Australian Open: Noskova joins Yastremska after Svitolina's heartbreak exit, Alcaraz continues to soar

Melbourne, Jan 22 (IANS) The Australian Open delivered a rollercoaster of emotions for Ukrainian tennis fans, as qualifier Dayana Yastremska celebrated a dream run into the quarterfinals, while Elina Svitolina endured heartbreak with a sudden back injury on Day 9.

Yastremska’s fairy-tale journey continued with a straight-set 7-6(6), 6-4 victory over former Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka, marking her seventh consecutive win from qualifying to the quarterfinals. The world No.93 expressed a mix of nerves and determination, securing a spot in the last eight and setting up a clash with Czech teenager Linda Noskova, who advanced due to Svitolina’s heartbreaking retirement.

Svitolina, who had been in exceptional form, suffered a sudden back injury during her match with Noskova, forcing her to retire after just three games. After a medical timeout at 0-2, Svitolina was still in severe discomfort as she tried to play one more service game and abandoned the match in tears after just 23 minutes. The Ukrainian had dropped only 13 games on her way to the fourth round but was visibly distressed as she abandoned the match in tears.

Noskova, the surprise quarterfinalist who also upset world No.1 Iga Swiatek, now faces Yastremska in a clash between first-time Grand Slam quarterfinalists.

Anna Kalinskaya has been playing Grand Slam tennis since 2018 but has never been past the second round at any of the four majors. The 25-year-old world No.75 kept powering through the draw by outplaying 26th seed Jasmine Paolini 6-4, 6-2 at the venue where she won the girls’ doubles title in 2016.

In the men’s draw, young sensation Carlos Alcaraz continued his impressive comeback from injury, securing a spot in his first Australian Open quarterfinal by defeating Miomir Kecmanovic in straight sets 6-4, 6-4, 6-0. The Spaniard faces a formidable challenge against big-serving German Alexander Zverev in the next round.

Zverev battled through a deciding tiebreak 7-5, 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(3) victory against British No.1 Cameron Norrie, showcasing his resilience and setting the stage for an exciting quarterfinal clash.

On the other side, world No.3 Daniil Medvedev faced a brief scare as he missed match points against Portuguese No.1 Nuno Borges. However, the Russian quickly regained control, securing victory in four sets 6-3, 7-6(4), 5-7, 6-1.

Polish player Hubert Hurkacz joined the list of quarterfinalists by defeating French wildcard Arthur Cazaux in straight sets 7-6(6), 7-6(3), 6-4, becoming the first Polish man to reach the last eight in Melbourne.



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