Australian Open: Gauff, Djokovic climb into fourth round; Shelton exits

Coco Gauff tosses the ball up for a serve against fellow American Alycia Parks in the third round of the 2024 Australian Open on Friday at Melbourne Park in Melbourne. Photo by James Ross/EPA-EFE
1 of 6 | Coco Gauff tosses the ball up for a serve against fellow American Alycia Parks in the third round of the 2024 Australian Open on Friday at Melbourne Park in Melbourne. Photo by James Ross/EPA-EFE

Jan. 19 (UPI) -- Coco Gauff continued her undefeated streak to start the tennis season, while top-seeded Novak Djokovic also dismantled his foe in the third round of the Australian Open on Friday in Melbourne.

No. 10 Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil joined the growing group of Top 10 women upset at the Grand Slam, losing to unseeded Russian Maria Timofeeva in straight sets on Day 6.


Gauff, the 2023 U.S. Open champion and 8-0 this season, will make her third fourth-round appearance at the Australian Open. She will attempt to reach the quarterfinals for the first time.

"As you get later [in the tournament], the trophy gets closer and closer," Gauff told reporters when asked about her new perspective at Grand Slams. "You have to treat it as it's as far away as it is in the first round."


The No. 4 player in the WTA singles rankings needed just 61 minutes beat fellow American Alycia Parks. Gauff totaled three aces and four winners and converted all five of her break point opportunities in the 6-0, 6-2 win. She totaled just eight unforced errors, compared to Parks' 34.

"It was tough to kind of put something into action," Gauff said. "I was really just trying to do what I do against everybody else: keep the ball deep, open up the court and try to move her as much as I could.

"I don't think she played her best tennis today. I know when she's at her best, she's a tough player to play."

No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus, No. 9 Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic and No. 11 Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia were the other top women to advance on Day 6.

Gauff will face Magdalena Frech of Poland in the fourth round. The winner will face Timofeeva or Marta Kotsyuk of Ukraine in the quarterfinals.

Timofeeva bounced Haddad Maia 7-6(7), 6-3 in a two-hour, nine-minute match Friday at Margaret Court Arena. With Haddad Maia's loss, just four of the Top 10 players remain active in the women's singles circuit.


Krejcikova, 28, will face 16-year-old Russian Mirra Andreeva in the fourth round. The winner of that match will face Sabalenka or American Amanda Anisimova of the quarterfinals.

Anisimova, who took a mental-health-related break from tennis in 2023, beat Paula Badosa of Spain in straight sets in her third-round match. She has yet to drop a set in Melbourne.

On the men's side, Djokovic advanced with a 6-3, 6-3, 7-6(2) win over No. 30 Tomas Martin Etcheverry of Argentina. The Serbian edged Etcheverry 34-22 in winners and 3-0 in converted break points.

"I played better than I did in the first two rounds, so that's a positive," Djokovic, the defending champion, said. "I'm starting to feel better game-wise and physically as well. Those are positive signs, but I still haven't been playing my best."

Djokovic will face No. 20 Adrian Mannarino of France in the fourth round. Mannarino advanced with a five-set win over No. 16 Ben Shelton of the United States.

Shelton edged Mannarino 18-9 in aces and 73-49 in winners in that match, but logged 75 unforced errors, compared to 40 for his foe in the nearly 5-hour meeting. The winner of the Djokovic-Mannarino match will face No. 7 Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece of No. 12 Taylor Fritz of the United States in the quarterfinals.


Tsitsipas and Fritz advanced Friday with respective victories over Luca Van Assche of France and Fabian Marozsan of Hungary. No. 4 Jannik Sinner of Italy, No. 5 Andrey Rublev of Russia and No. 10 Alex de Minaur of Australia were among the other top men to win on Day 6.

Sinner will face No. 15 Karen Khachanov of Russia in the fourth round. The winner will meet Rublev or de Minaur in the quarterfinals. The winner of that quarterfinal could meet Djokovic, Mannarino, Fritz or Tsitsipas in the semifinals.

No. 2 Carlos Alcaraz of Spain, No. 3 Daniil Medvedev of Russia, No. 6 Alexander Zverev of Germany, No. 9 Hubert Hurkacz of Poland, No. 11 Casper Ruud of Norway and No. 14 Tommy Paul of the United States will be among the top men in action on Day 7.

No. 1 Iga Swiatek of Poland will be the top women's player competing Saturday, local time, in Melbourne. Ostapenko will play No. 18 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus for a spot in the fourth round.

Third-round coverage will start at 7 p.m. EST Friday on ESPN+ and 9 p.m. on ESPN2.

21 moments from U.S. Open champ Coco Gauff's rise in tennis

Coco Gauff of the United States raises her trophy after defeating Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus to win the Women's U.S. Open Tennis Championship at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Forest Hills, N.Y., on September 9, 2023. Graff won in three sets, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

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