Here’s Reuters on Linda Noskova’s stunning victory over Iga Swiatek:
Top seed Iga Swiatek crashed out of the Australian Open on Saturday, losing 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 to Czech teenager Linda Nosková in the third round as her bid for a maiden Melbourne Park title and fifth Grand Slam trophy fell apart.
The Pole, more accustomed to breezing past opponents with the odd “bagel” or 6-0 scoreline thrown in, had struggled in Melbourne, enduring a first-set tiebreak in her opener against Sofia Kenin before fighting back from the brink of defeat to oust Danielle Collins last time out.
Much more here:
Zverev breaks Michelsen in the third game of the match, and thus leads 2-1. On Margaret Court Elina Svitolina leads 5-2 in the first set.
Alexes Zverev and Michelsen have just started their match on the Rod Laver Arena. Not only have they got the same(ish) first names they’re both wearing exactly the same shorts and exactly the same shirts, with white socks and white trainers. Zverev has a hairband, Michelsen – who at just the 6ft 4in is two inches shorter than his opponent – a baseball cap.
Elina Svitolina has started like the metaphorical steam train on Margaret Court, and is 2-0 up against Viktorija Golubic.
That was so impressive from Noskova, not just the level of her game but also her mentality, having never won more than a single match in any grand slam, playing in the main draw of the Australian Open for the first time, and up against the world No1 on a show court. Even the post-match interview was handled beautifully.
Swiatek wins the first point, thanks to a backhand volley that just kissed the back of the line, and the second with a blistering backhand down-the-line return, completely unplayable. Then a couple of unforced errors allow Noskova back to 30-30, at which point the Czech lands her first first serve of the game – and it’s an ace! Match point, and this time she forces an error from Swiatek with a fine first serve, and Swiatek’s forehand lands well long. Noskova wins 3-6, 6-3, 6-4!
Swiatek holds to love, winning the game with a brace of aces. Noskova now to serve for the match. No pressure.
Noskova holds to 15, hitting a really amazing level. I’m waiting for it to dawn on her that she’s about to beat the world No1, but the match situation seems not to have affected her yet. She’s 5-3 up in the third, and Swiatek is serving to stay in the tournament.
Linda Noskova has broken again in the deciding set against Iga Swiatek! She’s 4-3 up now, and certainly playing the more consistent tennis.
The men’s No3 seed has made a potentially very awkward evening assignment look completely straightforward, easing past the Canadian No27 seed 6-3, 6-4, 6-3.
The men’s No13 seed has been dumped out by Nuno Borges, the second seed beaten in this competition so far by the Portuguese, who has still only lost one set – the first of this match, and that on a tie break. He wins 6-7 (3), 6-4, 6-2, 7-6 (6). It’s only the third time Borges has made it past the first round of a grand slam, and the first he’s gone past the second.
Medvedev has gone a break up in the third set against Auger-Aliassime and the die now seems well and truly cast. He’s just held to 15 and leads 5-2, and by two sets to love.
And that’s why she’s world No1! Swiatek takes a bit of time before Noskova serves, winding herself up, and she then explodes into the game, every shot full of pace and aggression (even the one she thumps into the net) as she breaks back to 15. It’s 2-2 in the decider.
Swiatek comes up with her first double fault of the match to go 15-40 down, and a fractionally overhit forehand gives Noskova the break – she’s 2-1 up now in the decider!
Tumaini Carayol has filed his report on Cameron Norrie’s win over Casper Ruud, and here it is:
Cameron Norrie arrived in his Australian Open third round contest against Casper Ruud with the cards stacked against him. In their three previous meetings, he had lost each time while winning just one set, clear evidence of an extremely unfavourable match-up. If he did not make significant changes to his game, he would almost certainly lose.
It is to his immense credit that he did not hesitate to adapt his game and in the process he showed a new dimension to his tennis. Instead of grinding from behind the baseline as he has successfully done in his career, Norrie took the initiative at the net, he placed his opponent under constant pressure and he emerged with a stellar 6-4, 6-7 (7), 6-4, 6-3 win over Ruud to reach the fourth round.
Much more here:
No such dramas on Margaret Court, where Daniil Medvedev is now 6-3, 6-4, 1-0 up against Felix Auger-Aliassime.
Now Noskova holds to 15, and she roars into the deciding set with all the momentum – Swiatek won just one of the last 12 points of the second set!
Linda Noskova is playing so well at the moment, and Iga Swiatek is really struggling to cling on to her coattails. The Czech had to fight to win her most recent service game, saving a break point along the way, but then went and broke the world No1 to love, and is about to serve for the second set.
