Djokovic and De Minaur sweep through, Hunter v Krejcikova: Australian Open – live | Australian Open 2024

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Too good. Krejcikova takes the game without dropping a point and has raced to a 4-1 lead in the decisive set with a swift and well-placed two-handed back-hand. Classy stuff. She’s eight hits away from a place in the next round.

That’s more like it from the crowd. They finds their voice as Krejcikova goes long and HUnter squares the game at 30-30.

They raise their voice even more as the longest rally of the match – 15 shots – is sent long again by Krejcikova. From 0-30, Hunter as the game point.

And she closes it! She’s still 1-3 down but at least she’s on the board as “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi” rings out.

Game Krejcikova. 40-0 and it’s all so easy. 3-0. Five games in a row.

30-0 to Krejcikova. I’m surprised by the silence of the crowd. Thought the Aussie faithful got behind their players even when they’re down?

It’s now 40-0. Krejcikova isn’t missing her shots like she was earlier in the piece. She’s landing just about every winner and Hunter can’t get a footing.

Krejcikova breaks! And made it look so easy. Hunter needs to dig in here. Not sure how she finds a route back. This could be over real fast.

2-0 to the Czech.

Ah, Krejcikova is on a different level now. Two winners, one a gimme set up through graft in the rally, and another a thundering drive to the corner, sets up a set-point that she snaffles with ease.

1-0 in the set and Hunter, it seems to me, is flagging, just as Krejcikova is climbing through the gears.

No! Krejcikova takes the second set 7-5. A statement stroke on Hunter’s second serve. She steps forward, rises with the bounce and leans into a devastating forehand that is met with near silence by the patriotic Aussie crowd.

Hunter needs to find an extra gear in the decisive third set. All momentum is with the Czech.

Break point for Krejcikova. She’s timing the heck out of the ball. What a lovely swing she has. 15-40.

Oh, but Hunter lands the first ace of the match. That’s Aussie grit right there.

Can she save another set point?

Krejcikova looks on it now. She’s clearly upped her game. In the rally until she pounced on a forehand down the line. You feel Hunter has to finish this in this set or she’s in trouble.

Another point makes it 0-30 and the crowd is now silent. They can sense the shifting tide.

Krejcikova gets a bit of luck as a deflection off the net wrong foots Hunter. That gives Krejcikova the game and she leads 6-5 in the second set. Hunter has to hold or we’re going straight into a third set.

Hunter with two break points! Make that one as Krejcikova lands one on the line.

Scratch that. We’re at deuce. Krejcikova hasn’t been at her best, and Hunter has been close to her best, but credit to the Czech. She’s hanging in.

Correction! My apologies to all Rublev fans and thanks to Mattia Leoni and Johan Denis who wrote in to correct me.

The Russian has in fact made the quarters of a slam. He’s done it nine times.

He’s never made the semis.

That’s been corrected now on the key event.

Hunter holds with a perfectly executed inside out forehand. Think of a cricketer going over extra cover to an off-spinner. Does that help? Anyway, it was a great shot that takes this set to 5-5.

Lovely from Krejcikova. That looked effortless as she swung her racket and nailed a backhand into the corner. That was a big point as she was staring at a 15-40 deficit.

Now she’s got it to deuce. An opportunity for the Czech.

Andrey Rublev beats Sebastian Korda 6-2, 7(8)-6(6), 6-4

No worries for Rublev who waltzes into the fourth round and a date with the Aussie Alex de Minaur. He’s never made the semis of a slam. If he’s as clinical as he was here, he could change that record.

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Finally, Krejcikova holds. She saves break point. It helped that she landed a first serve and was therefore on the front foot ready to drive that forehand winner into the corner. She leads the second set 5-4. If she can break she’ll take this ti a third.

Deuce #6. Hunter with a drive to the corner and Krejcikova can’t return. Nor can she land her first serve. She’s played twice as many points on her second serve compared to Hunter and that’s costing her.

But she benefits from a poor drop shot from Hunter who was in no position to play it.

Up to 12 minutes in this game.

Deuce #5. On we go. Hunter is chasing that break. Krejcikova desperate to hold. This is now the longest game of the match.

Krejcikova hits the net with her first serve. But no problems with the second which is followed by a probing backhand and then a crunching winner to take back the advantage.

Nope. A blistering ace right down the middle of the court from Krejcikova takes it back to deuce.

Deuce #3! Wow. Just when you think Krejcikova will hold, Hunter catches the outside edge of the line as she returns across court.

Now she has the advantage and another break point. Can she get it this time?

Krejcikova again finds the net. Break point for Hunter. The first of the second set. If she gets it she’ll be serving for the match.

She can’t. A brave serve from Krejcikova pegs Hunter deep and the return is long.

Back to deuce.

At 40-0 Krejcikova double faults. Hunter than keeps a rally going on the second serve and wins the point to make it 40-30.

A strong drive forces Hunter in the corner but the Aussie reads the attempted winner on the forehand and she digs out a swift return that Krejcikova can’t lift over the net.

