Mischa Zverev defeated top seed Andy Murray
The dramatic upsets at the Happy Slam down under continue as seeds tumble in the men’s draw. World number. 1 Andy Murray, into a slam draw as the top seed for the first time in his career, has lost before the quarterfinals.
The older Zverev, 29, is a left-serving, serve and volley type player more reminiscent of a bygone era. Murray, who is more comfortable on the baseline and regarded as one of the best returners in tennis, struggled on his serve and found it difficult to counterpunch the serve and volley tactics used by Zverev. Zverev won 119 points by serving an volleying, an anomalous statistic in today’s baseline-dominated game. This is his best ever result at a grand slam and he now faces Roger Federer in a quarterfinal clash.
During his previous match, Murray appeared to twist his ankle and said it was sore for some time. Today, he struggled to hold serve as his first serve percentage plummeted. A five-time Australian Open finalist, Murray has possibly squandered his best chance at winning an Australian Open title. He previously lost four finals Djokovic, who was ousted by 30-year-old Denis Istomin in the second round on Wednesday. Istomin went on to win his third round match and will face Grigor Dimitrov in the fourth round tomorrow.
Both Murray and Djokovic are out of a slam before the quarterfinals for the first time since 2007. The highest seed still alive in the draw is Milos Raonic at no. 3.
Mischa Zverev – The biggest win of his career
Zverev has battled injuries throughout his entire career and was at one time ranked in the 1000s. He considered retiring from tennis and was studying to become a pilot. He got back into tennis because his little brother Alexander, 10 years his junior, was starting to perform well on the tour at a very young age. Working as a practicing partner for him, Zverev has slowly gained form and is now posting the best results of his career.
Trivia: He was the player on the other side of the net when Nick Kyrgios tanked a match at the Shanghai Masters, resulting in a fine and short ban from tennis. He also won a set off Djokovic at the same tourney but went on to lose the match.
Mischa’s Australian Open results follow his routine defeat 1-6 1-6 by Rafael Nadal in Brisbane two weeks ago. Nadal is known for his incredible baseline-dominant game, similar to Murray.
Big names still alive in the draw
Roger Federer has defeated Kei Nishikori in five sets to set up a quarterfinal clash with Mischa Zverev. Earlier in the day, Stan Wawrinka and Jo-Willy Tsonga won their fourth round matches to set up a quarterfinal clash.
On the other half of the draw, the following fourth round matches will be played tomorrow (Monday):
Rafael Nadal(9) vs Gael Monfils (7)
Roberto Bautista Agut vs Milos Raonic (3)
Dominic Thiem (8) vs David Goffin (12)
Grigor Dimitrov (14) vs Denis Istomin
The only player who has won a grand slam previously in the bottom half is Rafael Nadal. Milos Raonic is the only other player to have even been to a grand slam final.