After Thursday night’s incredible action, it was always going to be hard for Friday evening to live up to the standard set 24 hours earlier – but Night 5 is delivering in spades.
Former world number one and 2021 US Open winner Daniil Medvedev – the two-time reigning runner-up at Melbourne Park – was stunned in straight sets by American son-of-a-gun Sebastian Korda.
In a tournament full of stunning upsets, the 22-year-old announced himself to the world by dispatching the seventh seed on Rod Laver Arena – before humbly declaring he’s the ‘worst athlete in his family’.
It wasn’t the only big upset of the night.
The world number 71 dumped out in-form 11th seed Cameron Norrie, before another massive upset saw the highly-fancied 16th seed Frances Tiafoe from the USA fall apart in an all-time tie-break collapse.
Tiafoe hit back after losing the opening sets to 18th seed Karen Khachanov, but was looking to send things into a fifth set when he led 6-1 in the fourth set breaker – only to waste a whopping SIX set points in an ugly exit.
Making matters worse, it was the American’s 25th birthday.
Elsewhere, Poland’s 10th-seed Hubert Hurkacz led by two sets against 20th seed Denis Shapovalov of Canada, only to lose the next sets. But he regained composure to halt the comeback in a thrilling five-set win.
Follow Night 5 of the Australian Open in our live blog below, and scroll to the bottom of the article for the latest updates and a full Order of Play!
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Popyrin topples 8th seed in huge upset | 01:44
RUSSIAN SUPERSTAR DUMPED OUT IN ‘UNBELIEVABLE’ UPSET
Reigning two-time Australian Open finalist and 2021 US Open winner Daniil Medvedev was expected to make another run at the title – but the seventh seed was dumped out by American rising star Sebastian Korda in straight sets.
25 years after his father won the title, the 29th seed – just 22 years old – booked his place in the fourth round of the Open for the first time, stunning the former world number one 7-6(7) 6-3 7-6(4).
“It was an unbelievable match. I kinda knew what I had to do. I stuck with it…it was an unbelievable match from me.
Asked about his gameplan, his reply was simple: “Just go for it!”
In a back-and-forth opening set, Korda broke twice early to surge to a 4-1 lead, before Medvedev broke back twice himself. The pair traded breaks before an epic tie-break saw Korda emerge triumphant 9-7 – the first set lasting a whopping 85 minutes.
The pair had met just once previously, with Medvedev winning in a deciding set at the Paris Masters in 2021.
Korda – who held a championship point against Novak Djokovic before ultimately falling short in Adelaide this month – broke the serve of Medvedev in the opening game after nearly 10 minutes and multiple deuces.
The 22-year-old then held his own serve and threatened to go up a double break before Medvedev salvaged the game.
Medvedev’s next service game saw another break point go the way of Korda, showcasing extraordinary athleticism and shotmaking to force an error from the Russian and go ahead 4-1.
But the seventh seed soon hit back, breaking twice to level the score at 4-4.
In a gruelling next game, Medvedev wasted one game point, defended a break point from Korda, before double-faulting to hand the American a 5-4 lead and a chance to serve for the set. But Medvedev broke back as Korda’s serve deserted him, before the pair went to a tie-break. It lasted a full 16 points before Korda finally sealed the breaker 9-7 at the third set point.
Korda staved off a break point in the opening game of the second set before a Medvedev double fault handed the American a break point the following game – and the tyro took full advantage.
He raced away to a 3-0 lead, and despite landing just 52 percent of his first serves, the American controlled proceedings from there as he won the set 6-3. Korda almost completely nullified his rival’s brilliant attacking weaponry, forcing Medvedev to generate his own power with the effective use of slices.
Indeed, in both of the first two sets, Medvedev had more unforced errors than winners.
Korda continued his stunning assault on the former world number one in the third set, with Medvedev immediately falling to 0-40 and giving away the break at the first time of asking with a poor unforced error.
But the American’s errors began to mount as Medvedev tightened up his own game. And serving with a 4-0 lead, Korda’s charge faltered. He led 40-30 a brilliant forehand pass from Medvedev made it deuce. Then three unforced errors from the American saw Medvedev break back to level the score at 4-4.
A fortnight ago, Korda had led Novak Djokovic in the final of the Adelaide International – even having a championship point – before failing to hold his nerve and collapsing at the death.
Having given away his lead in the set, there were fears Korda would lose his nerve and allow Medvedev back into the match.
But Korda made no mistake, racing to a 4-0 lead in the tie-break before bringing up five match points at 6-1. A booming serve from Medvedev denied the first, before Korda lashed a forehand long to blow another opportunity. The American dribbled a poor unforced error into the net as nerves well and truly set in. But a stunning forehand winner ended the brief comeback as Korda won 7-6(7) 3-6 7-6(4).
SHAPOVALOV FUMES IN TENSE FIVE-SET EXIT
Canadian Denis Shapovalov unleashed at his own player’s box amid a tense five-set battle with 10th seed Hubert Hurkacz.
