Sport Australian Open: Women’s draw opens up after high seeds upset
Australia cancels Novak Djokovic's visa over COVID vaccine policy
Djokovic had been stuck in an airport due to issues related to his COVID vaccine exemption for the Australian Open."Non-citizens who do not hold a valid visa on entry or who have had their visa cancelled will be detained and removed from Australia," the border force said.
The Australian Open went three days without a top-10 women’s player losing. To start day four, two of them were upset within 10 minutes of each other.
No. 3 Garbiñe Muguruza and No. 6 Anett Kontaveit, who met for the WTA Finals title in November, lost the first matches on the two main show courts Thursday, the last day of second-round play.
French veteran Alizé Cornet dispatched Muguruza, a two-time major champion who was a set from winning the 2020 Australian Open, 6-3, 6-3.
Danish 19-year-old Clara Tauson, a former junior No. 1, took out Kontaveit 6-2, 6-4.
AUSTRALIAN OPEN DRAWS:|
What really tripped up Djokovic at Australia's border?
Tennis superstar Novak Djokovic's Australian visa disaster may be down to a subtle but important difference in the Covid-19 vaccination rules for either playing in the Australian Open or getting into the country. But the difference between the Australian Open's Covid-19 exemption rules and Australia's immigration regulations may have caught out other tennis players or staff, too. Two other players or staff attending the Australian Open are also now being investigated, the home affairs minister has confirmed.
The Spaniard Muguruza continued her maddening Grand Slam career.
She won the 2016 French Open and 2017 Wimbledon, plus made two other major finals and twice beat a top-ranked Serena Williams at Roland Garros. She also lost in the first or second round of a major at least once in all 11 years of her career, including 10 times in 22 starts since her first Slam title.
Cornet’s biggest claim to fame was thrice beating a top-ranked Williams in 2014, including at Wimbledon. The 31-year-old has been on the cusp of breaking through — reaching No. 11 in the world in 2009 and making the fourth round of every major, but never a quarterfinal. She is now ranked 61st.
Cornet next gets No. 29 seed Tamara Zidanšek of Slovenia or Brit Heather Watson, who is ranked 94th.
Australia PM Says 'No One is Above' Rules Amid Novak Djokovic's Detainment Over COVID Jab
The tennis star's detainment comes as Melbourne, where the Australian Open is held, is experiencing a massive surge in COVID cases.Djokovic, who has denied confirming whether or not he has received the COVID-19 vaccine, was detained by immigration authorities on Thursday. The Serbian tennis player was originally allowed to attend the Australian Open through an exemption given by the Victoria state government and Tennis Australia. However, that exemption and his visa were canceled upon his arrival to the country on Wednesday.
Kontaveit, the highest-ranked Estonian in history, won three tournaments last fall, and nearly a fourth at the WTA Finals, to break into the top 10 for the first time and finish the year at No. 7. Her form continued this season, reaching the semifinals of an Australian Open lead-up event.
Tauson won the 2019 Australian Open girls’ title a month after turning 16, then won two WTA tournaments last year. American Coco Gauff is the only player in the top 200 who is younger than Tauson.
Tauson next gets 27th-seeded American Danielle Collins.
No. 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka continued to struggle with her serve, yet eked out another three-set win to reach round three. She double faulted 19 times — six in the first game alone — but beat China’s 100th-ranked Wang Xinyu 1-6, 6-4, 6-2.
The only other single-digit seed left in the bottom half is No. 7 Iga Swiatek, who has dropped seven games in two matches.
2022 Australian Open betting preview: Is Novak Djokovic a fade?
It’s already been an eventful affair with the drama surrounding world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, his vaccination status and whether he should play. Djokovic is still listed as the No. 1 seed of the ATP draw as of Thursday, but a lot can change from now until the start of the tournament. If Djokovic plays he has a solid chance at reaching another Australian Open final, which is his most successful Grand Slam event. Djokovic has won 20 Grand Slam titles and nine at the Australian. He enters as the reigning champ and is on his second three-year winning streak at the event. Djokovic has never won four straight Australian Opens.
Top-ranked Ash Barty and defending champion Naomi Osaka could meet in the fourth round in the top half.
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