The Latest from the Australian Open on Thursday (all times local):
Teenager Naomi Osaka is gaining attention not only for her big-hitting game, but also her quirky sense of humor.
After losing to ninth-seeded Johanna Konta in the second round on Thursday, Osaka paid the British player a compliment for her big serve, as well as her use of “big words. ”
“I heard her talk, and she sounds really intelligent,” said the 19-year-old Japanese player, who was raised mostly in the U. S. “She uses big words in her accent, and it sounds really smart. ”
Konta had a laugh when told about Osaka’s comment and was at a loss for words, either big or small.
“I think, well, I haven’t really analyzed my own speech,” the Sydney-born Konta said with more laughter. “I need to chat more with Naomi! ”
Former No. 1-ranked Caroline Wozniacki has advanced to the third round at the Australian Open for the first time in three years with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Donna Vekic at Rod Laver Arena.
Wozniacki, who reached the semifinals here in 2011, lost in the second round in 2015 and in the first round last year.
A semifinalist at the U. S. Open last September, Wozniacki’s next opponent will be a tough one: Johanna Konta, who made it to the semifinals last year before losing to eventual champion Angelique Kerber, and who improved her ranking in 2016 to 10 from 48.
Andy Murray was back on the practice court at Melbourne Park on Thursday afternoon, his ankle apparently not troubling him after a frightening tumble in Rod Laver Arena the night before.
The top-seeded Murray’s right shoe caught on the surface of the court during his second-round match against Andrey Rublev and he rolled awkwardly to the ground in pain.
He finished the match in obvious discomfort, limping at times and stopping occasionally to stretch.
Some 14 hours after the incident, Murray hit the practice court in front of hundreds of fans for a work-out, allaying concerns the ankle was seriously injured.
Murray is scheduled to play his third-round match against No. 31-seeded Sam Querrey on Friday.
Johanna Konta is through to the third round of the Australian Open after a 6-4, 6-2 win over Naomi Osaka to open play at Rod Laver Arena.
Konta, who advanced to the semifinals on debut here last year before losing to eventual champion Angelique Kerber, will next play either 17th-seeded Caroline Wozniacki or Donna Vekic.
Konta clinched the match on her third match point during an extended rally between the players that ended with Konta hitting the ball deep to the open court.
The 25-year-old Konta was named the WTA Tour’s most improved player of 2016 after moving to 10th from 48th in the rankings last year.
The opening match on Margaret Court Arena could possibly be the fastest — and most lopsided — all day: U. S. Open finalist Karolina Pliskova’s 6-0, 6-2 win over Anna Blinkova in 59 minutes.
Pliskova, who lost to Angelique Kerber in the U. S. Open final last September, overwhelmed the 18-year-old Blinkova, a Russian qualifier ranked 189th who had beaten veteran Monica Niculescu in the first round.
When Blinkova won her first game —after Pliskova had won 10 in a row — she smiled and raised her left arm to acknowledge the cheers from the crowd.
The fifth-seeded Pliskova advanced to the third round for the third consecutive year.
Johanna Konta, who made a spirited run to the semifinals at last year’s Australian Open, will attempt to advance to the third round when she kicks off Day 4 action at Rod Laver Arena on Thursday.
Konta plays Naomi Osaka of Japan in what should be perfect weather conditions at Melbourne Park — sunny skies, a light breeze and a late morning temperature of 19 degrees Celsius (66 Fahrenheit).
Six-time champions Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams had matches later in the day on Rod Laver. Djokovic was playing Denis Istomin in the last afternoon match and Williams was against Lucie Safarova to open the evening program.
Rafael Nadal, Milos Raonic and Agnieszka Radwanska also aimed to book their spots in the third round.