Canada's Shapovalov advances to 3rd round at Australian Open with 5-set comeback win

Canada's Denis Shapovalov is on to the third round of the Australian Open after topping South Korea's Kwon Soon-woo 7-6 (6), 6-7 (3), 6-7 (6), 7-5, 6-2 on Wednesday.

Nadal, Barty advance with straight-sets victories

Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., celebrates during his victorious second-round match against South Korea's Kwon Soonwoo at the Australian Open on Wednesday in Melbourne. (Morgan Sette/Reuters)

Canada's Denis Shapovalov is on to the third round of the Australian Open.

Shapovalov, from Richmond Hill, Ont., beat South Korea's Kwon Soon-woo 7-6 (6), 6-7 (3), 6-7 (6), 7-5, 6-2 on Wednesday.

He will face 23-seed Reilly Opelka of the United States on Friday.

Shapovalov beat Soon-woo when the Korean sailed a backhand return high and wide.

The tightly contested match lasted nearly 4 ½ hours.

Shapovalov had 29 aces to Soon-woo's three in the win.

WATCH l Shapovalov wins 2nd-round match at Australian Open:

Canada's Shapovalov advances at Australian Open

2 years ago
Duration 3:24
Denis Shapovalov advanced to the third round of the Australian Open requiring five sets to defeat Korea's Soonwoo Kwon 7-6(6), 6-7(3), 6-7(6), 7-5, 6-2.

Barty marks First Nations Day with easy win

Ash Barty was front and centre when the Australian Open celebrated its inaugural First Nations Day.

Albeit not for very long. The top-ranked Barty has Indigenous heritage and her second-round match at Melbourne Park's main stadium on Wednesday was among the features of a program dedicated to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of Australia.

She was on and off the court quickly, beating 142nd-ranked qualifier Lucia Bronzetti 6-1, 6-1 in 52 minutes.

"Really cool. ... Nice for me to be a part of it in a way I feel most comfortable," Barty said. "On a day when we're bringing culture together ... it was really nice for me to go out and enjoy that.

"I was really fortunate to be able to play today."

Barty reacts after defeating Bronzetti in their second-round match. (Andy Brownbill/The Associated Press)

Barty extended her streak of service holds to 48 games and moved into the third round at Melbourne Park for the sixth consecutive year.

The 2021 Wimbledon and 2019 French Open champion dropped just one game in her first-round match, which also took less than an hour, as she bids to become the first Australian woman since 1978 to win the country's Grand Slam tournament.

Next up for Barty will be a match against another Italian, 30th-seeded Camila Giorgi. Win that, and Barty could end up in a fourth-round showdown against defending champion Naomi Osaka, who made quick work of Madison Brengle on Wednesday.

Defending champ Osaka streamrolls to victory

Osaka conceded only four points in the first four games and rifled forehand winners seemingly at will as she breezed to 6-0 in a mere 20 minutes.

The second set started with Brengle celebrating a service hold like she'd finished a long-distance race, but gradually the No. 54-ranked American's keep-the-ball-in-play strategy ground down Osaka to a stage where she finally converted a break-point opportunity — after missing her first nine chances.

That triggered a change in the former No. 1-ranked Osaka, who responded by breaking back immediately and reeling off the last nine points to complete a 6-0, 6-4 victory. She finished with 37 winners and 32 unforced errors.

Osaka will next face Amanda Anisimova, a 20-year-old American who beat Olympic gold medallist Belinda Bencic 6-2, 7-5. The winner of that is likely to face top-ranked Barty in the fourth round.

Osaka won the Australian Open last year, her fourth Grand Slam title, but then withdrew from the French Open and skipped Wimbledon as she took a break for her mental health. She then was ousted early at the U.S. Open.

After a long off-season to reset, she's unbeaten in five matches in Australia this year.

Asked how she rated her form, Osaka said that's not how she's approaching things.

"Honestly I'm trying not to do that," she said in an on-court TV interview. "I'm a bit of a perfectionist. If I compare myself with the past, I'll never be satisfied.

"The goal for me is just to have fun ... [and] I think we're accomplishing that."

