The fifth day of the 2020 Australian Open featured wonderful tennis sandwiched in between a number of different intriguing storylines, creating an exciting day of action in the Land Down Under.
A potential matchup between Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki awaited in the Round of 16, as Serena continued her quest for her 24th Grand Slam title and Wozniacki was competing in the final tournament of her career.
But both players were upset, as Wozniacki fell to Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur in three sets. Jabeur held off Wozniacki to win 7-5, 3-6, 7-5 and advance, and Serena was shocked by 27th seed Qiang Wang of China who scored the biggest win of her career with a 6-4, 6-7(2), 7-5 triumph.
“I’m really happy now, still happy,” she told reporters afterwards. “I always believe I can do this one day. But I don’t know which day, but it’s coming today. I’m really happy to see it happens.”
Wang and Jabeur will meet for a spot in the Australian Open quarterfinals.
In a rematch of their US Open encounter a few months ago, this time it was American Coco Gauff who would come out on top as she ousted defending champion Naomi Osaka 6-3, 6-4.
“I learned a lot from that US Open. Not even just playing against Naomi, but the whole tournament,” said Gauff. “I think I was on edge, and I had the three-setters in the first two rounds, and I was just dealing with all of the media. I feel like now I’m more playing, just having fun. And, I mean, winning is a cherry on top, but I’m honestly having a lot of fun on court, even in those tight situations.”
Up next for Gauff is fellow American Sofia Kenin, who knocked off Shuai Zhang 7-5, 7-6(7) in her third round match on Friday.
Last year’s finalist, Petra Kvitova, moved into the final 16 with a 6-1, 6-2 win over 25th seeded Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova. The seventh-seeded Kvitova meets 22nd seed Maria Sakkari of Greece who scored a 6-4, 6-4 win over 10th seeded American Madison Keys.
American Alison Riske advanced to the fourth round in Melbourne for the first time in her career as she came back from a set down to defeat Julia Goerges 1-6, 7-6(4), 6-2. Riske will square off against top-seed and Australia’s own Ashleigh Barty.
Roger Federer was the last player to advance on Friday as he completed his five-set win over Australia’s John Millman just after 9:00 a.m. EST. The third-seeded Federer held off Millman with a 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(8) victory.
“John played a great match, he’s a great fighter, a great guy and it came down to the wire,” said Federer. “Maybe a bit of luck. I had to stay so focused to make the right decisions. What a match, John deserves over half this one.”
Federer moves on to play Hungarian Marton Fucsovics, who ended the run of young American Tommy Paul with a 6-1, 6-1, 6-4 victory.
In an all-American showdown, and a matchup of two players competing in next month’s New York Open, Tennys Sandgren knocked out Sam Querrey 6-4, 6-4, 6-4. Sandgren saved 12 break points in the one hour and 52 minute contest.
Sandgren will play 12th seed Italian Fabio Fognini for a spot in the Round of 16.
Second-seed Novak Djokovic rolled to a 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 win over Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka, setting up a matchup with 14th seed Diego Schwartzman of Argentina.
The final Round of 16 showdown set up on Friday will see 32nd seeded Canadian Milos Raonic take on Marin Cilic.