The Australian Open is getting to the fun part. The opening Grand Slam of the season is now in the quarter-final stage, which will feature some big names.
On the men’s side, defending champion Novak Djokovic will meet Milos Raonic, who has looked impressive thus far in this year’s tournament.
Meanwhile on the women’s side, World No. 1 and hometown hero Ashleigh Barty is also through despite a less-than-stellar showing in the fourth round. However, one name who won’t be in the last eight is 15-year-old Coco Gauff, who saw her run come to an end.
These are the top Aussie Open news stories SBOTOP will catch you up on ahead of the quarter-finals.
Novak Djokovic to meet Milos Raonic in quarter-finals
Novak Djokovic has breezed through to the quarter-finals of the Australian Open. The World No. 2 has recorded three consecutive straight-sets wins over Tatsuma Ito, Yoshihito Nishioka, and Diego Schwartzman en route to the last eight.
However, the Serb will have a stiffer test ahead of him as he takes on Milos Raonic. The hard-serving Canadian made it to the Aussie Open quarters for the fifth time in his career with a convincing 6-4, 6-3, 7-5 win over Marin Cilic.
Raonic has not dropped a single set through four matches thus far, in large part because his service game has been on point. He blasted in 35 aces against Cilic and saved four break points. His serve has yet to be broken all tournament.
He also had 19 aces and won 89 per cent of his first-serve points as he defied the Australian Open 2020 and knocked out 2019 ATP Finals winner Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Djokovic has a terrific 9-0 career record against Raonic, which includes an Australian Open quarter-final win in 2015. However, the Serb is not taking anything for granted and is fully aware of the power Raonic possesses.
“Quite different match up to the one today,” Djokovic said of his matchup with Raonic. “I’ve got to be ready for missiles coming from the other side of the net.”
Coco Gauff’s run cut short in fourth round
Coco Gauff couldn’t repeat her heroics from the first few rounds as she crashed out in the last 16 to fellow American Sofia Kenin.
The 15-year-old had won the first set 7-6, but Kenin rallied to win the next two sets in convincing fashion, 6-3, 6-0, as she reached her first career Grand Slam quarter-final.
Kenin will go on to face Tunisian Ons Jabeur in the last eight.
Gauff was in tears and made a quick exit after her defeat as her emotions got the better of her.
“I was disappointed that I lost obviously,” Gauff said after the match. “I think naturally when I lose, I’m just a bit emotional.”
However, she was ultimately pleased with her overall performance as she made several Australian Open 2020 highlights. She claimed another massive victory over Venus Williams in the first round, came back from a set down to beat Sorana Cristea in the second, and did the unthinkable by knocking out defending champion Naomi Osaka in straight sets in the third round.
“The thing I’m most proud of myself is how I handled it on the court,” she said. “Even though today I lost a set 6-0, I was still believing I could win it. I don’t think I showed any negative emotion too much in the match. I just tried my best.”
Gauff also stressed he desire to keep improving, and at the rate she’s going, it seems like only a matter of time before she makes it deep into a Grand Slam.
Ashleigh Barty back in quarter-finals
World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty has made the quarter-finals of her home Grand Slam for the second year in succession after beating American Alison Riske in three sets.
Barty was far from her best as she committed 34 unforced errors. Her second serve game was particularly poor as she won just 28 per cent of her second serve points. That helped Riske convert four out of five break points against her.
After the match, Barty blamed the windy conditions for contributing to her struggles.
“It was exceptionally hard to play in the wind, especially at one end‚” Barty said. “I struggled a bit tonight, but worked it out in the end.”
Barty will have a tough test ahead of her in the quarter-finals as she takes on two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova. The No. 7 seed had lost just 14 games prior to beating Maria Sakkari, 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-2, in her fourth-round matchup.
Kvitova holds a 4-3 edge over Barty in their career head-to-heads. She came out on top in their Aussie Open meeting last year, which was also in the quarters, as she made it all the way to the final.
However, Barty bounced back to beat Kvitova three times in a row, including in the quarter-finals of the Miami Masters and Beijing.
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