Who is Marta Kostyuk
Who is Marta Kostyuk?
In a match that began on Friday and ended on Saturday, Caroline Wozniacki, a fesity Caroline Wozniacki, is into the round of 16, eventually converting on her fourth match point to beat Kiki Bertens 6-4 6-3.
If the Dane had stopped the ball on her first match point after Bertens’ shot flirted with the baseline - it was in fact out - she would’ve clinched victory a little earlier, but no call came. Instead, the Dane sent her racquet crashing into the turf in anger, and by the time a second and third chance came and went the frustration was clear for all to see.
But Wozniacki then delivered a big serve on her fourth match point, and the stress lifted from her as she watched Bertens’ return drift beyond the baseline. She is into the fourth round to take on Magdalena Rybarikova, and after saving double match point in the previous round, Wozniacki admits she’s “playing with house money”.
Angelique Kerber knows all about that, winning here in 2016 after saving a match point in her opening match. Can Wozniacki repeat the feat?
What an impressive performance from Anett Kontaveit, who is into the round of 16 at the Australian Open for the very first time, downing Roland Garros champion Jelena Ostapenko 6-3 1-6 6-3.
The key moment came at 3-3 in the final set when the Estonian broke the Ostapenko serve in a game that saw no fewer than SEVEN deuces. It also broke the Latvian’s resolve - she didn’t win another game.
Kontaveit will now take on Carla Suarez Navarro for a spot in the quarterfinal. Both players will fancy their chances.
That may just be one of the most professional displays of Nick Kyrgios’ career. He downs his childhood hero Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6(5) 4-6 7-6(6) 7-6(5) to reach the round of 16 at his home Grand Slam for the second time.
From 2-5 down in the fourth-set tie-break, with the ball in Tsonga’s hand, Kyrgios did what he has done all month, buckled down, hit some exquisite shots, and rolled through the last five points to seal a memorable win. A burst of excitement runs through Kyrgios as Tsonga nets the forehand on match point, and the Aussie No.1 is ecstatic with that. It’s the first win of his career on Rod Laver Arena. It certainly won’t be the last.
Estonia and Latvia, two nations nestled alongside each other in the Baltics, and tonight, two of their finest are duking it out more than 15,000km from home.
Anett Kontaveit took the first set 6-3 before Jelena Ostapenko received a medical timeout in order to get her left thigh strapped. It seemed to do the trick because she has rattled off the first four games of the second set. Oh, make that five.
The fourth set may be only four games old on RLA but talk about drama. It began after the first game when Tsonga got incredibly fired up, seemingly annoyed with someone in the crowd. Umpire Jake Garner warned Tsonga about his behaviour telling him “you must stop!” and when the Frenchman kept going he was given a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct. Very uncharacteristic of Tsonga, but he’s definitely feeling aggrieved about something.
Then at 2-1, with Kyrgios serving, Tsonga gets a look at break point in slightly odd circumstances. He followed in a lob before volleying away Kyrgios’ tweener. The Aussie looked a bit miffed, however - he thought the lob was out. Hawk-Eye replays for the benefit of television show it was, but he hadn't challenged. That gives Tsonga break point, but Kyrgios comes up with some breathtaking tennis to defuse the situation.
At 5-5 in the tie-break, Tsonga takes some pace off his serve, swinging in a 138kph delivery and Kyrgios is caught off guard, bumping the return into the net. That brings up set point for the Frenchman but he’s left hapless as the Aussie raises his game, connecting with a peach of a forehand, a one-two punch and a stunning backhand return crosscourt, which Tsonga could only net, to close out the set in style.
Kyrgios leads 7-6(5) 4-6 7-6(6), improving his remarkable record in breakers at the Australian Open to 12-3.
How do you say dominant in Spanish? In his 550th hard court match, Rafael Nadal is into the fourth round of the Australian Open without dropping a single set after a 6-1 6-3 6-1 win over Bosnia’s Damir Dzunhur. Relentless tennis from the world No.1 who is looking every bit his ranking so far.
This is the 11th time Nadal has advanced to the round of 16 at Melbourne Park, putting him joint second with Stefan Edberg for most appearances at this stage of the tournament. Roger Federer leads the way with 16.
The key stat for Kyrgios: his first serve percentage dropped off a cliff between the first and second set (85 per cent to 57) and Tsonga took full advantage, snatching the lone break of the set.
Riveting battle, this.
How nice is it to see Carla Suarez Navarro *that* happy? After a somewhat rocky 2017 season saw her fall from No.12 to No.40 in the world, she’s compiling a tidy run through the bottom quarter of the draw at Melbourne Park.
