Welcome to Sportstar’s HIGHLIGHTS of the Australian Open 2023 quarterfinals on day nine. This was Nihit Sachdeva taking you through the action as it unfolded at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne.
Do join us tomorrow for the second set of quarterfinals. Till then, take care and stay safe.
So, that’s it from the first set of quarterfinals at this year’s Australian Open after which we have two semifinals confirmed.
Men’s Singles, 1st Semifinal -  Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) vs  Karen Khachanov (RUS)
Women’s Singles, 1st Semifinal -  Elena Rybakina (KAZ) vs  Victoria Azarenka (BLR)
|STEFANOS TSITSIPAS||6||7 (7)||6|
|JIRI LEHECKA||3||6 (2)||4|
THIRD SET (* denotes server)
Tsitsipas 6-4 Lehecka* - Lehecka to serve to stay in the set and the match. Wide serve into the deuce court followed by a crosscourt forehand winner - 15-0. An overhead smash in such a tense situation - well done, Jiri Lehecka - 30-15. The 21-year-old could be in danger now - a long forehand and it is 30-all. Lehecka rushes to the net too quickly and it allows Tsitsipas to hits a crosscourt backhand pass to earn a match point. Lehecka hits a backhand into the net. GAME. SET. MATCH. Stefanos Tsitsipas is into the semifinals with a 6-3, 7-6 (2), 6-4 win!
Tsitsipas* 5-4 Lehecka - A love hold for the third-seeded Greek.
Tsitsipas 4-4 Lehecka* - An overcooked forehand followed by a double fault - Lehecka is down 0-30. Serve and volley to make it 15-30. Wide serve followed by a forehand down the line - 30-all. Tsitsipas almost hits the ball boy in disgust by hitting the ball back to the hoarding behind him after it rebounds post Lehecka’s forehand winner. That would have been an instant default. Lehecka manages to hold.
Tsitsipas* 4-3 Lehecka - A loose service game so far from Tsitsipas. A mishit backhand and now a needless serve and volley - down 0-30. Double fault from Tsitsipas and all of a sudden, Lehecka has three break points. The Czech youngster wastes the first one with a backhand into the net on a second serve. Wide serve into the deuce court followed by a crosscourt forehand winner - Tsitsipas saves another. And he saves the third break point as well, this time with a T ace - deuce. Lehecka ends the 11-shot rally with a backhand volley into the net. Tsitsipas one point away from closing the game. Crosscourt backhand from Tsitsipas lands just wide and it is deuce again. Lehecka takes the risk and goes for a crosscourt forehand return winner on wide serve but it lands wide. And Tsitsipas seals the game with a forehand down the line winner.
Tsitsipas 3-3 Lehecka* - The run of 12 straight service points won comes to end courtesy of a horrendous forehand shot from Lehecka but he is 30-15 up. Closes the game with a T ace.
Tsitsipas* 3-2 Lehecka - Well, Tsitsipas takes just 12 seconds more but nevertheless, a love hold.
Tsitsipas 2-2 Lehecka* - A love hold in 75 seconds for Lehecka. Quick.
Tsitsipas* 2-1 Lehecka - No dip in Tsitsipas’ level. Another solid serve hold.
Tsitsipas 1-1 Lehecka* - Lehecka in some trouble. It’s 30-all on his opening service game in the third set which he has to win. A delightful crosscourt forehand volley and a T ace. Nerves of steel from the Czech youngster.
Tsitsipas* 1-0 Lehecka - A comfortable service hold for the third-seeded Greek.
SECOND SET (* denotes server)
Tiebreaker (Tsitsipas 7-2 Lehecka): A heavy backhand from Lehecka after a 14-shot rally hands Tsitsipas the minibreak. Tsitsipas leads 2-0 after a forehand winner down the line. Makes it 3-0 courtesy of a T ace. Tsitsipas extends the lead with a winning overhead smash. Pressure on the 21-year-old now. Lehecka hits a T ace but trails 1-4. Excellent wide serve into the ad court from Tsitsipas, Lehecka barely able to get his racquet on the ball. Short backhand return from Lehecka on a strong serve down the middle from Tsitsipas allows the Greek to hit an inside-out forehand winner and earn five set point chances at 6-1. Lehecka saves one as his body serve draws an error on the backhand from Tsitsipas. A stunning crosscourt forehand winner from Tsitsipas to close the second set. Tsitsipas leads 6-3, 7-6 (2).
