Serbia's Novak Djokovic is hopeful to maintain his Australian Open title amidst experienced hardships in the tournament

Australian Open: Will We See New Champions In Melbourne?

The first few days of the Australian Open weren’t short of fireworks and drama given how It has unfolded lately.

Our two defending champions in Novak Djokovic and Sofia Kenin have experienced hardships in the tournament, leaving fans to wonder on who will bring home the crown. 

Djokovic was almost eliminated by a young upstart, whereas Kenin was left in tears after seeing her Grand Slam title defence end in Melbourne.

Meanwhile, Daniil Medvedev and Karolina Pliskova had their emotions got the best of them, while perennial contenders Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka, Rafael Nadal, and Dominic Thiem have moved on to the later rounds of the tournament. 

These are some of the things that happened and more as SBOTOP gives you the latest roundup of our tennis updates.

 

Tempers flared in Melbourne

Karolina Pliskova and Daniil Medvedev surely had better days in the office. The two were on the wrong of the Australian Open 2021 news as both couldn’t keep their emotions in check.

Daniil Medvedev looked like he was on his way to an easy win against Filip Krajinovic. However, he dropped two straight sets which gave his Serbian counterpart all the momentum heading into the final set.

Frustrated, the Russian hitter vented his ire at Gilles Cervara and eventually his coach walked out of the game. Fortunately for him, however, is that he hung a donut on Krajinovic to survive the three-hour contest.

Meanwhile, the same result didn’t happen for Karolina Pliskova as she bowed out of the third round after being beaten by Karolina Muchova in straight sets.

After going ahead 5-4 in the first set, the Czech stalwart dropped three straight games and it was then things boiled over.

Pliskova slammed her racquet and received a code violation, and it was upgraded to a point penalty when she did it again after a bathroom break.

Although Pliskova came out with a vengeance in the succeeding set, it was simply Muchova’s days as the Czech dropped seven straight games and committed 40 unforced errors and 10 double faults. 

Kaia Kanepi knocks out 2020 champion Sofia Kenin from her pursuit of another claim to the Australian Open title

Sofia Kenin in action during first round match against Maddison Inglis at Melbourne Park.


 

Novak Djokovic’s title defence is hanging in the balance

Novak Djokovic’s title defence is in danger since he is dealing with a serious injury.

The Serbian is fresh from a grueling five-setter against Taylor Fritz as he overcame an oblique tear, and he even admitted that he wouldn’t have finished the match if he didn’t take any painkillers.

When asked about his status, Djokovic says that he is hopeful that he can play against Milo Raonic in the next round if his body permits him to do so.

“This is definitely one of the most special wins on my life. To pull this through is definitely something I’ll remember forever,” reflected Djokovic postgame.

“Right now, I know it’s a tear. I don’t know if I’ll manage to recover from that in less than two days. Let’s see what happens tomorrow,” he added.

One can argue that Djokovic’s status will change the landscape of the competition as far as the ATP is concerned.

If he will retire from the tournament, the Australian Open 2021 odds will tilt to the favour to the likes of Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem, Stefanos Tsitsipas, and Daniil Medvedev.

 

Comebacks are becoming a theme

Dominic Thiem, Elina Svitolina, and Serena Williams headline yesterday’s set of results because of their superb comeback efforts.

After trailing by two sets to Nick Kyrgios, Dominic Thiem went on to notch three straight sets to secure his spot in the next round.

This match was Kyrgios’ to lose since he was on the driver’s seat for much of the contest. But instead, the Australian was left to rue on his missed opportunities.

Moreover, Kyrgios heaped praise to Thiem for a job well done and he promises to come back even better in the next competition.

Meanwhile, Elina Svitolina and Serena Williams both overcame slow starts to eventually dominate their respective opponents.

Elina Svitolina opened her match against Yulia Putintseva by getting broken multiple times, but she then won nine straight games for the 6-4, 6-0 victory.

Williams, on the other hand, trailed 5-3 in a error-filled first set. But she went on to save two set points before dialling back in to win against Anastasia Potapova.
Serena Williams will face a tough test as she will have Aryna Sabalenka in the next round, while Elina Svitolina is set to lock horns with Jessica Pegula, who has not lost a set through the first three rounds.

 

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