A day after Nick Kyrgios set Melbourne Park alight, seven other Australians are trying to join him in the third round.
Ash Barty got the job done, and now Thanasi Kokkinakis is threatening a huge upset.
Follow day four of the 2021 Australian Open in our live blog below, along with live scores and the order of play at the bottom of the article.
Watch over 40 live ATP Tour tournaments, 40 live WTA Tour tournaments, and every ATP + WTA Finals match live with beIN SPORTS on Kayo. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >
Barty orchestrates shocking surprise
‘GREEK GOD’ CRACKS AS KOKKINAKIS FORCES FIFTH SET
Thanasi Kokkinakis has taken fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas to a deciding fifth set on Rod Laver Arena, 7-6(5) 4-6 1-6 7-6(5), in a match lasting over four hours.
The South Australian looked out of the match when, after claiming the first set in a tiebreak, he limply dropped the second and third sets.
In the fourth set Kokkinakis took just two points off Tsitsipas’ serve and was forced to save a match point at 5-4, but he forced a tiebreak, and jumped out to a 5-1 lead which he narrowly held onto.
Kokkinakis managed to save four break points in his first two service games of the fifth set, which were both marathons – but on the fifth opportunity, Tsitsipas broke the Aussie for a 3-2 lead.
The problem for Kokkinakis is Tsitsipas’ service games are simply breezing by – a break-back was looking incredibly difficult.
A little-known rule hurt Kokkinakis at a crucial moment in the third set, as a ball fell out of his shorts pockets just before a Tsitsipas return fell out of bounds. It meant the point had to be replayed.
A tennis ball fell out of Thanasi Kokkinakis’ shorts during a point, costing him against Stefanos Tsitsipas.Source: FOX SPORTS
Compatriot Alexei Popyrin fell in five sets to South Africa’s Lloyd Harris, and Chris O’Connell lost to Moldova’s Radu Albot.
In the night session it’s the top Aussie male Alex de Minaur, who’s on a collision course with Rafael Nadal in the fourth round. However he must first get past Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas.
Rounding out the septet is veteran Sam Stosur, who won her first Australian Open match since 2015 on Tuesday night.
To progress into the third round for just the second time in a decade, Stosur must beat America’s Jessica Pegula – the daughter of the owner of the NFL’s Buffalo Bills.
Kyrgios completes miraculous comeback
POPYRIN FALLS AFTER VALIANT EFFORT
Aussie youngster Alexei Popyrin has been eliminated from the Australian Open, but not before another gallant effort that forced his opponent Lloyd Harris into a fifth set.
Popyrin, who made it to the third round here last year, took out 13th seed David Goffin in five sets in the first round to seal passage through to Thursday’s match.
After dropping the first set 2-6, Popyrin proved his mettle by taking the second 6-1 as heat surpassed 30 degrees celsius.
Dropping the third set 3-6 didn’t faze the 21-year-old as he forced a tiebreaker and prevailed 7-5 to take the match to a fifth set.
Unfortunately, Popyrin ran out of gas to close the fifth set as South African Harris sealed the set 6-3 to make it into his first third round at the Aus Open.
DEFENDING CHAMP OUT
Defending Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin has been defeated in the second round by Kaia Kanepi.
Kanepi, who has been in promising form to start the season, took the win 6-3, 6-2.
The loss looms as a big positive for Ash Barty, who lost to Kenin in the semi-finals last year and is in the favourable half of the draw.
#4 Sofia Kenin, the defending #AusOpen champ, meekly bows out 6-3, 6-2 to the big-hitting Kaia Kanepi.
Kanepi is a proven giant-killer, but Kenin really lacked belief or fire out there.
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) February 11, 2021
Victoria Azarenka remains the last female player to successfully defend the title, which she did back in 2013.
Kanepi hit 10 aces and racked up 22 winners while Kenin managed just 10 to go with 22 unforced errors.
After a promising finish to 2020, Kanepi has continued on with her form to start 2021 as well as her uncanny ability to defeat the big names.
