Australian Open: Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka headline Day 5 upsets, men's No. 6 also falls

The 2020 Australian Open came to life on Day 5 as several top contenders suffered unlikely upsets, which saw the women's draw blown wide open. The biggest upset of the day was Serena Williams, who went down in three sets to China's Qiang Wang, while following a close second was Naomi Osaka, who suffered a shock loss to 15-year-old Coco Gauff, who is proving that she is ready to challenge for major titles.

Williams came into the tournament looking to equal Margaret Court's record of winning 24 Grand Slam titles but will have to wait until Roland Garros to match the record. Williams has been dominant on hard court majors during her career but her loss on Day 5 was the first time the former world no. 1 was eliminated on the opening week of a hard-court major in 14 years.

The 38-year-old made 56 unforced errors during the three sets and admitted after the game that they were one too many for a professional athlete to make. Williams' loss was more shocking, especially since she had defeated Wang at the US Open last year by losing just one game in 44 minutes.

Osaka's loss also created shockwaves in Melbourne, as the Japanese star was the defending champion and among the favorites to make the latter stages of the tournament. Like Williams, she had also defeated her opponent at the US Open but fell to Gauff 6-3, 6-4 in just 67 minutes. Former tennis star Chris Evert is certain that the young American is now among the contenders for the women's singles title in Australia.

Serena Williams
Wikimedia Commons

The other high-profile departures in the women's draw included Caroline Wozniacki, who went down in three sets to Tunisia's Ons Jabeur. It was an emotional day for the Dane as she had previously confirmed that the Australian Open would be her last tournament before she retired from the game.

No. 10 seed Madison Keys was also dumped out of the tournament by Greece's Maria Sakkari and it was again in straight sets 6-4, 6-4. Meanwhile, home favorite and top seed Ashley Barty booked her place in the fourth round with a straight set win over Elena Rybakina.

In the men's draw, it was business as usual for world no. 2 Novak Djokovic, who hardly broke a sweat in his 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 victory over Yoshihito Nishioka. However, Greek sensation Stefanos Tsitsipas was knocked out in the third round by Milos Raonic.

This article was first published on January 24, 2020