The highly-anticipated clash between 20th-seed Shapovalov and the Pole seeded 10 places higher was always set to be a firecracker, and neither backed down in a gripping contest that stretched past three and a half hours on Margaret Court Arena.
Hurkacz won the first two sets 7-6(3) 6-4, before Shapovalov surged back to win the next two sets 6-1 6-4. But the Pole would not be denied, holding off the five-set comeback with a 6-3 deciding set.
Shapovalov, the 20th seed, dropped the first set in a tie-break to the Pole and his erratic shotmaking transferred to his behaviour on the changeovers, with the 23-year-old screaming at his team.
“I’m not a fan of remonstrating with your team. It’s a bad look,” commentator Wally Masur said.
Hurkacz broke Shapovalov early in the second set, but faced multiple break points when serving at 3-2.
A deft volley from Shapovalov was followed by a clean follow-up to convert one of the break points, with the Canadian celebrating vociferously as Masur noted his “extreme” variation between moods.
He quickly went down 0-40 in his next service game, with Hurkacz needing just one break point, curling a backhand past Shapovalov to go ahead 4-3 and send Shapovalov into another tailspin.
Hurkacz would eventually serve out the set 6-4, but Shapovalov rallied to start the third set, breaking Hurkacz’s serve and this time holding serve straight after to go ahead 3-0.
The only game Hurkacz would hold in the third set was the second-last one, crucially allowing him to serve first in the fourth after dropping the third 1-6.
Shapovalov broke Hurkacz early in the fourth set and held firm despite facing break points in the next game, going ahead 3-1 before pushing on to seal the set 6-4 and send it to a fifth set.
In a match full of breaks of serve – 13 in all – the sixth game of the final set proved decisive. Shapovalov led 40-15 only to make a host of errors (three unforced and a double fault) as he was before being broken at the second attempt by the Pole.
Serving for the set and the match, Hurkacz slumped to 0-40 but drew it back to deuce, before saving a fourth break point and eventually serving out the victory.
TIAFOE’S ALL-TIME TIEBREAK MELTDOWN IN SHOCK EXIT
Fresh off beating Aussie Jason Kubler in the second round, 18th seed Karen Khachanov has stunned American star Francis Tiafoe after a staggering 11-9 tie-break in the fourth set.
2022 US Open semi-finalist Khachanov won 6-3 6-4 3-6 7-6(9), but it was the incredible tie-break that stole the show.
Tiafoe exploded to a 6-1 lead in the tie-break, but failed to take any of his chances to send it to a deciding set.
Khachanov had one match point on Tiafoe’s serve, before Tiafoe had a set point on his opponent’s serve at 8-7, only to send a forehand long. A woeful drop shot gifted the Russian another match point at 9-8 and the world number 20 made no mistake.
He said: “I don’t know what to say. Crazy situations like this in tennis, you live them, quite a few and I’m really happy that I could finish in four.”
Khachanov was forced to handle an unruly crowd that was firmly in the American’s favour – unsurprisingly given Tiafoe was celebrating his 25th birthday!
The Russian said: “I know it’s his birthday, I’m sorry, what can I do?”
But he took aim at the persistent negativity from the crowd, saying: “To be honest with you, I like the energy and the atmosphere here. I just ask to show some respect between points. To cheer on a double fault, I don’t think its really nice.
But, he added bullishly, “That’s up to you guys. If you want to cheer for my mistakes, do it.”
It’s not the first time Khachanov has had to battle against a vocal John Cain Arena crowd – after losing a five-set epic heartbreaker to Aussie Nick Kyrgios back in the 2020 third round, and then again against Matteo Berrettini on the same court in the 2021 third round.
The Russian star revealed he had felt “really lonely” in that 2021 match against Berrettini but had learnt to deal with the crowd impact since then.
Concerned history was repeating on Friday night as Tiafoe threatened to take the match to a fifth set in a tense fourth-set tie-breaker, Khachanov said he was determined to seal victory.
It was a startling turnaround on John Cain Arena from the Russian. He saved five break points in his opening service game, but went on to hold and then break Tiafoe shortly after.
He served out the first set 6-3, looking to continue his 2-0 winning record against the world No. 17.
A brilliant backhand from Khachanov early in the second set brought him another break of serve to go ahead 2-1.
Tiafoe would break straight back and urged the crowd to get involved, but he was once again broken by Khachanov.
Pushed to deuce when serving at 5-4, Khachanov was cool enough to convert, taking the game and the second set 6-4.
Tiafoe began to work his way into the match, eventually taking the third set 6-3 and amping up the John Cain Arena crowd.
Building on the momentum, Tiafoe would break the serve of Khachanov in the opening game of the fourth set, but ceded his winning run in the following game, allowing his opponent to level the set at one game all.
The pair remained on serve despite no shortage of break points on both sides, sending it to a tie-break – and delivering Tiafoe’s all-time meltdown.
