World number two Jabeur knocked out of Australian Open

Jabeur beaten by French Open finalist Vondrousova; Djokovic, Murray through in men’s draw.

World number two Ons Jabeur has crashed out of the Australian Open, losing to former French Open finalist Marketa Vondrousova in the second round.

The Tunisian was beaten 6-1, 5-7, 6-1 on Thursday, shattering once again her dream to reach the top of the women’s singles ranking.

“Despite the health issues, I will keep fighting and come back stronger and stronger. Time to recover and get healthier,” Jabeur said on her Twitter account on Friday.

Last year, the 28-year-old became the first Arab woman to reach a Grand Slam final and the first African woman to reach the US Open final in the open era.

Elsewhere, injury-hampered Novak Djokovic moved into the third round as the path to a 22nd Grand Slam title opened up for him with the premature exit of second seed Casper Ruud.

Ruud’s second-round exit came a day after Djokovic’s great rival Rafa Nadal, the top seed, was knocked out.

Nine-time Melbourne Park champion Djokovic was delayed slightly by an inspired second set from French qualifier Enzo Couacaud in his 6-1, 6-7, 6-2, 6-0 victory but was troubled by his heavily-strapped left thigh.

Andy Murray, whom Djokovic has beaten in four Australian Open finals, remains in the hunt after coming through a late-night epic against Australia’s Thanasi Kokkinakis, winning 4-6, 6-7, 7-6, 6-3, 7-5 victory after five hours and 45 minutes – the second-longest match in the tournament’s history.

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