MELBOURNE, Australia: Alexander Zverev did a number on his racket.
Upset about how badly things were going in his match, Zverev sat down in his sideline chair and destroyed his racket by whacking it against the ground eight times and then tossing it aside.
He was warned for racket abuse after the display, which came with the Australian Open’s No. 4 seed trailing 6-1, 4-1 against Milos Raonic.
Soon enough, Zverev lost the second set, too, also by a 6-1 score.
U.S. Open champion Naomi Osaka is into her second Grand Slam quarterfinal after another comeback win at the Australian Open, this time over Anastasija Sevastova.
Osaka had to work for nearly two hours on Rod Laver Arena to subdue the gritty Sevastova 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in a fourth-round match studded by service breaks. She’ll next play sixth-seeded Elina Svitolina, who had a 6-2, 1-6, 6-1 win over 2017 U.S. Open finalist Madison Keys.
Osaka won a tight three-setter when she met Sevastova at the Brisbane International in the first week of the season.
Sevastova grabbed the lead in the opening set on Monday, and clinched it with a deft drop shot that forced Osaka to fly a forehand over the baseline.
Osaka had to stave off two break points in the third game of the second to edge ahead.
The fourth-seeded Osaka grew in confidence from the narrow escape and lifted her tempo and shot-making consistency, grabbing the crucial service break in the sixth game.
Serving to level the match, Osaka fended off a break-back point with a brilliant forehand volley after a long, tense baseline rally. Two points later, the match was heading into the deciding set.
Osaka broke serve to open third set to maintain the momentum.
Sixth-seeded Elina Svitolina has advanced to the Australian Open quarterfinals with a momentum-swinging 6-2, 1-6, 6-1 win over 2017 U.S. Open finalist Madison Keys.
The WTA Finals winner fended off five breakpoints in a pivotal third game in the third set that went to deuce 11 times and lasted more than 15 minutes. She broke Keys’ serve at the first opportunity in the next game and finished off the match quickly.
It ended a comeback by Keys, who didn’t quite find her range with her ground strokes and 34 unforced errors, including some very nears misses on big points.
Both players reached the quarterfinals here last year, but Keys had more success at the majors in 2018 when she progressed to the semifinals at the French and U.S. Opens.
“I was happy I could handle the pressure at 1-1 in the third set,” Svitolina said. “It was very hard because the sun was just burning my eyes when I was tossing the ball. Very happy I could win that game.”
Svitolina will next play either U.S. Open champion Naomi Osaka or No. 13 Anastasija Sevastova.
Madison Keys has opened play at Rod Laver Arena against sixth-seeded Elina Svitolina on Day 8 at the Australian Open.
There are spots in the quarterfinals on the line for the winners of Monday’s matches.
The 17th-seeded Keys has reached the semifinals or better at three of the last five Grand Slam tournaments. She has won both her previous matches against Svitolina including a quarterfinal victory at the 2017 U.S. Open on her way to the final.
The winner will advance to quarterfinal match against either U.S. Open champion Naomi Osaka or No. 13 Anastasija Sevastova.
In the night matches later Monday, Serena Williams continues her bid for an eighth Australian and Open-era record 24th singles major when she takes on No. 1-ranked Simona Halep, and six-time men’s winner Novak Djokovic is against Daniil Medvedev. (AP)