In the round of four in his first major tournaments: Russian Aslan Karatsev, who ranked 114th in the world and from the qualifiers, rose to the semi-finals of the Australian Open at the expense of Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov (21), and diminished due to a back injury. , And lost in four sets Tuesday in Melbourne.
At 27 years old, Karatsev became the first player of the open era to find a place in the Round of Four in his first major tournament. He is also the lowest-ranked player to have been invited to Melbourne for thirty years.
The Russian player becomes the fifth qualifier to reach the semi-finals of the Grand Tournament in the open era, and only the second in the Australian Open (after Australian Bob Geltenan in 1977).
World number one Novak Djokovic, who defeated German Alexander Zverev (7), 6-7 (6), 6-4, 6-2, 7-6 (6), will face for a place in the final.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling, first Grand Slam, first semi-final, it’s unbelievable,” Karatsev replied without an effusion.
Dimitrov appeared with severe lower back injuries in the third set, until he was unable to serve at the end of the set. He was dealt off the field before the fourth set, and he couldn’t compete after that.
And I think that two weeks before this Australian season, Karatsev had only won three matches in the main ring since the start of his career!
The Russian player played in the qualifiers, which were exceptionally held in Doha in mid-January, to secure his place in the main draw.
He eliminated consecutive world N.9 Diego Schwartzman in the third round, the Canadian Felix Auger-Aliasem promise (19) by restoring the delay from two sets to zero in the round of 16, then Dimitrov now.
Even if he quickly broke his opponent to lead 2-1 in the first set, Karatsev was the first to narrowly appear against the Bulgarian: he received six games in a row after that, and looked close to the breaking point in the second round.
But he stuck, and suddenly his Bulgarian opponent, who had not hinted at any particular physical difficulties at the start of the match, lost his foot.
“The beginning was very difficult, I was very tense, and the heat was very hot. Then I recovered in the second set, and in the third set he had a pain.” Karatsev explained, who won in the end 2-6, 6-4, 6-1, 6-2. I didn’t know he was infected.
Dimitrov maintained a rapid success ahead of world number 3 Dominic Tim in the previous round.
His incredible flight will allow Karatsev to jump into the top 40 of the ATP ranking.
His qualification ensures that Russian tennis will have two representatives in the quarter-finals, as Daniel Medvedev will face Andrey Rublev on Wednesday. This would be the third time in the open era, after the US Openings of 2001 and 2006.
Serena Williams defeats Halep to join Osaka in the semi-finals
Serena Williams (11th in the world) was very strong physically and mentally on Tuesday to beat Simona Halep (second) in straight sets 6-3, 6-3, and join Japanese Naomi Osaka (third) in the semi-finals of the tournament. Australian Open.
“It’s my best game in the tournament, without a doubt,” the American said. I was playing against World Two, so I knew I had to do better (from then on). And that’s what I did, I’m very happy. “
Williams gave up on dating him multiple times on each set.
“Early in the match, I made a lot of easy mistakes in losing matches and I knew I could play better. So I held on,” she confessed.
In the first half, she allowed Halep to return to the top as she led 2-0. But she managed to break another 4-2 break and keep serving until the end of the set.
In the second, it was Romani who broke up 2-0 but Williams got back together immediately. Players exchanged encounters again until 3-3.
Then the American gave a boost and was very effective in defense to break through again and lead 4-3 after a very tight point. Then it moved on to the next two games.
“Last year, my coach (Patrick Muratoglu) told me that I should improve my defense. We had a lot of time to work on it. But not here in Australia where I just tried to recover physically (from a shoulder pain),” she emphasized.
At 39 years old, the youngest of the Williams sisters will be playing the ninth game in Melbourne. Each time in the previous eight, the American qualified for the final. Seven times she won the title (2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2015 and 2017).
Osaka rejects Hsieh with power
World number 3 Naomi Osaka qualified in the semi-finals of the Australian Open at the expense of Taiwan’s Hsieh Su Wei (71) 6-2 6-2 in just over an hour, Tuesday in Melbourne.
In order to secure a place in the final, she will face Japanese, three-time Grand Slam winner, either world number two Simona Halep or American Serena Williams, in the evening.
Until then at Grand Slam, Osaka (23) presented the Cup every time it reached the quarter-finals (US Open 2018 and 2020, Australian Open 2019). Will you confirm the rule again?
Hsieh, over the past two weeks, she has become the oldest Australian player of the open era to call herself for the first time in the quarter-finals of a major tournament, at age 35.
Four of the previous five player encounters spanned three groups. This time, however, Osaka Hsieh didn’t let him get dizzy from his unusual game, all in terms of timing and variety.
The first set was however more controversial than the severity of the score and the speed of the match would suggest.
“I’m really happy with the way I played today (Tuesday), the former world number one is rejoicing today, number 3. Every time I played against it was a big fight, and even if the result was the same, it was actually another battle for me. Her strike, you’ll never know when she’s going. “
It was by her intransigence on the POIs (three Nesma balls were saved out of three) and behind her first serve ball (92% of the points won) the Japanese made the difference.
In the previous round, Osaka was on the verge of elimination, when Spaniard Garbini Muguruza scored two match points in the third round of the high flying duel. However, this is the only match that has not flown over since the start of the tournament: over the course of the other four games, it left little more than four matches on average.
“I would say it makes me calmer when I know that even when I’m completely back on the wall, I still have chances,” she explains.
The final women’s quarter-finals are scheduled for Wednesday. One of them is 100% American, between Jennifer Brady (24) and Jessica Bigula (61). The other is opposed by world number one Ash Party over the Czech Karolina Moshova (27).