served two easy aces as the Kazakh couldn’t move to the ball, she had no choice but to retire.
With three high seeds bowing out, it leaves 14th seed Simona Halep and 17th seed Emma Raducanu as the highest seed in that quarter of the draw, while 19th seed Elise Mertens will play Zhang in the third round.
Demon makes it near perfect for Australia
Ahead of Nick Kyrgios’ match against world No. 2 Daniil Medvedev tonight, Australia has had a near perfect day.
Sam Stosur’s loss to bow out in the second round and out of singles tennis was the only loss so far as Maddison Inglis, Chris O’Connell and now Alex de Minaur have romped into the third round.
De Minaur was brilliant in a 6-4 6-4 6-2 win over Poland’s Kamil Majchrzak in 99 minutes.
It sees De Minaur into the third round for the third time in his career.
De Minaur will now face Pablo Andujar who is ranked 83 in the world as he looks to go further into the Australian Open than he’s ever gone.
He benefited from the withdrawal of eighth seed Casper Ruud in his section of the draw, meaning the first seeded player he can face is Jannik Sinner in the fourth round, assuming both men make it that far.
‘Remarkable’: Golden girl does it again
Australia’s incredible start to the Australian Open has continued as Maddison Inglis joined Chris O’Connell and Ash Barty in the third round of the tournament.
The 24-year-old wildcard from Western Australia triumphed 7-6 2-6 6-2 over Hailey Baptiste in a match that had 12 break points — six each — as both players struggled to hold their serve.
Inglis, who KO’ed US Open finalist and 23rd seed Leylah Fernandez in the first round, battled through to the third round for the first time and was in complete disbelief by the win.
“It’s very special – playing on this court, in front of this crowd, and now I’m in the third round. I just can’t believe it at the moment,” Inglis said.
“This is the best match and this is my favourite court (Margaret Court Arena) and the best court I’ve ever played on, and the crowd was just insane today, so thank you guys so much.”
‘It’s been amazing’: Sam Stosur bows out
Sam Stosur’s singles tennis swan song has ended in the second round as she was no match for 10th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
While she wasn’t able to match it with Pavlyuchenkova as the Russian ran out a 6-2 6-2 winner, it was all about Stosur as the former US Open champion.
Stosur has had a glittering 20-year career in the sport, having first played in the Australian Open in 2002 and chose to end her singles career it where it all began.
A former World No. 4 in singles and world No. 1 in doubles, Stosur also made the 2010 French Open final before winning the US Open in 2011.
However, she shone brightly in doubles, having won four doubles and three mixed doubles grand slam titles in her career having taken out victories at each grand slam event.
Stosur will continue to play doubles until the end of the year however.
After the match, Pavlyuchenova paid tribute immediately to Stosur.
“It was actually really emotional for me, I had goosebumps when everyone was clapping for Sam,” she admitted. “She’s such an amazing human being and also an amazing tennis player so thank you Sam.”
It was just the start of the tributes as Australian Open boss Craig Tiley also presented Stosur with flowers, as well as a tribute video featuring the likes of Ash Barty and Australian and world tennis stars.
Stosur said she just wanted to “draw it out a little bit more”.
“I’ve done more than I ever thought possible,” she said. “I dreamed of winning a grand slam and doing close to the things I did so to do what I’ve dreamed of as a little kid is phenomenal and I couldn’t ask for anything more. I’ve had many great moments here and around the world so yeah, it’s been amazing.”
Stosur is still alive in doubles, having won through the first round alongside Zhang Shaui and mixed doubles with Matt Ebden.
Aussie wildcard’s miracle run continues
Aussie young gun Chris O’Connell has caused one of the upsets of the early Australian Open with a straight sets win over #13 Diego Schwartzman, 7-6 6-4 7-5.
The Sydney product, who is a wildcard at this year’s Australian Open, won in front of a packed Court 3 crowd which is not subject to density limits that apply in Rod Laver Arena.
The 27-year-old conceded a break in the third set before breaking back immediately and serving it out in 3hrs 7mins.
At one point after O’Connell won the second set, fans behind the Argentine might have become a little too excited.
They copped a warning from the chair umpire for hurling “insults”.
“Let’s keep it fair to both players, no insults,” the umpire said.
The 27-year-old beat Frenchman Hugo Gaston 7-6 (7-4) 6-0 4-6 6-1 in two hours and 35 minutes on Tuesday to advance.
Huge upsets rock Open, knock out top seeds
Third seed Garbine Muguruza and 6th seed Anett Kontaveit have crashed out of the Australian Open early on day four, blown off the court in straight sets.
Kontaveit’s match was over first as 19-year-old Dane Clara Tauson scored a stunning 6-2 6-4 win.
And she was quickly followed by 2020 Australian Open finalist Muguruza, as French veteran Alize Cornet claimed a 6-3 6-3 victory.
Tauson impressed with her scintillating backhand as she pulled off the biggest win of her career.
A former Australian Open junior champion, it’s the first time the Dane has made the third round in a grand slam.
Asked about what she thought about being in the third round, she said: “I don’t know.
“I didn’t really go into this match with a winning thought, I was just so happy to be here and playing Anett who has been playing so good the last couple of months, I was just trying to go in and see where my level was at and here I am.
