Monday, 30th October 2017

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Coco bid ends in tears, Barty sails

Roger Federer dismantled Marton Fucsovics in the night match by 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2

By Agencies in Melbourne
  • Published 27.01.20, 12:00 AM
  • Updated 27.01.20, 12:00 AM
  • 2 mins read
Coco Gauff of the U.S. talks at a press conference following her fourth round loss to compatriot Sofia Kenin at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne on Sunday (AP)

Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer moved into the Australian Open quarter finals but 15-year-old Coco Gauff exited in tears on Sunday after her quest to become the Open era’s youngest Grand Slam winner came screeching to a halt.

As Melbourne marked Australia Day with formation jets and a 21-gun salute, World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty had home fans celebrating before crowd favourite Federer dismantled Marton Fucsovics in the night match.

Djokovic, hunting his eighth Melbourne title, was remorseless against Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman, crushing the 14th seed 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 to book an 11th appearance in the last eight.

“It feels great, it was a very solid performance,” the second seed told reporters. “Today was a good test because Diego was in form.”

The Serb’s reward is a match-up with big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic, who is back in form after a run of injuries and dismissed 2018 finalist Marin Cilic 6-4, 6-3, 7-5.

Gauff’s giant-killing Australian debut generated hype dubbed ‘Cocomania’ as she attempted to become the youngest Major winner in the post-1968 Open Era, breaking the record set by a 16-year-old Martina Hingis in 1997. Gauff beat seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams in round one and title-holder Naomi Osaka in the third, but she came unstuck against a determined Sofia Kenin.

Gauff raised hopes by edging the first set but then her fellow-American took control and it was one-sided at the finish as Kenin won 6-7 (5/7), 6-3, 6-0.

“The thing I’m most proud of myself is how I handled it on the court,” said Gauff, who shed tears after her defeat.

Kenin next faces Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur, who beat China’s Wang Qiang 7-6 (7/4), 6-1 to become the first Arab woman to reach a Major quarter final.

Jabeur, the highest-ranked Arab woman in history — she reached a career-high 51 last year — is the first Tunisian woman to win a main-draw match at the Australian Open.

Australia’s Barty had some nervy moments against American Alison Riske, dropping the second set and briefly losing her way before recovering to win 6-3, 1-6, 6-4.

Later, Federer sent ripples of consternation around Rod Laver Arena when he dropped the first set against Hungary’s Fucsovics, the World No. 67.

But the 38-year-old Swisscame alive in the second set as he rattled through the match 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2. The 20-time Grand Slam champion’s quarter-final is against unseeded American Tennys Sandgren.

Indians advance

Leander Paes reached the mixed doubles second round with partner Jelena Ostapenko while Rohan Bopanna Bopanna and his Ukrainian partner Nadiia Kichenok progressed to the quarter finals, here on Sunday. Paes and Ostapenko edged out Storm Sanders and Marc Polmans 6-7(4), 6-3, 10-6 in the opening round. Bopanna and Nadiia defeated Nicole Melichar and Bruno Soares 6-4, 7-6(4) in the second round.