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Sakkari wins after silencing Shnaider’s ‘inappropriate’ celebrations

australian open
Maria Sakkari celebrates winning her second round match against Russia's Diana Shnaider REUTERS/Carl Recine

Maria Sakkari took umbrage with opponent Diana Shnaider’s vocal celebrations after winning points at the Australian Open on Wednesday but silenced the teenage qualifier with a finger-wagging rant on the way to a comeback 3-6 7-5 6-3 win.

World number 106 Shnaider, wearing a black and white polka dot kerchief, made a habit of roaring in Sakkari’s direction and throwing her icy stares, and it got too much for the Greek sixth seed at 5-5 in the second set at Margaret Court Arena.

After a wry grin, Sakkari grew serious and walked toward the chair umpire holding up a finger, saying: “If she screams one more time in my face … No, no, no, no.

“One more time … She’s coming towards me. One more time and I’m going to speak to the referee.”

Taking charge of the situation appeared to work for Sakkari, who duly broke the 18-year-old Russian to take the set, then locked down the match to reach the third round.

“During a match you can be very pumped or, you know, the way that some players celebrate their points, it’s not appropriate,” Sakkari later told reporters.

“I wasn’t happy with that. But, you know, she never did it again. That was very nice of her.”

Favourite Swiatek cruises into next round

Iga Swiatek, hot favourite for the women’s title, and men’s dark horse Jannik Sinner swept into the third round of the Australian Open before nine first-round matches were started as the weather continued to wreak havoc at Melbourne Park on Wednesday.

World number one Swiatek overcame Camila Osorio 6-2 6-3 under the roof on Rod Laver Arena and Italian Sinner waltzed past Tomas Etcheverry 6-3 6-2 6-2 on the similarly protected John Cain Arena.

Rain kept the players off the outer courts for four hours after the scheduled start, however, adding to fixture congestion triggered by extreme heat and storms on Tuesday when nine matches did not get started and two could not be completed.

Swiatek headlined the action that was possible early on Wednesday and was the first to admit that the scoreline did not reflect the difficulty of her contest against the 21-year-old Colombian.

The Polish top seed set off at a canter and was 4-0 up before Osorio found her range with her groundstrokes and scooted around the court to put huge pressure on Swiatek’s serve.

Two breaks of serve got the Colombian on the scoreboard at 5-2 but Swiatek broke back to win the opening set and fended off another break point in the opening game of the second.

“It was really intense physically and Camila was running to every ball, she didn’t give up,” said Swiatek.

“She didn’t give me many points for free, so I needed to really work for each one of them, but I’m happy that I was consistent in being proactive and trying to just play a little faster to put pressure (on her).”

Swiatek always had the measure of Osorio’s serve, however, and even when she was broken serving for the match for the first time, a third round meeting with former U.S. Open champion Bianca Andreescu or Cristina Bucsa never looked in doubt.

Australian Open 2023: Day three on Wednesday


American third seed Jessica Pegula beat Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-2 7-6(5) at Rod Laver Arena to move into the third round.

Pegula played with the number three on her skirt in support of Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin, who was discharged from hospital nine days after suffering a cardiac arrest during an NFL game.

“He’s recovered, it’s amazing and awesome to see,” said Pegula, whose parents own the Bills franchise.


Greek sixth seed Maria Sakkari fought back from a set down to beat 18-year-old qualifier Diana Shnaider 3-6 7-5 6-3.

“She played an amazing match, she’s very young and promising. Maybe she could consider not going to college and turning pro,” Sakkari said with a smile.

Organisers said there would be no play on the outside courts before 2:30 p.m. due to rain at Melbourne Park.


Italy’s Jannik Sinner beat Tomas Etcheverry 6-3 6-2 6-2, going through the match without conceding a break point opportunity to the Argentine.


Top seed and hot favourite Iga Swiatek overcame Camila Osorio 6-2 6-3 under the closed roof on Rod Laver Arena to become the first player into the third round of the tournament.

The Pole was vulnerable when the 21-year-old Colombian attacked her serve but always looked to have control of the contest and set up a meeting with Bianca Andreescu or Cristina Bucsa after serving for the match for a second time.

“I think it was much tougher than the scoreline suggests,” said Swiatek. “It was tough but I’m happy that I was persistent in being proactive.”


The weather continues to wreak havoc on the schedule with organisers, already facing a backlog of matches after major disruptions on Tuesday, confirming that rain would delay the start of play on the outside courts for at least three hours.


Second-round matches got underway as scheduled under the closed roofs of the main showcourts on day three of the championships but light rain delayed the start on the outside courts by at least 30 minutes.

Organisers already had their work cut out after extreme heat and a rain storm caused long delays on Tuesday. Eleven first-round matches were unfinished, including nine which did not even start.

The weather forecast is promising, however, with a high of only 23 Celsius (73.4 Fahrenheit) predicted and the chance of showers decreasing as the day goes on.

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