Australian Open: Taro Daniel stuns Andy Murray; Stefanos Tsitsipas advances
Japanese qualifier Taro Daniel knocked former world number one, Andy Murray, out of the 2022 Australian Open. World number 120, Daniel, beat Murray 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 after nearly three hours to storm into the third round. Notably, Murray hasn't gone past the third round at a major since 2017 Wimbledon. Meanwhile, fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas reached the third round after beating Sebastian Baez.
Daniel won a total of 114 points and 46 winners in the match. He fired 12 aces as compared to Murray's seven. The Japanese won four return winners. He won 42% of receiving points (45/108) and 80% of net points (20/25). Murray (3) recorded more double faults than Daniel (2). Daniel smashed the fastest serve of the match (212 KPH).
The golden days of Murray are behind him. He last went past the third round of a Grand Slam at 2017 Wimbledon (reached the quarter-final). Murray has missed several Slam tournaments due to injuries ever since. He has competed at the Australian Open thrice since the 2016 edition (2017, 2019, and 2022). Notably, the former world number one has played five Australian Open finals.
Murray fared well at the ATP 250 tournament in Sydney earlier this month. He finished as the runner-up after losing to Aslan Karatsev. Murray overcame Viktor Durasovic, Nikoloz Basilashvili, David Goffin (retired through injury), and Reilly Opelka en route to the final. On the other hand, Daniel has gone past the third round of a major for the first time (Australian Open).
Earlier in the day, fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas claimed a hard-fought win against Argentina's Sebastian Baez. The former won 7-6(1), 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4 to reach the third round at the Australian Open for the fourth successive year. Tsitsipas is vying to win his first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open. He reached the final of Roland Garros in 2021.
Tsitsipas will next face France's Benoit Paire, who stunned 26th seed Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 6-4, 6-7(7), 7-6(2). Paire proceeded to the third round of the Australian Open for first time since 2017. He hasn't gone past this stage at this Slam.