Storm Hunter’s extensive Australian Open campaign has come to end after a semi-final defeat to Elise Mertens and Su-Wei Hsieh on Margaret Court Arena.
Hunter and Czech partner Katerina Siniakova let a 4-0 first set lead slip to drop the opener 7-5 but appeared to have control of the counter after taking the second set 6-1.
However, incredible reflexes at the net from Hsieh helped the second seeds to earn a 7-5, 1-6, 6-3 victory to progress into the 2024 final.
Ultimately, the encounter was filled with a series of long exchanges to the pleasure of the support, largely for Hunter and Hsieh at Melbourne Park.
The contest ended with a sublime backhand passing winner from Mertens before a post-match handshake between her and former partner Hunter which was not overly warm.
The duo parted ways back in November 2023 after a season which included two WTA 1000 titles and a run to the Wimbledon final.
For the Aussie, the loss ends a thirteen-match Australian Open campaign after six singles and seven doubles encounters.
Hunter’s run included a career-best singles effort reaching the third round at a major for the first time.
Earlier on Thursday, 17-year-old Hayden Jones contested his first junior singles quarterfinal at Grand Slam level, suffering a tough 7-6(2), 3-6, 5-7 defeat to Czceh Jan Kumstat.
Jones fended off one match point in the final game with an incredible backhand winner, before ultimately succumbing to Kumstat’s first serve power.
The talented and self-confident Aussie possesses similar attributes to a young Alex de Minaur, opting for a patient approach with consistency off both his forehand and backhand.
Following Hayden on Court 3, younger sister Emerson Jones faced a tough challenge against Japanese second seed Sara Saito in her first major quarterfinal.
The contest was halted with Jones trailing 1-4 in the opening set as rain began to pour down at Melbourne Park – ultimately being postponed until Friday.