It was an eventful day four at Wimbledon for the Australian contingent as five players progressed to the third round.
Hopes for a dream clash between Aussie bad boys Nick Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic were extinguished by No. 24 seed Kei Nishikori, who defeated Tomic in four sets to up a third round blockbuster with Australia’s top ranking male on Saturday.
Nick Kyrgios was at his dangerous best, defeating Robin Haase in straight sets 6-3 6-4 7-5. Kyrgios moved quickly to win in just over 90 minutes, serving 19 aces and winning five of his eight break points. The tempestuous 23-year-old had yet another argument with the chair umpire over a foot fault issue and was given a warning for muttering under his breath which saw the Aussie lose focus and unusually lose a service game, but Kyrgios recovered his poise to break back and serve out the match.
Back in the spotlight Tomic showed his potential class early on but eventually fell to Kei Nishikori 2-6 6-3 7-6(7) 7-5. The controversial Aussie surprised many with a rapid 27-minute first set win which fuelled hopes of an explosive third round clash with Kyrgios, but Nishikori recovered to dominate the remainder of the match, serving 24 aces and earning 11 break points.
Millman fought valiantly against No. 13 seed Milos Raonic but ultimately went down in straight sets 7-6(4) 7-6(4) 7-6(4). The match was dominated by big serving, with each player was broken just once. Queenslander Millman showed plenty of grit, but it was Raonic’s superb serving that allowed him to progress, smashing 34 aces past the Aussie to progress to the third round.
Daria Gavrilova and Sam Stosur
An unfortunate matchup for Australians, No. 24 seed Daria Gavrilova advanced past veteran Stosur in straight sets 6-4 6-1. A fairly straightforward affair showed the shift of class between the two women as Stosur continues her inevitable decline whilst Gavrilova continues her rise in womens tennis, seemingly cementing a top 30 ranking.
There was further disappointent for Eugenie Bouchard as the 2014 Wimbledon runner-up bowed out to young gun Barty in straight sets 6-4 7-5. Bouchard showed glimpses of her former world class form which saw her reach three 2014 Grand Slam semifinals in a row, but Barty showed off her own scintillating form, dominating the match with nine aces and winning 79 points to Bouchard’s 68. Barty looks set to be Australia’s shining light in womens tennis.
Alex De Minaur
The Aussie teenage sensation De Minaur defeated Frenchmen Pierre-Hughes Herbert in a highly entertaining match that spanned over three hours and four sets 6-2 6-7(8) 7-5 6-3. De Minaur thoroughly impressed, winning 156 points and earning 17 break points. The Aussie has now set up a mouthwatering clash with Rafael Nadal.
Ebden progressed past Stephane Robert of France in four sets 6-3 7-6 4-6 6-1. The South African-born Aussie played consistently well throughout the match only dropping one game leading to a third set defeat, which he compensated with a speedy 26 minute winning set. Ebden advances to face another Frenchmen in Gilles Simon who should provide an excellent third round.
The signs are promising for the Aussies, with five representatives through to the third round for only the second time since 1998 when Mark Philippoussis made the quarter finals, defeated by eventual champion Pete Sampras.