Nadal continues bid for record 21st Grand Slam title

Rafael Nadal didn't get it all his own way in the next match on Rod Laver Arena, needing five match points and 2 hours, 42 minutes to beat 126th-ranked German qualifier Yannick Hanfmann 6-2, 6-3, 6-4.

The sixth-seeded Nadal, aiming for a men's record 21st Grand Slam singles title, had two match points on Hanfmann's serve in the ninth game of the third set and then two more on his own in the next game before finally clinching a spot in the third round when his rival sent a forehand long.

Nadal converted four of his 16 break point chances, including one of eight in the third set, but only faced two breakpoints on his own serve and fended them both off.

"I knew him before, I played against him in the first round at Roland Garros — I know he's dangerous," Nadal said. "Today his level of tennis was much higher than what his ranking says, without a doubt."

Nadal celebrates after winning his second-round match against Hanfmann. (Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

The 35-year-old Nadal shares the men's record of 20 singles titles with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, and he doesn't have either of them in the draw this time.

Federer is skipping the Australian Open while he continues his recovery from injury. Djokovic, a nine-time champion at Melbourne Park, was deported after an 11-day saga that he ultimately lost because he didn't meet Australia's strict COVID-19 vaccination regulations.

Zverev cruises past Millman

Olympic gold medallist Alexander Zverev advanced to the third round and continued a streak at Grand Slam tournaments by beating Australian veteran John Millman 6-4, 6-4, 6-0.

The third-seeded Zverev has a perfect record against players at their home majors. He's now 2-0 against Australians at the Australian Open, 3-0 against French players at Roland Garros and 4-0 against Americans at the U.S. Open. He has never faced a British player at Wimbledon.

"I'm prepared that everyone will hate me after the match. I think it's quite accurate. I'll get a lot of boos," he said jokingly during his on-court TV interview to cheers from the crowd. "To be honest, sports needs the atmosphere. Sports needs the people. I enjoy the atmosphere. I enjoy the noise."

Zverev will next play Radu Albot. The Moldovan qualifier beat Australian wild-card entry Aleksandar Vukio in the second round.

No. 7 seed Berrettini tops Kozlov

Seventh seed Matteo Berrettini overcame a minor hiccup in the second set to move into the third round with a 6-1 4-6 6-4 6-1 win over American Stefan Kozlov.

The Italian will next face 18-year-old Carlos Alcaraz, who became the youngest man to reach the third round at Melbourne Park since Bernard Tomic in 2011 after a 6-2 6-1 7-5 thrashing of Dusan Lajovic.

In other second-round men's matches, No. 23 Reilly Opelka had a 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (4) win over Dominik Koepfer, and No. 19 Pablo Carreno Busta beat Tallon Griekspoor 6-3, 6-7 (6), 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-4.

Miomir Kecmanovic, who was originally drawn to meet Djokovic on the opening night of the tournament, advanced to the third round with a 7-6 (7), 7-5, 7-6 (8) win over Tommy Paul of the United States.

Badosa, Azarenka and Svitolina advance

In the day's opening match on Rod Laver Arena, eighth-seeded Paula Badosa had a 6-0, 6-3 victory over Italian qualifier Martina Trevisan.

Badosa won the title at a Sydney tuneup tournament last week, when she put together back-to-back match wins in Australia for the first time.

Two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka beat Jil Teichmann 6-1, 6-2 and and will next face No. 15-seeded Elina Svitolina, who was leading 6-3, 5-7, 5-1 when Harmony Tan retired from their second-round match.

Svitolina waited on court at Margaret Court Arena until Tan, who had received treatment on her lower left leg after the fifth game of the third set, was removed in a wheelchair.

With her lower left leg heavily bandaged, the 24-year-old Tan couldn't even move to the ball as Svitolina held serve. The ailing Frenchwoman reverted to serving underarm, hoping to be able to finish the match rather than retire.

Chair umpire Richard Haigh called on Tan to stop or risk doing more damage as she appeared to struggle with cramps in her right leg, too.

With her mother signaling from the grandstand for her to quit, Tan left the court in tears after a hug from Svitolina and sustained applause from the crowd.

No. 21 Jessica Pegula beat fellow American Bernarda Pera 6-4, 6-4, and Madison Keys had a 6-2, 7-5 win over Jaqueline Adina Cristian.

With files from The Associated Press and Reuters

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