Andy Murray was helpless to stop the rampant Mischa Zverev.

Andy Murray had already been upset by Mischa Zverev, undone by some old-school serve and volley, and Roger Federer was down 1-5 in the first set against Kei Nishikori.

In the women’s game, reigning champion and top seed Angelique Kerber was knocked out of the fourth round yesterday, losing 2-6, 3-6 to American Coco Vandeweghe on Rod Laver Arena — the same court where Murray lost earlier.

The 25-year-old Vandeweghe claimed a place in the quarter-finals for the first time, blasting six aces and 30 winners to overpower Kerber.

“I guess I faked (having confidence) a lot because I was feeling like crap out there,” said Vandeweghe. “But, you know, fake it ‘til you make it’ …. my game plan was to execute knowing that she was going to get a lot of balls back.”

The world No. 35 smashed a backhand crosscourt winner to take the single break of serve she needed to claim the opening set in 33 minutes.

Vandeweghe moves on to meet Spanish seventh seed Garbine Muguruza in the last eight.

Unlike newly-installed No. 1 Murray, 17-time major winner Federer found a way to fend off his fourth-round rival.

The sum result of back-to-back long matches on Rod Laver Arena was a quarterfinal pairing of 17th-seeded Federer against No. 50-ranked Zverev. Federer won their last encounter 6-0, 6-0 at Halle in 2015.

Five-time finalist Murray lost in a 7-5, 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 to Zverev, the older and apparently lesser-talented brother of Alexander who had never gone past the third round of a major and was appearing at only his third grand slam in six years.

Federer held off 2014 US Open finalist Nishikori, who was cramping and needed late treatment on his back, 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-1, 4-6, 6-3. It was his 200th career win over a top 10 player.

“It was about staying with him. … almost going down 6-0, I thought ‘It’s not going to get any worse from there,’” said Federer, on the comeback from six months on the sidelines to repair his injured left knee. “Huge win for me in my career.”

Murray’s exit follows the second-round departure of six-time defending champion Novak Djokovic, beaten in the second round by No. 117-ranked wildcard entry Denis Istomin.

It’s the first time since 2002 that the top two seeds haven’t reached the Australian Open quarterfinals, and the first time at a grand slam since the French Open in 2004.

“Right now I’m obviously very down because I wanted to go further in this event,” Murray said. “I’ve had tough losses in my career in the past. I’ve come back from them. This is a tough one. I’m sure I’ll come back OK.”

US Open champion Stan Wawrinka, who had his major breakthrough here in 2014, is a growing contender after beating Andreas Seppi 7-6 (2), 7-6 (4), 7-6 (4). He’ll play a quarterfinal against 2008 Australian Open finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who beat Dan Evans 6-7 (4), 6-2, 6-4, 6-4.

Venus Williams returned to the quarterfinals for the ninth time with a 6-3, 7-5 win over No. 181-ranked Mona Barthel. The seven-time major winner next plays No. 24-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who beat No. 8 Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-3, 6-3. French Open champion Garbine Muguruza reached the quarterfinals here for the first time, beating Sorana Cirstea 6-2, 6-3.

Shanghai Daily


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