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Tomljanovic praised the unwavering support of the crowd, even when she was facing a two-break deficit. She believed that she should not give up either, as without the crowd’s energy, she may have lost the decisive match 6-2. Martic kept up the pressure and there was some element of luck in her victory tonight, but she plans to recover with an ice bath and then compete in doubles tomorrow.
Tomljanovic had an incredible victory, despite being down two breaks in the final set. She showed determination and Martic ultimately succumbed, as evidenced by her failed drop shot on match point, revealing her struggles under pressure. Next, Tomljanovic will face Ostapenko, which promises to be an exciting match.
Tomljanovic ties the score at 30-all and powerfully hits a forehand winner down the line, putting her one point away from winning the match. She has handled the pressure expertly, winning four consecutive games to get to this crucial moment, and is confident in her ability to finish strong; Martic appears to be struggling.
Tomljanovic’s powerful forehand gives her game-point, while Martic, who was once leading by a double-break, now has to hold to continue the match at 4-5 in the third set. The momentum has shifted in favor of the home player.
Wow, Tomljanovic is keeping her cool compared to Martic and has just broken serve again. The score is now tied at 4-4 in the final set, and it seems like Martic’s lack of mental fortitude is preventing her from fully utilizing her skills.
According to Pegula, she discovered last season that she has the ability to defeat top players and win even on a tough day. As a result, she has learned not to get too upset when things aren’t going well at the start. While I personally may not fully agree with her statement, as she would need to defeat one of the top four players in a major tournament for me to fully believe it, her confidence is key in overcoming the challenges ahead.
Pegula put in a strong performance as usual, while Marino also performed well. Next up for her is a match against Clara Burel.
Tomljanovic just won a game without dropping any points and the crowd is still supporting her. Martic will now face pressure as she serves while leading 4-3 in the final set.
Pegula serves an ace down the middle to go up 15-0, while Tomljanovic saves one of Martic’s two breaks, keeping the match going at 2-4 in the final set.
Congratulations to Rebecca Marino for her strong performance, which resulted in Pegula having to serve for the match at a score of 6-2 5-4.
We have two ongoing matches that are nearing the end: Pegula is currently leading Marino 6-2 5-3, and Martic is ahead of Tomljanovic 6-7 6-4 4-1.
Mac talks with Alcaraz, who expresses his enjoyment of playing in Melbourne and how he reached a satisfactory level by the end. They then discuss Gasquet, noting his skill as a player and his pleasant personality. Prompted by Mac, Alcaraz admits that he sometimes hits unnecessary shots in order to entertain the audience. He aims to make tennis enjoyable for spectators and surprise them with his gameplay, even if it means not paying attention to the score. When reminded of his previous statement about smiling being his best quality on the court, Alcaraz credits his skill but also mentions that looking at his family in the stands reminds him to bring joy to his game. While he used to be a very intense player when he was younger, he has since learned to have fun while playing. Overall, Alcaraz is an exceptional young man.
Gasquet put in a commendable performance, holding his own for a set before succumbing to fatigue as Alcaraz gained momentum. He will face Sonego in his next match and has the potential to improve upon today’s showing.
Unfortunately, Alcaraz was unable to secure the win as Gasquet expertly landed a backhand on the line, causing Alcaraz’s response to fall too far. However, Gasquet’s framed drop-volley gave him another advantage and another opportunity to win the match.
By the way, Pegula is a break up on Marino, leading 6-2 3-2, while Martic leads Tomljanovic 2-0 in the third.
Gasquet once again impresses with a winning forehand return, earning an unexpected break point. However, Alcaraz manages to quickly recover and secures a second match point. Unfortunately, he misses a forehand shot and the game returns to deuce. It seems that Alcaraz lacks the composure of a seasoned player.
Gasquet starts the point with a score of 0-15. He then rushes to the corner, attempting to reach a powerful Alcaraz forehand, but is unsuccessful, which is a common occurrence. However, in a surprising turn of events, Alcaraz approaches the net and misses a forehand, making no impact on the game. Gasquet quickly evens out the score at 30-all and charges forward to hit a forehand into the corner. Although Gasquet almost returns it, he falls short. However, he manages to hit a winning forehand and save the match point, bringing the score to deuce.
Trailing 1-5 in the third set, Gasquet must overcome a tie-break if he hopes to continue playing, and it’s admirable how much effort he’s putting in to do so, executing a beautiful backhand while on the move and hitting it down the sideline, putting pressure on Alcaraz to serve for the win.
