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Other SportsAustralian Open: Day seven round-up – Swiatek stunned by teenager Noskova

Australian Open: Day seven round-up – Swiatek stunned by teenager Noskova

World number one Iga Swiatek suffered a stunning third-round exit from the Australian Open on Saturday, with 19-year-old Linda Noskova recovering from a set down to cause a huge upset.

Swiatek avoided a shock defeat in round two despite trailing Danielle Collins 4-1 in the deciding set on Thursday, conceding after a hard-fought victory that she “was already at the airport”.

Her fears of an early departure from the Melbourne Park slam came to pass two days later, though, with highly rated youngster Noskova rallying to claim a 3-6 6-3 6-4 win on Rod Laver Arena.

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Swiatek looked to be in control after cruising through the opening set, but her Czech opponent proved too powerful from then on, smashing 10 aces and 35 winners as she posted a headline result on her first appearance in the Australian Open’s main draw.

“I’m speechless,” Noskova said. “I knew it was going to be an amazing match with the world number one but I didn’t really think it would end up like this.

“I’m just really glad to get through this round.”

Noskova will play 19th seed Elina Svitolina in the last 16 after the Ukrainian saw off Viktorija Golubic 6-2 6-3 in the night session.

Swiatek’s exit blows the top half of the women’s singles draw wide open, with two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka the only grand slam finalist remaining on that side of the bracket after overcoming 11th seed Jelena Ostapenko in straight sets.

In the men’s draw, Carlos Alcaraz reached the fourth round at Melbourne Park for the first time after China’s Shang Juncheng was forced to retire with a thigh injury midway through the pair’s third-round match.

The Wimbledon champion was 6-1 6-1 1-0 up after 66 minutes and closing in on a routine victory when Shang was forced out of the contest, having earlier received treatment during a medical timeout.

The second seed – who is considered one of the foremost challengers for Novak Djokovic’s crown – will face Miomir Kecmanovic for a quarter-final place after the Serbian saved two match points during his dramatic 6-4 3-6 2-6 7-6 (9-7) 6-0 win over 14th seed Tommy Paul.

Grigor Dimitrov was another seed to fall on Saturday as the world number 13 suffered a 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 6-2 7-6 (8-6) defeat to Portugal’s Nuno Borges. Borges will face third seed Daniil Medvedev in the next round after the Russian clinched a straight-sets victory over Felix Auger-Aliassime.

Finally, British number one Cameron Norrie produced a polished performance to win a watchable affair against 11th seed Casper Ruud in four sets.

Norrie’s 6-4 6-7 (7-9) 6-4 6-3 win saw him tee up a last-16 clash with sixth seed Alexander Zverev on Monday, and the Brit hailed the victory as one of his best at any major.

“Honestly it is so special,” Norrie said after the win. “In terms of performances, it was up there with one of my best in a grand slam.”

Harry Carr
Harry Carr
Harry is a freelance sports journalist with experience of working for the Racing Post, Stats Perform, Opta Analyst and more, covering major events across all sports but holding a particular love for the beautiful game.
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