Norrie to face Nadal as Kenin crashes out in dramatic Australian Open fourth day

Defending champion Sofia Kenin crashed out in a dramatic fourth day at the Australian Open, which also saw British No.3 Cameron Norrie set up a third round clash with World No.2 Rafael Nadal.

Kenin was beaten 6-3, 6-2 in just 64 minutes by Kaia Kanepi to make her the highest seed so far to exit the competition.

The 22-year-old admitted that she struggled to handle the pressure, making 22 unforced errors and failing to convert any of her seven break-point chances.

Kanepi will go on to face 28th seed Donna Vekic in the third round on Saturday, while World No.1 Ashleigh Barty will play Russian 29th seed Ekaterina Alexandrova.

The 2020 Australian Open semi-finalist saw off fellow Australian Daria Gavrilova in a turbulent 6-1, 7-6 match, with Gavrilova breaking twice to force a second-set tie-break.

Also entering the third round will be fifth seed Elina Svitolina who beat 16-year-old American Coco Gauff 6-4, 6-3 and will play Yulia Putintseva.

Sixth seed Karolina Pliskova overcame American Danielle Collins 7-5, 6-2 and will play fellow Czech Karolina Muchova on Saturday.

In the men’s draw, Nadal took a 6-1, 6-4, 6-2 win over American qualifier Michael Mmoh at Rod Laver Arena to edge a step closer to his bid for a record 21 Grand Slams.

Norrie, the only British player left in the Open, clinched a 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, 7-6 victory against Russia’s Roman Safiullin after a long rain delay, switching courts and three hours and 31 minutes on court – six hours in total.

While Norrie fought in a tense tie-break, next door Nadal faced a bizarre encounter with a rowdy spectator in the third set but laughed off the interruption to take himself through to the third round.

Elsewhere, World No.6 Stefanos Tsitsipas came through a tense five-set tussle against fellow Greek wildcard Thanasi Kokkinakis with a 6-7, 6-4, 6-1, 6-7, 6-4 win in four hours, 32 minutes.

And fourth seed Daniil Medvedev extended his winning streak to 16 unbeaten matches after a 6-2, 7-5, 6-1 win over Roberto Carballés Baena to celebrate his 25th birthday.

You can check out all of SWL’s Australian Open content here.

Featured image credit: robbiesaurus via Wiki Commons CC 2.0 license

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