Martic successfully serves to tie the match at 6-7 6-4. In my opinion, she is a stronger athlete than Tomljanovic and her performance at her peak is superior, so I believe she will be able to finish the match from this point.
In the third set, Gasquet has scored 1 point for a score of 4, and in the comments, Kyrgios mentions that he and some of the other French players like to push each other. I thought he was referring to betting, but the rest of the conversation implies that he means having a conversation. Please send an email if you have a clear understanding of the topic.
Alcaraz secures a 4-0 lead in the third set, signaling the near end of the match. Meanwhile on Laver, Pegula breaks Marino for a second time and goes on to win the set with a score of 6-2. On Cain, Martic is serving for a 5-4 lead against Tomljanovic to tie the set at 1-1.
Alcaraz once again wins against Gasquet, who deserves credit for still being in the game at 37 years old. I wonder if he regrets not putting more effort into his career in his 20s to fully utilize his talent, but I’m sure he has had a good time – not to mention this amazing excuse.
Unfortunately, Gasquet has lost the first set on a breaker and Alcaraz is currently leading by two sets to love. In the third set, Alcaraz is also up a break, with a score of 1-0.
Pegula is continuing to defeat lower-ranked opponents; she is currently ahead 3-2 against Marino with a break, while Martic is leading 4-3 with a break after dropping the first set to Tomljanovic.
Sonego clearly relished the match, as evidenced by his exuberant celebration. Despite not possessing the skills to defeat Alcaraz, his impressive serve may still cause frustration for his opponent.
The match was very exciting, and if Evans was in better shape, he may have won. However, he gave it his all and should be proud of his performance. If he can maintain his health, he has a lot to offer. Sonego will now face either Alcaraz or Gasquet in the second round.
“Huck hum! Sonego hits a good forehand cross, Evans manages to make his volley while stretched out, and the ball sits up tempting to be struck…but the Italian ends up hitting the net! It’s now 4-5 and there is tension in the air…but then Evans, who had put in all the effort, sets up for a forehand down the line…only to hit it wide! Evans drops to his haunches while Sonego now has a match point!”
However, Evans, who is a gamer, effortlessly executes a forehand cross and follows it up with a stunning backhand to the same corner, earning himself a score of 2-5. Can he pull off another impressive move? It’s uncertain, as he has now approached the net after a serve and successfully hit a volley, bringing the score to 3-5. Meanwhile, Alcaraz wins the second set 6-1 and Gasquet appears ready to call it a day.
Unfortunately, Evans attempts a backhand drop on the return, but he is currently losing 0-5 and Sonego has a strong lead. Let’s go Torino!
Returning to the third set, we are now in a tiebreaker for the fourth set. Sonego has quickly gained a lead of 3-0, while Alcaraz is easily handling Gasquet and is now ahead 7-6 5-1.
Marino and Pegula are currently playing on the court, with Pegula facing a challenging situation. The four players ranked higher than her – Swiatek, Sabalenka, Rybakina, and Gauff – are significantly stronger, making it seem unlikely for her to defeat them in crucial moments. Furthermore, there are also players ranked below her who possess more powerful skills, such as Jabeur, Muchova, Ostapenko, and Haddad Maia, increasing the possibility of them having a good performance on the day of the match.
Gasquet struggled through five deuces, but he managed to score a point in the second set, although he was still behind 1-3 as Alcaraz effortlessly held his serve. Meanwhile, Evans and Sonego are tied at 5-5 in the fourth set, and I am anxious about the possibility of a tiebreaker as they have already exerted a lot of energy.
Alcaraz has taken the lead against Gasquet with a score of 7-6 3-0 after breaking and consolidating. Kyrgios is considering adjusting his forehand for faster surfaces to improve his shots. He predicts that the upcoming top players will be Alcaraz, Sinner, and Rune, each with distinct personalities: Alcaraz is outgoing and youthful, Sinner is focused and calm, and Rune is confident. Only time will tell if his predictions are accurate.
After a lengthy period of time, Tomljanovic was able to secure the first set against Martic with a score of 7-6(3) … However, she was quickly broken in the second set.
Coming up next on the court is a match between Rebecca Marino and Jessica Pegula, with Pegula seeded at number 5.
Take a look! Sonego can only grin – once again – as he is ahead at 4-4, but unable to respond to a beautiful backhand down the line. However, a strong forehand earns him another chance to break, but Evans manages to save it. This is an incredibly intense match; Evans saves another break point and unleashes a powerful inside-out forehand to finally gain the advantage after successfully saving multiple break points. Sonego then makes a mistake on his forehand and even after facing seven break points in a game that lasted almost 13 minutes, he is still in the match and leading 5-4 in the fourth set!