An update today on the “epic planning battle” between the All England Lawn Tennis Club and their neighbours over the possibility expanding their grounds.
On the Kia Arena it looks like Grigor Dimitrov v Nuno Borges might be going the distance: Dimitrov, the No13 seed, is a break and 4-1 up in the fourth having won the first on a tie break and lost the second and third 6-4, 6-2.
Cameron Norrie has a chat:
I’d only practised on this court once and I didn’t realise it was going to be this atmosphere and you guys were behind me from the beginning. I had to play really brave. It was a good mental performance to come out with a lot of energy in the third set and I kept a really good level throughout the match, I kept to my gameplan and I came through. I’ve been working really hard in the offseason trying to be a bit more aggressive and I managed to let go in the match today. Honestly I was just enjoying myself out there and I played really free, I loved it.
Next up for Norrie is the winner of tonight’s match between Alexes Zverev and Michelsen.
There’s plenty of drama in the final moments of this match. Casper Ruud, serving to stay in the match, goes 40-0 up, is pulled back to deuce but goes on to win it. Then Cameron Norrie goes 0-15 and 15-30 down, Ruud getting roared on by the crowd, but comes back to go 40-30 up and to win it at the first time of asking. His last two points were both won with overheads, as his variety of pace and angle had Ruud scurrying from one side of the court to the other and eventually forced him into desperate defensive lobs. Norrie wins 6-4, 6-7, 6-4, 6-3!
Sunday’s order of play has been released: just five singles matches but they feature the men’s first, fourth and fifth seeds, and numbers two and four in the women’s draw.
Rod Laver Arena
Magdalena Frech (Poland) v Coco Gauff (US, 4)
Novak Djokovic (Serbia, 1) v Adrian Mannarino (France, 20)
Alex de Minaur (Australia, 10) v 5-Andrey Rublev (Russia)
Margaret Court Arena
Amanda Anisimova (US) v Aryna Sabalenka (Belarus, 2)
Jannik Sinner (Italy, 4) v Karen Khachanov (Russia, 15)
John Cain Arena
Taylor Fritz (US, 12) v Stefanos Tsitsipas (Greece, 7)
Mirra Andreeva (Russia) v Barbora Krejcikova (Czech Republic, 9)
Marta Kostyuk v Maria Timofeeva
Norrie saves a break point on his way to taking a 5-2 lead in the fourth set, and he will serve for the match unless he breaks Ruud first.
The first sets on the two show courts end with near-perfect synchronicity, Swiatek going ahead against Noskova and Medvedev against Auger-Aliassime, both 6-3. Both sets involving precisely 63 points – Swiatek won 35-28 on points, Medvedev 34-29.
Now Norrie does break! Ruud slices a backhand into the net to give Norrie two break points at 15-40 and he only needs the one, coming to the net to put away his second volley. It’s 3-1 now in set four and Norrie is singing.
A break of serve on Rod Laver Arena! Iga Swiatek was expected to make short work of Linda Noskova and she now leads 5-2 in the opening set. Noskova is winning 31% of points on her second serve, which when she’s missing with 45% of her first-serve attempts is a recipe for disaster.
On the John Cain arena, Casper Ruud battles through a 10-point service game before eventually holding, and then Cameron Norrie holds to love. It’s 2-1 to Norrie in the fourth set, and also 2-1 to Norrie in sets.
Medvedev has claimed an early break in his match against Auger-Aliassime, and is 3-1 up in the first. Swiatek v Noskova remains on serve at 3-2.
Cameron Norrie breaks again to win the third set, and at 6-4, 6-7, 6-4 he’s a) playing really extremely well right now, and b) a set away from round four!
Here’s the Reuters summary of today’s goings-on, ahead of the evening session:
Second seed Carlos Alcaraz led a group of players sealing berths in the Australian Open fourth round for the first time on Saturday as the second seed enjoyed a short outing that finished when his Chinese opponent Shang Junchen pulled up injured.
Alcaraz eased through two sets against Shang 6-1, 6-1 before his ailing 18-year-old opponent threw in the towel while trailing 1-0 in the third. “This isn’t the way anyone wants to move on,” said the 20-year-old Spaniard, who takes on Miomir Kecmanovic next after the Serb beat 2023 semi-finalist Tommy Paul 6-4, 3-6, 2-6, 7-6 (7), 6-0. “I want to wish him a speedy recovery. He’s an amazing player. I was looking forward to this match. Unfortunately he wasn’t in the best shape possible.”
