Australian Open: Gregor Dimitrov wins EPIC five-set clash with Mackenzie McDonald

Australian Open: Gregor Dimitrov wins EPIC five-set clash with Mackenzie McDonald

Australian Open third-seed Grigor Dimitrov narrowly avoided a stunning upset against United States qualifier Mackenzie McDonald, ranked 186th in the world, in the second round of the first tennis Grand Slam of the year, edging a late-night encounter on the Rod Laver Arena 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, 0-6, 8-6.

McDonald attacked the third seed's signature backhand, limiting him to only five winners and restricted Dimitrov to just 28 per cent of second service points with the Bulgarian committing nine double-faults.

"It's a tough day, obviously, " Dimitrov said.

A pumped-up McDonald thrilled the crowd on RLA with his energetic and powerful display against Dimitrov.

There was more drama earlier on the center court and Margaret Court Arena, when second-seeded Wozniacki and 2008 runner-up Jo-Wilfried Tsonga had to come back from big deficits.

Blisters from the hot court surface didn't help her in a 7-6 (1), 6-4 loss to No. 88-ranked Hsieh Su-wei, who has been No. 1 in doubles but had a career-high ranking of 23rd in singles.

Tsonga rallied from 5-2 in the fifth to overcome Denis Shapovalov 3-6, 6-3, 1-6, 7-6 (4), 7-5 in a 3-hour, 37-minute match that contained one of his nonchalant between-the-legs shots on an important point.In what shapes as an entertaining showdown, he'll meet No. 17-seeded Nick Kyrgios in the next round.

And 38-year-old Ivo Karlovic overcame Yuichi Sugita 7-6 (3), 6-7 (3), 7-5, 4-6, 12-10.

Sharapova, who missed last year's Australian Open while serving a 15-month ban for a failed doping test on her previous trip to Melbourne Park, was happy to beat the player who'd ended her run at the U.S. Open last year - her first major since the suspension.

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"I'm very happy with win, not because of the way I played, but because the way I fought".

Ukrainian Svitolina will next face 15-year-old compatriot Marta Kostyuk, who beat Australian wildcard Olivia Rogowska 6-3 7-5.

The win over Peng gave Kostyuk the distinction of being the youngest player to win a main-draw match at the Australian Open since Martina Hingis in 1996.

American John Isner, seeded 16th, was stunned by Australian Matthew Ebden 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, the Russian 15th seed, has been knocked out by Ukraine's Kateryna Bondarenko in a 6-2 6-3 second round upset on Hisense Arena.

Rafael Nadal swept into the Australian Open third round to keep his Grand Slam title hunt on track Wednesday, as Caroline Wozniacki and Grigor Dimitrov pulled off great escapes to stay in contention.

In the deciding set, Dimitrov appeared to have recovered, but McDonald held serve comfortably until 6-5, when the American went down 0-30 but managed to recover.

French Open victor Jelena Ostapenko struggled at times before beating Duan Yingying 6-3, 3-6, 6-4. McDonald then kept his nose in front without any break points against his serve to claim the set 6-4.

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