Zverev’s victory was significant as he faced a tough opponent and was able to improve his performance. He showed a noticeable improvement in the fourth set compared to the first and will now face qualifier Lukas Klein in the next round.
Koepfer maintains a hold in games three to five, putting pressure on Zverev to serve for the match. Sonego once again takes the lead with a 0-30 score, but this time Evans is unable to recover immediately and falls behind 15-40. On Laver Court, Alcaraz secures a set point with a powerful forehand shot and ultimately wins the point at the net with an overhead. It seemed inevitable and it finally happened – an incredibly entertaining set of tennis goes to the second seed 7-5(5).
Kyrgios chuckles in fear as Gasquet expertly hits a backhand winner down the line. This puts him at a score of 4-3, but a bad approach shot gives Alcaraz the opportunity to hit a backhand that lands near his feet, resulting in a tied game.
Alcaraz quickly broke, but Gasquet responded with a powerful backhand return that went down the line and into the corner, bringing the score to 2-2. In another match, Zverev is now ahead 5-2 in the fourth set against Koewpfer, while Evans managed to hold on for a 4-3 lead after being down 0-30. Sonego is currently up by two sets to one.
However, Alcaraz manages to even the score at 30-all and follows it up with a powerful ace. As a result, Gasquet’s backhand shot lands wide, leading us to a tiebreak.
This ongoing match between Evans and Sonego remains highly competitive. However, Evans may be trying to block out a distraction from a fan causing him discomfort. Despite leading 3-2 in the set, he voices his frustration to the umpire and manages to tie the game at 30-all on his opponent’s serve. As expected, Sonego responds with another powerful ace and then follows it up with a strong forehand down the line, finishing with a skillful drop-volley. The fourth set is now tied at 3-3, while Zverev is ahead 4-1 against Koepfer and Alcaraz is serving at 5-6 with a score of 15-30.
Gasquet is performing strongly on Laver, currently tied 5-5 in the first set. Kyrgios comments on Alcaraz’s impressive skills and how he believes the young player will consistently excel on the court, but acknowledges that tennis does not always work that way. He also mentions that Alcaraz’s bad days may still be considered good for others, which he knows is not entirely true. Earlier, Kyrgios mentioned that Alcaraz has the best body language on the tour, which ties into his previous point. Gasquet then serves an ace, bringing the score to 6-5 and adding excitement to the match.
Unfortunately, time has run out. Koepfer puts up a fight to maintain his lead, successfully defending against break points. However, Zverev makes a strong move with a forehand shot, putting him ahead at 4-6 6-3 7-6 2-0. Based on his impressive serving skills, it is expected that he will finish strong and win from this point on.
Kyrgios expresses that Alcaraz’s tennis skills get him fired up and he looks forward to facing him again. He also reveals that Alcaraz receives strategic advice from Hawkeye, but manages to add his own unique flair to it.
In set three, Evans is ahead 2-1, but overall he is behind 2-1. He requests a trainer to massage his left knee, but does not require a medical timeout.
I had not been paying attention to the Alcaraz match as the matches between Zverev and Evans were nearing their end. However, our photographer John Windmill sent a message saying that he is enjoying Kyrgios’ co-commentary. Now, I am also paying attention and appreciating it. It’s always interesting to hear current players discuss their opponents and Kyrgios mentions Alcaraz’s tendency to come into the net when returning, a tactic usually only seen from players like Federer and not at such a young age.
Gasquet is still holding on against Alcaraz on Laver Court, with the score tied at 3-3 in the third set. During commentary, Kyrgios observes that the match is already becoming intense and Gasquet may be taking more risks, aware that he may not have the endurance for long rallies.
Evans displays good determination in saving break points at the beginning of the fourth set and maintaining his serve. If he had been broken, he would have most likely lost the match, but for the moment he remains in contention.
Zverev shows his true potential when necessary, dominating the tie-break with his top-notch performance. He forces a third set and currently leads 4-6 6-3 7-6(3); Koepfer will have to put in extra effort to make a comeback from this point.
Zverev performs admirably by staying in a rally that Koepfer is dominating, executing a cross-court backhand that causes his opponent to hit the net. The number six seed gains a mini-break and solidifies their lead with a powerful T-serve and a ferocious forehand winner, bringing the score to 4-2.
Zverev successfully holds on to win the tiebreak and typically, one would trust in his serving abilities in this situation. However, Koepfer is performing at his peak and does not face the same level of stress, so it is uncertain who will come out on top. As of now, the score is tied at 1-1.