Sport Tennis Australian Open Australian Open: Zverev racquet tantrum; Svitolina and Osaka set up clash

Australian Open: Zverev racquet tantrum; Svitolina and Osaka set up clash

Elina Svitolina equalled her best grand slam showing after overcoming American Madison Keys in three sets. Photo: Getty
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German young gun Alexander Zverev has unleashed his fury in epic fashion while in a precarious position during the fourth round of the Australian Open.

The 21-year-old encountered fierce opposition in Canadian ace Milos Raonic, and he was down 6-1 4-1 when things hit breaking point.

Sitting down at the change of ends, Zverev immediately launched into a comprehensive demolition of his racquet, walloping his weapon of choice five times into Rod Laver Arena’s ‘True Blue’ plexicushion surface.

Not entirely satisfied, he turned his racquet over before giving it another three strikes, eventually tossing the mangled mess in disgust.

The outburst did little to improve his fortunes in the match, with Raonic going on to win in straight sets, 6-1 6-1 7-6 (7-5).

Svitolina secures quarter-final berth

Sixth seed Ukrainian Elina Svitolina has inched closer in her tilt for the women’s world No.1 ranking and a maiden grand slam title, after a see-sawing 6-2 1-6 6-1 victory over American Madison Keys.

The momentum favoured Keys, a 2018 US Open finalist, after she snared the second set in rapid fashion, while Svitolina appeared somewhat hampered and received medical attention to her foot.

However, a monumental hold in a 16-minute, 11-deuce third game in the final set proved decisive for former world No.3 Svitolina.

Currently the 2018 WTA Finals champion, she held firm to dispatch five break point opportunities and close out the game, kickstarting a run of five consecutive games to oust Keys.

Svitolina equalled her best grand slam showing by backing up last year’s quarter-final appearance at Melbourne Park, where she eventually lost to Belgian Elise Mertens.

It’s the first time Svitolina has overcome her American opponent in three showings, which included the 2017 US Open, where Keys made her first grand slam final.

Svitolina will look to go one better when she next faces reigning US Open champion Naomi Osaka.

Naomi Osaka powered through tricky opponent Anastasija Sevastova to book her place in the last eight. Photo: Getty

Osaka continues hot form with gritty win

The Japanese fourth seed navigated an equally tough encounter against creative Latvian 13th seed Anastasija Sevastova, before prevailing 4-6 6-3 6-4 to reach her first Australian Open quarter-final.

Osaka was troubled early as 2018 US Open semi-finalist Sevastova broke on her first opportunity, keeping the door firmly shut as she won the first set.

The 21-year-old power hitter rallied back in the second set and streaked ahead in the third, before a spirited fightback from Sevastova levelled the score at 3-3.

After breaking back immediately, she survived an eight-deuce tussle on her next service game, before eventually securing victory.

“I was thinking I’ve been in this position before and actually last time it was a little bit worse,” Osaka said post-match.

“I didn’t give up. She was playing really well. I wasn’t really sure what to do at a point. I just try to stick in there.

Both women are seeking to usurp Simona Halep at the top of the women’s rankings, but require results to work in their favour.

-with AAP