The Northern Territory news Mon 27 Jan 2020
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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin
News Corp Australia
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News Corp Australia
28 SPORT MONDAY JANUARY 27 2020 NTNE01Z01MA - V1 COCO Gauffs bid for history at the Australian Open ended in tears in the last 16 yesterday as the 15-year-old crashed out in three sets to fellow American Sofia Kenin. The 14th seed Kenin recovered from a set down to win convincingly 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 6-0 and Gauff left the court crying.Sofia Kenin celebrates her win Gauffs fairytale run ends in tears as Kenin eliminates teenager AFP Kenin plays Tunisias un seeded Ons Jabeur after she defeated Chinas Wang Qiang to become the first Arab woman to reach a grand slam quarter-final. I just did the best I can. I just tried to take it like any other match, said Kenin, who also had tears in her eyes afterwards. I know shes (Gauff) play ing well. I just tried to play my game and fight for every point and just not focus on anything else. Gauff, the youngest player in the draw, has been one of the stories of the Australian Open. She defeated Venus Williams in the first round and then stunned reigning champion Naomi Osaka in round three. The supremely talented teenager, who turns 16 in March, was attempting to become the youngest player to win a grand slam in the Open era, which began back in 1968. The current record-holder is Martina Hingis, who triumphed at the 1997 Australian Open at 16 years old and nearly four months. In the second set, a re surgent Kenin the determination clearly etched for all to see on her face broke at the third time lucky to lead 3-1, triggering a rare show of anger from Gauff. Kenin took the second set in 38 minutes and carried the momentum into the deciding set, breaking Gauff to love in the opening game and racing towards victory. BIG Canadian Milos Raonic blasted 35 aces to make his fifth Australian Open quarterfinal in six years yesterday, outgunning fellow former world No.3 Marin Cilic in straight sets. The 32nd seed proved too powerful for the unseeded Croat, winning 6-4, 6-3, 7-5 with Cilic hampered by a back problem after battling through two gruelling five-setters en route to the fourth round. Raonics reward is a lasteight clash with seven-time winner and defending champion Novak Djokovic who yesterday defeated Argentinian Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 6-4, 6-4. It was a rollercoaster, said Raonic. He played better than me in the first set and I was lucky to get through. Im just happy to be out here, feeling good and playing well. The Australian Open is Raonics favourite slam. He reached the semi-finals in 2016, when he lost to Andy Murray, and the quarters on three other occasions, including last year. His career, though, has been plagued by injuries, with operations over the years for hip, foot and wrist problems. He has also struggled with back, ankle, calf and knee issues. He said it felt pretty damn Raonic lines up to face Djoker AFP good to finally be injury free. Im happy I have another chance. Its been an exciting tournament for me so far and hopefully theres more exciting times ahead. Seeded 32, his lowest since 2011, Raonic came into the match after a smooth passage into the last 16 with three straight-sets victories, including a comfortable win over world No.6 Stefanos Tsitsipas. In contrast, 2014 US Open champion Cilic was put through two five-setters against seeded opponents, including a gritty defeat of ninth seed Roberto Bautista Agut. The exertions didnt help Cilic, a 2018 finalist, against a man back to full fitness. Raonics power serve is one of the best in the game and he used it to good effect. It was the difference in the opening set, along with his ability to successfully get his racquet on far more returns than the Croat. While he fired down eight aces, Cilic managed none. The Canadian also sent back 76 per cent of the Croats first serves in contrast to his opponent managing just 44 per cent. The crucial break came in game nine as Cilic lost focus, and Raonic quickly raced to a 3-0 lead in the second set. Cilic took a medical timeout at the changeover and returned to hold serve. But Raonic never allowed him into the match. More than aces needed to dethrone champ JON RALPH AND JASON PHELAN MILOS Raonic says he must continue his serving blitzkrieg to have any chance of dethroning seven-time champion Novak Djokovic as his giant-killing run continued yesterday. The forgotten man of Canadian tennis is suddenly injury-free and a dangerous weapon again after back, glute and knee injuries plagued his 2019 campaign. Yesterday the 29-year-old took down former No.3 Marin Cilic with a 35-ace serving exhibition after a trio of wins that also includes the scalp of Stefanos Tsitsipas. After 82 aces so far this tournament he will continue using that weapon in an attempt to overturn a 0-9 head-to-head record against Djokovic. I am going to have to hit more than 34 aces, Raonic said. No.2 seed Djokovic found his best touch early and was rarely troubled by 14th- seeded Argentine Diego Schwartzman during yesterdays fourth-round clash, advancing 6-3 6-4 6-4. Diego is a great quality player, hes had a terrific tournament and hadnt dropped a set. I knew if I gave him time he could do a lot of damage from the back of the court, Djokovic said. Hes one of the quickest players on the tour. So I tried to mix it up and bring him to the net a few times with a slice. And it worked really well. Novak Djokovic in action during his win against Diego Schwartzman yesterday Picture: MARK STEWART