Australian Open 2023 Day 6: Andy Murray’s miracle run comes to an end; Novak Djokovic continues

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Roberto Bautista Agut (left) greets Andy Murray after winning the third round match in Melbourne. (Photo by William West/TBEN via Getty Images)

Andy Murray’s amazing run at the 2023 Australian Open is over.

The sleep-deprived Murray – who won a 5-hour, 45-minute, five-set marathon 28 hours earlier against Thanasi Kokkinakis that ended after 4am local time in Melbourne – ran out of wonders in the third round against Roberto Bautista Agut on Saturday .

The 35-year-old Murray fought in a 6-1, 6-7(7), 6-3, 6-4 loss that lasted 3 hours and 29 minutes – the shortest match for Murray at this year’s Australian Open. Murray defeated Matteo Berrettini in the first round in a match that lasted nearly five hours.

“It’s been difficult since the game against Kokkinakis,” said Murray. “I had blisters that needed to be drained and I wasn’t getting enough sleep, so it wasn’t ideal.”

Despite the circumstances, Murray fought valiantly against 24th-seeded Bautista Agut in a rematch of their five-part 2019 Australian Open thriller. But once again, Bautista Agut proved too tough for Murray.

“Playing Andy at a Grand Slam is very tough,” said Bautista Agut after the match. “He knows the game very well. He knows very well how to play a Grand Slam match. I am very happy with how I managed to keep the nerves and tension. I am very happy with the win.”

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“There was a lot of love for Andy,” Bautista Agut joked as the crowd cheered. “Maybe in the next round, a little more for me?”

Murray’s highlight on Saturday was the second set. Trailing 4–2, Murray fought back to force a tiebreak. Trailing 6-4 in the tiebreak, Murray saved two set points and eventually won the tiebreak 9-7.

But Bautista Agut recovered in the third to break Murray 4-3 en route to winning the set 6-3.

He then finished off Murray in the fourth set to set up a fourth round matchup with Tommy Paul.

Despite the loss, Murray’s run sparks excitement for his upcoming appearance in the French Open.

“You never know when the end will be,” Murray said. “But I would like to play tennis like this, where I have to compete with the best players in the world at the biggest events. …

“I can have a deeper run than the third round of a slam, no question about that.”

Djokovic advances to fourth round

Nine-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic, the number 4 seed, beat 27th seed Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets, 7-6(7), 6-3, 6-4, but it wasn’t easy.

“I thought a double break in the third set would be enough for me, but from then on he was stuck and until the very last shot I didn’t know if I was going to win,” said Djokovic. “It was an incredible fight, three sets in three hours.”

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Djokovic, who will face Alex de Minaur next, has reached the fourth round of the Australian Open for the 15th time in his career.

How did the Americans do?

  • American Ben Shelton advanced to the fourth round with a 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-4 victory over Alexei Popyrin. Shelton next faces JJ Wolf in a surprise fourth round match. Both players reached the round of 16 on their debut at the Australian Open. In all, only three other players have accomplished that feat in the past 10 years. “For the first 12 or 13 years of my life I swore I would never play tennis,” said Shelton. “I kind of fell in love with the sport, and here we are. Hopefully I can make a career out of it.”

  • No. 7 Coco Gauff takes on Jeļena Ostapenko, number 17, who defeated Kateryna Balndl 6-3, 6-0.

  • Gauff and third-seeded American Jessica Pegula are No. 2 in doubles, reaching the third round by beating Uchijima/Wang 7-5 6-1. Pegula will compete against number 20 Barbora Krejčíková at the beginning of Sunday.

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Other notable setbacks

  • Top Iga Swiatek pulled off a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Cristina Bucsa to set up a fourth-round showdown with Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina.

  • Fourth-seeded Caroline Garcia advanced to the fourth round here for the first time since 2018 with a 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory over Laura Siegemund.

  • Belinda Bencic advanced to the fourth round for the first time in seven years with a 6-2, 7-5 victory over Camila Giorgi.

  • Magda Linette upset No. 19 Ekaterina Alexandrova 6–3, 6–4 to advance to the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time.

What to watch

Men

  • No. 10 Hubert Hurkacz vs. No. 29 Sebastian Korda, 9:45 p.m. ET

  • No. 18 Karen Khachanov Vs. No. 31 Yoshihito Nishioka, 10:30 p.m. ET

  • No. 6 Felix Auger Aliassime v Jiri Lehecka, 11:30pm ET

  • No. 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas vs. Jannik Sinner, Sunday 3 p.m. ET

  • Ben Shelton vs JJ Wolf, Sunday

  • No. 24 Roberto Bautista Agut v Tommy Paul, Sunday

  • No. 22 Alex de Minaur vs. No. 4 Novak Djokovic, Sunday

  • No. 5Andrey Rublev vs. No. 9 Holger Rune, Sunday

Women

  • No. 1 Iga Swiątek vs. No. 22 Elena Rybakina, 8:30 p.m. ET

  • No. 7 Coco Gauff Vs. No. 17 Jeļena Ostapenko, 9 p.m. ET

  • No. 3 Jessica Pegula vs. No. 20 Barbora Krejčíková, Sunday 1 a.m. ET

  • No. 24Victoria Azarenka vs. Zhu Lin, Sunday 5 a.m. ET

  • No. 30 Karolina Pliskova vs. No. 23 Zhang Shuai, Sunday