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Alex Zverev reaches his first Grand Slam semi-final at Australian Open

Alex Zverev reaches his first Grand Slam semi-final, Martina Navratilova and John McEnroe apologise plus Jamie Murray is going strong in mixed doubles – THINGS YOU MISSED FROM THE AUSTRALIAN OPEN OVERNIGHT

  • The quarter-final action in men’s and women’s singles continued on Wednesday
  • Garbine Muguruza and Simona Halep won and will face each other in last four 
  • Alex Zverev will face either Rafael Nadal or Dominic Thiem in the semi-finals 

The quarter-final action in the men’s and women’s singles at the Australian Open continued on Wednesday. 

Garbine Muguruza and Simona Halep progressed and will face each other in the last four on Thursday. While Alex Zverev will face either Rafael Nadal or Dominic Thiem in the semi-finals. 

Sportsmail’s tennis correspondent Mike Dickson rounds up some of the things you may have missed from Melbourne.

Martina Navratilova and John McEnroe apologise for on-court protest 

Martina Navratilova and John McEnroe have both apologised for their on-court protest about the naming of Margaret Court Arena, after being rapped over the knuckles by Tennis Australia. 

‘I had no idea there was this kind of protocol,’ she told the Tennis Channel after violating the terms of her accreditation to the tournament by unveiling a banner with McEnroe after a legends match. ‘I said my piece. I stand by that. But I apologise about breaking protocol. I did not need to do that.’

McEnroe also pleaded ignorance about the credential regulations, saying in a statement clearly designed to appease tournament organisers: ‘I was not aware of the Tennis Australia rules and protocol for issuing credentials.

 Martina Navratilova (above) and John McEnroe have both apologised for their on-court protest

‘For that I apologise to Tennis Australia and recognise and appreciate the great job they have done to make the Australian Open a great event for the fans, players and myself.’

Court’s homophobic views are deeply divisive, and she has been a guest of honour this fortnight in recognition of this being the 50th anniversary of her winning all four Majors in a year. 

Tennis Australia have walked a thin line diplomatically about how to mark Court’s achievement – and other Grand Slams this year will consider how to do the same.

Before the tournament a Wimbledon spokesperson told Sportsmail: ‘It is too early to say regarding any invitation to attend The Championships, but regardless we will be recognising the 50th anniversary of both her win and John Newcombe’s across our content plans as we did with Rod Laver.’

What Navratilova and McEnroe will have learned, like all visitors to Australia, that there is no country in the western world so fond of its rules and regulations, and enthusiastic about enforcing them.

McEnroe and Navratilova showed banner calling for Margaret Court Arena to be renamed

McEnroe and Navratilova showed banner calling for Margaret Court Arena to be renamed

Garbine Muguruza and Simona Halep reach semis 

Two Wimbledon champions of recent vintage will meet in the women’s semi-finals after impressive victories for Garbine Muguruza and Simona Halep. 

Muguruza went on such a slide last year that she came into this event unseeded, but defeated No 30 Anastasia Pavluychenkova 7-5, 6-3. 

Since making the French Open semi-finals in 2018 her best showing at a Grand Slam has been two fourth rounds. 

Halep has been in prime form this fortnight and thrashed Anett Kontaveit, coached by Andy Murray’s father-in-law Nigel Sears, 6-1, 6-1. 

The semis will be played on Thursday, with Ash Barty taking on Sofia Kenin in the other one.

Halep has been in prime form this fortnight and thrashed Anett Kontaveit to reach semi-finals

Halep has been in prime form this fortnight and thrashed Anett Kontaveit to reach semi-finals

Alex Zverev reaches first Grand Slam semi-final 

Alex Zverev staged not just a comeback in his men’s quarter-final, but also a comeback for the whole month after looking completely out of sorts in the ATP Cup and struggling with his serve. 

The German, seeded No 7 is into the semi-finals and further exceeded expectations here by recovering to beat Stan Wawrinka 1-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2. He will now face the winner of the last quarter-final and evening match between Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem. 

The 22-year-old German said at the start of the tournament that if he won the event he would donate all his prize money to bushfire relief, which would amount to £2.23million. At the time it seemed fanciful but appears less so now.

Alex Zverev is into the semi-finals and further exceeded expectations by recovering to win

Alex Zverev is into the semi-finals and further exceeded expectations by recovering to win

Jamie Murray going strong in mixed doubles

Jamie Murray’s strong record in mixed doubles continues as he and partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands defeated China’s Saisai Zheng and Belgium’s Joran Vliegen 6-3, 6-4. 

Murray and Mattek-Sands won the US Open but this is the first time he has been in the semis of the event at the Australian Open. London’s Arthur Fery became the last Brit out of the junior singles when he was beaten 6-3, 7-6 by Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard in the third round. 

Jamie Murray (R) and Bethanie Mattek-Sands defeated Saisai Zheng and Joran Vliegen 6-3, 6-4

Jamie Murray (R) and Bethanie Mattek-Sands defeated Saisai Zheng and Joran Vliegen 6-3, 6-4

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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