Day four of the Australian Open was exciting for American women’s tennis since seven women advance to the third round, but many Australians fell apart. It also showcased powerful Victoria Azarenka as she demolished No. 8 Caroline Wozniazki with ease.
Australians started the tournament strong, but were knocked out one by one on Thursday. American Madison Keys shocked the home crowd when she completed a 180 and demolished Australian Casey Dellacqua, who was seeded 29, 2-6, 6-1, 6-1. Dellacqua took only 27 minutes to win the first set, but something within Keys made her realize she was a much better player. Her serves were on point, she attacked at the net, and won the majority of her first serve points. The change caught Dellacqua off guard and with every game she fell apart a little more. Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Varvara lepchenko, Madison Brengle, and CoCo Vandeweghe also advanced to the third round.
How about Victoria Azarenka? It was worth staying up until 2 a.m. to watch the match. She is fit and ready to reclaim her rightful place as one of the best players in the world. She won 6-4, 6-2, and while the score looks like a runaway victory it was not that easy. Wozniacki was a formidable opponent, which only makes the victory for Azarenka so much sweeter. Azarenka broke the Dane in the opening game, which allowed her to climb to a 3-0 lead, but Wozniacki fought back to make it 4-4. The challenge did not wear out Azarenka who finished the set in 58 minutes. It is not foolish to consider a possible Williams-Azarenka semifinal.
Jerzy Janowicz defeated No. 17 Gael Monfils in five sets, 6-4, 1-6, 6-7(7), 6-3, 6-3. Even after Monfils went up 2-1, Janowicz remained calm and found a way to fight through the Frenchman’s theatrics that cause problems for many others. His patience and hard serve reminded the world why he gave Andy Murray problems in the 2013 Wimbledon semifinals.
Beloved Australians Lleyton Hewitt and Samantha Stosur received the prime spot at Rod Laver Arena Thursday night, but failed to move on. Lleyton Hewitt blew a two set lead to lose in five sets to Benjamin Becker (not related to Boris Becker). Hewitt won the first two sets 6-2, 6-1, but melted down in a similar fashion as Dellacqua. Vandeweghe kicked out Stosur 6-4, 6-4 with her mighty serve. She slammed 11 aces and Stosur did not break her once.