Tsitsipas* 6-6 Lehecka - Tsitsipas serving to take this set into a tiebreak. Loses one point but manages to hold serve. Onto the tiebreak now.
Tsitsipas 5-6 Lehecka* - A love hold at the most important time for Lehecka. The young Czech is guaranteed at least a tiebreak in this set.
Tsitsipas* 5-5 Lehecka - Tsitsipas in a spot of bother as he lets go of a 30-0 lead. The third seed does manage to find two big serves to win the next two point and close the game.
Tsitsipas 4-5 Lehecka* - Lehecka up 40-0 in no time. Solid stuff. Backhand return from Tsitsipas lands right at a rushing Lehecka’s feet and he is unable to execute the half volley. However, a forehand error comes from the Greek in the next rally and Lehecka holds.
Tsitsipas* 4-4 Lehecka - Lehecka gets to 30-40 but Tsitsipas closes the door with a T serve to hold.
Tsitsipas 3-4 Lehecka* - Brilliant bit of defending from Tsitsipas but Lehecka keeps calm and hits the overhead smash to finish a 17-shot rally, the longest of the match so far, and go 15-0 up. Followed by a double fault. An overcooked backhand from Tsitsipas. Some really powerful inside-out forehand shots from Lehecka and eventually, a weak return from Tsitsipas comes as the ball hits the net. Lehecka holds. Impressive stuff.
Tsitsipas* 3-3 Lehecka - Love hold for Tsitsipas. Your move, Lehecka.
Tsitsipas 2-3 Lehecka* - Exhibition tennis. Lob from Tsitsipas, Lehecka keeps the point alive with a tweener, Tsitsipas looks to finish with a forehand volley but can’t as Lehecka hits a defensive lob, However, it’s not far enough and the Greek player hits a brilliant overhead smash to go 15-0 up. A double fault from Lehecka and it is 30-all. An ace wide into the deuce court and the 21-year-old Czech has a game point. Tsitsipas hits the backhand return on the second serve wide and Lehecka holds.
Tsitsipas* 2-2 Lehecka - Special stuff from Lehecka. A crosscourt forehand return winner on a wide serve into the deuce court by Tsitsipas. A backhand error from the Greek and Lehecka is 30-15 up. First real opportunity for Lehecka now as he hits a crosscourt backhand winner that just kisses the line. Two break points. Tsitsipas saves first with a strong T serve. Lehecka hits an erratic forehand on the second serve from Tsitsipas - deuce. One more chance for Tsitsipas as he mishits a crosscourt backhand. Third break point. And it vanishes as he hits a forehand into the net. Lehecka continues to push and earns fourth break point opportunity. Fourth time is not the charm for the Czech as he makes a backhand error - deuce again. Inside-out forehand winner for Lehecka and there he have it, another break point. Yet again, he fails to capitalise. Wide serve into the deuce court from Tsitsipas and forehand return from Lehecka is long. Tsitsipas, finally, manages to hold.
Tsitsipas 1-2 Lehecka* - A double fault from Lehecka - 15-all. Good body serve from the youngster, followed by another down the line forehand before finishing the point with an inside-out one to go 30-15 up. Lovely crosscourt backhand volley from Lehecka - 40-30. Tsitsipas had a shot at breaking Lehecka but failed to take the opportunity. On serve for now in the second set.
Tsitsipas* 1-1 Lehecka - A superb forehand return winner from Lehecka on Tsitsipas’ first serve - 15-all. An 11-shot rally, battle between Lehecka’s forehand and Tsitsipas’ one-handed backhand, Tsitsipas forces Lehecka to shift to backhand in the end and draws the error. Tsitsipas holds.
Tsitsipas 0-1 Lehecka* - Lehecka serves first in second set and goes 40-0 up quickly. Tsitsipas gets a short ball, his eyes light up, and he unleashes a forehand down the line winner. And another. Two game points wiped off. A forehand down-the-line winner from Lehecka at the right time to hold serve and begin second set on the right note.
FIRST SET (* denotes server)
Tsitsipas* 6-3 Lehecka - Tsitsipas serving for the set. Begins with a T ace. A double fault from Tsitsipas - 30-15. A heavy backhand return from Lehecka and the Greek player has two set points. And he only needs one as he puts in another unreturnable T serve. First set wrapped up 6-3 in 36 minutes.
Tsitsipas 5-3 Lehecka* - Tsitsipas close to breaking Lehecka again and take the set as he makes it 30-all after a forehand error from the Czech. However, Lehecka manages to hold.