While Shang fell short in his bid to become the first Chinese man to reach the fourth round of a Grand Slam in the Open era, the country will have a women’s singles player in the second week as 12th seed Zheng Qinwen beat Wang Yafan. Zheng, who was named the WTA Tour’s most improved player in the 2023 season after winning Asian Games gold and the Zhengzhou title, held off her plucky compatriot 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (8).
The 21-year-old will no doubt be inspired by memories of Li Na’s triumphant campaign in 2014. “I watched that final 10 times,” said Zheng. “Unbelievable player, the first Asian woman who won a Grand Slam, how can you not remember that?” Zheng, who reached the quarter-finals of the U.S. Open last year, next plays Oceane Dodin after she prevailed in an all-French third-round duel with Clara Burel 6-2, 6-4.
It was the end of the road for former Flushing Meadows champion Sloane Stephens after the American lost 6-7 (8), 6-1, 6-4 to Anna Kalinskaya. By making it to the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time, Kalinskaya is already assured of her biggest payday – nearly $250,000 – though she seemed in no rush to spend it. “I don’t have anything in mind. I’ll take it easy,” said Kalinskaya, who faces Italian Jasmine Paolini next. “Maybe a nice purse.”
French wildcard Arthur Cazaux sealed a breezy 6-3, 6-3, 6-1 win over Dutch 28th seed Tallon Griekspoor to reach the last 16 at a major for the first time, where he will meet ninth seed Hubert Hurkacz of Poland. Hurkacz downed Frenchman Ugo Humbert 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 (4), 6-3.
Dayana Yastremska will return to the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time since Wimbledon 2019 after her 6-2, 2-6, 6-1 win over American 27th seed Emma Navarro. The Ukrainian next faces twice former champion Victoria Azarenka, who battled back from 4-1 down in the second set to beat 2017 French Open winner Jelena Ostapenko 6-1, 7-5.
Cameron Norrie has landed just 59% of his first serves so far, which is suboptimal. Casper Ruud has won only one of his nine break points, which explains why the score remains so close. But there’s been a significant uptick in the third set – Norrie has a 71% first serve percentage in this one and Ruud’s has slipped to 59%. Norrie has just broken back and then held to now lead 4-3, on serve, in the third, and one set all.
The match between Felix Auger-Aliassime and Daniil Medvedev has just started on Margaret Court. Iga Swiatek is still warming up with Linda Noskova on Rod Laver.
Victoria Azarenka took her career record against Jelena Ostapenko to 4-0 with a 6-1, 7-5 victory.
Carlos Alcaraz eased into round four after his opponent, Shang Juncheng, retired through injury early in the third set. The No. 2 was leading 6-1, 6-1, 1-0.
Zheng Qinwen, the 21-year-old 12th seed, needed two hours and 40 minutes to make it past Wang Yafan 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 in an all-Chinese affair on Rod Laver Arena.
Ukrainian qualifier Dayana Yastremska powered into round four, beating Emma Navarro of the US 6-2, 2-6, 6-1.
Full round-up incoming. Cameron Norrie is currently on court, and trailing Casper Ruud 4-6, 7-6, 3-2, and is a break down in the third.
The night session dawns, and four blockbuster (potentially) matches await on the two main courts, including the women’s No1, the men’s No3, and also, well, some other people. There’s no point me just listing all their rankings now is there?
On the Rod Laver Arena we start with that top seed, Iga Swiatek, against Linda Noskova, the 19-year-old Czech who had never been so far as the third round of a grand slam before and, let’s face it, is unlikely to get any further in this one, and by way of afters have Alexander Sverev against the 6ft 4in American Alex Michelsen, another 19-year-old in uncharted grand slam territory.
On Margaret Court Felix Auger-Aliassime, the Canadian who knocked Dominic Thiem out in round one, plays the third seed, Daniil Medvedev, in a rematch of the 2022 quarter-final, which dragged into the early hours as Medvedev came back from two sets down to win in dramatic style. They played twice last year, with Medvedev winning both in straight sets (he’s 6-0 up overall on the head-to-head). “I’m looking forward to the next time I can put myself in that situation again, I believe I can cross the line,” Auger-Aliassime said after that 2022 defeat – and now’s his chance. Then Elina Svitolina faces Viktorija Golubic, the 31-year-old world No85. They have only played each other once, in Melbourne five years ago, when Golubic won all of three games.
All of that plus any other business, a bit of reaction and reportage from the earlier stuff, and a bit of whingeing about how cold it’s been in England recently, should add up to a sparkling few hours. Strap yourselves in!