The Roar
The Roar


Mixed results for Aussies as 'relentless' Demon cruises into fourth round, Czech weathers Storm

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19th January, 2024

Australia’s Alex De Minaur swept into the fourth round of the Australian Open for the third straight year, crushing Italian qualifier Flavio Cobolli 6-3, 6-3, 6-1.

Cobolli, a massive underdog,made the Australian 10th seed work despite the lopsided scoreline. But one game early in the second set appeared to break his resolve as De Minaur broke after nine attempts in a 22-point game.

Watch every Australian Open match ad-free, live & on demand with centre court in 4K Ultra-HD on the home of Grand Slam tennis, Stan Sport.

The overall quality was low however and De Minaur will be aiming to lift his first serve percentage from a dismal percent in the next round against the winner of the Sebastian Korda and Andrey Rublev third round match later Friday.

De Minaur was ruthless when he needed to be – he saved seven of eight break points faced and broke six times from 20.

John McEnroe described his performance as “two hours of relentless intensity.”

“Well, obviously he was the heavy favourite, so there was some pressure to win this, show what he was made of, back up the top-10 ranking,” McEnroe added.


“But as the match progressed, you started to see the separation between a qualifier and a guy who believes maybe he can win this thing.

“By the end of it, Cobolli had totally tapped out. He was just ‘This guy’s too good’, and he was at the end.

“Alex has got to be extremely satisfied with the way he ended and what little energy he needed to burn. He’s got a lot left in the tank for the fourth round, and he hopes beyond.”

De Minaur wrote “moving on!!”on the camera as he left John Cain Arena, and he became the first Australian man to make three straight fourth rounds (or better) at the Australian Open since Lleyton Hewitt in 2003-05.

De Minaur was in a strong form ahead of the tournament and has been barely stretched to get this far.

“It feels like we’re getting to the tail end of the tournament and the [next] match is going to be very tough,” he said.


“I’m playing some great tennis – started the year amazingly. Hopefully I can keep it going.

“It’s going to come down to the level I bring in the following match. I’ve got to back myself. I’ve got to believe. I’ve got to play positive tennis the way I have the whole year. I know the whole crowd is going to be behind me and and I’m going to enjoy every second of it.”

Hunter bundled out of AO

The news for Australian fans was not as good out of the second match in Rod Laver Arena on Friday evening, with Storm Hunter’s impressive run brought to a halt by Barbora Krejčíková in a three-set tussle.

Hunter, carrying the hopes of a nation as the last Australian left in the women’s singles draw, was knocking on the door of becoming the first qualifier to reach the last 16 at Melbourne Park in six years.

But she could not capitalise on several break points late in the second set, before bowing out 4-6 7-5 6-3 to the Czech No.9 seed in a clash that lasted exactly two hours and 30 minutes.

Hunter can console herself by pocketing a $255,000 pay day for her first third-round appearance at a grand slam and she’s provisionally set to rise to world No.127.


Fellow Australians Alex de Minaur and Ajla Tomljanovic urged Hunter to play more singles after her second-round win over German veteran Laura Siegemund, Krejcikova’s regular doubles partner.

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(with AAP)