Tsitsipas* 5-2 Lehecka - Excellent lob from Lehecka, Tsitsipas misjudges it, realises it is in and then hits a forehand that’s long - 15-all. A T ace from the Greek. Tsitsipas holds without much fuss.
Tsitsipas 4-2 Lehecka* - Love hold for the 21-year-old. Tsitsipas still up by a break.
Tsitsipas* 4-1 Lehecka - Another quick service hold from Tsitsipas.
Tsitsipas 3-1 Lehecka* - Lehecka is on the scoreboard. First service hold for the Czech player in the quarterfinal.
Tsitsipas* 3-0 Lehecka - Tsitsipas consolidates the break with a love hold.
Tsitsipas 2-0 Lehecka* - Lehecka to serve now. Tsitsipas attacks the slow second serve of Lehecka and wins the point with a forehand down the line to go 30-0 up. Good overhead smash from Lehecka to win first point on his own serve. Tsitsipas wins two straight points from 30-40 down to earn a break point. Brilliant wide serve into the ad court followed by a volley - Lehecka saves the break point. Lehecka saves two more break points. A poor half volley from Lehecka and Tsitsipas easily hits a forehand pass. Lehecka puts in an unreturnable wide serve into the ad court to save fourth break point. Fifth break point for Tsitsipas and this time, he converts as a defensive lob forces Lehecka to hit a no-look crosscourt backhand volley which goes wide. Tsitsipas breaks.
Tsitsipas* 1-0 Lehecka - Warm up is done. Tsitsipas to serve first. Excellent lob shot from Lehecka. Pure class. Still, the Greek is up 40-30. Backhand slice into the net from Tsitsipas and it’s deuce. Just the sort of start the 21-year-old Lehecka would have wanted. Tsitsipas holds but impressive start from the young Czech player.
3:40PM - Time for the final match of the day - the second men’s singles quarterfinal between third-seeded Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas and Jiri Lehecka of the Czech Republic. The two players are out on the court.
Azarenka is set to next face Wimbledon champion Rybakina in the semis.
SECOND SET (* denotes server)
Pegula 1-6 Azarenka* - Azarenka serving for a place in the semifinals. Wide serve into the deuce court draws a wide forehand return from Pegula - 30-15. Another unforced error from Pegula and Azarenka has two match points. Forehand volley from Pegula goes long and that’s it! Azarenka is into the semifinals of the Australian Open again after 10 years.
Pegula* 1-5 Azarenka - Pegula serves. And Azarenka is 30-0 up very quickly. Things not improving for the third-seeded American at all. Forehand into the net from Pegula and two break points for the Belarusian. Azarenka up by a double break now as Pegula overhits a forehand!
Pegula 1-4 Azarenka* - Pegula does so well to keep the rally going before hitting a bad drop shot, Azarenka takes all the time in the world to get on top of the bounce before unleashing a backhand down the line winner to go 40-15 up. Fault forehand from Pegula and Azarenka holds.
Pegula* 1-3 Azarenka - Tight game from Pegula again. It’s 30-all. Azarenka with a forehand down the line winner - deuce. The 24th seed saves a game point as Pegula goes for an ambitious drop shot on a crosscourt backhand from Azarenka but the ball goes only as far as the net. Azarenka breaks again! This is power-hitting of top quality from former World No. 1 Azarenka.
Pegula 1-2 Azarenka* - Pegula in within a chance to break back straight away as she takes a 30-0 lead. Crosscourt backhand from Azarenka goes wide and Pegula, at 40-15, has two break points. Azarenka saves one but then hits a crosscourt backhand wide again. Pegula breaks back. On serve again now.
Pegula* 0-2 Azarenka - Pegula is well and truly under pressure now. Down 30-40 and facing a break point. Another overcooked forehand from Pegula. Azarenka breaks!
Pegula 0-1 Azarenka* - With the momentum on her side, the Belarusian begins second set with a love hold.
FIRST SET (* denotes server)
Pegula* 4-6 Azarenka - Pegula, still, serving to stay in the set. Unforced error - Pegula hits a regular forehand down the line into the net - it is 15-all. Deep backhand return from Azarenka allows her to rush to the net and she finishes the point with a crosscourt backhand volley - 15-30. Now, two more set points for Azarenka. After an hour and four minutes, Azarenka clinches the first set 6-4 as Pegula overhits a forehand!
