Upsets were the theme of the day at Day 4 of the 2023 Australian Open. There were several surprising ones (more on those later), but the most impressive and consequential of the bunch was American Jenson Brooksby's defeat of Casper Ruud, the No. 2 men's seed.
Brooksby, just 22 years old, took down Ruud 6-3, 7-5, 6(4)-7, 6-2 in four hours. It was a tight match, but Ruud just could not consistently figure out Brooksby, who plays an unusual style and has an ability to make awkward, acrobatic returns while keeping the ball low. He simply outplayed Ruud, who wasn't ready for what Brooskby sent his way.
Over the last two days, unseeded Americans have taken down the top two men's singles seeds in the tournament. Watch out, world. American tennis might just be making a comeback.
Other notable upsets
Seeded players were dropping like flies on Thursday. Americans weren't responsible for all the upsets, but they definitely led the charge. Here are all the upsets from Day 4 (minus Ruud's loss to Brooksby).
The No. 2 women's singles seed is also out, as Ons Jabeur lost to the unseeded Marketa Vondrousova in three sets.
The road ended for American Taylor Fritz, the No. 8 seed, who lost a thrilling five-setter to Australian Alexei Popyrin.
No. 9 Veronika Kudermetova lost to American qualifier Katie Volynets.
No. 12 Alexander Zverev lost to American Michael Mmoh.
No. 16 Anett Kontaveit was taken down by Magda Linette.
How did the Americans do?
More Americans lost on Day 4 than on any other day thus far, but the wins were huge. Here are all the American winners from Thursday (minus Brooksby's win over Ruud):
Qualifier Katie Volynets, ranked 115th in the world, defeated ninth-seeded Veronika Kudermetova 6-4, 2-6, 6-2.
Michael Mmoh, one of two American lucky losers to make it into the tournament, defeated No. 12 Alexander Zverev 6(1)-7, 6-4, 6-3, 6-2.
Aussie Open first-timer Ben Shelton narrowly defeated qualifier Nicholas Jarry 7-6(3), 7-6(3), 7-5.
J.J. Wolf took down No. 23 Diego Schwartzman 6-1, 6-4, 6-4.
Tommy Paul defeated Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-2, 2-6, 6(4)-7, 6-3, 6-4.
Sadly, the road ended for Shelby Rogers, Taylor Townsend, Lauren Davis, Claire Liu, Maxime Cressy, Denis Kudla, Brandon Holt, and eighth-seeded Taylor Fritz. But despite the heavy losses for the Americans on Day 4, 13 will be headed into Round 3. According to ESPN, that's the most at the Aussie Open since 2004.
No. 4 Novak Djokovic defeated Enzo Couacaud to advance to Round 3 after dealing with a heckler and a possible flare-up of his hamstring injury.
No. 4 Caroline Garcia beat Leylah Fernandez in straight sets after the first set went to a tiebreak.
Fifth-seeded Aryna Sabalenka extended her winning streak to six matches with her defeat of Shelby Rogers.
Andrey Rublev, seeded fifth in men's singles, advanced after beating Emil Ruusuvuori.
Other winners include Holger Rune, Karolina Pliskova, Belinda Bencic, and Camila Giorgi.
Highlight of the day
If you want to see some incredible tennis, take a look at what 35-year-old Andy Murray was doing against Thansi Kokkinakis on Thursday.
ANDY. MURRAY. 🤯— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 19, 2023
Madness in Melbourne!@andy_murray • @wwos • @espn • @eurosport • @wowowtennis • #AusOpen • #AO2023 pic.twitter.com/NaHx1FkJnu
As of publishing time, Murray and Kokkinakis are still playing. Murray, down two sets to love, staged an incredible comeback at 1:30am in Melbourne. They are now tied at two sets each and playing the deciding set, which is likely to end near 4:00am local time.
What to watch on Day 5
Strap in, everyone. Round 3 starts on Friday and there will be some fantastic matches to watch. Here are a few contests among top seeds you'll be able to get your eyes on:
No. 1 Iga Swiatek vs. Cristina Busca
No. 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas vs. Tallon Griekspoor
No. 6 Felix Auger-Aliassime vs. No. 28 Francisco Cerundolo
No. 10 Hubert Hurkacz vs. No. 20 Denis Shapavalov
No. 11 Cameron Norrie vs. Jiri Lehecka
And it'll be another big day for the Americans. Here's every American playing Friday and their opponent.
No. 3 Jessica Pegula (the highest-seeded American remaining in the Aussie Open) vs. Marta Kostyuk
No. 7 Coco Gauff vs. Bernarda Pera (both are Americans)
No. 10 Madison Keys vs. No. 24 Victoria Azarenka
No. 13 Danielle Collins vs. No. 22 Elena Rybakina
No. 16 Frances Tiafoe vs. No. 18 Karen Khachanov
No. 29 Sebastian Korda vs. No. 7 Daniil Medvedev
Mackenzie McDonald vs. No. 31 Yoshihito Nishioka