2017 Australian Open Day 6

2017 Australian Open Day 6 - Nadal battles over five sets with Zverev.

2017 Australian Open Day 6 – Nadal battles over five sets with Zverev.

After a day that included the world number one Andy Murray, multi-slam champion Wawrinka, and the legend that is Roger Federer, 2017 Australian Open day 6 looked a little flat on paper after Novak Djokovic’s surprise exit.

Unfortunately that’s the nature of sporting upsets. They’re amazing in the moment but they quickly lose their shine. Nobody can begrudge Denis Istomin his spectacular victory, but at the same time, few people would choose to watch Istomin when they could be watching Djokovic.

Still, there were some great matches. You can find a full list of results on the Australian Open website. Let’s get into it.

Roundup

David Ferrer has been in and around the top of the game for such a long time that, when I saw that Roberto Bautista Agut had defeated him, I immediately thought it was an upset. It wasn’t, of course; Agut is the higher seed now. He took down the hard working Spaniard 7—5, 6—7(8—6), 7—6(7—3), 6—4.

The aforementioned Denis Istomin continued his fairy tale run with a hard five set victory over 30th seed Pablo Carreno Busta. The score there finished 6—4, 4—6, 6—4, 4—6, 6—2.

One player who didn’t need to fight all that hard was David Goffin. Somewhat surprisingly, he was able to take down big serving Ivo Karlovic in straight sets 6—3, 6—2, 6—4. Gael Monfils also went through in straight sets against Philipp Kohlschreiber, though it wasn’t quite as easy for him. That match ended 6—3, 7—6(7—1), 6—4.

Hot Prospects

With Djokovic out, the prospect of one of the promising younger stars claiming a Grand Slam is suddenly far more plausible. Two of those younger stars are Milos Raonic and Dominic Thiem, who both came through their third round match in four sets.

Thiem overcame Frenchman, Benoit Paire, 6—1, 4—6, 6—4, 6—4. Raonic, also playing a Frenchman in the shape of Gilles Simon, was victorious to the tune of 6—2, 7—6(7—5), 3—6, 6—3.

Grigor Dimitrov has been a hot prospect for so long that people had started to write him off. That was before a recent resurgence, of course. He faced off against 18th seeded Richard Gasquet. In a turn around from their past meetings, Dimitrov overcame Gasquet with relative ease. 6—3, 6—2, 6—4 is a far cry from the stat sheets; this is Grigor’s first victory over Gasquet in six attempts.

It’s too soon to start predicting victory for any of these prospects, but they can’t win it if they’re not in it. The way the draw shakes out, we could well see a Dimitrov/Theim quarter final, with the winner taking on Raonic in the semis.

Oh, wait a minute…

Nadal

Nadal is still in the draw! The King of Clay overcame Alexander Zverev in a hard fought five set battle that saw frequent momentum swings. The 19 year old German showed the kind of potential that has many picking him to be a future number one. But Nadal proved too strong in the end.

This time.

The match finished 4—6, 6—3, 6—7(5—7), 6—3, 6—2, and Rafa progresses to the fourth round. Whether or not he has it in him to reach the final—or even win it—remains to be seen. But the tenacity he has been known for was on show in this match.

So 2017 Australian Open day 6 is over, and on day 7 the fourth round begins!

John Bullock

Maker of digital (and sometimes physical) things. Attention span of a

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