2023 Australian Open ICYMI: Day 4

CHAOS reigned supreme on day four of the Australian Open, with the men’s draw in particular producing a number of unbelievable upsets. With the drawn blown wide open, it offered plenty of chances for lesser known players to step up and potentially go deep in this year’s Australian Open.


  • He will make it into a lot of these lists, but Alexei Popyrin‘s effort against Top 10 player and eighth seed Taylor Fritz was herculean. He held his own throughout another four-hour epic, but after missing out on winning in four sets via his first match point, the Australian dusted himself off and went again to close out the match, 6-7 7-6 6-4 6-7 6-2.
  • Like Popyrin, he will also feature on the list lower, but it was hard not to mention the incredible effort of Sir Andy Murray. He came from two sets to love and 5-2 down in the third set to find a way to defeat Thanasi Kokkinakis in five hours and 45 minutes, 4-6 6-7 7-6 6-3 7-5.
  • Upsets galore. In past years, the men’s singles has often been a fairly predictable exercise, but not on day four and in 2023, with plenty of upsets throughout the day, and no less than four top 15 seeds bowling out. Fritz, Casper Ruud, Alexander Zverev and Pablo Carreno Busta all lost, with Diego Schwartzman also out from the men’s draw. In the women’s, ninth seed Veronika Kudermetova and 16th seed Anett Kontaveit were the big omissions.


  • Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman’s last 12 months went from bad to worse, having just scraped through the opening round. The diminutive hard-working South American was meekly ousted by J.J. Wolf 6-1 6-4 6-4, and he has been in such horrific form that despite being the 23rd seed – and Wolf being 43 places lower – he was the heavy underdog coming into the clash.
  • Though mentioning a number of seeded casualties already, another big out was 18th seed Liudmila Samsonova. The Russian, like her compatriot Daria Kasatkina the day before, was incredibly disappointing against an impressive Donna Vekic, losing 6-3 6-0 in just 66 minutes.


  • Injuries continued to plague the top seeds, this time with former world number one, and fifth seed Novak Djokovic. Gunning for his 10th Australian Open title, Djokovic struggled throughout his clash with French qualifier Enzo Couacaud, with the latter even taking a set off the Serbian star. He still managed to get home, but it raised more questions as to how hampered he will be as the going gets tougher.


  • Naturally the Australians who won received appropriate support, with Popyrin leading the charge early, while Alex de Minaur capped off the day with a strong win. Though Kokkinakis lost, he and Murray lost no fans for the effort they produced into the wee hours of the mroning.
  • American Jenson Brooksby is winning plenty of fans with his performances, and though he did knock out Christopher O’Connell in the opening round, the rising talent took down second seed Casper Ruud in a huge upset.


  • Take your pick. The one that stood out most was American qualifier Katie Volynets‘ win over ninth seed Kudermetova. It has been a tournament to forget for the Russian women, and that trend continued when Volynets – who has largely played on the ITF or Challenger Tours – took out the Top 10 talent in three sets, 6-4 2-6 6-2 in two hours and eight minutes.


  • Just when it looked like everything possible had happened on day four, Andy Murray pulled out one of the most incredible comebacks of all time. Down 4-6 6-7 2-5 and looking like a regulation straight sets loss, somehow found a way to win in almost six hours on court. The fact Murray has a metal hip and is clearly not in his peak state from a decade earlier, it was simply jawdropping to see what he could do.
  • Earlier in the day just when it looked like there would be no Top 30 players remaining in the last quarter of the draw, Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut came to the rescue. The 24th seed trailed two sets to love against American qualifier Brandon Holt, but found his grove after that, in a surprisingly quick five-set match. It lasted two hours and 56 minutes, with Bautista Agut recording a 4-6 2-6 6-3 6-2 6-2 victory.


  • By far in the day session, the Fritz and Popyrin was next level in a match that lasted four hours and two minutes. With a combined 40 aces between them – Fritz had 21 and Popyrin had 19 – and a whopping 141 winners, it was a match to behold. Despite grinding it out on court for that long, there was still only 84 combined unforced errors, and it was not until the fifth set that Popyrin broke it open.
  • It looked like an easy choice up until Murray and Kokkinakis engaged in their epic battle which on the surface had to be seen to be believed. On Margaret Court Arena, the pair served 47 aces – 37 to Kokkinakis and hit a whopping 171 winners – 102 to the Australian – in an epic slog. What a day of tennis.

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