Magdalena Frech and Times Babos came and went in the opening two rounds and today the Spaniard got the better of dangerous floater Kaia Kanepi 3-6 6-1 6-3. The Estonian lives and dies by her booming groundstrokes and 47 unforced errors were sadly her undoing today.
Jelena Ostapenko and Anett Kontaveit will duke it out on MCA tonight for the right to play Suarez Navarro.
Ooof. From 4-6 down in the tie-break and with his back against the wall, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, much like he did against Denis Shapovalov, comes out swinging, attacking the net before recovering the mini-break with a feathered dropshot. But after all that, he double faults on the very next point. Oh dear. Kyrgios with the first set in the bag.
Meanwhile, Will Smith is courtside. He rocked up to Rod's house about seven or eight*. He tells Channel 7: "Watching [Kyrgios] I'm like, man, I might need to take this up a bit."
A return worthy of winning any match. Andreas Seppi predicts Ivo Karlovic’s big serve down the tee on the ad side, springing to his right to dip a forehand return at the feet of the on-rushing Croat who can’t get his big frame down in time to pick it up.
A gallant effort from the 38-year-old, who battled back from two sets down, but it’s Seppi advancing, winning 6-3 7-6(4) 6-7(3) 6-7(5) 9-7. The Italian seems to save his best tennis for the Australian Open these days, advancing to the round of 16 in Melbourne for the second year in succession.
This is Seppi’s 51st straight Grand Slam event - will it be the one he finally makes a long-awaited quarterfinal appearance? Kyle Edmund stands in his way.
Damir Dzumhur has a quite the challenge on his hands if he’s to reach the round of 16 at a Grand Slam for the first time, but one stat will give him confidence. The Bosnian is on a three-match winning streak against Top 5 opponents, beating today’s opponent in Miami 2016 (with a little help from a third-set retirement), No.3 Stan Wawrinka in Dubai and No.4 Alexander Zverev in Shenzhen last year.
Nadal is looking stingy early doors, however, cruising through the opening set in just 22 minutes. Dzumhur won just SIX points from the baseline in that opener, with Nadal giving him absolutely nothing to work with.
As Ivo Karlovic fends off a match point with - you guessed it! - an ace, let’s shine a light on RLA and MCA where the night crowd have filtered in for two cracking sessions.
Rafael Nadal has been in ruthless form this week and it seems to be no different tonight as he rattles through the opening five games against Damir Dzumhur. Meanwhile, Nick Kyrgios and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga have exchanged early breaks on Rod Laver Arena. Buckle up, folks.
Diego Schwartzman raises both arms aloft as blue and what flags are unfurled around Show Court 3 after another tremendous battle, and the noise is ear-piercing. The Argentine just proved too consistent for Alexandr Dolgopolov in the end, hitting 36 fewer unforced errors en route to a 6-7(1) 6-2 6-3 6-3 victory.
He is into the Australian Open fourth round for the first time in his career, backing up his quarterfinal run at the US Open last September. He will take on the winner of Rafael Nadal and Damir Dzumhur, who are just about to get up and running on MCA.
Andreas Seppi v Ivo Karlovic. If ever a match had five sets written all over it, it was this. And here we are, heading to a fifth set. Amazing.
You have to admire the Croat, who will turn 39 next month. Down two sets to love on the hottest day of the tournament, he regroups, and begins reeling the Italian back in. Seppi must be wondering what he has to do, having held his serve throughout the match. In fact, he’s only faced two break points.
What way will this go? That's anyone's guess.
Prior to Wimbledon 2017, Magdalena Rybarikova had never gone beyond the 3R in her 35 previous Grand Slam appearances. Now she has backed up her Wimbledon semifinal and third round appearance at the US Open with a run to the fourth round at the Australian Open, beating Kateryna Bondarenko 7-5 3-6 6-1.
The world No.21, seeded No.19 here, dominated with the first two shots in the rally out on MCA. She awaits the winner of Kiki Bertens and Caroline Wozniacki, who face off in the night session on RLA.
It hasn’t been the smoothest of first weeks for Grigor Dimitrov, one of the pre-tournament favourites for the title, but he’s still standing, into the fourth round after a 6-3 4-6 6-4 6-4 win over Andrey Rublev. A gruelling victory for the Bulgarian, but a sweet one - it was the young Russian who knocked him out of the US Open last September - and the celebration at the end said it all as he dropped to his knees.
Dimitrov will need to find another gear if he’s to win a maiden Grand Slam title - he hit 15 double faults today - but his name moves right in the draw sheet and that’s the most important thing. If we know anything about the world No.3, it’s that he will leave no stone unturned. “Certain things in my name are not working right now,” he tells Jim Courier. “I might even go indoors now to try a few things.”
