Young Stuns Seppi - Aussie Open, Day 4

January 16, 2014 11:25 AM
Benoit Paire outlasted Aussie hopeful Nick Kyrgios Thursday in Melbourne

Donald Young Gets Aussie Open Breakthrough
At the start of the Australian Open few would have picked Donald Young to be one of the last two Americans remaining in the draw, but that is the position that the former prodigy finds himself in after a five-set win over 23rd-seed Andreas Seppi.

Young remained composed and took advantage of what were perhaps some lingering effects from Seppi’s grueling five-setter two days prior to battle past the Italian 6-4, 2-6, 3-6, 6-4, 7-5, reaching the third round in Melbourne for the first time.

Playing with confidence, Young faces a third round match with 16th-seed Kei Nishikori. A win would send him to the fourth round for a potential showdown with Rafael Nadal and also equal his best-ever Grand Slam result, which he achieved at the 2011 US Open.

Drama Down Under
There was no shortage of storylines at Melbourne Park Thursday as weather extremes begot dramatic late night finishes. On the third day of scorching temperatures the tournament finally instituted its Extreme Heat policy, temporarily stopping play, and evening thundershowers delayed the schedule even further, leading to a number of five-setters that stretched well into the early morning.

The latest match took place on Margaret Court Arena where 18-year old Aussie Nick Kyrgios, who won the Australian Open juniors title last year, won the first two sets in tiebreaks against 27th-seeded Benoit Paire, drawing the vocal support of the hometown crowd.

But after Paire, who played the last two Winston-Salem Opens, won the third set, the length of the match clearly began to take a toll on the young Australian. Affected by cramps throughout his body, Krygios was unable to generate power off his serve and momentum quickly swung in Paire’s favor with the Frenchman winning the final two sets by 6-2 scorelines.

Roberto Bautista Agut pulled off the biggest shocker of the night, upsetting No. 5 Juan Martin Del Potro 4-6, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4, 7-5. Bautista Agut, who made a run to the third round in Winston-Salem last year, held his ground on the forehand side against Del Potro – no easy task – and used brilliant shotmaking to break the Argentine at 5-5 in the final set before serving out the win.

In the night’s other five-setter, Fernando Verdasco went down to Russian journeyman Temuraz Gabashvili.

Friday’s Slate
Sam Querrey, one of the two remaining Americans in the draw, will take the court in a night match Friday against 15th-seeded Italian Fabio Fognini. Querrey handled his first two matches with ease and has to be feeling confident as he looks to reach the fourth round in Melbourne for the first time.

In other notable third round matches, Tommy Robredo faces Richard Gasquet and 2012 Winston-Salem Open finalist Tomas Berdych takes on Bosnian qualifier Damir Dzumhur.

Aussie Open Challenge Update

Of the players picked in our Ausssie Open Challenge, Gael Monfils, Sam Querrey and Tommy Robredo remain alive in the third round. Robredo and Querrey play tonight while Monfils faces a Saturday matchup with Rafael Nadal.

Player Times Picked Current Round Next Opponent
Sam Querrey 3 R32 Fognini
Tommy Robredo 2 R32 Gasquet
Gael Monfils 3 R32 Nadal
Andreas Seppi 2 Out- R64  
Fernando Verdasco 1 Out - R64  
Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 1 Out- R64  
Alexandr Dolgopolov 4 Out - R64  
Dmitry Tursunov 1 Out - R64