DrHis 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. On her way to her long-awaited 24th Grand Slam title, the top female candidate on Sunday in Melbourne did not allow her to be stopped by Arena Sabalenka of Belarus, who 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 Australia’s Margaret Court, who is sparking controversy due to her anti-gay and anti-lesbian statements.
On the other hand, the first thing that marked the tennis season came an abrupt end to Austrian Dominic Thiem. The US Open champion lost its 16th round to Bulgarian Gregor 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. Tim was last year in the Melbourne Finals.
“The disappointment is great, of course,” said Tim, after his unexpectedly apparent defeat. “It was a mixture of several things: some physical thing, a really bad day, and then Gregor became just a good player as well,” said the Austrian. He did not want to go into more detail about his physical problems. I don’t want to make excuses. I’m not a machine, even if I want to be one. “
Williams converted her first match point at the Road Laver Arena after 2:09. “It was tough,” the tennis number one admitted a long time ago. “I just tried to stick with it,” 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 with a score of 3-1.
Sabalenka, who won championships in Ostrao and Linz (both in 2020) and Abu Dhabi (2021) before the trip to Australia, showed a huge 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 strong 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 qualified for the last 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.
No spectators in the arena
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 crowd,” said Osaka. She will now meet Hsieh Su Wei from Taiwan on Tuesday. The 35-year-old had no problem facing 6: 4 and 6: 2 against Czech Markita Fondrosova while she 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 competed 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 beat Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassim No. 20 with a score of 3: 6, 1: 6, 6: 3, 6: 3 and 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 Dimitrov, the Conqueror. Germany’s Alexander Zverev, number one, also reached the last eight. There he will meet world number one Novak Djokovic.