Good afternoon and welcome to our live coverage of day six of the Australian Open. Today is day one of Victoria’s five-day lockdown, meaning Melbourne Park will be devoid of spectators until Thursday. It is to be hoped these five days will be the end of it.
Thankfully, the tennis won’t miss a beat. As Tennis Australia said in a statement yesterday: “The AO broadcast-only contingency plan will commence from Saturday until restrictions are lifted. Play will continue uninterrupted on the broadcast, albeit without spectators onsite.” We can live with that.
All protagonists – players and fans – made it count last night on John Cain Arena as Dominic Thiem and Nick Kyrgios counted down to lockdown with a beast of a battle. The feisty Australian is no longer of this tournament after going down in five sets, having looked set to topple the third seed after establishing a two-set lead.
Fingers crossed today’s action is as pulsating and unpredictable. Ash Barty and Rafael Nadal will be headlining tonight’s action, but before the sun goes down Daniil Medvedev, the fourth seed, faces Filip Krajinovic on Rod Laver Arena in the day session’s most appealing match-up. Elsewhere, high seeds Belinda Bencic, Andrey Rublev and Stefanos Tsitsipas will be looking to further their claims at the year’s first major.