Pegula 4-5 Azarenka* - Azarenka serving for the set. A backhand down-the-line winner in a 13-shot rally from Azarenka just catches the baseline and she is 30-15 up. Heavy forehand return from Pegula after Azarenka hits a sliced forehand - 40-15. Two set points. A brutal 14-shot rally finishes with a gorgeous backhand down-the-line winner from Pegula to save one set point. And the American saves another with an inside-out forehand winner. A double fault from Azarenka - break point for Pegula now. What a turnaround! Net chord sends a potential inside-out forehand winner from Azarenka wide and Pegula breaks!
Pegula* 3-5 Azarenka - A forehand gone wide and a double fault - Pegula is 0-30 down. Backhand slice from Pegula goes long and at 15-40, Azarenka has two set points. Heavy backhand return from Azarenka on a strong first serve down the middle. Another break point goes way as Azarenka hits the forehand return into the net. Another heavy backhand return from Azarenka and Pegula has a game point now. However, she uncharacteristically sends a backhand down the line long. Deuce again. T ace (176km/h) from Pegula to earn another game point. And she holds after Azarenka hits a forehand long.
Pegula 2-5 Azarenka* - A 12-shot rally at the end of which Azarenka screams in disgust on a mishit backhand shot - 15-all. The 24th seed moves 30-15 up with a wide serve into the deuce court. Pegula sees a vacant corner and goes for the backhand winner down the line but only finds the net - 40-15. A thunderous forehand down-the-line winner from Pegula as she wipes off one of Azarenka’s game points. Pegula has a chance now as Azarenka makes an unforced error on the backhand - deuce. Another high ball from Azarenka to keep Pegula behind the baseline before hitting a forehand down the line. Game point. Smart backhand crosscourt return from Pegula to set up the point and finish it with a forehand winner. Crosscourt backhand from Azarenka goes wide and here it comes - break point opportunity for Pegula. Strong wide serve into the ad court followed by a forehand down the line to wrongfoot Pegula - Azarenka saves the break point. Azarenka holds. Pegula missed a trick there.
Pegula* 2-4 Azarenka - It looks like Pegula needs to keep the rallies short. The longer rallies go, the more chances Azarenka gets to outmanoeuvre her. A double fault at 40-15 from Pegula. The American holds.
Pegula 1-4 Azarenka* - Slow second serve from Azarenka and Pegula hits a backhand crosscourt return winner. Azarenka hits a poor drop shot and is down 15-30. Another tough rally and Azarenka comes out on top with an inside-out forehand winner at the net - 30-all. Azarenka overcooks a backhand on game point - deuce. Body serve from Azarenka, Pegula goes for the crosscourt backhand return winner but it lands wide. A double fault from the 24th seed and there goes another game point. A couple of crosscourt forehand shots from Azarenka to force Pegula to one end before coming up with a crosscourt backhand winner in the other end. Pegula hits the forehand return into the net on a second serve. Azarenka holds.
Pegula* 1-3 Azarenka - Gutsy stuff from Azarenka to keep the rally going with an accurate defensive lob and eventually, it pays off. Error on the backhand from Pegula and she is 0-30 down. A glorious forehand down-the-line winner from Azarenka and she is up 40-15. Two break points on offer. A service winner and an ace - Pegula saves both of those break points. Top stuff. Another break point for Azarenka as her loopy forehand return draws an error on the backhand from Pegula. The American saves a third break point, this time with a crosscourt forehand winner. A game point for Pegula, finally, as Azarenka hits a backhand return into the net. Well, that game point is gone and it is deuce again courtesy of a heavy forehand from Pegula which goes beyond the baseline. A fourth break point for the Belarusian after a forehand down-the-line return winner on Pegula’s wide serve into the deuce court. Second serve from Pegula allows Azarenka to get into the rally but she reacts a little late with a backhand return and the American rushes forehand to hit a forehand volley - another break point saved. Fifth break point for Azarenka after an unforced error on the forehand. Pegula, incredibly, saves yet another break point by finding the line with a forehand winner. The sequence continues with Pegula gifting yet another break point and then saving it. Who will blink first in this battle? Brilliant drop shot from Pegula with lots of top spin on it, Azarenka somehow gets to it and hits a crosscourt forehand but the American is already there to hit a forehand winner into the open court. An ace to hold. Pegula has done it.
Pegula 0-3 Azarenka* - Azarenka up 30-0 in no time. A bit of luck also going Azarenka’s way as her backhand shot in a rally hits the net chord and the ball drops dead on Pegula’s side - 40-15. This time, Pegula rushes to the net to close the options and take some time away from Azarenka and it works as the Belarusian hits a forehand down the line wide. However, the 24th seed wins the next point to consolidate the break.
