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Australian Open Day 6 Recap: Schwartzman Stumbles, Djokovic Holds On, Other Seeds Stand Firm

Novak Djokovic Australian Open

Day 6 of the Australian Open is done and dusted. For the most part the matches played went as expected. However, there were some seeds hanging on for dear life at moments in their matches. There was also one major upset and some statement performances by tournament favorites. We’ll do our best to summarize the action for you in our Australian Open Day 6 recap.

Australian Open Day 6 Recap

Diego Schwartzman on the Wrong End of Huge Upset

World #9 and eighth seed Diego Schwartzman is the second of the top ten seeds to fall in the tournament. The diminutive Argentinian was defeated in straight sets by qualifier Aslan Karatsev in what was probably the upset of the tournament so far on the men’s side. Karatsev, who has been performing admirably on the Challenger Tour in recent months, hit 50 winners in the match. He was quick to take advantage of Schwartzman’s poor serve with accurate, aggressive returning and looked in with a chance of breaking in almost every single Schwartzman service game.

Schwartzman was a little off his game in the match, but in truth he never got a look in. Karatsev, who has never made it past qualifying in any Grand Slam before, was the better player on the day and walked away the deserved winner. Joining Schwartzman at the losers table after Friday’s results is Canadian Denis Shapovalov.

Shapovalov Loses All-Canadian Affair

Shapovalov played close friend Felix Auger-Aliassime in the third round on Day 6. The big-hitting lefty gave up a break advantage in both the first and second sets on the way to a straight sets loss. Shapovalov struggled to bring his best tennis in the clutch moments of his ATP Cup matches earlier this month and that worrying trend sets on his continued in this match.

Auger-Aliassime is currently ranked #19 in the world and there is no shame in losing to a player of his quality. However, Shapovalov had a career year last year in which he broke into the top ten for the first time. Given that success, he was surely expecting more than a third round exit in this tournament. Both he and Schwartzman will certainly be licking their wounds after early exits in such one-sided matches. The rest of the men’s top seeds managed to perform more admirably and, for the most part, stood firm and advanced as expected.

Seeds Keep Progressing Whilst Djokovic Survives Another Injury Scare

Reigning Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic came through a tight five-set match against Taylor Fritz. The Serbian appeared to strain a muscle in his abdomen early in the third set and looked like he may withdraw for much of the match as a result. However, a short break to remove fans from the stadium ahead of a five day lockdown in Melbournefive day lockdown in Melbourne allowed him to treat the area and come back in better shape for the fifth set. Djokovic eventually got the job done and will be hopeful of resolving the issue before his next match.

Joining the top seed in the next round are Milos Raonic, Grigor Dimitrov, Alexander Zverev, Dusan Lajovic and Dominic Thiem. Lajovic and Zverev both had relatively straightforward wins. The Serbian won in four after a slow start against Pedro Martinez. German star Zverev won in three sets against Adrian Mannarino. Dimitrov benefited from a retirement by opponent Pablo Carreno Busta early in the second set. Big-serving Raonic survived early pressure from Marton Fucsovics to move on to the fourth round in four sets.

On the whole the seeds in the men’s tournament have performed admirably. Thiem played out an instant classic against Nick Kyrgios which we have dedicated an entire article to, but on the whole the seeds won relatively comfortably. There are currently 14 of the top 20 seeds still alive in the tournament after Friday’s results. On the women’s side things were much the same, with most all seeds advancing relatively comfortably.

No Upsets in the Bottom Half of the Women’s Draw Means High Quality Matches Await

Our Australian Open Day 6 recap features the third round matches from the bottom half of the women’s draw. Friday’s third round matches featured five Grand Slam Winners and a top ten player. At the end of the day’s play all six of those players advanced to the fourth round. First to bag her spot was Aryna Sabalenka. Sabalenka has won three of the last four tournaments she has played in. The Belorussian secured a straight sets win against rising star Ann Li in her third round match. She must now face 23-time Grand Slam Champion Serena Williams in the next round.

Williams survived a slow start against Anastasia Potapova to eventually win her match in straight sets. Williams looked uncomfortable and out of sorts and may well have lost if she had been facing someone more experienced. If Williams wants a shot at Grand Slam #24 she must play better than she did. Sabalenka is red hot at the moment and will hit Serena off the court if the American brings the same level to their matchup. joining those two powerhouses in the fourth round is Naomi Osaka.

Tournament Favourite Osaka Marches on

Osaka is many people’s favorite to win the Australian Open. The Japanese star is yet to drop a set in the tournament and looks unplayable at the moment. She dismissed the talented Ons Jabeur for the loss of just five games on Friday and will now turn her attention to a clash with another Major winner in Garbiñe Muguruza. The Spaniard dismissed Zarina Diyas in straight sets for her third such win in a row in the Australian Open. Muguruza is enjoying the courts in Melbourne so far. She will be hopeful of a return to the finals this year and making amends for the loss she suffered at the hands of Sofia Kenin last year. This isn’t the only fourth round match in this half of the draw to feature to Grand Slam champions.

Iga Swiatek and Simona Halep (who should be in the mix as favourite to win it all) will renew their budding rivalry in Australia after both booked their places in the fourth round with straight set wins over tricky opposition. Halep did well to hang on despite numerous attempts by Veronica Kudermetova to drag her way back into the match. Swiatek survived a slow start and won five of the last six games in the first set on her way to a relatively comfortable win over Fiona Ferro. These two have taken turns dismantling each other at the French Open in the last two versions of the tournament. Now they both have a chance to take the lead in the head-to-head on the hard courts of Melbourne.

Elsewhere in this half of the draw Su-Wei Hsieh scored a win over Sara Errani. She will now meet Marketa Vondroušová after the Czech won her match against Sorana Cirstea. The bottom half of the women’s draw is stacked and makes for must-see tennis in the coming days. That concludes our Australian Open day six recap. Be sure to check in with the Last Word on Tennis regularly for the matches to look out for, daily predictions and recaps as the Australian Open continues!

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