Three-time Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka suffered a five-set loss to Marton Fucsovics of Hungary. The 2014 Australian Open winner and 17th seed failed to convert three match point opportunities during his 7-5 6-1 4-6 2-6 7-6(9) defeat in a match that lasted three hours and 59 minutes on Day 3 of the year’s first Slam.
“Tough match of course, five sets, four hours. Always a difficult battle against my opponent that we play fair few times in the past, always a really tough match,” Wawrinka said after the match.
The 35-year-old veteran Swiss was down two sets before launching into an impressive comeback to take the match into the deciding set. Fucsovics however, did manage to break the World No 18’s and was serving for the match at 5-3, before being broken again.
The Australian Open deciding set rule is that at 6-6, the match will decided in a Super Tiebreak.
Wawrinka dictated play early on, racing to a 6-1 lead. He also had three match points at 9-6.
“From 6-1 I started to hesitate a little bit the way I was playing,” he said.
“I wanted to put the ball maybe too much in and I’m not going completely for my shots and that’s when I started to miss a little bit and it helped him to come back in the match.”
With Wawrinka faltering, Fucsovics, the World No 55, kept his nerve though and won the next five points in a row to book a spot in the third round, where he will play 14th seed Milos Raonic.
“He was fighting well, he’s a tough player, he’s a good player and he deserved to win,” the Swiss added.
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Kvitova falls in three sets
Two-time Wimbledon champion and 2019 Australian Open runner-up Petra Kvitova lost 6-4 1-6 6-1 to Sorana Cirstea.
The World No 68 from Romania was among the 72 players who were forced into a hard 14-day quarantine when she landed in Australia.
But she managed to find some form before the Slam, pulling off a strong win over World No 12 Belinda Bencic in the tune-up WTA event en route to a quarterfinal finish.
She competed with the same form against the ninth seed on Wednesday, in a match that went just over two hours.
Injured Venus goes down to Errani
Seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams was dealt a hard 6-1, 6-0 loss to former World No 5 Sara Errani of Italy.
The 40-year-old American struggled with a left-knee problem and rolled her ankle during the match. As a result, she needed back-to-back medical time outs.
With her movement clearly impaired, and Errani hitting the ball cleanly, Williams folded in 75 minutes.
Andreescu’s return cut short
Playing in her first tournament since she won the 2019 US Open, Bianca Andreescu lost 6-2, 6-2 to Su-wei Hsieh.
The 20-year-old, who was the eight seed at the Australian Open, had struggled with injury after winning her maiden Slam. The break due to the pandemic did not allow the Canadian to prepare herself for when the tour resumed, leading her to extend her break.
She did need some time to shake off the rust when she won her first round tie against tie against Mihaela Buzarnescu of Romania in three sets.
But against the tricky World No 71 of Taiwan in the second round, Andreescu was off her stride.