Pegula* 0-2 Azarenka - Azarenka seemed to have sealed the point, disbalancing Pegula with the loopy return and following it with a crosscourt backhand but Pegula comes up with a brilliant crosscourt backhand pass from the baseline to make it 15-15. Pressure on Pegula as she hits a forehand wide and is down 30-40. Break point for Azarenka. And she converts it by coming to the net and putting pressure on the third seed who goes for a defensive lob but hits it long.
Pegula 0-1 Azarenka* - Warm up is done. Game time! Azarenka to serve first. A seven-shot rally to begin the match with Azarenka hitting a forehand down the line winner. An overhead smash to go 30-0 up. Clever point construction from Pegula - drop shot to draw Azarenka followed by a forehand down the line which is just out of the Belarusian’s reach for a forehand volley. Another powerful forehand down the line, this time a winner from Pegula - 30-all. Defensive lob from Pegula goes long. Game point for Azarenka. Pegula hits a forehand return into the net. Azarenka holds.
1:40PM - Here we go. The two players are out on the Rod Laver Arena for a blockbuster clash.
1:10PM - Pegula vs Azarenka head-to-head record
Played: 4 | Pegula: 2 | Azarenka: 2
2022 Guadalajara: Pegula won 7-6 (3), 6-1 in semifinals
2021 Indian Wells: Azarenka won 6-4, 6-2 in quarterfinals
2021 Berlin: Azarenka won 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 in quarterfinals
2021 Australian Open: Pegula won 7-5, 6-4 in 1st round
1PM - Just half an hour to go before the night session begins with the second women’s singles quarterfinal between third-seeded American Jessica Pegula and 24th-seeded Belarusian Victoria Azarenka, who is also a two-time Australian Open champion.
Do not go anywhere as an exciting night session featuring two big matches begins at 1:30PM IST. Stay tuned for the build-up of those fixtures!
And that’s that for Korda. He has retired from the match. Khachanov moves to his first Australian Open semifinal with a 7-6 (5), 6-3, 3-0 retd. win and next faces the winner of the second quarterfinal between third-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece and Jiri Lehecka of the Czech Republic which will be played in the night session.
|KAREN KHACHANOV||7 (7)||6||3|
|SEBASTIAN KORDA||6 (5)||3||0|
THIRD SET (* denotes server)
Khachanov* 3-0 Korda - A forehand error from Khachanov breaks his streak of 10 straight points in this match. Nevertheless, he does manage to consolidate the break.
Khachanov 2-0 Korda* - The wrist is clearly affecting Korda. Three loose forehand errors and he is 0-40 down. Khachanov keeps peppering Korda’s forehand and draws yet another error to break!
Khachanov* 1-0 Korda - Khachanov serves first in the third set. And begins with a love hold.
SECOND SET (* denotes server)
Khachanov 6-3 Korda* - Khachanov goes 40-0 up on Korda’s serve, whose body language is telling he is not feeling right. Three set points for the Russian. A forehand winner from Khachanov converts the second one. Khachanov leads 7-6 (5), 6-3!
Korda shakes his wrist. It is clearly bothering him.
Khachanov* 5-3 Korda - All of a sudden, Khachanov’s forehand has started misfiring. Two break points for Korda. Both times, Khachanov puts in a big first serve. Crosscourt forehand from Korda goes wide and Khachanov now has a game point. A T ace to close the game from the Russian.
Khachanov 4-3 Korda* - Korda, from 40-0 up, hits a forehand long, commits a double fault, a backhand into the net - deuce. Another couple of errors from the American and Khachanov has the break!
Khachanov* 3-3 Korda - Love hold for the Russian.
Trainer has been called on court for Korda and his right wrist is being checked. Not great signs for the American.
Khachanov 2-3 Korda* - Delightful drop shot from Korda, Khachanov gets to it but the return is into the net - 30-0. Solid defense from Khachanov and Korda’s volley from the net goes beyond the line. The American, however, closes the game with a backhand down the line winner.
Khachanov* 2-2 Korda - Another competitive service game. It’s 30-all. Korda’s forehand continues to misfire. However, his backhand has been superb - lovely deep return draws an error from the Russian - deuce. Khachanov holds with an ace and a forehand winner. Still on serve.
