Day 6 at the Australian Open featured a few near misses in terms of big-time upsets, but one did manage to come to fruition as a young American woman is making quite an impression Down Under.
Unseeded Madison Keys eliminated a two-time Wimbledon champion in No. 4 seed Petra Kvitova, which undoubtedly opens up the women’s draw in a major way.
There are several American women still alive in the tournament, including Serena and Venus Williams, both of whom had to go the distance on Day 6 in order to avoid elimination.
Things were more straightforward for most contenders in the men’s bracket with No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic, defending Aussie Open champ Stanislas Wawrinka and a host of others moving on.
With Day 6 officially in the books, here is a full rundown of the men’s and women’s singles results as well as further analysis regarding the day’s top storylines.
Men’s Singles Results
Women’s Singles Results
American Madison Keys Shocks Petra Kvitova
Madison Keys has been tabbed as a potential star for the past few years, and Day 6 at the Australian Open may forever live as her true breakthrough moment as the 19-year-old American toppled No. 4 seed Petra Kvitova 6-4, 7-5 in the third round.
Keys has all the tools to be great as she is tall and powerful. She simply needed to put it all together, and that came to fruition against a two-time Wimbledon titlist.
According to ESPN’s Brad Gilbert, Keys scoring this type of victory was inevitable at some point:
It is difficult to pinpoint precisely what helped put Madison Keys over the top, but the tutelage of former world No. 1 Lindsay Davenport may have something to do with it. Per the Australian Open’s official Twitter account, Keys credited the three-time Grand Slam champion with refining her game:
This marks Keys’ first trip to the fourth round in a Grand Slam, and in order to reach the quarterfinals, she will have to go through another American, according to ESPN’s Chris Fowler:
Unheralded Madison Brengle beat fellow American Coco Vandeweghe on Day 6 to set up an all Stars and Stripes affair in the fourth round.
This year’s Australian Open is a high-water mark for both Madisons in terms of Grand Slam success, and it is guaranteed that one of them will reach the quarters for the first time.
As well as Brengle has been playing, this has Keys’ moment written all over it. She may be the next great American women’s player, and making a deep run in this tournament will bring her one step closer to taking the torch from Serena Williams.
If Keys can beat Brengle and either another fellow American in Venus Williams or Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska, then a semifinal showdown against Serena could very well be on the cards.
Williams Sisters Survive Three-Set Tests
The Australian Open was very nearly without a Williams sister in the fourth round, but both Serena and Venus showed a great deal of perseverance by battling back from a set down to win on Day 6.
No. 1-seeded Serena fell behind early to No. 26 seed Elina Svitolina, and while it would have been easy for the American star to pack it in, she did just the opposite. The five-time Australian Open champion dropped just two games in the second set before putting up a bagel in the third to close out her Ukrainian opponent.
After the match, Serena admitted that she has had a penchant for slipping up in the early rounds over the past couple of years, according to Australian Open on Twitter:
At the same time, such a difficult match allowed Williams to work out some kinks, which could be key for her moving forward in the tournament:
Joining Serena in the fourth round is Venus, who looked to be in big trouble after dropping the first set to Italy’s Camila Giorgi. After willing her way through a second-set tiebreaker, though, the 34-year-old future Hall of Famer closed out her young opponent emphatically at 6-1.
Venus needed to dig down deep in order to advance, and she drew on her experience and savviness in order to do so, per Christopher Clarey of The New York Times:
It is no secret that Venus has had her ups and downs in recent years, but she is currently playing her best tennis in a long time. According to ESPN’s Chris McKendry, she is in the midst of her best Grand Slam performance in four years:
Serena and Venus’ wins mean there are four Americans in the top half of the draw. Per Ben Rothenberg of The New York Times, American women haven’t done this well at the Aussie Open in a dozen years:
There would have been a great deal of disappointment stateside had either Serena or Venus gotten tripped up on Day 6, but their come-from-behind wins should make for a very interesting tournament in the fourth round and beyond.
Top Men’s Players Roll Into Fourth Round
After Roger Federer‘s shocking defeat at the hands of Andreas Seppi, many top men’s players were wary of an upset on Day 6. For the most part, though, the players who were supposed to win took care of business at Melbourne Park.
That starts with No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic, who had little issue taking care of No. 31 seed Fernando Verdasco 7-6, 6-3, 6-4. Djoker has traditionally struggled against the tricky Spaniard as he entered the match with just a 6-4 record in 10 career meetings.
This was certainly one of his best showings against Verdasco, though, and only the third time he was able to beat him in straight sets, according to the Australian Open on Twitter:
Djokovic will face Gilles Muller in the fourth round due to the fact that the lefty from Luxembourg upset 19th-seeded American John Isner on Day 6.
With No. 19 Isner falling, the drought of no American men reaching the fourth round at the Aussie Open continues, per McKendry:
Steve Johnson had an opportunity to potentially put a stop to that against No. 5 seed Kei Nishikori, and he seemed well on his way to doing so after taking the first set in a tiebreak.
The rising Japanese star turned it on in the next three sets, however, by dropping just six games total to win in four.
Per the Australian Open’s official Twitter account, Nishikori admitted that he felt a bit of pressure due to his standing:
Nishikori was ultimately able to deal with it, though, and he now has a great chance to make a run Down Under.
In addition to Djokovic and Nishikori, No. 4 Stan Wawrinka advanced easily with a straight-sets win over Jarkko Nieminen to keep his repeat chances alive. Also, No. 8 Milos Raonic and No. 9 David Ferrer moved on to the fourth round.
With the exception of Federer, the men’s draw remains stacked, which could result in any number of players potentially walking away with the trophy.
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