On a day of close calls, Dimitrov fends off McDonald in fifth

Ross Houston
January 18, 2018

He attacked Dimitrov's backhand, turning a potential weapon into a liability for the Bulgarian, and hia second serves.

The Bulgarian, who won the season-ending ATP Finals in London, seemed to have regained control in the second and third sets but McDonald came back in spectacular fashion to take the match to a decider.

He converted it on the next point when McDonald buried a forehand into the net.

"Happy to be playing tennis again like 2016", said Kerber, who has won 11 straight matches.

Wozniacki twice broke Fett's service while the Croatian player was serving for the match, including the two match points in the seventh game.

Maria Sharapova, the 2008 Australian Open victor, hurried through the first set on Rod Laver Arena in 23 minutes before beating No. 14-seeded Anastasija Sevastova 6-1, 7-6 (4).

"It's an important victory for me, I mean, he's a tough opponent".

The fifth set was a titanic battle as both players held serve until the 14th game when Dimitrov managed to break McDonald's serve to win the set and match 8-6. "After a while without being on the competition. second victory in a row, that's very important".

Their fellow Ukrainian, Kateryna Bondarenko, beat No. 15-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-2, 6-3 in the day's opening match on Melbourne Park's third show court to reach the third round here for the third time.

After his enthralling comeback victory over Shapovalov, highlighted by a between-the-legs shot on an important point, Tsonga will meet 17th-seeded Nick Kyrgios in what shapes up to be an entertaining third-round encounter.

Ukrainian Svitolina will next face 15-year-old compatriot Marta Kostyuk, who beat Australian wildcard Olivia Rogowska 6-3 7-5.

The Australian Open junior champion previous year, who entered the season-opening major ranked No 521, Kostyuk became the youngest player since Martina Hingis in 1996 to win main draw matches at the season-opening major.

Fourth seed Elina Svitolina came from a set down to beat Czech Katerina Siniakova 4-6 6-2 6-1 and book a spot in the third round.

Belinda Bencic had a letdown two days after upsetting Venus Williams, losing 6-1, 6-3 to Thai qualifier Luksika Kumkhum. I just tried to mentally stay focused.

"It's taken some time to develop it but for him it's more like mental strength that comes from the fitness training, so he's been able to and he does have some ups and downs but a year ago was his best ever season with the win at the O2 and I think he's just better".

Alize Cornet has beaten No. 12-seeded Julia Goerges 6-4, 6-3 to reach the third round of the Australian Open.

That left only Sharapova, Kerber and French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko as Grand Slam winners in the women's draw.

Among the seeded men advancing were No 6 Marin Cilic, who beat Joao Sousa 6-1, 7-5, 6-2, and No 10 Pablo Carreno Busta, No 23 Gilles Muller and No 28 Damir Dzumhur.

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