The message on her shirt was clear. The phrase “Unstoppable Queen” was written in gold letters on the dark jersey that Serena Williams wore at the press conference after reaching the Australian Open quarter-finals. En route to the long-awaited 24th Grand Slam title, Arena Sabalenka of Belarus was unable to stop the top contender on Sunday in Melbourne, which has been very strong recently. The 39-year-old won 6: 4, 2: 6, 6: 4 in the Round of 16, with just three wins separating her from the Grand Slam record for Australian Margaret Court, who is controversial due to her anti-gay opposition. And lesbian data.
On the other hand, the first match of the tennis season ended unexpectedly for Austrian Dominic Thiem. The US Open champion lost its 16th round to Grigor Dimitrov 4: 6, 4: 6, 0: 6 and was largely without a chance. Two days after winning five sets over Australian Nick Kyrgios, the 27-year-old world number three appeared broken and helpless. Last year, Tim was still in the final in Melbourne.
Williams converted her first match point at the Road Laver Arena after 2:09. “It was really tough,” the tennis number one admitted a long time ago. “I just tried to keep up,” said Williams. After winning the first set, the American made some tricks in the second round and conceded the division with 6: 2. But in the third set, she managed to break fast to 3: 1.
Sabalenka, who won championships in Ostrava and Linz (both in 2020) and Abu Dhabi (2021) before the trip to Australia, showed a great fighting heart and managed to bring the break back to 3: 4. But in the crucial stages, the Belarusian was slightly overtaken thanks to her powerful game. In the end, there were 36 simple fouls that were so many that there wasn’t much of a surprise against Williams. In the quarter-finals, Williams will face the winner of the duel between Simona Halep of Romania and Ija Swatec of Poland.
Before Williams, Naomi Osaka of Japan and Hsieh Su Wei of Taiwan had already made it to the Round of 16 in the first Grand Slam of the tennis season. US Open champion, Osaka, defeated last year’s finalist Garbini Muguruza of Spain 4: 6, 6: 4, 7: 5 in a high-profile match. The 23-year-old saved two similar balls in the third set when it was 3: 5.
Due to the closure currently in effect in Melbourne, no spectators were able to witness the exciting match in the arena. “The fans would have enjoyed the match, and maybe the match would have been better in front of the fans,” said Osaka. She will now meet Hsieh Su Wei from Taiwan on Tuesday. The 35-year-old had no problem facing 6: 4, 6: 2 against Czech Markita Fondrosova, who is in the quarter-finals for the first time in a Grand Slam tournament. Never before since the introduction of professional tennis in 1968 has a female player appeared in the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam tournament.
In the men’s category, Russian Aslan Karazio qualified for the quarter-finals unexpectedly at all. The 27-year-old defeated Canadian No. 20 Felix Auger Aliassim with 3: 6, 1: 6, 6: 3, 6: 3, 6: 4 and is the first to qualify for the Grand Slam tournament in the quarter-finals. Additionally, Carazio is the first player in the qualifiers since Alex Radulescu in 1996 at Wimbledon, who survived the round of 16 in his first appearance in the Grand Slam tournament. In the quarter-finals, now ranked 114th in the tennis world will meet Demetrov, the Conqueror.
German top seed Alexander Zverev will play the last 16 against Serbian Dusan Lyovic from 8.45 am CET (Eurosport Live). In the last game of the evening session, the last world number one ailing Novak Djokovic will play the last 16 against Canadian Milos Raonic.