Maybe put those feet up first, Grigor.
It may only be 19 January, but Diego Schwartzman and Alexandr Dolgopolov are meeting for the second time this season after the Ukrainian got the better of the Argentine in Brisbane.
It was the first of Schwartzman’s two losses to open the season, but, much like Pablo Carreno Busta, he has played his way into form in Melbourne. After dropping the opening set 7-6(1) today, he has levelled the match at one-set all, dropping just two games in the second set. Dolgopolov wilted in the final game of the set, closing with back-to-back double faults.
A big third-set coming up for both players.
Oh dear. Grigor Dimitrov will not be one bit happy with himself after losing that set. Up 6-3 4-2 he appeared to be cruising, but back came Andrey Rublev to win the next four games in a row, and it was the last that will frustrate the Bulgarian the most. He opened the game with back-to-back double faults and closed it with three straight unforced errors. What looked like a certain 2-0 lead is now 1-1 and there’s everything to play for.
Pablo Carreno Busta marches into the fourth round at the Australian Open for the first time - and for the third straight Grand Slam he has contested - with a 7-6(4) 4-6 7-5 7-5 win over Gilles Muller.
Muller whizzed 74 winners past Carreno Busta, but the Spaniard set up his trenches behind the baseline and inflicted death by a thousand forehand and backhands. He made just 22 unforced errors - only FOUR off the forehand wing! - in three hours and 18 minutes of tennis. He will face the winner of Ryan Harrison and Marin Cilic for a spot in the quarterfinal.
That’s 10 wins in 11 matches for Elise Mertens who is rising at elevator-pace. The Belgian jumped 90 spots in the rankings since last year's Australian Open, and now she is into the fourth round of major for the first time with a 7-5 6-4 victory over Alize Cornet.
It was a rollercoaster lasting two hours and one minute, with Cornet at times looking dead on her feet - after one double fault she collapsed to the sizzling surface. The Frenchwoman mounted impressive comebacks in both sets - from 4-1 down in the first and 5-2 in the second - but she had left herself with too much work to do.
Mertens just keeps winning and, with Petra Martic up next, she's the favourite (on paper) to reach the quarterfinal.
With that loss, Cornet's wait for a maiden Grand Slam quarterfinal appearance goes on. The Frenchwoman has now featured in 48 majors without a final eight run, which is the most among active players.
That’s a monumental effort from Britain’s Kyle Edmund, who battles back in brutal conditions to beat Nikoloz Basilashvili 7-6(0) 3-6 4-6 6-0 7-5 and end Georgia’s hopes of seeing a male player reach the fourth round at a Grand Slam for just the second time in history.
When Edmund crumbled to the ground in Brisbane just two weeks ago in the incident which gave rise to the now viral clip of Grigor Dimitrov leaping over the net to check on him, it was difficult to see him featuring in Melbourne let alone reaching the fourth round. But now here he is, ankle recovered, advancing to the round of 16 at a Grand Slam for just the second time in his career, with a very real chance to go further. He will take on either Andreas Seppi or Ivo Karlovic in the next round.
When you pull off achievements that are prefixed with “the first since Martina Hingis to…” you know you’re onto something good. Marta Kostyuk won’t forget the 2018 Australian Open in a hurry. The 15-year-old, who earned a wild card into qualifying after winning the junior title at Melbourne Park last year, posted five straight wins to become the youngest Australian Opener third-rounder since Martina Hingis in 1996.
But experience told in the end, and it’s her compatriot Elina Svitolina that moves on, winning 6-2 6-2. In fact, somewhat surprisingly, this is the first time Svitolina has reached the fourth round at Melbourne Park. Denisa Allertova awaits.
Dressed in identical peach Nike outfits, playing with the same blue and yellow striped Ukrainian flag beside their names, but it’s Elina Svitolina’s experience making all the difference on RLA.
She takes the opening set 6-2 in 29 minutes from her young compatriot, who is struggling to find her range against the uber-consistent Svitolina. The last time someone as young as Kostyuk reached an Australian Open third round? Martina Hingis, all the way back in 1996.
Pablo Carreno Busta has come a long way since losing to today’s opponent, Gilles Muller, at Melbourne Park three years ago. He finished 2017 ranked No.10 in the world, with a quarterfinal appearance at Roland Garros and a semifinal run at the US Open helping to shoot him up the ladder.
Would he suffer a hangover in 2018? After a first-round loss to Borna Coric in the opening week of the season, the Spaniard was given a chance to play his way into form in Melbourne, drawn against wild card Jason Kubler in the opening round and then handed an easy passage into the third round when Gilles Simon retired midway through their match.