Now it’s deuce and the nerves are starting to show.

Hunter is now 8/10 on her second serve. Krejcikova can’t get on the front foot to capitalise and now Hunter has squared the second set 4-4. If she can break here she’s in business.

Rublev is getting close to a fourth-round entry. Having claimed the first two sets, he’s 4-2 up in the third. Korda is serving, but will need to hold and then respond with a break of his own to have a sniff of getting this beyond a third set.

Hunter won’t let up. She responds with an almighty roar after taking a very important point. 30-30. Next one could be massive.

It goes to Krejcikova who unfurls another wonderful forehand winner that left Hunter flat-footed.

Hunter then goes long and Krejcikova holds to make it 4-3 in the second.

Krejcikova lets out an angry yell. She’s annoyed at herself for missing another winner.

She lands the next one, though. A beautiful swing of her arm sees the ball explode off the strings and land safely for a forehand winner down the line. 30-15.

Barbora Krejcikova plays a backhand return to Storm Hunter during their third round match at the 2024 Australian Open.
Barbora Krejcikova plays a backhand return as she looks to get back in the game. Photograph: Asanka Brendon Ratnayake/AP

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Hunter misses a forehand and we’re at deuce. Could we see a break point? Well, Krejcikova misses herself and that gives Hunter the opportunity to close things out.

She does so with a big forehand winner across the court. She gave that everything and roared her delight.

3-3 in the second.

A reminder to anyone just dropping in, Hunter won the first set 6-4.

Rublev storms to a 2-0 lead over Korda. The fifth seeded Russian player claimed the first set 6-2 and has now won the second 78-66. The American No. 29 has to step it up or he’ll be heading home soon.

Andrey Rublev reacts during his third round match against Sebastian Korda.
Andrey Rublev looks to be in control of his match against Sebastian Korda. Photograph: Eloisa Lopez/Reuters

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Better from Krejcikova. Strong serves throughout and when given the opportunity, she makes herself big at the net. She takes that game for a 3-2 lead. Unlike the first set, we’re yet to see a service game broken.

Hunter takes the game! A long rally ends with a wonderful shot on the forehand as she goes across Krejcikova that lands just inside the line in the corner. 2-2 in the second set.

Krejcikova misses a simple forehand. She set up the point well, shifting Hunter to the right. But she couldn’t land her forehand in the open court out to the left.

But then she follows it up with a cross-court that does land.

So inconsistent. One minute she’s outstanding, the next she’s missing gimmes.

Now it’s Hunter’s turn to miss an open court as she gets close to the net and over-cooks a simple forehand down the line.


Krejcikova with a sublime forehand on the rise. That’s just the first point in the game, but that’s a bit of a statement stroke as he lifts with the bounce of the ball and hits on top of it.

Hunter, though, is nonplussed and takes the next two points to grab a 30-15 lead.

This is good stuff.

A perfect game for Krejcikova makes it 2-1. 40-0 in that one. Strong strokes from the base-line. She had Hunter on the defence throughout.

Boom! Lovely stroke from Hunter who leans into a fore-hand into the corner. She takes a 40-15 lead.

She then takes the game with a slamming volley that screamed off her racket.

A big roar shows what it means to her.

Storm Hunter fires off a forehand to Barbora Krejcikova during her third round match at the 2024 Australian Open.
Storm Hunter fires off a forehand. Photograph: James Ross/AAP

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Krejicova holds. 1-0 up and she’s still in with a 46% chance of winning the match, according the win predictor. Not sure I’d have it that high but she is the 9th seed for a reason.

Deuce in the second set. Good defence from Hunter. Krejcikova looking to assert herself tries to play a winner from a ball that wasn’t there and she goes long.

She slams a stiff serve and has the advantage. Can she hold?

“Hi Dan,”

Hi Jack Skelly.

“A friend pointed out that Storm Hunter must be one of very few tennis players in history whose name combines those of two Gladiators.”

Ah. Good shout. She just might be.

But keep an eye out for this young kid coming through the ranks by the name of Wolf Saracen. Could be a future slam winner.

Adrian Mannarino beats Ben Shelton 7(7)-6(4), 1-6, 6(2)-7(7), 6-3, 6-4

An epic! It promised to be a cracker between the 20th seeded Frenchman and the 16th seeded American and so it was. After taking the first set Mannarino went 2-1 down. And he looked buried but refused to stay down. A brilliant performance from the lefty with the soft touch.

Adrian Mannarino throws his towel into the crowd as celebrates after defeating Ben Shelton in their third round match at the 2024 Australian Open.
Adrian Mannarino celebrates his victory by hoiking his towel into the crowd. Photograph: Alessandra Tarantino/AP

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Hunter takes the opening set 6-4. After losing two points, she sees it home with a booming serve that was too hot for an accurate return from Krejcikova and Hunter was celebrating even before it landed beyond the base-line.

Thanks Taha. Yup, daft decision. Glad to be back indoors. If you see any typos over the next few minutes it’s because my fingers are frozen.

