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JONES SIBLINGS, EBDEN & HUNTER ADVANCE AT MELBOURNE PARK



Matt Ebden and Rohan Bopanna have continued their stirring form as a pair, reaching the Australian Open semi-finals with a 6-4, 7-6(5) victory over Argentine duo Maximo Gonzalez and Andres Molteni [6].

 

The contest which initially began on Court 3 was moved to Margaret Court Arena after heat bubbles became evident on the playing surface – something Ebden had not seen in his 20 years at Melbourne Park.

 

The duo are now the number one ranked doubles team in the world, having joined forces for the first-time in January 2023.

 

It was a big goal of ours when we started this partnership over a year ago,” Ebden revealed.

 

We made our intentions clear. Said [we] want to get to World No. 1, win the slams, the big tournaments. We have ticked a lot of boxes the last year, and this is another one of those.”

 

Bopanna and Ebden will face unseeded pair Zhizhen Zhang and Tomas Machac in the semis as they seek to reach a second consecutive major final.

 

Storm Hunter and Katerina Siniakova came from a set down to defeat Laura Siegemund and Barbora Krejcikova on Margaret Court Arena.

 

The Aussie / Czech combination prevailed 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 over the fifth seeds, as world number one Hunter progressed to the semi-finals of a Grand Slam for the sixth time.

 

The victory also helped avenge Hunter’s third-round singles loss to Krejcikova which ended the Aussie’s career best run at a major.

 

Wildcard mixed pairs Jaimee Fourlis / Andrew Harris and Olivia Gadecki / Marc Polmans both bowed out of their respective semi-final encounters in straight sets.

 

Harris and Fourlis fell 7-6(8), 6-2 to Su-Wei Hsieh and Jan Zielinski [3] while Gadecki and Polmans went down 6-4, 6-1 to Neal Skupski / Desirae Krawczyk [2].

 

In junior action, it was a stellar afternoon for the Jones family as siblings Emerson and Hayden both reached maiden Grand Slam quarterfinals.

 

Once heat bubbles had been flattened on Court 3, 15-year-old Emerson [6] re-commenced play with a 7-5, 6-3 victory over American Ty Grant [9].

 

It was the pair’s second clash in a fortnight after a battle at the J300 in Traralgon where the Aussie went on to win the title.

 

The talented teenager will face second seed Sara Saito of Japan in the last eight in a bid to reach the semi-finals.

 

Following Emerson’s triumph, Hayden Jones stepped up and upset Polish third seed Tomasz Berkieta in three tight sets.

 

The 17-year-old was able to withstand his opponent’s power, including multiple serves above 225km/hour, to prevail 6-4, 5-7, 7-5.

 

Jones becomes the first Australian since Rinky Hijikata in 2018 to reach the Boys quarterfinals at Melbourne Park and will meet Czech Jan Kumstat on Thursday.

 

Two further locals bowed out of junior singles action on Wednesday, in Maya Joint and Pavle Marinkov.

 

Thirteenth seed Marinkov broke down in a 4-6, 6-0, 6-1 capitulation against Rei Sakamoto on Court 15, while 17-year-old Joint was beaten 6-4, 6-3 by top seed Renata Jamrichova.

 

Joint later teamed up in doubles with Kristiana Sidorova as the sixth seeds, but fell 0-6, 6-1, [10-5] to Julie Pastikova and Julia Stusek.

 

In quad wheelchair action, Heath Davidson lost from a set up against Donald Ramphadi, going down 1-6, 6-2, 6-1.

 

Later on Wednesday, Davidson partnered Robert Shaw [2] to overcome Finn Broadbent and Gregory Slade 6-0, 6-0.

 

Australian pair Anderson Parker and Ben Weekes were soundly beaten 6-1, 6-0 by Alfie Hewitt / Gordon Reid [1].

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