Australian Open 2018: Drama continues as unpredictability reigns on Day 3

Stock photograph of an Australian Open Tennis Ball. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt) NO ARCHIVING

Things are seriously hotting up now and the juicier match-ups in both competitions are becoming more frequent.


For every straight sets victory sealed by Nadal (def Mayer), Krygios (def Troicki), Cilic (def Sousa) and – most impressively – Edmund (def Djokovic’s 2017 conqueror Istomin) there were some delicious five set epics.

Dimitrov’s major scare against Mackenzie McDonald was the undoubted highlight in the Laver night match – an early test perhaps to shake off the rust. See too the wily Tsonga battling past bright young thing Shapovalov and the enigmatic Karlovic delivering another heartwarming marathon victory over Sock’s vanquisher Sugita.

Finally, do we bid farewell to 2006 runner-up Baghdatis? The lovable Cypriot lost in four to another future star Rublev.


It was the same pattern with the women, but there were more surprises hidden amongst this quieter half of the draw, including the sudden loss of the headline-grabbers from the previous round.

Belinda Bencic was looking so good (cue another of my ill-fated predictions only a few days ago), but the Swiss Miss was dismissed by the marvellously monickered Luksika Kumkhum. Monica Puig was looking fresh too, but was dispatched by the increasingly back-to-form Kanepi and another of my picks for a deep run this fortnight, Julia Goerges came up way short against the recently off-colour Cornet.

Elsewhere, the relative favourites did progress, but all with a struggle: Wozniacki, Svitolina and Ostapenko all needed three sets and some major nerve to get through. Timea Babos who so confidently swatted away Vandeweghe was slain in three by the unseeded dangerous Suarez-Navarro.


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