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AUSTRALIAN OPEN – Felix Auger-Aliassime and Andrey Rublev qualified, Diego Schwartzman eliminated by Christopher O’Connell

Murray ran out of gas

Andy Murray will not make the Grand Slam breakthrough he was hoping for at this Australian Open. The former world number 1 fought like hell again on Thursday – which the dryness of the score does not indicate enough – but he ended up giving up his arms. Because the Japanese qualifier Taro Daniel, for his part, probably played one of the best matches of his career to win in three dry sets (6-4, 6-4, 6-4) and almost three hours of tussle ( 2h48 exactly) on the John Cain Arena. This victory allows him to reach for the first time the 3rd round of a Major.

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Daniel thus struck no less than 46 winning shots for only 21 unforced errors, showing himself to be both aggressive and regular in the exchange. Under these conditions, a Murray tired by his first round in five sets against Nikoloz Basilashvili had to face the facts despite all his “fighting spirit”. Less well in legs, the Scot made 49 unprovoked errors on his side, far too many for his style of play.

Sinner did not hang out in the night

It’s not a first since the beginning of the night sessions but landing on the court after 10 p.m. is never pleasant. This is probably why Jannik Sinner did not want to stay very long on the Margaret Court Arena against Steve Johnson. The Italian impressed with his tennis, his calm and his poise. The American, 104 at ATP, did not resist and was swept away in 1h41 (6-2, 6-4, 6-3). The number 11 seed will face Taro Daniel, who beat Andy Murray, in the 3rd round.

Shaken, “FAA” is still doing

The start of the Australian Open is decidedly difficult for Félix Auger-Aliassime. Already jostled and forced to play five sets against Emil Ruusuvuori in the first round, he did not have a very easy second against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, quarter-finalist at Roland-Garros last year. The duel turned into a brave galley as the Spaniard bravely played his luck. At a very good level, it ended with a success in four sets of “FAA” (7-6, 6-7, 7-6, 7-6) in over four hours of play.

If he hadn’t managed to win in this fourth decisive game of the match, Auger-Aliassime would certainly have embarked on a match over five hours away. Not ideal for a player who can be described as a possible outsider after his semi-final at the US Open last September. But the seeded number 9 had the last word at the cost of a serious boost to 3-3 in the final tie-break to win. Dan Evans, who took advantage of Arthur Rinderknech’s withdrawal, will be his opponent in the third round.

Félix Auger-Aliassime qualifies for the 3rd round after more than four hours

Schwartzman on the way

Let it be said, the all-out attack is not dead in tennis. She is even experiencing a beautiful revival on the courts of Melbourne Park this year, thanks in particular to the unexpected Christopher O’Connell, 175th in the world and author of a superb performance this Thursday in Melbourne by defeating in three sets Diego Schwartzman, 7-6 (6), 6- 4, 6-4.

The Australian, who fell in the first round of Hugo Gaston, set the mood in the enclosure of the court n°3 – always quick to ignite for his local heroes – by constantly attacking his opponent by means of a tennis very focused on creativity and variety.

Schwartzman – O’Connell (Australian Open): video highlights

Led 5-3 in the first set then summoned at 5-4 to save three set points on the opposing service, O’Connell has, from then on, installed himself as the boss of the field. At 27, he offers himself his first victory in a top 20 and thus reaches the 3rd round of a Grand Slam for the first time, the result of constant progress for a year, he who had notably reached his first in 2021. quarter-final on the main circuit (in Atlanta).

He will find in the 3rd round the Franco-American (or rather Americano-French) Maxime Cressy, a pure server-volleyball player who confirmed his current form by beating the Czech qualifier Tomas Machac, 6-1, 3-6, 6-1, 7-6(5).

Rublev very easy

If Schwartzman therefore took the door, Andrey Rublev (n ° 5) on the other hand offered himself a little health walk against the Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis, dispatched 6-4, 6-2, 6-0 in 1h47. The Russian will face in the 3rd round a former finalist of the tournament, Marin Cilic, winner more difficult of the Slovak qualifier Norbert Gombos, 6-2, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (6) by saving a ball from two sets everywhere .

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