Anyway, glad to see Mannarino and Shelton have delivered on the promised five-set epic. The Frenchman is now serving for the match.

But I’m watching Hunter storm (gettit?) tee up three set points. Can she close it?

And that’s enough from me. Daniel Gallan’s back from a stroll outside (why did he do that – it’s silly cold out there).

Hunter slaps a winning backhand to hold her serve and go 5-3 up in the first set against Krejcikova.

Shelton’s a fighter, coming up to the net to smash a volley before Mannarino gets a backhand all wrong – the 16th seed’s got himself three break points! He nets at the first time of asking before Mannarino nails the serve-and-volley. More resistance from Mannarino takes us to deuce before a barnstorming forehand from Foster down the line gives the American another break point. He can’t convert, but then he gets another, and Mannarino nets. It’s 5-3 to Mannarino, and this thing’s still kicking.

Shelton, down 4-2 in the fifth, goes 40-0 up but Mannarino takes advantage of the American’s desire to get up to the net, chipping and passing his way to a break point. And he converts it too! Mannarino will serve for the match.

Adrian Mannarino plays a forehand to Ben Shelton.
Adrian Mannarino is currently in the boss seat in his match against Ben Shelton. Photograph: Issei Kato/Reuters

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Krejcikova recovers from a tetchy start to break back against Hunter, but the ninth seed then nets a volley to give the Australian another break. It’s 3-2 to the home star in the first set.

We’re into deuce again on Shelton’s serve, with the fifth set at 2-2. A 27-shot rally concludes with Mannarino unable to convert his first break point. But the Frenchman claims his second, with Shelton going long. Mannarino leads 3-2 in the final set.

Andrey Rublev, meanwhile, has taken the first set against Sebastian Korda 6-2 and is 1-0 up in the second.

Storm Hunter is off to a fine start against Barbora Krejcikova, breaking her opponent in the first game of the match.

Storm Hunter plays a return to Barbora Krejcikova during their third round match at the 2024 Australian Open.
So far, so good for Storm Hunter (great name). Photograph: Asanka Brendon Ratnayake/AP

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This is a proper thriller. Mannarino keeps getting onto break point; Shelton then gets that booming left-handed serve working to save himself. They’re more than four hours into this duel, and Shelton just about holds on to go 2-1 up.

Right, so the show goes on. Adrian Mannarino and Ben Shelton are into a fifth set, currently 1-1, battling away on deuce with the American serving.

Hello, folks. Just listening in to Djokovic’s post-match chat. He’s asked about his motivation, presumably because he’s won this thing a gazillion times. “I’ve been blessed to go through a very interesting life journey. Coming from Serbia in the 90s wasn’t easy for my family, my parents had to endure a lot of adversity, economically, in every sense, in order for me to live my dream, to play a sport which was very expensive, still is for our country, at that time it was super expensive comparing to some other team sports.

“My parents did everything they possibly can to provide the conditions, the possibilities for me to be able to train. I wasn’t travelling for couple of years in the junior days because of lack of resources, war, embargo, a lot of different things.

“In the end of the day, when I reflect on all of the journey that I’ve been through, that we’ve all been through as a family or as people of Serbia, it’s honestly an incredible blessing to be here and I’m very grateful for that.”

I’m off on a quick break. Taha Hashim will take over. See you later.

Novak Djokovic beats Tomás Martin Etcheverry 6-3, 6-3, 7(7)-6(2)

The world number one marches on. As close to flawless as you’d expect. His 100th match in Melbourne ends with an inevitable victory. He was made to work in that third set, but only in fourth gear. The first two were won in second as he unfurled sumptuous drops, crunching two-handed back-hands and a ruthless service game. Outstanding. How do you beat him?

Novak Djokovic reacts during the third set tie break on his way to victory over Tomas Martin Etcheverry.
Novak Djokovic reacts during the third set tie break on his way to victory over Tomas Martin Etcheverry. Photograph: Issei Kato/Reuters
Novak Djokovic signs autographs for fans after winning his third round match against Tomas Martin Etcheverry.
Then signs autographs for fans after his straight sets win. Photograph: Tracey Nearmy/Reuters

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6-2. Ace! Djokovic with four match points.

5-2. Not yet. Etcheverry keeps the lights on.

5-1. Etcheverry gets to the net and he’s favourite to win the point as Djokovic is well behind the base-line and almost playing this shot behind him. But he somehow digs out a wicked back-hand to cramp Etcheverry to move within touching distance.

4-1. A wide serve from Djokovic forces a lunge from Etcheverry who can’t return.

3-1. Djokovic finds the net on a fore-hand after serving. He still has as grip on this tie-break.

2-0 in the tie-break. A tame shot from Etcheverry after Djokovic’s return has the Argentine chasing the game.

3-0 to Djokovic. Another brilliant return to Etcheverry’s toes from a wide serve. Djokovic read it and pounced.

Outrageous rally! 25 shots. Both players had the chance to put it away but as it went on the resuklt became inevitable. A crunching fore-hand down the line from Djokovic gives him the lead in the tie-break.

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