Tennis commentator Jose Morgado called it “the biggest surprise of the tournament so far”.
Just minutes later, world No. 61 Cornet defeated Muguruza in a dominant display, bringing up the win with a break.
Cornet said she wasn’t sure who was next up for her because “when I saw the draw I really stopped at Garbine”.
Cornet said “I’m a dinosaur on tour” as the 2022 Australian Open is her 60th consecutive major appearance, dating back to 2006.
Favourites makes short work of morning session
Amid the upsets, some favourites were able to get though to the next round.
7th seed Iga Swiatek charged into the third round with a 6-2 6-2 thrashing of Swede Robin Peterson.
The 2020 French Open champion raced through the match continuing her dominant start to the tournament.
American Danielle Collins set up a clash with Clara Tauson in the third round as the 27th seed eliminated Croatia’s Ana Konjuh 6-4 6-3.
And men’s 5th seed Andrey Rublev blew past Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis 6-4 6-2 6-0.
Kyrgios shafted in Aus Open blow
Nick Kyrgios will play Daniil Medvedev on Rod Laver Arena tonight rather than his favourite court in the world as organisers opted to put the Russian world No. 2 on centre court.
Kyrgios loves playing on John Cain Arena because of its rowdy atmosphere. You only had to watch his win over Liam Broady on Tuesday to see how much he enjoys playing on the “People’s Court” at Melbourne Park because of the raucous support he receives.
Broady said it was an “awful” experience as he was sledged by spectators, while Kyrgios said he revs the crowd up to unsettle his opponent when faced with tough situations, like a break point.
Kyrgios would no doubt have loved to face Medvedev on John Cain Arena but the world No. 2 commands bigger billing, so their match is on Rod Laver Arena — the biggest court at Melbourne Park.
Speaking after his win over Broady, Kyrgios was asked if he would like to see his match against Medvedev “on your court (John Cain) or his court (Rod Laver)”.
“Obviously either way it’s going to be a hell of an experience for me,” Kyrgios said.
“To play it on John Cain would be — I’m just going to call it the Kyrgios Court — would be fun.”
On Nine, Aussie wheelchair tennis legend Dylan Alcott said: “It is going to be interesting to see how Nick goes with the Rod Laver Arena crowd. A lot more corporates in there.
“Might not be as rowdy but I’m predicting absolutely anything.”
Most players would love to strut their stuff on Rod Laver and Kyrgios will no doubt still have plenty of support. But he will lose a slight edge by being taken away from John Cain Arena.
Day four preview
Title favourite Daniil Medvedev and Nick Kyrgios will square off tonight in a blockbuster second-round encounter that could play a big part in shaping the destiny of this year’s Australian Open men’s singles title.
Andy Murray will be back on the rowdy John Cain Arena after an epic five-set win on Tuesday, while other men to watch will be fourth-ranked Stefanos Tsitsipas and fifth seed Andrey Rublev.
In the women’s draw, third seed Garbine Muguruza of Spain faces French veteran Alize Cornet in second-round action, while Britain’s Emma Raducanu will look to repeat her resurgent form that saw her power past Sloane Stephens.
But all eyes will be on world number two Medvedev — the de facto top seed after Novak Djokovic was thrown out of Australia — and the maverick, volatile Kyrgios, who won both the pair’s previous meetings in 2019.
With Djokovic out and Roger Federer absent because of injury, the draw has opened up for the 25-year-old US Open champion Medvedev — but first he has to get past Australian showman Kyrgios and the raucous antics of his legion of home fans.
“It’s definitely going to be not easy against the crowd. He’s going to try to pump himself up, like, he likes to play big names,” said Medvedev, who will take on Kyrgios in the prime-time evening match on centre court, Rod Laver Arena.
“I think our last match was so long ago … that it’s really tough to count it.”
Kyrgios said he was looking forward to locking horns again with Medvedev, who he beat in Rome and Washington three years ago.
“It’s going to be a hell of an experience for me. You know, he’s probably the best player in the world at the moment,” said Kyrgios.
“I’m excited for that moment. That’s why I play the game.”
Murray turned back the clock in typically combative style for his first win at the Australian Open since 2017 on Tuesday. He faces qualifier Taro Daniel of Japan.
Greek fourth seed Tsitsipas continues his bid for a maiden Grand Slam title against 88th-ranked Argentine Sebastian Baez, while Russian fifth seed Rublev comes up against Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania, the world number 93.
Women’s US Open champion Raducanu has been rewarded for her highly entertaining rollercoaster 6-0 2-6 6-1 victory over Stephens with a prime evening slot on Margaret Court Arena against Danka Kovinic of Montenegro.
A win for Raducanu, who has Romanian heritage, could set up a potential third-round clash against former world number one Simona Halep, who the British teenager idolised when she was growing up.
The two will clash for the first time if they both win, with the Romanian two-time grand slam champion Halep following Kyrgios and Medvedev on to court for a late-night clash against Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil.
Anett Kontaveit had a breakout 2021 season and the Estonian sixth seed continues her tilt at a first Grand Slam title against Denmark’s Clara Tauson.
Struggling world number two Aryna Sabalenka managed to scrape into the second round in three sets despite 12 double faults. The Belarusian faces China’s Wang Xinyu for a place in the last 32.