He’s playing rock solid today, hitting just five unforced errors to take the first set 7-6(4) from Gilles Muller.
Petra Martic is becoming a bit of a specialist at piecing her fluid game together at the majors. The Croatian is into the fourth round at a Grand Slam for the fourth time in her career after a highly entertaining 6-3 3-6 7-5 win over Luksika Kumkhum. Match of the tournament? It’s definitely up there.
Kumkhum played some impressive tennis but by the time she double faulted to cough up the break at 5-5, there were signs that she was beginning to wilt in the extreme afternoon heat.
Martic moves on to face the winner of Elise Mertens and Alize Cornet - who are getting under way on Hisense - and she will have been waiting for this moment since Roland Garros last May. It was in Paris where she came closest to reaching a Grand Slam quarterfinal, up 5-2 in the final set against Elina Svitolina. She couldn’t close it out that day, but can she put that right on Sunday?
As the temperature creeps up to 38.6 degrees, Nikoloz Basilashvili takes the third set from Kyle Edmund out on Show Court 3. Edmund’s big weapon, his forehand, has gone missing - 32 of his 49 unforced errors have come off that wing - and in this heat, this match has become a battle of attrition with both players hoping for the other to miss first.
Basilashvili is looking to become just the second Georgian man to reach the last 16 at a Grand Slam after Irakli Labadze achieved the feat at Wimbledon in 2006.
Not only does the third quarter of the women's draw now feature just one seed - No.4 Elina Svitolina - but it now has a qualifier through to the last 16. World No.130 Denisa Allertova has beaten Magda Linette 6-1 6-4 to reach the fourth round at a Grand Slam tournament for the first time, firing 23 winners during a stellar display on Rod Laver Arena.
There was a certain symmetry to the Czech's performance - having won six of the first seven games to take the opener, she slipped 3-0 down in the second before again claiming six of the next seven to wrap up victory in one hour, 11 minutes.
There's never been doubt about Allertova's potential - her playing CV includes wins over both Simona Halep and Angelique Kerber when they were ranked No.2 in the world, while her first-round win over Ana Ivanovic at the 2016 US Open turned out to be the last match of the former world No.1's career. But the 24-year-old admits she has had to up her game off-court to make such results possible.
"Maybe I've grown up a little, maybe more focused on the game, better prepared for my matches," said Allertova, who will face either Svitolina or Marta Kostyuk on Sunday. "I'm so excited to be here and winning these tough matches - I want to thank my family, my team, my friends who have been with me though tough times, and my boyfriend."
Kyle Edmund, take a bow. The British No.2 has just wrapped up the first set against Nikoloz Basilashvili 7-6(0), and in some style - not only blitzing his way through the tiebreak, but bringing up set point with a shot so good it would make Federer blush. With the score at 5-0 and the players engaged in another length baseline exchange, Edmund changes his backhand grip and cuts across the ball, feathering a drop shot that catches the sideline and turns like an MCG leg-breaker, giving the Georgian absolutely no chance.
He's not done there, the 23-year-old - he extends his run to 10 straight points en route to a break Basilashvili at the start of the second.
Elsewhere, it's been a topsy-turvy start to the women's third-round matches on RLA and MCA: Having lost the first set, Luksika Kumkuhm is a break up on Petra Martic in the second, the Thai still trailing 6-3 3-2, while qualifier Denisa Allertova's surge through the opener has been stymied by Magda Linette, who has kept it on serve in the second - the Czech still leads 6-1 3-4.
She's unbeaten in 11 matches at Melbourne Park, she's playing in her first Grand Slam tournament and she's breaking records almost every time she steps on court. Marta Kostyuk, the 15-year-old who earned a qualifying berth as last year's AO junior champion, is up against the one remaining seed in her quarter of the draw, compatriot and world No.4 Elina Svitolina.
But what else do you need to know about the youngest player to reach the last 32 at a major since 1997? Here's a primer:
We're entering dream territory at Melbourne Park. Four unseeded women take to court today knowing that one will be in the quarterfinals this time next week, each thinking: why not me? A fifteen-year-old faces her Ukrainian compatriot on Rod Laver Arena for a place in the last 16 at her first major. Australia's No.1 takes on his childhood idol tonight, hoping to register his first win against the Frenchman. And the oldest man to contest the AO third round in 40 years heads to Hisense bidding to take advantage of another seed-shorn section of the draw.
That's Day 5 at Australian Open 2018, and you're very welcome to follow along with us as we stay across the big stories as they break throughout the day. It's another absolute scorcher of a day in Melbourne, with temperatures tipped to top 40 °C later on - it's already 35 °C as the players head out on court for the day's opening action. Nobody said chasing your dreams was going to be easy.