Rise of American tennis prominent at 2023 Australian Open

Tennis: US Open
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We now know the final 32 players in the men’s draw and the women’s draw at the 2023 Australian Open. One of the top storylines has been the American success despite the fact that reigning Indian Wells champion and number eight seed Taylor Fritz was eliminated in the second round on Thursday. In the men’s draw, one quarter of the players left are in fact American, while in the women’s draw, there are six American women left.

Eight American Men

In men’s action in round two, Americans knocked out the top two seeds. In addition to Mackenzie McDonald of Berkeley, California beating Rafael Nadal on Wednesday, on Thursday, we saw Jenson Brooksby of Sacramento beating world number two Casper Ruud of Norway, 6-3, 7-5, 6-7, 6-2.

Brooksby will now face Tommy Paul of Voorhees, New Jersey. Paul beat a seeded player too, as he knocked out the 30th ranked player, Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain in five sets in the second round, 6-2, 2-6, 6-7, 6-3, 6-4. Do not be surprised if Paul makes a deep run at the Australian Open. He reached the fourth round of Wimbledon last year. Head-to-head, Paul beat Brooksby 6-3, 6-2, in their only prior meeting in the first round of Cincinnati in 2022.

Two more prominent men’s players were also knocked out by Americans in the second round. Diego Schwartzman of Argentina, the 23rd seed, and 2020 French Open semifinalist, lost 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 to  J.J. Wolf of Cincinnati. Meanwhile, lucky loser Michael Mmoh of Bradenton, Florida beat 2020 United States Open finalist and the 12th seed, Alexander Zverev of Germany 6-7, 6-4, 6-3, 6-2. Other American men in the third round are Ben Shelton of Atlanta, the 16th seed and reigning United States Open semifinalist Frances Tiafoe of Hyattsville, Maryland, and the 29th seed Sebastian Korda of Bradenton.

Six American Women

The six American women left are 13th seed and reigning Australian Open finalist Danielle Collins of St. Petersburg, Florida, the reigning French Open finalist and seventh seed Coco Gauff of Atlanta, the third seed Jessica Pegula of Buffalo, the 10th seed and 2017 United States Open finalist Madison Keys of Rock Island, Illinois, qualifier Katie Volynets of Walnut Creek, California, and Bernarda Pera of New Jersey.

Gauff and Pera are meeting in the third round for the first time head-to-head. Gauff came through with an impressive 6-3, 7-6 win over 2021 United States Open champion Emma Raducanu of Great Britain. Pera meanwhile knocked out the 29th seed, Qinwen Zheng of China, 6-4, 6-4 in round two.

Collins is up against reigning Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan. Collins and Rybakina have won one match each head-to-head. Collins beat Rybakina 7-6, 7-6 in the quarterfinals of Silicon Valley in 2021. Rybakina beat Collins in the first round of Adelaide earlier this year, 5-7, 6-2, 6-3. In the second round, Collins came through with an impressive 6-7, 7-6, 6-2 win over 2021 Australian Open semifinalist Karolina Muchova of Czechia.

Keys faces 2012 and 2013 Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka of Belarus in round three. Azarenka has won all three prior meetings in the past, including a 6-2, 6-2 win in the third round of the 2021 French Open.

Meanwhile, there is a great story featuring Volynets, who upset the ninth seed Russian Veronika Kudermetova, 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 in round two. Volynets, a qualifier, will now face the 23rd seed Shuai Zhang of China in the third round.



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