2021 Australian Open, Day 5 Highlights: A quiet day sets up a phenomenal line-up for Sunday

Day 5 was actually a quiet day as all eight women’s singles matches were won by the higher ranked player and seven of the matches were decided in straight sets. The only top seed to face any real danger was Serena Williams who was really struggling with her movement and footwork. Serena survived a tortuous opening set against Anastasia Potapova, who double faulted on both set points she held. Serena won, 7-6(5) 6-2.

The quiet day has paved the way for a phenomenal line-up on Sunday. Seriously, this slate of matches is just the best. I can’t remember anything like it before. I am so excited for Sunday. After the recent news from Australia, there will be no crowds for at least the next five days as Melbourne goes into a snap lockdown. It’s sad but safety always come first. Friday’s post is a short one. My Friday evening will be watching back Hsieh-Errani. Rock and roll…

Day 5️⃣ Results

(3) Naomi Osaka d. (27) Ons Jabeur, 6-3 6-2

One of the talking points from the draw unveil was Osaka’s devilish path. So far, so good. Osaka has beaten Pavlyuchenkova, Garcia and Jabeur for the loss of just 13 games, losing no more than three games in any of the six sets she has played. I’ve been most impressed by Osaka’s returning this week. She’s played three decent servers and put them all under immense pressure with consistently deep returns. Osaka has won 46% of return points so far this week.

The match was closer than the scoreline suggested. Jabeur started brightly and had numerous chances to break Osaka in the first set. Jabeur was unable to take her chances as Osaka was mostly clutch in the crux moments. Osaka will want to improve her first serve percentage going forward which was at just 43%. Following on from my draw preview, I can now dream. Osaka vs Muguruza is all set for the fourth round. Cancel all your plans on Sunday.

(7) Aryna Sabalenka d. Ann Li, 6-3 6-1

When Sabalenka serves well, everything else falls into place. This was an awesome display as she booked her place in the fourth round of the Australian Open for the first time in her career. Sabalenka was a perfect eight out of eight on service games and saved all four break points faced in rather demonstrative fashion. Sabalenka has had some rough draws and showings at the Slams so I was really chuffed for her that she rose to the occasion.

Ann Li didn’t play a bad match at all. She has a very dynamic game and is a real bundle of energy. On this occasion, Li was unable to handle the depth of Sabalenka’s groundstrokes. I think it was a shock to the system! It’s shaping up to be a breakthrough year for Li so don’t forget the name.

(15) Iga Swiatek d. Fiona Ferro, 6-4 6-3

Swiatek enjoyed yet another straight sets win. That’s now 20 (!) straight sets won at the Slams. Swiatek had some ups and downs in this match but ultimately was the more consistent player. After such a sudden rise to prominence after the Roland Garros triumph, I think she is carrying herself remarkably well. I thought she was moving great on Friday and made a couple of incredible gets chasing up to the net.

Swiatek has so many shots in her locker and she hit the whole array in this match. I’m annoyed at myself for underestimating Swiatek in my draw challenge – rookie error! It was another solid Slam showing from Ferro. A few too many unforced errors on this occasion.

Funny moment 🤣

I adore Hsieh Su-Wei. She’s the joy we all need right now. I’m so thrilled that she won her third round match against Sara Errani, winning the last four games to win, 6-4 2-6 7-5.

Favourite snap 📸

Osaka was interrupted by a butterfly today. Lovely pictures!

Day 6 watchlist 📺

Looking forward to the battle of the Karolinas and the Czech quarantine buddies on Saturday.

Follow Moo’s Tennis Blog on Twitter and Facebook. Feature photo by Omar Boraby Photography.

2 thoughts on “2021 Australian Open, Day 5 Highlights: A quiet day sets up a phenomenal line-up for Sunday

  1. Yes, the matches tomorrow just look mouthwateringly delicious! Muguruza v Osaka, Serena v Sabalenka, Swiatek v Halep, Vondrousova v Hsieh, Mertens v Muchova – and that’s just on the women’s side! How on earth to pick?!

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