Genie Bouchard out of Australian Open after 3-set loss

Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard is out of the Australian Open after losing her third-round match to American CoCo Vandeweghe, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5, Thursday in Melbourne (Friday local time.)

With the win, Vandeweghe is the first woman through to the fourth round.

Vandeweghe rallied from a break down in the third set and fought off four more break points at 4-all before closing out the match in two hours, 22 minutes. She reached the fourth round at the Australian Open for the first time.

“She started playing better and I got a little passive in my game plan and executing it — I was able to turn it around thankfully,” Vandeweghe said. 

Vandeweghe’s new doubles partner, Martina Hingis, cheered her on throughout the match. Afterward, the American joked that Hingis might scold her for playing “too long to be fresh for the doubles.”

The American is ranked higher than Bouchard, but the Canadian has been playing well and aiming to get back to the fourth round at a major for the first time since 2015.

 Still, she didn’t think the win to reach that level was particularly noteworthy. 

“It was kind of expected, in my mind, to get the win and to get the victory and to move a step closer to achieving what I want to achieve for this year and also this tournament,” she said.

“It’s just another opponent on the way to achieving my goal.”

Defending champ advances

Angelique Kerber had a straight-sets win for the first time in her first Australian Open title defence, starting her 6-0, 6-4 third-round victory with an eight-game streak against Kristyna Pliskova.

Top-ranked Kerber beat the other Pliskova twin, Karolina, in the final of the last U.S. Open to capture her second career Grand Slam title. Her first was here at Melbourne Park 12 months ago.

Kerber marked her 29th birthday on Wednesday with a second-round win over fellow German Carina Witthoeft, but said she didn’t celebrate much between matches and hoped to do more at the end of the tournament.

She’ll next play 35th-ranked Vandeweghe.

“It will be tough,” Kerber said. “I’m ready. I’m feeling good. I’m loving to play on this court.” 

Wawrinka, Murray advance to 4th round

U.S. Open champion Stan Wawrinka has advanced to the fourth round of the Australian Open, overcoming a slow start to beat Viktor Troicki 3-6, 6-2, 6-2, 7-6 (7) at Rod Laver Arena.

Wawrinka, the 2014 champion at Melbourne Park, reached the round of 16 for the fifth consecutive year. It was his eighth win in a row over Troicki.

The fourth-seeded Wawrinka served for the match at 5-4 and again at 6-5, but was broken by Troicki.

Wawrinka will next play Andreas Seppi, who beat Steve Darcis earlier Friday.

Five-time finalist Andy Murray is through to the fourth round for the ninth straight year, beating Sam Querrey 6-4, 6-2, 6-4.

Murray didn’t appear to show any side effects from the right ankle injury he sustained during his last match.

At 4-4 in the first set, Murray broke Querrey’s serve, the final shot coming when the Scotsman lifted a lob over the head of the six-foot-six Querrey. The ball dropped well inside the baseline and Murray held serve in the next game to clinch the first set.

Murray, who will next play Mischa Zverev, has lost every final he has contested at Melbourne Park, four of them to Novak Djokovic. Djokovic lost in the second round on Thursday, leaving the opposite side of Murray’s draw wide open.

Scary incident

Australian Open organizers were briefed by Victoria state police over an incident in downtown Melbourne where a man deliberately drove into a street crowded with pedestrians, killing at least three people. Police said the incident, which occurred about three kilometres from Melbourne Park, had no links to terrorism.

Organizers said the police had contained the incident and an offender had been arrested.

“Be assured there is no threat to the precinct,” a statement read.

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