2023 Australian Open ICYMI: Day 3

RAIN effectively put a massive line through progress at the Australian Open yesterday, with non-covered courts unable to begin play until 5pm, forcing a backlog of players waiting for either their first or second round matches. Luckily the tournament got through all the games to be back on schedule, but plenty of players will need to back up today after only playing yesterday.


  • It was not easy having to wait 24 hours to complete your match, but Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis did just that. He broke Fabio Fognini then held serve to claim the victory 6-1 6-2 6-2 in a bruise free encounter on Kia Arena.
  • American Michael Mmoh‘s never-say-die attitude of having to play over three sessions, but finding a way to knock off French qualifier Laurent Lokoli. The Frenchman was two points away from victory when the match was first suspended on day two. They returned to the court only for Lokoli to double fault on match point, and then Mmoh win that set, and the fourth before another suspension of play. Leading 3-1 in the fifth when they returned to Court 13, Mmoh finally closed the first round battle in four hours and 23 minutes, 4-6 2-6 7-6 6-4 6-2.


  • The rain will feature here for a second successive day after wrecking havoc with the tournament schedule, forcing players to take to the court after 5pm to complete matches, and other first round contests to start, some of them will have to play again today, leaving little room for recovery.
  • Rafael Nadal‘s hip issues returned and the world number one was forced out of the tournament. Though technically he did what he always does and completed the match against Mackenzie McDonald, it looks like the top seed and defending champion is set for a stint on the sidelines, going down 6-4 6-4 7-5.


  • Russian Daria Kasatkina hardly gave a yelp during her 6-1 6-1 loss to younger compatriot Varvara Gracheva. Kasatkina came in as the eighth seed, but bowed out in 54 minutes as she hit just three winners for 23 unforced errors in a pretty ugly performance.


  • The future of women’s tennis was on show at Rod Laver Arena in the night session, with Roland Garros runner-up Coco Gauff taking on US Open winner Emma Raducanu. Though as expected the in-form seventh seed Gauff won, Raducanu showed the signs of when she went all the way to her maiden Grand Slam title. Hopefully consistent form is not too far away for the 20-year-old.
  • An obscure hero, but few could not be impressed by Russian world number 105, Diana Shnaider who took it right up to sixth seed Maria Sakkari on Margaret Court Arena. The 18-year-old – who has effectively just played on the ITF and Challenger Tours – is set to play College tennis this year, but may rethink that after pushing Sakkari to three sets across two hours and 33 minutes before falling, 3-6 7-5 6-3.


  • There were a couple in this bracket that deserve a mention, starting with Spanish qualifier Cristina Bucsa‘s victory over US Open winner Bianca Andreescu. After conceding the first set, Bucsa – ranked 102 in the world – fought back to in in two hours and 51 minutes, 2-6 7-6 6-4.
  • Almost as surprising was China’s Lin Zhu defeating 32nd seed Jil Teichmann in a one-sided contest. Many expected the Swiss talent to close the second round match out in straight sets given her form, but instead she won just four games in an hour and 26 minutes.


  • Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime loves to make things difficult for himself. After having to survive a comeback and win in five sets over compatriot Vasek Pospisil in the first round, he sunk two sets to love down against Slovakian Alex Molcan. Luckily the sixth seed found his grove and came up trumps, 3-6 3-6 6-3 6-2 6-2 in three hours and two minutes.


  • It only went the four sets, but Jason Kubler‘s effort against Russian 18th seed Karen Khachanov was outstanding. The Australian wildcard went down in the second round match, but he won an epic 70-shot rally which had to be seen to be believed. Khachanov advanced 6-4 5-7 6-4 6-2, and wrote on the camera post-match “Sorry Aussies”.

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