IIn the absence of Serbian world number one Novak Djokovic, his compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic reached the round of 16 in a Grand Slam tournament for the first time. At the Australian Open on Friday in Melbourne, the 22-year-old defeated Italian Lorenzo Sonego, who was ranked 25th, 6: 4, 6: 7 (8:10), 6: 2, 7: 5. In the fight for entry into the quarterfinals, the world number 77 enters. against the French Gael Monfils.
Kecmanovic had announced that he would also play for Djokovic and make him proud. Kecmanovic, who had never progressed past the second round of a Grand Slam tournament before, was originally scheduled to play Djokovic in the first round at the Australian Open.
“It’s incredible. A week ago I was supposed to play the world number one and didn’t stand a chance and now I’m in the last 16,” said the Serbian tennis pro. He has not yet been in contact with Djokovic. “I think he’s still recovering from everything and I really didn’t want to bother him.” Djokovic, the record-breaking 34-year-old Australian Open champion, had to leave Australia because of an appeal to have his visa canceled before federal court had failed.
“Hard to find a middle ground”
For the first time since 2016, two-time tournament winner Viktoria Asarenka reached the round of 16 at the Australian Open. Surprisingly dominant, the 32-year-old tennis player from Belarus defeated the 15th seeded Ukrainian Jelina Switolina 6-0, 6-2 in Melbourne on Friday. Her next opponent is the Czech French Open winner Barbora Krejcikova.
The fourth in the world rankings won the duel with former French Open winner Jelena Ostapenko from Latvia 2: 6, 6: 4, 6: 4. Azarenka won the Australian Open in 2012 and 2013. In 2017, 2018 and 2020 she missed the first Grand Slam tournament of the year. Last year and 2019 was the world number 25. eliminated in the first round. Six years ago, Azarenka made it to the quarterfinals.
Asarenka was reluctant to comment on the corona test strategy at the tournament in Melbourne. “We had rigorous testing and people weren’t happy. Now it seems that somehow people are not happy either. I think it will be difficult to find the middle ground,” she said after the match. It is important to take personal responsibility for precautionary measures and testing.
Upon arrival, the Australian Open participants had to take a PCR test. A rapid test was required after five to seven days. Apart from that, according to the organizer, quick tests are made available, but they are voluntary.
Tennis doubles Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies meanwhile reached the round of 16 of the Australian Open for the first time. The two-time French Open winners of the doubles competition won their second round game 6: 4, 6: 7 (7: 9), 6: 4 against the Americans Austin Krajicek/Sam Querrey. The two could not use a match point in the tie-break of the second set. In the round of the top 16, the duo will face fifth seeded John Peers from Australia and Filip Polasek from Slovakia.
Krawietz and Mies are number twelve on the seeding list. In 2019 and 2020, Krawietz from Coburg and Mies from Cologne celebrated the title at the French Open in Paris together. The two were unable to compete together last season due to Mies’ knee surgery. At the Australian Open, Krawietz/Mies only played together in 2020, but lost in the first round.
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