Stan Wawrinka fought his way into the quarterfinals of the Australian Open on Monday, coming back to defeat No. 4 seed Daniil Medvedev in a five-set thriller at Margaret Court Arena.
Wawrinka, who won the Australian Open in 2014, rallied back to win the final two sets and take the match 6-2, 2-6, 4-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-2.
Wawrinka Guts Out a Win
The 34-year-old Wawrinka enjoyed a dominant start to the fifth set, and eased to the win after what had been a hard-nosed battle.
“I think the last time I played so well was before the surgery,” Wawrinka – who had knee surgery in 2017 – said after the match. “I feel since the offseason my level is really high. Physically, I’m moving better than last year. So I’m improving.”
Medvedev fell to 0-6 in five-set matches during his career.
“I think from one side, it’s normal. Experience is the key in many things,” Medvedev said afterwards. “Of course, the more five-set matches you play, the more experience you gain, even if you lose them.”
No. 1 ranked Rafael Nadal eliminated local favorite Nick Kyrgios from the Australian Open on Monday in the latest meeting between the rivals. As usual, Kyrgios battled for every point, but Nadal was able to get the best of him in four sets, winning 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (7-4).
“Against Nick you are never in control,” Nadal said afterwards. “When he is playing like today, with a positive attitude, he gives a lot of positives things to our sport. He’s one of the highest talents that we have on our tour and I like this Nick Kyrgios.”
Australian Open Remembers Kobe Bryant
Kyrgios paid tribute to Kobe Bryant, wearing his No. 8 Los Angeles Lakers jersey onto the court and during his pre-match warmup with Nadal. One of nine passengers killed in a tragic helicopter crash in Calabassas, California on Sunday, Bryant died unexpectedly at age 41. Australian Open organizers played a montage of Bryant’s life in Rod Laver Arena earlier on Monday.
In the women’s draw, No. 4 seed Simona Halep reached the Australian Open quarterfinals after beating No. 16 seed Elise Mertens in a tightly contested 6-4, 6-4 match. Mertens defeated Halep in their last meeting, something that was in the back of the Romanian’s mind during this encounter.
“I had in my head she came back in that match, and I have just to pay attention on every ball, not giving up at all, because she can come back strong,” Halep said following the match. “Mentally, I think I did a great job today at four-all with those break points, game points. But in the end, I got the game, and then I served very well the last game.”
Australian Open Odds (Tuesday Quarterfinals)
- Sofia Kenin (-260) vs. Ons Jabeur (+210)
- Ashleigh Barty (-134) vs. Petra Kvitova (+114)
- Tennys Sandgren (+690) vs. Roger Federer (-1200)
- Milos Raonic (+550) vs. Novak Djokovic (-750)
Odds via FanDuel Sportsbook
Quarterfinal play begins at the Australian Open on Tuesday, with two matches in each singles draw taking place at Rod Laver Arena.
Men’s No. 3 seed Roger Federer (-1200, via FanDuel Sportsbook) battles American Tennys Sandgren (+690), who is making only his second appearance in the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam. Tournament favorite Novak Djokovic (-750) takes on No. 32 seed Milos Raonic (+550), while women’s top seed Ashleigh Barty (-134) faces a difficult test against No. 7 Petra Kvitova (+114) and American Sofia Kenin (-260) meets Ons Jabeur (+210).