Khachanov 1-2 Korda* - Great defensive lob from Khachanov to stay in the rally and Korda hits the overhead way out to go 15-40 down. Two break points. Korda saves first with a strong T serve. And saves the second one too with a T ace - deuce. Korda holds. Somehow.
Khachanov* 1-1 Korda - Great resilience shown by the Russian to come back from 0-30 down to hold serve.
Khachanov 0-1 Korda* - A tough opening service game for Korda as Khachanov takes him to deuce but the American manages to hit two gorgeous winners, a backhand and a forehand down the line, to close it.
FIRST SET (* denotes server)
Tiebreaker (Khachanov 7-5 Korda): Korda gets the mini-break after a brilliant defensive sliced forehand crosscourt from him forces Khachanov to go for the forehand down the line which the Russian misses. However, a long forehand from Korda gives the advantage away. Khachanov with a backhand down-the-line winner with the ball landing bang on the baseline. Korda comes forward seeing Khachanov quite a distance from the baseline and hits a superb forehand which the Russian is unable to return. Korda, this time, does not manage to get his way out of trouble with a running crosscourt forehand but hits a T ace next to make it 3-3 at the change of ends with things on serve at the moment. Second serve from Korda allows the Russian to get into a rally and eventually, Korda hits a backhand into the net to hand a mini-break. A T ace from Khachanov to go 5-3 up. Forehand from Korda goes long in a short rally and Khachanov has three set points. Korda saves two of them on his own serve, the second after some brilliant defensive effort ending with an angled backhand crosscourt shot forcing Khachanov to hit the backhand volley into the net. Third set point for the Russian and this time on his own serve. A sublime backhand down the line from Khachanov seals the opening set 7-6 (5) in 50 minutes.
Khachanov 6-6 Korda* - Net chord helps Korda stay in the rally before he draws an error on the backhand volley from Khachanov to make it 30-all. Korda holds. Tiebreaker coming.
Khachanov* 6-5 Korda - Lovely sliced backhand from Korda and Khachanov’s forehand shot goes long. Nevertheless, the Russian clinches the next three points. A T ace and Khachanov guarantees himself at least a tiebreak in the opening set.
Khachanov 5-5 Korda* - Korda begins the service game with a T ace. Serve and volley from the American and he is 40-15 up. An unreturnable first serve to close the game.
Khachanov* 5-4 Korda - Chance for Korda now. A crosscourt forehand pass after forcing Khachanov to come to the net takes him 30-15 up. A deep forehand return from the American on a T serve, the first in this set, produces the error from the Russian and two break points on offer - 40-15. Backhand from Khachanov goes into the net after a return from Korda lands bang on the baseline. Korda breaks!
Khachanov 5-3 Korda* - Another clean game from Korda as he takes a 40-0 lead. Well, almost a clean game as he does make a double fault before closing the game.
Khachanov* 5-2 Korda - Backhand return from Korda on T serve forces Khachanov back, the Russian hits a weak backhand in reply and Korda hits a crosscourt backhand winner to take the point - 15-30. However, that’s the only point of the game that he wins. Khachanov holds serve.
Khachanov 4-2 Korda* - Love hold for the American.
Khachanov* 4-1 Korda - First proper rally (16 shots) of the match and it is Korda who comes out on top as Khachanov’s attempted lob shot goes long - 15-all. The Russian redeems himself with two consecutive aces. Khachanov does well to get to the drop shot from Korda and send the ball back, the American’s volley is a poor one and Khachanov hits a forehand volley winner into the open court.
Khachanov 3-1 Korda* - A strong first serve down the T followed by a forehand down-the-line - Korda goes 30-15 up. That’ll give him some confidence. Follows it up by serve and volley to win the next point. Crosscourt forehand return from the Russian goes wide. Korda opens his account.
Khachanov* 3-0 Korda - Khachanov consolidates the break with a T ace at 40-30.
Khachanov 2-0 Korda* - Korda in trouble in his opening service game. A couple of forehand errors and he is 0-40 down. The American manages to save two break points but then again overhits a forehand. Khachanov gets an early break.
Khachanov* 1-0 Korda - Khachanov serves first and begins with a love hold.
9:25AM - Sebastian Korda and Karen Khachanov are out on court. First men’s singles quarterfinal is about to begin.
Rybakina will face the winner of the second quarterfinal between third-seeded American Jessica Pegula and 24th-seeded Belarusian Victoria Azarenka, who is a two-time Australian Open champion, in the semifinals. Pegula vs Azarenka will be the first match during today’s night session. Next and last match of the day session coming up next:- Sebastian Korda vs Karen Khachanov.
