Karolina Pliskova has held her nerve in her first service game against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, but the second seed had to do it the hard way.
It took an incredible 17 minutes and 53 seconds – or 30 points – for Pliskova to get on the board at Rod Laver Arena.
“Oh, my goodness,” former tennis player Casey Dellacqua gasped on Channel 9.
“What a game. That was epic”
And it’s not the only wacky thing that’s happened so far this morning.
On Margaret Court Arena, .
WE STILL LOVE YOU, JOHN
Clearly, John Millman isn’t over last night’s result. We can’t blame him.
The tenacious Australian was still reeling this morning, taking to Twitter to say, “Well that sucked”.
It comes after a tactic he used against Federer was put under the microscope.
Former Dutch tennis player Sven Groeneveld accused the Australian of using some kind of ball tampering “trick” as he went down to the Swiss champion in five sets.
Millman rubbed the tennis ball against his shirt, with Groenveld asking whether or not it was legal to do so.
“Millman applying the old trick in speeding up the first serve by rolling the ball on his (I assume) wet shirt before he serves?” Groenveld said on Twitter.
“Is that legal in tennis I know it’s not in other ball sports like cricket and baseball? Do we have a rule in tennis?”
Former Australian star Todd Woodbridge quickly shut Groenveld down.
“What happens when you put it in the pocket of your wet shorts?” Woodbridge said.
KYRGIOS JUST LIKE US WATCHING MILLMAN
Nick Kyrgios may be on court later this evening, but that didn’t stop him – or the rest of the world – staying up late to watch an epic between John Millman and Roger Federer.
Really, it was impossible to look away.
Despite being two points away from a five-set victory, determined via a super tie-break, Millman watched on in horror as Federer reeled off six consecutive points to claim the epic win.
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“I feel sick,” Kyrgios said via Twitter.
He wasn’t alone.
In what has been described as an “utterly bonkers” day of tennis at Melbourne Park, three former champions – Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka and Caroline Wozniacki – were all sent packing.
Rising Greek and sixth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas also suffered the same fate.
It was upset day – and Federer was in serious danger of joining his peers.
LOCAL HOPES WITH TWO MAMMOTH TASKS
Australia could have two men in the Australian Open fourth round for the first time in five years if Nick Kyrgios and Alexei Popyrin succeed in Saturday action at Melbourne Park.
Kygrios advanced through to the quarter-finals back in 2015, fighting back from two sets down to beat Italian Andreas Seppi in a five-set thriller in the fourth round.
Kyrgios was then eliminated in straight sets by former world No. 1 Andy Murray. Bernard Tomic also flew the flag in the round of 16, falling to Czech Tomas Berdych, who was then world No.7.
MORE TENNIS NEWS
Russian 16th seed Karen Khachanov stands in the way of Kyrgios this year, with the Australian getting his wish for a rowdy Melbourne Arena night match. The only time the two have played was at last year’s Cincinnati Masters, when Kyrgios lost the plot as well as the match, and was fined for verballing abusing a chair umpire.
A win is expected to set up a dream showdown with Rafael Nadal. Popyrin has a formidable challenge in another Russian, world No. 4 Daniil Medvedev, with that match the last of the night session on Rod Laver Arena.
The pair have only met once, in the second round at Wimbledon last year when Medvedev won a tight tussle 6-7 (8-6) 6-1 6-4 6-4.
“I played him in Wimbledon last year and was a really tough match, exhausting one,” Medvedev said.
“A really close one – I managed to win it, but already at the last Australian Open we saw how he can play in grand slams in front of the home crowd. So it’s not gonna be easy.”
In other matches, world No. 2 Czech Karolina Pliskova takes on 30th-seeded Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the opening day match on Rod Laver Arena.
Simona Halep, the 2018 beaten finalist, follows them on to court against Yulia Putintseva from Kazakhstan. World No. 34 American Taylor Fritz is up against fifth-seeded Austrian Dominic Thiem in day action on Margaret Court Arena.
DAY 6 SCHEDULE
Rod Laver Arena
30-A. Pavlyuchenkova vs. 2-K. Pliskova
Y. Putintseva vs. 4-S. Halep
1-R.Nadal vs. 27-Pablo Carreno Busta
5-E. Svitolina vs. G. Muguruza
4-D. Medvedev vs A. Poplyrin
Margaret Court Arena
C. Giorgi vs. 17-A. Kerber
6-B. Bencic vs. 28-A. Kontaveit
Not before 2pm
29-T. Fritz vs 5-D. Thiem
F. Verdasco vs. 7-A. Zverev
Z. Diyas vs. 9-K. Bertens
From 11amMatch TBA
Not before 1pm
10-G. Monfils vs. E. Gulbis
16-E. Mertens vs. C. Bellis
Not before 6.50pm
23-N. Kyrgios vs 16-K. Khachanov