Aus Open: Serena Wins, Nadal Powers On, Leander/Martina in QF
Serena Williams beat Barbora Strycova while Johanna Konta advanced with a win over Ekaterina Makarova.
- Johanna Konta (9) beat Ekaterina Makarova (30) 6-1, 6-4
- Serena Williams (2) beat Barbora Strycova (16) 7-5, 6-4
- Karolina Pliskova (5) beat Jelena Ostapenko 4-6, 6-0, 10-8
- Mirjana Lucic-Baroni beat Jennifer Brady 6-4, 6-2
- Leander Paes/Martina Hingis beat Casey Dellacqua and Matt Reid 6-2, 6-3
- Milos Raonic (3) beat Roberto Bautista (13) 7-6(6), 3-6, 6-4, 6-1
- Grigor Dimitrov (15) beat Denis Istomin 2-6, 7-6(2), 6-2, 6-1
Nadal In Quarters
Rafa Nadal returned to the grand slam big-time by fending off Gael Monfils 6-3 6-3 4-6 6-4 to reach the Australian Open quarter-finals.
Former champion Nadal had not reached the last eight in a major since the 2015 French Open, so he celebrated wildly after closing out the two-hour 56-minute clash at a packed Rod Laver Arena.
It was not the most convincing of wins for the 30-year-old Spaniard, who was rattled when Monfils rallied in the fourth set, but the 14-times grand slam champion was clinical when it counted to keep his pursuit of a 15th major title alive.
Nadal will meet third seed Milos Raonic for a place in the semi-finals.
Djokovic’s Victor Beaten
Grigor Dimitrov has ended wild-card entry Denis Istomin's celebrated run to the fourth round of the Australian Open. The No. 15-seeded Dimitrov beat Istomin 2-6, 7-6 (2), 6-2, 6-1 four days after the Uzbek player beat six-time champion Novak Djokovic in the second round. Istomin was affected by back or leg issues for much of the match, and had a timeout and several other visits from the trainer.
In the last game, Istomin was noticeably limping across the back of the baseline, and Dimitrov clinched the match with an ace.
The 15th-seeded Dimitrov will next play David Goffin in the quarterfinals.
Leander/Martina March Into Quarters
The may be the oldest players in the draw but Leander Paes and Martina Hingis were in sublime form as they sailed into the quarterfinals of the mixed doubles draw on Monday morning.
The Indo-Swiss pair took just 54 minutes to get the better of Australian duo of Matt Reid and Casey Dellacqua 6-2 6-3 in the second round encounter.
It was total domination from Paes and Hingis as they took control of the match from the onset and didn't give their rivals any opportunity to forge a comeback. The Indo-Swiss pair broke Dellacqua in the fourth game to gain an early lead. Leading 5-2, Paes and Hingis broke Dellacqua again to pocket the first set with a near-flawless show in 24 minutes.
The second set was no different as Paes and Hingis secured a break in the eighth game to go 5-3 up and then held their serve to seal the set and the match.
Serena Soldiers On
Serena Williams and ninth seed Johanna Konta beat their respective opponents in the fourth round on Monday to set up a quarterfinal clash against each other in the women’s singles event of the Australian Open.
Serena overcame a misbehaving serve and scorching heat to register a 7-5 6-4 win over Czech Barbora Strycova to reach the Australian Open quarterfinals on Monday.
Second seed Williams was broken three times in the opening set at Rod Laver Arena and again when coasting to the finish line in the second but shifted up a gear to close out the match in one hour and 46 minutes.
I think she’s a really smart player, she can do everything. It’s always good I have something I can improve on and I know I can do better on my serve.Serena Williams
Williams, who hopes to win a record 23rd grand slam title, has now notched 10 consecutive quarter-final appearances at the majors, dating back to the 2014 US Open.
The highest ranked player in the draw after Angelique Kerber's shock elimination on Sunday, Serena next faces British ninth seed Johanna Konta.
Konta Dispatches Makarova to Meet Serena in Quarters
Johanna Konta dismantled Ekaterina Makarova 6-1 6-4 in their fourth-round clash on Monday to move ahead in the women’s singles draw.
The 25-year-old Konta, Britain's last hope in the singles after Andy Murray and Dan Evans were bundled out on Sunday, took 69 minutes to send the Russian packing.
Makarova, who beat sixth seed Dominika Cibulkova in the third round, raced to a 4-1 lead in the second set but Konta rallied to win the next five games and sealed victory on her second match point when the Russian's forehand sailed over the baseline.
Fifth Seed Pliskova Survives Ostapenko Scare
Karolina Pliskova showed nerves of steel as she battled back from 5-2 down in the deciding set to beat teenager Jelena Ostapenko 4-6 6-0 10-8 and reach the fourth round of the Australian Open for the first time on Saturday.
The fifth seed, a finalist at the US Open last year, won eight of the last 11 games in a topsy-turvy contest on Margaret Court Arena to secure a last-16 meeting with the final Australian in the draw, Daria Gavrilova.
The fired up world number 38, who mixed 41 winners with 43 unforced errors over the contest, saved one match point at 5-6 in the decider but looked to have run out of steam as the match drew to its conclusion.
Pliskova had needed just an hour to get through each of her first two matches at Melbourne Park but needed a shade over two hours to see off the 19-year-old, who conceded victory when she clattered a backhand into the net post.
History Repeating Itself?
Mirjana Lucic-Baroni is making another run at the important end of a Grand Slam tournament — for the first time in nearly 20 years — beating U.S. qualifier Jennifer Brady 6-4, 6-2 to advance to the Australian Open quarterfinals.
Lucic-Baroni made the Wimbledon semifinals in 1999 at the age of 17. Not long after, the Croatian player was out of the sport entirely and was forced to spend years scraping her way back to the majors.
The now-34 Lucic-Baroni came onto the scene in 1997 by winning the first WTA tournament she ever entered at age 15. Months later, she captured the Australian Open doubles title with Martina Hingis. After her surprising run at Wimbledon, though, her career rapidly spiraled. By 2003, she was forced to stop playing because of financial hardships. She waited 19 years to get her second win at Melbourne Park — and now has three more.
"To work so hard, and sacrifice so much to be here today. Hope nobody is going to pinch me and wake me up — because this is incredible," she said.
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