After a slight miscue in the second set against Mackenzie McDonald, #6 Marin Čilić dismissed the American in four sets Wednesday night in Melbourne and will now play #26 Fernando Verdasco Friday. After winning the first set against McDonald, Čilić took the second set into a tiebreak where he was quickly up 4-0. But the wheels came off the wagon and Čilić would lose his composure, ultimately dropping the tiebreaker 11-9. Čilić took the next two sets 6-4, 6-4 and will now get into the nitty gritty of the Aussie Open, playing Verdasco next and then possibly #10 ranked Russian Karen Khachanov in the fourth round.
After earning his first ever Australian Open win over Steve Darcis on Tuesday, #11 Borna Ćorić took care of business against Hungarian Marton Fucsovics in the second round Thursday afternoon. Ćorić won 6-3, 6-4, 3-3 in straight sets and will now play Serbian Filip Krajinovic in the third round. Big things are expected from the 22 year-old from Zagreb and a run into the quarterfinals wouldn’t be impossible.
#31 Petra Martić defeated Czech Republic’s Marketa Vondrousova 6-4, 7-5 in the second round Wednesday night and will now have an extremely tough test against #5 ranked Sloane Stephens in the third round, who won the 2017 US Open.
#29 ranked Donna Vekić was upset by Wild Card Kimberly Birrell 4-6, 6-4, 1-6 Wednesday night during their second round match. The winner was primed to play #2 Angelique Kerber in the third round but Vekić, nonetheless, needs to win matches against unranked players if she’s ever going to put herself in a position to climb into the top-ten.
The 6′ 11″ Ivo Karlović dropped his first two sets against “The Man From Japan” #8 Kei Nishikori in their second round duel Thursday night but came back 7-5, 7-5 to force a fifth and deciding final set. The 39 year-old Karlović pushed Nishikori all the way to a 10-point tiebreak but fell just short of the finish line; ultimately losing 10-7 in the deciding tiebreaker. Karlović is anything but a complete tennis player, but the ‘serving master’ sent the #8 player in the world to a fifth set at a Grand Slam. Not bad at all for someone who turns 40 in the next two months.