Kaia Kanepi is 7-6 against top 10 players at slams since 2010:
Jelena Jankovic x2
Simona Halep (ranked #1)
Sofia Kenin (AO defending champ)
— Tumaini Carayol (@tumcarayol) February 11, 2021
Kanepi will face 28th seed Donna Vekic in the third round.
AUSSIE ASH SEALS WIN DESPITE NERVY MATCH WITH DASH
After a match filled with nerves and a feeling of bewilderment, Ash Barty has defeated friend and fellow Aussie Daria Gavrilova.
‘Ash and Dash’ have teamed up to represent Australia before and would have spent plenty of time together on the WTA tour.
Gavrilova was in fact the top Aussie women’s player before Barty surpassed her in October 2017, on her way to the French Open title and top of the WTA rankings.
After both players broke serve to start the match, Barty quickly began to settle and pulled ahead to a comfortable lead before taking the opening set 6-1.
What looked to be smooth sailing changed for Barty in the second set however after some poor serving gifted Gavrilova an early service break.
However, the nerves appeared to be contagious as Gavrilova put in a poor service game to hand the break back to the 2019 French Open champion.
Throughout the match, commentators noted the “strange sensation” that seemed to be gripping the crowd, with a “muted” atmosphere with two hometown favourites doing battle.
As Ash served for the match at 5-4, nerves took hold yet again and allowed Gavrilova back into the contest – Barty could be seen after one point slamming her fist into her heavily-strapped left thigh in frustration.
With the match entering a second set tiebreak, Barty saved set points and managed to seal the match, but concern was raised about her left thigh by commentators as she looked hampered in the backend of the match.
Barty insisted post match she was “fit as a fiddle” despite the heavy strapping.
Tomic’s swipe at Aussie great
BIKIE SPOTTED AMID KYRGIOS CROWD
Motorcycle gang boss Toby Mitchell appears to be an avid Nick Kyrgios fan.
During Kyrgios’ epic five-set win over 29th seed Ugo Humbert on Wednesday night, Mitchell, President of the Mongols outlaw motorcycle gang, was spotted in his first major public appearance since courts deferred his sentencing decision to September for two brawls in 2020.
Mitchell had previously been confined to his home between the hours of 8pm and 6am over the Christmas period.
Mitchell pleaded guilty to unlawful assault over a November 15 incident in Southbank and had already been on bail for an incident outside a cafe in South Yarra in October.
AUSTRALIAN OPEN 2021 – DAY 4
ORDER OF PLAY – THURSDAY FEBRUARY 11
Play begins at 11am unless listed otherwise
Rod Laver Arena
Karolina Pliskova (CZE)  def Danielle Collins (USA), 7-5 6-2
Ash Barty (AUS)  def Daria Gavrilova (AUS), 6-1 7-6(7)
Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE)  v Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS), 6-7(5) 6-4 6-1 6-7(5)
Coco Gauff (USA) v Elina Svitolina (UKR) 
Michael Mmoh (USA) v Rafael Nadal (ESP) 
Margaret Court Arena
Belinda Bencic (SUI)  def Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS), 7-5 2-6 6-4
Kaia Kanepi (EST) def Sofia Kenin (USA) , 6-3 6-2
Matteo Berrettini (ITA)  def Tomas Machac (CZE), 6-3 6-2 4-6 6-3
Pablo Cuevas (URU) v Alex de Minaur (AUS) 
Jessica Pegula (USA) v Sam Stosur (AUS)
John Cain Arena
Andrey Rublev (RUS)  def Thiago Monteiro (BRA), 6-4 6-4 7-6(8)
Anett Kontaveit (EST)  def Heather Watson (GBR), 6-7(5) 6-4 6-2
Fabio Fognini (ITA)  v Salvatore Caruso (ITA)
Not before 7pm
Roberto Carballes Baena (ESP) v Daniil Medvedev (RUS) 
Shelby Rogers (USA) def Olga Danilovic (SRB), 6-2 6-3
Lloyd Harris (RSA) def Alexei Popyrin (AUS), 6-2 1-6 6-3 6-7(5) 6-3
Radu Albot (MDA) def Christopher O’Connell (AUS), 6-2 7-5 7-6(8)
Follow the Australian Open in our live blog below!
If you can’t see the blog, tap here.