Stefanos Tsitsipas and Jessica Pegula entered the second week of the Australian Open as the highest remaining seeds in the men’s and women’s draws, with the opportunity to win a first grand slam title beckoning.
But as they stood as favourites to reach the final in their section, it turned out that was all they had in common. In Tuesday’s quarter-finals the men’s and women’s third seeds had contrasting results against opponents of vastly different pedigree, which proved decisive in their efforts to counter the pressures of expectation.
On reflection, it is not much of a surprise that it was the two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka, rather than Jiri Lehecka – a player contesting in his first grand slam quarter-final – who toppled the odds in the night session on Rod Laver Arena.
Tsitsipas marches on, his record in grand slam quarter-finals extending to a perfect 6-0. Pegula, meanwhile, has now lost all five matches she has played at this stage.Read more on independent.co.uk