SECOND SET (* denotes server)
Rybakina* 6-4 Ostapenko - Ostapenko is not going to go down without a fight. A powerful crosscourt backhand return draws a weak backhand shot from Rybakina as the ball travels only till the net. A T ace from the Kazakh to earn a match point. Ostapenko saves it with a forehand volley- deuce. Yet again, a T ace from Rybakina. Another match point. A cracking serve wide into the ad court from Rybakina is met with an even more cracking backhand down-the-line return winner from Ostapenko - deuce. Ostapenko hits the forehand long on Rybakina’s serve to give her third chance to wrap up the win. And Rybakina gladly accepts it with a T ace! Perfect. Rybakina beats Ostapenko 6-2, 6-4 to become the first Kazakh woman to reach the Australian Open semifinals.
Rybakina to serve for a place in the semifinals.
Rybakina 5-4 Ostapenko* - Solid second serve up the T from the Latvian, Rybakina’s backhand return goes long. A crosscourt backhand winner to the other end after forcing Rybakina to one end - Ostapenko leads 30-15. Wild forehand return from Rybakina. Ostapenko holds.
Ostapenko serving to stay in the match.
Rybakina* 5-3 Ostapenko - A love hold for Rybakina without any issues.
Rybakina 4-3 Ostapenko* - Ostapenko in more trouble now. A failed drop shot sees her go 15-30 down. Can’t afford to get her service broken again. Two unforced forehand errors from Rybakina. Ostapenko holds after a great crosscourt backhand pass.
Rybakina* 4-2 Ostapenko - An ace wide into the deuce court from Rybakina - 15-0. And another, this time on second serve - 40-0. Followed by a double fault - 40-15. A crunch forehand down-the-line winner from Ostapenko - 40-30. Yet, another ace from the Kazakh, this time wide into the ad court. What a service game!
Rybakina 3-2 Ostapenko* - A double fault from Ostapenko and she is 15-30 down. Overhit backhand from the Latvian and Rybakina has two break points. A forehand error from Ostapenko wraps up a loose service game. Rybakina breaks.
Rybakina* 2-2 Ostapenko - It’s 30-all on Rybakina’s serve. Ostapenko can retake the advantage. Forehand down the line from Ostapenko after some heavy hitting and she has a break point. Rybakina, however, makes no mistake with a forehand winner of her own on the next point - deuce. Another break point for Ostapenko after a crosscourt forehand from Rybakina goes wide. Can the Latvian convert this one? No, she can’t as she hits a crosscourt backhand return into the net on a slow second serve - deuce again. Nice crosscourt forehand return from Ostapenko to force Rybakina to one end and then finish the rally with a crosscourt backhand return into the open court - third break point. Rybakina gets out of danger yet again, this time with a lovely crosscourt forehand volley. Rybakina saves fourth break point with an ace wide into the ad court. Game point for the Kazakh after Ostapenko’s overhit forehand. Rybakina holds after Ostapenko hits the crosscourt backhand return long.
Rybakina 1-2 Ostapenko* - Cracking crosscourt forehand return winner from Rybakina on wide serve from Ostapenko - 0-15. And just like that, two break point chances for Rybakina. Ostapenko looks frustrated after hitting an inside-out forehand into the net. First break point saved as Rybakina hits a crosscourt backhand wide. However, she does convert the second as Ostapenko overcooks a crosscourt forehand. Back on serve.
Rybakina* 0-2 Ostapenko - Ostapenko whacking the return on Rybakina’s first serves - 30-0. A forehand down-the-line winner from Rybakina. Ostapenko complains but as the replay shows, the ball did get some part of the line. A big roar from Ostapenko as she earns two break point chances. The Latvian converts the second one after Rybakina hits a forehand into the net. Ostapenko breaks.
Rybakina 0-1 Ostapenko* - Positive start from Ostapenko in the second set as she goes 40-0 up in the opening service game. The Latvian holds.
FIRST SET (* denotes server)
Rybakina* 6-2 Ostapenko - Rybakina 40-0 up in no time. Three set points. A double fault to waste the first one. She does it at the second time of asking as Ostapenko’s attempted inside-out backhand return on second serve is well out. Rybakina takes the opening set in 32 minutes.
Rybakina to serve for the set.
Rybakina 5-2 Ostapenko* - Deep backhand return from Rybakina right at Ostapenko’s feet and her forehand shot lands at the bottom of the net - deuce. Ostapenko needed to hold and she does.
