Tennis

The curse of Netflix strikes again when Lin defeats Sakkari

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Of the 10 players who have appeared in the series, which first aired on the streaming platform last week, only Felix Auger-Aliassime remains after Sakkari’s loss to Lin Zhu.

Sakkari, the No.6 seed, fell 7-6, 1-6, 6-4 to world No.87 Lin, who earned her first win over a top-10 opponent.

Lin became the sixth Chinese player to reach the fourth round at the Australian Open in the Open Era.

“I mean honestly, am I in a dream?” Lin said in the interview of her on the court.

“I have to believe in myself that I have the ability to be able to play at this high level. Who knows what’s going to happen? You never know.”

She added in her press conference: “It means a lot. It makes me believe that I can play at this level and I can beat a player like her.

“It took me a long time to get here, and that’s why I’m so excited. This is not the end. Let’s move on.”

Sakkari’s defeat saw the Greek join Thanasi Kokkinakis, Taylor Fritz, Matteo Berrettini, Casper Ruud and Ons Jabeur in coming out of the first Grand Slam of the season in the first three rounds.

Ruud and Jabeur were the respective No. 2 seeds in the men’s and women’s singles, while Berrettini and Kokkinakis fell out of favor against a resurgent Andy Murray, whose comeback win over Kokkinakis lasted nearly six hours and stretched past 4: 00 a.m. local time.

Nick Kyrgios, Ajla Tomljanovic and Paula Badosa also appeared in the five-part Netflix series, which will air its second batch of episodes later in the year, but all three withdrew from the Australian Open with injuries.

A dejected Sakkari, who had dismissed the suggestion of any “Netflix curse” at an earlier press conference, said: “I think my level was not good at all. I started the game being very defensive and not hitting the ball, just being afraid. to play my game

“Basically, he had nothing to lose. He was playing for free. He was having fun. He was playing very, very well. I didn’t handle it well.”

“There was hardly anything missing, [not] making unforced errors. That’s how I felt. She was very solid on both sides. I’ve seen her on tour. I’ve never seen her play so well, to be honest.

“Of course, beat Jil [Teichmann] in the previous round, I was quite encouraged and motivated to have a good result here. She’s already done that by beating two very good players.”

Lin’s next opponent will be two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka, who became the eighth player in the Open Era to win more than 45 main draw matches at the Australian Open by beating Madison Keys 1- 6, 6-2, 6-1.

Azarenka joins Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, Lindsay Davenport, Venus Williams, Martina Hingis, Steffi Graf and Martina Navratilova on that list.

“She’s a great champion,” Lin said of Azarenka. “She’s a great player. I’ll keep playing like I played today and trust myself, enjoy the game. Who knows?”

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