clearn.png
Tuesday June 6th, 2023 9:43PM

Australian Open must feel like opportunity for younger men

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — There was a moment at the Australian Open on Saturday that must have felt very much like a chance for a career-defining result for some of the young men moving into Week 2.

This is seen by most as a period of transition in men's tennis, a chance for new faces to make themselves known, and players such as Andrey Rublev, Holger Rune, Alex de Minaur, Tommy Paul and J.J. Wolf all took key steps forward with victories in the afternoon at Melbourne Park.

That No. 5 seed Rublev, a 25-year-old from Russia, and No. 9 seed Rune, a 19-year-old from Denmark, would still be in the bracket, and are set up to face each other for a quarterfinal berth on Monday, should come as a surprise to no one.

Still, neither has been past the final eight at any Grand Slam tournament. Nor has No. 22 de Minaur, a 23-year-old from Australia, who advanced Saturday and was awaiting the winner of 21-time Slam champion Djokovic's contest against three-time major semifinalist Grigor Dimitrov.

Two other unseeded players who won Saturday — Paul, 25, and Wolf, 24, both Americans — never have been past the fourth round at one of the four biggest events in tennis.

After early losses by high seeds such as No. 1 Rafael Nadal, the defending champion and owner of 22 major trophies; No. 2 Casper Ruud, twice a major finalist last year; and No. 7 Daniil Medvedev, the 2021 U.S. Open champ and the runner-up at Melbourne Park each of the last two years, have at the very least made some newcomers feel welcome in the latter stages.

Even if they do not want to talk about the disruptions in the bracket.

“Of course, I know what’s happening,” said Rune, who appeared to hurt his ankle and wrist in a fall during a 6-4, 6-2, 7-6 (5) win against Ugo Humbert and pronounced himself OK afterward. “But mainly I just focus on myself.”

Rublev sounded a similar note following his 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 victory over No. 25 Dan Evans.

“There were some moments before when I feel there is opportunity to go to semis or even final maybe and, in the end, nothing happened,” said Rublev, who delivered 60 winners. “So this time, I just don’t want to even try to think about opportunity or something.”

Wolf, who is ranked 67th and without an ATP title, and Paul, ranked 35th and with one tour-level trophy, both won lopsided all-American matchups on Saturday. Wolf beat lucky loser Michael Mmoh 6-4, 6-1, 6-2, while Paul eliminated Jenson Brooksby — who was responsible for Ruud's ouster in the second round — by a score of 6-1, 6-4, 6-3.

Wolf gets the winner of Ben Shelton vs. Alexei Popyrin, while Paul's next opponent will be Andy Murray or Roberto Bautista Agut.

An intriguing fourth-round matchup on the women's side was established with No. 5 Aryna Sabalenka to take on No. 12 Belinda Bencic. Sabalenka is now 7-0 in 2023 after beating Elise Mertens 6-2, 6-3, and Bencic stretched her winning streak to eight matches by defeating Camila Giorgi 6-2, 7-5.

Also moving into Week 2: two-time major finalist Karolina Pliskova, Zhang Shuai and Donna Vekic.

___ AP freelancer Simon Cambers contributed to this report.

___

AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Tennis
© Copyright 2023 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Australian Open must feel like opportunity for younger men
Fifth-seeded Andrey Rublev has advanced to the fourth round of the Australian Open for the third time in four years with a 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 win over Dan Evans
3:21AM ( 31 minutes ago )
Palestinian killed after allegedly trying to stab Israeli
The Palestinian Health Ministry says Israeli fire has killed a Palestinian in the occupied West Bank
3:13AM ( 39 minutes ago )
Sections of Balkan river become floating garbage dump
Tons of waste dumped in poorly regulated riverside landfills or directly into the waterways that flow across three countries end up accumulating in the Drina River in eastern Bosnia during wet weather
2:56AM ( 56 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Brink, Jones lead No. 4 Stanford women past No. 8 Utah 74-62
Cameron Brink had 25 points, 14 rebounds and three blocked shots, Haley Jones added 25 points, 12 boards and a pair of blocks, and the fourth-ranked Stanford women bounced back from a loss at USC by beating eighth-ranked Utah 74-62
11:55PM ( 3 hours ago )
Leonard has season-high 36 to send Clippers past Spurs
Kawhi Leonard scored a season-high 36 points against his former team, and the Los Angeles Clippers snapped a two-game skid by beating the San Antonio Spurs 131-126
11:32PM ( 4 hours ago )
Andrey Rublev into Australian Open's 4th round, beats Evans
Fifth-seeded Andrey Rublev advanced to the fourth round of the Australian Open for the third time in four years with a  6-4, 6-2, 6-3 win over Dan Evans
11:12PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Sports
Shiffrin and Swiatek keep learning to win from each other
They both tend to shy away from the spotlight despite winning regularly
11:42AM ( 16 hours ago )
Is there a Netflix curse on Australian Open tennis players?
Tennis is abuzz with tongue-in-cheek talk about a “Netflix curse” during the Australian Open
10:36AM ( 17 hours ago )
Is there a Netlix ‘curse’ on Australian Open tennis players?
Tennis is abuzz with tongue-in-cheek talk about a “Netflix curse” during the Australian Open
10:26AM ( 17 hours ago )
AP Online Tennis
Palestinian killed after allegedly trying to stab Israeli
The Palestinian Health Ministry says Israeli fire has killed a Palestinian in the occupied West Bank
3:13AM ( 39 minutes ago )
Sections of Balkan river become floating garbage dump
Tons of waste dumped in poorly regulated riverside landfills or directly into the waterways that flow across three countries end up accumulating in the Drina River in eastern Bosnia during wet weather
2:56AM ( 56 minutes ago )
Lakers rally to snap Grizzlies' winning streak at 11 games
Dennis Schröder completed a three-point play with 7.6 seconds left after a steal, and the Los Angeles Lakers rallied past Memphis 122-121 to snap the Grizzlies’ winning streak at 11 games
2:54AM ( 58 minutes ago )
German caution on Ukraine arms rooted in political culture
Germany has become one of Ukraine’s leading weapons suppliers in the 11 months since Russia’s invasion, but Chancellor Olaf Scholz also has gained a reputation for hesitating to take each new step — generating impatience among allies
2:24AM ( 1 hour ago )
Shannon Sharpe gets in heated argument with Morant at half
Hall of Fame football player Shannon Sharpe had a heated courtside conversation with Memphis Grizzlies players Ja Morant and Dillon Brooks and Morant’s father at the end of the first half in a nationally televised game against the Los Angeles Lakers
2:00AM ( 1 hour ago )