Ostapenko serving to stay in the set.
Rybakina* 5-1 Ostapenko - Well, well. Ostapenko with a possible opportunity to break back straight away as she goes 30-0 up. Depth on the forehand return from Ostapenko on 2nd serve earns her two break points. Solid T serve from Rybakina and backhand return from Ostapenko goes long. One break point saved. Wide serve into the ad court from Rybakina, Ostapenko’s backhand return lands close to the net, the Kazakh rushes and then hits a simple forehand down-the-line - deuce. First double fault of the match from Rybakina and it is deuce again. Poor forehand volley from Ostapenko as she hits it long. Game point for Rybakina. Wide serve into the ad court followed by a crosscourt forehand winner - Rybakina holds.
Rybakina 4-1 Ostapenko* - A little too much on the drop shot this time from Ostapenko and it is wide. A stunning backhand down-the-line return winner from Rybakina on wide serve from Ostapenko - 30-all. Another great return - crosscourt forehand from Rybakina and Ostapenko’s attempted forehand down-the-line hits the net- 30-40. Break point for Rybakina. AND IT HAS STARTED RAINING! The roof is being closed. This may take some time as the ball-kids mop the court which is quite wet at this point. The job seems to be almost complete. Meanwhile, the two players have been waiting in the locker room. Could this brief interruption break Rybakina’s rhythm? The players have been called back on court. Here we go. Rybakina and Ostapenko are back on court. There will be a brief warm-up before the match resumes. The roof will stay closed for the rest of this match. Right. Ostapenko serves, facing the possibility of going down by a double break. And she manages to save the break point after an unforced error on the backhand from the Kazakh but then makes two backhand errors herself. Rybakina breaks again!
Rybakina* 3-1 Ostapenko - And a love hold from Rybakina too featuring two aces. Nice and clean tennis.
Rybakina 2-1 Ostapenko* - Lovely wide serve and forehand down-the-line combo from Ostapenko to begin this service game. Here comes the drop shot from the Latvian and she is 40-0 up. Love hold. That was quick.
Rybakina* 2-0 Ostapenko - Rybakina’s serve is her biggest weapon. And she shows it. Comfortable hold to consolidate the break.
Rybakina 1-0 Ostapenko* - Early opportunity for Rybakina as two backhand errors from the Latvian means the score reads 30-all. Heavy forehand return on second serve from the Kazakh. Forehand winner from Rybakina - deuce. Rybakina with an inside-out backhand return winner on Ostapenko’s second serve. Ostapenko overcooks the forehand in the next point. Rybakina breaks.
Ostapenko to serve first.
7:20AM - Warm up is done. Game time!
7:14AM - Here we go. The two players enter the Rod Laver Arena. First up, 22nd-seeded Kazakh and reigning Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina followed by 17th-seeded Latvian and 2017 French Open winner Jelena Ostapenko.
7:10AM - How Ostapenko has reached the quarterfinals this year:
4th Round - Beat USA’s Coco Gauff 7-5, 6-3
3rd Round - Beat Ukraine’s Kateryna Baindl 6-3, 6-0
2nd Round - Beat Hungary’s Anna Bondar 7-6 (5), 5-7, 6-0
1st Round - Beat Ukraine’s Dayana Yastremska 6-4, 6-2
7:05AM - How Rybakina has reached the quarterfinals this year:
4th Round - Beat Poland’s Iga Swiatek 6-4, 6-4
3th Round - Beat USA’s Danielle Collins 6-2, 5-7, 6-2
2nd Round - Beat Slovenia’s Kaja Juvan 6-2, 6-1
1st Round - Beat Italy’s Elisabetta Cocciaretto 7-5, 6-3
7AM - Rybakina vs Ostapenko Head-to-head record -
Played: 2 | Rybakina: 0 | Ostapenko: 2
2021 Eastbourne, Semifinals - Ostapenko won 6-4, 6-1
2019 Linz, Quarterfinals: Ostapenko won 7-5, 6-1
6:50AM - It’s time for the business end of the first Major of the 2023 season. The singles quarterfinals begin today in Melbourne with the first match scheduled to be between reigning Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan and former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia. Live action begins soon. Stay tuned as I bring you all the pre-match build-up!
Where to watch 2023 Australian Open in India?
In India, viewers will be able to watch the live telecast of the Australian Open on the Sony Sports Network and stream the matches live on the SonyLiv app and JioTV.