Serena Williams stamped down her authority on the Australian Open by battling past world number one Simona Halep and into the quarter-finals.
In a high-quality clash that lived up to the hype, Halep fought back from a set down and had three chances to lead 4-2 in the third set only for Williams to win 6-1, 4-6, 6-4.
She next takes on Karolina Pliskova while, in the men’s tournament, Novak Djokovic needed four sets to see off Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev crashed out meekly to Milos Raonic and Kei Nishikori survived a five-hour battle with Pablo Carreno Busta.
Videos of tennis players as juniors are always a winner and this one of Stefanos Tsitsipas is no different.
The Greek’s success has stirred up immense excitement among Melbourne’s large ex-pat community and he has now been invited to create his own souvlaki by restaurant Stalactites, a local institution.
Managing director Nicole Papasavas told The Age: “Stefanos ate here before the tournament but we haven’t seen him since. He is probably busy training but we would definitely like to invite him to choose his own ingredients and tailor it for his own tastes. And he can even roll it himself if he likes.”
Williams rarely seems to feel uncomfortable on a tennis court, but her entrance onto Rod Laver Arena on Monday could certainly have gone smoother.
The American headed out only to hear the announcer say ‘world number one’ and make an abrupt U-turn. She said: “They told me to go first in the walkout, and then they called Simona’s name first, so I was, like, taking a step back. It was, like, I’m sorry.”
Tsitsipas will look to follow up his huge win over Roger Federer by taking out Roberto Bautista Agut to reach his first Grand Slam semi-final.
The victor in that match will face the winner of the night session clash between Rafael Nadal and first-time quarter-finalist Frances Tiafoe.
In the first of the women’s quarter-finals, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova meets Danielle Collins before Australian hope Ashleigh Barty takes on Petra Kvitova.