NORRIE STUNNED BY WORLD NO. 71
World No. 71 Jiri Lehecka has pulled off an Australian Open upset, defeating 11th seed Cameron Norrie in five sets on Kia Arena.
Norrie had entered the Australian Open in the form of his life, but was dumped out despite going ahead by a set on two occasions.
Twice, he was reigned in by the Czech before the 21-year-old served out the match for a 6-7(8), 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 win in three hours and 12 minutes.
Lehecka will next face sixth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime for a spot in the quarterfinals.
Lehecka had already made huge inroads at this Australian Open, getting past the first round of a major for the first time in his young career.
He said: “Honestly it was a great match against opponent who is so tough to beat. It’s always pleasure, you know, to play on the big stages, on the big courts.
“Today the crowd and everyone was watching our match, it was just amazing feeling to play five-setter, a big battle like that. I think that everyone enjoyed that. Me by myself, I enjoyed it a lot. I’m happy that I won that.”
AZARENKA TURNS TABLES ON KEYS
Ten years after she went back-to-back at the Australian Open, Victoria Azarenka completed a stunning turnaround to defeat 10th seed Madison Keys.
“A remarkable recovery from the two-time Australian Open Champion,” Alison Mitchell said in commentary.
A two-time Australian Open winner, Azarenka found herself handily accounted for in the first set, with Keys taking the opening set 6-1.
From there, however, Azarenka stormed back into the match, taking the second set 6-2 before amping it up even further in the final court, winning that 6-1.
Keys was last year’s semi-finalist, while Azarenka made the fourth round at Melbourne Park last year.
The two-time champion is the only former winner left in the women’s draw, after she beat Sofia Kenin in straight sets in the opening round.
And she delivered a subtle flex as she exited the court, finding her own picture on the walk of champions before giving it a hearty pat.
She is now hunting a place in the quarters for the first time since 2016.
AMERICAN RAGES AFTER CONTROVERSIAL CALL
There’s been no shortage of blow-ups at the umpire this tournament, and fiery American Alison Riske-Amritraj added another belter to the list on Friday afternoon.
Playing doubles alongside 17-year-old breakout star Linda Fruhvitova, the pair were locked in a tough second-set battle with Natela Dzalamidze and Alexandra Panova. Having lostthe opening set 7-6 (4), the pair were down 1-3 in the second set as they chased a break back in a lengthy fourth game.
On their fifth break point, Riske-Amritraj hit the ball into an opponent and immediately apologised, loudly saying: “sorry”.
The ball rebounded onto Riske-Amritraj’s side of the court – but chair umpire Nico Helwerth thought the ball had come off the racket, rather than the body.
As a result, he penalised Riske-Amritraj for hindrance, since he believed the point was still in play.
“Ladies and gentlemen due to the hindrance Ms Riske-Amritraj has created, the point goes to Dzalamidze/Panova,” Helwerth announced.
It sent Riske-Amritraj into a rage, calling for the match supervisor before laying into both officials.
Riske-Amritraj said: “Once it hit her, that’s when I said sorry. I wouldn’t have said sorry if I didn’t hit her. It hit her leg, it didn’t hit her arm or racquet.”
Helwerh replied: “If I don’t see that, I cannot judge it.”
The match supervisor said: “The umpire has to determine …” before Riske-Amritraj interjected: “What the hell is he doing up there then? That’s f***ing ridiculous.
“No, no, that’s ridiculous. Is he sleeping? Dude. I wouldn’t say sorry (unless the point was over)!
“It hit her so I said sorry. So it’s my point.”
The supervisor replied, “He’s seen it differently and it’s the umpire’s job to see it.”
Riske-Amritaj was incensed, replying: “That makes no sense. Dude. Oh, the way you see it? The way you see it? I’m sure you see it that way.
“That’s ridiculous. That’s absolutely ridiculous. Pay attention. Dude, that’s tennis 101.”
Riske-Amritraj and Fruhvitova rebounded from the drama immediately, sealing the break back at their sixth attempt of that game before going on to win the match 6-7(4), 6-4, 7-5.
17-year-old Fruhvitova beat Australians Jaimee Fourlis and Kimberly Birrell in the first two rounds of her maiden Aus Open singles campaign, and next faces Marketa Vondrousova for a place in the fourth round.
Novak ‘worried’ about hamstring strain | 01:08
AUSTRALIAN OPEN NIGHT 5 – ORDER OF PLAY (All times AEDT)
Night session from 7pm
Rod Laver Arena
 Victoria Azarenka (BLR) def.  Madison Keys (USA) 1-6, 6-2, 6-1
 Sebastian Korda (USA) v  Daniil Medvedev (RUS)
Show Court 1
 Hubert Hurkacz (POL) def.  Denis Shapovalov (CAN) 7-6(3) 6-4 1-6 4-6 6-3
Lin Zhu (CHN) v  Maria Sakkari (GRE)
John Cain Arena
 Karen Khachanov (RUS) def.  Frances Tiafoe (USA) 6-3 6-4 3-6 7-6(9)
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